Video Games Do Not Equal Violence

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We’ve all heard it before, “Violence in video games makes our youth violent and cause them to do bad things! Ban the video games before another child gets hurt!”

Of course, there have been instances where young people have done horrible things due to the influences of video games. From kids taking their parents cars to go on joyrides, inspired from the Grand Theft Auto series, to much larger scale ones, like Columbine shooters apparently getting their inspiration from the game DOOM.

So we’ve heard the bad, as we hear the bad about everything, but what about the good?

One of the major arguments against video games is that it makes kids “antisocial” and that they need to go outdoors and interact with others.  And while you don’t have to talk to people in online video games, most games encourage it.  Overwatch, for example, is a team based shooting game in which a group of six players on each team fight to push payloads, or control points. While you can play by yourself, you can also group up in parties, and have an advantage over the other team using problem solving and communicate skills with teammates.

According to health and fitness experts, video games do have other health benefits as well, such as

  • They boost your memory.
  • They increase coordination.
  • They’re good for cognitive health.
  • They reduce stress and depression.
  • They can sharpen your decision making.

Another argument is, “video Games don’t do anything for anyone,” and was proven to be false on August 14th 2016.  On this day communities on Youtube/Twitter/Reddit, etc.  along with the biggest zombie YouTubers decided to band together and do what they called “EE4C” which stands for Easter Eggs for Charity. These charitable efforts, in the form of streams, raised over $100,000 for charity.

Regardless of the good or fun, which is often overlooked in today’s world, one should do research before buying games for themselves or others.  Parents should look at the game your child is asking for and be involved in the decision.  In the bottom left corner of every game, there is a letter(s), that letter stands for the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating, which a rating for what age range these games should be played by.

  • Ec – Early Childhood – This game is meant to be played by toddlers and small children
  • E – Everyone – There is no age limit for this game
  • E 10+ – Everyone over the age of 10 – This game is meant for those over the age of 10 because it may show crude cartoon violence and words like “heck!” Or “Darn!”
  • T – Teen – This is for the teenagers, a game with minor violence, and a “Hell,” or “Damn” every once in awhile during the gameplay of the game.
  • M – Mature – This game is made for the 17+ range, with major violence, sexual themes, and strong language.
  • Adults Only – This game is STRICTLY for ADULTS only, 18+ and over. No Exceptions. Contains M for Mature themes and possibly to a larger extent.

The lesson is, like most things in life, moderation is key.  Additionally, parents taking an active and knowing what their kids are doing.  Who knows, parents…you might want to play along.

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