Video Games: Violent Behavior

The concept of gaming has taken on a whole new meaning in the 21st Century. As people have adapted to the change in technology, so too has the view on video games changed. No longer are games focused on strategy and learning through thought-provoking moves; now, there is a shift toward a more violent approach with fast-paced reflex and a need for survival through violent acts. Throughout this blog I will explore the significance of the artifact, “Video-Game Controller”, which is an object used to signify the much larger scope of “Video Games” as a whole.

Technology has made its way into society and has influenced the way we live and function throughout our daily lives. One can rely on technology to wake up, obtain currency to survive, and even to protect one’s self. But one way that technology has also influenced people is through the video-game controller. As strange as it may sound, the controller can help explain why some violent acts have increased in recent decades. However; this artifact does not explicitly translate into violence, nor does it imply that it does not entertain harmful thoughts. With the advancement of technology, one must be cautious when exploring the boundaries of this artifact.

Two decades ago, the controller was nothing more than an adventure, a cognitive stimulant, to help expand the mind into a strategic way of thinking. Games like Frogger, Super Mario, and Tetris, were all games that explored the different spectrums of strategy. In Frogger, one played as a frog that had to strategically get from start to finish, without getting squashed by moving vehicles. Simply, this game was intended to test the fast, strategic thinking of the player. In Super Mario, one played as a plumber who must save the princess from the villain, who in this case was a large monster turtle. The idea of this game is for the player to dodge objects and gather coins to reach the princess, ultimately battling the villain for the release of the princess. Finally, in Tetris the player must stack blocks, fitting them together, much like a puzzle, but within a time limit. The idea here is to capture how the player thinks, in order to stack the blocks successfully. Once again strategy is the key.

As technology has changed, so has the idea of strategic thinking. Increased development has created a need for more realistic gameplay; thus, resulting in riskier behavior. For example, the characters are no longer fictional, they look and act like human beings. In recent games, the character could be a drug dealer, with the need to kill the competitor, thus murdering another human. Scholar Flaviu Pătrunjel said, “Tortures are not morally justified here…similar violent content of making a show out of implying suffering to animals and humans.”[1] Meaning, that no matter how one looks at this scenario, there is no good to come out of playing this game. The advancement in the game industry does not only effect the younger generation, but also adults who look for entertainment. One could argue that there has been a shift from learning strategies to being more for entertainment purposes.

In recent years, researchers have noticed how violent the games have become; some games focus on categories such as: war, terror, murder, need for survival, and provoking fear. News broadcasts have even warned parents of how these games can influence violent behavior in children. It is true that a child’s mind can be easy influenced by what he/she sees and hears, so it is reasonable to be cautious when allowing such games to be played by a younger audience. Furthermore, studies on psychology has examined that when an individual entertains a violent thought long enough, one can actually convince themselves that they can get away with it. Thus, adults too should be cautious when evaluating whether these games are reasonable or not.

It is evident that the video-game controller over the years has taken on a new way of living, such that, children are more interested in staying inside, playing video games than exploring the outdoors. The advancement of the controller has influenced the want to stay inside and play one more “mission or level.” One could argue that some find a need in playing these games; that this controller has almost a dominance over the minds of some; that’s all they think about and want to play. Some children would skip dinner, class, and even isolate themselves from friends to play more games. This large movement to hold that controller in hand and play one more “mission” has caused a disconnect from reality, as well as, entertaining violent behavior.

One question to wonder is, are these games good or bad? The answer simply is that it is hard to say, because there are other factors at play when violence is acted upon. One example is the film industry making movies that revolve around murder and violent acts. Another example is the music industry making music that promotes drugs and violence. Given these two examples, it is hard to pinpoint the actual effect of video games alone because of the other factors that have a similar influence on these behaviors.

Throughout this blog, I have identified the potential influences that the video-game controller has on mind of society. Video games have changed dramatically within recent decades, sadly for the worst. Even though it is hard to say whether new games influence violence; it is evident that it does not help influence kind behavior. So, as a result we must be cautious where technology is going to be in the next few decades. The morale is to be in control of your thoughts and do not let anything control you.

[1] PĂTRUNJEL, Flaviu. “Death Games And Survival Horror Video Games: On The Limits Of Pure Torture Show Entertainments.” Scientific Journal Of Humanistic Studies 4.7 (2012): 38-45. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

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10 thoughts on “Video Games: Violent Behavior”

  1. The thing to understand though is that video games are not real life. The people in the game are fake. The things in the games are just graphics. You can kill them all day and be killed all day and it doesn’t matter because its all just a simulation and everyone is aware of that. If someone is capable of actual murder they have bigger problems than video games. That is a mental health thing, not a gaming thing.

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  2. I really like this topic, mainly because I have been playing video games since I was a child, and many have been violent. I understand where you are coming from in your argument and there are just a few points I’d like to make. There have been violent video games basically since the creation of consoles and arcade type games. However, I completely agree that they have greatly expanded and become much more violent, especially with the greatly increased graphics. When talking about violence in children or anybody really, I think it mainly comes down to an argument on nurture. How a child is raised has the greatest impact on his or her violence later in life, but aspects such as video games, music and tv definitely play a role along with this.

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  3. You have made some very good points in this post, and I would agree that video games have become authoritarian in their ability to instill ideas of violence in players’ minds. I personally believe that there is already enough violence and death in the world, and therefore no reason to create artificial scenarios. It is impossible not to be affected by the extreme violence in these games, no matter how well you can separate a simulation from reality. However, I can also understand the lure of video games and believe they can be used safely and with caution.

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  4. I appreciate your flashback to the older strategy based video games in reference to the newer, often violently-themed games. I find this especially relatable as I have several younger (male) cousins who are particularly drawn to such games and whose parents have had to implement rules to maintain propriety for their age group. One of these rules was that they may not play games that have human or human-resembling characters if there are violent scenarios as one method of preventing such impressions at an early age.

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  5. I agree with you that video games are shaping the way children spend their time. When I was younger, kids you used to play outside all day. Now, kids want to stay inside to play their new favorite game. It has surely led to unhealthiness in our nation. I am not sure, however, that these video games lead to a great amount of violence. Studies show that these games actually lead to improved abilities to work with others in society and have had no real affect on a gamer’s violent tendencies.

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  6. I agree with a lot of the things you wrote about in this blog post. I definitely think that video games corrupt young minds to a certain extent and that some games, especially the ones involving killing other people in the game, should be for people who are older, like teenagers instead of children in elementary schools. The video games that were around like Frogger, Super Mario, and Tetris exercised your mind and did more good than harm.

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  7. Just like the others, I’d agree that this topic is very personal and a lot of the older generations believe that first shooter video games are the result of increased violence. If you think about it, most of the people who commit violence aren’t too well off and wouldn’t have the time or money. Though violent video games have a chance of desensitizing the mind of the player that doesn’t mean that it’s a direct lead to violence. I do agree, however, that video games that include violence should not be played until a later age. There are people who have played these games religiously and are perfectly fine mentally. I believe the effect depends on the player and how much game time is played. Parents should be regulating time played and should have their kids focusing on other activities.

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  8. This was a great topic with a lot of great points. I also like to play video games and was glad to have to opportunity to read on it. In response to a few of the ideas, I have seen a few very conflicting studies about video games and their effect on children and adults alike. Some say there is a negative effect. Some say there is no correlation. So, I agree when you say that parents need to take caution when allowing children to play them. Overall, this was a very well put together post. Well done!

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  9. I really love the way you tied in how those using video games don’t see the character as fictional anymore and that is has turned into a real life situation in the minds of many. This topic could be analyzed deeply and I think it is a sad truth that individuals get so lost in the “gaming world” that it becomes their reality. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a round of COD every once in a while, but there is a fine line between occasional use and obsession.

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  10. There is always room for abuse and missuse in everything man puts his hand on. But the key concern I have is when a medium provides a conduit for mental illness to play out inappropriate fantasies. I can see the potential in violent video games for abuse and missuse by those marred by mental illness; making it impossible to decern right from wrong. This is a timely topic and I am pleased you brought it to the table.

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