Violence and video games
ENG 102 Royere Jonathan
The future of entertainment revolves around technology. Video games become more and more realistic. The main consumers for violent video games are teens. These games encourage killing and fighting enemies. More ways of playing violent video games are created each year, but most of us have this question in mind. Do violent video games influence young people to act aggressively? I play violent video games online and I am 16 years old. Overplaying video games can have many disastrous effects on teen limiting gameplay can have multiple positive effects.
Overplaying can incite young players to act violently. Repetitive killing can train them to act aggressively. Most video games are just killing if the player does these actions to often he can subconsciously learn those actions and be violent himself. In a study two groups of kids were asked to play violent video games more than another group. The group who had more exposure to the game was more violent than the one who did not play as much. (CNN.com) Playing too much violent video games can make the player think violence is fun. When the game is played the teen can associates violence with entertainment. Also for performing violent acts the player always gets a reward. If the person plays the game too much they can develop the habit of being aggressive for fun. In some way if the game is played to much the boundaries between violence and fun in the game and violent in real life can be crossed. Most games have blood, many weapons such as explosives or rifles. Being exposed to those behaviors in the game, dead bodies and blood can make the players insensitive to violence. According to aacp.org video games cause kids to be unsocial violent and obese. Overplaying will make the players familiar with images of violent acts and if the player does it continuously it will seem like a normal thing to him.
Video games can be very addictive if abused. In the game the players is constantly rewarded and will do the same actions over and over again in order to succeed and be rewarded as much as possible in the game. As well one thing that keeps the players "Hooked up" is most video games have many objectives that take time to achieve. Most games have levels that are for prestige, armor parts or power ups. People are constantly in a state of competition and want to be the highest and the first to achieve all those objectives in the games, but the problem is that they take days and days of game play. In a game that I play it would take 12 days of non-stop of playing to reach the highest level sometimes more. On top of this all games have achievement with are medals usually rewarded for an incredible action in the game, they are only there for bragging and fun. People keep on playing violent video games for countless hours because of competition. Groups and alliance in the games also incite players to invest more time they have meeting and ask players to log on in a specific hour of the day. Even though there is not scientific proof why people are addicted to video games many people believe it has to do with most of those things, rehab centers have been created just for video game addiction.
As a result of playing abundantly players are more likely to have poor social skills and be overweight. According to ScienceDaily.com a study on teen show that people are more likely to eat while playing video games that to eat while resting. Video games require no physical activity and most people eat while playing those. This unbalances the calorie intake and outtake. Games do not in any way encourage players to go out and exercise they want people to play more video games. Over playing violent video games can "shield" teens from going out and making friends. They do not go outside and meet new people. They feel no need to make friends because they are constantly occupied playing the game and attempting to achieve objectives in the game. As they meet people in the game they think it is enough but they are not comfortable in face to face conversations. They only speak through a headset. People do not view them as who they really are they view them as their players; if their rank is high they earned the respect of their peers in the games. In real life interaction they are not behind the mask of their character which makes them uncomfortable.
Limiting the gameplay of violent video games for young people can have many positive effects. The player can decompress from daily stress. If the players had a rough day instead of being aggressive and maybe hurting something or someone, he can take out his anger on a virtual enemy in the video games instead of causing damage. Violent videogames provide exactly that kind of escape, giving kids "an arena where they can play with fantasies of danger, aggression and conflict, developing a feeling of mastery that can serve as an antidote, or at least a necessary break, from daily anxieties," (Jones in wired.com) Since the players doesn't play too much he just sees the video game as a way to relax and decompress. He is not addicted to the video game and just sees it as a way to entertain himself at some times. Players instead of being aggressive to people if they are angry can decompress in the game. It is like a punching ball but virtually. According to a graph in pro con.org the youth crime rate went down as the video games sales went up. This show that most people are not addicted and take decompress using video games. Also video game can be good for a quick pastime if the player is waiting 30 minutes for something, it is good to occupy for a short period of time. Some video games can make young players learn facts and consequences. For example capitals of countries can be learned as well as the locations on a map. Consequences of acting recklessly can be learned when the players gets killed or arrested.
Ratings in video games and age restrictions should be more strictly applied. Rating inform the buyer to know what kind of game is being bought and what is in it, violence, drugs, sexual actions and many more. The parents should accompany their kids and look at the rating to see if it is appropriate for the teen to play it. This would help buyers to see if the game is suitable for a certain range of age. Video games store should refuse to tell violent video game with over 18 rating to minors. Most video game clerks in stores do not check if the buyer is age appropriate for them or if the game is suitable for them. A minor client might not be mature enough for the game. In an article from Cnn.com by Rebecca Leung; a boy named Devin Moore shot two police officers and a 911 dispatcher. The game that influenced him was grand theft auto four; he played countless hours of it. In this game it is a society where the player is free to do whatever he wants the game encourages you to kill anyone in your way, a pedestrian, gang members or even the police. Accident like that can happen if age limits are not respected or if there is not parental control over these issues. As well an I.D. should be required to buy the game to double check. Many incidents like the shooting could be avoided.
To conclude over playing video games has many negative effects such as addiction, obesity, poor social skills, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation. But if the right actions are taken by limiting the game play by for example setting limits of time played on the console and checking the ratings that show the content of the game many negative consequence can be avoided and positive things can happen.
I've got some general comments, but rather than make them in a vacuum, I thought it would be helpful for me to go through your first two paragraphs in detail so I can put my comments in concrete terms. Let's start with your introduction:
This paragraph could be much stronger with two improvements. First, please make it clear how all of your sentences contribute to your argument. Right now, you have several sentences where the link between the sentence and what you're trying to say is unclear. They are:
1. Video games become more and more realistic.
2. The main consumers for violent video games are teens.
3. I play violent video games online and I am 16 years old.
Try linking them to what you want to say explicity. For example, you could change the first point to, "As video games become more and more realistic and game developers get better and better at providing a fun experience, video games' popularity will only grow" and change the second sentence to "Because the main consumers for violent video games are teens, parents and society are concerned about their effects." Do you see the difference? The revised versions tell the reader why the fact you're presenting matters, so it's much more likely they'll understand and accept your point.
Second, your concluding sentence should summarize the arguments you're going to make in the order you're going to present them. For example, you could write something like, "Parents should limit the time their teenagers spend playing video games because excessive playing encourages violence and aggression, causes addiction, degrades social skills and promotes obesity." Closing with a list ike this will show the reader your arguments before they see the support behind each point, which will make that support easier to understand. This is why most textbook chapters and many teachers start with an outline.
Let's move to your second paragraph:
Like your introduction, this paragraph has solid content. You state your claim at the beginning-video games cause violence-then identify three ways that happens: Video games train players to act aggressive through repitition, video games encourage players to associate violence with fun and other rewards, and video games desensitize players to violence. You also cite two sources as support your claim, a study described on CNN.com and the AACP. In short, you do a good job of supporting your argument.
Having said that, this paragraph would benefit greatly from a different organization. Right now, you jump back and forth between reasons playing video games might cause violence, evidence that video games actually cause violence in the real world (the CNN study), and proof that experts consider the link between video games and violence real (the AACP citation). The paragraph would be much easier to follow if you started with the reasons video games cause violence, then moved to the CNN study and the AACP citation.
You should also consider closing the paragraph with a sentence that links it to your overall argument. For example, you could write something like, "The link between video games and violence alone would be a strong reason to limit teenagers' video game exposure." This reminds readers of your overall argument and explains how the point you make in the paragraph supports it.
If you follow my advice, you might end up with a paragraph that looks something like this:
Playing video games too much can cause players to act violently for three reasons. First, video games train players to act aggressively by requiring them to kill enemies over and over (additional explanation if needed). Second, (reason and explaantion). Third, (reason and explanation). Given these reasons, it is no surprise studies have shown video games cause violence. For example, one study (description of the CNN study). Studies like this have prompted organizations like the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to...(discuss the AACP.org statement). Violence is one of the worse things people can do, so this alone would be reason enough for parents to (restate your main point).
You'll notice that I spelled out AACP rather than relying on the acronym. Unless an acroyn is extremely common or well-known among your audience, you should never use it without spelling it out. Otherwise, readers might not know what it is. In this case, they might assume AACP is a random news site, not a group of pharmacists with a decent amount of credibility.
In any case, do you see the difference between the paragraph skeleton above and your original? Does the skeleton sound better to you? If so, I would encourage you to try to apply the same ideas to your other paragraphs. Group related points together and try to make the link between related items clear with phrases like "First...second...third," "another reason," and "also." Then close the paragraph with a sentence that ties it to your main point.
I have a few other points about your other paragraphs:
1. In the paragraph on addiction, you never explain why addiction matters. While most people will be able to guess, I would suggest pointing out that addiction can cause people to neglect their job, their school work, their family, their friends and even basic necessities like food and sleep.
2. Be careful making generalizations about games. For example, at one point, you say "all games have achievement which are medals usually rewarded for an incredible action in the game." While it's true that many recently-released games have such achievements, many older games, computer games, and niche market or single-player-only games do not. You'll have more credibility if you use more general wording like "many games..."
3. In the second to last paragraph, you say most stories don't verify customers' age without providing any proof. The Entertainment Software Rating Board, the industry-funded organization that rates mass market video games, and several other groups have conducted studies to determine how often retailers ask for an ID before selling M-rated games. While it's been several years since I've looked at those studies, I would encourage you to do so. if I remember correctly, stores check IDs at least 70 percent of the time. Regardless, referencing the studies would give you much, much more credibility.
4. Start your conclusion with something more creative than "in conclusion." For example, you could write, "Because over-playing video games can have several negative effects, such as addiction, obesity, poor social skills, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation, parents and society should (your main points)." Then close with a sentence that highlights the positive effects (e.g., players will be able to play video games without experiencing their negative effects). This lets you get to the summary part of the conclusion immediately. It also shows more effort and sophistication than "In conclusion," which will make you more believable.
5. Your conclusion mentions sleep deprivation, a point you haven't touched on before. Since the conclusion is supposed to summarize your argument, not add to it, mention sleep deprivation earlier or remove it from the conclusion.
To recap my previous points:
1. Make sure you explain how every fact you present advances your arguments.
2. Close your introductory paragraph with a sentence that states your main point, then explains how you're going to support that point so readers know what to expect.
3. In your body paragraphs, group related points together.
4. Consider closing your body paragraphs with a sentence that links it to your overall point.
If you have any questions, or if I'm giving you too much information at once, being unclear, or otherwise not helping, please let me know. As you can probably tell, I care about writing and enjoy commenting on essays when I get the chance. Since I am also an avid gamer, the topic you're discussing is close to home.
Take a look at today's generation. A student comes home from school at around three or four o'clock in the afternoon, sets his bag aside, debates whether he should take a shower, definitely eats his lunch, and begins his after school program: playing video games, playing video games, and playing more video games. Video games, unfortunately, have become an imperative part of the average teenager's life. Whether it's hours, day, or maybe even weeks, teenagers spend an excessive amount of time slaying monsters, killing zombies, or just shooting at each other's avatars for all time's sake. They lose track of time, deprive themselves of sleep, miss out on their homework, and deteriorate their health, all for the sake of the phenomenal world of 'Call of Duty' and fellow video games. A vast majority of the global population believes that playing video games can positively influence the lives of those who favor them, while others strongly disagree. Although playing video games may help stimulate and relax the brain, it is still considered detrimental because of the tendency to reward violence and create the ultimate aggressive player.
To begin with, playing video games often leads gamers to accept what is conventionally and ethically dismissed. Violent video games offer a profoundly aggressive and bloody atmosphere. They are simply based on the notion that killing others is a reward. Furthermore, they teach the players how to disrespect life by picking up a gun and shooting at people, and thus integrating into their lives the fact that violence is a social norm everybody praises. Moreover, certain games, such as GTA, school players about how crucial it is to disrespect authority by simply adding points for those who manage to escape the cops, or even shoot some. Such games brainwash teenagers to think that authority figures are the bad guys, when in the truth they're not. Thus, they no longer feel a sense of reverence for law enforces, or the law itself for that matter. David Greenfield, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction argues that: "It (violent video games) conveys two things -- a lack of respect for human life and a desensitization to violent acts," "And it teaches them the skill set to enact the violent act with increased precision. And we call that entertainment.
Apart from the ethics, overexposure to violent video leads to the development of bad conflict resolution skills. Playing these games allows players to express their feelings, whether anger, pain, or pleasure, through hostility and aggression. Gamers only grow familiar to the violent approach of sorting out problems and lose the art of communication. Thus, they resort to physical abuse to show their friends or siblings that they are bothered or irked by them. Brad Bushman, a psychologist at Ohio State University, was co-author of a study that examined 380 studies on video games; he stated, "The results show that playing violent video games increases angry thoughts, aggressive behavior, and decreases helping behavior, empathy and compassion for others." In another study, 161 college students were randomly assigned to play one of several violent games, neutral games, or pro-social games (in which helpful behavior was required). After playing, the students completed a task in which they could either help or hurt another student. Those who had played the violent games were more hurtful to other students, whereas those who had played the pro-social games were more helpful.
It is claimed that video games are mental stimulators that help sharpen the mind and relieve it of anxiety and stress. This is an absolute truth; however, playing video games has also proven to reduce certain cognitive brain functions. Certain studies have focused on how specific brain regions of players of violent games respond under varying circumstances. For instance, Rene Weber and his colleagues asked 13 experienced gamers to play a violent game while undergoing FMRI brain scan (functional magnetic resonance imaging). By imaging players' brain activity before, during and after each violent encounter, the investigators found that immediately before firing a weapon, players displayed greater activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. This area involves cognitive control and planning, among other functions. While firing a weapon and shortly afterward, players showed less activity in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (RACC) and amygdala. Because interaction between those brain areas is associated with resolving emotional conflict, their decreased functioning could indicate a suppression of the emotional response to witnessing the results of taking violent actions. Thus, the greater the experience with violent media, the lower was the activation of brain areas for thinking, learning, reasoning and emotional control.