RBurenstein Op-Ed

Op-Ed on video game violence


The shootings at Columbine high school were blamed on many things. Among drugs, alcohol and mental disorders was the first person shooter video game called Doom. Many people blamed the video game because there was not a lot of drugs or alcohol that showed up on the tests. Bill Manville on NY daily news said “"Doesn’t that sound like they were trying to rack up a record score in some video arcade?" This isn’t a very realistic idea, there is no way that a violent video game can make you think that on your own.


Many studies say that when testing violent video games on kids, they test whether the games made kids more violent. Almost all of the studies concluded that the kids who played violent video games became more aggressive after playing them. Many people who play violent video games become more aggressive, but they don’t make you act on these emotions.


The reality is that millions of people play violent video games, and there are not millions of school shootings or violent crimes every year, so it cannot be affecting people so much that they want to act on their emotions. Recently, video games have become more popular.  As an article on PBS says, “According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low." This combined with the fact that many of the other studies only said that the people playing violent video games only became more aggressive supports the idea that it makes people more aggressive, but they don’t act.


Violent video games do make people more aggressive, but they don’t act on these emotions. If the violent video games were having such an impact so that they made the kids to things like the columbine shootings, then there would be a lot more juvenile violent crimes. The study was only for the United States, but these statistics could be different for other parts of the world. A lot of these studies are not 100% accurate because they don’t account for everything in the game players life. This is almost impossible to do, so the data will never be completely correct for these kinds of studies.


The shootings at Columbine or any other school shootings are not majorly caused by the kids playing video games. Many people try to blame video games because they are something that many people can easily put the blame on, even though according to PBS 83% of video games that kids shouldn’t be playing are bought by their parents. Less of the blame should be put on video games, and more on other factors like illegal substances, or mental problems.


Overall many people find that violent video games are something easy to blame problems on. In fact the video games do make the players more aggressive, but not as violent. Although violent video games do hold some blame in violence today, there are many other factors such as drugs, alcohol, or mental problems that contribute to this violence more than violent video games.