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Violent Video Games

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Maddie Sheakley

on 29 May 2015

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Transcript of Violent Video Games

Violent Video Games
Violent video games have fallen prey to "moral panic"
Playing the Blame Game
Other topics that have also fallen under "moral panic," are gun control, crime increase, and the war on drugs
More concern has risen with the effect of modern video games due to the evolution of game graphics
Many would like to believe that the violence in video games is linked to the occurrence of violent crime
Video games are rated for certain age-groups, are not to blame for increased aggression in children, and have potentially positive effects
The Rating System
the effects of:
Games are rated for age groups depending on content, language, or level of violence
This is done by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board)
-came about with the release of Mortal Kombat August 9, 1992.
Assigns a label/category for released games
-gives a general overview of the type of content to expect
-restricts under-age kids from purchasing what they should not
The Rating Process
The ESRB follows steps to rate games that are to be released to the public
-provides info. for consumers
(esp. parents) to make informed decisions.
1) a questionnaire detailing the game's content is completed by the creators
-context, reward systems, difficulty, & degree of player control
2) a DVD is submitted with the questionnaire
-reviewed by 3+ trained raters, collectively decide on a rating
-moved on to other staff - agree? \/
3) certificate sent to game publisher
-returned, then
the rating is put on the ESRB website, and packaging is checked by the ESRB
Categories that are Rated
Three Categories that are rated:
age group
: age appropriateness
content description
: includes the content that caused the rating of the game, or any content of interest of concern
online interaction
: interactive aspects, ability to interact, sharing of user information/location
The Effects
Any real effects of violent games have only been proven under
short term

no research has proven long term effects
All psychological testing has come to the very same conclusion:
-a dose of violent gaming makes people act a bit more rudely than they would otherwise
-Christopher Barlett tested on students in Iowa State University with hot sauce
tests confirm what gamers know in their gut: playing violent games 'stirs the blood'
The Effects
critics claim that violent games make players violent, particularly children & believe these games lead & teach children to commit violent crime
parent's responsibility of what their kids play
Juvenile crime decreasing!
-research conducted by Christopher Fergusen: correlation of media and real-life violent crime reversed after the 1950's and remains today.
-the sale of video games has more than quadrupled from 1995-2008, while arrest rates for juvenile murders fell 72% and arrest rate for juvenile crimes declined 49% at the same time
45% of players (boys) say "it helps me get my anger out"
62% report that it "helps me relax"
media violence teaches life lessons by releasing violent impulses harmlessly in a game, rather than at school
The Effects
Long term effects cannot be proven
Researchers believe video games attract more violent people
-hard evidence is nearly impossible
-proper test group large enough & similar enough cannot be assembled, people are so different
games do not make a murderer: social isolation, being bullied, home-life, ect. do!
Counter 2
Sandy Hook School Shooting; Dec. 14, 2012
Adam Lanza was, in fact, a gamer
nearly 80% of Lanza's age group are fairly avid gamers, many of the games being violent.
Lanza was proven to be mentally unstable with Asperger's syndrome
Reported being socially awkward and isolated
if there was a true, solid, consistent link, they would be committing murder right now.
2007 study:
The Effects
Brain Activity
many games are centered around problem solving and cognitive thinking
Daphne Balelier has shown that playing these violent action games can over time, increase a player's brain plasticity and learning capacity, improve vision and perceptually motivated decision making.
increase a player's ability to tune out distractions, master skills, improve memory, and strengthen reaction time and the ability to think abstractly, or mentally 'rotate' objects
Counter 1
violence is found in all versions of media
movies, TV shows, music, & sports
-movies, tv, books and games
only differ
in the fact that games are interactive, hardly different from first person POV
-have much of the same content
-contact sports are a real-life example of violence
-hockey, wrestling, football
1) players fist fight, cross check, slash, or trip other players.
2) wrestlers pummel each other
3) players tackle each other
With all other forms of media being so similar, games should share in the accusations of violence
Violence is a fundamental part of human life
Crimes like...
Games interactively teach violence
Games (or any form of media) should not be unjustly blamed for violent crimes
-media reflects real-life
-it is the job of the parents to know and approve what their kids play
-no proof has been found of any long term effects
-offer potentially positive effects
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