Violent video games: the cause of violence? Should they be banned?

  1. Hey everybody,

    Was just watching this afternoon's news report online (I'm in Belgium now so can't watch German news) and they had yet another story about wanting to ban the sale of violent video games in Germany. A few months ago, there were a few school shootings, and the common link between all of the shooters was "Counter-Strike". Because of this, they want to ban the sale and playing of all violent video games in Germany. Here is an article (in English) about what they'd like to do and the goals that they want to push to the EU:

    Gaming Bits - Germany Seeks United EU Regulation Banning Violent Video Games

    What are your opinions on Violent video games? Do they cause children and adults to become violent individuals? Are these games the only (or main) reason why school shootings occur?

    Should these video games be banned?
  2. I *love* the grand theft auto series personally, but I think games like that can trigger people who's already on the edge. I don't think they should be banned though. If people are on the edge, they will be triggered sooner or later, either by a video game or by something completely different. It annoys me everytime there has been some violent shooting or something and the video games get the blame. Where the hell were the parents, the schools and other adults when the kids behind those shootings got bullied so much that shooting up at their school felt like the last resort??
  3. parents just need to monitor what their kids are playing. i love grand theft auto too but someone who is 7 or 8 years old should not be playing grand theft auto where you can kill prostitutes and all that. they shouldn't just buy kids whatever game they want.
  4. ^ true, I doubt I will let my kid play it if I ever have one, especially not alone, but I'm sort of fed up by media always blaming video games, movies etc when it's obvious that it's the people around the kid who did something that didn't do enough or wasn't aware.
  5. i think banning violent video games is bad for a number of reasons.

    1. it's not the government's obligation or duty to protect us from ourselves. i'm a big fan of the "marketplace of ideas" theory - without the ability to explore things, including violence, we limit our total intellectual possibilities, even if violent video games don't have much intellectual value at the surface level.

    2. i've never seen a single piece of credible research showing that there's a causal relationship between violent video games and violence. sure, they may correlate, but i think it's much more likely that the correlation is the result of the inherent violent nature in some people - they're attracted to violence, both real and imaginary. this point is supported by the fact that only a very small percentage of those that play violent video games actually commit violent crimes. if the relationship was causal, the percentage would undoubtably be much higher. as a result, the elimination from the violent video games at this point would accomplish nothing - it's a symptom, not the cause, of the problem and it's not a symptom for everyone.

    3. i don't have children, but when i do, i don't want the government to parent them. every parent knows their child's maturity level better than any government regulation, and it is the obligation of the parent to approve or deny entertainment choices. sure, some parents aren't going to make good choices, but you can't regulate every parent in America as a result. they take on that responsibility when they decide to have children.
  6. I wanted to wait after a few comments had been posted before posting my opinion.

    1. There is no possible way that they could ban the sale and playing of these games. It's just not possible. If they can't get it in Germany, they'll drive to France, Czech republic, Austria, etc to get it. They'll download it online, order it on eBay, etc. There's just no way to BAN it.

    2. I don't think that Video games cause violence. I think that they maybe can set people loose who already have mental problems, but I don't believe that they cause people to become violent.

    3. Parents and video game retailers are responsible for controlling the age restrictions that are placed on video game packaging. Seeing an 11 YO playing CS or GTA is insane. I personally don't think that these little kids should be playing games like that. Lots of parents just don't have time for their kids anymore - so they buy them a video game, plop them down in front of the computer, give them a couple of bucks and then go and do their own thing and allow their kids to play these types of things unsupervised.
  7. Absolutely not. People can and will do good and bad things, with or without video games.

    The kids behind these shootings are not only unstable from years of neglect or abuse, but are also no doubt inherently unstable to begin with. Blaming violence on video games is a great way to diverge blame from the rather poor parenting and the lack of intervention by teachers and other adults.

    Reflect on this also: the majority of male teenagers play some form of video game today. A vast majority of these games *are* violent. A teenager that has committed a school shooting has BOUND to have played a violent video game either at some point or with regularity. This is the nature of teens today. The media has just decided to kick-start firey debates due to a very common link in young people today. I personally feel the argument over video game violence is an absolute waste of time that could be better spent monitoring young people and how they are developing emotionally, physically, and psychologically, and establishing better, healthier connections between them and their mentors/peers/parents. THAT is what is lacking today.
  8. ITA with everything here.

    Oh, and about that I wrote that I wouldn't let my kids play whatever I play, I didn't formulate properly, I *will* let my kids play gta, but not before they show themselves to be mature enough to understand that it's a game and they're killing pixles and not real humans.
    Anyways, most of the time I play gta I just end up cruising and listening to the "radio" :shame:
  9. LOL!! I do that all the time!! I just love Grand theft auto.
    I would never ban violent video games. There's no point to doing so, it wouldn't make a difference.
  10. I hate it when people blame inanimate objects for human problems. "McDonalds made me fat. Video games made my kid shoot up his school."

    It just doesn't work that way. I believe in personal responsibility, especially when it comes to parents letting their minor aged children play games that are rated for adults. I don't understand why parents can't:

    a. Not buy these games for their children if the games offend them
    b. Sit down with their kids and say, "Hey, little Johnny, video games are pretend. Shooting a cop or beating a prostitute with a baseball bat are not things we do in real life. In real life actions have consequences."
  11. Excellent ideas, Amanda. Very well thought out response.
  12. It is totally upto the parents to regulate their children and their behaviour. Removing children from videogames is not the answer. I personally think that some of these actions by children (I particularly recall one incident where a teenager stole a car, shot and killed policemen and Grand Theft Auto was blamed) is because of total isolation of children from good role models, good peers and society in general.
  13. ITA.
  14. I think they definitely can influence an already "weak" minded and hostile individual to begin with. How far they go is their responsibility. If it didn't sprout from a violent video game, it will sprout from violent films, books, photos on the internet, etc. A violent person just looks for "triggers" to unleash their hostility much like an alcoholic will find situations that will cause them to drink.

    Just MHO.
  15. I don't think they should be banned as much as monitored. My kids aren't allowed to play them, but if my kids were older teens, I would have a different view on them playing as oppossed to now (they are 8 and 2)