Video Games Do Not Spawn Violence

As we hear about shooting sprees at local high schools, people immediately begin to lay blame for the event on the video gaming industry. Critics then use these events to raise their voices against the violence that is portrayed in many of the popular video games. Critics proceed to try to ban the sale of these video games without having any real proof of their accusations. Video games do not contribute to youth violence because there is an excellent rating system in place, the simulated violence provides an outlet for aggression, and the research that critics use is flawed.
Just like movies, video games receive a content rating by the ESRB, Entertainment Software Rating Board which is a non-profit entity that regulates the industry that creates and markets video games. Video games receive a rating that suggests age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors which indicate attributes of the game that triggered the rating.
This is an excellent rating system. If video games are correctly identified using this system, and purchasers of the games adhere to the system, then only those people who are mentally mature enough to be exposed to violence without being influenced by it will be exposed to the higher levels of violence. For example, when the game Mortal Kombat came out, my teenage brother purchased the game and was playing it while I was watching. When my mother saw the scene where a person in the game fell into a pit and was impaled on spikes with a lot of blood surrounding him, she was upset that I was watching this and felt that I was too young to watch such a scene. I was only 8 years old. So when she looked at the content rating of the game, she banned the game from being played while any children were able to vie...

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... accusations. If they really stopped to gather the facts they would find that, the United States has an excellent rating system for video games. People should consider these ratings before they allow their children to play these games. People should not jump to conclusions about video games without being able to provide proof. Valid proof however, is not available because the research studies that have been attempted are flawed. If there is no valid proof that video games cause violent behavior then people should not make a rush to judgment about something they don’t really understand. In this country, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. We need to take this stance on this issue as well. We should believe that video games do not spawn violence in today’s youth. We should believe this until it can be proven otherwise with impeccable research studies.
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