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Video games censoring

Updated on November 14, 2013

Nowadays many homes contain video game consoles as well as personal computers which support video games and at least one of those games which consumer buys has violent content displayed while playing. Topic about violence in the media and causes of violent behavior has been around since the creation of the television. Parents and the government try to censor television by creating regulations on what can be shown on public channels. Parents and politicians have blamed video games for school shootings, attacks and other illegal criminal activity. Video games are also accused of reducing social behavior, which means they reduce the need to socialize with others and be an active part of society. Most people think that all video games should be censored for adult content and all non-child-friendly content should be removed but this statement has many pros and cons with justified reasons.

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In the last few years many controversial topics arise and many of them are saying that violent video games and other media that shows violent content are cause of school shootings and violence around schools in past several years. In addition to that, The Center on Media and Child Healthcare has reports of over 1200 experiments on the subject of media violence and David Bickham, staff Scientist at the Center on Media and Child Health, states: “Studies show consensus in the state of science that a strong and consistent relationship exists between viewing violent media and increased levels of anxiety, desensitization and aggressive thoughts and behaviors among young people”. From these facts we can ask a question: Why are video games the worst of them all? There is violence on television, in comic books or even cartoons. One of the reasons for this is that while playing video games players get experience points or in- game currency and in violent oriented games, players get those pints or currency for their negative actions which are often shown focused in high details.

Another reason why video games should be censored is real time control over the situation. Because in the video games it is the child who is making decisions about killing, stealing or destroying someone or something. This particular thing is not the case in the television programs or comic books. According to the 98 percent of the games surveyed, aggression went unpunished. In addition to that, more than 50 percent of video games surveyed rewarded players for their aggressive actions. In order to have as many users as possible, companies make video games which are enjoyable so that storyline is basically giving them more reasons to play further and further they go they encounter more harder tasks that forces children to use techniques that are more violent and, in most of the games that were surveyed, shower in much more graphically realistic way. These facts are really astonishing and when we take in consideration that those games are played by children who are still developing, those real time controls over their in-game character could reflect their real life behavior and endanger their lives and lives of people around them.

On the other hand, Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) found that only 5% of the 2010 games were rated Mature and E for Everyone dominated the market with a 55% share. Following were Teen games at 21% and Everyone 10+ at 18%. Titles with rating for early childhood were last with only 1% of ESRB rating list. Only by observing these numbers we might conclude that video games might not be a cause for children’s violent behavior but when we take a minute and read how the games are rated we can see several flaws in the game rating process. First of them is that whole game is not rated at all, the only thing that is rated is demo or beta version of certain game which is changed before its final release many times. This it he flaw that video game developers use in order to attract customers with false rating of their game. Another flaw is that with the Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Games ESRB does not rate what is happened during the game. For example, world known game called “World of Warcraft” is rated T for teenagers but while playing the game, players are affected by blood and gore, crude humor, mild language, suggestive themes, and use of alcohol. These flaws might look small but when we take in consideration that World of Warcraft has over 10 million active players and it is one of the most popular games we should consider these flaws and be stricter with the rules.

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