Is violence on the rise in our Country and our video games really the cause of violent crime trends? This is a decade-long debate that has been plaguing the media for some time, but the question still remains which side is true?
One side claims that video games have come into people’s homes as an unsettling source of entertainment that encourages the youthful minds of children to kill innocent people for sport.
That these games are like watching or playing out manslaughter for enjoyment while causing people to become even more addicted to corruption, murder, and violence.
It is true that games today have come a long way from the simplistic arcades such as Pac-Man, and there is no argument that games have become increasingly more violent over time, even glorifying the power of guns. Who can resist being trigger happy, especially with how much the quality of the graphics and sound have improved over the ages, making it even more realistic but does that really cause violent crime trends to spread?
As much as some would like to blame video games as a way to explain the aggressive tendencies of our society, the opposing side not only claims that this statement is incorrect but also backs up their argument with evidence and facts that support it.
There is no evidence that suggests that video games have anything to do with violent crime trends, in fact despite the increase of violence in present games, crime rate, and youth offenses are down in the US, Canada, and Australia over the last 25 years, according to Attorney Matt Gould.
Even in Japan where they are playing with the most gore and distinctly violent games in the world, especially compared to those in North America, yet still have the lowest homicide rating.
Further research has been done on the effects of violence in video games. In one example, Dr. Christopher Ferguson conducted research on 103 random young adults by having them play no video game, then had them play a nonviolent game, followed by a violent game where they were the hero and a violent video game where they played the villain. Then did a frustration task that would most likely make them frustrated and maybe even aggressive.
While comparing the results, he found that those with a history of playing violent video games had fewer hostile feelings and less depression during the frustrating tasks.
However, this does not mean that these games are for everyone. There are certain video games out there that are just not suitable for kids. That is why, like movies, video games are rated based on certain age groups, and it is up to the parents to use discretion in choosing which games would be appropriate.