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Argument Against Video Games

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English 102 12 March, 2013 Argue in support of or against the statement that video games have “a redeeming social value.” Do violent video games have “a redeeming social value? ” You could get many different answers to this question depending on who you ask.Is there any good that can come from video games? What harm can come to people and society from video games? Is modern culture being affected either negatively or positively by today’s video games and those that play them?

Are young, impressionable, people affected by playing video games for hours and hours during their impressionable, developmental years? These are a few of the questions I will attempt to answer as I argue that video games are playing a big role in the downfall of modern society.

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It is now the law of the United States that video games are art. ”It is now the law of the United States that video games are a creative, intellectual, emotional form of expression and engagement, as fundamentally human as any other” (Schiesel, NY Times, 2011, p. 1). Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas – and even social messages – through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world),” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the Supreme Court, in a case that arose from a California effort to ban the sale of violent video games to minors. “That suffices to confer First Amendment protection” (Schiesel, NY Times, 2011, p. 2). And now video games – as vulgar, crude, disgusting and thoroughly unredeeming as they often may be – have finally been fully recognized as a worthy element of our culture” (Schiesel, NY Times, 2011, p. 1). “There is statistically significant evidence from the studies within the fields of psychology and sociology to indicate that violent video games have a negative impact on a child’s behavioral development as he or she matures into adulthood. These studies approach the issue from a variety of perspectives, some analyzing the effects of video game usage on academic achievement and others that focus on usage’s effects on violent tendencies.

Regardless of how these effects are measured, evidence is accumulating in favor of the position that they are not good for childhood development. Short of recommending alternatives or ways of preventing the kind of excessive video game use targeted in these studies as adverse, what is conclusively known is the prevalence and results of violent video games. Nevertheless, there are valid objections and concerns about these conclusions that shall be addressed in turn; none of these counterarguments or critiques of the research literature hold much weight.

The arguments from scientific findings can be supplemented with academic philosophy, specifically in the area of ethical philosophy where some argue a non-distinction in moral terms between killing an imaginary character and killing an actual person. From this broad base of studies and research into the effects of violent video games on maturing children, it is conclusive that the negative effects of violent video game usage far outweigh any alleged positive effects” (Meyer, Yahoo! Voices, 2011, p. 1).

Modern culture is being affected negatively by today’s violent video games and those that play them. The people that have played these games and then gone out to commit violent acts have affected society in a very negative way. The impressionable, mentally disturbed, people that cannot distinguish between killing an imaginary character and killing an actual person have committed terrible acts of violence more often in recent years. When these young people are in their maturing years their minds are conditioned in a very negative way by playing violent video games.

One cannot help but think that these people may not have done these violent things if they had never played the violent video games. “Whether you play video games on a portable unit, a television or the internet, excessive gaming can affect your personal and profession life. Video game addiction can be as problematic as gambling and affects players as young as eight years old, notes Kevin Baker, director of Smith and Jones Addiction Consultants, in an article for Brigham Young University’s NewsNet. Be aware of the effects of a video game compulsion to keep the hobby in check” (Drea, Livestrong. com, 2013. p. 1).

If you spend all of your free time playing video games and skip meals or lose sleep because of your excessive game play, a video game addiction can negatively impact your health. “The Mayo Clinic notes that children who spend more than two hours a day in front of a television or video games in lieu of participating in physical activity may suffer from childhood obesity. In addition, the University of Texas at Dallas notes that the addiction can lead to such medical issues as backaches, headaches, eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome – pain and numbness that you may feel in your wrist, hands, shoulders and elbows” (Drea, Livestrong. om, 2013. p. 1). Relationships with friends and family members may suffer if you’re spending more time gaming than you are talking to or going out with loved ones. “The On-Line Gamers Anonymous website notes that gaming may be negatively affecting your life if you only want to talk about video games, lie to cover up the amount of time you spend playing, forgo intimacy with your spouse in lieu of gaming or argue with loved ones over your excessive gaming” (Drea, Livestrong. com, 2013. p. 1).

Video games that feature violent actions and scenarios may lead addicted players to be desensitized to the violence. “Richard Gallagher, director of the NYU Child Study Center’s Parenting Institute, states that players who become engrossed in first-person shooter-style video games, for example, may adopt a detached view of society or develop aggressive thoughts and tendencies” (Drea, Livestrong. com, 2013. p. 1). There are a few positive video games. Educational video games and video games that help to keep the mind or memory sharp are certainly excellent tools.

Using video games as flight simulators for our pilots and soldiers are also very helpful and educational. The people that use educational video games are not the people that are going out and shooting up schools full of little children. There is no way that a young person, whose brain is still developing, can become a better member of society by playing violent video games for hours and hours every day. The negatives far outweigh the positives when these violent video games are played. The impressionable young people are fooled into thinking that these video games are, in some way, real life.

The weak minded, young, impressionable, people that play these games can be very easily conditioned to become more violent members of society. No one ever played an educational video game and then went out and shot up a school. There have been people that played violent video games in excess and went out and did just that afterward. Nothing good can come from playing violent video games for hours and hours every day. Violent video games are a big part of the downfall of modern society. Violent video games have no redeeming social value.

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