Violence in video games continues to get worse, but what does this mean for the youth of today? As the violence in video games gets more graphic people continue to wonder if the youth of today can understand the difference between fantasy violence and real violence. Some experts believe it is up to the parents to teach the difference between fantasy violence and real violence (Cullotta, 2012). With more and more video games coming out, this is getting harder and harder for parents to be able to shield youth from. But does this mean that the violence is really an issue? There are studies out there that show, as video game sales go up, violent crimes continue to go down (ProCon.org, 2013). “Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. (ProCon.org, 2013). Does this help prove that it is just video games that causes the violence in youth? ProCon.org continues to go on and say, extensive research evidence shows that media exposure to video games, can contribute to aggressive behavior and violence, along with nightmares and the fears of being harmed. Craig Anderson PhD. the director of the center for the study of violence, states through ProCon.org that there is a significant link between violence in video games, and the behavior which causes violence in youth (ProCon.org, 2013). Violence in video games is and is not the cause of violence within youth of today.
With the continued rise of video game sales, people begin to wonder if youth can handle the violence. After recent events like the Boston Marathon, and the shootings in a Colorado movie theatre we return to the age old question of is violence in the media and video games to much for youth. This debate started in 1976 with the release of the game Death Race (ProCon.org, 2013). This game caused protestors to drag the game out of arcades and caused the game production to cease. “Controversy erupted because the "gremlins" resembled stick-figure humans, and it was reported that the working title of the game was Pedestrian.” (ProCon.org, 2013) This was the start of the age old debate of violence in the media and video games, which in return got Congress to hold hearings about video game violence in 1993, and by 1994 they introduced the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). Based on the video game's content, the ESRB assigns one of the following ratings: "Early Childhood," "Everyone," "Everyone 10+," "Teen," "Mature," or "Adults Only." This was done to keep parents more information about what a video game might contain when they are buying the video games for their children. As the debate continues it will help for parents to continue to just be informed about the violence in video games, and in the media in general. “With video games becoming increasingly popular, they have also faced major scrutiny from the community because of the detrimental effects these games can have on players and observers” (Gonzalez, 2007).
But when it comes down to it, does the violence in the video games really make a difference? According to the United States criminal statisics department violent juvenile crime in has been on the decline as video games become more popular (ProCon.org, 2013). As video games sales continue to go up violent crimes continue to go down, is this because youth is too busy playing the games or because parents are more informed of things that are going on in video games now? “A causal link between violent video games and violent behavior has not been proven.” (ProCon.org, 2013) ProCon.org continues to go on by saying that many studies have design flaws, and unreliable measures of testing the violence and aggression. This has allowed for the continue debate of violence in video games and the effects on youth. There has been many studies and…