Violence and Video Games

Violence and Video Games

Violence and Video Games
Aaron Kanoski
Strayer University
CIS 324: Computer Ethics
July 24, 2012
Professor Rebecca Stephens

Abstract
This paper will discuss the different theories of links between violence and video games. Those who try to censor video games or make them illegal point to the theories and studies that show a tenuous link. Those in the video game industry and activists for free speech and artistic freedom out right refute or offer other reasons for the supposed link.

Violence and Video Games
There is no solid evidence that a link between violence and video games exit. Video games have been blamed for school shootings, violence toward women, excessive bulling, and just about any violent massacre by a young person. Critics say that violent video games desensitize children to violence, rewards them for stimulating violence, and that violence is an acceptable response to conflict. Advocates for video games say that a majority of the research is deeply flawed and that causal relationship between violent video games and social violence has not been found.
Once considered just a fad of the 1970s, video games are now a 40-year-old media powerhouse that has entered the cultural mainstream. Video games are no longer considered just a children’s toy. They have become a major cultural force and artistic medium. Video games are now played in form or another, on or off line, by a majority of people around the world. In the US alone, during 2008, 97% of all twelve to seventeen year olds played video games. This fueled an 11.7 billion dollar domestic video game industry. In 2008, ten of the twenty top selling video games contain some form of violence (Entertainment Software Association, 2012).
The debate of violent video games can be traced back to a game released in 1976 called Death race. The object of the game was to drive a player controlled car over moving “gremlins”. After successfully running down a screaming “gremlin” a tombstone would...

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