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Violence in Gaming – The Controversy, The Argument

One of the most debated topics of the late 20th and the 21st centuries – how does violence in gaming impact one, especially a child? The arguments regarding this are as convincing and as confusing as the necessity to bomb Afghanistan and the need to continue sending troops to that country. For instance, the most common criticism about violence in video games is that the excessive bloodshed and gory is causing today’s youth to become more volatile. At the same time, several studies conducted by The Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and The British Medical Journal have found no evidence that links these vioelnt games to the increased violence among youth.

But, one thing, we can be sure of – the excessive violence and gory that one gets to deal with in games is a topic of interest for parents, gamers, investors and several psychological researchers.

What’s it With the Dual Nature of the Argument with Violence in Gaming?

It must be really confusing for us to look at both the sides of an argument, which are equally supported by an equally intellectual group of scientists, psychologists and lawyers. But, as a fact of the matter, the evidence that people supporting and people opposing look at is the same; it is only that each one supports their perspective – which can be the adverse effects on youth’s psyche or absolutely no link that supports this argument.

The two sided nature of the debate among experts is what’s causing us immortals the confusion.

Myths about Violence in Gaming

  • Various studies that researched this topic cam up with absolutely mixed results. This is in fact true, while one study supports the increase of violence among youth, the other just study just dismisses this result. But if we look at the results of the studies closely, on a consistent basis, most studies have actually supported the argument that gaming does increase aggressive behavior.
  • Only a fractional amount of players into violent games are found to be aggressive. To some extent, this is true. It is usually true that individuals who are naturally aggressive are affected more by these games. But certain studies have also discovered non-aggressive individuals getting affected after getting exposed to violent games.
  • The violence is virtual and in no way real. One justification that investors of this industry come up with to support the excessive gory in their games. But, there are studies which found the gamers’ aggression levels to be aroused after playing a violent game. This was especially true in the case of college going students.

It is For Us to Decide!

Only a few months ago, the Supreme Court overturned the ban on violent video games in California. The Supreme Court stated in its judgement that there was not enough supportive evidence that said the violence in the games was resposnsible for the increase in societal violence. In fact, the Supreme Court even objected to the Californian High Court’s judgement stating that the ruling was against the First Amendment.

But since the sale of violent games is legal, does it mean that the excessive depiction of violence in them is justified? Only time and the users can answer this question.

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