Art by Jaclyn Refrow
Story by Gracie Vanover
Hi there. I am a teen gamer who has no self-control because I play more violently-rated video games, which leads to “irrational” thoughts.
Video games have been on the rise for generations and have grown widely in content. With a growing fan base companies produce new games yearly with more intense content. Although this content grows harsher, video games are not to blame for things like school shootings and other heinous acts done by teenagers.
Since 2000 there have been approximately 188 school shootings on high school and college campuses. With 97 percent of teens playing video games, it’s easy for people such as politicians to throw the blame towards this form of media. But not is all that it appears to the naked eye when looking at the research or what’s being said about video game violence.
Although gaming has grown more intense and violent in content studies show that video games have no long-term aggression on teenagers. Video games have equal effects than other forms of media like cartoons and movies do. Even though these facts are out there for quite literally anyone to look at and read politicians continue to bash video games as an easy way out and to appeal to other adults with these similar morals.
However, the real underlying contributor to these events are factors like mental health or gang activity. Most politicians and local officials refuse to step into the mental health territory as they don’t want to look like they’re discriminating against the mentally ill. As someone diagnosed with mental illnesses I would rather my government be transparent instead of completely disregarding mental health as a factor.
Blaming video games rather than the actual factors is quite childish .It shows that they do not dig and research the facts enough. When you really look into it it seems politicians are just playing the blame game. For example, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin suggests that these violent games and media throw us into a dangerous loop of aggression and unreasonable thoughts which lead us to these situations. However, that is far from true.
As someone in a school environment and gaming community, its presented to us teen gamers as politicians shrugging us off and saying, “Well you made this mess you better clean it up.”
Video game industries are worth billions of dollars so politicians figure “hey, let’s just throw a little bump in the road their way it won’t hurt right?” Throwing these claims can actually be quite harmful to some. You are throwing tons of graphic artists and animators a hard curveball for all their hard work and possibly causing job shortages due to the decrease in sales.
As an average 16-year-old gamer who plays games on the more violent spectrum, I do not think these games are the issue. The real issue leading to these tragic shooting events and outbursts of violence is simply what is going on inside these teeangers’ heads and how their world around them is treating them. Shying away from the true issues of these matters and putting blame on forms of art and media helps no one.