At Ohio State University, researchers are studying the effects of violent video games on a person’s behavior in order to see how true these allegations are. So far, he says, “the results clearly showed that playing a violent video game increases aggressive behavior, and also makes people numb to the pain and suffering of others.”

    “There is a link between exposure to violent media and violent criminal behavior. We can’t do experimental studies. It’s just a correlation. Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but they’re related.”

    However, not everyone agrees with this assessment. Playing these games, says Stephen Totilo of the gaming web site Kotaku, is a social activity played with friends, and is more about challenge and competition than violence.

    Cheryl Olson of Harvard Medical School agrees, saying “One of the problems in this field is that people confuse aggression and violence. Some research will call sort of a competitiveness-type aggression as equivalent to violence in the real world. There is absolutely no evidence that any video game or violent movie for that matter has ever caused a real-world violent act.”


    1. While there may not be evidence that video games have ever caused real world violence – do you think it’s possible? If so how likely do you believe games may have caused real world violence?


    Document 2

    By the seventh grade, the average American child will have witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television. Some people say that so much violence on television makes American society more violent. They think that watching a lot of violence makes people more likely to act violently. In 1972, the U.S. Surgeon General, the highest medical officer in the American government, said that “televised violence . . . does have (a negative) effect on certain members of our society.” Numerous scientific studies since then have supported the surgeon general’s position.

    Seventy-nine percent of American youth play computer or video games regularly. On average, young people ages 7 to 17 play these games eight hours each week.
    Violent games account for some 80 percent of video game industry revenues, while sports and other video game formats account for only 20 percent of the market. In a sample of 33 popular games by two major game makers, 80 percent had violent content. Children seem to favor violent games. In one study of seventh- and eighth-grade students, 50 percent of the preferred games were violent, only 2 percent were educational.

    Although there are less research data on the effects of video game violence than on the effects of televised violence, many researchers have concluded that violent video games have negative effects on young players




    Some people have called for even stronger restrictions on video games. Critics of voluntary

      ratings claim that the system is not working. They claim that stores do not enforce voluntary   ratings and parents are unaware of them. They also do not trust the $10 billion a year video game industry to police itself.

    Question - Should our democracy place criminal penalties on anyone who sells, rents, or shows violent video games to minors?