Video Games & Violence

Video games have become an integral part of most people’s life particularly in advanced countries. Though games like SimCity, Tactical Iraqi have been credited with adding a lot of positive traits to a person’s character, there have been also many like Aliens Vs Predator, Fallout 3, Mass Effect which have been highly criticized for inducing violence particularly in children. In fact the level of violence in some of the videogames has even prompted governments to enforce a ban effective in their jurisdiction. Such bans are not only restricted to conservative governments, but governments of developed nations such as Australia, Singapore and Japan have also ordered such bans.

Australia seems to have banned the largest number of games whereas the United States, France, and Canada do not seem to have banned even a single game citing greater freedom of speech and expression. The research work carried by the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health, The Journal of Adolescent Health, and The British Medical Journal have indicated that there is no rigorous scientific proof which would corroborate the hypothesis that these video games do induce violent activity among the youth.

However, there have been numerous books like Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents, Grand Theft Childhood which present arguments on how the violence from games can easily creep into a society. Also, there have been some real life incidents like The Columbine High School Massacre whose perpetrators have been alleged to have been addicted to the videogame Doom, the Spanish incident in which a teenager murdered his father, mother and sister and was addicted to the video game Final Fantasy VIII. A list of such real life incidents with appropriate references is maintained at Wikipedia with the video-game Grand Theft Auto figuring in many of these incidents.

  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Based on violent and criminal themes, this videogame has been banned in United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Malaysia and Japan. It has been alleged to have caused most number of real life video-game based violent acts. The 2008 and 2009 Gamers Edition have figured in the Guinness World Records for being the most controversial video game series in history with over 4000 articles published on it. Successive versions of the game have been criticized not only for general violence but also for sexual content, ethnic discrimination, drunk driving and even for full frontal nudity in The Lost and Damned pack.

  • God of War II
  • Banned in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, this game easily makes to the list of top ten violent video games. It is a gory, action-cum-adventure video game involving the ruthless God of War overcoming the betrayal of the Gods. Among others, the game has been criticized for its advocacy of ruthless weapon use and brutal cut scenes. The game also features one of the most horrible scenes in the history of video games which involves the repeated slamming of a door on another gods head.

    Leave a Reply