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Correlation of Violence in Video Games and Criminal Behavior

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Video games containing violence is a very controversial topic nowadays. Many people are associating violence in video games to aggression in children. Parents believe that violence in video games persuades children to be violent. Henceforth, violent behavior in video games is criminal activity vividly portrayed in video games such as, killing, stealing, assault, shooting, and many others. In fact, according to Whitney Decamp, a study performed in 2008 tested 6,567 8th grade students came to an overall conclusion that video games don’t lead to violence. As Ari Shapiro said, “If you begin with the conclusion of your research- if every violent video game disappeared tomorrow, would there be fewer shootings?” The problem isn’t the video games leading to violence, it’s the false and biased accusations against video games. Statistics released by the FBI, shows that many violent crime rates are dropping since 1990, not by a drastic amount but it is certainly noticeable. The Columbine shooters, according to police investigations, were interested in a video game called ‘DOOM’ a very violent and bloody game. Overall, video games that contain violence and other inappropriate content are very common.

The top ten selling video games of 2018 so far, 7 of 10 games are violent, not all shooter games but they all contain violence. Red Dead Redemption 2, part of the ‘Red Dead’ trilogy by Rockstar Games, sold 725 million dollars in the first 3 days. And projected to sell a lot more by the end of the year. The reason for this is that in this day and age, violent games are popular and appeal to the youth because of the thrill and adrenaline rush. Grand Theft Auto 5, a game where an individual can partake in violent, illegal activities such as drug trafficking, robbery, murder, and other violent crimes. The game sold 11 million units in its first 24 hours, the game retails for $60, that’s equivalent to 800 million dollars. In fact, it’s not just violent video games that kids are interested in, many movies are rated for 13+ and even 17+ are very popular to kids. As of the top 10 selling movies of 2018, 8 of them are PG-13, one of them are rated R, and the rest are PG. “Black Panther,” one of the top movies, is rated PG-13 for violence. Sold 1 billion dollars in 26 days globally. Overall, lots of media entertainment containms usually contains violence even childrens shows. The violence could just be in a ‘playful’ manner but someone is still getting hurt and young children are exposed to that.

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Many people believe that the violence in video games leads everyone, not just children to violence and being influenced into a criminal mindset. In fact, children may play a game such as ‘Call of Duty’ and kill someone is the game then may be influenced to do the same in real life. Police investigated the ‘Sandy Hook’ school shooters and found various copies of Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto meaning he was possibly influenced by these violent video games. There is a list published on the internet, “10 crimes linked to video games.” according to research shown in this list the Columbine mass shooting was influenced by ‘DOOM’ a game about shooting monsters with various weapons. On account of another mass shooting, a rampaging gunman in Sweden killed 77 people in total and injured upwards of 300 people. A police investigation uncovered that the shooter had played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to practice shooting and World of Warcraft to relax after long gaming sessions. The shooter also detonated a homemade bomb and detonated at a government. Overall video games are an evident influence towards violent action and other crimes such as assault, racketeering, attempted murder, and burglary.

Management

If a parent believes video games lead to violence maybe they should restrict what games they allow their children to play. Parents are concerned about their child being negatively influenced by violent video games. If a kid plays Call of Duty for hours and hours at end, then they might be indirectly persuaded to recreate some of the acts visualized in the game especially anything illegal that could and would result in a negative outcome for themselves as an individual and everything and everyone around. A solution to prevent violent influxes in children can be to restrict the child’s playtime and what they are allowed to play. Video games are given a official rating deeming the appropriate age to play and why the game is rated like that. The most common and popular games are ‘M’ rated for 17+ year old people, although many younger kids play it when they may not understand all the topics within the game.

If the child is not exposed to violence or other inappropriate mature content then they won’t be influenced to attempt to recreate what’s shown. If a child were to attack someone or steal something and it was reported to the police they make face charges and be put under arrest. A misdemeanor such as stealing will be held on their legal record and be able to be accessible by the public and can negatively affect their education and education such as being accepted to certain positions with a criminal record is very hard to prove yourself worthy. If the child steers clear of wrongdoing then they will succeed and stay out of violence. They will also stay away from trouble and drugs in the future.

Restriction

Another viable solution to prevent video game influences in children is to isolate them from playing for periods of time. If a child is given prohibited exposure to a violent video game then they might not be influenced. Playing approximately 1 hour a day is an optimal amount for screen time and recommended by psychologists. Realistically, one who plays video games casually and just for fun is most likely to not care so much about the game and just play it on free time and to kill time. The casual player isn’t really “addicted” to the game so they wouldn’t necessarily care about the game on the level as avid players. This method is successful because a child would not become addicted and care so much about grabbing a gun and shooting someone. If a child is not exposed to violent content then they shouldn’t really be affected by violent and illegal actions portrayed within various video games. Overall, isolation is a very much viable method to stop children from partaking in violent and illegal acts.

Argument Towards Successful Solution

If a child is overly exposed to video games, then they may be influenced, a solution to this is to regulate play time and the certain games such as gory and violent games. Outright isolating an addicted child could lead to outbursts of attitude change because they are not allowed to play. Parents should consider having more control over their child. As due, if an addict is given a substance, their brain will be programmed to require that said substance, if an addict is going to rehabilitation, they will feel withdrawals as their brain and body is not received its supplement or its ‘high.” This is relatively similar to video games, if a person is addicted to video games, and cutting them off will affect them as per saying, their not ‘used to’ not playing as its a habit for them. Video game addiction is not classified at a clinical disorder. Rehabilitation is a viable method and proven method to help cure addiction. As well as addiction, video games can also give a child thoughts of violence and eventually indirectly lead them to commit a crime or act of violence. Video games today, most likely contain violent content, sexual content, and other inappropriate topics. 70% of the top selling video games of 2018 are violent games and contain blood, gore, drug use, and strong language.

Although people may argue that video games can make children addicted and are bad for them, studies show that video games can actually benefit a child in ways such as improved hand eye coordination. According to research, video games can help players reaction times and as previously stated, hand eye coordination. As an example, if a gamer is attempting to solve a puzzle to beat a ‘level,’ they may be more open minded and have a more clear thought process that could benefit them in the real world being able to think and act fast. Reports from ‘Mental Floss,’ an online science community, states that, video games may help people overcome dyslexia because players usually have to read on screen text quite frequently. Video gaming can also become a possible future career option as a professional player or content creator/curator. Fortnite, a game which blew up in popularity since early 2018, is hosting a league which contains various tournaments with an overall total prize pool of 100 million dollars. The top players and teams receive a share of the prize money. Although video games are being portrayed as harmful, studies show otherwise. Research shows video games can improve a child’s reaction time, hand-eye coordination and even social skills from communicating with other online players.

Video game influence is evident in children and can be very detrimental to their health. As previously noted, if a child is prematurely exposed to gorey and violent video games then they could attempt to recreate the scene in real life. Soon after the tragic columbine shooting, a developer released a role play shooting simulator, “Super Columbine Shooting Simulator,” a child could play this and think of it all as just a ‘game’ not a reenactment of a past terrorist attack. As stated, Nikolas Cruz, a school shooter who killed 17 people at his florida high school, played video games for long periods of times. Parents show be concerned about video games affecting their child to the point of becoming a terrorist. People are dying because of shooters influenced by violent games. As a result of video games, more people and children are being mentally ‘bred’ into a criminal mindset possibly leading them into committing crimes and causing trouble.

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