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Essays On Violent Video Games And Children

Violence and video games

ENG 102 Royere Jonathan
The future of entertainment revolves around technology. Video games become more and more realistic. The main consumers for violent video games are teens. These games encourage killing and fighting enemies. More ways of playing violent video games are created each year, but most of us have this question in mind. Do violent video games influence young people to act aggressively? I play violent video games online and I am 16 years old. Overplaying video games can have many disastrous effects on teen limiting gameplay can have multiple positive effects.

Overplaying can incite young players to act violently. Repetitive killing can train them to act aggressively. Most video games are just killing if the player does these actions to often he can subconsciously learn those actions and be violent himself. In a study two groups of kids were asked to play violent video games more than another group. The group who had more exposure to the game was more violent than the one who did not play as much. (CNN.com) Playing too much violent video games can make the player think violence is fun. When the game is played the teen can associates violence with entertainment. Also for performing violent acts the player always gets a reward. If the person plays the game too much they can develop the habit of being aggressive for fun. In some way if the game is played to much the boundaries between violence and fun in the game and violent in real life can be crossed. Most games have blood, many weapons such as explosives or rifles. Being exposed to those behaviors in the game, dead bodies and blood can make the players insensitive to violence. According to aacp.org video games cause kids to be unsocial violent and obese. Overplaying will make the players familiar with images of violent acts and if the player does it continuously it will seem like a normal thing to him.

Video games can be very addictive if abused. In the game the players is constantly rewarded and will do the same actions over and over again in order to succeed and be rewarded as much as possible in the game. As well one thing that keeps the players "Hooked up" is most video games have many objectives that take time to achieve. Most games have levels that are for prestige, armor parts or power ups. People are constantly in a state of competition and want to be the highest and the first to achieve all those objectives in the games, but the problem is that they take days and days of game play. In a game that I play it would take 12 days of non-stop of playing to reach the highest level sometimes more. On top of this all games have achievement with are medals usually rewarded for an incredible action in the game, they are only there for bragging and fun. People keep on playing violent video games for countless hours because of competition. Groups and alliance in the games also incite players to invest more time they have meeting and ask players to log on in a specific hour of the day. Even though there is not scientific proof why people are addicted to video games many people believe it has to do with most of those things, rehab centers have been created just for video game addiction.

As a result of playing abundantly players are more likely to have poor social skills and be overweight. According to ScienceDaily.com a study on teen show that people are more likely to eat while playing video games that to eat while resting. Video games require no physical activity and most people eat while playing those. This unbalances the calorie intake and outtake. Games do not in any way encourage players to go out and exercise they want people to play more video games. Over playing violent video games can "shield" teens from going out and making friends. They do not go outside and meet new people. They feel no need to make friends because they are constantly occupied playing the game and attempting to achieve objectives in the game. As they meet people in the game they think it is enough but they are not comfortable in face to face conversations. They only speak through a headset. People do not view them as who they really are they view them as their players; if their rank is high they earned the respect of their peers in the games. In real life interaction they are not behind the mask of their character which makes them uncomfortable.

Limiting the gameplay of violent video games for young people can have many positive effects. The player can decompress from daily stress. If the players had a rough day instead of being aggressive and maybe hurting something or someone, he can take out his anger on a virtual enemy in the video games instead of causing damage. Violent videogames provide exactly that kind of escape, giving kids "an arena where they can play with fantasies of danger, aggression and conflict, developing a feeling of mastery that can serve as an antidote, or at least a necessary break, from daily anxieties," (Jones in wired.com) Since the players doesn't play too much he just sees the video game as a way to relax and decompress. He is not addicted to the video game and just sees it as a way to entertain himself at some times. Players instead of being aggressive to people if they are angry can decompress in the game. It is like a punching ball but virtually. According to a graph in pro con.org the youth crime rate went down as the video games sales went up. This show that most people are not addicted and take decompress using video games. Also video game can be good for a quick pastime if the player is waiting 30 minutes for something, it is good to occupy for a short period of time. Some video games can make young players learn facts and consequences. For example capitals of countries can be learned as well as the locations on a map. Consequences of acting recklessly can be learned when the players gets killed or arrested.

Ratings in video games and age restrictions should be more strictly applied. Rating inform the buyer to know what kind of game is being bought and what is in it, violence, drugs, sexual actions and many more. The parents should accompany their kids and look at the rating to see if it is appropriate for the teen to play it. This would help buyers to see if the game is suitable for a certain range of age. Video games store should refuse to tell violent video game with over 18 rating to minors. Most video game clerks in stores do not check if the buyer is age appropriate for them or if the game is suitable for them. A minor client might not be mature enough for the game. In an article from Cnn.com by Rebecca Leung; a boy named Devin Moore shot two police officers and a 911 dispatcher. The game that influenced him was grand theft auto four; he played countless hours of it. In this game it is a society where the player is free to do whatever he wants the game encourages you to kill anyone in your way, a pedestrian, gang members or even the police. Accident like that can happen if age limits are not respected or if there is not parental control over these issues. As well an I.D. should be required to buy the game to double check. Many incidents like the shooting could be avoided.

To conclude over playing video games has many negative effects such as addiction, obesity, poor social skills, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation. But if the right actions are taken by limiting the game play by for example setting limits of time played on the console and checking the ratings that show the content of the game many negative consequence can be avoided and positive things can happen.

I've got some general comments, but rather than make them in a vacuum, I thought it would be helpful for me to go through your first two paragraphs in detail so I can put my comments in concrete terms. Let's start with your introduction:

This paragraph could be much stronger with two improvements. First, please make it clear how all of your sentences contribute to your argument. Right now, you have several sentences where the link between the sentence and what you're trying to say is unclear. They are:

1. Video games become more and more realistic.
2. The main consumers for violent video games are teens.
3. I play violent video games online and I am 16 years old.

Try linking them to what you want to say explicity. For example, you could change the first point to, "As video games become more and more realistic and game developers get better and better at providing a fun experience, video games' popularity will only grow" and change the second sentence to "Because the main consumers for violent video games are teens, parents and society are concerned about their effects." Do you see the difference? The revised versions tell the reader why the fact you're presenting matters, so it's much more likely they'll understand and accept your point.

Second, your concluding sentence should summarize the arguments you're going to make in the order you're going to present them. For example, you could write something like, "Parents should limit the time their teenagers spend playing video games because excessive playing encourages violence and aggression, causes addiction, degrades social skills and promotes obesity." Closing with a list ike this will show the reader your arguments before they see the support behind each point, which will make that support easier to understand. This is why most textbook chapters and many teachers start with an outline.

Let's move to your second paragraph:

Like your introduction, this paragraph has solid content. You state your claim at the beginning-video games cause violence-then identify three ways that happens: Video games train players to act aggressive through repitition, video games encourage players to associate violence with fun and other rewards, and video games desensitize players to violence. You also cite two sources as support your claim, a study described on CNN.com and the AACP. In short, you do a good job of supporting your argument.

Having said that, this paragraph would benefit greatly from a different organization. Right now, you jump back and forth between reasons playing video games might cause violence, evidence that video games actually cause violence in the real world (the CNN study), and proof that experts consider the link between video games and violence real (the AACP citation). The paragraph would be much easier to follow if you started with the reasons video games cause violence, then moved to the CNN study and the AACP citation.

You should also consider closing the paragraph with a sentence that links it to your overall argument. For example, you could write something like, "The link between video games and violence alone would be a strong reason to limit teenagers' video game exposure." This reminds readers of your overall argument and explains how the point you make in the paragraph supports it.

If you follow my advice, you might end up with a paragraph that looks something like this:
Playing video games too much can cause players to act violently for three reasons. First, video games train players to act aggressively by requiring them to kill enemies over and over (additional explanation if needed). Second, (reason and explaantion). Third, (reason and explanation). Given these reasons, it is no surprise studies have shown video games cause violence. For example, one study (description of the CNN study). Studies like this have prompted organizations like the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to...(discuss the AACP.org statement). Violence is one of the worse things people can do, so this alone would be reason enough for parents to (restate your main point).

You'll notice that I spelled out AACP rather than relying on the acronym. Unless an acroyn is extremely common or well-known among your audience, you should never use it without spelling it out. Otherwise, readers might not know what it is. In this case, they might assume AACP is a random news site, not a group of pharmacists with a decent amount of credibility.

In any case, do you see the difference between the paragraph skeleton above and your original? Does the skeleton sound better to you? If so, I would encourage you to try to apply the same ideas to your other paragraphs. Group related points together and try to make the link between related items clear with phrases like "First...second...third," "another reason," and "also." Then close the paragraph with a sentence that ties it to your main point.

I have a few other points about your other paragraphs:
1. In the paragraph on addiction, you never explain why addiction matters. While most people will be able to guess, I would suggest pointing out that addiction can cause people to neglect their job, their school work, their family, their friends and even basic necessities like food and sleep.

2. Be careful making generalizations about games. For example, at one point, you say "all games have achievement which are medals usually rewarded for an incredible action in the game." While it's true that many recently-released games have such achievements, many older games, computer games, and niche market or single-player-only games do not. You'll have more credibility if you use more general wording like "many games..."

3. In the second to last paragraph, you say most stories don't verify customers' age without providing any proof. The Entertainment Software Rating Board, the industry-funded organization that rates mass market video games, and several other groups have conducted studies to determine how often retailers ask for an ID before selling M-rated games. While it's been several years since I've looked at those studies, I would encourage you to do so. if I remember correctly, stores check IDs at least 70 percent of the time. Regardless, referencing the studies would give you much, much more credibility.

4. Start your conclusion with something more creative than "in conclusion." For example, you could write, "Because over-playing video games can have several negative effects, such as addiction, obesity, poor social skills, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation, parents and society should (your main points)." Then close with a sentence that highlights the positive effects (e.g., players will be able to play video games without experiencing their negative effects). This lets you get to the summary part of the conclusion immediately. It also shows more effort and sophistication than "In conclusion," which will make you more believable.

5. Your conclusion mentions sleep deprivation, a point you haven't touched on before. Since the conclusion is supposed to summarize your argument, not add to it, mention sleep deprivation earlier or remove it from the conclusion.

To recap my previous points:
1. Make sure you explain how every fact you present advances your arguments.
2. Close your introductory paragraph with a sentence that states your main point, then explains how you're going to support that point so readers know what to expect.

3. In your body paragraphs, group related points together.
4. Consider closing your body paragraphs with a sentence that links it to your overall point.

If you have any questions, or if I'm giving you too much information at once, being unclear, or otherwise not helping, please let me know. As you can probably tell, I care about writing and enjoy commenting on essays when I get the chance. Since I am also an avid gamer, the topic you're discussing is close to home.

Hey, guys. I just finished my personal argumentative essay about how violent video games do not increase aggression in adolescents. Please tell me what you think, whether it is about the way my essay is structured, any grammar errors, and also about the topic itself. I'd be happy to read all of your comments! NO SPAMMING AND FLAMING PLEASE! Thanks!

Stop Blaming Video Games!

The video games phenomenon is somewhat new in this modern society. Although they often to be entertaining, the contents have become more violent and disturbing as computing technology has become much more advanced. These days, the popularity of violent video games has caused an increase in controversy. Parents and experts feel that some games are just too violent and they demand the government to regulate the sales of these games. However, I strongly believe violent video games do not cause an increase in aggression in adolescents and the forceful plan by the government is caused by an exaggeration of the effects of violent video games and this plan are indeed pointless.

Besides the violent contents, video games have several positive aspects. Based on my experience, video games can push children's competence to the limit by forcing them to master certain ability to overcome the obstacles in the level. For example, "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six" series have become one of the games that require a solid teamwork. The player acts as the leader of an elite anti-terrorist squad consist of 3-4 members. At the beginning of the game, players can choose how to infiltrate the terrorist compound, either by planting an explosive on the door, using a fast rope from the rooftop or simply breaching into several doors to create a surprise assault. These options will ignite the sense of logical thinking and strategy formations in which formal education does not offer.

Aside from the cognitive aspects, video games are also the tool of social interactions. Friendships can sometimes be developed through playing video games and ultimately keeping them away from drug usage and violent activities. Most of the video games today have either multiplayer or online capabilities or even both. For example, I made friends with several Japanese and lots of Americans from playing "Call of Duty 4" online. The game focuses on eliminating the other team hence teamwork has a major role in succeeding the game. With a headset (a combination of a headphone and a microphone), my team members and I discuss and plan a strategy effectively and sometimes talk about our backgrounds. Personally, meeting lots of people online develop my English ability (since English is not my first language) and social skills because for some people, starting a conversation with a stranger can be really tough. In general, video game is an astonishing tool to keep children entertained during leisure time.

On the other hand, some people, although they already know some of the positive aspects of video games, still believe that the negative will overcome the positive ones. The article "Don't Shoot: Why Video Games Really Are Linked to Violence"by Amanda Schafferfrom Slate.com stated "The connection between violent games and real violence is also fairly intuitive. In playing the games, kids are likely to become desensitized to gory images, which could make them less disturbing and perhaps easier to deal with in real life.When video games aren't about violence, their capacity to teach can be a good thing. For patients suffering from arachnophobia, fear of flying, or post-traumatic stress disorder, therapists are beginning to use virtual realities as a desensitization tool."(Schaffer) Though thispresents an evidence that violent games do in fact increaseviolent thoughts, this data still cannot serve as an evidence because the test is conducted in a controlled environment, without considering other aspects that might result inthe change in behavior. Additionally, although violent video games might expose children to violent behavior, the amount of violenceare not as great as the ones in movies and television. Thenews is filled with stories of war and murder, and nearly every movie contains some forms of violence. Plus, these two media are different from games in a very important way because they involve realpeople, not computer-generated characters. As mentioned by Dr. Kipling D. Williams Ph. D, one of the social psychological science faculties in Purdue University, children's violent tendencies can be diverted towards violent video games rather than actually doing it in the real life. (Williams)

Prof. Williams also pointed out that, besides playing violent games, genetics and environmental aspects and self-control must be considered as some of the factors that contribute to the increase in aggressiveness. Genetics tend to play a huge role in personality of a person. Some person might have a tendency to be more rebellious and aggressive. Moreover, easier access to firearms in several countries can lead to violent thoughts and behaviors. "Guns can act as a stimulus because it reminds the person of aggressive behaviors seen on television or maybe in real life. If the person does not have a solid self-control, it can lead him to a violent behavior." (Williams) Self-control is one of the main aspects because no matter how many violent stimuli in the environment are, self-control can suppress one's violent and aggressive thoughts.

Prof. Williams strongly believes that there is no single cause that can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior in children, consistent with Dr. Craig A. Anderson, Ph. D statement during an interview with MSNBC, "Video game violence is only one risk factor for aggressive behavior in the real world. There are also dozen or so known risk factors. It is not the smallest risk factor, but it is an important one." (Anderson)

Finally, I believe that regulations will not prevent children from playing the games they want to. They will still get their hands on those games, whether from a parent, sibling, or older friend. Making violent video games illegal might increase children's curiosity and make the child want to play it more so that heor she can see form himself what all the controversy is about. I think that the responsibility lies within the parent, not the government.

Works Cited

Schaffer, Amanda. "Don't Shoot Why Video Games Really are Linked to Violence." Slate. 27 April 2007. 18 Apr. 2008.

"Violent Video Game." MSNBC TV. 19 Sept. 2006. 18 Feb. 2008.

Williams, Kipling D. Personal interview. 24 Mar. 2008.

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