The Instigator
JustAnotherGuy
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
Bookable
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points

Video games cause violence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JustAnotherGuy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2013 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,614 times Debate No: 42818
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

JustAnotherGuy

Con

Do video games cause violence in our society today? I will be against and anyone who wants to can be for the argument. (Please note that I am new to this site, so if I do something wrong during set up, please let me know) Round one will be for acceptance.
May the best arguments win!
Bookable

Pro

First of all, I would like to state my appreciation and respect for the opponent. I believe this is the first debate for both of us.

I will be presenting my case that video games do indeed cause violence in our society today.

Thank you again, and I will see you in Round Two.
Debate Round No. 1
JustAnotherGuy

Con

Thank you sir, and best of luck to you also.
In the past two decades, crime rate has been going down, including violent crimes. Meanwhile, video game sales have been going up dramatically. The violent crime rate has gone down from 1,932,274 crimes in 1992, to 1,203,564 crimes in 2011, showing a drop by about 36500 violent crimes per year. (Source: http://www.fbi.gov...) While that was happening, video game sales has increased rapidly, from close to 2.6 billion dollars in sales in 1996, to about 11.7 billion dollars in 2008.
(Source: http://www.forbes.com...)

There is yet to be a study that conclusively proves that video games influence people to be violent, and many studies that try to prove it are biased in favor of video games causing violence.
Bookable

Pro

Hello again.

Your argument thus far is simple: Violent crimes have gone down while video game sales have gone up, showing an apparent inverse correlation of these two statistics. My counterargument, too, is simple: The apparent inverse correlation of these two statistics mask the causation that is actually there is some cases. Your statistics, at best, show that the spread of video games has not increased the number of violent crimes. This is a fair point (though I would point out that there were MANY other factors at play in contributing to the violent crime rate's decline) but my case does not contend that the spread of video games increase the number of violent crimes, but that they do indeed influence the lives of players and that they can and do at least partially cause violence. I will focus on HOW video games cause violence as well as reference incidents of publicized, mass shootings in which video games clearly played a role.

First of all, video games are addictive. A study and discussion by the American Medical Association discussed the fact that video game addiction (VGA) was a real and prominent issue in the health of many Americans. Psychotherapist Shavaun Scott said that those who suffered from VGA created a separate world from reality, extremely similar to that of drug users. He elaborated that if there were conflicts in this world or if the addict became without his game, they could suffer from withdrawal or depression. These users become distant from their families and from the real world, which can lead to other mental health issues.

As stated by the U.S.'s Department of Human Services, "Psychopathology, substance abuse, poverty, cultural factors, anger, stress, and depression often are thought to cause domestic violence. While there is little empirical evidence that these factors are direct causes of domestic violence, research suggests that they can affect its severity, frequency, and the nature of the perpetrator's abusive behavior."

So, to summarize my first case, my argument is that "Video games > Video game addiction > stress, depression, and mental health issues > domestic violence.". Still, this is just one way that video games are detrimental to relationships and cause violence. This increase in severity and frequency of domestic violence is not show in your original argument's statistics, as the number of violent crimes would not increase just because their severity and frequency increased within isolated incidents.

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu...
https://www.childwelfare.gov...

On the subject of violent video games, I will argue that violence in games normalizes violence in real life and teaches children, teenagers, and adults the basics of shooting. For example, the U.S. Military has used and even helped develop games that simulate warfare in order to acclimate soldiers to violence and help them become more ready to pull the trigger. Soldiers interviewed by the Washington Post say that the games help them feel more normal while fighting, and that to them, shooting and killing even felt like a game after all of their years of playing.

My argument here is that teaching people to be killers, as the games have obviously done, as attested to by U.S. Army soldiers, will make violent crimes with weapons more severe. The people that do play these games and then become violent will have virtual practice with weapons, and thus they will be more effective and in turn do more damage. This may not be the direct cause of violence, but it could indeed be a secondary cause. What if someone was contemplating violence, but they were unsure that they would be able to effectively harm anyone, thus making their attempt at violence useless? With video games, they are allowed to practice violence BEFORE they attack anyone, thus building their confidence that violence will be successful and convincing them to try it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

Lastly, I will provide specific examples of cases in which video games were at least a contributing cause of violence:


    1. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, was an addict of both violent and nonviolent games. Data taken by a GPS device his mother had given him showed him playing Dance Dance Revolution for long periods of time on weekends. He played between 4 and 10 hours a day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Other video games, including the notorious Call of Duty games, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and Splinter Cell games have all been found at his home. Many news outlets have speculated that video games could have created a rift between himself and the real world, and maybe even outright trained him to believe that killing was normal.
    2. In Vietnam, a 13 year old boy murdered and robbed an 81 year old woman. He said that he needed the money to fuel his addiction to online games.
    3. Back in the States, A Jacksonvillian woman pleaded guilty to shaking her baby to death, a second degree murder charge. She told investigators that it was because the baby would not stop crying, interrupting her addiction to Farmville, the game she was playing at the time.
    4. An Ohio teen, Daniel Petric, shot and killed his mother and shot and wounded his father because they took away his copy of Halo 3, thus interrupting his video game addiction. The judge said that he "firmly [believed] that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever." It is a common element in violent video games for characters to "respawn" after dying.
    5. Another Vietnamese teenager murdered a 7 year old girl by bashing her head in with a rock. Police say he planned to kill the girl while they were picking fruit, stealing her gold ear rings to pay for computer games.
    6. There are at least 10 deaths that have occured because infants and small children have been left unattended for extended periods of time in heat or without food/water while the parent played addictive video games like World of Warcraft. It is not my argument that these deaths have been violent deaths, and thusly they are not direct examples of video games causing violence. Rather, they are examples of how extreme video game addiction can become, which could easily lead to violence.
http://kotaku.com...
http://www.news.com.au...
http://jacksonville.com...
http://news.softpedia.com...
http://www.cbsnews.com...


In summary, it is my argument that video games are addictive and destructive. I have presented examples of how this addiction can become destructive, of how it can lead to stress, anger, and domestic violence, of how it leads to irrational violence by those who are desperate to continue their addiction. I have presented an example of how it allows soldiers to normalize and prepare for violent war, and provided a hypothetical of how this could affect civilian people. Video games are AT LEAST a secondary cause of violence. Video games make violence that does occur more severe and makes those who commit it more effective. They are detrimental to society and they CAN cause violence.

That will conclude my opening argument. Thank you again, and I wish you luck. Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 2
JustAnotherGuy

Con

I would like to commend you for a very good argument for round 2!
As for your statements
"First of all, video games are addictive. A study and discussion by the American Medical Association discussed the fact that video game addiction (VGA) was a real and prominent issue in the health of many Americans."
Soon after the meeting that the AMA had in 2007, they retracted their statement on the matter, and many addiction experts were strongly against the notion that video game addiction should be considered a real addiction. (Sources: http://uk.reuters.com..., http://www.theguardian.com...)

"Video games > Video game addiction > stress, depression, and mental health issues > domestic violence."
I must point out an issue in this reasoning. This statement you have made make the impression that you think that video game addiction leads to stress, depression, and mental health issues. In fact, many experts believe that stress is a major factor leading to video game addiction (and a big one too). (Source: http://www.healthxchange.com.sg...)

"I will argue that violence in games normalizes violence in real life and teaches children, teenagers, and adults the basics of shooting"
Many studies have also shown that violent video games do not desensitize kids and those most liable to have their minds altered. The studies would show kids who play non-violent and violent games different pictures, some showing graphic scenes (like a man holding a gun to a woman's head). The subjects would have their reactions to the photos monitored and recorded. They found that there was no difference between the violent game players' and non-violent game players' reactions. Many kids recognize and respect the boundaries between the virtual and real world, and would not cross them when it comes to violence. (Sources: http://health.usnews.com..., http://gamepolitics.com...)

As to the specific cases, there is no proof that Adam Lanza, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and other mass murderers like them were influenced by video games.
Studies have shown that many video games can be calming, and that huge amounts of people use video games to calm down and relax. They see it as a way to escape the harsh realizations of reality and to enjoy themselves. The cases of violence related to video games are minuscule in number, and usually are more because the perpetrator has a mental illness than because of the video games themselves.

May I wish you good luck, and Merry Christmas!
Bookable

Pro

Bookable forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
JustAnotherGuy

Con

I will extend all my arguments.
Bookable

Pro

Bookable forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
JustAnotherGuy

Con

I will extend all my arguments.
(I'm kicking myself in the rear because of my awful 2nd round! XD)
Bookable

Pro

Bookable forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Bookable 2 years ago
Bookable
I am deeply sorry for the forfeiture of those three rounds. Excuses suck, but it was around the holidays/new year and family made it decently hard for me to both remember and find time to get any arguments done. I only wish I could have seen the debate through to its completion, and I am sure you would have continued to provide good counterarguments.

Once again, I apologize for my forfeitures, and I wish my opponent luck in all future debates.

Thank you.
~!Book
Posted by Hard_Muscle_Guy_30 2 years ago
Hard_Muscle_Guy_30
Well, while I don't think, it hurts to let young men play violent video games, there are more effective ways to desensitize young boys to inflicting the kind of lethal force or pain & humiliation to the enemy, that they need to do in order to fight as soldiers in a war

1. beat them
2. humiliate them sexually
3. force them to watch a prisoner being tortured
4. force them to take active part in his torture
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 2 years ago
Josh_b
JustAnotherGuyBookableTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't mind giving some points to pro for his reliable source in round 2, but conduct and argument go to con because of pro's FF.
Vote Placed by msheahan99 2 years ago
msheahan99
JustAnotherGuyBookableTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: pro made some convincing arguments, and I do feel like this was a good debate round, but pro gave up. I was interested in the debate until pro forfeited, and I cannot vote for a person who forfeits. Con wins.
Vote Placed by Subutai 2 years ago
Subutai
JustAnotherGuyBookableTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiting three times, even when that debater had a good argument, is never good conduct.