Essay Violence in Gaming

Submitted By Mannimarco
Words: 524
Pages: 3

Chris Lucas

April 1, 2013

Violence in Gaming Gaming is a popular medium, and like all forms of media, it comes under fire from critics, news agencies, and most of all, parents. Many complain about its content, others protest due to clothing the characters wear, but most criticize its use of violence. Actual acts of violence such as theater shootings cause the media to point to video game violence as a cause for the perpetrator’s violent acts. However, video game violence is simply part of the art and experience of the story of each game. It is not real, and does not cause players to transfer the acts of the game into real life. In 1992, the Columbine Massacre shook headlines across America. This was one of the first instances where the media openly blamed violence in video games for a tragic event because both of the shooters were known to play violent video games. As more information became public, it was learned that there were many more underlying causes other than video game play. For example, one of the shooters had an abusive, alcoholic father. When trying to understand tragic events like Columbine, video game violence cannot be the only cause. According to Benedict Cassidy, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, “None of these extreme acts, like a school shooting, occur because of only one risk factor. But of a combination of factors influencing their decision.” Scientists have been researching the connection between video game violence and real violence for over a decade. Experiments have been set up to emulate the conditions that caused violent events to occur. Studies have shown that video game violence can promote aggression in youth. However, according to the Handbook of Children, Culture and Violence, “…for a “normal” child to become seriously violent, he or she would need to have several of these risk factor (history of having been abused, psychological disorders, gang membership, drug use, media violence, inflated self-esteem). No single risk factor is typically strong enough to cause such an extreme behavior as a school shooting.”