Thursday, February 13, 2014

M for Misleading

M-rated game caption Courtesy of
I bet you didn’t know that 90% of critics think that M games are being viewed by an audience much too young. Or that about 69% of middle schoolers are frequent players of M rated killing games. Or that 90% of kids from the ages 12 to 17 have played a killing game. The statistics on the increase in children playing games such as Grand Theft Auto (GTA) have skyrocketed in the last 5 years alone. The result is a society that researchers speaking to the New York Times said that is more likely to get health problems, be more aggressive and be more likely to commit crime.

Researchers studying the effects of gaming have learned that it can be extremely bad for your health after just a couple years and even more so for children. The earlier the violent games start, the worse it is because by the time kids are 18 they could have easily been playing for 15 to 16 years.  Researchers from the The University of London have proved that people who play video games are 25% more likely to have health complications dealing with sensory development, eyesight, and cramping in the hands later in life. And although it has not been proven that these games lead to shooting, it is known that they increase adrenaline that can make people more susceptible to serious health complications dealing with the heart. Many people want to stop video games overall, but this is very unrealistic, and with the next generation consoles that just came out, the gore and violence are more realistic than ever.

But health complications aren’t the only thing you have to worry about when starting young. You definitely have to worry about the aspect that deals with emotions and what kind of a person games like this will make you. As a test, a team of researchers from the US, Italy and the Netherlands analyzed 172 Italian high school students aged between 13 and 19, who were required to take part in a series of experiments to determine how violent video games affected their personalities. Researchers took tests while playing GTA-5 compared to mini golf and ping pong. One of the tests included having a kid play mini golf and GTA-5 and setting chocolate next to them and telling the teenagers that it was very unhealthy to eat a lot of chocolate right before leaving the room. The teenagers who were playing GTA-5 were 3 times more likely to eat more chocolate than the people playing ping pong. Also the teenagers were then asked to solve a 10 item logic test. For each question answered correctly, they were rewarded with one raffle ticket that they could exchange for prizes.The researchers told the teenagers how many questions they answered correctly and asked them to take the correct amount of raffle tickets from an envelope. The researchers knew how many tickets were in each envelope so they would know if any of the participants had taken more tickets than they had earned. Results from this experiment revealed that the teenagers who played violent video games cheated more than eight times more, compared with those who played non-violent video games. These tests are such a clear example of how they can affect a personality and this was only one time playing GTA-5. Imagine a lifetime of playing these violent video games.

And one last reason why violence in video games is awful is because it can lead to real life shootings.
A researcher named Benedict Carey said,

“The young men who opened fire at Columbine High School, at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado., and in other massacres had this in common: they were video gamers who seemed to be acting out some dark digital fantasy. It was as if all that exposure to computerized violence gave them the idea to go on a rampage — or at least fueled their urges.” 

There are many researchers who think that exposure to violent video games can lead to negative effects in life. Eighty-five percent of scientists in the field of psychology think that the shooting was caused by something seen either by gaming or TV. The fifteen percent of people who thought it was otherwise still think that murder or violence was seen at some point in their life. While it might not be the only reason, at a young age it can be very confusing and even later in life it isn’t natural to see death on a regular basis. Because then you will start looking at death as a game that is fun and in the real world that isn’t the case. So even though it might not be the only reason for a shooting it can definitely can be a cause.

Violent video games can be truly devastating in a physical, psychological, and social standpoint and if started at a young age and kept unchecked can strip a human being of sensitivity.

Conclusion (3 March 2014)

My topic was about how video games can affect behavior in a bad way and can sometimes shape actions.  The people who commented on my blog made me think about my topic in many different ways and it was good to hear their opinions.  Though many people agreed with my opinion there were also some people who respectfully disagreed with me.  It is always good practice to hear opinions other than yours and I made sure that I kept an open mind.  Although my opinion didn't change from the other people opinions I was happy people were making an respectful opinion of their own.  All in all people comments showed me that video games relating to violence is a long hard road to talk about and try to explain.  But hopefully there will come a time where smart people like those who responded to my comments can realize a solution to this controversial topic.


  1. i think that some games have a rating of M for misleading but most of the time the rating M for mature is actually for mature game. so there are some times where the games are misleading but like i said they aren't always misleading ,they are some time rated M for mature

  2. I think it is interesting that people have done studies to try and prove that video games are not good for you i do agree but i also think it is only the would be the parents choice until they are 18. I think that if the childrens parents think they are mature enough to play the games than let them play its the parents choice.

  3. I like M+ games but you changed my mind about them.

  4. I never knew that violent video games were as bad as that! I knew that it was an issue for teenagers and what not, but I didn't know that it affected people that much. I don't play violent video game of any sort, but I know people who do, and they should probably know how much these games can affect them. There is a lot of good information in your post.

  5. This is a very eye opening article. I hope that more of our generation will realize the damage caused by violent video games. It will be interesting to see if, in the future, video games will be linked to violence in the real world.

  6. I think that it can be seen as a misleading rating every once in awhile . However It isn`t the game developers job to make sure that the games they are creating are all "child friendly". It`s up to the parents to monitor what there child is playing, and whether or not its appropriate for there age. As a result of these parents not doing anything about there children playing M rated games I think that sometimes it does lead to violence in the real world; you can see it just walking down the street or the hallway at school I`m sure.

  7. This is a very good article that has facts to back up the claims that are mad. I think that kids and adults should be playing more strategy games where you have to think, which can increase your problem solving ability.

  8. Hi 8buLLLdoZer8~
    I really like how you used real life examples of people who played violent video games and what they did. Do you think that the students at Columbine High School killed themselves after because they realized the gravity of what they had done? ~Himitsu

    1. I think that the shooters killed themselves because (like most people) don't want to have to face the severe consequences and the humility after committing such a crime. Instead they would rather take their own lives.

  9. Hi 8buLLLdoZer8. I enjoyed reading your post; it opened up my eyes to an issue that I had never considered. You mentioned that individuals who were playing violent video games are more likely to cheat. Why is that? Also, you mentioned that playing violent video games can lead to shootings. I do not completely agree with this. In the cases of many shooting rampages, and the cases that you provided as examples, the shooters all had severe mental illnesses. Although gaming might have lead them to be "acting out some dark digital fantasy," their mental conditions ultimately lead them to carry out the shootings.--Hannah

  10. You have tackled a tough issue here, 8buLLLdoZer8, and it is clear from reading the comments that many of your peers appreciate hearing this information. I am currently reading a book that includes a chapter on violence in video games, and it led me to this recent article published by the American Psychological Association about the benefits of video games (even the violent ones). The APA will be releasing a comprehensive review of all the research that's been done on violent video games some time in 2014. I'll be keeping my eyes open for that one! We might learn something new. Thanks for your thoughtful review of the many concerns that violent video games bring up. Well done!

  11. Hi 8buLLLdoZer8! You did an excellent job describing the health issues that come along with violent and compulsive gaming. I found it interesting how the kids in the tests who played violent, killing games were more likely to do bad things and cheat in comparison to the kids who played ping pong. The series of tests that were done on the gamers were interesting because the tests involved important daily things such as honesty. The fact that the video games affected their overall judgment was a great way to support your thesis. Finally, I thought that is was interesting how school shooters were also gamers and that they may have been reliving "A dark digital fantasy" which shows how harmful violent games could be. What I want to know is if it is safe for people over the age of 17 to play mature games, or would it still have the same negative effects?
    Good Job!


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