Why are video games linked with increased aggression, usually in children; why is criminal activity is associated with video games? Psychology has a big factor in aggression as well, a fact most probably forget. “One study reveals that young men who are habitually aggressive may be especially vulnerable to the aggression-enhancing effects of repeated exposure to violent games” (as quoted in “Violent Video Games”). “A human person should also have the ability to decipher the difference between the real world and what is part of a simulated world”(Nypen). Are video games really the cause of this increased aggression or is there another underlying factor?
Video games are also said to desensitize players to violence, making violence not as heinous as it should be. Desensitization is real, and it is rumored violent video games are used in the military for this purpose. A person without existing tendencies towards violence probably will not be desensitized towards actual graphic violence; but if the person had these existing tendencies or some mental impairment, they are more likely to be desensitized. This desensitization can lead to criminal activity depending on the person, like mass murder.
Mass murderers have a warped sense of reality, and violent video games definitely don’t help. Evan Ramsey for example, snuck a 12 gauge shotgun into his Alaskan High school; killing a fellow student and the principal. “I did not understand that if I… pull out a gun and shoot you, there’s a good chance you’re not getting back up,” (Jaccarino). Quoting Evan Ramsey looking back the event, his warped perception showing. He was already psychologically unstable and video games didn’t help his perception of violence. This is like how someone with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will have a mental breakdown when exposed to certain situations, the video games were the factor that made him snap.
Video games are linked with many negative effects, obesity, lack of social skills, etc.
These effects come from being addicted to video games, like the phrase “Too much of a good thing” this applies directly to video games. People become addicted when their psychology is already an “at risk” factor, video games probably never help someone who is already at risk. If someone spends all their time playing video games the positive effects are of course negligible to the negatives. Things like lack of social interaction depend on the video game itself, some video games require interaction with other player to succeed.
With all these cases of murder and crime linked with video games, is anything happening from the government to prevent future incidents? There is a content rating system in place, called the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). “The ESRB uses a group of three specially trained raters. The raters are of various ages and background and cannot have any ties to the computer and video game industry. They are not expert game players and are kept anonymous to ensure the integrity of the process” (Crecente).
Even then sometimes there are slip ups with the rating system, like the hot coffee controversy of GTA SA (Grand Theft Auto San Andreas). A mini game found within the games files that allowed you to have sex with one of your in game girlfriends. This was content made by the game’s publisher and the ESRB immediately changed the game’s rating to Adults Only.