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Emily Smith
Mrs. Mantlo
English IV
September 27, 2016
Video Games Do Not Cause Violent Behavior
There is a common belief that violent behavior in children is caused by exposure to
violent video games. The poor reporting on violent games has overblown the whole situation and
turned it in. Violent video games are just escapist fantasy for people who just want to blow off
steam at the end of the day. Violence has been around for centuries and only now are people
talking about the violence that their kids are being shown. The violent behavior in kids is not
caused by the violent video games they play.
Children playing violent video games are not becoming more violent. Donald Trump
tweeted: Video game violence & glorification must be stoppedit's creating monsters! (Kain)
Many if not most of the people that advocate violent games bring violence do not do the
research about the games they talk about. The games they reference are only a small minority in
the world of gaming. Games that do not feature violence are often over looked by the media
when talking about video games and violence associated with them. Kain shows that studies in
80s show conflicting results. On one side there were people saying that playing arcade games
cause increased violent behavior. On the other hand, a different study only a year later showed
that these video games had a calming effect on the boys that played them. How can there be
completely different results from the same study? These video games can help people relax after

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a stressful day at work or school. Kain states that violent video games are an easy thing to blame
for a complex problem. People that commit crimes that play violent video games are being
judged based off the fact they play these games. They do not get tested for mental disorders
which a good number of people that commit mass shootings have.
Are video games training children to become murders? Costikyan says that Lt. Col.
David Grossman claimed that first person shooting games are good for training murders because
they teach kids tactics that a murderer might use like moving from target to target and to aim for
their head. This argument loses its weight when you look at controllers for the games. While
there might be gun shaped controllers, most are strange shapes with buttons mapped to certain in
game functions. How can operating a mouse and key board or a controller be compared to
operating a gun? Costikyan states that violence in video games is a strategy to add more conflict
to a story to lead to more fulfilling goals. After the struggle of playing through difficult stages,
players are rewarded for their efforts. Many games have violence but the violence helps add to
the end goal of the game like saving your son whose been kidnapped by evil forces. They allow
players to be violent, to act out their violent impulses, to hunt and shoot and killin a way that
harms no one. (Costikyan) Violent video games can be used as tools for stress relief. People
need to release their pent up rage on something and violent video games are an effective way of
doing that.
Herold elaborates that violent games do not compare to real violence. He adds that many
in game weapons are outlandish things like maces and spears. Not many people, mainly kids,
would be trained to use these tools nor will they even have access to them. If kids are being
influenced to use these kinds of weapons, the risk of them actually acting out with them would
be highly unlikely. A couple of thousand years ago, families went to the Colosseum in Rome to

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cheer as gladiators sliced their opponents' limbs or were eaten by lions." (Herold). Years ago,
people did not have video games at all and now that they are around people use them as a cheap
way to justify why their kids are acting violent. Referring to what Herold said, back in the times
without video games, children would still some way or another be introduced to violence and
violent behaviors whether it be from parents fighting or being taken to colosseums to watch
competitors duke it out. Herold also adds to his clam by talking about fighting games, he states
that they are for the people that want to fight without the threat of being hurt. Most young kids
do not like pain so they would love these games because they get to enjoy fighting without
having to be in a real fight. People who also enjoy watching fights would understand these
games because virtual people do not have to worry about pain and getting hurt after each fight.
Violent behavior should not be blamed on violent video games. The poor reporting and
research on this topic has only made the public more blind to an evil that should not be called an
evil. The games have been blown way out of context and at the end of the day they are just
mindless entertainment. Violence in these games cannot be compared to actual violent crimes
because of the fantasy element.

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Works Cited
Costikyan, Greg. "The Problem of Video Game Violence Is Exaggerated." Video Games. Ed.
Roman Espejo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in
Context. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.
Herold, Charles. "Violence in Video Games Reduces Violence in the Real World." Video Games.
Ed. Laurie Willis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from
"Fighting on the Screen, Out of Harm's Way." New York Times 24 Mar. 2005. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.
Kain, Eric. "Violent Video Games Do Not Cause Violence." Violent Video Games. Ed. Roman
Espejo. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Rpt. from "The Truth
About Video Games and Gun Violence." Mother Jones (11 June 2013). Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.