Communication Technology – Violence in Video Games
A critical view of the ludological scene is quite essential in the current society because the game world is near to taking over traditional societal activities. More and more people are getting involved in active video gaming. This has continued to grow across the demographic divide in spite of the differences in ideologies. In the recent past, the video game world was often identified with young kids and teenagers. However, the number of adults actively involved in these kinds of games is increasing by and by.
Video games are known to have a strong influence and impact on the people who actively participate in them. The impacts can either be positive or negative depending on external and internal individualistic factors. These factors are compounded if the video game in question is one that involves violent aspects. Violent video gaming has sparked more than enough debate on its availability for use in society.
Violent video games have a negative impact on society. This is because they affect certain personalities which disorient an individual to become increasingly aggressive. These negative impacts of violent video games are much more evident in young people than in adults.
A rudimentary explanation of a video game describes it as a kind of digital game that uses a combination of software and electronic gadgets to produce a user interface that generates visual feedback on a screen. The person using a video game usually uses some sort of control device which produces corresponding movements as responsive features on the screen. Thus video games encompass a kind of video technology that uses a combination of hardware and software (Murphy, 2010).
Video games can come in their own hardware with the game already installed. On the other hand,d they can also come as software to be used with the hardware of a computer once they are installed in the system (Tadeo, 2010). The rise in video technology has greatly improved the quality of video games (Loftus 2010). Graphics in video gaming has improved although according to a section of young gamers, this may not be the most important thing in the video game industry (Gameranx, 2010).
The invention of digital video technology resulted in a major shift of equilibrium in favor of video games. It has been established that video gaming does not involve just sitting in front of that screen and manipulating the analog stick button. Modern video game involves the mind, emotions, and of course the body which must simultaneously work together.
Violent video games first came into the market in the early 90s. During this period, the first violent video game with the first-person shooter called “Wolfenstein 3D” appeared. The game also had a third-person fighter called “Mortal Combat”, who was the one leading the way (Zana, 2004). Since then, more graphically violent games were available to anyone who would want to play them. Currently, there are so many examples of violent video games. Violent video gamers often consume products with violent scenery concerning warfare, theft, and destruction of property among many others. Good examples of hot selling violent video games include Grand theft Auto, Doom. Counter BioShock, Duke Nukem, F.E.A.R., Painkiller, Postal, Quake, Resident Evil, Unreal, Mortal Combat, Hitman: Bloody money, among many others.
The consumption of violent video games among young people in society has continued to increase sharply. The main reasons for the prevalence of this habit are because of the advancement in technology and the rising interests. The publicity of violent video game products by the manufactures also contributes to this habit. It is worth noting that the software industry has had a major contribution to the manufacture of these games.
There has been a lot of public outcry concerning the issue of violent video games in society. This is because these particular video games have had many negative contributions to the people who are actively involved in playing them. Most of the consumers are mainly young people although a good percentage of the adult population is not exempted from consumption. For these reasons, much research has been done to establish certain facts regarding the issue so that the public can be advised on the way forward. When both positive and negative effects are considered, it should be noticed that violent video games cause more harm than good to Americans. This is especially so to children and teenagers who gain access to these video games despite their age.
There are a number of factors that enhance the use of violent video games in children. Ease of access to these games is a key factor. Many minors have been found to access these games from retailers despite their age. Lack of appropriate measures by the Government and parents to control the use of violent video games is another factor worth to be considered (Aransen, 2010). These are the two main factors that contribute to the consumption of violent video games especially amongst minors. If these factors are controlled, it will result in a major improvement in how violent videos are consumed in the country.
Whether violent video gaming has a positive or negative impact on the population has been a controversial issue. There are so many theories advanced on this issue that try to support the negative impacts of violent video games. One of the theories is that adolescents tend to mimic the violence portrayed in movies and video games (Manges, 2009). Normal video games pose dangers of serious health risks to children. Thus, the time children are supposed to be playing sports is often spent playing video games.
Studies into the social impacts of violent video games have been able to demystify the truth of the matter. Playing violent video games is pretty impressive but can have a negative impact on the person consuming them (Coon, 2005). There are so many violent video games in the market today. The rise in supply simply indicates the rise in demand for the product. Most violent video games are those concerned with murder, theft, and destruction of property which may also involve other scenery related to warfare like mass killings (War Games 2006). The violence in video games is much more liked by children and teens thus making them the most consumers (Lion & Lamb, 2004).
To begin with the positive effects, violent video games just like other video games introduce children to advanced technology at an early stage. This preparation is quite important because it will help them to deal with more complicated equipment in the future. Violent videos also improve hand-eye coordination a very important tool in developing and fine-tuning motor functions. Since most violent video games are played by two or more people, they enhance teamwork among children, an important attribute that is needed when they grow up. They also allow children to spend quality time with their parents.
Violent video games which involve action games usually increase resistance to distraction (Want to Know It, 2010). They increase attention span, visual acuity and are also quite educative in some sense, and help manage difficult emotions. In addition to these, just like normal video games, they also teach the audience on particular tactics (Suellentrop, 2010).
There are also other aspects which actually contradict. Violent video games can teach children how to follow directives. In contrast to this, violent video games can also teach rebellion. Taking into account the violence and sexual and obscene characteristics of modern games, there are so many negative impacts the games have on society. These negative impacts are also compounded by the fact that they involve race and gender as well. Most of the violent video games which are played solely usually affect the gamer because of the isolation aspect. Violent games also create confusion between fantasy and reality.
This is because the audience sees digital images and actions which only resemble the reality on the ground. This tempts the audience to relate the actions with real life. In addition to these, so many violent activities have been associated with violent video games. School shootings, bizarre sexual misconduct, and of course the general aggressions are among the many problems caused by violent video gaming (Humphreys & Campbell, 2010). The games are addictive in nature thus they affect school life, diet, and even work habits. As if not enough, children are affected in such a way that they do not learn how to solve problems. So instead of handling problems appropriately, children often lash out at their problems.
Violent video games are known to affect aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive effects, physiological arousal, and the prosocial behavior of the individual consumer (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). The prosocial behavior of an individual d because some of the gamers play while they are isolated. The consumer of violent video games will develop an aggression such thecreaseat the consumer intends to harm another individual who tries to dodge the harm. The aggressive behavior does not include accidents. It defines the intentional act of trying to injure or harm even if the initial attempts failed.
According to recent studies, there is a close relationship between violent video games and an increase in aggression (Stoff, Breiling & Maser 1997). This has been substantiated by empirical data from some studies which have accessed the relationship between exposure to violent video games and the aggressive nature (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). Many aggressive incidents in schools have been linked to violent video games. For instance, bullying in schools has increased due to the increase in violent video game consumption (Kutner & Olson, 2008).
In some of the studies done on how violent video games can affect the user, it has been revealed that these games can elevate the degree of accessibility of aggressive thoughts (Aboujaoude & Koran, 2010). Violent video gamers develop a kind of trait hostility and trait aggression. The correlation of related studies showed that laboratory aggressions are partial motivators to revenge missions (Zana, 2004).
The general aggression model integrates existing theory and data concerning learning development, instigation, and expression of human aggression (Zana, 2004). Exposure to the violent laboratory can lead to imitative behavior so that the gamer mimics what he sees on the screen. In the general aggressive model, the elements comprising it include the social cognitive theory. This theory focuses on the attention of the audience to the behavior that has been modeled, the way the audience member can retain that particular behavior, the ability to mimic, and the motivations which act as incentives to mimic the behavior in question. Those behaviors on the game that are admired and appreciated are much more likely to be mimicked (Atkin, 2007).
This theory also focuses on contextual aspects such as whether the violence is rewarded and the cognitive structures that motivate the gamer to mimic those behaviors. It is a fact that we can learn to respond to circumstances in specific ways, about the situations that have been made repetitively for us to mimic. For instance, when faced with situations that involve conflict, we might be tempted to mimic how a similar situation was solved in the game scene.
Thus, this model explains how exposure to violent video games can increase the aggressive nature of an individual both in the short term and in the long run. This is because aggression is founded mostly on existing knowledge framework or mental pictures that are created by the process of social learning (Atkin, 2007). This means that a person can learn new skill and information just by watching the behaviors of others, particularly if those characters are rewarded, performed by attractive actors or if the characters are kind of sanitized violence (Atkin, 2007).
These games are also quite popular with adolescents and adult males and females, in addition to children (Walsh, 2000). The violent video games are easily obtainable by the young people hence making the impacts more severe. The levels of accessibility to these games are often contrary to the standards of video game industry (Newman, 2004). More and more school going students both in high school and graduate schools have increased their hours of playing violent video games (Zana, 2004). This habit affects the academic careers of students because many of the students use part of their school time to play video games.
At present, there are violent video games which depict war in the Middle East, in the market. The American war in Afghanistan has also come up with its allegory in form of a video game. The game has a multiplayer mode that allows the player to choose which side they play (Kotaku 2010). Controversies have risen as to how a person can be allowed to play as a Taliban killing American soldiers. The developers of these games argue that these are just fictitious scenes which are not worth the magnitude of alarm. However, a closer and critical view of this game reveals that they can be uncomfortable and also cause someone to consider the nature of a war waged against a particular group of good people.
Most violent game mechanisms that are based on real life issues usually have a set of conditions for success. These games have particular activities which are rewarded should they be scored with high level precision. The activities are mainly judged on the level of aggressiveness and tactics involved in order to execute a particular duty such as punching, shooting to kill and jumping (McDevitt 2010).
There have been a lot of controversies on the use of these violent videos in the United States, by the public. Some parents in the U.S do not want their children to play video games whether they are violent or not (Phil 2010). Public opinions have ranged from one perspective to another either in favor of or against. Most parents are petitioning for the courts to grant them full responsibility of picking video games from the library for their children. Currently in California, there is a law that is due for implementation that will make it mandatory for children to be accompanied with an adult before they access any violent video game from the retailers (Holland, 2010).
This law is aimed at helping parents control what type of video games their children play. Video games can deal with human relationships (Brown, 2008). Some claim that they are ways of releasing stress and frustrations (Chomik, 2010). However, they can also be detrimental to the social behavior of the audience especially in the area of aggressiveness as discussed (Williams & Smith, 2006). This is the reason why the public and many organizations are seeking to back the banning of sale of violent video games to children (Ferguson, 2010).
Due to adverse effects of violent video games, parents are advised to find ways which will control the use of these types of games to their children (Gentile, 2003). The government should enact legislation necessary to control the use of violent video games in the country (Parents Television Council, 2010). Schools and civic bodies should engage in major campaigns which teach children how to control themselves to prevent excessive use of violent video games.
Much has been said concerning violence in video games. It has already been established in this report that violent video games are quite detrimental to the social life of an individual. This report has discussed how video games, violent ones, in particular can affect an audience in terms of the health and the change of behavior. The change of behavior in this kind of person is from a good behavior to a more aggressive character. More time spent playing videogames means less time to do sporting activities that are much healthier and less time to do school work and embracing poor dietary behaviors. It has also been established that this habit is more prevalent among children compared to adults.
This is the reason why parents are petitioning the government to enact laws and put certain measures which will act as inhibitors to access of these games by children. Thus, the government and other civil organizations are called upon to not only formulate, but also enact policies which will act as control measures so that American children are prevented from eroding their characters.
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