Video Games: the Smoking Gun

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Date Submitted: 10/24/2012 04:25 PM

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Video Games the Smoking Gun?

Tashena Krek

COM 156

April 8, 2012

Catherine Smith

Video Games the Smoking Gun?

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

Yes, this is the latest in the debate over video game violence, which came in the form of a bill that would require this Surgeon General-like warning label appear on ESRB rated video and computer games regardless of violent content. The one rating excluded from this proposed warning label is EC, which stands for early childhood, a rating appearing on preschool age appropriate games. A supporter of this bill, Rep. Joe Baca, stated, “[the] video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers - to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products.” (Ngak, Video games scrutinized, new bill seeks "violent" warning labels, 2012) However, this only represents one side of the debate over violent media’s affect, a subject that has been argued for many years. The last 12 years have brandished several publications focusing on video game violence. One argument claims children exposed to video game violence exhibit increased aggressive behavior therefore increasing their propensity to commit violent acts, while another existing argument claims there is not enough substantially conclusive evidence to support media violence is a factor in violent crimes. Despite violent content in video games and its link to aggression, incidents of violent acts committed by children and adolescents have decreased in recent years.

The first accounts of interests focusing on the role of media violence were concentrated on the depictions of violence on television and in movies. The earliest report of the danger media violence presents to children and adolescents surfaced in the nineteen thirties, a short time after the premiere of the motion picture. Then, in the nineteen sixties, the role of media violence on society...