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Andrew Velasquez
Professor Noh
English 114A
28 November 2015
Violent games: Correlation is not causation
Violent video games have been the controversial excuse for violent
actions for as long as theyve existed, with excuses that vary from school
shootings to minor tantrums. While test have been done to proof correlation
between violence in youth and video games, these video games do not
cause violence in youth, because correlation test that show otherwise often
have flaws in them. For example test often fail to show other factors that
may lead to violence in youth, such as family background, divorce between
parents, or illnesses which include anxiety or schizophrenia.
The debate on video games causing violence has even made it to the
Supreme Court, in an article by the Christian Science monitor it states
indeed, youth violence has been in decline even as video games have been
on the rise with gorier, more realistic, and highly interactive graphics. (22)
This article explains that games are not the cause of violence in youth, in
fact it may even help decrease violence. As video games continue to develop
with better graphics and new technology, Video Game Companys gain a
larger audience therefore keeping kids off the streets by serving as a


distraction rather than creating violence as some believe. These violent

video games do not boost crime rates among youth, instead they lower them
by allowing teens to work out their aggressions in front of the computer
Doctors have also said that video games are beneficial for cognitive
functions, in a publication by West Virginia University they state according
to Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson of Texas A&M, violent video games may enable
young adults to handle stress and depression more assuredly.(Marshall)
Being exposed to violence at an early age may be beneficial, because it
allows the child to grow up in a mental state which allows them to cope with
stress and handle depression better. This is important because stress is
known for causing deadly diseases such as cancer or Alzheimers, being able
to handle stress well enable the child to avoid certain diseases such as those
previously mentioned, and by doing so it well prolong the childs life.
In a speech against violent video game Clinton stated "In my
experience the video-game industry is as bad but not worse than other
media on marketing violence to kids,"(Davis). Violence is everywhere in
media, your house, movies, and even school. To say that youth in violence is
caused by violent video games is too much of a general statement which
ignores the many other ways that violence is caused by. Poverty for example
plays a major role in violence, poverty exposes some to gangs and drugs and
leads to dangerous lifestyles this is the case in some areas where poverty is
a problem. Chicago is one example where poverty and violence fill the area.


Poverty however isnt the only factor that leads to violence in

some cases family background plays a major role. Whether the childs
parents are divorced or whether the
child has an alcoholic father or mother, being exposed to such conditions is
known to leave the child scared and traumatized which leads to growing up
with certain conditions such as anxiety or anger problems. This could affect
the child later on in life as he develops leading to isolation and anti-social
personality disorders. An example of this would be the Harlow monkey
experiment where monkeys are neglected love and care and later on develop
social problems when placed in a group of monkeys. All these play a role that
could affect the studies of violent games on youth.
Games not only help cope with stress but improve cognitive functions
as well, in an article by Filipino reporter they state that certain types of
video games can have beneficial effects improving gamers dexterity as well
as their ability to problem solve - attributes that have proven useful not only
to students but to surgeons(26). This finding may help in performing
successful surgeries, doctors will be able to practice on these types of games
and therefor improve their surgeon skills. For example in the article, the
problem solving in games showed in a study that surgeons preformed 27
percent faster and with 33 percent less mistakes than when going to surgery
without. This could mean the difference between life and death when
performing an operation, and may help save many lives.


Violent video games serve as a purpose to relief stress and may also help in
some cases reduce violence in youth. While studies show that violence is the
cause most prove wrong by having slight flaws that play important factors in
determining if games really cause violence. Having the mind set focused
away from stress is another way video games are beneficial, the stress relief
could help prolong life and help develop the childs brain. Games also serve
as a learning experience in that they help better your skills, surgeons may
also benefit because it allows them to better their skills. Violent video games
do not cause violence, we take for granted the beneficial effect of video
games and believe what we hear in media, we believe the single story of
violent games causing violence.


Works cited
Filipino Reporter [New York, N.Y] 22 Aug 2008: 26. Video games not all bad,

psychologists say
Bob Davis. Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition [New York, N.Y] 03 June 1999:

A28. Clinton Picks an Easy Target for His Campaign Against Youth Violence:
Makers of Video Games
Marshall Amores. University Wire [Carlsbad] 17 Sep 2014. Video games

beneficial to cognitive functions

The Christian Science Monitor [Boston, Mass] 27 June 2011: 22. What next

after Supreme Court ruling on violent video games?