This year, in light of the many school shootings in 2018, there has been a great debate about violent video games and whether the violence is appropriate for children and teens.
Personally, I really enjoy video games, I grew up watching my dad play the Street Fighter series and they are some of my best memories, I still play video games to this day and even want to be a competitive e-sports player when I grow up. I’m very passionate about gaming and hearing this topic made me look into it and do more research and came to a conclusion that No, video games are not the root of the problem, but could cause certain problems with the right recipe.
Even though the school shooting I’m going to reference now happened in 1999, it’s still a great example of why I think video games are not the root of the problem. In 1999 April 20th, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris committed the infamous columbine school shooting the main question after this shooting happened the obvious question arised, why? People turned the blame to goth culture, music, and video games and parents, teachers and schools even developed a no tolerance policy on them. I don’t believe that any of these 3 things were the direct source and if they were it would only be small. Eric and Dylan did have mental health issues, the pair were both being bullied and ridiculed in their school which caused them both to have depression regardless of this obvious problem people started blaming games, specifically the video game Doom and Klebolds parents ended up suing Doom but to no avail.
Even though this happened 19 years ago people still blame video games for school shootings and violence when this is obviously not true, people are ignoring the obvious cause. I think the United States needs to do more for mental health awareness whether this be a mental health awareness month or free therapy, we all as a nation need to start seeing that people are not mentally well-even teenagers- and that we need to do something different to help prevent mass shootings to happen.
While I do believe mental health is the root of the problem and video games aren’t to blame as the root, I believe that violent video games, music preaching of harm and murder can have a small influence to teenagers who have poor mental health. While I do believe this is the case, I don’t believe that it’s a problem we should be concerned with and I don’t think that immediate action needs to be taken now, such as banning violent video games, I believe parents should monitor kids video games, talk with them about violence and harming others, and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to take it away from them.
Overall, I think the medias blaming on video games for teen violence is incorrect and unjustified when instead they should be writing more about the awareness of mental health and what we can to to help not only ourselves but others.