Video Games & Violence

In today’s society someone is always to blame but oneself. Violent and/or sexual based games have been blamed for misbehavior of today’s youth. A person’s behavior is rooted in his or her personality, which is mentioned in chapter 7. I agree with the author in saying that it is up to the parents to decide what video games the child plays.

Video games have been around for many years now. It really is somewhat of a sub culture. Game genres are action, adventure, fighting, role playing, racing, sports, puzzle, and simulation. These various types can be played on home systems, computers, or hand held devices. Either way it goes, video games are here to stay in pop culture. Game designers, publishers and manufactures will continue to produce games, but some oppose to the content of current titles.

Recently the National Institute on Media and the Family did a study “showing that 87 percent of youths in grades 4 through 12 play video games, and only about 50 percent of parents understand the rating system that reflects the content of the games,” says Lisa Porteus. Parents are so quick to blame movies and videogames for the unacceptable behavior in their children. They believe that too much violence is a negative influence and their child might act these games out.

About eleven years ago the ESRB or Entertainment Software Rating Board was established. According to the official site, “ratings are designed to provide information about video and computer game content, so you can make informed purchase decisions. ESRB ratings have two parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.” These rating include Early Childhood, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature, Adults Only, and Rating Pending. There are also content deciphers which include Alcohol, Animated Blood, Blood, Blood and Gore, Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Edutainment, Fantasy Violence, Informational, Intense Violence, Language, Lyrics, Mature Humor, Mild Violence, Nudity, Partial Nudity, Real Gambling, Sexual Themes, Sexual Violence, Simulated Gambling, Some Adult Assistance May Be Needed, Strong Language, Strong Lyrics, Strong Sexual Content, Suggestive Themes, Tobacco Reference, Use of Drugs, Use of Alcohol, Use of Tobacco, Violence, and finally “Game Experience May Change During Online Play”. All of these rating and extensive deciphers have explanations for consumers and parents alike. All videogames are required to have the rating on the front and the deciphering on the back. Any advertisement is required to have them also. This organization also suggests that parents take the time to look at ratings as well as look into games themselves.

In my opinion, your surroundings, people and the things you interact with on a daily basis impact your behavior to a certain extent. I believe ones behavior has more emphasis on personality because, “once personality has begun to form it becomes an independent force that may play a dominant role in its own future development and in the adjustment of the individual to the total environment” (Colander and Hunt, p.143). The games alone, if at all, cause people to act in such ways. It is also recommended that parents ask their children why he or she wants to play such games. A child might says that, “I just want to see stuff blow up!” whereas a teenager might reply with, “Well at least I’m doing it for real.” The majority of gamers play certain games because they find them fun and interesting. Just because you play “M” rated games doesn’t necessarily mean you want to go about causing harm to others. The distinguishable between right and wrong needs to be established in the home. Chances are the child will remember these teachings later on in life and be able to establish an understanding of his or her own. Video games are created to entertain and not teach ill ways. A parent can even participate in one of the games to get a better understanding. In reality the parent are patrons of movies of the same nature. I’m sure parents who also play or played video games when younger are more acceptable of their children playing games. I don’t think a child wants to be subjected to just educational games,