14 February 2014
Case Study 1: Violent Video Games Public expectations for businesses fall under immense pressure and can easily impact the image of any company. Video game producers are highly affected by social responsibility for the negative effects of video games displayed by the users. Studies have shown that violence has a “positive link with more aggression while others show no correlation” with violent behavior linked to video games1 (Rae, Wong 167). As producers continue to create a graphical yet realistic experience the blame is imposed on the producers or the parents—creating the ethical issue of businesses being socially responsible for the negative behavior of children versus the parents.
Statistically, the behavior must be driven by something other than video games, as correlation does not imply with causation—leading to more of an internal battle and lack of maturity or thereof for young adults struggling with aggressive behavior. This situation can be supported with three biblical principles, the first found in 1st Corinthians 13:11 where it is written, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways2.” Corinthians 13:11 shows clear evidence that one must give up their child-like behavior and take responsibility for their actions. Similarly, Galatians 6:7 displays how what we are taught from a young age affects our behavior with Paul’s words being, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap3.” Both the user and video game producer’s conscience is tested when it comes to the violence found in video games which leads to Romans 2:15 where it is written that “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus4.” The testing of the conscience leads to the ultimate truth that must fill the mind of Christians—found in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things5.”
A child’s behavior is often times emulated by his or her parents who are responsible for the upbringing of their offspring. Responsibility falls upon the parents to sow good seeds in the lives of their children—in the hopes that they will mature and leave their childish ways as seen in 1 Corinthians 13:11 and live by the fruits of the spirit. Companies are not socially responsible for the aggressive behavior shown by the users given that the producers’ conscience is not affected by what they are selling. When the parents and users’ conscience is affected and begins to result in negative behavior it is the social responsibility lying on the parents and users, not the game producers—supporting Paul’s words in Romans 2:15. Lastly, the responsibility lies on the parents in the proper raising and monitoring of what their children are buying or using, which is supported by Philippians 4:8. Putting a ban on video games requires much involvement with the Supreme Court as seen in a…