Should children play video games? “They argue that violent video games may provide a safe outlet for angry feelings. This may actually reduce crime”(Newsela). Many experts claim that video games aren’t proven to lead to violent crimes in the future. They also have many studies showing that when video game sales increased the crime rate decreased. Children should play video games, because they lower crime rates, they do not lead to violent crimes, and they help with their physical and mental health.
There is no question that video games are proven to lower crime rates. In the article, “Shooters in the Dark”, “‘We found that higher rates of violent video game sales related to a decrease in crimes, and especially violent crimes’, said Dr. Ward, whose co-authors were A. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Benjamin Engelstätter of the Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany”(Benedict). This shows that when more video games are sold, there is a decrease in crimes. But, is there much of a decrease in crimes? Yes, actually. One of the most significant pieces of evidence that supports this is, “Issue Overview: Do Video Games Cause Violence?” by Newsela, “From 1994 to 2014, game sales increased by more than 200 percent. During those same ten years, murders by youth acting on their own fell 76 percent and violent crime rates dropped 37 percent.” When the video games sales increased by 200 percent the violent crime rates dropped. This further displays the fact that more video games sales leads to significantly less murders and violent crimes, especially on the youth’s behalf. If violent video games lead to violent crimes, why exactly would crime rates lower, as more people bought video games?
It seems that video games are not proven to lead to violent crimes. According to “Issue Overview: Do Video Games Cause Violence?” by Newsela, “Courts have said there is no clear link between video game violence and real-world violence.” This reveals that even courts have found that video game violence is not linked to real world violence. Another relevant piece of evidence that supports that video games do not lead to violent crimes is from the article “Do Games Like 'Grand Theft Auto V' Cause Real-World Violence?” by Erik Kain, “If there is a truly direct, causal link between games like Grand Theft Auto V and violent shootings, we will soon have 18 to 20 million killers on our hands, not to mention the countless millions who have been playing violent video games for years”. This implies that there is no possible way that video games can lead to violence, because then we would have countless more criminals and violent people in the world. The world is violent, but not violent enough to be because of video games.
In general, video games help with the physical and mental health of children. For instance, the article, “Game on! New Study Says Video Games Could Be Good for You?” by Newsela, states, “Gaming might burn more calories than just watching TV. She believes it also may be that kids holding a controller are not as likely to pick a snack or a soda.” This demonstrates that children who play video games have more physical health benefits than children who don’t. When children are playing video games they are burning off more calories than just sitting in front of the TV, and these children are also less likely to eat a fattening snack or drink a soda full of sugar, because they won’t be eating for “fun”. Video games do not only help children with their health physically, but also mentally. As stated earlier, children who play video games are able to release some of their anger in a safe environment, which ultimately helps their mental health, plus video games also help children with decision making. In the same article it also talks about this positive mental health factor. It says that video games are an important tool for teaching children to make the right decision. This affirms that video games can also help with the decision making part of mental health. All in all, video games help children physically and mentally in more than one area.
Although some people believe that video games lead to more violence and violent crimes, this is not the case. According to “Shooters in the Dark” by Carey Benedict, “The proliferation of violent video games has not coincided with spikes in youth violent crime. The number of violent youth offenders fell by more than half between 1994 and 2010, to 224 per 100,000 population, according to government statistics, while video game sales have more than doubled since 1996.” If video games lead to violence, like some people argue, then when more video games were sold, certainly, more people would be committing crimes. The previous evidence clearly explains that this is simply not how it works. Others also claim that when children play violent video games, they are more hostile and violent, nevertheless, “They argue that violent video games may provide a safe outlet for angry feelings.” (Newsela). As you can see, video games actually cause children to be less violent, since they are able to release some of their anger while playing these video games. Not only are they able to release their anger, but it’s also in a safe way, where they are not hurting themselves or others.
Let’s come to an agreement, video games should be played by children because they do not lead to violent crimes and they help with the physical and mental health of children. When children play violent video games they burn more calories than just watching TV, and they can release some of their rage and hostility. But, most importantly, video games lead to significantly high percentages of less vicious crimes. Without a doubt, the world could use less violence and hostility, and video games will help with that. What can you do to help spread this message?
Voice your position to professionals, such as child psychiatrists, on how beneficial video games are.
Carey, Benedict. “Shooting in the Dark.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Feb. 2013, www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/science/studying-the-ef
“Essential Facts About Games and Violence.” The Entertainment Software Association, Entertainment Software Association, 20016, www.theesa.com/article/essential-facts-about-games-and-violence/.
“ Game on! New Study Says Video Games Could Be Good for You?” Newsela- Game on! New Study Says Video Games Could Be Good for You, By Chicago Tribune, Adapted by Newsela Staff, 2 Apr. 20 ADAD, www.newsela.com/read/videogames-health/id/7123/.
“Issue Overview: Do Video Games Cause Violence?” Newsela | Issue Overview: Do Video Games Cause Violence?, Newsela, 27 Nov. 2016.
Kain, Erik. “Do Games Like 'Grand Theft Auto V' Cause Real-World Violence?” Do Games Like 'Grand Theft Auto V' Cause Real-World Violence?, Forbes Magazine, 18 Sept. 2013, 01:30PM, www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/09/18/do-games-like-grand-theft-auto-v-cause-real-world-violence/.
Mohammadi, Dara. “How Online Gamers Are Solving Science's Biggest Problems.” How Online Gamers Are Solving Science's Biggest Problems, Guardian News and Media, 25 Jan. 2014, 14:05.