Video Games and Violence: Who is to Blame?

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The debate over the prevalence of violence in children who play violent video games versus those who do not has been raging for as long as violent video games have been in existence. Who is really to blame for children who become increasingly violent? Is it really all the fault of video games or is there more to it than placing the blame on an inanimate object?

While children who play violent video games may have more exposure to “active” violence than those who do not is it really fair to place the blame on the game itself? Where do parents come in on all of this? Isn’t it the parent who hands the child the game in the first place? Isn’t it the parent who sits their child in front of a video game console for babysitting purposes whilst they are elsewhere catering to their own lives? When you take a look at potential contributing factors in children who show a tendency towards violence it really is doubtful that video gaming is to blame…or at least it is not the only thing to blame. With the many contributing factors of parental guidance (or lack there of,) Newspaper stories, News broadcasts, Books, Videos, DVD’s, Societal interaction and DVD and TV productions it is extremely unlikely that violent video games are the only reason that children often become aggressive.

The primary factor in determining a child’s moral guidelines in my personal opinion is the regulation of that child’s behavior by parents or guardians. With the lack of parental guidance children are not put on the right path, nor are they taught what is socially acceptable as far as behavior. Children who are never taught to act in a way that is socially responsible can hardly be expected to know how to do so by sitting down in front of the television or a video game to learn how to interact. If a child is taking social cues from video games and movies of course they are going to pick up their behavioral patterns from those things as opposed to the vacant parental figures. Even though these behavior patterns may be imprinted from video games, it is not the fault of the games themselves for imprinting the child; it is the fault of the parent for not imprinting their own child with the correct sequences of socially acceptable behaviors in the first place. A child who has been taught right from wrong and behaviors that are socially acceptable is a child who can identify these unacceptable behaviors when they are viewed in various forms of media.

It is perfectly accurate to say that children can pick up violent tendencies from playing video games and watching various forms of violent media; however, the assumptions that these behaviors are the fault of the game are absolutely ludicrous. Violent behaviors from media sources are going to stick only when the correct “programming” as it were has not been instilled in a child. When a child is unsure of what is expected of them in certain situations he or she can hardly be blamed for taking cues from his/her surrounding environment and experiences.

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