Video Game Violence By Rebecca Eveland
Today I will be discussing violence in video games and the impact it has on gamers.
ESRB Ratings The Entertainment Software rating board independently assigns ratings to software. ESRB Ratings Guide
ESRB Ratings (cont.) Although games are now strictly rated, the ESRB has no control over the individual vendors selling policies, especially when it comes to selling games to minors.
Impact: The Pros Gaming: Can relieve stress Can improve coordination and spatial skills, as well as improve problem solving Is a form of healthy competition Is a multi-billion dollar industry providing thousands of jobs Is for the most part a social activity
Impact: The cons Gaming: Can cause eye, neck, wrist, and back strains/pain as well as headaches Is sedentary Can contain very violent material People who are emotionally disturbed should not play video games
Myths Debunked “Video game play is desensitizing” The normal person can discern play from reality. Most studies that assert gaming is desensitizing are inconclusive and normally approached methodologically.
Myths Debunked “The large availability of video games has led to a surge of youth violence” The rates of juvenile crime are at a 30-year low. Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use.
Conclusion For many, video games are a healthy outlet and a way to have fun and socially interact with others. But, excessive gaming can be detrimental to your health, and prolonged exposure to violent imagery is not good for your mental health.
References Sternheimer, Karen. Video game violence. Game Informer, Issue 129, March 2007 Jenkins, Henry. ESRB ratings. 2007. <www.ESRB.org> Jones, Gerard. Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-believe Violence. New York: Basic, 2002.