thouhgts of Sam
2002-02-19 16:14:27 (UTC)


Fantasy Violence in our society

Video games are a part of everyday life, but can some video
games be too violent? The Answer is no. Video games are a
fantasy item and should be taken as that. For someone to
believe that a video game can be training killers or even
desensitizing you people is simply crazy talk. Regardless
of whether or not they want to admit it adults play video
games almost as much as children do. The consumer market
for video games is a varying market that ranges from the
age of five to the age of seventy-five. Now, how can we
keep the younger children from seeing violent images that
mom and dad would not want them to see? Several ideas have
come up but they have both positive and negative aspects to
them. So the ideas are; banning violent video games all
together; carding for violent video games; or stricter
enforcement of the “ratings” used by the American
government. These are only a few of the ideas that have
come up. There are many more and maybe after this is all
over there could be even more, or a better knowledge of the
stated problem. The thing that we have to remember is that
it is not only children who are playing games.
So, the banning of violent video games does not
seem like much of an option. Even though that would make
many parents happy it would violate our 1st amendment
rights as an American. Also before you could ban violent
video games, I think that the violent images that are put
on the television should be censored before you go and
censor a video game. The TV. Images are put there for free
and are played at will, but a video game you have to go and
pay for and usually you would know what the game is about
just by the title or the rating that has been printed on
the front of the box. Sometimes they don’t even display
the rating for a television show. So how could you
possibly try to ban violent video games when there is a
larger problem that needs to be taken care of first? As
far as the images in the game are concerned, yes they can
be very graphic and very violent but that is why we have
the ratings system.
Stricter enforcement of the game rating system,
which is called the ESRB, which stands for Entertainment
Software Rating Board, would be a better option than just
banning violent video games. So, what are the ESRB ratings
suppose to do? Well The ESRB ratings are designed to give
consumers information about the content of an interactive
video or computer entertainment title and for which ages
it's appropriate. The ESRB ratings are not meant to tell
you what to buy or rent or to serve as the only basis for
choosing a product. Rather, consumers should use the ESRB
ratings in conjunction with their own tastes and standards
when purchasing or renting a video game. ( So,
there are ratings systems that are currently being used,
now the question is, could that be enough? If they were
enforced properly it would certainly pay off. They were
made to simply inform you of what you are buying, so if
they are ignored what more can be done? They specifically
state what makes the games so violent and they also state
what age you should be to purchase the game but if the
stores do not follow the rating systems then what good are
they really?
So the next option would be carding for the games.
Now there are many sides to this argument. Some people
feel that this would help a lot, those people being parents
and gamers that are over the age of eighteen. However
there are those that would be strongly against the carding
idea. They are the thirteen to seventeen gamers. They
would be upset because they feel like they are old enough
to play the games yet they are not old enough to purchase
the games themselves. So lets break this down, you got a
two-thirds majority that is happy and you got a lonely one
third that is not. So where is the happy median? Well
unfortunately there is not one. So what’s the best
option? Carding is really a good idea. You keep the
violent games out of the kid’s hands and not only that but
you can still put out whatever video game you feel is
necessary. Some games are held back because they are too
violent. Well if you are carding people for the violent
video games then you have no real reason to not put a game
on the shelf. If you know that only adults are getting the
games then the video game market would surely change.
Think about if you could make the game as violent as you
want it, then after a while of seeing these violent images
the people would grow tired of the appeal. Maybe it is
just because we are not supposed to have the games and
that’s why we want them so much.
Now we have hit on another issue. If people see
these images in everyday life do they become “Desensitized”
to violent images? And then there is the question of does
violent video games produce violent behavior?
Psychologists Craig Anderson and Karen Dill conducted two
studies. The first was about video game violence in the
real world. In which they let a group of students play all
the violent video games they wanted and they reacted with
violence. “Students who had played more aggressive video
games had also engaged in more aggressive delinquent
behavior.” (Holmes, The second study
was done in the lab, which collage students were allowed
too chooses between a violent video game and a strategy
game. The results can best be stated in their article.
Which reads as follows; The present research demonstrated
that in a both a correlation investigation using self-
reports of real-world aggressive behaviors and an
experimental investigation using a standard, objective
laboratory measure of aggression, violent video game play
was positively related to increases in aggressive
behavior. In the laboratory, collage students who played a
violent video game behaved more aggressively toward an
opponent than did students who played a nonviolent video
game. Outside the laboratory students who reported playing
more violent video games over a period of years also
engaged in more aggressive behavior in their own lives.
Both styles of studies-correlation-real delinquent
behaviors and experimental-laboratory aggressive behaviors
have their strengths and weaknesses. The convergence of
findings across such disparate methods lends considerable
strength to the main hypothesis that exposure to violent
video games can increase aggressive behavior. (Anderson,
and Dill 2000)
So there are studies that have shown that video
games can cause violent behavior. However most people’s
feelings toward violent video games are the same, they feel
they are no big threat and not a real concern. Well good
for them. Well now you have information on video game
violence. So the question is what would you do? Would you
ban violent video games? Would you enforce the ESRB
ratings system? Or would you simply card for the games?
There are many options and there are also many drawbacks.
Violent video games may cause some violent behavior but the
question you must ask yourself is, “Would you rather have
the fantasy violence than real violence that is seen on
TV?”(Lawson, 2000)

Works Cited Page

Holmes, Leonard “Violent video games produce violent
Author Unknown “shoot to thrill”
Anderson, Craig and Dill, Karen “Lab Study”
Lawson, Sam “His own words”

Fantasy Violence in our society

Sam Lawson
English IV
February 18, 2002
Ms. Vogt