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Arsalan BaigProfessor RidouaneEnglish 130225 November 2013Video Games: Are they an issue?The video game industry has thrived greatly over the past decade. Gone are the days of arcade pinball machines and coin-based racing games from back in the 80s. The next generation of video gaming has made its way to the ordinary individual’s living room, resting peacefully under the TV. Almost everyone nowadays owns a video game console or has played a video game at some point in his or her life, anything from Angry Birds to Call of Duty. For most people, the more common ones being teenagers and young adults, video games are a way of releasing stress at the end of the day; a way to relax and unwind. The variety of games provided by retailers ensure that just about every single audience is covered, from children to women. However, the video game industry has always been subject to one big complaint; the amount of violence it portrays. There are non-violent video games, but the media and politicians always choose to target the violent ones. And as a result, these video games get the most attention. Most gamers will argue that the violent video games are more fun than the non-violent ones, which only makes the issue more controversial. However, there is a fan base for non-violent games as well. I cannot recall how many times my mother would insist that I should not play video games where I would have to shoot people repeatedly, despite the fact that I would also play at least 2 non-violent games for every violent game I played. Some people may argue that video games have no effect on them, whereas in other cases, video games have indeed been found to be the culprit. One particular example is the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter, Adam Lanza, who was
found to have thousands of dollars’ worth of video games in his home. So it is really a question of how we look at it.Video games have always been very controversial. One side of the argument is how violent they can be. Video games have been blamed for a lot, from school shootings and crime to other, less severe issues such as antisocialism and foul language and behavior. Numerous parents, politicians and other individuals have argued about how evil video games can really be. In Current Issues: Media Violence, Nakaya says “Gaming is...a new medium, one that has recently become wildly successful. Young people play them and old folks don’t understand, so they must be bad”. Despite the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) having been set up to regulate the content of video games and what ages they are appropriate for, the video game industry has repeatedly been attacked for the sheer amount of graphical violence they include in their games that is viewable by the youth. An example is Grand Theft Auto, one of the most violent, albeit most successful video games ever created. A long running series that has been played by millions over the past decade, the series has been attacked ever since it first came out;