Today, In Moscow, a student named Sergei Gordeyev entered his school and shot and killed his teacher and a police officer. He held twenty students hostage until his father called him and encouraged him to release the hostages. Parliament Security Committee Chief Irina Yarovaya blames aggressive games as part of the cause for the school shooting. The media and many law enforcement officials are arguing that violent games are the cause of students becoming more violent. Law makers want to put a stop to violent video games.
Are video games training young people to be killers? In recent years, there have been several horrific school shootings. Each time the media reports one of the shootings, there is speculation that violent video games are the cause.
On April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado, the shooting at Columbine High School occurred. Twelve students, one teacher were killed by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. This was a tragic event. Schools, parents, and the world looked for any reason as to why these two individuals would shoot up their school. One of the common themes that circulated was that the two killers were avid video game players. The media started to say that violent video games make children aggressive and violent.
On April 26, 2007 at Virginia Tech, 32 people being killed. On December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, 26 people were killed. These are just some of the many school shootings in the United States that are well known.
In the 2010 case, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the United States Supreme Court struck down a state law that prohibited the sale of violent video games to minors. The Court held that the law was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment.
Does this case resonate with the views in the rest of the world? Should there be a ban on violent video games? Should law makers try to enforce banning these video games? Are these video games the true cause of violent behavior in children?
Throughout history there have always been variations of toy guns. Games like cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians have been played amongst kids. I think there is a difference though between role-play games that our parent’s generation played when they were young, and the graphic gruesome video games that give current day kids points for killing other players. It used to be that everyone wanted to role-play the cops because they were the good guys. Now, video games do not discriminate between good and bad. It is each player for themselves. The desensitization of mass killing and horror is wrong. Minors are not mentally equipped to handle the false sense of life and death that some video games digitally place in their hands. Horrific and tragic school shootings are increasingly happening too often to be outlier situations. I am a supporter of freedom and the right everyone has to live and express themselves anyway they wish. However, once that expression puts others in danger, especially young children, priorities must be weighed logically.
I feel that violent video games could be one of the few sources for the increased amounts of school shootings that have recently occurred. In the past, the most violence that would occur on a video game would be when Bowser attacked Mario in Super Mario Brothers. Now games have enhanced to a whole new level. With the advancement in technology that the world has seen over the years, some games have become extremely lifelike. The goriness of some games can make people wonder how a child is not affected by the actions they take while playing. I don’t think that there necessarily needs to be a ban on these types of games, there is just a need for more precautions to be taken. Furthermore, I feel that some of the ratings for certain types of games are incorrect, that children of a certain age should only be exposed to specific games which will enhance their growth, not present them with thoughts that they could one day put into action.
Growing up I was never allowed to play any video games that dealt with any sort of violence. I remember always arguing with my parents to let me play, but now I am happy they never gave in. I truly believe these games influence today’s children. Especially the one’s whose parents do not reassure their children how deviant this behavior is in real life. Otherwise, you have children playing these types of games hours and hours a day thinking it is something society accepts. They may think that if it was so bad, why am I allowed to play it? No doubt in my mind that some children play it to the point where they feel they are living within the game and become brainwashed. With more and more mental conditions occurring these days, my reasonable expectations about people are diminishing slowly. You truly never know what goes through someone’s head and what they are thinking. The more real these games become, the more scared I become.