Should the Government Ban the Sale of Violent Video Games? “Too many of the video games marketed to our children teach them all of the wrong lessons and values” (Whitehead 108). These are the words from the Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich who is trying to outlaw the sale of violent video games. This issue has been around for a while and the government is looking into it. They say that violent behavior by small children is an effect of the violence seen in the video games. Many people have supported the actions taken by the government but others see it as a waste of resources.
There are a number of reasons the government should not get involved in banning the sale of video games. Parents should be responsible and take care of their children. Proponents claim that that the government should ban violent video games for a number of reasons. They claim that research has shown that violent video games affect young people in both short and long term. This leads children to criminal and antisocial behavior. Parents don’t actually know how violent video games actually are and use them to keep their children busy while they are minding their own business so there is no parental supervision.
The government has taken interest in this since many people believe that the role of the government is to protect society and its citizens from damaging society as a whole. However, it would be wrong for the government to take steps in censoring violent video games since it is something that is impossible to do. The government would require a great deal of money to stop the sales of video games. Yet, it won’t stop anything since retailers could then move their sales to the internet where the government won’t be able to perform so well.
All the money invested would then be a waste. Many people against the law say that the government should spend the money in something more useful or needed. It would be a waste of resources to try and control the sales when internet is so accessible to everyone and can provide access to anything. Furthermore, violent acts by children cannot be attributed to video games; there are a lot of things that come into play. Many known researchers have found that there is no link between violent behavior and video games.
The most recent study was performed by Patrick Kierkegaard at the University of Essex, England; it suggested that there is no link between violent video games and violent behavior. Kierkegaard explained that the effect seems to be the exact opposite and one might argue that video game usage has reduced real violence (Kierkegaard). He also states that it is possible for certain types of video game to affect emotions, views, behavior, and attitudes, however, so can books. These can also lead to violent behavior on those already predisposed to violence.
Nevertheless, many of the video games that are found to be violent are not created for children. These games are written for adults and have an effective rating system implemented on them. One such rating system is the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). It was created by the major video game manufacturers due to pressure applied by concerned groups about the content on video games. Many game companies now submit their products for rating by the ESRB. A number of factors are considered when rating games. They include the amount of violence, sex, profane language and substance abuse.
The ESRB then gives an age recommendation and a content description to the games submitted. This rating system allows parents to know what each game contains and allows them to make responsible decisions for their children. As evidence shows, it would not be wise for the government to get involved in this. Parents play a large role in development of their children. They are the ones that go and buy the games for the children without paying attention to the safety measures already in place. I have been a video game player for many years and have played every kind of game.
Yet, the teachings I received since I was a kid are still in me and I have never had the urge to be violent due to a video game. Parents should take responsibility for their children and the government should not be responsible for the actions of the parents. Works Cited Dafoe Whitehead, Barbara. “Parents Need Help: Restricting Access to Video Games. ” Elements of Argument. Ed. Annette T. Rottenberg and Donna Haisty Winchell. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. 108-109. Kierkegaard, Patrick. “Video Games and Aggression. ” International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry. Ed. Johanna K. P. Dennis. New York: Inderscience, 2008. 411-417