Violence in video games
Censorship in video games is an ongoing debate in the American Government, many people believe that violence in video games has a direct correlation to children growing up to have violent tendencies, thus the more violent video games that come out, the more our youth is corrupted, and the more likely they are to commit crimes, and become statistics. This is completely false for a plethora of reasons. Many studies have shown that violence in video games could in fact decreases the likelihood of someone committing crimes, "With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence," he says, "Instead, violence has declined."" (Sciencedaily.com, "Could Violent Video Games Reduce Rather Than Increase Violence?" 4). An explanation for this would be that kids take their aggression out on games instead making their violent fantasies realities. Also, many kids who commit crimes and blame their actions on video games are mentally unstable to begin with, and finally, many kids get exposed to much more violence in the real world, and throughout other sources of media. So, in my opinion, it is completely frivoulous to blame video games, and video games alone, on our children's violence, it's time for parents to start taking responsibility for their children and realize that it was their job as a parent to control what him or her was exposed to, based on their mental stability and maturity.
Most people see a direct correlation between playing violent video games, and committing crimes. People think that it is obvious that an eight year old would want to copy things he sees in video games, like his favorite character shooting someone. If this were true, games like Grand Theft Auto would have caused a massive spike in crime. Instead, crime has not gone up a bit. In fact, youth violence has been in a decline, according to this article. "Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s," says Kierkegaard, "while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before.""(Sciencedaily.com, "Could Violent Video Games Reduce Rather Than Increase Violence?" 4). One theory is that violent video games actually help relieve aggression.
"While other religious and political leaders around the world are busy creating moral panics around violent video games, it appears that one Buddhist leader feels quite differently about them. The third ranking Buddhist, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (and, according to the article, the only Buddhist leader recognized by China, Tibet and India), apparently sees video games as therapeutic and a way to let out aggression." (Techdirt.com, "Buddhist Leader Says Playing Video Games Lets Out Aggression; Better Method Than Meditation" 1)
Also, many people who commit crimes and blame them on video games are mentally unstable in the first place. Take the infamous "Columbine" incident for example. Many people like to jump the gun on this and say that just because they played violent video games, they were influenced to take the lives of innocent people. This couldn't be further from the truth, Harris and Klebold were both socially unaccepted by the student body of Columbine High. "Dylan often sat alone in the school cafeteria. She would go over and sit with him and play cards." (findarticles.com "Burying A Killer" 8). It was the combined mentally instability of Harris and Klebold, plus the social desolation that led to them shooting all those students, not a silly video game.People need to think deeper into this process, from the time a child is born, they are taught right and wrong, the average, eight year old in good mental health doesn't believe that killing people is ok. This is taught through the basic actions of society, and the behavior of his parents. Anyone who can't separate the violence in video games and the violence in real life, is mentally unstable.
Many people tend to use video games as the main source of violence in teen's lives. An arguement can be made that video games are indeed more interactive than say, a movie, or a song, but video games are definitely not the only violent thing a teen gets exposed to in his life. Violence is rampant in all other forms of media as well, "61 percent of television programs contain some violence, and only 4 percent of television programs with violent content feature an "antiviolence" theme." (Surgeongeneral.gov "MEDIA VIOLENCE: EXPOSURE AND CONTENT" 3). So to say that video games are the main source of violent media for a teen is completely frivolous. Also, people are naive to what goes on in the read world in my opinion. Many people don't realize how often their children are exposed to violence at school, or at their local hangout. "Over the past three years, suspensions for fighting among all grade levels dropped from 3,057 in 2006-07 to 2,256 this school year." (Barri Bronston, "Young students' brawls exceed middle, high school fights" 7) That is a lot of fights. So to say that your child is violent just because he plays video games, is to wear rose colored glasses.
Many people argue that censorship should be implemented in the video game culture because it would keep violent video games out of youth's hands, which would in turn stop "mentally unstable" people from getting a hold of these games, and doing something drastic as a result. This is deeply flawed. Why should the government have to step in on this? Many regular people play violent video games daily, and are completely law abiding citizens. I believe it is up to the parent to decide what is right for his/her child. What happened to good old fashioned parenting? Why does everything have to be regulated by the government? If you don't want your kid playing something, stop him. Don't make the government do your job of parenting.
In conclusion, censoring video games would be a pointless activity that would just lead to a lot of law abiding citizens being unhappy. If someone is going to do something drastic, like harm themselves or another human being, they are going to do it reguardless. If a video game doesn't influence them, a movie, song, bullying, or something of that nature will, because it is not the video game that influences these people, but a pre-determined pattern of violence in their pychosis. Therefore I believe that it is the parents job to step in and decide what is best for their children, not the government.