Effects of Violent Video Games

The effects of violent video games have been well-publicized. While it may be extreme to suggest that anyone who plays Grand Theft Auto or Doom will feel the effects of violent video games, there is no denying that some children, if not all, cannot fully register the imaginary violence they see in games from the real world they are attempting to learn. In an effort to prevent younger players from being exposed to violent images, the Entertainment Software Rating Board has devised ratings for games, such as a Teen rating, a Mature rating and an Adults Only rating.

What Experts Say About The Effects Of Violent Video Games

Some psychologists, including David Grossman, have devoted much study to the effects of violent video games on children. In “Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill” the doctor says that game publishers train children to use weapons unethically and harden their emotions to the acts of murder which will eventually lead to real acts of aggression in later life. (Whether or not they are violent, doctors suggest, they will still be observed)

The Columbine High School massacre was widely reported on, since the young murderers were fans of the first-person shooter game Doom. They recorded a videotape before their crimes in which they stated they were looking forward to reenacting a real life version of Doom.

Exaggerated Effects Of Violent Video Games

However, not everyone is convinced that violent games alone will necessarily lead to aggressive behavior. In 1999 Surgeon General David Satcher stated that American society associates media violent to aggressive human behavior but that the impact is secondary compared to more important issues, such as family relations and the individual's psychological state. Satcher concluded, “Some may not be happy with [the inconclusive evidence], but that’s where the science is.”

The only thing that is conclusive is that the effects of violent video games can influence some individuals of varying ages, but certainly not all. In reality, over ten million Doom players have enjoyed the simulated violence and have had no run-ins with the law. Like violence in all other mediums, video games violence continues to be a controversial issue.