The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

Video Games’ Reputation

Would you believe me if I told you that 73% of all violence traces back to video games? Well you shouldn’t, because that is completely untrue. Researchers have found no evidence proving violent video games cause violence. Just because I play a game like Call Of Duty or Fortnite doesn’t mean I want to go outside and shoot people in real life. In fact, me, and many other people, use video games to vent all of their bad feelings.

When I hop onto a video game, my main intent is to have a good time and escape for a little while. I love to play games so I can get rid of anger. Now, there are other good ways to get rid of anger, (personally I wrestle), but playing games with the boys and just having a nice chill time is a great way to forget about all of your problems.

Furthermore, there is no evidence to prove that video games cause violence. Saying that a violent criminal played Call Of Duty is just like saying the violent criminal wore socks. How do we know it wasn’t the socks causing violence all this time? While writing an article for PBS, Christopher J. Ferguson said, “Speaking as a researcher who has studied violent video games for almost 15 years, I can state that there is no evidence to support these claims that violent media and real world violence are connected.” Later in the article, he said, “As far back as 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled research did not find a clear connection between violent video games and aggressive behavior.”

According to FBI statistics, “Youth violence has declined in recent years as computer and video game popularity has soared,” said Michael D. Gallagher. I know you might still not be convinced, so I want you to think about a few things. How many times have you genuinely seen someone act a lot worse after playing a video game? And I don’t mean be a little mad for a little bit, I mean how many times have you seen video games affect someone’s life for more than thirty minutes? If video games really affect us, why aren’t all the people who played video games in the 80’s all running around a dark room eating pills while listening to electronic music that never ends because of playing Pac-Man?

And not only is it factually wrong that video games cause violence, it’s annoying, too! Nothing is worse than having a nice, fun time, being ruined by the words “That game is too violent!” and suddenly you aren’t playing and having fun with friends. Instead, you are reading a book all alone in your room. Unless you are an introvert, it’s nowhere near as fun as playing video games with friends. I want to show what goes through almost everybody’s head when you can’t play with your friends anymore. It’s the same feeling I get when my mom picks me up from a sleepover. Video games are a vital part of hanging out with friends for our generation, and it’s going to be like that for a while.

The idea that violent video games cause violence is not true. They are a way for us to hang out with friends, get rid of stress, and to have a nice time. So next time you think a video game is too violent, think about how the player is just playing to have a fun time, and they don’t want it to be ruined. In the words of Jane McGonigal, “A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.”

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