Think a Bit Thursday: Do Video Games Cause Violence?

Think a Bit Thursday is going to switch formats occasionally, so just be aware of that 🙂 It will usually be a reflective kind of post like this one. Just thought I’d let you know. Before I begin, however, I’d like to let you know that when I respond to your comments on Think a Bit Thursday posts and disagree with you, I don’t hate you. These posts are made with the intention of starting discussion. I’m not arguing with you, I’m simply discussing. I just wanted to clear that up incase somebody were to get offended by a comment of mine on a Thursday post.

Anyway, today I want to address something that has been brought up a lot recently: Video Games and Violence. Many people seem to believe that video games cause real-world violence. People blame a lot of violence on video games. I am here to talk about my point of view on the matter. Please chime in in the comments section and let me know what you think. Do video games cause violence?

My view? No, they don’t. Here’s the deal. Anybody who cannot differentiate from what is acceptable in a game and what is acceptable in real life can only be one thing: young. Until college, teens are extremely easy to sway. They are pressured easily. They are like sponges, to put it simply.

When you were really young, you had a favorite character. Whether it be Mickey Mouse or Barney or Thomas the Tank Engine, you were amazed and transfixed by a character. When you were a teen, you probably looked up to someone: An athlete, an actor, a musician. There are millions of girls in love with Justin Bieber, and millions more who are in love with Johnny Depp. Then look at the adults in your life. Do they goggle over Brad Pitt and their favorite boy bands? No, they don’t.

This is because those who are young absorb what they see and hear. Until teens are adults, their brains are still learning and retaining things. This is why it is best to learn a language at a young age. If a teens’ head is crammed from ages 0 to 18 with violence and killing and drugs, provided by the internet, television, and video games, it is nobody’s fault but the parents’.

When you go to Gamestop to purchase a rated M title, the rating of the game is on both the front and back, as well as what explicit content is in the game. If you are under the age of 17 or 18, a Gamestop employee will tell whoever is purchasing the game for you what exactly it contains, stressing nudity and gore.

For a parent to allow their child to play Grand Theft Auto and turn a blind eye to the fact that you kill cops, get high, and are able to have passengers engage in intimate activity in the back of your car is extremely irresponsible. The rated M titles are intended for people who are 17 and over. Once you are over the age of 17, you aren’t going to be inspired by Makarov and go off on a rampage in an airport. You aren’t going to go to a restaraunt and start stabbing oranges. You are mature. When you are younger, however, Mortal Kombat is going to make you engage in that activity.

When I was around 8 years old, my dad came home from work with Mortal Kombat: Deception. A friend from work gave it to him for me. As I was very excited about a new game, he let me play it. He took off the gore because he knew that the game was full of blood. The next day, I threatened to rip my sister’s doll’s head off. He hid the game right after I made this remark, as he detected the issue right away. I didn’t get the game back until years later. When I play Mortal Kombat now, I don’t pretend to be the characters or want to be violent. I am not young anymore.

So if these games are for an audience that is over 17 and young kids are being brainwashed by them, is it the game’s fault? No. The game clearly states that it is for an older audience. It isn’t rated E. It isn’t rated T. It is rated M, and it clearly states why. The game is manufactured as entertainment for an older audience. If young kids play Grand Theft Auto, is it the game that is making them violent? No. The game contains content which could bring out a violent side of the child, but the parents are the ones that give them that content. It is the PARENTS that are making them violent. When kids are under 17, where do they get their video games? Their parents. It is the parents’ fault for supplying their child with forms of media that aren’t meant for their age group. They know that the game has bad things in it. If they allow their child to play it and they become violent, they are responsible for their child’s behavior.

A parent who says, “This game is making my child violent,” is mistaken. Who bought them the game? They did. It is their fault that their child is becoming violent, not the game’s. The game is intended for an older audience. The game is not meant for children.

Should everybody under 17 be restricted from rated M games? Of course not. The parent is the person who decides if their child is mature enough for these games. But when they are clearly not mature enough and they play the game because their parents supply them with it, the parent is responsible.

Sure, they can’t control how their child is affected, but if the child us under 17, anything that happens as a result of the game must be disregarded. If you give a kid cold medicine intended for people 21 and over and he dies from it, that doesn’t make it so that cold medicines cause death. The medicine was mishandled. In this case, the game is being mishandled, and so it cannot be accurately said that video games cause violence.

I hope that I clearly conveyed my thoughts. What do you think? Do video games cause violence? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!



2 comments on “Think a Bit Thursday: Do Video Games Cause Violence?

  1. Been meaning to read and respond to this one for a while. I totally agree with you that video games don’t cause violence. Do they attribute to it? Probably. I think the media today has made a lot of people – not just children and young adults – numb to the horrors of life. We are desensitized by everything we are exposed to these days. But the reasons behind why people are violent are so complicated. You read my “there are no black and white answers” post so you already know what I think about that. But yeah, I think it’s ridiculous when parents believe video games are the sole reason why kids snap and go on shooting sprees. I was exposed to all kinds of stuff when I was younger, but I was always mature enough to handle it. So much of it goes back to the parents, not the video games.

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