Monday, March 15, 2010

Video Game Restriction?

I remember having to ask my mom if I could get a mature rated game to play before I turned seventeen all the time. Having to get her to take me to the store, and then go to the game area with me. Just so I could get the game that I wanted, because the games I liked to play contain a lot of violence. Looking back on things like that made me wonder, could a restriction on video games really help solve some of the problems our society has with violence? Are kids getting their violent habits from playing video games? Honestly I believe they couldn’t make a restriction on video games any stronger then what we already have. Art Carden addresses the issue of whether to restrict violence in video games in his essay “Video Games and Violence.”

Carden mentions how a radio host (Who he does not mention the name of) goes on to talk about violence and games, bringing up that the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine school shootings (Picture at top of page), were avid video game players. According to rumors, one of them had practiced for the raid by creating a mock-up of their school using a map editor from one of their favorite first-person shooters.

Carden then writes how “…one of the guests questioned whether the physical activity people are getting by playing Nintendo Wii is really doing much good for their health… Thus, attempts to regulate video games will have important implications for our safety and liberty.”Carden says that games may be a cause for violence in public, but they can also be a way for criminals to get their violence (fix, as he puts it). For what better way to stop a criminal from committing crimes in the streets, Carden argues, then by letting him/her do it in a game where it’s controlled and safe. Carden also mentions how this is plausible by showing a relationship with porn and rapists, in a study that he found by Winai Wongsurat and Todd Kendall.

I can see how Carden feels that video games may cause violence in some cases with shootings, and I can agree with that. Playing violent games could influence children and teens in their actions or behaviors. Due to the fact that children are like sponges and absorb every detail they see or hear, so I’ve always been told by my parents. Although, this is why there are ratings on video games to stop violence in children until they are old enough by standards. To be mature enough to know what is acceptable or not of what they are doing.

So I would say in most cases the cause and blame as I’ve said in one of my blogs are the parents. For in order for to get a hold of a violent game someone over the age of seventeen must give it to them, because in order to purchase a violent or mature rated game you have to be at least 17 years of age. Ratings for games are as follows “E” for everyone, “T” for teen, and “M” for mature. Parents that let their children get away with buying a mature rated game, while not being seventeen or older is very wrong.

Anyone who sells a video game with a mature rating to someone under 17 should be fired in my opinion, for the ratings are there for a reason. If that were to happen maybe violence and or addiction of games would go down. On “The Lion & Lamb Project” web page the statistics say that “78 percent of unaccompanied children, ages 13–16 were able to buy Mature-rated games at retail stores, according to a secret shopper survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission in 2001.”

Now in the case of the Nintendo Wii games that Carden brings up, I personally feel that some games for it aren’t quit as exercising as they say they are. They’re more of an arm and hand movement type of thing, not involving much effort. The Wii Fit, on the other hand, is awesome it’s like having your own personal trainer at home whenever you need them. It’s a game designed entirely to help you get in shape, and stay that way. I don’t have one myself, but would love it if I had it. This is definitely a game for all ages that doesn’t cause any sort of violence.

In the end of his post, Carden writes, “Attempts to regulate cultural goods like video games may involve far more than considerations of personal liberties alone”, which I can see. It could end up increasing the problems that people may be trying to fix in the first place. The number of adolescent violence problems would most likely get worse, for their going to resort to stealing the games, instead of buying.

Thus violence and video games I say should always be around with the restrictions that we have in place now. We are trying to fix the problems we have with children and violence. The problem can only be fixed when parents start putting more effort into their children.


Kasey Kalmar said...

I have to disagree with Carden. I dont think that video games cause violence at all. I think that abuse and learning violence in real life is what can make a kid violent. I agree that the ratings should be more enforced than they are now, but I dont think its going to happen. Parents should moniter what their kids are playing and be more cautious to what they see.

Derek John Boczkowski said...

Formatting aside, a nice job.