Although there are those who advocate for the banning of violent video games, there are many compelling reasons why this should not be the case. Self-esteem, pain reduction, team building, and the sharpening of ingenuity are just a few of the benefits that gaming can provide (Sterngold, 200). Those who believe that video games lead to increased violence often fail to consider the full picture. According to the Society for Psychology and Media Technology, “research evidence available to date indicates that violent video games have a minimal impact on violent activity in society.” It is important to note that while there may be a correlation between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior, this does not necessarily mean that it leads to criminal or violent activity.
Whitney states that “some studies have revealed a connection between children who play violent video games and violent behavior.” However, there are many other risk factors for violent behavior that have a much greater impact than video games. In fact, video games can provide an outlet for those with anger or violent impulses without causing harm in the real world. Aggression researchers concluded that “playing violent video games is a causal risk factor for aggressive behavior” (Anderson). It is also important to note that some video games can address complex political and social issues.
For example, the Bioshock series imagines dystopian societies based on objectivism and socialism. Furthermore, discovering that someone who commits a crime plays violent video games “is no more illustrative than discovering that they happened to wear sneakers or used to watch Sesame Street” (Healy). It is also important to note that boys tend to play violent video games more than girls, but this does not necessarily mean that boys are more prone to violence than girls. The court emphasized that video games often communicate ideas by telling interactive stories and allowing players to interact with a virtual world.
In recent decades, video games have become an art form with many nuances, with a narrative as powerful and compelling as cinema was in the last century. Ultimately, it is up to parents to help their children develop their minds, not video games. The court found that studies which showed a link between violence and video games were methodologically flawed and unpersuasive. Therefore, it is clear that banning gaming would be an ineffective solution.