Opinion: Increasingly Violent Video Games Negatively Impact Players

Contemporary video games are not what they used to be.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published March 5, 2010

From flying body parts, substance abuse, and even strip clubs, it’s clear that a majority of games have taken explicit to a whole new level.

Video games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My affair with gaming began with the purchase of a purple Gameboy color, and I’ve been keeping up with new game system circulations since.

However, it’s unquestionable that games like Grand Theft Auto have a come a long way from Pokemon Red Version. With more violence than ever, it’s hard to believe that a handful games squeeze by with a “mature” rating.

For example, Mad World for the Wii is the epitome of mindless violence—players are awarded higher points for the more creative their kills are. Did I mention that the objective of the game is to massacre as many enemies as possible, and that hip-hop music repetitively blares throughout the whole game?

Violence and explicit content in games can have a harmful effect on players. According to Iowa State’s Center for the study of violence, teens exposed to explicit video games are generally more aggressive and less social. These factors are caused by how the brain intercepts and synthesizes the mature content in each video game, and these are also potential factors that lead to depression, murder, and even suicide.

Now, I understand that no one wants to good pay money for a game that isn’t entertaining; hearing the faint snap of a headshot on a bad day is definitely gratifying in some aspects. But game developers have pushed these features too far, to the point where violence is starting to define a game.

For instance, one of the biggest controversies out there surrounds the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The story mode features a scene where the player takes on the persona of a terrorist, and he/she is commanded to shoot fleeing civilians in an airport.

Watching my close friend’s seven-year old brother play this mode was extremely uncomfortable and disturbing for me; he was essentially committing genocide. This regrettable experience brought me to a revelation—the message games send out are significantly different from what they sent out five years ago.

Editor’s Note: The views of this author do not reflect the views of the Temple City Voice or its staff.

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