The Influence of Video Games on Young People
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First of all, the significance of computer technology nowadays should be noted. Transportation, agriculture, industry, mechanical engineering, light industry, and armed forces cannot function without computer technology. The list of industries using computer technology nowadays is far from complete. The future of humanity is connected with the further development of computer technology, which infiltrates throughout human life. Computer technologies hold a specific place in humans' everyday life. Suffice to say that nowadays people use a computer at work as well as at their homes.
The computer became both a reliable assistant to perform important tasks and a quite skillful animator to brighten up one’s life with some computer games, say nothing of the Internet. Therefore, it is difficult to overestimate the significance of computer technology in modern life. In order to define how violent video games pose a danger to society, it is necessary to analyze how computer technologies influence the human style of life. By using computer technologies, people learn to live in two worlds simultaneously: in the real-life and the virtual one, which was invented with the help of video games and the Internet. Therefore, computer technologies influence the further life of people, forming certain action pattern and developing learning skills to master certain subjects.
The ability of a computer to develop learning skills turns it into an educational machine adopted by contemporary pedagogic science. In the case of violent video games, people have an opportunity to watch as well as to act. Moreover, violent video games motivate people to think about the given information, make the right decisions, and feel in the center of an event not just as watchers but as leading men. Video games stimulate people to achieve their goals. Therefore, people are interested in playing violent video games, and it teaches them to act like soldiers in a battle. Keeping in mind the training capacity of a computer, it is obvious that violent games teach people to kill. To make things worse, often people confuse real life with the virtual one continuing their computer game. They can live in games putting aside their vital concerns. They can become victims of a computer game addiction.
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A violent video game is not an innocent amusement as it may seem at first glance. In order to prove the statement that video games pose a danger to society, it is necessary to analyze some works of American and foreign scientists who devoted their lives to studying the influence of violent computer games on society. De Maria (2007) focuses on the attention of readers on statements of famous US surgeon Koop (1982) that computer video games make children addicted to playing, and children learn to kill and destroy. His statement resonates with National PTA president Lamm (1982). He is sure that computer games continue violent serials with guns, Indians, and so forth, which began long before appearing computer technology. In Lamm’s (1982) opinion, of course, violent games are dangerous for society.
Senators Lieberman and Kohl (1990s) are against video games. Besides, senator Dorgan (1993) disapproves of the authors of video games. These authors humiliated children with violent games according to Dorgan (1993). Therefore, in the 1980s there was an opinion that video games are unnecessary things for teaching children to hate human beings and to consider other persons as blips for destroying. Of course, people become addicted to playing computer video games. Dr. Carll (De Maria 2007) claims that violent computer video games can teach children violent behavior towards other people. Hence, computer video games can provoke antisocial behavior among players because they carry their games into real life. Therefore, violent behavior increases by 22% for the account of violent game players according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (De Maria 2007). In this regard, it is necessary to note that violent games are stimulators for committing murders.
Players of violent games are considered to become mentally unstable under the influence of such games. Often children playing violent computer video games behave violently and can become killers (Brown 2008). Hilary Clinton expressed her wish in Senate to save American children from the criminal influence of computer video games (Brown 2008). Video games become a reason that children consider sufficient enough to neglect their homework. The American Medical Association made a conclusion in 1994 that violent computer video games are more dangerous for society than TV programs or video and music (Brown 2008).
These games teach and encourage children to commit crimes because there is a connection between children's aggression and computer games (Kirsh 2010). It is explained that children learn to be aggressive while playing these games. They develop their behavior from the example of computer video games because children got accustomed to watching violence. Moreover, it makes no difference for them what they hold in hands: either a computer mouse or a real gun. By the way, about two-thirds of American pupils have access to guns (Garbarino 1999). They even go to school with weapons. It is no coincidence that youth violence is a real problem in the USA today.
Meanwhile, there are many supporters of violent computer video games in America. They defend computer video games stating that youth playing violent games learns to be ready for the cruel reality. Of course, it is a lame excuse to lobby for the interests of major companies producing violent computer games. Nevertheless, Congress decided to regulate the selling of video games to protect children from violent scenes.
Some companies decided to reduce violence by means of painting blood in green color, reviving killed persons, etc. (Wright 2010). Wright, Embrick, & Lukacs (2010) state that computer video games are perceived differently in different countries depending on the content of violence in them. They explain such an approach from the viewpoint of existing different national traditions, the historical development of societies, and social and cultural aspects in different countries. They compared how the problem with violent computer video games is solved in Europe, the United States, and Japan and have concluded that regulation of selling computer games is helpful in solving the problem with youth violence.
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Wilkinson (2012) depicts the consequences which may be a result of the devotion of youth to computer games. Depression of children as a result of their devotion is the main cause of committing a crime in Wilkinson’s opinion. Levine & Kline (2010) give parents some advice on how they can detect their children’s addiction to computer video games by their behavior, appearance, and other signs. They consider violent computer video games as the main cause of the psychical discomfort of children. They warn parents that “feelings of terror and helplessness become a normal state of being” for their children when they become addicted to computer video games (Levine & Kline 2010). In their opinion, children confuse real life with the imagined one under the influence of computer video games and, therefore, they can act in accordance with the scenario of those violent games. This statement coincides with a theory of behaviorism according to which human behavior is a result of an influence of environment and learning. According to Cassel & Bernstein (2007), computer violent games pose a danger to a society “for causing violent behavior” (p. 105).
Without limiting the proceeding, it should be mentioned that violent computer video games are essential educational supplies for training specialists for armed forces, police, FBI, CIA, and other government organizations. Of course, children, as well as other civilian people, should be protected from the influence of such games. There are many educational, entertaining, cognitive, informative, and amazing games without any violent scenes for people of a wide range of ages and interests in the modern world. It is out of the question to discuss the usefulness of violent games for civil people. These games are harmful both for young people and children due to the abovementioned reasons. Middle-aged people and old ones have quite different interests and do not need to play such video games.
It is strange that the government has not yet forbidden the free sale of computer violent games. The main opinion is that violent computer video games pose a real danger to society if they are freely sold. No regulation act can protect children from violent behaviors if they have easy access to guns. Therefore, to forbid computer violent games is easier than to forbid the trade of arms. When people do not play violent games, they can improve their behavior and can solve their problems without the help of the weapon. Violent games are dangerous to a society and should be excluded from American retail trade. They only are useful for special applications as training aids. Moreover, violent computer video games should be forbidden everywhere in the world because of their negative influence on humanity. There are many kinds of computer games that do not have any violent scenes. It is necessary to remember the main principle “Do no harm” to protect human society, and our children especially, from violent actions.
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