As you may know, I plan to write a persuasive essay in which I will argue to my readers the reasons why video games should not be censored or their sales be further restricted. To help build up a solid argument, I have decided to look at an article written with an opinion completely at odds with my libertarian perspective on the matter, and try to deconstruct the author’s argument. The article I am to critique can be found here: http://discussmuch.com/violent-video-games-produce-violent-behavior-in-our-nations-youth-and-should-be-banned/
The author, Eric Roberts, claims that the human race is naturally violent, essentially citing every war in history as an example. While I agree that people are not entirely peaceful beings, Roberts’ subsequent statement that violence in video games leads to violent behavior in the children that play them comes off as a sudden jump to an unwarranted conclusion.
Roberts then states that the reason children are so easily exposed to violent video games is because while they are not allowed to buy M-rated games without a parent present, they can still play them. Although the author is correct in stating a fact, the problem lies in that the M-rating restriction is intended to inform parents that a game may not be suitable for their children. It is ultimately a parent’s responsibility to regulate what a child is and is not exposed to, not a larger power, and children will not be able to play video games too inappropriate for them if parents keep this in check.
The author argues that the constant exposure to violence in their games desensitizes children to real-world violence. In my opinion, there may be some credence to this argument, but I think it really depends on the maturity level of each individual child. Again, parents should know how mature their child is, and keep a close, responsible eye on what their they are playing to prevent any supposed desensitization to begin with.
Eric Rodgers then proceeds to bring about the infamous “school shooter argument” in order to solidify his case. I have said this before, but I will say it again: we must remember that the perpetrators of these horrendous mass shootings make up an extremely small percentage of the population. True, at times, it may seem like an ever-increasing amount of people are shooting up schools, but this only feels like that because the 24/7 media constantly shows the criminals over and over again, artificially “inflating” how often these things actually happen. Unfortunately, what many people do not take into account are the millions upon millions of individuals who play violent video games, yet still turn out as productive, functioning members of society.
Overall, however, my main problem with Rodgers’ arguments lie in that he lacks real sources and statistics to back himself up. In a world where we are constantly exposed to negativity in the media all day, every day, I can understand where the author is coming from, but in the process, he is overly reliant on emotion over logic, jumping to conclusions excessively.