12 April 2017
Video Games and Violence Have No Correlation
When I say video games what is the first thing to pop into your head? Do you think of characters like Mario or Sonic? Or do you only think of violence and how video games are useless? Video games have been around since the early 1970s, however we didn't being seeing violent video games until the early 1990s. It was at this time where video games were starting to be questioned for being too violent; in fact, some countries banned games from being sold in their country. Most people who play video games often know that they are just that, games, and do not cause violent behaviors. In fact, most people who play video games say that they play it to relieve stress after a long day's work. However, many people also blame video games for the reason today's youth is so violent, and it is because of this that they are asking for games to be taken out of stores. Video games do not cause violence in today's world because video games are used as a form of stress reliever, are used as a bonding method, and video games are just like any other form of entertainment.
First off, video games are used by therapists and many other individuals as stress relivers. Now more than ever we are noticing that not just teenage boys are playing video games, but men and women of all ages. When asked why they played video games they all replied pretty much with the same thing: either because it is fun, or because it helps them with any stress. A 2010 study by Texas A&M's Dr. Christopher Ferguson showed that men and women who play violent video games long-term seem to be able to adopt mental skills to handle stress, become less depressed, and get less hostile during stressful tasks. (makeusof) Naturally I looked up this study and found exactly what they did. Dr. Ferguson got 103 college students who were then asked to perform a daunting task, and afterwards were told to play a video game. These video games were ranged from kid games to adult violent games. After about an hour of play they stopped the testers, and found that all the ones playing violent video games were a lot calmer than those playing the kid games. This has also been tested on people in therapy, and therapists have found that violent games relieve depression as well as help them get ready for the next day.
Next up, research says that video games are an excellent way to bond with families and friends. A Forbes journalist, Mr. Jordan Shapiro, mentions that playing video games with his children was one of the greatest things he has done. During his time playing with his children he felt confident to pretty much as them anything, or talk to them about anything. He noticed his children opened up a lot more and one say more than just one answer replies. Mr. Shapiro takes it a step further and provides some field research he had done by asking parents if they played video games with their kids, and found that parents who did play video games with their children said that they felt closer than ever during those moments. Mr. Shapiro mentions a quote from two researchers saying, "Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids". In another 2015 survey, it was found that three out of five parents who have children that play video games join in at least once a week. Many parents who were spoken to said that they attribute their time playing video games with their kids as the only time their kid really opened up and talked to them. To pull one final quote form the Wal Street Journal, "They [video games] can turn an uncool parent into someone a kid can tolerate for more than an hour, and maybe even bond with".
Finally, video games are used just like any other form of entertainment. According to the 2014 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry Report [...] 181.3 million Americans play video games [...] that is more than the number of Americans who own cats. (huffingtonpost) Back in 2013 it was estimated that $21.53 billion was put into gaming accessories and hardware; this number was more than what the music and cinema industry made combined. Video games nowadays are more than ever used to unite friends or families as about 62% of gamers play with someone either online or in person. Don Reisinger, a journalist for cnet says that "video games are slowly taking over all forms of entertainment [...] their stories have easily gotten better than most television, books, and movie stories". (cnet) Video games are able to pull of anything cable television, movies, and books can pull off all while you feel in control of the situation; with the ability to make you excited, sad, or relax all at the same time. Currently, we are watching video games rise increasingly as everyone's choice of entertainment with consoles being able to stream movies through Netflix, and with the new release of virtual reality games coming out.
In conclusion, video games do not cause violence in today's society because video games are used mostly for stress relief, for bonding, and for a relaxing medium just like any other form of entertainment. A study at Texas A&M showed us that violent video games don't make people more violent, but less hostile and even calms them down after a stressful day. Jordan Shapiro told us how video games are used for bonding with family and friends, and that even parents get in on the fun to talk to their kids. Finally, we learned that video games are just like any other form of entertainment in that almost every household has a console; just like how any other household has a T.V. and cable. Through video games many people share moments they will always remember, whether it is siblings playing a game together cooperatively, or a family playing Mario Kart every Friday night and going head to head. However you use video games, it does not come to surprise you when you learn that video games do not cause violence, but instead benefits people's everyday lives.
Lee, Joel, Nancy Messieh, and Ryan Dube. "Science Proves That Playing Video Games ReducesYour Stress." MakeUseOf.
"Texas A&M International University." Texas A&M International University.
Shapiro, Jordan. "Research Says Parents and Kids Should Play Video Games Together." Forbes.Forbes Magazine
Needleman, Sarah E. "Should Parents Play Videogames with Their Children?" The Wall StreetJournal. Dow Jones & Company
Taylor, Rich. "5 Reasons Video Games Lead American Entertainment." The Huffington Post.
Don Reisinger June 24, 2008 1:05 PM PDT. "Why Video Games Are the New EntertainmentLeaders."