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Violence in Video Games=Violence in Reality?. John Baker ENGL 1101-F 10-30-06 J. Walker. Source: “ ”. Are Video Games Violent?. Yes, yes they are.

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Violence in Video Games=Violence in Reality?

John Baker

ENGL 1101-F


J. Walker

Source: “”


Are Video Games Violent?

  • Yes, yes they are

Source: “”


Numbers Can Lie?

  • Rates of Violent Crimes Committed by persons 12 and over:
  • Total Media sales in the year 2005

Source: “”

Source: “”


Why Do People Think Video Games Promote Violence?

  • The Argument:
    • WASHINGTON - Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers.
    • The first study involved 227 college students who completed a measure of trait aggressiveness and reported their actual aggressive behaviors (delinquency) in the recent past. They also reported their video game playing habits. "We found that students who reported playing more violent video games in junior and high school engaged in more aggressive behavior," said lead author Anderson, of Iowa State University. "We also found that amount of time spent playing video games in the past was associated with lower academic grades in college."
    • In the second study, 210 college students played either a violent (Wolfenstein 3D) or nonviolent video game (Myst). A short time later, the students who played the violent video game punished an opponent (received a noise blast with varying intensity) for a longer period of time than did students who had played the nonviolent video game.

Source: “”

Source: “”

Source: “”


Only Two Studies

  • Scientific evidence links violent game play with youth aggression…Claims like this are based on the work of researchers who represent one relatively narrow school of research, "media effects." This research includes some 300 studies of media violence. But most of those studies are inconclusive and many have been criticized on methodological grounds. In these studies, media images are removed from any narrative context. Subjects are asked to engage with content that they would not normally consume and may not understand. Finally, the laboratory context is radically different from the environments where games would normally be played. Most studies found a correlation, not a causal relationship, which means the research could simply show that aggressive people like aggressive entertainment. That's why the vague term "links" is used here. If there is a consensus emerging around this research, it is that violent video games may be one risk factor - when coupled with other more immediate, real-world influences — which can contribute to anti-social behavior. But no research has found that video games are a primary factor or that violent video game play could turn an otherwise normal person into a killer.

Source: “”

Source: “”


Video Games Train Kids For Murder?

  • -“And now, the game [Grand Theft Auto] is at the center of a civil lawsuit involving the murders of three men in the small town of Fayette, Ala. They were gunned down by 18-year-old Devin Moore, who had played Grand Theft Auto day and night for months.” (Can a Video Game Lead to Murder)
  • “DENVER — A federal judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit that claimed several video game distributors and moviemakers shared blame for the Columbine High School massacre.” (Columbine lawsuit against makers of videogames, movies thrown out )
  • “PADUCAH, Ky. — A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a $33 million lawsuit that claimed the makers of video games, a pornographic Web site and a movie studio were to blame for a 1997 shooting spree at Heath High School in which three students died.” (Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against movie, video game makers)

Source: “”

Source: “”


Kids Will Be Kids?

  • Washington States-“Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers.”
  • Henry Jenkins states-“Game designer and play theorist Eric Zimmerman describes the ways we understand play as distinctive from reality as entering the "magic circle." The same action — say, sweeping a floor — may take on different meanings in play (as in playing house) than in reality (housework).”

Source: “”

Source: “”



  • ESRB Rating Symbols
  • EARLY CHILDHOODTitles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate. EVERYONETitles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. EVERYONE 10+Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. TEENTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language. MATURETitles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. ADULTS ONLYTitles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity. RATING PENDINGTitles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)

All information and graphics from this slide from: “”



  • Are video games violent: Yes
  • Do they cause violence in young children: No more than television or the movies
  • Should the rating system be changed: No
  • The last word: Video games may or may not promote violence in teenagers or in young adults, but the fact is that there is not enough evidence to support it. Video games are forms of entertainment that children enjoy, and if for some reason parents have a problem with certain games, then its up to them to pay attention to what their child is doing, instead of it being the game industries fault for putting mature rated content into a mature rated game.

Source: “”


Works Cited Page

  • "Game Ratings & Descriptor Guide." Entertainment Software Rating Board. ESRB. 31     Oct. 2006 <>.
  • Willenz, Pam. "Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression." APA Online. 23 Apr.     2000. American Psychological Association. 31 Oct. 2006     <>.
  • "Key Facts at a Glance." Bureau of Justice Statistics. 8 Sept. 2006. U.S.     Department of Justice. 1 Nov. 2006 <     glance.htm>.
  • Järvinen, Aki. "A Meaningful Read: Rules of Play Reviewed." Game Studies. 4 Nov.     2004. 31 Oct. 2006 <>.
  • "Can a Video Game Lead to Murder." CBS News. 6 Mar. 2005. CBS. 31 Oct. 2006     <>.
  • Jenkins, Henry, PhD. "Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked ."The Video Game Revolution. 31 Oct. 2006 <     videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html>.
  • "Columbine lawsuit against makers of video games, movies thrown out." FreedomForum. 5 Mar. 2002. 31 Oct. 2006 <     templates/document.asp?documentID=15820>.
  • "Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against movie, video game makers." FreedomForum. 7 Apr. 2000. 31 Oct. 2006 <     templates/document.asp?documentID=12139>.

List of Graphics and Figures

  • Slide 1
    • Mortal Kombat Picture:
  • Slide 3
    • Game Statistics Graph:
    • Violent Crime Graph:
  • Slide 4
    • Hillary Clinton:
    • Joe Leiberman:
  • Slide 5
    • Test Kid:
  • Slide 6
    • Columbine Kids:
    • Devin Moore:
  • Slide 7
    • Monkey Bars:
    • Kids Playing: