Violent Video Games
Is there a connection between violence in video games and criminal violence? This is a question that has been a hot topic of debate since video games became popular in the 1990s. Scientists appear to be undecided between any connection in video games and criminal aggression because there are so many risk factors to take into consideration of whether video games can induce violent acts of aggression.
WHO PLAYS VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES?
There are many people who play video games although violent video games are normally designed to reach an audience that consists of teenage men or men in their early 20s. This is the same audience who enjoys watching violent action films and so it is almost impossible to decide if violent crimes are linked to film or gaming.
The one difference is how players are actively engaged in the violence when playing video games. Films on the other hand only encourage their audience to watch. It is for this reason that video games are in the spotlight for violent content than films.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO REDUCE VIOLENT CRIME?
There has been much that has already been done to try and reduce the risks of being influenced by violent video games. There has been much work to inform the player that games are violent with methods such as:
- Age appropriate ratings
- Messages on packaging warning of violent crime
- Warnings of any explicit content
Even though games now carry out warnings of this kind, there is still much that could be done to discourage children from playing violent video games.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE THE RISK OF INFLUENCE?
Although the packaging states what is suitable for children and what isn’t, children still have access to violent video games that may not be suitable for their age. Parents may often buy games for their children unaware what the game contains. In addition there is no regulation saying that a person cannot play a game in the same way a film does.
Another issue with violent video games is how images of violence is now advertised widely. This advertising encourages the sales of more violence and it is now a part of modern day culture where our young are exposed to violence on a daily basis.
In order to make sure our children are not playing violent video games, stricter rules must be enforced in order to prevent children from having access to them. Advertising needs to be played only at appropriate times after a watershed in the same way as films are. Also education for parents along with stricter parental control would be an idea for parents to be able to control what their children have access to.