You are on page 1of 3

Does violent violent & sexual video games infect the

minds of their consumers?


To begin with this debatable topic you must look at the market of gaming which covers over
700million people which is almost 10% of the worlds population, this is only online gamers which
makes this number even scarier.

There is defiantly a moral panic towards computer


games, as certain members of the public believe that
these games promote violence and in some cases
cause violence. A moral panic is the development of
fear which spreads like a contagious illness, most
often an irrational one this panic will usually be seen
to threaten safety, and interests of society. You can
use two games which have been attacked by this
persona such as grand theft auto and call of duty due to their graphic content including gore sexual
references, predigest quotes, violence and criminal content. It is important to remember this is not
the general opinion on games hence why grand theft auto sold of 75 million copies world wide !

The top played games of 2016 were as follows


1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 18+
2. Madden NFL 15
3. Destiny
4. Grand Theft Auto V 18+
5. Minecraft

As the technology behind gaming has developed they have become more desirable throughout all
social classes and can be enjoyed by all genders, they can also be accessible on almost all platforms
from even mobile phones!! Making them being accessed at any time. Now as these games have
reached more people worldwide negative media has grown alongside it in some extreme cases
people have killed or harmed others and blaming the games or gaining inspiration from characters.
This list identifies the augments for and against the question above
For Against

Mentally Stimulating Accused of ruining literacy level

Sense of Achievement Obesity

Entertaining Infecting minds violent behaviour

Socialise with friends & people online Anti-Social behaviour

Interesting Storylines Used as blame for crimes!

Virtual reality is cool Columbine US 1999

Release of stress/anger Builds anger/stress

Escape from Reality Upsetting to young audience


The main problem for the arguments that oppose the usage of computer games are that there is no real way of proving if
video games to blame for incidents that happen in the real life as there is way too many differing variables to make the
computer game the sole cause. The content it entails does shows violent killings and sexual content, which is consumed by
the age restriction and below.

A study by Simone Khn looked at positive effects of video games heres a brief explanation

In 2013, psychologist Simone Khn studied the effects of prolonged video game exposure on the brains of young
adults. Khn observed her subjects as they played Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes every day, for two months.
After undergoing MRI scans and being compared to the brains of a control group, the psychologist discovered
that the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum had all grown.
The prefrontal cortex is known to be involved in higher cognitive functions including strategic planning, but also
in cognitive control," Khn says.
"The hippocampus is involved in memory formation," the psychologist continues," with the right hippocampus
being particularly involved in spatial navigation, namely in helping us orient ourselves.
"The cerebellum, on the other hand, is known to be involved with fine motor function, and the region in which
we found the changes after video game playing is, predictably, the region where the digits of the hands are
controlled."

Ok now you look at the highly publicised events which have blamed video games one that caused uproar throughout
parents was the sandy hook elementary school shooting which included a 20 year old man ( Adam Lanza) killing 20 children
and 6 members of staff, he later ended his life after completing such tragic actions but from all this no suicide note was
found. However when his past was researched detectives found he spent hours of the day Call of Duty daily, which they
blamed everything on. As there is shooting people in the games he was playing and he shot people they put games and
reality together. That is a very narrow-minded perception of the fatality, a contradicting argument found that he was
heavily interested in military equipment, the police recovered evidence removing the blame from computer games and
predicting the cause was down to his obsession with guns they found ammunition , guns and a numerous amount of
literature pieces on mass killings. Maybe if guns were not legal and so accessible he would have no way of shooting
anyone. To apply this case to media theories you could straight away say that Adam would fall under the uses and
gratification theory as he used the game to train himself , he took his interpretation of the game and applied it to the real
world with a combination of other sources of information.

The main issue with these games is they make killing look cool and in grand theft auto killing innocent people is seen as the
norm and funny continuing with this game a study in America which used young male avid GTA players found that after
playing Grand Theft Auto, in which women are presented as sexual objects, a large sample of teenage boys reported
significantly lower levels of sympathy and compassion when shown a photo of a female victim of domestic violence.On
Aug. 28, two teenagers from Newport, pleaded guilty to two sniper-style shootings that left one man dead and a woman
injured. The boys claimed to have gotten the idea from Grand Theft Auto, in one study by the American Psychological
Associations Journal of Personality and Social Psychology they questioned over 5000 (randomly sampled) teenagers in the
US, the research looked at a number of factors, including the
playing of three violent risk-glorifying video games (Grand Theft
Auto, Manhunt, and Spiderman) and other mature-rated video
games. They found that such games are cause high-risk behavior
and said this is due, to changes in the users' personality,
attitudes, and values, specifically making them more rebellious
and thrill seeking. This is just an example here it shows a graphic
torture scene which develops this idea that the game gives to
much detail and almost provides a guide to do unspoken tasks.

In terms of the theory passive and active consumption you could


use the example from Newport as they passively consumed the
content from grand theft auto and re- enacted it in real life. This
would be apparent as this is what they said was the cause for
them to kill someone. However to oppose this theory you could use an active consumption theory called The Uses and
Gratifications which states that as viewer we can take our own interpretation from media, this could defend the game as
1stly a minuscule amount of people use video games to cause them to perform acts of violence. Secondly the game should
be remembered as not be real and should never be applied to real world.
After looking at both negative and positive arguments it is understandable that the content of violent games are over the
top however the purpose of these games are to create entertainment so they should highlight events in these games
should not apply to real life it is also important that these games are not accessible to youths under the age of 18. Also
there should be a recommended restriction time and online games should be monitored to see if any personal show any
signs of desiring the game to enter their real life. The main issue is how do people differentiate the realism of these games
and should they be restricted or does that ruin the game all together.