Violence in Video Games

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Video games first appeared in the early 1970's. It all started with a simple white ball bouncing back and fourth on the screen. In 1986, Nintendo introduced its first line of home video game consoles. With the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) on the market, the home video gaming industry surged and immediately became popular among children. Since then, not only have video games increased in popularity, but there have been vast improvements in graphics, game play, and forms of gaming. Today, video games have become the preferred choice of entertainment among children and teenagers. Research done in 1998 has shown that kids who own video games spend an average of 90 minutes a day playing them. Clearly the video gaming industry is a profitable one. With the increasing competition between gaming companies, the advancement of technology and content of games began to change. One of the most significant and concerning changes in gaming is graphics. With the improvements in graphics the content of the game became more and more detailed and realistic. Visually violent actions can now be displayed on the screen. Images of blood, flying body parts, and gore have been integrated into every aspect of today's video games. Violence has always been a common factor in many games, but with the improvements in graphics and capabilities of gaming consoles, a growing number of people are becoming concerned about the effects on our children and society.


It is true that many of the popular games are violent, however there are also many popular games that are non-violent. Games such as Myst, Gran Turismo, The Sim collection, Pinball, Breakout, and Tetris are all popular games that contain little to no violence at all. Some people may question why there are so many violent games, and the answer is simple. Violence sells. People enjoy the action in violent games. The American audience craves violence and advertisers and producers create more violent games because it is apparent that Americans would rather play a violent game than something non-violent.

There is no question that there is violence in video games, but exactly how violent are these games? In the early age of gaming, violence was cartoonish. In games such as Wonder Boy and Space Invaders when you kill the enemy, they disappear in a cloud of smoke or a small explosion...

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...ence and video games

~ Set time limits on gaming

~ Encourage your child to do other things besides playing video games.


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