In today’s society, videos games are a source of controversy as they tend to be blamed for a lot of the violence and aggression experienced. It is true that violent video games can have lasting effects on younger children, but those types of games are not developed for children. They were developed for mature adults who should be able to handle their conduct. Not all video games are violent; in fact, only about five percent of the titles released are violent in nature (Lewis-Hasteley, 2008). Moderation and monitoring along with utilization of the provided rating system can make the video game experience one of learning and enjoyment rather than of violence and fear.
Society is exposed to violence through several mediums: television, radio, movies, the internet, etc. Why would only video games be blamed for encouraging violence? Many studies have been done trying to prove there is a link between video games and violence by observing children playing video games and measuring the differences in their personality after playing said game. Those studies are inconclusive as they do not clearly define aggression, violence, or personality differences. The closest to proving that video games have a lasting reaction is through measuring physiological changes such as heart-rate and breathing rate (Scott, 1995). Several studies have proved that players have more physiological changes after playing sport games than shooter and violent games as they are able to relate the game with actual experienced events (Lewis-Hasteley, 2008).
Parents need to be more involved. Each video game is rated through the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) allowing parents to see what age the game is recommended for before purchasing it. There are six ratings for video games ranging from “EC” for early childhood to “AO” for adults only (Hoerrner & Hoerrner, 2006). This rating system helps ensure that the content of the game is age appropriate. If parents paid attention to the ratings on video games as well as they paid attention to the ratings on movies, children would not be exposed to content that is too mature for them.
Video games targeted for children are very educational and have several great qualities.
There are several educational games that can help develop skills such as reading, counting and mathematics, communication, critical thinking, and hand-eye coordination, to name a few, all while keeping children engaged. In fact, since video games are such a great way to learn several companies, mainly those who use some type of machinery, have developed video games as a means of training. A study showed that a group of diabetics who received a video game about controlling blood sugar proved to be more careful at monitoring their sugar and had less hospital visits (Hoerrner & Hoerrner, 2006). If children were exposed to an hour or two