Regulating Violent Video Games
Today the progress of humanity has reached incredible heights. We start utilizing the fruits of progress before we can understand whether they are bringing us good or evil. The preceding generations were not sure whether such innovation as personal computer is useful or needed at all, but what should I say when I see my own children spending hours in front of the blue screen and playing endless video games? I have never considered these games harmless, but what I see today is really frightening. These games are overloaded with violence and aggression, and each day children can see dead bodies and rivers of blood. Should government interfere and regulate production and distribution of such games?
Today it becomes clear that aggression in games makes kids more aggressive in life. According to the research, conducted by Craig A. Anderson, Professor of psychology, children, who played a lot of video games, containing scenes of violence, became more physically aggressive in life. The effect of playing violent video games was also strong on older youth.
Violent games are especially dangerous for small kids, who cannot differentiate between fiction and real life. Playing violent video games makes them think that the best way of solving any problem is aggressive behavior, they even tend to imitate the heroes of their favorite games. Craig Anderson states, “The effects are that exposure to violent video games increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior in both short-term and long-term contexts. Such exposure also increases aggressive thinking and aggressive affect, and decreases prosocial behavior.”
It is obvious that playing violent video games is dangerous not only for children’s minds, but for society as a whole. Aggression breeds aggression, and the perspective of having aggressively minded youth around when we are old is not very optimistic. Something should be done, and the sooner the better.
The question is who should care for our kids? To me the answer is definite; yes, government should interfere with the process of ruining our children’s minds and their future. Parents and school are not able to fight the ocean of video games themselves. We need some effective policies that would regulate the amount of aggression that children can see without being harmed. Government can invent a system to encourage production of harmless and positive video games, and fines for producers and distributors of violent games. Of course, such global changes in the whole industry of video games will take time and huge investments, but the future of coming generations is worth it. I consider it very positive that a lot of research is being conducted, and the public attention is already drawn to this burning issue.
Before such changes come into action, there is a lot parents can do today to protect their kids. Parents cannot change the system, but they can control what is going on in their houses. “Just like your child’s diet and the foods you have available for them to eat in the house, you should be able to control the content of the video games they have available to play in your home,” says Craig A. Anderson.
To sum it up, I should say I really hope that effective new policies, regulating video games, will appear very soon. I am sure that thousands of indifferent parents and grandparents share my opinion, and we will not need to wait long before positive changes come into life.
Iowa State University (2010, March 1). ISU study proves conclusively that violent video game play makes more aggressive kids. Retrieved July 6, 2010, from http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2010 /mar/vvgeffects