Video Games Do Not Create Violence | Teen Ink

Video Games Do Not Create Violence

May 21, 2009
By Cooper Pombeck BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Cooper Pombeck BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech to all citizens, types of media, and art. So when video games are restricted content, I get frustrated by its concept. All video games in my opinion are some type of an art form. Video games are a major part of my life, I love playing them and learning about how video games are created. I hate to hear that a game is denied a feature or its violence toned down.
Many people use video games as a scapegoat or explanation for violence and crimes, and many people have tried to file lawsuits against game developers for putting violent content in their games. For example the game Grand Theft Auto 3 places you in the shoes of a gangster in New York. When this game was released it received a lot of attention for if you choose you could kill random pedestrians and policemen. Throughout the game's life the games creators "Rockstar" were the victim of many lawsuits because of people claiming that Grand Theft Auto inspired them to act out there crimes. But I don't see how the violence onscreen can translate to real life. Any sane person wouldn't use a video game to plot out a crime.
Grand Theft Auto has also been criticized by being said that it teaches people to shoot a gun. In this case a boy who played Grand Theft Auto brought a gun to school and shot eight students. The person who was making an argument on the side against video game violence said that on average a regular person who had never fired a weapon before would only make three out of eight shots on their first try, and that this boy made eight out of eight. I do not see how a hunk of plastic in your hand can teach you to use a firearm. This claim is extremely flawed, what if the boy just made a hit every time randomly, what about the distance of the victim to the shooter? How does a controller translate into a pistol, they are two completely different things.
A very popular genre of video games the first person shooter, or FPS for short, has probably been criticized the most out of any other video game genre. FPS's are played through the point of view of the main character in the game, so basically looking through the eyes of the player character. They have been labeled "Murder Simulators" by one military official, but I find this ironic because in early 2000 the U.S. Army released a video game to appeal to youth. They usually have a set path in each level and make you fight hundreds of enemies throughout the games play time.
One of the first FPS's to be the subject of controversy was "Doom". Doom was a very violent video game for its time, Doom depicted enemies exploding, impaled on spikes, and cut in half while hanging from meat hangers. Doom had been criticized for the Columbine Shooting, because the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold, created fan made maps for the game. Being a gamer myself I have never had the urge to kill anyone from a game. In fact I use video games to relieve my stress; shooting at polygons in a video game is an extremely healthier method then shooting people in real life. I know the consequences of murder; I'm not going to start playing a violent game then just go outside of my house and start gunning people down.
In the mid 90's the ESRB was founded. The ESRB monitors games and gives them a rating based on its content. The current ratings are EC - early childhood for kids usually for educational games, E - the video game is for everyone age six and up, T - for teens thirteen and over usually contains a moderate amount of violence and minor swearing, M - for adults usually contains blood and gore and moderate to severe swearing. The last rating is AO; this is the rating that no video game developer wants, this is basically a mark of death, games with this rating are never carried by major retailers like Wal-Mart or Target, so the game's sales are severely cut. While I mainly agree with the ESRB on ratings I don't think the AO rating is very fair, I know that Rockstar the company behind Grand Theft Auto struggled with it to tone down some of their game to an M rating, and it usually means the game will fade into obscurity if released with this rating. The rest of the ratings I completely back up though, I think it's important to know what kind of content is in the game before you buy it.
Even in some other countries video games are restricted. In Germany the Computer and Xbox 360 zombie horror game Left 4 Dead was denied almost all of its violent features. Decapitations, dismemberment, blood and swearing are just a few of some of the features that were taken from the games German release; even the box art was censored! I have played Left 4 Dead and if these features were removed from the game it would take a lot of the experience out of it. It's a horror game that tries to replicate a horror movie and most horror movies include blood, gore, and swearing.
In my final opinion video games should not be restricted content. Video games are just as much as an art form as painting and sculpting. To restrict violence in a game is to deny freedom of speech. Video games do not create crimes it is the people who commit those crimes that create them.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Jun. 7 2010 at 11:03 pm
Lovefairy SILVER, Westminster, Maryland
5 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Why so Serious? - The Joker

I fully agree that video games are an art form, after all it takes a lot of work (from concept art to testing) to make them.

vacroft said...
on Dec. 17 2009 at 9:41 am
i believe he is right because its just like saying stuff in movies inspired people to to kill people, which it doesn't. its the persons own fault for copying the game/movie.

slut said...
on Dec. 11 2009 at 2:54 pm
you dont even know

on Jul. 9 2009 at 2:53 pm
americanteen97 SILVER, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
8 articles 0 photos 79 comments
I don't know. According to studies. The more violent games you play it desentatives you. Some games are fine.