Color KeyClaim (Argue/State Opinion)ClarifyLogicHypothetical ExampleLead in/Lead outTestimony/DataConclusionMany clueless parents across the United States believe that allowingadolescent children to beat, maim, and murder in a virtual setting isacceptable and poses no threat to a child’s psyche. I, however, know thatviolent video games have long-lasting negative effects on the childrenwho play them. In other words, video games--when played in excess bychildren--can increase violent behavior in the player, can cause anincrease in apathy, and can result in shorter attentionspans. Recognizing the negative results video games can have onchildren is logical and evident in our modern culture. It makes sensethat if children are glued to violent video games for a good portion of theday, not only are they viewing inappropriate, disturbing content, butthey are also missing out on the appropriate, beneficial activities childrenneed to experience.Imagine an 8-year-old boy sitting in front of a large T.V. screen wearingwide-glazed eyes and a vacant expression on his face. Images of bloodybattles and gore flash by on the screen as his thumbs dance across thecontroller. The blinds are drawn casting shadows across the darkenedroom. Outside, the sun is shining, another 8-year-old child is exploring avacant lot, playing with his friends, learning valuable life lessons, andexperiencing all the necessary experiences of childhood. As the gamergames, the other child lives. Which child is more likely to show violentbehavior, to check out at school, to become removed fromreality? Which child is becoming desensitized to violence?Vince Mathews, a researcher at the Indiana University School ofMedicine, claims to know the answer to the previous questions. A studyMathews conducted on 44 adolescent children proved that violent videogames have a negative effect on the brains of children. In this particularstudy, Mathews asked one group of adolescents to play a violent video
game--Medal of Honor--and asked one group to play a nonviolent videogame--Need for Speed--for 30 minutes. After the allotted period of time,brain scans were completed on each player. MSNBC reports thefollowing results: “The scans showed a negative effect on the brains ofthe teens who played “Medal of Honor” for 30 minutes. That same effectwas not present in the kids who played “Need for Speed.”’ Theconcerning part of this study: the only difference between the twogames--one that caused negative effects on brain function, and one thatdidn’t--violent content! After reviewing the test results, Mathews stated,“Based on our results, I think parents should be aware of the relationshipbetween violent video-game playing and brain function.” What’simportant to notice is the fact that video games have been proven to havenegative effects on the brain function of children, yet parents are stillallowing kids to play inappropriate violent video games. It’s like a lungcancer patient who smokes a pack a day: we know it’s wrong, but wecontinue to let it happen.According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, The American MedicalAssociation, American Academy of Pediatrics, American PsychologicalAssociation, American Academy of Family Physicians and AmericanAcademy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “...exposure to violent mediacan elevate aggressive feelings and thoughts, especially in children.These effects on aggressive behavior can be long-term...evidencesuggests that playing violent video games may have a more dramaticinfluence on the behavior of children and adolescents.” The facts areclear; the proof is staring us in the face. Yet, our children are still firmlyplanted in front of flashing T.V. screens with controllers in hand!In short, violent video games and excessive video game exposure areinappropriate for young children. When played in excess, video gamesrob children of important childhood experiences and cause violentbehavior. Recently, in Saudi Arabia, a 4 year old boy shot and killed hisfather in an altercation over a Playstation game console. As parents,teachers, friends, and family members of adolescents, we have animportant choice to make. We can allow children to participate in virtualmurder and mayhem, or we can give them the opportunity to grow,learn, and experience a true childhood. Turn off the games; live life!