Monday, November 5, 2012

Video Games and Violence

As children and adolescents, people try desperately to figure out who they are and what their role in society is. In this sensitive and critical point in their lives, it is crucial that they do not get the wrong view of roles in society. One way that children learn roles is throughout childhood play. What do many children do for play?
Play video games.
Video games are one means of giving children the wrong view of roles in society. Just like any other form of mass media, video games have become instruments in developing the identities of children (Dietz).
The roles they learn from these games influence their outlook on:
·         different personality traits
·         gender role expectations
·         violence
The Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior. 2011. Section 02 & 03 F11 Psy 1001Web. 2 Nov 2012.

In this post, I’m going to focus on violence. Instead of passively viewing violence, such as in television, the children are actively involved in it. Video games most often portray men with a stereotypical gender role, as a sexually aggressive figure who fights for the girl, probably using violence.
Young boys play the roles of this character and get tied up in it. They play these games and see this image of a man and believe that the image they see is the image they should become. Their role in play and their role in the game shapes their identity as they figure out their role in society. The players may start acting more aggressively as they try to fulfill the role as a “successful man” (Ferguson).
Some people argue that video games are good because:
·         they are an essential source of intrinsic reinforcement
·         they can help those who play them to improve hand-eye coordination
(Loftus and Loftus).

It is true that they can help reinforcement. However, what they are reinforcing is not always beneficial to them because there is more being reinforced than is blatantly obvious. Even if they have a good message to them in general, there are subthemes that are being engrained into their minds and having a negative effect on them.
It is also true that they improve hand-eye coordination. However, there are much better activities that also improve hand-eye coordination and do not have negative impacts on their socialization.
Video games are negatively impacting the youth of today and their perception of the world as they grow up. And violence is only the beginning.
Chelsea Zollinger


  1. You have a well written post overall. You have multiple strong points about video games influence on youth, but I have a couple of suggestions for improvement.
    While this is minor, the use of bullet points is a little distracting. In the right place they can make a post easier to read, but the placement in your post disrupted the flow and didn't seem to fit very well.
    The other suggestion I have is to strengthen your refutation. You recognize the other side of the argument and give a little bit of a counter argument to each of those, but you have no concrete examples to back up your counter argument. For example, when you say "there are much better activities that also improve hand-eye coordination and do not have negative impacts on their socialization.", this statement may be true, but you have no examples to support it.
    I thought it was an interesting and good post overall, I would just change the things suggested above.

    -Hunter Rees

    1. Thank you Hunter, your imput is appreciated. I do have some examples for the counter-argument, for some reason I just didn't include them in the post. I will definitely do more research too to make sure that the counter-argument is really strong. And you're right about the bullet points, I should have thought about it more. Thanks again!

  2. Overall, you have great post here. You do a good job of presenting your own ideas as well as rebutting the opposing arguments. I am a bit confused by the fact that you tell us what you're going to focus on in the middle of the post instead of at the beginning. That is where it becomes relevant, but it just seems like an awkward place to put that sentence. Also, could you widen the focus to also include young girls in the problem?

    1. I see what you mean about pointing out the focus in the middle, I was just trying to introduce the topic first but I should have went about it differently so it was less confusing. Also, since this is such a broad topic, I just decided to focus on one specific aspect of it for the post but you're right, I probably should have included something about young girls. I will definitely do more research on that. Thank you!

  3. Your argument is sound. I think this is an issue that we do not fully understand the implications of, and you mention that in your post. We need to be more careful about what our children digest. Thank you for bringing this up.
    I think you could use more power in your writing. We didn't have a lot of room, but some phrases could be re-written as power statements. Studies have been done relating violence at schools, including assault and shootings with video games. Would this direct correlations not be a little more powerful in convincing your readers of this dangerous situation? I would disagree that MOST video games display stereotypical violent males. All the mario games and most nintendo games in general don't include that, but millions do play super-violent videogames, and those videogames do bleed into real life disagreements with peers. (That's the kind of 'power statement' I mean.)
    I really think your graphic. Hopefully, all this comments aren't discouraging. This blog really is more informed and intelligent that a good chunk of internet posts. Be proud. :)
    Ammon Mayfield

    1. I meant "I really like your graphic"
      and when I said millions, I meant millions of kids
      Ammon Mayfield

    2. Thank you for your input! You're quite right about the 'power statements.' I will review my word choice more to create a stronger argument and make it more impactful and make sure that what I'm saying is accurate. Also, I will do more research about the violence is schools to see how I could incorporate that, it's a good idea.

    3. You took that feedback really, really well. It would be a pleasure to work with someone with your kind of attitude on any project, ever. I wish I was as good at taking feedback as you are. :D Do you want to take a long at each other's papers as that time comes closer?

  4. I think that you have a good point about children and video games; however, you focus your comments on boys while you say children. If you are going to talk about all kids, make sure you include girls too!
    In the middle of the post, you jump from "Children learning their roles through video games" to violence. I later see the connection between video games influencing behavior to be more violent, but I think that you need a good transition between those ideas so it doesn't feel like you are jumping to a new topic.
    I think you address the counter argument, but you don't provide any concrete examples to support those claims. Your counter argument will be much stronger if you use specifics instead of generalizations.
    Also, a style suggestion, I think that it cheapens the feel of your post when you say, "In this post I'm going to focus on..." If something is well written and well argued, the reader doesn't have to be explicitly told what the focus of your paper is on.