Bang! Bang! You’re dead…literally.

Last Tuesday while reading the Houstonian I came across a small article that was completely sickening: “Teen convicted for killing his mother over a video game.”

It seems that there is constantly something in the news of a random shooting/violent act brought forth by a teen due to “video game violence”. News publications, researchers and politicians are placing blame of teenage acts of violence solely on violence in the media, which, in my opinion, is a complete pile of rubbish.

Over the last several years there has been a significant amount of controversy toward the effects of video game violence on the American youth. A large gap exists between the public’s perception of video games and what the research actually shows. Politicians, researchers and “worried soccer moms” conclude one thing: violent video games lead to violent crimes.

According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings and acts of teenage violence centered exclusively on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure.

I personally think that while, yes, video games may in some form contribute to violence, there are many other factors that affect children in a violent way.

Blaming children who are violent because of video games isn’t right. Parents who are too busy living their own lives to pay attention to their kids are to blame more than games. Soon, someone will say that playing “Cowboys and Indians” or with toy soldiers is too strong a show of violence and should be stopped immediately.

Media reformers argue that playing violent video games can cause a lack of empathy for real-world victims. Yet, a child who responds to a video game the same way he or she responds to a real-world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed.

This again relates back to problems with home life and the fact that a child is emotionally unstable due to problems/aggression toward parents. I’ve personally come from and have first hand experience with problems deriving from parents. There is no communication on the part of parents, so when there is a problem, why not blame it on everything but the actual cause?

This is in no way a slash towards parents. I know that there are good ones, but it’s the ones who don’t take initiative for their responsibilities as parents that should be under fire, not video games.

If a parent is straightforward with their child, has communication and an understanding of boundaries with video games, whether violent or not, and applies a sufficient amount of discipline, then children would respond differently as a whole to media.

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