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The content of Video Games

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,407 times Debate No: 19238
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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No, violent or inappropriate video games do not necessarily cause teens to act violent. Hundreds of years before the present day, teens were surround with violent things. People would see death and violence much more often than we do today.

Not only that, if video games did cause teens to be violent then we would see a much higher crime rate. According to
According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low.
Not only that, but a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure.

If you just take a look at the topic, it will be clear that violent games do not invoke violence in teens.


It's a good thing that the rate of teen violence has been decreasing. But we are not here to debate whether the rate is higher or lower than before. Instead, we are here to discuss whether there is a direct correlation between engaging in violent video games and acting out violence in real life, for teenagers.

Psychologists have shown that youngsters spend a significant amount of their spare time playing video games, boys more so than girls. While not all video games contain violence, the most popular ones do. More importantly, playing violent video games has been linked to having aggressive thoughts (

In my opinion, having aggressive thoughts is, for a teenage, the first step toward becoming violent in action.

Since violent media games lead to aggressive thoughts and aggressive thoughts may lead to violent action, by the rule of transitivity, for sure violent media games contributes to teenage violence. There is no doubt about it.
Debate Round No. 1


I know that we're not here to discuss the crime rate but the 30 year low just helps prove that video games are not a major factor in making teens violent.

Another pointer is that video games do not necessarily invoke aggressive thoughts. There are many other factors that would be much more effective such as bullying, abuse, illegal activities, etc. If a teen does happen to have aggressive thoughts, we wouldn't know whether the cause of that would be video games.

I will go back to my first example, in the past, teens have lived much more dangerous and violent lives than we do now. Even today, some countries are constantly torn apart by the terrors of war. Do you think the teens there like violence? And do you think if they played violent video games, they would like it?


You seem to be saying that in war-torn places, kids are exposed to real-life violence and such exposure is linked to real-life teen violence; but in places where there are no wars and where kids have access to electronics and the Internet, teens who play violent video games will limit the violence to the virtual world and will not transpose their participation in violent acts from the virtual to the real world. In other words, as far as violence goes, you think there is a partition of the virtual and the real worlds. There are no crossovers.

From a logic standpoint, to prove you wrong, all I need to do is to cite one example of crossover. Such an example is not hard to find: e.g. the Columbine High School Massacre that took place in 1999. In this event, 2 teenagers, after a long period of planning, finally walked through the school hallways one day and killed over a dozen schoolmates before killing themselves. They were known to be gamers and, in the afternoons, they used to played the game DOOM, a first person shooter game that not only pioneered immersive 3D graphics and networked multiplayer gaming but also engaged in graphic and interactive violence. The two killers did not come from broken homes. They experienced a normal amount of bullying, both receiving and providing. The only constant source of mental images of violence came from the virtual world of DOOM. Eventually, through mutual encouragement and collaboration, they decided to put in action a violent way to die for themselves and for some of their schoolmates. They crossed over.

I am not saying all gamers will cross over. I am saying we can not afford to have even a single person crossed over because of the potential devastation. When we experienced an event such as Columbine's, we drew the conclusion that violent video games do contribute to teen violence in real life.
Debate Round No. 2


According to the Columbine example, it may look as though these video games caused these teens to "crossover" but we have no hard evidence that it actually caused them to go out and do so. While they may have come from good families, and they received and gave the "average" bullying, and that might not have affected them as much as the game DOOM, there could have been more factors.

Not only are there multiple factors there is a perception of schools that is wrong. According to Dr. Lawrence Kutner ( the violence in schools has gone down a lot. But there is much more coverage of schools which causes people to think that school are more dangerous.

If you take a look at the game, DOOM, it is much less gory and violent compared to games such as Gears of War, or Call of Duty. Yet, violence has gone down, this proves the non affecting effects of video games.


We are now at our final round of debate. I'd like to summarize by saying while I agree there is no direct evidence of the cause-and-effect relationship between violent video games and teen violence, we can NOT afford to think that having violent video games readily available for people of all ages does not pose certain degree of concern. The concern is it occupies the mind of immature and mentally unstable teenagers with aggressive thoughts and might trigger violent behavior, causing great harm to other people and demoralize the rest of society.

Just because there is no direct evidence does not mean it is not the case as I postulated. We are actually quite used to believing things without direct evidence - most religious beliefs fall into this category. Another similar example: when one plays Sudoku, sometimes there is no obvious hint what number one should put down in a cell, but by indirect deduction, we reach the conclusion that there are no other possibilities but to put down a certain number. I believe that violent video gaming contributed to the Columbine incidence because no other possible causes made profound sense to me. The two teenagers engaged in playing Doom constantly. This couldn't have been a good thing. Yes, there might have been other contributing factors. But who is to say that the violence they practice in their virtual world did not become the "last straw on the back of the camel" and played into their final act?

One day when you have kids of your own, you might have second thoughts of allowing them unrestricted access to violent video games. Don't you agree?
Debate Round No. 3


Although I do agree that we can not afford to even have one person "cross over" or think that providing video games for all ages does not pose any risk i do not agree with the statement that it demoralizes society. Although there is always a public outcry when events like Columbine happen, but they are always pushed aside sooner or later by the fast paced media. Not only that society always carries on, cases like Columbine didn't affect sales of video games. The only real lasting effects were on the school, the people involved and their friends and family.

While your claim that no direct evidence is needed to say that the cause of violence was video games (in the case of Columbine), you ask "who is to say that the violence they practice in their virtual world did not become the "last straw on the back of the camel" and played into their final act?" That statement is a double edged sword. Who is to say that the video games didn't play a final role in their final act?

As to when I have my own kids, I would have second thoughts on letting them unrestricted access to violent video games but these second thought would be reinforced by guidelines and restrictions.


Violence has lasting effects. Even if we limit ourselves to discussing violence that took place in this country, we can still clearly see the aftermath, the demoralizing aftermath.

According to the free on-line dictionary, to demoralize means:
1. To undermine the confidence or morale of; dishearten.
2. To put into disorder; confuse.
3. To debase the morals of; corrupt.

There was a time when people trusted each other more. We did not lock doors like we do now, our children freely played in the yard and with other kids in the neighborhood, citizens could walk into government buildings without going through security checks, youths were not banned from school just because they carried pocket knives. I miss those days.

Instead we now mistrust each other. Almost each household is equipped with a shredder. we increasingly feel isolated as if each person were an island smacked in an ocean filled with people. Ironic, isn't it?

Playing violent video games help us? How? I think in the hands of mentally stable teens, this could be a release or just an acting out of the aggression that's part of human nature. In the hands of mentally unstable people, the violence just might spill over and become real. It's prudent that we do our best to avoid such unpleasant outcome.

I say let us design and play peaceful games and leave all the violence behind, virtual or real.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Oldfrith 4 years ago
Wait... what does a "shredder" mean?

you mean like a paper shredder
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Buckethead31594 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to present his arguments with a foundation of opinion; Con did not properly refute Pro's contentions. This was merely a debate of "I thinks." Although it seemed like Pro conceded the debate in Round three; in round four, Pro addressed the resolution with credible logic.