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Accumulated evidence pointed that there was a “causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children” (Smith and Donnerstein). With the evolution of technology, the rise of the video game industry had given rise to a new form of entertainment that quickly became one of the favorite activities of children in the United States. Uninfluenced from economical distraught and recession, the annual income has increased over the years, with sales that amount to $16.6 billion in 2011 (fig.1).The target group of the industry included individuals ranging from various age groups, with teenagers being the one of the most prominent with surveys showing that “99% of boys and 94 of girls play video games”(Lenhart et al.). With the first appearance of video games, violence was almost always present, with the most notable example being Death Race 2000, a car racing game which involved running over spectators to collect points (Kent). Shorty after the release of the game in 1976, the uproar and protests by consumers led to the removal of the product from the shelves. The realistic nature of the game and the human-like forms that were depicted being killed in the game were the main concerns of the protesters. Other controversies created during that era included “Wolfenstein 3D”, which featured Nazi symbolism and violent shootings and the subsequent “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat” franchises, featuring one-on-one fights and gory graphic sequences (Carnagey and Anderson). Violence in video games, as with violence in media, had been connected to detrimental effects on children and adolescents. With the appearance of the first violent videogame, media directly connected it with teen violence and murder instances. However since then, various correlation and observation studies have produced ambiguous and different results that either confirm or disprove the connection between violence in video games and aggressive behavior and violence in teenagers. This review will analyze the concept of violence portrayed in video games, the various aspects that are affected in teenagers, evaluate proposed solutions and suggest resolutions to alleviate those effects. Figure 1. Computer and video game sales from 2000 to 2011 (NPD) 2. Violence in Video Games The evolution of videogame technologies and graphics has differentiated the depiction of violence vastly from the original, with more realistic graphics and gore. The realistic turnpoint in the violence philosophy, was the fact that in Wolfestein 3D, enemies shot by the player fell and bled on the floor rather than disappear like in previous shooting games, clearly stating the shock value that granted the game popular and later banned (Kent). In 1993, with the release of Doom, the next major first-person shooter, new features were included such as players hunting and killing each other as well as more blood and gore. Modern-day violence in video games is distinguished in heroic violence and senseless violence. Games depicting heroic violence represent killing in the context of heroic narratives, obscuring the moral dimension of violence. These morally simplistic games present any actions taken by the player as justified and praiseworthy. The vast majority of these games are set during the World War II, one of the least morally objectionable wars in the modern history. The most prominent ...Show more
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Sofya Bezbogina Introduction to Mass Media and Communications Tammy Rosso November, 27 American Teens and Violent Video Games 1. Introduction Violence in entertainment and media has always been incorporated in human lives. From battles with hungry lions watched delightedly by Romans and dramatic theater since the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare, violence had always been the main factor in the equation…
American teens and violent video games
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