Video Game Violence

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Most video games should be seen as a cause and effect for violence today. It doesn’t matter how old the person is, video games can affect people or escalate problems which can cause injury or even death. Too often gamers can become altered by the events that occur within a video game that they or a friend has played before. The perception of life and the game can become twisted and be used to hurt anyone. Children are the main concern; they can spend hours in front of a television and play. Most parents see there is nothing wrong with children enjoying video games in their free time. But do they know how it affects them and how kids perceive videos games? They then try to reenact what they see and play on television.
On July 28, 1999, a six year old girl named Tiffany Eunick was beaten to death. Lionel Tate, 14 years of age at the time; was convicted and sentenced to prison for life. The boy said that it was an accident and that he was simply imitating wrestling moves from a video game. The defense argued that the 170-pound boy did not mean to kill the 48-pound girl and thought he could body-slam and they could walk away unhurt, just like his wrestling idols on television (Harley).
Children and young adults are so concerned about their videos games and would do anything to possess or purchase a video game item. Some parents try their best to make sure their children do not get a hold of the game. It’s amazing what measures and what great lengths they would take just to have that satisfaction of their video games. Killing to get what they want and not even having the heart to realize what they did and that the reason they did it was petty and heartless.
A 17- year-old boy has been convicted of shooting his parents in the head after they took away his video game. Daniel Petric killed his mother and wounded his father when they banned him from playing “Halo 3” and took away his Xbox console—Mark Petric testified that his son came into the room and asked: “Would you guys close your eyes? I have a surprise for you.” He testified that he expected a pleasant surprise. Then his head went numb from the gunshot. The teenager then put the gun in his father’s hand in an attempt to make the shooting look like a murder-suicide.

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When he fled the scene, he only took one item with him: the “Halo 3” game. Judge Burge rejected the defence attorneys’ argument that Petric, 17, of Wellington, Ohio, was not guilty by reason of insanity, saying that the teen’s youth and addiction made him less responsible. Petric played the Halo games as much as 18 hours a day at friends’ houses when he had the chance. Tired as an adult, Petric now faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison without parole—But the Judge believed playing the games long enough caused physical and psychological changes in the teenager’s brain, similar to drug use. “When you stop, your brain won’t stand for it, just as it wouldn’t stand for it when you quit using heroin or crack cocaine,” he said. The popular Halo series involved destroying aliens. Once the games ends and a new game start, the aliens return. Simply put, death in the game is only temporary, the judge said. “I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents they would dead forever,” he added (Harvey).
Parents acknowledge that most video games today contain a lot of violence, and they try to keep track of what their child plays on their game console. Sometimes it can be a challenge to monitor everything because children are very smart and find ways to get what they want. They may not be able to play certain games in their household, but that doesn’t mean a friend of theirs doesn’t have that privilege. Parents of their friends may see there is nothing wrong it and can allow it their home; which gives any child a chance to play video games that has been banned from their home.
There has been a research study of children who are immersed into video game violence and how they can affect and trigger their emotional response to their environment. Researchers say parents should look more closely at finding of the new study:
Can video games make kids more violent? A new study employing state-of-the-art brain-scanning technology say that they answer may be yes. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine say that the brain scans of kids who played a violent video game showed an increase in the emotional arousal- and a corresponding decrease of activity areas involves in self-control, inhibition and attention...Matthew and his colleagues chose two action games to include in their research—one violent the other not. The first game was the high-octane but non-violent racing game “Need for Speed: Underground shooter “Medal of Honor: Frontline.” The team divided a group of 44 adolescents into two groups, and randomly assigned the kids to play sessions, the children were given MRIs of their brains. The scans showed a negative effect on the brains of the teen that played “Medal of Honor” for 30 minutes. The same effect was not present in the kids who played a “Need for Speed.” The only difference? Violent content. What’s not clear is whether the activity picked up by MRIs indicates lingering-or worse, permenant- effects on the kids brains (Kalning). This research only showed the effects after 30 minutes of playing the games. So how does it really affect kids who play for hours?
On The Daily Show on Thursday, April 26, Jon Stewart made a short work of the suggestion that the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui, might have been influenced by violent video games. (Cho may or may not have played the popular first-person-shooter game Counter-Strike in high school). A potential video-gamer connection has also been dangled after the past killings, to the irritation of bloggers. The reports are that shooter Lee Boyd Malvo played the video game Halo before his sniper attacks around Washington, D.C., and that the Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Kleboid loved Doom. Does the link between video games and violence hold up? (The Daily Show).
Connecting all the links between video game violence and children and young adults isn’t a mystery. When we dig into their past it’s almost not a surprise that they had a lot of violence in their lives physically and emotionally. Playing shoot them up games was the trigger for their rage and how they twisted into reality. We as parents have to constantly watch over our kids and observe how easily influence they can be. Working together is the key, not all parents feel the same way about violent video games. Is it possible to talk with one another and share what is approved or not? There’s always that worry of the other parents thinking that others are trying to step on their toes and tell them how to run their household, but that’s not the case. If you don’t want your child doing something is just wrong for another parent to allow just because the child is at their place of residency.
Looking closely at how video games trigger aggression can be debated a million times and possibly could never come to a conclusion. It’s possible that it’s not the game itself ; video games still plays it part when it come to children and young adults acting out aggressively. The more you see violence the less it becomes a problem, and more likely makes that person can become desensitized to violence and it effects. Constantly, playing violent games can trigger someone to do things outside of the usual and make them misunderstand the real danger a imitating the games action. They start believe that they can be who they play and not suffer any consequences no matter how horrible their actions may be. Video games constantly provokes and promotes violence to gain the attention of the younger audiences not thinking about how they will perceive the images and the messages that the game is sending to its viewers.
Today most crime cases are exact replicas of things that are seen in video games and plays out into the streets. Gangs take what they see and use them against other people thinking it’s a cool new way of gang crimes. After an interview with James Mitchell it is now clearer how serious gamers are taking the violence and how little they re act in certain situations.
On January 20, 2007 James Mitchell was severely injured in a carjacking attempt. In the police reports, they specifically describe how the victim was at a stop light when an unknown car with 3 to 4 males inside pulled up shot him and threw him out the car. With a shot gun wound to the head the victim was helpless and was left to die in the street without any remorse. The game “Grand Theft Auto” shows this exact same scenario when people are playing. Only difference is there is only one person shooting and doing the carjacking. The main player of the game goes around shooting people and taking their vehicles. Even running them over and leaving them to die in the street. The males who committed the crime against James did the same thing. The police told James that he was very lucky to be alive, because the men who had done this have killed people trying to act like tough street gangsters in the video games.
The mind is like a sponge and absorbs tons of information every day ad stores this information until it can be use for and purpose. Every time children play video games their mind is always absorbing this violent behavior and then acting out with their emotions and physical demeanor. This gives them the opportunity to use this violence in any way they can; causing them to harm themselves or others. There are children who feel since they are great in the game it should be no problem to act this out in real life. Thinking it’s no big deal, if they can do it in the game then what’s the difference outside of the game; again twisting real life and the games plot.
Three kinds of research link video games to increased aggression. First, there are studies that look for correlations between exposure to these games and real-world aggression. This work suggests that kids are more likely to get into physical fights, argue with teachers, or display anger and hostility. Second, there is longitudinal research (measuring behavior over time) that assesses gaming habits and belligerence in a group of children. One example: A study of 430 third-,fourth-,and fifth- graders, published this year by psychologists Craig Anderson, Douglas Gentile, and Katherine Buckley, found that the kids who played more violent video games “change over the school year to become more verbally aggressive, more physically aggressive”, and less helpful to others (Schaffer).
Video games also have their upside. If it’s not about violence then its use for educational purposes or used to keep people in shape. It’s rare to hear about video games that are used for the good and not for the bad. Toddler educational games like Leap Frog are a perfect example. It still uses characters to make the game seem real but they use the characters in a positive manner and help them to learn quickly and more proficient. The new game craze Wii has played its part in helping people get through tough times in life. The game has many physical games that allow the player to be a part of the game itself and use it for motivational, physical, or psychological reasons. They don’t have to play violent games to relieve their stress and to cope with life altering illness or physical restraints.
--when video games aren’t about violence, their capacity to teach can be a good thing. For patients suffering from arachnophobia, fears of flying, or post-traumatic stress disorder, therapist are beginning to use virtual realities as a desensitization tool. And despite the rap that they’re wasting their time, video games may also teach visual attention and spatial skills. (Recently, a study showed that having played three or more hours of video games a week was a better predictor of a laparoscopic surgeon’s skills than his or her level of surgical training.) The games also work for conveying information to kids that they will remember. Video games that teach diabetic kids how to take better care of themselves, for instance were shown to decrease their diabetes-related urgent and emergency by 77 percent after six months (Schaffer). These studies can help give video games a good name and not to always be blamed for the way people act out what they see on the games. When we can realize there are people who can actually gain something from playing video game; it can give us the opportunity to help more people. We can think of many ways to help people with the use of videos. There have been cases when physician actually recommended children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) to play game so they can become more socially active. Giving these children a chance to open up to life and be able to communicate with their parents and other children their age. The point is to grasp their attention and to make them focus and stay on task so they can function inside and outside school. Also, physical trainers are being replaced by game consoles that interact with patients and make it easier for them to cope with doing physical training. There has been use of video games for people who suffer injuries; which requires them to make trips to see a trainer to help them regain strength. But they also use another source to give them the confidence to help like in the case of Brian Davis…
---who suffered from major injuries after he and his father crashed their small plane back in March. Now he is re-building his body with the help of an unlikely partner. Brian Davis is putting in some hard work, while he plays. The 26-year old from Madera is a patient at the Leon S. Peters Rehabilitation Center at Community Regional Medical Center, which uses Nintendo’s Wii video game system as a physical rehab tool (Kim).
The psychological effects is unfortunately damaging to children and young adults. It can cost them to lose sight of life and its meaning. It can also escalate problems that all ready exist such as bullying and school violence. Children playing and watch violent games every day can put a damper on the emotional part of their brain and caused them to struggle with life as they go on through childhood to adulthood. We have to get them to understand it’s not the game or the game console it’s the amount of violence that is in the game. If they could space out the amount of hours or play a non violent game it shouldn’t have as much effect on them if they just play the violent games. My conclusion is the videos games today are outrageous and violent. It doesn’t matter how hard our society tries to control who gets the video game suitable for their age, it still ends up in the hands of young gullible children. We should try our best to make them see that it’s okay to play those types of game but it’s in their best interest to wait until they understand the message. They’re good game and bad game…at this point the bad and violent games are winning this battle.



Works Cited
"Daniel Petric Killed Mother, Shot Father Because They Took Halo 3 Game."
Blog.cleveland.com. 15 Dec. 2008. Web. 01 Sept. 2011.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Rockstars Games. 1998.
Harley, Bobbi. "'Wrestling' Case Draws Life Sentence." CBSNEWS.COM. 11 Feb. 2009. Web.
01 Sept. 2011.
Harvey, Mike. "Teenager Daniel Petric Shot Parent Who Took Away Xbox." Newsgroup.Timesonline. The Sunday Times, 13 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Sept. 2011.

"Health First- Video Game- Wii Itis." Abc30. 2 Oct. 2009. Web. 8 Nov. 2011.
Kalning, Kristin. "Does Game Violence Make Teens Aggressive?" Msnbc.com. 8 Dec. 2006. Web. 11 Sept. 2011.
Kim, Margot. "Madera Man Uses Wii for Physical Rehab." Abc30. 16 Nov. 2009. Web.
8 Sept.2011.
Mitchell, James." Telephone interview. 01 Sept. 2011.
Schaffer, Amanda. "Don't Shoot." Slate Magazine 27 Apr. 2007: 1+. Google.com. Web.
11 Sept. 2011.
"Why Video Games Really Are Linked to Violence." The Daily Show. Comedy Central.
New York City, New York, 26 Apr. 2007. Television.


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