Dear Future President:
Video games has been a big part in today’s generation, as well as the influences it has had on children and teens. The American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics have found through study that nearly 90% of children and teens in the United States play video games. But what’s interesting is that almost 87% of the video games on the market contain violence. The 18-year old gunman who shot 9 people to death in Munich, Germany claimed that he was influenced by first person shooter games (CNN). In another situation, a man stabbed his taxi driver and stated that the game “Grand Theft Auto" made killing easy. With the technology of today and games that children of this generation find, companies should be mindful and careful about the affects that a game can cause to those who play them.
As a gamer myself and have had experienced many things in the gaming world, I can fully understand why many are angered by the amount of violence there are in video games. Video games titles, such as “Mortal Kombat”, “Call of Duty”, and others attract children and teens. The amount of violence in games like these can set a bad example to those playing the game, and could affect the way people act in the real world. Having played these games myself, it has not really affected my own behavior in any way, but it has affected some of my friends actions. These acts include being violent towards others, including being violent verbally. Specifically, in multiplayer games where players are to communicate with each other, it can gradually affect the way they play the game and talk to others.
Other studies, though, have shown otherwise. Christopher Ferguson, an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Psychology at Stetson University suggests that kids and teens who enjoy games that contain violence are actually keeping them “off the streets and out of trouble…”, and eliminates the violent behaviors.
Knowing and understanding the problems and issues that violence can do to children’s and teen’s behaviors, I strongly believe that video games that are released to the public should be closely examined, as most already are. Parents should be reminded to watch what their kids are watching and playing, making sure that the game is age-appropriate and is safe enough for them to play. Monitoring a child’s behavior while playing games should also be recommended to parents to ensure that their child would not be influenced by violent actions. Making sure that these are done can help make the world and communities safer, and reduce violence caused by video games.