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Do violent video games contribute to violent or aggressive behavior or actions in our youth?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,905 times Debate No: 34976
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)




Today I would like to debate a subject that has become very controversial in today's modern society: Violent Video Games.
With all the violence and tragedies in today's society, many look for answers and solutions, such as what to blame for all of this violence, and many turn to violent video games such as first person shooters and violent role playing games.
Now, I would like to point out that we are NOT debating if video games caused or contributed to the actions taken during this tragedy. We are ONLY debating to if they contribute to violent or aggressive behavior in our youth.
Now, I am no extreme "gamer" but I do own an Xbox 360 gaming console and do enjoy playing video games that are what most would say to be violent, such as the first person shooter series "Call Of Duty" and "Halo"
I am not here to argue the outlaw of these games, or increase restrictions, I'm only here to debate about if they do in fact cause an increase in violence in today's youth.

The only thing I ask is that my opponent uses the first round for acceptance to keep this debate even because I will not post an argument this round.

Thanks, and good luck to my soon-to-be opponent!

*This debate is only members who are ranked higher than me. I am looking for a challenge.
Debate Round No. 1


First off thanks to my opponent for accepting. I hope to have a great mature debate.

In today's modern society, as many know there has been a lot of domestic tragedies, from school shootings to bombings. As the tragedies numbers increase, many are looking for answers. Should we ban guns? Should we arm guards at schools? And also society is looking for an underlying cause, violence in the media, violent movies, and violent video games. But all of that is besides the point for this debate, I would just like to really clear this up.We are not debating whether violent video games caused any of this domestic tragedies (US) we are only here to debate if in fact violent video games cause an increase of violence and aggression in today's youth. Now in to the opening arguments.

A brief example:

"A 2000 study involving college students yielded interesting results. The study had two components: a session of video-game play, in which half the students played a violent video game and half played a non-violent video game, and then a simple reaction-time test that put two of the students in head-to-head competition. Whoever won the reaction-time test got to punish the loser with an audio blast. Of the students who won the reaction-time test, the ones who'd been playing a violent video game delivered longer, louder audio bursts to their opponents." [1]

As when can see from the study above, the students who had partaken in the violent video game play (and won) punished their opponents with a more violent, aggressive punishment. This being based on the students who just played a non-violent video game, who only punished with a shorter, not as loud audio burst. Now, there is no specific scientific evidence as to why the violent players did this in comparison to the non-violent, but we will get in to that next. The point of this example was to show that playing violent video games, (At least in this study) does lead to an increase in aggression and violence, because like the report stated, "the ones who'd been playing a violent video game delivered longer, louder audio bursts to their opponents." Showing a sign of aggression towards their opponent.

Straight to the source:

Like I stated above the previous study showed a point, but provided no scientific evidence as to why the violent video game players showed a more aggressive punishment. The previous study only said that they did show more violence, and not why they did, and that is where this next piece of information comes in handy, as this study actually states why a young adult would show that kind of behavior.

"One of the most recent studies, conducted in 2006 at the Indiana University School of Medicine, went right to the source. Researchers scanned the brains of 44 kids immediately after they played video games. Half of the kids played "Need for Speed: Underground," an action racing game that doesn't have a violent component. The other half played "Medal of Honor: Frontline," an action game that includes violent first-person shooter activity (the game revolves around the player's point of view). The brain scans of the kids who played the violent game showed increased activity in the amygdala, which stimulates emotions, and decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe, which regulates inhibition, self-control and concentration. These activity changes didn't show up on the brain scans of the kids playing "Need for Speed." [2]

Now we have a scientific factor as to why these students in the first study punished with a more extreme blast, because after playing this violent "shoot'em up" games the players brain's react differently to those who don't play such a violent game. Those who play these violent games have an increase in emotions (Most likely aggression or anger) and have a decrease in self control. What do you get when you take an increase in emotion and a decrease in self control, you get a reaction that most likely will be violent, maybe not physically violent but it will come across as aggressive. And that was just during a study, I'm sure most of us know an avid video game player that plays a shooter game once a day, or maybe once every couple of days. That causes a steady flow of these two combinations in your brain, making it almost a usual part of your brain, think of it like a routine. Lets say you play a shooter game four times a week, for two hours each day. Every Monday-Thursday you play for two hours. That's eight hours of gaming a week. You do this for a month of two. Now I know people that play more than this and I know people that play less, but that's besides the point this is just an example.
As most of us know, our brain likes routine. [3] This is just a common fact. Now if your brain gets used to this activity in your amygdala and your prefrontal lobe, when you suddenly stop playing video games, or on these off-days of not playing, these parts of your brain normally experiencing the violent of video games on a normal basis, may relate this emotions to real life activity, whether it be hitting a friend or a sibling, maybe throwing or breaking things that make you angry, or yelling at your mom more explicitly when asked to do something unwanted. Now, not all of that above has been scientifically tested, which is why it is still just a theory.

Now it is time for some straight data, nothing else. Just a couple pieces of data to back this entire debate.
[4] [And all sources found on this page.]

1) Increasing reports of bullying can be partially attributed to the popularity of violent video games. The 2008 studyGrand Theft Childhood reported that 60% of middle school boys who played at least one Mature-rated game hit or beat up someone, compared to 39% of boys that did not play Mature-rated games.

2) A 2009 study found that youth who play violent video games have lower belief in the use of non violent strategies and are less forgiving than players of non violent video games.

3) Violent video games require active participation, repetition, and identification with the violent character. With new game controllers allowing more physical interaction, the immerse and interactive characteristics of video games can increase the likelihood of youth violence.

4) Several studies in both the United States and Japan have shown that, controlling for prior aggression, children who played more violent video games during the beginning of the school year showed more aggression than their peers later in the school year.

5) Violent video games can train youth to be killers. The US Marine Corps licensed Doom II in 1996 to create marine Doom in order to train soldiers. In 2002, the US Army released first-person shooter America's Army to recruit soldiers and prepare recruits for the battlefield

6) A 2000 FBI report includes playing violent video games in a list of behaviors associated with school shootings.

7) Violent video games cause players to associate pleasure and happiness with the ability to cause pain in others.

[4] [5]

Thanks to all for reading this opening argument, and once again good luck to my opponent.


[2] (Last paragraphs)



[5] The source to the facts on [4]



A Brief Example

My opponent argument claims that video games cause aggressive actions by the winners of the game, which should be noted than then only half of those playing a game are aggressive. But the problem of my opponents research is that is is not nessasarily the violence that causes aggression or anger, rather competition. In non-violent competitive games, children exhibit similar aggresive patterns as to those noted in my opponent’s whole argument. The fact that simple gambling games cause the same emotions should lead to believe that is is competetive games as a whole, not violence, that causes any notable aggresion [1]. Many games such as call of duty team deathmatch have a sense of coopteration. You have to work together to defeat a common foe while trying to keep your stats high. Therefore, the coorperative aspect may even null the aggresive actions caused by competition in the first place, in the similat genre my opponent is criticizing!

One study noted, “We found that video game violence was not sufficient to elevate aggressive behavior compared with a nonviolent video game, and that more competitive games produced greater levels of aggressive behavior, irrespective of the amount of violence in the games.” [2]

The source?

As explained above, the vast majority of my opponents studies--actually all of them--simply study (or in some cases scan) their test subjects for their reaction to gaming. Which means there will always be a bias against many violent video games--though not all--which gives the illusionary effect of increased violence. Unless my opponent can show that the violence itself causes the violence, and not simply how the game is structured, he loses the debate. To further note, his studies fail to account for many important factors.

But there is one important thing my opponent is missing: crime. Video game sales are not correlated with crime rates. In the 1990s, and even in our current decade, crime has fallen at an extremely fast rate. At the same time, violent video games became common and were sold by the million. Although there is some break on the correlation at the end--though the correlation is still negative (that video games decrease crime), there is no good correlation either way. To even assume violent video games have increased violence in my generation is preposterous [3].

Now I am actually familiar with my opponents brain study. The added activity is actually a decrease in amygdala, which according to the authors leads to violence. They cite some research to their point, but miss an important real world fact, “Besides, the whole idea that amygdala deactivation = violence is a bit weird because they used to destroy people’s amydalas to reduce violent aggression in severe mental and neurological illness … destroying the amygdala reduced violence, or at the very least, didn’t make it worse.”[4] Further the study does not take a look into the long term. For example, me looking at this screen activates much of my brain. If we did a brain scan right now, they would say “wow, very active” and then say that compuers make the brain more active. But this is not the long term. If I went and did non-electrical activities my brain would be stimulated on other ways. Now, I know in our culture we’re all electratized, if that is a word, but if I am removed from the enviroment of exposure we see it is a temporary effect. Just like any video game, the effect is temporary.

And all of my opponents research has weak controls for other third party factors. Recent research is overturning the former consensus my opponent is citing, which is crumbling, and this research notes that “Ferguson, Rueda, et al. (2008) in a multivariate analysis found that trait aggression and family violence were predictive of violent criminal acts, whereas violent game exposure was not.”[5] When we control for these family households, genetic traits, etc. we see that it is more likely the childrens enviroment and genetic traits, not the violence in video games, which causes violence. When this is controlled for the effect is statistically near zero.


1.) This result could be fully endogenus. It could be simply that violent personalities like to play violent video games. So is is the person who is violent, when the game itself incites no further violence which would have occured otherwise. Recent research bolsters this claim, “Violent video game exposure was not found to be predictive of delinquency or bullying”, but instead other factors explain the differences.

2.) This is kinda a dumb statement which means nothing. If you’re in a shooter game, you’re gonna shoot him. If you’re playing a Disney video game, you will be forgiving. This essentially says “violent video games make kids violent in the games! AHHHH” Sorry dude, violence in a game does not transfer into society. Correlational studies fail to make this point. This may actually reduce violence in the real world because kids are not being curious about violence with other children, rather they do it on a screen.

3.) This is also a really weird argument. Skype is more like talking face to face then chatting on a phone, so skype according to this would mean more real-life human interaction not via keyboard. No, it means more skype, not human interaction. The same applies to this.

4.) These studies are highly flawed. Often they have weak measured of aggression, and they overestimate the correlation. For example, my parents didn’t buy me a violent video game until I entered my early teens, or a few years ago. This is at the same time as puberty. These studies may contol for previous aggression, but they fail to note testosterone spikes in their subjects. They further ignore the male-female aggression divide. The majority, but not all, of those who play these games are male. By using a random sample of players and non players, girls on the non-player section are more plentiful. When this is controlled for, the results disapear [6]. A study on Australian Youth, looking at aggression, dating violence, etc. finds that when using the best controls and the best data possible, you NEVER have any proof for my opponents hypothesis. The authors, who are leading researchers on the issue, write, “Results indicated that exposure to video game violence was not related to any of the negative outcomes. Depression, antisocial personality traits, exposure to family violence and peer influences were the best predictors of aggression-related outcomes.”[7] Indeed, my opponents studies look at the same age groups. Former aggresion is low, why? Because in elementary school it is easier to segregate yourself. When the gamer age of teenage years arrives, hormones arrive and a more volitile enviroment insues. So it is not the violence that causes these aggresive outcomes!

5.) An instructional shooter game telling you how to do something wont make them do it. I could take that course, and now know how to kill a terrorist, but the vast amount of research I have provided notes that it will not cause me to kill people, it may even reduce those urges because violent thoughts I have now get entered into the R1 button.

6.) The FBI can only use data without regression analysis or other methodology to control for other factors. When these factors are controlled, the argument that video games cause shootings is “faulty and fail to acknowledge the significant methodological and constructional divides between existing video game research and acts of serious aggression and violence. It is concluded that no significant relationship between violent video game exposure and school shooting incidents has been demonstrated in the existing scientific literature, and that data from real world violence call such a link into question.”[8]





5. Source three

6. Ibid.


Debate Round No. 2


Thanks to my opponent for an interesting rebuttal.

"A Brief Example"
My opponents claim that competitive games cause violent reactions was proved wrong in the study. The other half of the students played a racing game, which is definitely competitive. Arguably, a racing game is more competitive than a shooter, as you constantly battle to stay ahead of your fellow racers and are always battling for a satisfying finish. Nonetheless, that is off the point. Those who played this competitive game, and won, barely punished their opponents. They did a small, short noise blast, even though they played a competitive game. So we cannot say a competitive game causes these violent reactions, but only games with violence in them. To sum this up, both groups played competitive games, but not both groups punished violently, so we cannot blame competitive games. So we have to go deeper and the next step indeed is the genre, and the one with violent results were from violent games, not from competitive games.
My opponent also refers to a game mode in the popular video game series "Call of Duty" called Team Deathmatch. He claims that the actions of working as team to defeat a common foe nulls the violent aspect. But what you have to consider is what you are actually doing underneath the competitive aspect,what your brain picks up subliminally. You are working together to "kill" other players. So, although you may think you are simply working together to defeat a common foe, you are working together to kill a common foe. This is brought up in your brain, and your brain is so called "trained" to react in competitive situations with violence. The more kills you get as a team, the better because you are then rewarded with a win. So, your brain consecutively learns this, that whenever a competitive situation is brought up, you should react violently for a rewarding satisfactory result. Maybe not kill people in real life, but instead react in violent nature to receive your "win" in real life. Whatever that win may be.

"The source?"
My opponent accuses my sources to be "bias" (which they certainly are not) but that is an opinionated accusation, so you the audience will have to review them for yourselves.
My opponent then brings up this argument, and I quote
"Video game sales are not correlated with crime rates. In the 1990s, and even in our current decade, crime has fallen at an extremely fast rate. At the same time, violent video games became common and were sold by the millions"
This is an extremely irrelevant argument. First off, not all crimes are violent. So you cannot relate all crime to violent video games. Second, I said violent video games increase violence in our youth, I never said that violent video games cause crime. We are not debating whether they cause crime. Another thing, you are taking two things and forcing them together to get a bias result. You could say, for example this is not factual, its just an example:
Because candy sales were down in the last five years, and the stock market was at an all time high, then the less candy we eat the better stock value we will have.
You are simply forcing two things together to get a result that you want with coincidence and bias. Like I said, as you can see as the example above is completely absurd, but that is kind of what my opponent's fact is doing. Just because video game sales were up and crime was down does not mean it was a cause and effect relationship.
My opponent then brings up this point when talking about the brain the part responsible for violence (Amygdala) is very active while playing violent video games, but is also very active while on computers, phones, ect. No just because it is active does not mean we are more violent. But, it could based on the situation. While reading something casual on your phone, the amygdala is very active, but not violently, why? Because it is a casual reading session. Now in a violent game, it may result in more violence, but that is still besides the point. My opponent says "the effect is temporary" He agrees that the violent game may result in active amygdala actions such as violent ones, but justifies by saying it is just temporary. Two reasons why this is not a valid argument:
1) The debate is not titled "Violent video games cause temporary violence in our youth" It just says violence. It does not matter how long the violent actions last, it only lasts if they ever appear, even for a second. Their is no "time limit" on the violence. That is not how the debate was created.
2) In a 10 second interval anything could happen. In a 5 second interval anything could happen really. Just because the violent effect is temporary does not justify it. If a ten year old gets done playing a fighting game, and two minutes later punches his friend in the face, it doesn't matter if the effect was temporary, it still causes violence in our youth, whether that be 2 seconds of violence or 20 minutes of violence.

Due to space requirements, I will only be able to argue a couple of the statements in the "Facts" section.

FACT 2) My opponent has actually proved my point correct, rather than deny it. My opponent says "real world kids are not being curious about violence with other children, rather they do it on a screen." Kids are curious about violence in real life because they can only do it on a screen so much. You can only beat so many levels, accomplish so many achievements, unlock so many moves. So, after you do all this, what's next? Another game? Then another game? It has a limit, varying between different kids attention spans and different kids personalities, but it does have a limit. So kids are forced to experience with violence in a another way, this resulting in real life actions. A kid will eventually reach a limit, by getting bored or any other block, but it does not matter because they will have to get their violent curiosity out somehow, its just how we are wired. If we are curious we will study. Once you reach your block you will have to experiment outside of a virtual world.

This goes hand in hand with fact two, and that's why it was placed right under it. You can only release your violence in to one thing so often. For example, can only release my anger on one thing so many times (whether it be taking it out verbally with a parent of family member, or taking it out physically on a pillow or wall) I can only take it out on someone or something so many times before it breaks or leaves. I can only release my violence by pressing a button so many times before I have to find another means of doing it because a simple push of the button will not cut it anymore. And in this fact my opponent says the shooter video games do teach my how to kill someone, it is already wired in to my brain. So if somebody makes an action towards me, when I am looking for a way to take out my anger, in a way that I do not like, what's to stop me from using them to take out my violence?

FACT 6) My opponent yet again claims my source to be bias in the sense that is uses the data in its favor, my source being the FBI. If you do not consider the FBI to be reliable, which I know some conspiracy theorists do believe they are corrupt, then I guess we will have to agree to disagree. But I added this fact to prove my previous point to be true. My opponent talks about how they are creating a link from controlled factors. Exactly what I was saying above when my opponent talks about the decrease in violence with the increase of video game sales. You cannot provide a link between the two because of the coincidence factor! So I thank my opponent for proving my point to be true.

Well, that is all the space I have for today. I know most of the audience and future voters are video game players and I would like to point out that I myself am too. I do not agree with outlawing or banning violent games, to get that straight, and I ask the gaming audience to please keep their votes un-biased. Thank you.


A Brief example

My argument was not that a race game is always more competitive, I merely used it as a hypothetical that many of the modern racing games (I say modern because they have “upped” the graphics level and realism) could have a similar effect to many of the “milder” violent games. But in my argument I still maintained the overall position that violent video games were more competitve, and that is why *some* games give the illusion of violence causing the aggression. The research base I noted is as such, “In general, violent video games tend to be more competitive than nonviolent video games (Carnagey & Anderson, 2005). Consequently, studies that have found that violent video games produced more aggression than nonviolent video games, but failed to equate the games on competitiveness, cannot conclude that the violent content alone was responsible for the elevated levels of aggression.”[1]. The non-violent video games can cause some aggression, which was a more minor point, was my opponents main response.

But the research my opponent claims refutes mine, the aggresive actions versus one another, is based on non-valid research. My opponents study relied on a mere 44 survey participants, hardly a large enough sample size to prove the null hypothesis. Further still, the vast majority of the studies do not include good aggression estimates and actually overestimate the aggression given. Even studies by authors trying to prove my opponents point can only find extremely weak effects, which are near zero (or even negative aggression) if the methodological errors are corrected for. The largest problem with the studies, or the factor that reduces their credibility the most, is the male and female video game divide. These small studies use random sampling, but the ones who play non violent games have a woman bias. To get an accurate result would be to control for the discrepency. When this is done, the aggression research falls apart [2].

The brain training argument is an intruiging one. But this falls apart when looking at valid data statistics. For example, violent video games, when controlling for other factors, decrease crime at r = -0.97 [2]. This is a significant result. It seems as though your brain is trained to aggression, but not trained for assualt, murder, robbery etc? Logic is not flowing here.

The Source

I did not mantain that any of my opponents sources were biassed. Weak, false, yes, but not biassed. Saying that something is based on bad methodology refutes your contention, by misrepresenting what I said and claiming I shrugged it off as bias is totally false. I pointed out academic rebuttals to your studies, which refutes your whole care. This is significant because you have the BOP.

My opponents criminal logic is odd.

(1) The statistics I used were purely violent crime. This rebuttal is meaningless.

(2) My opponent claims we are not debating crime. However, if video games really train people to be violent, we would see an increase in crime if this was the case. If video games caused inclinations towards violence, there would be an increase in youth violent crime. This has not occured. This refutes the basic logic behind my opponents case.

(3) My opponent uses the old correlation does not mean causation. Lets assume he is correct. It’s Ironic: his studies, which often use invalid measures of aggression, samples favoring (though generally they dont know its favoring) the aggression hypothesis show that video games cause violence. Shocker. So he is saying that his poorly constructed research studies are superior to well defined, well designed, regression analysis comparison studies using large samples and claims that he is the one who has the right to say this. And, contrary to his belief, he has the burden of proof. Unless he proves his correlation, he loses the debate .

→ The debate is titled aggresive behavior. This transfers into crime. The rest of the results my opponent is citing is based on weak methodology.

→ A temporary boost generally wont lead to action. Lets say my phone gave me a high that made me very irritable, for 10 minutes. But it also had a lulling effect (like many video games) which also reduce stress. The positives and negatives cancel eachother out to make a zero effect.

→ My opponent spends time on my talking points, but still has yet to offer solid evidence in his favor.


2.) My opponents point here is full speculation with little evidence. Unless he has philosophical or material evidence, this point is not BOP fufilling. Genetics, which is a large motivator in aggression, is easily a more probable answer [3]. And as noted, competition is a much more viable answer to the aggression then bias. Since this is such, there is no reason to think that increased screen violence will cause violence in the real world [1]. It is an alternative outlet to relieve stress which reduces overall violence.

5.) This is true, but the fact my opponent admits that some level of video games reduces stress, temporarily, means that a childs worst part of life, violence wise, has been delayed and inhibited to societal damage. And even if we assume things make us bored, which they do, there are too many games to list which all have variations and sub generes which will keep them occupied for hours. But again, I do not have to prove that video games reduce violence since I am not pro, you have to prove that they cause violence.

6.) I honestly dont know if my opponent read my response here. I did not say that the FBI was unreliable, but that the FBI didn’t accoutn for other factors. When previous history or symptoms of depression are included, the FBI correlation falls apart. I did not say that the FBI is false. The FBI is a great source for the original non-tainted data, but large fluctuations in raw data often turn into nothing when basic things are controlled for. When this is done, there is no relationship between mass shootings and video games

... But wait, as my opponent said, crime is not part of this debate. So to revert way back up there, his rebuttal there was a shrug off not a cogent argument. Either way, my opponent is now forced to actuall rebut that specific data or lose, which he has not. He still first has to prove that his data is correct, which he has failed to do.



Debate Round No. 3


Thanks to my opponent for his rebuttal. I will now begin my final round.

A Brief Example

My opponent and I are basically going back and fourth on this topic. Yes they do, no they don't, and so on. So instead of keeping this loop going, I will provide research proving that violent video games contribute to aggressive behavior, because that is what we are debating. Crime is irrelevant, outlawing games is irrelevant, and so is if violent games are good or bad. All that is being discussed is if they do indeed have any connection to aggressive behavior. Here is the study from The Ohio State University. [1]
"The Ohio State study, conducted by Bushman with fellow researchers in France and Germany, involved 70 French university students who were told they would be participating in a three-day study of the effects of brightness of video games on visual perception. The students then were randomly assigned to play a violent or non violent video game for 20 minutes on each of three consecutive days. After playing the game each day, participants took part in several exercises that measured their hostile expectations and aggression. People who played the violent video games expected others to behave aggressively and were more likely to respond with aggression themselves, Bushman said students who played the non violent games showed no changes in either their hostile expectations or their aggression.“There is a difference on day one: Violent-video-game players are more aggressive,” Bushman said. “The difference is even bigger on day two, and on day three it is bigger still.”

Like said in the study, "Violent-video-game players are more aggressive" that is all needed for my point. Violent video games contribute to aggressive behavior, do they make people go out and shoot people? Who knows, but they do contribute to aggression. That aggression could even be hitting a chair or throwing a controller after a loss or a bad game. In reality, the video game did contribute to aggression, proving my point.

My opponent then goes in to the "brain argument" the actual breakdown of the brain and how these violent actions in the game effect it, but then relates it all back to crime! We are not debating whether video games cause crime! Aggression is not necessarily assault or murder! Aggression could be yelling loudly at a friend or throwing a controller. My opponent's brain argument is completely irrelevant to the debate.

The Source

1) My opponent said nothing about purely violent crime. My opponent did not specify at all. They simple said "Crime rate was down as video game sales went up" They never said violent crime, just crime.
2) My opponent now is just putting words in my mouth. I never said video games were "training" people to be violent. I said they cause an increase in violence. My opponent is bringing up topics completely irrelevant to the overall debate! Like I said aggression does not mean your going to go murder someone! It could be as simple as throwing a controller. Once again my opponent is bringing up irrelevant points.
3) Aggressive behavior does not transfer in to crime. I do no know why my opponent is so fixed on the idea of crime and video games. I have said it hundreds of times and my opponent just does not get it. Aggressive or violent behavior does not mean crime! Plus, my opponent has no evidence to create the link, making it even more irrelevant.

Due to space requirements I will not be able to address these points. Thanks for every one's understanding.

My final arguments:

Research: Below are two articles too large to fit in to this debate, so I will simply post the link for any interested to read. Thanks again for dealing with space requirements. [2] [3]

Actual Arguments
"We know that video game violence is certainly correlated with violence — just like smoking is correlated with lung cancer. We know from many experimental studies that playing violent video games causes less serious forms of aggressive behavior. In one recent experiment, for example, I and several colleagues found that typical college students who played video games for 20 minutes at a time for three consecutive days showed increasingly higher levels of aggressive behavior each day they played. How might weeks and months and years of playing such games affect a person who has other risk factors for violent behavior?Of course, one can always find a few studies that say video game violence is harmless. But in one analysis I co-authored, we found that scientists who believe video game violence is harmful have published over 48 times more studies in top-tier scientific journals than did those who believe it is not harmful." [4]

With more exposure to the game, the more a player gets connected. The more a player wants to rank up, the more a player wants to have better in game stats. The more a player gets connected. With more connection comes many other things in wake, such as personal connections with in game characters, or even connections with the storyline. This may carry over in to real life, not exactly how the player is in the game, but the connection does not just last in the game! The reason all of us violent video game players (Me included) do not have an increase in aggression is that we have a healthy brain. Us gamers who can play violent games often and have healthy, stable brains do not show an increase in aggression. But that does not mean that it does not cause any. [4]
Just because not all smokers get lung cancer does not mean smoking doesn't cause lung cancer. The same principle applies hear, just because we don't have an increase in violent of aggressive behavior from playing violent video games does not mean it does not cause any.

I now encourage everybody to please watch the video found on this site. It is right there when you click, no scrolling or searching needed. Just a click of the play button. [5]
Pretty crazy right? Now, I know just because you play this mission does not mean you're going to go shoot up a public building, but it may have some physiological effect. You may want to go try something like this, not shooting but something that gives you a thrill like the level did. Most likely it may be aggressive, but who knows. All I know is that the game play shown has a strong chance of having some sort of effect on the player "pulling the trigger"

"Some people claim that violent video games are good for you. Some players believe that violent video games are cathartic (i.e..., they allow players to release pent up anger into harmless channels). The scientific evidence directly contradicts this idea. Over 130 studies have been conducted on over 130,000 participants around the world (Anderson et al., 2010). These studies show that violent video games increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure), and aggressive behavior. Violent games also decrease helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others." [5]

I thank my opponent for a great debate. It was truly fun to debate this topic. Once again, I am not trying to ban games, because I do in fact love modern shooting games, but like I said it doesn't effect certain players. Thanks to the audience for reading (and possibly voting) I hope all you gamers out there can be a little un-biased for one little debate. Thanks again everyone.





A brief example

My opponent’s first argument—that we go back and forth—is not actually true. Well, it is, that’s debate. But the question is do video games cause violent behavior which often transfers into society. But to say that this is irrelevant is not logical. To anyone who studies issues which are statistical heavy, the term proxy may ring a bell. In this case, a proxy is an indirect way to measure what is going on. For example, the amount of deaths in a heat wave often work as a valid (though imperfect) proxy. It may not be as important as an actual data point, but it is wholly relevant to the debate. Every time he ignores the crime argument is harming his case.

Second, my opponent has argued that a few studies have proved his point. This may be true. This is the only round where he has given any evidence which is strong to his case. But it may be too late because he has the BOP. Regardless, his studies do not meet the weight of evidence to the contrary.

My opponent uses a non-randomized study with 44 participants—only the game selection is random. However, even in the realm of non-random sample sizes, we come across more robust results than 44 participants from France—one area only. A study written by 6 sociologists and psychologists used two totally different methods and both found the same result: video games do not cause violence when other factors are accounted for. The first methodology used 100 college students from Texas and Wisconsin: this is important because the two areas are geographically and societally different making a more robust result. The results were that violent and non-violent video games did not increase aggression. The second study used 428 undergraduates—a much larger sample size then my opponents study making it more valid—got a similar result. They found that video games increased violence, but if the many factors I have been describing throughout the debate are controlled no effect is found [1]. Most of my opponents studies neglect to control for those factors, making it impossible to obtain valid results from his purported valid research. When you use large valid statistical techniques, the aggression result goes up in flames.

The Source

1) When something is common knowledge there is no need to explain. It has been known for years that violent crime has been falling since 1991. However, all crime is violent. Property crime includes defacing private property which in itself is a violent act. My opponent essentially drops the argument because he didn’t like my linguistic specification. Also, my opponent says my source didn’t talk about violent crime. It would help if he read the big bold letters on the graph saying violent crimes vs video games…

2) Well, my opponent should read what he said. “… your brain is so called ‘trained’ to react in competitive situations to violence.” (Round 2). He then explains how getting kills on a game then trains the brain towards aggression. Essentially he is trying to debate in real life—where he can backtrack because its not a written record. But here, he can’t do that. And as I said, to anyone who understands academic literature, crime is an excellent proxy for video game violence. Really, all he does is claim it’s irrelevant to dodge the point because it’s a huge hole in his case, and he knows it.

3) Even when citing the most prominent video game opponents, they say that the video game aggression DOES lead to crime. They note that a decrease in video games would decrease crime, because crime acts as a proxy for violence [2]. His argument is really illogical, too. Aggressive acts dramatically increase the risk of violent criminal acts. A comatose person like me is not going to go out and assault an old lady. An aggressive person who takes advantage of people will. If video games cause a significant increase in aggression, we should see at least a modest crime effect. This has not occurred. And the aggression hypothesis (in the 1990s) relied on the 80’s crime increase as support and made predictions. They have not occurred. If the predictions fail, the hypothesis is false.


He drops this argument. Sure, he ran out of space—but a drop is a drop. This makes all of his numbered points from round one, the majority of his case, invalid--dropped. He also has not defended to a degree his original arguments, dropping all of round one. He makes a whole new case this round—conduct violation on DDO. He is forcing me to do the same, which is generally not my style. And lastly, if violence is not the mechanism but competitiveness is, he loses as the resolution assumes violence is the root cause. He has dropped this, conceding the point, and losing the debate. All of his drops call for a con vote.

Final statements

Explain the results. Saying “read this” is not an argument (though if you explain the results, I would not complain about linguistics because I would read the source if you explained it and understand the terminology…) So, this point should be discounted.

First quote: My opponent cried the “correlation =/= causation” argument earlier. I do the same. Plus, as I have demonstrated with a significant amount of literature [and explained the results and cited throughout the debate] (Ferguson et al. 2008, Ferguson et al. 2010, Adachi and Willoughby 2011, Ferguson et al. 2012 and more), other factors account for all of the video game-violence correlation. My opponent has not responded to this one bit, and only keeps showing correlations which do not hold up.

A) My opponent is miscomprehending what I said. I did not ever say that all video game players had do commit crime or aggression—I don’t know how I even hinted at this notion.

Second quote: pro cites an article purporting to show consensus. He fails to see one special thing: publication bias. Source three round one notes that in the literature on this issue is politicized and a result that shows violence is favored over one that finds no violence, even when their methodologies are similar.

Final remarks: My opponent provided a well-structured case, but he dropped most of the arguments, hence conceding them, and has utterly failed to show that the aggression from games isn’t from the games at all, rather other obvious factors or selection biases. He has failed to meet his burden of proof as he is pro, and this should lead any unbiased voter to vote con.

1. Christopher J. Ferguson et al. “Violent video games and aggression: Casual Relationship or Byproduct of Family Violence And Intrinsic Violence Motivation?” J. Criminal Justice and Behavior, (2008).

2. For example, see: Anderson et al. 2010. Psychological Bulletin.

Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by watevas808 5 years ago
Violent video games normally have the video game rating of Rated M-for mature. People under 17 shouldn't be playing violent video games with ratings rated M.If they are I blame the parents not the game. If they are 18 and over then they are responsible for their own actions and shouldn't let games influence them in the first place.
Posted by sleuth 5 years ago
I always research after I accept the debate.....
Posted by InFamous 5 years ago
Haha yes Chaos, I am always open for a challenge and maybe in the near future you can challenge me to this debate, I would always gladly accept a challenge on which the side I have to argue is the side I generally favor.
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 5 years ago
Damn it, I missed it.

If you ever do this debate again, taking the same position, please let me know.
Posted by InFamous 5 years ago
The criteria has been changed so now any member can accept. Thank you everyone.
Posted by HostileBelief 5 years ago
I'd like to debate with you but I don't match your criteria
Posted by ClassicRobert 5 years ago
It isn't letting me accept this, even though I've got higher everything.
Posted by mrsatan 5 years ago
If you're willing to, that would be great, as I truly would love to debate this. But before you do I must say I've never participated in a formal debate before, so I can't guarantee you'll receive the challenge you're looking for. However, if that's not a problem for you, I will give you the best challenge I can.
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 5 years ago
Come to think of it...I don't know why I can't accept. My ranking is certainly above yours...
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 5 years ago
I would love to debate this topic with you, but it says I do not match your criteria. Would you be willing to alter this for me? I assure you, I will give you a challenge.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I liked Con's arguments on the sources and that example. Fact is a drop s that is clear.