Welcome to Views on Violence, where we explore views on the influence of digital technology on violence. In this blog post I will be having an in depth discussion into the impact of gaming on violence.

The advancement of technology in gaming.

The gaming industry is one of the most controversial topics when it comes to violence, especially regarding young children. With games such as Call of duty, Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite, have a common trend of violence, many people and parents are worried that it is sending the wrong message out to their children.

“After the 1980’s century, video games have come a long way. Since then an impressive number of advances in the gaming technology was done by the gaming industry.”

As a result of this spurt in technology in recent years, games have created to appear as very realistic to the player. The early 3D games have been around for decades, however they lacked a lot in detailing and rendering which decreased the appeal.

On the other hand, in today’s age, the vast majority of games are 3D. The advances in graphics software have helped in dramatically improving the quality of these games. Therefore, making them easily marketable and increasing demand on a wider scale.

Artificial intelligence has also majorly enhanced in both single player and multiplayer games due to games achieving near-human characteristics.

For example, in combat/war games such as ‘Call Of Duty’, bots can imitate real-world tactics, they can create better tactics depending on how the players perform and come up with innovative solutions.

Negatives of violent games.

Gaming has been proven to be addictive and with many games surrounding violent and vicious behaviours, it could be seen that these ideas can rub off on users. This is due to the extent of how much these games are played by users.

If someone was to play games a lot, they could start to manipulate and imitate actions they play in the game. In addition to this, with games being addictive it is known to isolate users. This is because they would prefer to play games rather than spending time with others.

People who spend a lot of time on games can often lose sight of real life, and they may not be able to make a distinction between fantasy and reality.

A devastating depiction of this can be found in the case of ‘Daniel Petric’ whom in 2009 shot his own parents in the head. This took happened all because they confiscated his Xbox game. Petric killed his mother, but his father survived and was left brutally injured.

“I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever,”said Judge Burge Lorain.

However he rejected the defence attorneys’ argument that the teenager was insane at the time of the shootings. As a result of this, Petric was found guilty of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder.

Violent video games link to crime.

Violent games could pass on the effect of aggression and anger due to the missions of killing people. This makes it hard for addicted users to distinguish emotions when playing the game compared to reality. This can provoke further conversations as to how we can prevent incidences like the ‘Daniel Petric’ one from happening again.

Should games increase the parental control features on games even when they are 18+?

How should parents have more control over what type of games their children play?

In what ways can we as a society make games more suitable for every age?

In addition to this, younger minds are more likely to be manipulated compared to adults. If a young child is in contact with these violent games they could portray these behaviours within their own life.

Recent stories have been released where children are stealing their parents bank cards in order to pay for extras (add ons) within games such as Fortnite. Julie, whose son plays he game on Xbox One, stated:

“My son spent £150 over four days at the end of March. He thought as his name was the user name on the game the money was coming out of his account. Sadly this was not the case.”

This shows that there is a correlation between addiction to games and criminal activates, such as stealing.

Violent video games can still be positive.

Even though violence in games can be seen as very negative, there are still positives. Firstly, violent video games serve as an avenue for expression. Violent video games allow gamers to vent out their frustrations in a relatively controlled and safe environment.

This is the Catharsis Theory first used by Sigmund Freud, that states that expressing or getting out one’s aggression and anger should reduce the feeling of aggression. Violent games can also help players to develop various real-life skills.

Researchers have proven that those who play these type of games are observed to have improved activity of their right side of their brain. This helps enhance their strategic thinking, creativity, memory and problem-solving skills.