Stephanie T. New Jersey

Violent Video Games and Their Impact on Today's Youth

It is constantly being said that the violence and graphic images of video games are corrupting the youth of today, but perhaps it is time to find out the truth.

Dear President-Elect Trump,

After school or a work shift is over, many children, teenagers, and adults return to their houses to turn on their gaming consoles, and play. It's a harmless activity that lets people relax and enjoy themselves. Or is it?

Video games are very popular among the youth of today, and there have been many issues regarding the violence in the virtual worlds. Congress had, in the past, been prompted to hold hearings on regulating the sale of video games that contained violence. Why? Most people, presently, believe that children are becoming more aggressive because of the popularity and exposure to violence in their video games.

However, In the same time period, video game sales increased 204% while juvenile crimes decreased by 37%, and murders acted out by a juvenile decreased by 76%. There has been a study that confirmed that the monthly sales of video games had a relation to the drop in aggravated assaults .

Even our very own U.S Supreme Court ruled that violent video games did not cause youth to act aggressively in the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association in 2011. The Court decided that the state of California could not ban selling violent video games to minors, and stated that there was no definite proof that video games influence children to act violently. Justice Antonin Scalia said that studies about the links between the two had been rejected before by other courts.

A study from the University of Texas proves that children from the tender ages of three to five can already distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality. People who play violent video games know the difference between the violence of the game and the violence of the real world. Because of this, people’s morals stay true and their behavior is not swayed.

Video games are meant to be played for entertainment and even for education. 61.9% of boys who play say that violent video games help them relax. About 40% say that the games help them forget their problems and help calm their anger. These types of games aid in cooling down a person so that they don’t do anything physically harmful to another person. In this sense, violent video games help relieve the aggression people have instead of fueling it.

Gun violence is less prevalent in countries with high video game uses. Nine countries with the highest video game uses are countries that have the lowest violent crime rates.

Contrary to popular belief, violent video games don’t affect our children’s behavior as much as we think. Every person can still hold true to their virtues, even if they have a video game with violence. It’s simply just a category of game.