Blowing Away the Myth
Juan Ruiz, David Ortiz, Cesar Froylán
Video games have come a long way since Pac-Man ate
yellow dots. Now video games have automatic guns,
grenades, and sniper rifles that are used to kill
characters. These games are very popular with youth
today, causing concern in parents that their kids are
learning how to be violent. The two students who
initiated the Columbine tragedy were known to play
violent shooter video games. Now there is NARC, a
video game where the player not only kills video game
characters, but where a player can do an assortment of
drugs that either helps or hurts their chances of
About 30 to 40% of current video games are violent,
said Brian Lowe, the president of South Coast Games.
The core market for video games is boys age 12 to 24,
who usually like “shooting games”, Lowe said. He
previously worked for Midway, Norstar, and Media
Vision, and helped to create Mortal Kombat and Grand
Theft Auto, some of the most violent and controversial
games out there. But he does not let his two children
play violent games, including the games he helped to
create. Lowe believes that video games do not make
kids violent, but it is up to the parents to teach
their children not to be violent and to monitor what
games children play.
“I don’t think video games make people violent,” Lowe
said. “I think the problem with violence starts at
Plus, sex and violence has been used to sell movies
for a long time, which is not very different from what
video games do, Lowe said.
Yet violent video games can effect certain children
said Jon Girvetz Ph.D, a clinical psychologist.
“There can be a direct risk for some kids who have
violent tendencies, especially kids who have
difficulty controlling impulses.”
But overall, video games are not a direct cause of
violent behavior, Girvetz said, but are a reflection
of our violent society.
“Violent video games are symptomatic of a culture that
plays to violence as a means to solve problems,”
Girvetz said. “It does reinforce the cultural mandate
for males to settle scores; physically rather than
We interviewed our friend Luis, who plays a lot of
violent video games like Halo 2, at least four hours a
day. He said that he does not act violent after
playing a violent video game.
“Video games do not make you violent,” Luis said. “It
is what is in you that depends if you become violent
or not,” he said.
Luis said it is only a matter of time after you begin
playing a violent video game, that you get bored and
do not play it anymore.
We certainly think that violent video games do not
influence the human mind. It depends on the person
whether they make the decision to be violent. Violent
video games are for fun only. As Brian said, “Violent
actions depend on what happens in your family”.