Intro to Video Game Violence: A Blog by Tyler Onove

Have you ever played an M rated video game? I bet you have, and if you have, have you ever hurt someone because of it? Chances are you have not hurt anyone, but maybe you have bullied someone. It is impossible to link video games as the sole reason someone hurts someone else, but it could be a contributing factor, accompanied by mental illness. Video games violence is related to real violence, right?  Debatable, violence has been around since the beginning of time, and video games don’t seem to be influencing it very much.

Evidence for Video Game Freedom

Video games are undoubtedly the most interactive form of virtual entertainment and immerse the player in a virtual reality where they assume the role of an important character and usually end up killing their way to an objective. Video game violence is nothing new as it has been around since the 1980’s when congress tried to ban Mortal Kombat for its “graphic” content.  Congress immediately assumed that violent games lead to the rise in murders(Business Insider), but other factors were evident such as rise in poverty, social pressure, and several mass shootings. It is unfair to pin video games down as the cause of violence, but think of how much less violent the world is now compared to the 1950s (WW2), the Middle Ages, and even before that. In WW2 alone 60 million people were brutally murdered and more than that in the Mongol Conquests. Murder is nothing new in the world and statistics show that it is actually decreasing, “Total US sales of videogame hardware and software increased 204% from 1994 to 2014, while violent crimes decreased 37% and murders by juveniles acting alone fell 76% in that same period.”(ProCon) 

Argument against Violence

The argument that video games cause violent should not be ignored because there may be some truth to it despite evidence that it does not. No point can 100% prove or disprove anything because there will always be exceptions.  As BBC reports,” I fully acknowledge that exposure to repeated violence may have short-term effects – you would be a fool to deny that”(BBC). BBC later goes on to say that there is no evidence for permanent damage and can only become a serious issue if the player has existing mental illness. 

Personal Connection to Video Game Violence

I have been playing violent video games since Mortal Kombat Unchained on the original PSP in 2007, and I just recently I purchased DOOM and played 15 hours this past weekend, and while I can’t deny that I felt slightly more aggressive after playing for a long time, I feel fine now only a few hours later. Video games have shaped my life, and certainly M-rated games, because I have been playing them since I was 8 and have never hurt anyone. I don’t believe seeing violence makes you more violent unless you cannot tell the difference between virtual reality and reality.