Learning Prompt #2

I believe the video game industry should be criticized for the amount of violence and graphic displays of blood and gore.  I grew up with an older brother who always played video games but when I was very young, my parents would always try to make sure I wouldn’t watch what he was playing.  I never understood why my parents were so strict on protecting me from the video games, but as I got older, I started to understand more. In a way, video games are desensitizing the value of human life and the consequences of violence in real life.  Before video games or any type of violent entertainment, people were never exposed to this much level of violence.  Violence was viewed as a more serious issue because people would only witness it in real life situations.  When children are witnessing violence on a daily basis, it starts to become the new normal and children are not sensitive to it anymore.  When this happens, children are going to grow up to become more violent than the children who were never exposed to violence through their sources of entertainment. 

Although video game violence is an important issue that is being stressed in our society, I do not think people should call to permanently ban them.  Parents should be held accountable for buying and allowing their children to be exposed to this type of violence.  Once the child is older, they can start to make their own decisions on what they want to watch and play.  I do not know what age would be appropriate to allow children to play these games, but I do know that the game industries have put age limits on some of their games. This should be taken more seriously by parents because it could stop some of the violence being brought into our society and world by younger children who are being exposed to it more and more.  


3 thoughts on “Learning Prompt #2

  1. Emily,
    I really enjoyed reading this! I do have to agree with your statement about parental control. I as well do not believe that violent video games should be completely banned. I believe it is the parents responsibility to control what games they do and do not buy their children. Game stop is not tricking them. If it has violence in it, the packaging will say it. Also I do believe that the more you tell a kid they cannot play such video game, that makes them want to play it even more, with the desire to almost do it because they know they can’t.

    I do disagree with the exposure to video game violence making children more prone to violence in todays society. Some kids play with these video games just for the simple fact that they are games. For example, all boys played with toy guns such as nerf guns when they were kids. So in theory, there would be no difference when they get older and being placed in front of games with more high tech guns. Society cannot pick and chose which guns they allow kids to play with and which ones they cannot. Yet to an extent I do agree with that there is too MUCH violence in some games as that is all it revolves around it seems.

    Thanks for the read!
    Alexis Patterson


  2. Hello,
    I am afraid that I must disagree with you on several points that you list throughout your post. I do not believe that video games have anything to do with the rise of violence in younger generations of society, in fact, quite the opposite. Many video game franchises, such as DOOM and Grand Theft Auto, do portray violence in a very graphic and prevalent way. However, they are merely a drop in the metaphorical bucket of the video game industry. Additionally, like in the case of Grand Theft Auto, many of these games use violence as a stylistic or thematic element to explore deeper lessons to be gained from the video game. In Grand Theft Auto V, for example, the main story line has several missions that explore the morality of characters through the use of torture, theft, and murder. As you go deeper into the story, you begin to wonder if it is all worth it. I’d also like to cite the Fallout series as an example. The series has been recognized for the vast amount of weapons and enemies you face as you travel across a post-apocalyptic America, but it also explores themes of the inner darkness prevalent within humans. I would argue that the violence of the game contributes to this, as you begin to wonder whether you really are the “good guy” in the Wasteland by bringing violence upon its residents. Even something as innocuous as the game Minecraft has elements of cartoon violence in it when you must defend your creations from the monsters that come at night. Even a game franchise as old as Age of Empires, a real-time strategy series dedicated to the player controlling historical empires, has blood and violence in it. As such, I’d argue that violence should not be censored or minimized in games if they help contribute to the overall themes, experiences, or play style of a game. The grey area between what is acceptable and not acceptable is vast in video games, like in many areas of art and literature. As such, I’d like to make the case that censorship of video games does nothing but set a bad precedent of what is considered acceptable by society.
    That being said, I do support the idea of age restrictions on video games. I would not let a child read or watch Steven King’s It, much like I would not allow them to play Grand Theft Auto while they are young. I do believe that exposure to works like that at a young age does desensitize kids to violence when they are older. However, that does not necessarily make them a more violent person, just less keen to the ramifications of violence. As such, it is up to the parent to ensure that their child does not become exposed to the violence in video games before they have reached a certain maturity level and can understand what is occurring. To conclude, I do not support censorship of any kind in the video game industry except when it crosses the border of legality (child pornography, encouraging negative calls to action in real life, selling the idea of gambling to children, etc.). I firmly believe that for the sake of themes, quality of play style, and art, video games are much better off being given intellectual freedom rather than being confined to a few rules defined by censors who have most likely never created a video game in their entire life. It is up to the parents raising children to take responsibility for the prevention of children’s exposure to violence at a young age, not the video game developers.

    Thank you for the read,

    Alex Koontz


  3. Hi Emily! I really liked reading your thoughts on video games. I do agree that these games should not be banned and that the parents should be monitoring what they play and how much they play. Although, I do not necessarily believe that children will grow up more violent then children who do not play violent video games. This may happen in some cases but I do not think that every child exposed to violent video games grows up to be more violent. My cousin is 9 and plays Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto etc. and he has never showed any sign of being more violent then my other 9 year old cousin who does not play video games at all. Other than that, I agree that there is a certain age in which children should be able to choose what they play. Overall, I really enjoyed reading your post and thought you had many valid points. Good job!


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