'Video Games cause Violence' or how to announce that you are a bigot

1 min read
'Video Games cause Violence' or how to announce that you are a bigot

Crashing misconceptions with invulnerable arguments

The topic of video games causing violence was around for many long years. The unfortunate and recent event has only revived this topic and spiced it up. 

Low, metallic voice that is screaming deeply inside the gamer’s head ‘Do some damage! Bring suffering to everyone’. A burning and urging inner violence, raging, like an ocean in the bottle, trying to escape its fragile vessel. Most of the gamers will understand, that the only time they felt this urge was when they heard ‘video games cause violence’. Well, also when they were lagging or when their mom asked them to pause an online game. Nevertheless, this delusion should be stopped for the sake of the gamer’s foreheads which can be injured by their excessive facepalms.

We heard most of the arguments of people criticizing video games for causing violence. Most of them sound like 'if you shoot at people in a video game, you mentally train yourself to do the same thing in real life' or the classic one 'gamers lose the feeling of what is real and what is a virtual game and start acting violently'. Moreover, getting any decent argumentation on this topic from an anti-gaming community is pretty rare. Most of the times you will hear a speech full of hatred, from people who have no clue what is a video game at all. It can be your granny, who says 'they are just mashing buttons and kill each other'. Occasionally, it can even be your president.

Most of the time, people who deal with video games, play them, watch them or just support other people rights to have fun, seldom have debates with anti-fun people. Other than, hating while someone else is having fun, those people are really hard to argue with. Not because their arguments or shouts of hatred have scientific support, but because they are really close-minded. Arguing with them is like talking to the wall and it is doubtful to can change their mind. The best solution would be ignoring those people, but if you engaged in the debates, after all, those would be some tips on how to win them: 

To sound educated and erudite, throw some facts in their face. Anyone can shout out their opinion to the point of where disputing parties will have a contest who can scream louder. Having scientific researches as the support will provide you with a colossal advantage.

  • The recent study that appeared in Computers in Human Behavior has shown that video games do not provoke people for aggression. The researchers from the University of York selected 532 participants with age between 18 and 35. They were given a task to solve the maze game. The variations of the game were different, but the result was clear. The objective of the test was to reveal the priming theory. Will people label objects from ordinary life as objects they have seen in game or not? The result was - no. Not only the participants showed no sign of priming, but also some players showed more creativity than during selective tests.

  • American Psychological Association completed a study in 2018 about aggressive games and their influence on human behaviour. The study was published in Entertainment Computing journal and involved 2778 participants. All participants had to play violent games at least once a week. At the end of the test, gamers took word-association test to identify if they will curse more or associate more things with death and violence. However, researches did not find significant changes in participant’s lexicon. Periodically, they even saw a slight dictionary enrichment.

  • Researchers from Villanova University and Rutgers University have shown two charts. The first chart is the rate of assault crimes in the United States per year. The second chart is the amount of violent video games sales over the years. 

The graphics show that when some big titles like Call of Duty of GTA were released the violent crime has dropped. Patrick Markey, the co-author of the research has commented on those correspondences as 'Correlation doesn't mean causation. But we haven't just looked at sales of games and violent crimes. We have taken into account trends in the data. We remove stuff that typically happens, like a spike in murders during summer and high sales of games near the Holidays, and it's still negative. To me what is most amazing is that is never positive. It is always statistically negative.'

The best way to bring someone with no arguments to silence is to ask a question he cannot answer. Rhetorical questions are one of the most efficient tools to point out the lack of arguments of your opponent. Also, in this way you kind of interacting with your opponent while giving him a chance to shame himself. 

  • How can video games be so influential, but only towards guns and violence? There are so many different genres of games, besides violent ones. There are educational games for kids like Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet or Blue's Clues: Blue's Alphabet Book. There are quest games, that make people solve puzzles and do some brain exercises. The best representatives of whose are Syberia, Grim Fandango or The Longest Journey. Strategic games that will help you master history and gain knowledge about economics basics, such as Civilization or Total War series. It is rather unfair to choose only one specific genre to condemn every other video game. 

  • Is there any correspondence between violent crime and gun policy of the country where it occurred. Comparing Japan and the United States may look like a cliche, but will work just fine in terms of an argument. Japanese gamers are more 'hardcore' and play video games more often than citizens of the US. Their gun regulations are one of the strictest in the world. The population of Japan is approximately 127 million people. The population of the United States is about 325.7 million people. According to the statistics, Japanese people rarely see more than 10 gun murders a year, while the United States has witnessed more than 11 000 gun-related death. Let this information sink in.

Most of the bloodiest battles took place a long time before the first video game was released. So, the last recommendation would be to point out some fierce battles asking what kind of video games were popular back then? So top 5 most murderous fights would be:

  • The Siege of Leningrad with casualties of approximately 1.1 million to 4 million

  • Operation Barbarossa - 1.4 to 5M

  • Hundred Days Offensive - 2.25M of casualties

  • Brusilov Offensive1.6M

  • Not the biggest one in terms of fatality, but the biggest battle that occurred before first World War - Battle of Changping happened in 260 BC with a mortality of 700 thousand warriors

Hopefully, this information will help you argue with biased people and will bring you victory in next 'do video games cause violence' debates. Stay calm, stay safe and don’t let other people ruin your fun and hobby. 

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