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Video games and violence - Essay Example

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The history of video games can be traced back in the late 1950s and in the early 1960s, a period when the first minicomputers were introduced thereby availing an opportunity where man can interact with the computer…
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Video games and violence
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Download file to see previous pages The earliest games were developed at the Massachusetts institute of technology by an undergraduate student, and since then, the computer or video games have transformed to one of the major entertainment industries in the world that incorporate animated graphics art and narrative structures. Dynamic steps have been made from the traditional board games to the modern interactive games (Gunter, 1998, p. 11 & 12). Over the years, the video games have attained a vast popularity especially among the teenagers. This has attracted public concern from the various public quarters. Studies have been conducted that sought to explain the impact or effects that video games have on the developing minds of teenagers. The increased level of crimes and violence among the teenagers has largely been blamed on the video games that depict violent scenes. At the moment, there are numerous video games incorporated in the various electronic devices, which include even the phones, thanks to the ever changing and developing technology of the modern world. Social and ethical issues The school shootings of April 20th, 1999 in Jefferson County, Colorado that involved two teenagers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris is one of the numerous life case studies that is attributed to violence incorporated in video games. In this case, 13 students including a school staff were murdered and 24 people injured on that fateful day in a span of 49 minutes before the two teenagers ended their lives with the same weapons. This kind of mass murder elicited a public debate on the motives behind the two teenagers’ violent behavior. At the apex of the accusations was the effect of the video game on the two teenagers as it was later revealed that the two teenagers were addicts of the violent video games and they had even played a violent video game just before the shootings. These violent acts have instigated public attention on the possible social and ethical effects of video games and particularly in regards to violent behaviors among the teenagers (Massey, 2007, p. 1 & 2). Video games and violence Over the past three decades, video games have increased their market base and popularity as well. The market base of the video games is founded on teenager market as a child who is as young as three years is considered to have started playing video games at home. In the recent years, focus has sharply been fixed on the violence content that is incorporated in the various video games. A lot of eye brows have been raised regarding this issue and its influence as the teenagers playing the video games are supposed to “view the world through the eyes of the game character” (Signorielli, 2005, p. 36). To make the matter worse the recent technology has option of the player personalizing the game as the players can scan the pictures of people they know and paste them on the potential victims in the game character. With this kind of technology incorporated in the violent video games the teenagers are bound to indulge in violent behavior as the chances are high that they will implement the same actions perceived in the video game in the real world (Signorielli, 2005, p. 36) Video games of the first generation incorporated animated characters of cartoons but that is not the case at the modern world as the characters in the video games are more realistic than before thus indicating that the acts of violence incorporated in the games will also be realistic. Use of the rewarding mechanism where a character in the game is rewarded for killing and ripping of the opponent’s heart is one of the many ways that violence is glorified in the video gam ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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