The Potential Danger of Violent Video Games to Society

Tong Yun

PureInsight | October 24, 2005

[] A lot of video games feature violence, blood and gore. Are there any consequences of playing violent video games?

Two studies by psychologists Craig Anderson, Ph.D, and Karen Dill, Ph.D, looked at the effects of violent video games in the lab and in real life. This powerful combination of two studies presents persuasive evidence that violent video games do indeed increase aggression in some players.

Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., is a psychologist at Iowa State University of Science and Technology. According to Dr. Anderson, "One study reveals that young men who are habitually aggressive may be especially vulnerable to the aggression-enhancing effects of repeated exposure to violent games." The study result reminded Dr. Anderson of the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in 1999. [1]

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold launched an assault on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, murdering 13 and wounding 23 before turning the guns on themselves. Although nothing is for certain as to why these boys did what they did, we do know that Harris and Klebold both enjoyed playing the bloody, shoot-them-up video game Doom, a game licensed by the U.S. military to train soldiers to kill effectively. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Internet hate groups, found in its archives a copy of Harris' web site with a version of Doom. He had customized it so that there were two shooters, each with extra weapons and unlimited ammunition, and the other people in the game could not fight back. For a class project, Harris and Klebold made a videotape that was similar to their customized version of Doom. In the video, Harris and Klebold were dressed in trench coats, carried guns, and killed school athletes. They acted out their videotaped performance in real life less than a year later. Several copycat shooting rampages that followed in the next six months in different high schools shook the entire United States.

According to Dr. Anderson, given the shooting rampage at Columbine High School, playing violent interactive video games could be ominous for society.

Some parent organizations and lawmakers agree. They believe that playing violent video games, such as Doom, increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior in actual life, which has already been repeatedly verified in scientific and social studies.

Although some disagree, lawmakers have started taking actions to handle this issue. Each launch of a new violent video game brings a new threat to society. In May 2003, Washington State has passed a law to prohibit selling realistic violent video games to customers less than 17 years of age.

Teacher said, "A person is like a container, and he is whatever he contains. All of what a person sees with the eyes and hears with the ears are: violence, lust, power struggles in literary works, struggles for profit in the practical world, money worship, other manifestations of demon-nature, and so on. With his head filled with these, this kind of person is truly a bad person, no matter what he appears to be. A person's behavior is dictated by his thoughts. With a mind full of such things, what's a person able to do? It is only because everyone's mind is more or less contaminated to some extent that people cannot detect the problem that has surfaced. Incorrect social trends that are reflected in every aspect of society are imperceptibly changing people, poisoning mankind, and creating a large number of what people call "anti-tradition," "anti-upright," and "anti-moral" human beings with demon-nature. This is what's truly worrisome! Even though society's economy has made progress, it will be ruined in these people's hands since they do not have human ways of thinking.

"On the other hand, if a person accepts the kind, traditional thoughts of mankind that have prevailed for thousands of years, believes in proper human behavior and standards, and is filled with all good things, what will this person's conduct be like? Whether or not this person shows it, he is genuinely a good person." (From "Melt into the Fa" in Essentials for Further Advancement.)

[1] ScienceDaily: Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression

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