Violence and video games

Violence and video games

Al Amundson

When I was younger, my brother and I  both discovered video games. While I wanted to play “softer” games, my brother took an interest in some of the more violent games, such as Call of Duty or Doom II. My mother was beyond upset when she learned of my brother’s interest, saying that video games would “ruin his mind.” It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned she was wrong.

Though the amount of violence in certain video games is shocking, it does not influence our choices or values. Additionally, video games are spread out across the world, yet there is no conclusive evidence of rising violent tendencies among those who play violent video games. An article from added, “The main reason to be skeptical of a causal link is that video games have spread widely around the world without driving other countries to the levels of violence in [America].”

A man named Joseph Hilgard conducted a study in 2019 to find out the answer once and for all. He gathered a group of college-aged men and split them into two groups. Hilgard had the groups play different versions of the game Doom II; one violent and the other nonviolent. Then, the participants were asked to participate in an exercise that tested their aggression levels. Throughout the experiment, Hilgard measured the participants’ aggression levels and found them to be almost indistinguishable to zero. There was almost no link between violent video games and real-life violence.

Video games may change the way people see the world (ex. desensitization to violence, or thinking more about violence), but they do not directly influence us. Violence is a choice, not something forced upon us. It is near impossible for someone to be violent just because they saw it in a video game.

Video games are no excuse to be violent. They do not ruin one’s brain or force them to commit violent acts. In a way, my mother was right; violence in video games can affect a person’s way of thinking or how they view the world, but as long as one plays video games in moderation and does many other activities, they will be fine.