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Violent videogames should be censored
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:15 am
Dylan McKeever, age 13
Editor’s note: The following is the first in a series of essays written by eighth-graders in Joshua Kaeser’s English class at Holicong Middle School in Buckingham. The exercise in argumentative writing required students to consider both sides of an issue of their choice and then write an essay supporting their position.
Over the past few years, violent video games have become more popular. Games like “Call of Duty,” “Modern Warfare” and “Halo” have all become must-haves for children, teens and young adults. All of these games can lead to negative impacts, which just add to why video games should be censored.
When it comes to the teens and children who play video games, they think that it is a very fun experience. However, what the parents don’t realize is that the “fun” yet violent video games are influencing their children to commit acts of violence. There are three main reasons why violent video games should be censored: They cause a negative impact on people and society; they make people desensitized to violence and they lead to maladaptive feelings and emotions.
The first reason why violent video games should be censored is because they cause a negative impact on people and society. Although anyone can be affected by violent video games, children are the easiest to be affected. Video game companies get their games rated by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). Video game companies do get their games rated because they want parents to actually think that they care about who plays the games. However, children and young teens still play games like “Call of Duty” and “Modern Warfare” (ages 17 and up).
Also, based on an article from Science Daily, research shows that violent video games lead to society being violent. Two examples of this are the Sandy Hook shooting and the Colorado movie theater shooting. It is not surprising that these tragic events occurred right around the time of violent video games becoming popular. That is how violent video games causing a negative impact on people and society prove why they should be censored.
In addition to violent video games causing a negative impact on people and society, they also make people desensitized to violence. Playing games like “Call of Duty,” on a regular basis, causes people to become desensitized to violence. As kids play these violent games, they become more and more used to it. Every game desensitizes them even more to killing people and dying. The Sandy Hook shooting might have taken place because Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the crime, could’ve been desensitized to violence because of playing too many video games. Many things about the crime show how he might have thought that it was OK and just like a video game. This shows how violent video games cause/caused many tragedies.
One more thing about kids playing violent video games is that it causes kids to have strong nightmares about being killed and other such situations that have to do with violent video games that they have recently played. Of course, violent video games make people desensitized to violence, but what you might not know is that they also lead to maladaptive behaviors and emotions.
Maladaptive feelings occur more frequently in children, who are unfortunately the victims in this situation. Exposure to violent video games can cause excessive fear, anger, rage, aggression and hostility. Violent content in video games can get into a child’s brain, and it is not easy for them to adapt to it and understand it. Again, nightmares occur because someone who plays violent video games can’t adapt to the content soon enough, and they can’t get it out of their thoughts.
Although nightmares are a very typical thing to experience when going to sleep after playing video games, they are just the beginning. Surveys show that people who play violent video games imagine violent scenarios in everyday situations. Examples of this are walking past a dark room, through an alley or even looking outside a window at night. Imagine yourself having this happen to you, having to be scared at every turn and every corner. It is unfortunate that this does happen, but the blame is all on violent video games. All of this happens because the brain remembers things that are fun, or interesting, or in this case, scary.
Also, most violent video games encourage people to cooperate, in a negative way, with other people, which makes it even worse. In these games, using multiplayer mode, people team up and try to kill the opposing team. Doing this is even worse than playing by yourself because it desensitizes someone in a different way. It could make someone feel as though they are being helped to commit a crime/murder.
Some people say that horror movies, shows and scary books are no different than violent video games. That is definitely not true, because in movies you watch characters and pay attention to the plot, but in violent video games, you are the one directly playing and creating the character’s actions. Going back to the Sandy Hook shooting, Adam Lanza obviously had some crazy emotions going on. That shows how emotion, or mood, plays a big factor in the cause of many incidents. Those are just a few reasons how violent video games lead to maladaptive feelings and emotions in the player and should be censored.
There are three main reasons why violent video games should be censored: They cause a negative impact on people and society; they make people desensitized to violence and they lead to maladaptive feelings and emotions. Violent video games need to be censored before they get even more out of hand. They are a huge hit to people now, but most people do not realize how bad they really are. Have you considered what violent video games can do, and how negatively they can impact someone?
Many people who are opposed to censoring violent video games say that if parents don’t want their kids to play certain video games, they have the authority to just take them away. But parents don’t do so because of two reasons: They don’t understand what the violent video games are doing to their children, and stores that sell video games don’t enforce the age restrictions so parents don’t find out that their kids are playing games that they are not supposed to be playing. These games are obviously rated for a reason, but it seems as though no one pays attention.
I hope that you agree with me, and all the evidence, and know that violent video games should be censored. It may seem absurd to do something like this, but all the facts point toward it. The right decision is not always the most popular one, but what must be done must be done.
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