Michelle Bush The Bigger Picture Society targets video games as the reason for many violent crimes today. This is because it is a new form of media that is increasing in popularity and making it very easy to target.
Society has attacked movies and television shows in the past for instigating acts of violence, but they have never found any direct link between them. The same applies to video games. It is simply ridiculous to assume that they are connected to violent behaviors in any way. Parents and social scientists always look for outside factors to blame. Many other factors need to be analyzed before assuming that video games are the root to violence. Understanding the mindset of that particular person and the environment they are exposed to is important. The role and supervision of their parents can have a huge impact as well. We should look at what the retailers can do to stop minors from getting their hands on age restricted titles. There is always more than one simple cause to a problem. Video games are simply a scapegoat for the real causes of violence in our society today. Violent video games are nothing new. Donkey Kong tried to smash Mario with a barrel and Frogger was constantly being crushed by a car. People are always looking for something else to blame. First, it was rap music and Marilyn Manson causing disruptive behavior. Now, its movies, TV shows, and video games that are being blamed. They don’t seem to weigh the other, more explainable causes of violent behavior. The strongest risk factors involve mental stability and quality of home life, not media exposure. The environment that a child grows up in has a great impact on his or her life. A child who grew up in a violent family will be more likely to commit violent acts, while a child who grew up in a more peaceful family will less likely show signs of violent behavior. One of the most well-known incidents was the Columbine, Colorado shooting in 1999, in which two teenaged gunmen, who were reportedly frequent players of violent video games, massacred thirteen people before committing suicide. After this event, the only evidence they could come up with was that the gunmen were frequent players of violent video games, which proves nothing. Did they know the quality of home life for the gunmen? Did they know whether or not they suffered from mental instability? The person must have had the mindset of killing someone before initiating the execution. They had no hard proof so they decided to blame the media. We rarely see any suicidal acts even in the most violent video games. We can assume that the gunmen suffered from depression, anti-social personality traits, family attachment issues, delinquent peers, or domestic violence. The truth is that there is no hard scientific data on whether or not playing violent video games actually lead to violent behavior. If a child is playing a video game with intense violence, then the real concern is how they got their hands on it in the first place. The gaming industry puts games through a rigorous rating system for a reason. That reason is to make sure that the right age groups are playing games that are suitable for them. Almost all video games produced have ratings on them provided by the Entertainment
Software Rating Board, or ESRB. The system they use is similar to how movies are rated. They assign ratings based on the amount of violence, crude language, nudity, and drug use in their contents. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii consoles have enacted prescribed parental controls. The controls are password protected and make it possible for parents to set the ratings of games and movies that can be played through the game system. The gaming community goes through many steps to ensure proper rating procedures are followed. Once the rating