Violent Video Games: Impact on Youth Behavior

1319 Words3 Pages

There I was, about to do a drug deal with the Colombian Cartel. As I made the exchange, they pulled automatic rifles out and started shooting at me. I ran for cover and started shooting back with my handgun. They made an escape with the money and the heroin. I was then interrupted by reality and it was time to go to school. I paused Grand Theft Auto IV and prepared myself for school, as my brain was making its way back to the real-world. Intense violence, drug abuse, sexual content, foul language, and criminal behavior are some components of violent video games like Grand Theft Auto that fuel the multibillion dollar gaming industry. Recently, there have been concerns about the effects of violent video games on young people who play them excessively. The mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school, Washington Navy Yard, and in Aurora, just to name a few, have led to a series of media claims that violence in video games causes violence in the real world. It is natural for the media to make connections with violent video games and a gunman who avidly plays Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. However, that is not to say that violent video games promote violence. In fact, research shows that while video game sales are at an all-time high, violent crime is at an all-time low. Therefore, playing these types of games may not be detrimental to a persons’ well-being.
Just because violent video games portray real-life violence does not necessarily mean the games cause it. Some of the murderers had problems going on in their lives. For example, Sami Yenigun who is a producer and reporter for the National Public Radio explains, “The killers at Columbine High School had been bullied, they had psychiatric illnesses, and yes, they also consumed ...

... middle of paper ...

... games are popular and some people are afraid of what it can do to our society. In retrospect, Barclay points out, “I think all of us can remember media-based moral panics from our own childhoods … from rock music … to comic books in the 1950s, to Harry Potter, to rap music, to Dungeons and Dragons, etc.” People want an answer when a tragedy like a mass killing occurs and the media is usually the first to respond. Most Americans probably get their information on video games from the mass media because that is where they turn to for assumingly reliable information. And when people see on Facebook, Twitter, or the internet that the media has made connections between violent video games and a killer who plays them, it causes our society to panic. If parents were educated on the effects of their children playing violent video games, there would not be as much panicking.

Open Document