The Real-World Effects of Virtual Violence: Perspectives on Video Games and Mass Media

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There is no doubt of the fact that video games are becoming more realistic and violent, nor that they are becoming much more beautiful and engaging in the way they look. What many people doubt, though, is whether they have a profound effect on a person’s character or not. Aggression as a result of video games seems to be a nebulous issue among much of the public. The research is there, but it is fragmented and covers many different issues that could (and are) problematic as far as video games go. This paper will provide a survey and balanced evaluation of current research and thinking by experts on the short and long term effects of video games, specifically violent actions and themes, on individuals as well as society as a whole.…show more content…
Competitive video games progressed and eventually became violent. A game called Death Race, which was released in 1976, was the first widely released violent (to the standards of that time period) video game. The point of the game was to run over gremlins with your car. There was public outcry and the game was taken off shelves across the nation. By standards of most people living today, gameplay in this form would not evoke anywhere close to such a reaction. As time progressed, the game was again released and accepted as other games began to raise levels of violence. More games were released and societal reactions were different depending on how new or shocking the concepts of the game were. In 1984 an even different kind of violent video game was released by Nintendo for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). It was called Duck Hunt. Players used a proprietary “gun” to shoot the ducks on screen. This was the first time the actual physical shooting mechanic was introduced to video games. As video games became even more violent, blood became an accepted element in new games like Wolfenstein and Mortal Kombat. There were varied amounts of public outcry after release and the creators of Wolfenstein were forced to change the blood in the game to sweat and change the attack dogs to giant mutant rats. As the first-person shooter matured, concerns about what effects these games would have on the people playing them rose. Games that put the player in
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