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Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems Argumentative Essay

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A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on two- or three-dimensional video display devices such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset, or computer monitor. They are impressive feats of art, computer science, programming, music, motion capture, voice acting, and other various disciplines. Video games came into existence during the 1950s when computer scientists developed them as simulations for research purposes and were widely popularized during the 1980s when consoles, arcades, and joysticks were available to the public. Since then, after the advancement of video game development, an interesting controversy sparked into existence regarding the effects of video games containing violent subject matter on its player base mostly concerning young children and teens. This debate took root during the 1970s when video games were criticized by the general public regarding the inclusion of rock and roll alongside the occult, viewed as stigmas back then, believed by parents to negatively influence the highly impressionable minds of youngsters. Recently, the debate has shifted directly towards the violent and crude subject matter present in widely played video games. So, the purpose of this controversy analysis paper is to determine the strength of the correlation between playing violent video games and exhibiting violent behavior by means of conditioning through these video games.

In the light of recently occurring, two mass shootings that took place in August 2019 in El Paso, Texas, Ohio, and Dayton, the question was put forward regarding how video games may shape and impact our society as a whole. In his ‘Manifesto’ the shooter mentioned his adoration and admiration for the widely popular video game, ‘Call of Duty which allows someone to take the role of a military soldier and even terrorists to engage in violent gunplay and claim victory. Due to the mention of this video game, the president of the United States, Donald Trump was able to place blame upon this mode of entertainment regarding the motives of the shooter being inspired by this game. Trump’s remarks in accordance with assigning the blame for mass shootings to video games were widely validated by other lawmakers and politicians. It’s a decision that major media outlets and retailers have also undertaken late; ESPN itself recently opted to delay broadcasting an Esports championship due to the shootings — a decision that seems to suggest that the network believes in a connection between gaming and real-world crime. And Walmart made a controversial decision to temporarily remove all video game displays from its stores, even as it continues to openly sell guns. This leads the discussion toward the claim by a group of people (mainly governments and news media outlets) who blame the “Gruesome and grisly video games” for the “Glorification of violence in our society”, as quoted by American president Donald Trump from the White House after massacres in Ohio, Dayton, Texas and El Paso resulted in a death toll of 31. Even before this major tragedy occurred, this entire controversy has been permeating to several other international governments; Russia banned most video games containing high-impact gory violence such as Call of duty: Modern Warfare, The Dead Rising series, Crackdown, and so on, and Pakistan banning Postal 2 for the glorification of violence against Muslims and Saudi Arabia banning the widely selling, Grand theft Auto games. This is a clear indication that governments and highly influential politicians consider video game subject matter to directly influence the youth that is playing said violent video games and this is to be considered a value claim due to the inclusion of influential ethics by being exposed to the violent subject matter and the socio-ethical implications it would have if violent crimes are committed by those gamers. Although a diverse amount of research has been conducted by several different organizations to test the correlation between the mass consumption of violent video games and the occurrence of a mass shooting or other violent crimes in context to the video game scenes depicted in them, there have yet to be concrete research results obtained which would confirm a positive correlation to this issue and most researchers are of the factual claim which is that extensive research does not provide substantial evidence regarding video games inducing violent behavior in its player base.

Kira Bailey conducted research published in the journal, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, concerning a sample of high gamers (gamers exposed to high-impact violent video games) and low gamers (gamers not exposed to high-impact violent video games) to be subjected to a test regarding facial expressions and the perception of the sample towards the test questions presented as a picture rating task and the results would be measured out on an emotion scale to assess the violent tendencies of the gamers and if the violent behavior they exhibited was due to them playing those video games or not. The difference in the magnitude of the brain scores for negative and violent pictures was smaller in high gamers than in low gamers, possibly indicative of desensitization to violence in the high gamers. For the pleasantness-rating task, the pattern of brain scores was similar for high and low gamers. In contrast, for the other tasks, the contribution of negative pictures in the low gamers varied with task demands. Therefore, it was concluded after reviewing all other results that, there was no positive correlation between playing video games and exhibiting violent behavior.

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Although there have yet to be conclusive test results regarding video games inducing violent behavior which further leads to committing a violent crime, some studies have found a weak positive correlation between playing video games and inducing short-term aggression. In regards to these findings, Dr. Chris Ferguson, a Psychology professor at Stetson University states, “The data on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive.” In fact, in 2017, the American Psychological Association issued a statement discouraging politicians and journalists from trying to connect video games and mass shootings precisely because they feared that this rhetoric would distract from factors that we know contribute to real-life violence and this may be considered to be a value claim. Max Fisher provides substantial statistics in the Washington Post, 17th December 2012 that Japan has approximately two times the availability of violent video games than the U.S but in Japan, they have 96 times fewer gun homicides occur. Moreover, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. department of education conducted an investigation in 2004, regarding mass shooters and their link to them playing violent video games and found out that school shooters consume significantly less amount of screen time for violent video games than the average gamer.

The research design which will be used in which the hypothesis to be tested will be, “There is a strong negative correlation between playing violent video games and exhibiting real-life violence”. An instrument that will be used to test this hypothesis will be an online questionnaire consisting of 10 questions of which 5 will be using the dichotomous scale, 4 will use the rating scale and 1 will be an open-ended question. The sample used will be 15 online users identifying as gamers who have subscribed to a gamer subreddit and an experimental group of 15 non-gamers from a general subreddit.

In conclusion, it can be determined that this controversy has been a widely debated one and the research conducted regarding this is also substantial, abundant, and diverse in nature ranging from governmental surveys and investigations to findings of private and independent organizations regarding statistics of the controversy and tests conducted in controlled settings by different institutions monitoring the effects of external media such as video games on overt behavior exhibited by the sample groups. In the light of the research results reviewed, it can be determined that there is a negligible positive correlation between playing video games and committing violent crimes in real life.

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Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems Argumentative Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/do-violent-video-games-cause-behavior-problems-argumentative-essay/
“Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems Argumentative Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/do-violent-video-games-cause-behavior-problems-argumentative-essay/
Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems Argumentative Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/do-violent-video-games-cause-behavior-problems-argumentative-essay/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems Argumentative Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/do-violent-video-games-cause-behavior-problems-argumentative-essay/
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