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Video Games = Violence?

Anamika Karthik Sunday, September 3, 2023
Video Games = Violence?

Whenever the term “Video Game” comes to mind a lot of us -typically parents- feel uneasy as playing online games is widely considered to be a pointless recreational activity. Not just this, we have gone as far as saying the games children play today provokes them to take up violence as a means of reaching their goals. But just think about it, is it really so? And are the youth the only ones who play video games? Children, teens and adults alike require some source of entertainment in life. Firstly, there are HUNDREDS of genres of games but the thoughts of violence coming from games purely meant for our enjoyment stem from one specific theme that quite a few developers and players alike have taken an interest in: action games.

As the saying goes, “Prejudice is the child of ignorance.” So if we don’t actually look into things ourselves, how can we just accept what is popularly believed? People also often forget that video games do not refer to the single genre of combat related games but in fact there is a vast variety out of which countless contain not the least bit of aggression in them. Why is it then, that we are all so paranoid of video games?

Undoubtedly, there have been cases where people have developed such an obsession with video games that they go berserk and cause enough trouble to appear on the news. Some incidents have also led to loss of life which is truly saddening. But instead of blaming the games they choose to play, let’s take a look at their general mentality. Imagine yourself playing a mainstream battle royale game where you need to get through multiple enemies to gain victory, will that lead you to actually look for enemies to battle in real life? Do the events in the game carry any similarities at all to the life we live? The simple answer is no. Because games are meant to be fictional and most of us understand that fact very well.

Also, when we compare the number of cases where an individual has actually become violent due to the games they play to the number of people in the world that enjoy the same pastime, you will see that the occurrence is very rare. Our mentality is what leads us to the actions we take and those who took situations to the extreme were certainly in the wrong, so we can affirm that the one at fault is the person and not the game. That’s one of the reasons generalizing all video games to be violent or violence inducing isn’t right.

Coming back to action games. Today’s media is first filtered and only then screened and one of the many contributors to this is age restriction. The human mind is extremely fragile and it is influenced surprisingly easily, especially at a young age. To prevent the games with gore in them from inspiring kids to replicate actions shown, age restrictions are heavily implied. You will always see a clearly visible “PG-13” or “R” wherever even the slightest graphic violence exists; be it a movie, series or game. This is because, as we grow in size, so does our maturity and by the time one is old enough to play these games I doubt that in most cases they will be silly enough to go around swinging a weapon or harming other objects or people and cause unnecessary issues.

Just as there is nothing in this world that fits into the class of perfection, nothing can be called absolutely imperfect either. And keeping this in mind, saying video games are the reason the youth are getting violent day by day is like saying that eating sweets can make you a sweet person too!

Anamika Karthik
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Anamika Karthik
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