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Modern technology has vastly improved over the years, including video games.

With a new digital
world, video game industry is competitive and focused on the bottom-line. Video game companies
are striving to capture this growing market share of young customers, namely children and teens.
Mature-rated games are popular and are being marketed to children under 17 years old
The debate on video games is forever ongoing, are they really leading people to go out and act
violent, or is it the way we are. Violent video games have been blamed for school shootings,
increases in bullying, and violence towards women. Critics argue that these games desensitize
players to violence, reward players for simulating violence, and teach children that violence is an
acceptable way to resolve conflicts. There is an increasing taste for the majority of people now
within the video game industry, males age eighteen to thirty being most likely to play games and an
increase in female popularity for women over thirty five being also gamers. Broadly speaking, there
are two opposing research camps in the field of gaming studies. There are those who believe their
scientific research demonstrates a causal link between the effects of playing video games and
subsequent behaviours and those that don’t.
Craig Anderson, American professor and director at the Department of Psychology, conducted
research into if video games really cause aggression, analysing one hundred and thirty. Research
reports on more than one hundred and thirty thousand subjects worldwide, proves conclusively that
exposure to violent video games makes more aggressive, less caring kids - regardless of their age, sex
or culture. It reports that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased
aggressive thoughts and behaviour, and decreased empathy and prosocial behaviour in youths.
Professor Bushman set out to see if it’s tied into violence, he tried to find out if the gamer had the
same perspective as the viewer
In opposition to this, many studies and reviews carried out by Dr. Chris Ferguson at Texas A&M
International University and his colleagues conclude that claims made by Dr. Anderson and
colleagues are methodologically fail to show that playing of violent video games has any association
with serious aggression, violence, and crime. For instance, there is a lot of correlational evidence
that as the sales of video games have increased over the last decade, the rates of serious youth
crime have decreased. Furthermore, there may also be important cultural determinants as countries
like Japan have high levels of media violence but have low levels of crime.
The debate over violent video games can be traced back to the 1976 release of the game Death
Race. The object of the game was to run over screaming "gremlins" with a car, at which point they
would turn into tombstones. Controversy erupted because the "gremlins" resembled stick-figure
humans, and it was reported that the working title of the game was Pedestrian. After protestors
dragged Death Race machines out of arcades and burned them in parking lots, production of the
game ceased, another violent game such as Carmageddon which came out in nighty ninety seven,
also caused controversy, it contained zombies with green blood or robots with black oil instead of
There’s has been many theories behind the controversy of video games, one of them being the
hypodermic needle This theory suggests that, as an audience, we are manipulated by the creators of
media texts, and that our behaviour and thinking might be easily changed by media-makers meaning
that the audience suck in every bit of information when playing video games.
The violence in video games is different from the violent games in a real life. The violence in video
games can be categorized along different dimensions, whether it involves fantasy characters or
representations of human. There's also how it can be viewed as in the video games, whether first-

person or third-person. The context of violent stories also vary along dimensions of realism,
involvement, excitement, how violent begin and end, whether they are presented in an erotic or
humorous context. All of these issues have been studied thoroughly by the researchers in order to
understand the variations in the nature of violent video games. Violence has always been the main
issue in the media but never in the video games. Some even said that the violence in video games
would have no effect on the player regardless of the degree of violence in a video game because
they tend to focus on the game's mechanics and its object, rather than its violence.

Grand Theft Auto IV is
an open world, actionadventure video game
developed by Rockstar
North. Upon its release
on 29 April, Grand Theft
Auto IV generated
controversy. The
game's depiction of
violence received mass
commentary from
journalists and
government officials,
occasionally being
referred to as a
"murder simulator".
The ability to drive
under the influence of alcohol in the game also received criticism, resulting in a request for the ESRB
to change the game's rating. There have been a number of reported crimes in which the
perpetrators cited Grand Theft Auto IV as their primary influence.
On the twenty seventh of June, two thousand and eight, six teenagers were
arrested after participating in a crime spree in New Hyde Park, New York.
The teenagers mugged a man, knocking his teeth out, attempted to hijack a
car, and smashed a passing van with a bat. According to the Nassau County
Police, the teenagers claimed that they were inspired by Grand Theft Auto
Furthermore, some researchers argue that the inherent structure of violent
video games limit young people’s abilities to develop perspectives of victims
and does not encourage affective sympathy in children, as any negative
effects of being harmed or killed in the games are minimised ignored, or
even rewarded. Two teenagers in Tennessee who shot at passing cars and
killed one driver told police they got the idea from playing Grand Theft Auto III. Bruce Bartholow,
professor of psychology at the University of Missouri, spoke about the effects of simulating violence:
"More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence. From a
psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for
engaging in certain types of behaviour. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behaviour
is violence’’

Similarly, some gameplay features were censored for the Australian and New Zealand versions of the
game, though these censors were subsequently removed. Several crimes that were committed
following the game's release, such as murder and sexual violence, were attributed to the
perpetrators' experience with the game, generating further controversy. Grand Theft Auto IV has
been widely criticised for its depiction of violence and murder.

Call of Duty is one of the most popular video game
franchises in history, breaking sales records with every
new game Call of Duty: Black Ops is a military first-personshooter, and the average level of violence in multiplayer
and campaign slightly greater than most first person
shooters. While there is no explicit gore in multiplayer
(just blood), the level of violence in the campaign can get
quite strong and graphic. The zombie’s mode even more
so, with an extreme amount of bloody violence and gore,
however the game has led to great controversy. People
affected by the terrible events of last December, as well as
participants in the heated debate about gun laws in the US, have been hoping that the state
attorney’s report would offer clues to the shooter’s motivation and prior treatment. But the report
largely draws a blank on many of the most pressing questions. It finds clearly that Lanza acted alone,
and as a result declares the investigation officially closed. But beyond that investigators confess to
being baffled.
It is due to more video games that people have become more violent, an example being, Adam
Lanza, the twenty-year-old who convulsed America when he shot dead twenty young children and
six of their adult carers at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut last December, was
obsessed with mass murders in the run-up to his meticulously-planned attack and kept photocopies

of newspaper articles on shootings of children dating back to eighteen nighty one. However, the
theory of the hypodermic needle could show that Lanza was in fact a passive audience when playing
call of duty he was in fact addicted to the game. This could mean that the violent images of
imaginative characters being killed in a horrific way was seen as normal due to Adam being
desensitized with the explicit images as he played this game for a long period of time a day. Alexis
may have seen this activity as normal and carried it out in his shootings.
Furthermore, some researchers argue that the inherent structure of violent video games limit young
people’s abilities to develop perspectives of victims and does not encourage affective sympathy in
children, as any negative effects of being harmed or killed in the games are minimised ignored, or
even rewarded. Studies carried out by my own research team have also shown that young people
who play violent video games report less concern for victims of crime, and attribute more blame to
the victims of crime.
Furthermore, it can be said violence depicted in video games is computer generated characters,
whereas violence in television shows can often be real life. Contrary to these arguments, video
games are indeed beneficial because they develop the minds of children in a way that school does
not, it can expose them to cultures around the world and equips them mentally to deal with real life
It can be concluded that video games are a form of entertainment which is not in many ways
suitable for children and teenagers. This assessment is based on a number of negative consequences
that excessive video gaming causes. Young people who spend an inexplicable sum of hours playing
video games are observed to be prone to sight loss and obesity. In addition, they tend to be more
aggressive than their peers who do not play video games, and they experience difficulties with social
adaptation. Also, video games can lead to addictions that are no less serious than alcoholism or
narcomania, as evidenced in recent media stories reporting on deaths among inveterate video
games. This collection of facts contributes to the negative evaluation of video games as an
unwholesome activity for children and teenagers.