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Do video games lead to violence?

May 15, 2008
Posted by mmarvs in : Debates
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You have probably read about the release of the new version of the video game Grand Theft Auto and the huge controversy it has caused because of the extremely violent behaviour the characters show.

Have a look at this interesting post in Carmen López’s Blog, Bloggin’ Away, and write a comment with your opinion.

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1. Nanin - 15 May 2008 

I’ve already listen to people talking about this video game at the news. There were some interviews with different people who had already played with it. They were so thrilled and enthusiastic with this new video game. I remember that the thing that impresses me the most was a boy of, more or less, 30 saying that this kind of games were very good because they let you do things that you would like to but you couldn’t because they are forbidden.
The question that I made myself then was: are video games making people more and more violent or there has always been such a violent people?
I don’t know but I’d never let my child play with one of these video games just in case. Even when a friend of mine has it (the game) and he is a really nice person. I’ve tried him to explain me why he likes “to do” such horrible things (stealing cars or whatever, killing people…) but he says that he understands the game only as a game….I don’t know because I’ve never tried to play with it and I don’t want to.

2. Víctor Súarez González 5ºG - 15 May 2008 

In my opinion video games can influence in people, but not in such way, there are more reasons that must influence a person to kill someone. Most of people separate video games from real life, so it isn’t only video game industry’s fault.
It’s true there are some video games very hard, and I think it’s correct some video games were banned to children and teenagers. For example there’s one about “bullying” in a school, in that case it has to be banned for all people, because it’s a real problem in the schools.

3. Manuel Menendez - 15 May 2008 

I agree. Violent video games can lead to violent behaviour, particularly in children and teenagers. These videogames are supposed to be prohibited for young people, but all we know that at the end it is impossible to avoid teenagers accessing to almost all videogames.
I imagine adult people use these games as a way to release their stress and burn energy. The problem is that – even without realizing – you associate the villains to some kind of people (policemen in this particular case) and this can lead to aggressive feelings focused on that people.
Today violence is present in many entertainments such as movies, video games, books and even music (funk and rap music specially). Having into account the huge number of copies sold every year it seems clear people like this kind of entertainment and one has to be psychologically balanced to not be influenced toward a violent behaviour.

4. EstefaniaAF - 15 May 2008 

I don’t think that violent video games can lead violent behabiour because it’s the same than watching violent scenes in television and thousands of people watch it every day without killing anyone!! In fact, you have to sufffer some mental disease to be a murderer… perhaps in these cases the problem could be incresed by video games, but could be incresed for many other reasons too!

5. xil - 15 May 2008 

This is a discussion that we had in Spain few years ago when a teenager murdered all his family with a sword. It was said that the mind of the boy had been influenced by a video game.
In my opinion this kind of ‘real violence’ can only be stimulated by video games when the mental health of players is not in a very good condition; but the role that these kind of ‘games’ are playing, is that they are contributing to create an really ugly world.
Our children are learning that there are things, violent things, which can be considered enjoyable.
I don’t like a world where children feel well playing this kind of video games. It is not aesthetic enough.

6. Jorge Rodriguez - 15 May 2008 

Recently, this has become a topic for debates you can see in the street or in the news. Some people think that fast-growing video games industry is developing more and more violent games with horrible consequences for teenagers (the vast majority of people who play this kind of video games are teenagers).

I’m a teenager, and I play these video games, and I can tell you that things aren’t like that. Games can’t change your personality, they can’t lead you to kill someone, even though you play for the whole day without eating or sleeping. When some people talk about someone who killed X because of playing a lot, they are lying. The murderer did that because he already had a mistake in his brain or whatever. You can’t feel the character so deeply that it makes you kill someone just to be like him.
If you don’t believe me just think about violent films. Does a person change overnight because of watching them many times? I haven’t tried because I don’t like them but I don’t think so. Of course I’m not 100 percent sure.
Another argument I have to defend my ideas is that if this theory of leading to violence was true, everybody who played violent video games would be mad. Fortunately there are only a few cases of big personality changes.

However, it’s soon to know their negative effects, this industry is a baby. Maybe because of that we should do something before it’s too late: create groups of experts who can analyse well this problem, not allowing children to use them… but the biggest responsibility is parents’ one. They must control their sons, and also their daughters when playing violent games, and give them a proper education.

7. Sara García Ruisánchez - 15 May 2008 

Nowadays the question of videogames is a really controversial one,I remenber that some years ago a law was passed in relation to this theme and according to it all video games should be tested in some way and they were labelled depending on their content.Now reading this article I wonder if this law is observed.I think that teenagers have easy access to these videogames that are supossed to be for adults.

8. Beatriz Fernández López - 15 May 2008 

In my opinion, the issue is that video games, are played by children and teenagers, who are easily influence by all what they see.
It would be better if they could play with games which transmit them good values.

Apart from that, I think that people who commit a violent act or a crime, have a mental illness caused by social or affective problems, or because they properly have a mental disease. In these cases, is likely that they don´t need to use video games as inspiration.

9. Warlock - 15 May 2008 

As I suggest in my motion for debate related with the Heavy Metal music, if someone likes playing with this type of videogames this is not a reason to kill. You can find only some criminals who were induced by these games, but we shouldn’t ban them only for two crazy guys. It happened before with the role games. Some people rarely take them seriously, think that was a character of the game and begin to kill people. What we have to avoid is to take it as an excuse to ban them. Drugs and weapons are more dangerous than all this.

The thing is that this game doesn’t agree with the conscious of the politics, so they are an easy target for them. You can usually find people talking in a bad way about these games when they are talking with their friends because this is a well-accepted attitude in our society. “Violence is the cancer of our society”. However, everybody knows that arms and sex are essentials to maintain the international market and our society too, so think that these games should be banned is a very hypocrite attitude that only damages all these innocent gamers who love playing videogames in a funny way.

10. Popi - 15 May 2008 

From my point of view those teenagers who appeal this kind of videogames, feel like they have more power and more strength in the society. This could be the reason why they spend so many hours in front of the computer. I mean, it is as if they had their own world, and this is the only way for them to control it.

11. Àgueda Fdez - 15 May 2008 

These kind of games just drive me mad.I can’t put up with them!

I can’t see why people enjoy violence,even if it is fiction.
I unfortunately know quite a lot of guys who where looking forward to this game.My brother has a PS2 at home so I’ve tried playing sometimes but it really stresses me out.I remember “San Andreas”,which was a sexist and homofobic game.

Despite the fact that I loathe these games I have to say that their influence on teenagers’ behaviour is not so big as people think.Of course,they encourage teenagers to be violent and feel powerful,but it’s just a game.Loads of people enjoy playing “San Andreas”,however they’re not all ill-minded

12. Sara Gutiérrez Alonso - 15 May 2008 

This is a question I have asked myself too many times and I don’t know what to think about it. On the one hand I think a videogame can never make someone to kill; if you are a bit mad, obviously it can, but if you are not it isn’t any reason for changing your behaviour because you have seen some violent images. However, the thing changes if the person who is playing the videogame is a child. Children’s personality is not very strong and it can be influenced by many things, so the children won’t kill anyone the next day but I think he/she may have a violent behaviour in the future.

13. Beatriz Díaz Fernández - 15 May 2008 

The debate about violence in videogames have always caused controversy. Particularly with the cases of teenagers who kill someone, because society tend to blame videogames, heavy metal music bands, films, violent cartoons and all excuses you may imagine. It’s true that this kind of things may influence teenagers a lot, but thet may not too. And there lots of things in this wolrd that can incitate teens to do bad things, but, are we going to do away with all of them? Are we able to do that? It’s impossible, I mean, we should teach teenagers that videogames are just that, videogames. We should educate them with values, so that they don’t end up doing any insanity.

Less prohibitions and more education. That’s what I think.

14. MNT009 - 15 May 2008 

Firs of all, I must say that I speak from the experience because I have this video game which has made a huge fortune in the first week of been out in the shops. I admit that it is a violent game, because the game is based on murder, drugs, cars, bands, etcetera. But, in my opinion, everybody with a ‘normal’ mind can distinguish between games and real life. Of course, there is mad people all over the world, but I consider that video games don’t influence common people into crime and vandalism. In fact, this kind of games may help people to know what is happening in the streets and to be aware of the dangers. Millions of people have this game, or similar ones, and they don’t go killing people in the streets, so I think this is the main clue. Control? This video game is not recommended for people under 18 but you can’t prevent kids form buying it because they are free to do it. As far as I’m concerned watching violent action films would be the same as playing video games so if video games are not appropriate to play with, films should be banned as well. As you all agree this cannot be done.

15. Mr.Excusas - 15 May 2008 

Well I think that this problem will be on everyone’s mind for many years, because videogames are reaching an incredible popularity. Wherever you go someone is talking about PS3, Wii or Pro Evolution Soccer so it is absolutely impossible not to comment on it.

16. Pollock - 15 May 2008 

No, I don’t think so. I must admit that nowadays there is too much violence at video games, cartoons and movies. And sometimes it can be hard for a teenager’s mind separates reality and fiction. I agree with the idea of having a “parental advisory” or a age censorship. But, from my point of view, videogames industry shouldn’t be accused of that kind of crimes.

Do you remember a similar case, some years ago, about two teenagers (players of Role-games) that killed a man because they thought they were playing a real match? I don’t think role-plays could inspire people to commit crimes. I used to play role-games when I was a teenager; my parents knew that, of course, but they weren’t afraid because a role-play allows young people to develop their creativity, their communication skills, their ability to work in teams or their capacity or taking decisions (thinking first about the pros and cons, which, I suppose, is something very useful for a future life as an adult).

If people have a criminal mind, it’s not because they’ve found those ideas from role-plays, video games or films. The problem is inside the person, and what it has to be asked is something as, for example, “hat was wrong with his/her education or family…?

17. Mofli - 15 May 2008 

In my opinion videogames haven’t got the same influence on all the people. For instance, I have a cousin who loves this kind of videogames. He’s a child and he prefers playing along with the computer than playing with other children. Sometimes, when I tried to play with him I feel frustrated because he doesn’t understand how to play without kicking and fighting. Obviously, he doesn’t kill anyone, but I think he’s a little bit aggressive, more than other children, I think.
I have never liked this kind of games, because they make me feel stressed out, so my opinion is a negative opinion. I don’t say that all the people who play violent videogames are violent, but from my point of view, there are people whose mind is weak, and they aren’t able to distinguish between good and bad behaviour.

18. Verónica Díaz Suárez (5ºH) - 15 May 2008 

First of all, I must say that I don’t like the videogames. I think that they are a waste of time. Well, apart from that they are the root of the violence, for example, in the United States there are a lot of crimes related with that sort of videogames. And yes, they can train someone to kill, especially if someone has a strange behaviour or hates some kind of people. They can be the trigger of a problematic way of thinking.
I’m sorry but I don’t agree with Pollock because of the case of the two teenagers (players of Role-games) that killed a man because they thought they were playing a real match. If they hadn’t played with it, they hadn’t killed a man. The videogame was the trigger for their behaviour.

On the other hand, the videogames industry should be careful about the topics they choose for their games in order not to give too much mistaken ideas and behaviours. For example, in this videogame, what does it teach us: how to steal a car and then, killing police officers? I’m sorry but in our life there are more interesting things to do than waste your time with that. If you want to develop your way of life as a person, try to invest time on reading, listening music, helping homeless people, etc…

Finally, videogames have to have a stronger censorship, children are children and adults are adults; so the law has to be more efficient in order to protect children. And parents shouldn’t allow them to buy them if they don’t want to have problems in their behaviours.

19. Paddy - 15 May 2008 

I don´t like video games. I prefer reading an interesting book to playing with one of them.
This is the first time I´ve seen this kind of video game. Not only does it show violence, but it also foments hate and rejection of the law.
The feelings of hate grow stronger every day: racism, prejuice,…
What kind of people have made this viedo game? Are they proud of it? Haven´t they got any children? Do they let their children play with it?
Children have to learn what´s wrong and what´s right. Teachers and parents try to make them understand it as better as possible.
Is our responsability to protect boys and girls from this kind of “toys”.

20. GOOSE - 15 May 2008 

I’m living the same situation than Mofli. My cousin is 10 and, as hers, he loves videogames and seems more loner than other kids.
But I don’t think it is only videogames fault. Nowadays violence is everywhere, you can see it in the tv news and films. Of course children are the most easily influenced but, as the films, the videogames have a suitable age, and it is children parents’ responsibility if children play with them or not.
In my opinion, videogames don’t induce violence, as long as they are played by appropriate users. But, with television, they contribute to see violence as something ordinary, something that all of us are accustomed to.

21. Chiquilla - 17 May 2008 

When I was a child, most of the videogames I played with were starred by Sonic and Mario Bross, remember them? They were “good people” who didn’t kill anybody (perhaps some alien) for getting their objectives (save a princess and things like that). When I played “police and thieves” with my friends, and it was my turn to represent the thief’s role, I was aware of the fact that I was not the good one, I was going to be captured (at least police should try to do it), as my behavior wasn’t the best one/ or the one supposed to be.
So, what has happened in these last few years? Nowadays the main character of many videogames is someone who uses violence to get their objective, which is normally something related with violence, for instance be the one who was killed more people in the fewest time or getting more guns to kill more people.
At least in Spain, and I suppose than in other countries too, no one wants to be accused of having brought their children up in the wrongly way. That’s the reason why videogames companies are always being blamed.
I don’t think it’s video games’ fault; in fact, I do understand, those companies. If that product is the best seller why on earth are them going to abandon such a successful product? It would be nonsense.
From my point of view, the fact that leads more to violence is parents who buy those products to their children. Parents, who instead of explaining their children that it’s only a game and that those behaviors are not permitted, start laughing when they hear their children saying they’re the best killer in the world.

22. rantamplán - 18 May 2008 

I don´t think that this kind of games are the only ones responsible for violent behaviour among young people. In my opinion, the aggressive behaviour of a person can be the result of a mixture of factors: biological or physical, emotional, educational, family environment, their own experiences all their life long etc. It´s true that there are people more “predisposed” to this sort of games. I´d say that people who are already aggressive tend to choose this kind of entertainment as a way to “release” their aggressiveness (like a therapy) but I also think that only an adult can distinguishes between fiction and reality perfectly.
As regards Xil says about children who learn to enjoy with violent things I´d say that this idea is not new; 30 years ago boys already played with guns and swords, they fought among them and made horrible experiments with insects and little animals. By nature, boys are more aggressive than girls and, to my mind, it´s good that they release their aggressiveness by playing.
And finally, I´d like to say that there have always been people who have confused reality and fiction, even when videogames didn´t exist (how many children died when they tried to fly after watching “Superman”?). So, as Bob Dylan sang: “Times are changing” and as a result of this it also has changed the way people interact with the environment; but, although apparently the world is different in essence people haven´t changed as much as we think

23. Sugar - 18 May 2008 

The debate about media violence effects would be over but by the end of this decade they had become a preferred childhood leisure activity, and adults responded with concern about the possible effects of the games on children. They have been the subject of debate and censorship, due to the violence for example. I think that educational video games can be excellent teaching tools for motivational and learning process reasons. But, it also may make violent video games even more hazardous than violent television or cinema. In my opinion the problem is that there is a new generation of ultra violent video games beginning in the early 1990s and continuing to the present with a large amount of children and youths actively participating in entertainment violence. However, I agree with some experts who said that violent video games affect only a small fraction of players.

24. palot - 18 May 2008 

This is a very common debate in our days but in my opinion it should not be as common as it is. I think that the people that do things to imitate the characters of the videogames are crazy people, I have played this type of videogames and I have never thought about doing things as kill people. The problem of these games is that you have to difference the reality and the fiction.

25. joey hendrix - 29 September 2008 

i have this game and it is called gta4 but if you are sick enough
to go round shootin peoples faces off like my freind(im quite concerned hes coming round my house on friday ) you need help but if you are a violent person you might be effected i mean films these days there mental like black christmas,saw,saw2,saw3,saw4,hostel,the strangers. they are all sick rank films i cacked my pants a black christmas iaint seen the rest

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