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Video Games Don't Contribute To Violence In Real Life; They May Actually Reduce It

Nov 15, 2007
Video games serve many purposes. They can be used as a form of entertainment. They can be used as a stress reducer or as a safer outlet for underlying aggression. Also, they can be used to increase hand and eye coordination. Video games are good for the brain. They are much better than sitting in front of a TV watching a sitcom.

Video games are good for young people because it gives them a sense of significance in the world. In the real world they have peer pressure, adult authority figures telling them what to do, and parents dictating their lives at home. Video games give kids a chance to take on the world, to solve a seeming serious problem, or to create something that would be unfeasible in real life.

Video games does not affect the rate of violence in the real world. Video games, television shows, books, radio programs, movies, and magazines are a reflection of society. Video game companies are in the money making business. If people did not buy their violent games the video game companies would produce more family friendly titles.

Video games serve as a pressure release on pent up frustration. This is not only the case for teens but for adult video game players as well. Perhaps if a disgruntled employee takes out his angst on characters on the TV screen instead of his real life colleagues then things could be improved. If instead of a teen joining a gang for a feeling of self respect, that teen could instead join in on a role player game where he can feel a sense of significance without having to resort to violence outside his house.

When I play games it is more so for entertainment and exercising my cognitive realm. Most of the day I work in front of a computer, I have pictures on the wall and interaction with people but sometimes I want to get my senses really going through highly intense gaming experiences. With the new systems it is akin to being involved in a movie you are watching, with realism increasing in games each year.

Recent video game systems are allowing people to exercise more often. The Nintendo Wii has a motion sensor controller which allows people to swing their arms as they are swinging a golf club or to punch and jab as in the Wii sports game. Exercise is a stress reducer. Video games are largely a stress reducer. Not adding violent games to the pack may only make the violence situation worse in the real world.

Violence is a human issue, not a technological issue. Before there were video games there were comic books. Would a rational person say that comic books were a great contributer to violence in society? I would think not.

Consider that if a disgruntled adult played a shooter game at home instead of taking a real gun out into the workforce. Imagine elderly adults playing video games, maintaining or enhancing their cognitive skills. Video games aren't just for kids any more. They are a universal form of entertainment.
About the Author
Paul Barron works in the publishing field. You can visit his blog at http://pbarron.com/
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