Stop Blaming Video Games!
The video games phenomenon is somewhat new in this modern society. Although they often to be entertaining, the contents have become more violent and disturbing as computing technology has become much more advanced. These days, the popularity of violent video games has caused an increase in controversy. Parents and experts feel that some games are just too violent and they demand the government to regulate the sales of these games. However, I strongly believe violent video games do not cause an increase in aggression in adolescents and the forceful plan by the government is caused by an exaggeration of the effects of violent video games and this plan are indeed pointless.
Besides the violent contents, video games have several positive aspects. Based on my experience, video games can push children's competence to the limit by forcing them to master certain ability to overcome the obstacles in the level. For example, "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six" series have become one of the games that require a solid teamwork. The player acts as the leader of an elite anti-terrorist squad consist of 3-4 members. At the beginning of the game, players can choose how to infiltrate the terrorist compound, either by planting an explosive on the door, using a fast rope from the rooftop or simply breaching into several doors to create a surprise assault. These options will ignite the sense of logical thinking and strategy formations in which formal education does not offer.
Aside from the cognitive aspects, video games are also the tool of social interactions. Friendships can sometimes be developed through playing video games and ultimately keeping them away from drug usage and violent activities. Most of the video games today have either multiplayer or online capabilities or even both. For example, I made friends with several Japanese and lots of Americans from playing "Call of Duty 4" online. The game focuses on eliminating the other team hence teamwork has a major role in succeeding the game. With a headset (a combination of a headphone and a microphone), my team members and I discuss and plan a strategy effectively and sometimes talk about our backgrounds. Personally, meeting lots of people online develop my English ability (since English is not my first language) and social skills because for some people, starting a conversation with a stranger can be really tough. In general, video game is an astonishing tool to keep children entertained during leisure time.
On the other hand, some people, although they already know some of the positive aspects of video games, still believe that the negative will overcome the positive ones. The article "Don't Shoot: Why Video Games Really Are Linked to Violence"by Amanda Schafferfrom Slate.com stated "The connection between violent games and real violence is also fairly intuitive. In playing the games, kids are likely to become desensitized to gory images, which could make them less disturbing and perhaps easier to deal with in real life.When video games aren't about violence, their capacity to teach can be a good thing. For patients suffering from arachnophobia, fear of flying, or post-traumatic stress disorder, therapists are beginning to use virtual realities as a desensitization tool."(Schaffer) Though thispresents an evidence that violent games do in fact increaseviolent thoughts, this data still cannot serve as an evidence because the test is conducted in a controlled environment, without considering other aspects that might result inthe change in behavior. Additionally, although violent video games might expose children to violent behavior, the amount of violenceare not as great as the ones in movies and television. Thenews is filled with stories of war and murder, and nearly every movie contains some forms of violence. Plus, these two media are different from games in a very important way because they involve realpeople, not computer-generated characters. As mentioned by Dr. Kipling D. Williams Ph. D, one of the social psychological science faculties in Purdue University, children's violent tendencies can be diverted towards violent video games rather than actually doing it in the real life. (Williams)
Prof. Williams also pointed out that, besides playing violent games, genetics and environmental aspects and self-control must be considered as some of the factors that contribute to the increase in aggressiveness. Genetics tend to play a huge role in personality of a person. Some person might have a tendency to be more rebellious and aggressive. Moreover, easier access to firearms in several countries can lead to violent thoughts and behaviors. "Guns can act as a stimulus because it reminds the person of aggressive behaviors seen on television or maybe in real life. If the person does not have a solid self-control, it can lead him to a violent behavior." (Williams) Self-control is one of the main aspects because no matter how many violent stimuli in the environment are, self-control can suppress one's violent and aggressive thoughts.
Prof. Williams strongly believes that there is no single cause that can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior in children, consistent with Dr. Craig A. Anderson, Ph. D statement during an interview with MSNBC, "Video game violence is only one risk factor for aggressive behavior in the real world. There are also dozen or so known risk factors. It is not the smallest risk factor, but it is an important one." (Anderson)
Finally, I believe that regulations will not prevent children from playing the games they want to. They will still get their hands on those games, whether from a parent, sibling, or older friend. Making violent video games illegal might increase children's curiosity and make the child want to play it more so that heor she can see form himself what all the controversy is about. I think that the responsibility lies within the parent, not the government.
Schaffer, Amanda. "Don't Shoot Why Video Games Really are Linked to Violence." Slate. 27 April 2007. 18 Apr. 2008.
"Violent Video Game." MSNBC TV. 19 Sept. 2006. 18 Feb. 2008.
Williams, Kipling D. Personal interview. 24 Mar. 2008.
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Argumentative Essay Outline
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Paragraph 1: Introduction. Introduce the subject you are going to discuss. Write a strong and compelling thesis sentence. Mention the two opposing points of view;
Paragraph 2:First supporting argument. Present the side that supports the idea mentioned in the topic. Give their argument and support it with examples, facts or other evidence;
Paragraph 3: Second supporting argument. Present and explain the second argument of the supporting side;
Paragraph 4: First opposing argument. Present the side that argues against the matter mentioned in the topic. Give their argument and support it with examples, facts or other evidence;
Paragraph 5: Second opposing argument. Present and explain the second argument of the opposing side;
Paragraph 6: Conclusion. Briefly sum up the information given in the preceding paragraphs. Offer a way to resolve the problem mentioned in the topic, as a rule you may suggest reaching a balance between two opposing points of view.
Free Argumentative Essay Sample
Topic: Should children be allowed to play violent video games?
Almost all children like to play video games. At times, parents can be shocked from all the violence and aggression they suddenly see in the video games. Some people say that these are only games and there is nothing to worry about. However, others argue that such violence is harmful for the developing personality of a young person. The question is, what should the parents do when they see their child playing such game? Should they regard it as a temporary interest and let it be, or should they forbid the game? It is a controversial subject with no definite answer. Nevertheless, the parents may take into account the following arguments for and against playing violent video games, when they try to come up with a right decision.
The supporters of violent video games advocate that playing such games allows teenagers to divert their aggression into the virtual world instead of the real one. Teenage is a complicated period for most of the children, when their bodies and minds undergo a lot of changes. At this time they often find themselves in the conflict with the surrounding world and experience a lot of negative emotions. Playing video games with violent pretext, gives them a chance to let out the steam. It serves as an outlet for their negativity, so afterwards they could return to reality with more peaceful mindset.
Moreover, the followers of this theory also believe that playing such video games helps children to understand and learn to control their emotions. The children, when faced with problems and disappointments often don’t know how to react. The society puts a heavy weight of expectations on teens and often they are not able to fulfill the hopes of their parents and teachers. It leads to an array of mixed emotions and feeling that children don’t know how to deal with. When playing video games that trigger the outburst of strong emotions, children learn to recognize their own feelings. It teaches them how to understand and control powerful negative emotions.
Nevertheless, the opponents of violent video games are not convinced by these arguments and claim that such games have a strong negative effect on the developing minds of children and teenagers. They say that these games create even more violence and aggression. When a child constantly witnesses violence, blood and murders in the video games it leaves a certain imprint on his psyche. Such child would be more prone to aggressive actions against his siblings and friends. Moreover, the opponents state that children who play such games tend to become less social and their academic progress declines.
In addition, people who advocate against children playing violent video games argue that such games lead to violence in real life. Children are not able to separate the virtual and real world fully. That distinction is very blurry for the undeveloped young mind. They often confuse the two concepts, thus believing that what it acceptable in virtual world would be also fine in the real one. Therefore, they carry that aggressive violent attitude into their daily lives, harming the people around themselves. And afterwards, when they have to pay for the consequences of their actions, they cannot understand what they have done wrong. Thus, the opponents strongly disapprove the use of violent video games by children as dangerous and unpredictable.
Although, the two opposing sides of this argument would never agree to compromise, the parents of young people still must make the decision that would work the best for their children. It is true that video games are just games, however, it is a fact that they can be harmful if used thoughtlessly and without parental attention. It would be desirable to try reaching a certain balance in this matter. Games should be regarded as games, which must be playing sparingly. Moreover, the parents have to understand that instead of forbidding such video games, they must provide enough alternative, such as travelling, time outside, family board games, movies, reading, arts and sports.
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