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Are violent video games really that bad?

Miguel Chaple

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Violence, blood and gore, strong language. All of these things can be found in video games, but the question is do these things really affect people as much as people say they do?

President Donald Trump recently attended a meeting to discuss violence in video games and how it affects young players.Trump started the meeting by showing a video of different violent moments from multiple games. Shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012,  he criticized video games when he tweeted that they are “creating monsters” and now he is linking them to gun violence once again.

People have started linking video games to violent crimes again despite the lack of evidence. According to Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson, “speaking as a researcher who has studied violent video games for almost 15 years, I can state that there is no evidence to support these claims that violent media and real-world violence are connected.” He also points out that a statement was released by the Media Psychology and Technology division of the American Psychological Association in 2017 suggesting “reporters and policymakers cease linking mass shootings to violent media, given the lack of evidence for a link.”

The Supreme Court has already granted video games the same free speech protections as movies. In Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association the Supreme Court ruled that “Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively.”

Some people agree that violence in video games should be allowed. “There’s a time and a place for it,” says Ms. Coleridge, a math teacher at the NYC iSchool. Video games shouldn’t have violence for no reason but you can’t have a game about war without guns. She thinks that video games have the potential to affect people who already have violent tendencies or mental illnesses and it could make issues worse, but they should be allowed if people enjoy them and it doesn’t negatively affect them.

According to Thomas Bajor, a freshman at the NYC iSchool, violence in video games are acceptable because it isn’t real. One of the reasons that video games exist is so you can do things that you could not or would not do in real life. He says, “ Violence is not only in video games, but in books and movies. Why? Because stories need a conflict, and violence creates a conflict. Violence was in our history since the beginning of time, most violent actions in history had huge impacts, that is why so much attention is given to the subject. In fact, many games use violence as an example about how it is bad.”

Despite what some people say, there is no evidence that violent video games can cause real world violence and people should be allowed to play them.

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Are violent video games really that bad?