Do video games contribute to youth violence?
In 2008, 298.2 million video games were sold in the United States, totalling $11.7 billion in revenue. Six of the top ten best-selling video games included strong violence, with four of the ten games having received a ‘Mature’ rating for over 17s from ESRB(Entertainment Software Rating Board). There’s no doubt that video games are becoming a large part of our everyday lives but with a market that has an increasing number of video games being released every year, does it affect the mentality of the youth of today?
Video games are often blamed for school shootings, an increase in bullying amongst youths and intolerance and violence towards women. Critics also argue that players are desensitized to violence as a result of this and yet the arrest rate for violent crime for youths has plummeted 49.3% between 1995 and 2008, while video game sales have quadrupled in the same period, proving there is not a correlation between video games and violence amongst youths – if anything there is a positive correlation in that, as video game sales increase, violence amongst youths decreases.
Critics may also argue that video games can train the youth to kill as in 1996 the US Marine Corps licensed the creators of Doom II to develop a “Marine Doom” to serve as a training aid for recruits, although this, again, simply is not true as Doom is known for being a game with very low graphical quality, low quality animation and a humourus approach to violence and therefore it cannot be taken seriously as a game that would ‘train people to kill’.
Another point critics of video games may argue is that the FBI list ‘playing violent video games’ in a list of behaviours associated with school shootings although are the FBI really an organisation to be trusted after murdering Puerto Rican Nationalist Filiberto Ojeda Ríos on their premises and refusing to disclose any information citing “security reasons”? Furthermore, according to The New York...