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1 Video game violence: Do they influence people? violence: by Scot James Thomas There are arguments about this on different levelsIn a recent research study of Indiana University School of Medicine, a group of gamers got divided into togroups of two different genres of video games for 30 minutes. The games were named “Medal Of Honor” and“Need for Speed.” Teens that played the game “Medal Of Honor” showed increased activity in emotionarousal that is in the amygdalae’s, the brain is related to emotional reactions and memory.This new study, employing state of the art brain scanning technology, suggests that the answers to thequestion: “Does violent videogames influence people?” may be “yes”. Brain scans of kids who played theviolent video game showed an increase in emotional arousal and a decrease of activity in brain areas thatinvolved self-control, inhibition and attention. Does this mean teenagers will feel an uncontrollable urge togo on a shooting rampage after playing “Medal Of Honor”? So far there have been no shootouts.The same study that also shown that the group playing “Need for Speed” was less aroused by playing thegame, whilst the group playing “Medal Of Honor” got more aroused - this may be because the second groupwas more focused, which needed greater attention levels to play the game. This is not shown in the game“Need for Speed” because it is a driving game that makes you drive around a circuit over and over.The 44 gamers were divided into two teams of 22. The first group were playing “Medal of Honor”; and thesecond group played “Need for Speed”. The only difference was violent content. Comparing the results ofthe groups, the “Medal Of Honor” group shown that there was a greater level of concentration and involvedmore work while playing.Another experiment, using similar technology, was taken, based on watching violent TV shows - the resultswere very similar to the above. Does this mean that is it really violence in general or is it the video games?The results of watching violent TV shows showed increased emotional arousal when watching short clipsfrom the boxing movie “Rocky IV.” So, why do video games get the blame? It’s been shown that researchershaven’t been testing TV and movies as much as games, so they can’t get results to make a fair comparison.Further in experimentation the same group of gamers were shown other disturbing images, such as deadanimals or ill children. The gamers had a more natural response to those. For this part of the experiment,researchers measured a type of brain activity called the P300 response, which reflects the emotional impactof an image. When gamers were shown images of real-life violence, the people who played violent videogames were found to have a diminished response. One of the researchers, Bruce Bartholow, said "As far asIm aware, this is the first study to show exposure to violent games has effects on the parts of the brain thatpredicts aggressive behaviour.
2 THE MYTHS FROM THE TRUTH TRUTH epidemic The availability of video games has led to an epidemic of youth violenceAccording to “Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked” article by Henry Jenkins, MITProfessor, published on http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html: “Federal crimestatistics (show) the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low”. Offenders, whoare serving time for violent crimes, don’t think about their actions before committing their crimes. Schoolshootings were mainly committed by video game players. Most of the young aged gamers are boys, with theratio of gamers 90% boys and 40% girls.Video game’s doesn’t make kids commit shootings, murders or any other antisocial acts. School shootingswere in the breach of mental stability, which doesn’t have proof that this was caused by video games alone.Various causes contributed to ones mental stability – one of them, for example, could be person’s home lifestyle. People are panicking that video games are harmful: some kids feel like they are on their own, withnobody really to care for them and saying that playing violent video games would lead to committing crimesor murder will not help those who feels left out. I believe, society has it wrong and is putting a mass amountof stress on kids. Scientific evidence links violent game playing to youth aggressionA lot of the research that suggests there is a link between violent games and aggression is based on only afew inconclusive studies. The people involved in the studies were asked to view violent media images out ofcontext from the game story and images did not represent the type of content these people would normallywatch or understand. Therefore, I believe, these studies were not based on a realistic game-playing setting.What I found out on the research, aggression from violent films gives the same results as playing violentvideo games, but this just shows violent people like aggressive entertainment. So why aim the blame atviolent games? The conclusion on the experiment says that playing violent video games contributes topeople’s anti-social behaviour, when no research was found that video games do persuade a person to docrime or be a killer. Children/adults are the primary target for violence playing video games Children/adultsMany grownups believe that video games are mainly played by kids. This makes the main market of gamesaimed at the kids. Kids will continue playing as they get older, which I say is true, and they will progress intoplaying M-rated games (mature rated games) for aged 18 and above. Many young gamers love these games,which make them their favourites. The problem is that parents buy games for kids because they assumethat all games are for kids. The parents don’t understand enough about the games to control what isappropriate for their children. To help parents, the sellers list age restrictions details on the cover of thegames and it is usually easily seen with the “age 18 +” sign in a red circle, but most parents don’t take noticeof the rating on the game. The Federal Trade Commission found that 83% games bought inappropriately tochild’s age are purchased by parents. Almost no girls play computer gamesIt’s a fact that males have dominated the video game market for years. But the quantity of female gamershas increased from the year 2008, especially in the last 2-3 years. Studies have showed that females areoutnumbering males in web based games, such as the “Sims”. Females, who have never played videogames,find the “Sims” very entertaining and interesting. This view has motivated non-gaming females start playingthese games.
3 Because some games are used to train soldiers to kill, they have the same impact on the kids who play themDavid Grossman, a military psychologist, said that gamers are getting conditioned as aggressive and it’s oneof the reasons why the military uses games in soldiers’ training. For military, games are used to teach tokill. David Grossman has described a model of the main specifications below:• Remove training and education.• Have no conscious and show no resistance to what they are taught.• Enhanced learning when playing and getting consequences for not mastering skills. Games are not a meaningful form of expressionVideo games were ruled that they do not convey ideas; this was ruled out by Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Sr.Evidence followed with videotape of four games within certain genres. In general, people develop interest forviolence at an early age; this is why violent images and descriptions are shielded off from ages below 18.This contributes to children or teens inability to cope with some things in the world. Some game designershave made testing grounds within games; these testing grounds allow the gamer to move around in thetesting ground as their game-character. As gamer controls his or her character, such gamer will comeacross various tasks. But because it’s a game, a gamer can witness the consequences to the actions madeand next time gamer can take a different approach to the same task. Also, there are designers that makethe testing grounds in a style of fantasy world, which includes things that one won’t come across in real life. Video game play is socially isolatingPeople think that games are a single person experience; I can say they are wrong because video games areone of the biggest ways of socialising. I can say this because about 60% people play with their mates on agame; games are fun because 33% play with siblings and 25% playing with parents. Most games are co-op ormultiplayer. People still play as a group on single player games. In game playing, people share and taketurns; otherwise, some prefer to just watch or give advice. This is a bonding experience. People can playover the Internet. People can play with people they don’t know – I believe this improves team skills,regardless if your game forces you into killing things or working out a puzzle. Video game play is desensitizingIn some researches, behaviour among apes was tested to see if they know the difference between playfighting and actual fighting. Results have shown that apes had fun tousling and wrestling with one anotherand knew the difference between the play and the fight. Human children have the greater than apesintelligence and know the difference between game-fight and real fight. Although reformers say that kidswho play violent video games lack empathy for people and don’t know the difference between life and game,some opinionated people say that the kid would react to real violence as if he or she was in a game. Ibelieve, kids know the difference between violent play and real life violence.
4 Survey I run a survey, asking my peers: “Do violent video games influence people to do crime?” My Survey Results Survey Survey yes no other Table of participants Name Yes No Other Tracy Madden X Shirly Bevan X Victoria Poole X Safi Khan X Mair Havard X Stella Elphick X Ryan Williams X Sharah Poole X Diane Wilson X Lauren O Hanlon X Edward Membery X Kirsty Mcdonald X Daniel Smith X Adam Davis X Elena Chetri X Andrew Arntzen X Leia Fee X Cath Kift X The sites I have used:• http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html• http://videogames.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=003627• http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16099971/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/does-game-violence-make- teens-aggressive - Article “Does game violence make teens aggressive by Kristin Kalnin, Games editor• http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16099971/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/does-game-violence-make- teens aggressive• http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4594376.stm• http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmarty/2327288815 - image by Justin Marty• Special thanks to all participants of my survey for giving me their signed permission to use their names.