Video Games : A Violent Video Game Essay

Video Games : A Violent Video Game Essay

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Violent video-games have become the target of many in the wake of events such as the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. David Waddington, author of “Locating the wrongness in ultra-violent video-games”, examines the arguments made by Matt McCormick’s article “Is it wrong to play violent video-games”. Waddington explains that McCormick’s use of utilitarianism does not go far enough when evaluating the wrongness in violent video-games. Waddington proposes, as a correction to McCormick’s claims, a stricter view on evaluating the potential harm found in playing video-games. Waddington also explores Kantian perspectives of violent video-games as a means to advocate the immoral status of video-games.
The idea that violent video-games predispose individuals to real world violent behavior has been explored yet no concrete evidence has been found for causation. In McCormick’s initial exploration of utilitarianism in response to violent video-games he finds that “any argument against violent video-games on these grounds needs to show that (1) there actually is an increase of risk, and (2) that increase of risk outweighs the benefits’’(Waddington, 2007). However, Waddington argues for changing McCormick’s first premise to “there is a significant potential for an increase in risk” (Waddington, 2007). By doing so, Waddington suggests that rather than looking at actual increases in risk, that instead we look at the potential for an increase in risk. This idea effectively sensitizes McCormick’s first premise. Waddington similarly proposes the same changes to McCormick’s second premise to include the idea of “a significant possibility that the risks outweigh the benefits” (Waddington, 2...


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...t actions. As such, we can assume that the real world cost of violent video-games is trifling at best. When looking at the economic benefits of the video-game industry the world video-game industry is valued just short of $100 billion dollars. Violent video-games are extremely popular in the industry. Even if the world market share of violent video-games was a measly 10%, that would still be roughly $10 billion in sales each year. It is difficult to quantify the entertainment value received by each individual gamer, however, many of the bestselling video-games fall into the violent video-game category. If violent video-games can be accused of anything, it is that they are desensitizing individuals to violence, which does not necessarily mean real world violent behavior. Regardless, morally acceptable or not, it seems as if violent video games are here to stay.

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