Are violent video games really so bad?

The question, “are violent video games bad for people?” has been very active for the past few years. People have linked these game behaviors to a rise of aggression, lack of social skills and an inability to distinguish fantasy from reality. These three behaviors have people wondering if violent video games are ruining humans and turning them into serial killers. Both sides of this story have decent arguments, but there is a big distinguisher.

There are reasons to believe that video games like Halo, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are games that need to be eliminated from our society and kept away from children. The main reason is that pre-pubescent children are playing these types of games. Puberty for a person is about as important as that child being born, and having increased behaviors of aggression and violence during this important time can really hurt a person in this time of development. Another reason they might be hurtful to players is that children during this time should be working on social awareness, but instead sit in front of a screen for hours on end playing video games. The last is that these games could be considered “murder simulators” since they are showing young minds what it is like to kill and are being rewarded for doing so.   There is a subconscious connection in children  in which killing becomes good. These are things that make the argument that violent videogames should be banned valid.However, there are actually benefits from these video games for people.

The first one is the social interaction these games cause. While it is true that just playing the games alone can make a person more anti-social, games have adapted to this by adding online play which encourages playing, talking and getting to know the people you are playing with which can make lasting last friendships with people who have even that one thing in common. IT is also getting more common for people to gather in large parties to play together as friends. Another reason defending the games is that the people who play the games have rarely ever touched a gun and don’t know how to use the guns correctly. This shows that while the game shows killing, the people can’t go out and kill if they don’t know how to correctly use the guns. There is still one very large reason that the games shouldn’t be banned however.

The biggest reason that these games shouldn’t be banned is currently there  is not any solid evidence proving a link between serial killer behavior and violent video games. The problem with trying to get any sort of evidence is that these games have become common in this era. You can go to a killer’s house and the house of a normal middle-class family and possibly find an Xbox in both. Of the past school shooters, the only correlation between them were that they were both male and suffered from depression.

I personally do not believe that violent video games should be banned. I would not give a small child an Xbox with Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and say “Go for it”, but I think that if taken the right way, it can be both a fun and enriching experience. The one thing I would change is the restriction on selling to youth. The rating on most violent games is “M for Mature 17+,” and this should be held when selling these types of games.

If you are still thinking that violent video games are evil and virtual killing is what is killing America, think about this: in football, people get injured in real life with real broken arms, real broken ankles, real concussionm and real brain trauma. Yet more people are encouraged to go play football than go play violent video games.