The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Violent video games should be banned

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2015 Category: Games
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,559 times Debate No: 70505
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)


This house believes that violent video games (and video games which contain antisocial behavior) should be banned. I acknowledge the fact that many people will have strong opinions on this topic and henceforth have decided to debate it. Round one- accept the challenge, please do not write any other comments in round one. Round two- first round of debate with no quoting(or responding to) other participants documents or points from round two. Round three- counter arguments (you may now respond to points from round two). Round four- conclusion. I would also like to wish my opponent the best of luck.


I accept the debate. Please begin.
Debate Round No. 1


I am standing for the motion that violent video games and similar games which contain anti-social behavior should be banned. Humans have always (and will always) for multiple scientific reasons find pleasure and joy in the act of violence and whilst I completely acknowledge this fact, Violence in video games has got to stop. There are multiple surveys and scientific evidence that playing violent video games can change the way our minds act and can change our perception of right from wrong.

I would like to turn your attention to this source and to Anders Breivik The source informs us of how Breivik a Norwegian man quotes he 'played call of duty to prepare himself' to carry out horrendous tasks such as the murder of 77 people. Should the government be allowing the distribution of media which trains of even encourages people to kill? I personally believe that this is outrageous as games developers can be viewed as creating games which provoke and even motivate people to murder. The very idea that people may play these games to prepare themselves to commit serious crime is both ethically and physically wrong.

I would also like to invite you to view another source, This source shows that a 23 year old man on his way back from Asda in London (UK) was stabbed and hit with a brick simply so criminals could steal his copy of GTA 5 (Grand Theft Auto 5). GTA 5 (and the other games in the series) all contain stabbings, prostitution, heavy violence, drug abuse and murder. There is strong evidence from Harvard University in the USA to support the concept that by seeing violence, we view it as more acceptable and the fact that this man was stabbed so thugs could steal his copy of the game further supports this point. This raises the question of 'do violent games not only introduce people to violence, but also provoke it'?

I would like to finish this round of debate by introducing you to this joint statement from the US institution for mental healthcare and The American Academy of Pediatrics available at "People who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. People exposed to violence are more likely to assume that acts of violence are acceptable behavior.Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decrease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.' This quote reiterates my previous point that violent video games make people accept violence more and even commit acts of violence in daily life due to these games.

I would now like to pass to the Opp of the debate, thank you.



I thank Pro for his excellent round. As per the rules of the debate, I will use this round for presenting my opening arguments and nothing more.

I. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

As humans, we have the inherent freedom and right to pursue that which leads to the good life. As we all know, the "good life" in itself is purely subjective, thus what might be the good life for one person, might not be the good life for another. However, within this inherent freedom to pursue such things, if something is brought into question, we must weigh the positive and negative impact that the object or thing in question brings with it. If we see that, on balance, something proves to be a net good, then there is no reason for such a thing or object to be banned from use. In this case, I do not believe that violent video games are truly a net negative which require the complete removal of it from our lives in the form of a ban.

I was going to utilize the U.S. Constitution, but judged from Pro's first round that this debate will include the world as a whole (at-least countries under western influence), rather than the values of just one nation. Thus I will instead utilize The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. [1]

The reason I am utilizing this declaration is because within it there are several articles which serve to guarantee the freedoms of each and every living person in our world today. For this debate specifically, there are several articles which serve to strengthen my main points. For instance:

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

This opening article reflects the fact that we, as humans, have the responsibility to act accordingly to one another, and are free in our rights to pursue such things as the good life. This also reflects the fact that as free humans, it is us who are responsible for the harms brought on our fellow humans, not the object in question, but rather the human being using or influenced by the object. This reminds me of the saying, "it's not guns who kill people, but rather the people who use the guns," and it's true, guns don't pull their own triggers, it's the humans using the guns who pull the triggers. I feel like the same can be applied for video games, clearly there are cases where video games influence people, however, we must remember that it is the humans themselves who carry out such actions, not the games themselves.

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

This article is key, because it touches on exactly what my opponent seeks to ban: the freedom to seek, receive and impart information through any media. Obviously violent video games are a form of media, and given that we have a universal right to receive information through such media, it stands to be argued that my opponent seeks to take away a fundamental right we have set forth for one another. Unless there is a net harm being caused, I see no valid reason for such a right to be stripped from us.

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

This is another key article because it reflects our right to periods of rest and leisure. As a working guy myself, I hold this article in the highest regard, because when I'm not working, and on my leisure time, I'm playing video games such as GTA 5. It provides entertainment and is a means for me to unload the usual stresses of everyday life. If I had that inherent right taken from me in the form of a ban, it'd be a clear violation of my rights to rest and leisure.

Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

This should go without say, but violent video games are indeed a part of the cultural life of our community, video games in themselves are the results of scientific advancements in the form of computer software engineering. I clearly have the right to freely participate in such things, as shown in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

**It should now be clear to both the audience and my opposition that I have the inherent rights and protections given under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to partake in and play video games, whether they are violent or not.**

A ban on violent video games is nothing less than a complete dismissal of the inherent rights we have as human beings. [2]

II. There are controls on the accessibility of violent video games

Whenever purchasing a new video game, there is always a rating on the game box or distributors websites. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that consumers, especially parents, can make informed choices about the ones they deem suitable for their family. [3]

In video game stores, if an "M" rated game is being purchased, the cashier has a legal obligation to ID the purchaser to ensure that they are of the correct age for purchase, otherwise, they will not be able to buy the game for personal usage. This is in line with current legal operations in regards to video games.

It's already a given that violent video games are only suitable for select audiences/players. Our current society has deemed it acceptable for people of the age 18+ to be exposed to such things as violent video games. We are given the responsibility to handle the information within such media responsibly and accordingly with respect to current laws against violence amongst one another.

If a minor is irresponsibly exposed to such things, then that is a failure on the part of their legal guardian, not the game itself. The same could be said for anything in life that has age-restrictions placed on it. It's not the games fault that the information within it was mis-used, but rather the agent who allowed for such misuse in the first place. Thus, when we hear about cases where someone who partook in acts of violence played a certain video game, we cannot reasonably blame the game itself, as it was the person who chose to carry out those actions who is rightfully at fault. As I mentioned earlier, I play GTA 5 all the time, but I'm not going around carrying out massive shooting-sprees or car-jacking people. The responsibility falls on the individual, and we have current restrictions which serve to protect individuals who are not yet at the appropriate age to reasonably handle the information presented within violent video games.

I see no reason to ban such things when ultimately it is up to the distributors and purchasers to act within reason when partaking in such things. A ban would only serve to harm those who are responsible enough to handle such things.

III. Punishing the many, for the sins of the few

Whenever there are cases of violent outbreaks and it's found that the agent of such actions played violent video games, it's all too easy to say "oh, let's ban the things that the violent person did." However, this completely ignores the big picture.

Let's take GTA5 for instance, as of 31 December 2014, the game has shipped 45 million copies to retailers. So, we can assume that around 45 million people have played the game since its release. Now, how many cases of violence has been associated with the game? I'll go way out there and say that there have been 1,000 cases. In reality there hasn't been nearly that much, more like 20-100, but let's assume that's the number. If so, then only 0.000022% of GTA5 players have turned violent in real life. There is no justifiable reason to punish the other 99.9978% of players who don't turn violent by banning the game. This can be applied to any violent game as long as we truly consider the numbers.

This entire time I've been arguing that unless these games are shown to be a net negative, there is no justifiable reason to ban them. With these numbers now given, it's clear that the game is not only not a net negative, but furthermore that only a tiny, minuscule fraction of the players actually carry out such violence in real life. Why on earth should we punish the many, for the sins of the few? In this case the few being only 0.000022% of the population.

IV. Avoiding the root cause

This is personal, and pisses me off. Everytime there is a school shooting we try to ban guns, and blame the guns, instead of looking at the individuals mental history and finding the true cause of such violent tendencies. How would banning a game have stopped a mentally-disturbed individual? Would there not just be something else that would set them off? The same goes for video games. Blaming a video game for a shooting or other violent outbreak is absurd, because clearly there are other factors at play. By automatically putting video games in the cross-hairs, we are robbing ourselves of the chance to look deeper into the matter and finding a true means to helping and avoiding such things in the future on the individual level.

Isn't it about time we stop looking at the easiest solutions and start fighting the true causes at their roots?

I believe it is, and the first step in doing so is avoiding an unjustified ban which violates our inherent rights and misses the true cause.


Debate Round No. 2

Pro forfeited this round.


My opponent, Pro, has forfeited Round 3.

In the spirit of fairness, I'll skip this round designated for rebuttals to give him an even chance of winning. Should my opponent come back for the final round, I expect rebuttals and closing statements, to which I will provide the same. This will make up for the lack of rebuttals in R3 as originally designated.

Hopefully this will keep the debate as fair as possible, should my opponent return to finish.

In the meantime, I thank the audience for their patience.
Debate Round No. 3

Pro forfeited this round.


My opponent, Pro, has forfeited the final round.

I will view this as a concession since he has broken his own rules for the round structure by forfeiting twice now.

Regardless, I promised to provide rebuttals to his original arguments in my previous round and will now deliver on that promise.


My opponent opens his round by making this claim:

"There are multiple surveys and scientific evidence that playing violent video games can change the way our minds act and can change our perception of right from wrong."

I take it that this is his main point for his position and will now rebut the studies he shared to support his claim.

I. Norwegian man/Call of Duty

His first source is not a study at all, in fact, it's a dailymail article which touches on the Norwegian man who went on a shooting-spree, killing 77 people in the process. My opponent uses the fact that he played Call of Duty to prepare himself as a reason to ban all violent video games. This is an absurd action by my opponent.

Firstly, we don't know which Call of Duty game he used, but still, let's take a look at the big picture here - Call of Duty, as a series, has sold over 139,600,000 copies of games. [1] That's over 139 million. This is one man. So, in this case, only 00.00000072% of Call of Duty players have committed a shooting spree while using the game as practice. This is such a small percentage that the motion to ban the game and any others like it due to this one man's actions is laughable at best, and wholly unjustified by Pro at worst.

Ultimately, the fact that one man utilized a video game for practice holds no weight whatsoever in this debate when we look at the grand scheme of things. There has been no evidence given by Pro to show or prove that such video games as Call of Duty is a net detriment, when in reality there are only a handful of cases of mentally unstable individuals, who unfortunately utilized these games for furthering their own twisted ends.

II. 23 yr old stabbing victim/GTA 5

The second source utilized by Pro is, again, not a study, but rather an article from independent magazine. This funny thing about this source is that the people committing the crime are stealing the games from the victim, not the other way around. So far, Pro has been arguing that those who play the games are the ones doing bad, but now it seems like it's the people who want to play the games that are doing the bad things by stealing the games from other people. How can we be sure that the thieves were influenced by these games? Wouldn't it have been the game-owner who'd have done the robbing since, you know, he played and owned the game? Ultimately, this source is useless in furthering Pro's position because it gives no weight to his previous claims whatsoever. Just an un-related story that happens to feature a victim who owned the games.

III. US institution for mental healthcare and The American Academy of Paediatrics

My opponent finishes his round by sharing a statement from these institutions which says:

"People who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. People exposed to violence are more likely to assume that acts of violence are acceptable behavior. Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decrease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs."

There are several issues I have with such a statement. First and foremost, there is no evidence given by Pro that shows that this statement was a response to violent video games. It's more reasonable to assume that this statement has to do with anything related to violence, be it violence in the family home, at school, work, on television, etc., and without direct attachment to violent video games, there is no reason for me to accept that this quote is fully applicable within the scope of this debate. Secondly, I covered how video games have age-restrictions for purchase, and also falls into the responsibility of the legal guardians of minors, thus the games themselves cannot be held accountable as it was a failure of the guardians and distributors to properly guard impressionable minds from such material. Lastly, in the quote we see language such as, "more likely", "can lead to", "can decrease".... you see, these are all assumptions, none of them are purported as fact. Statements such as "more likely" means probability, possibility, and is not, in any way, a guarantee of causation.

Thus, ultimately, such a quote also falls short of holding any real weight in this debate.

In closing,

I have now provided rebuttals to each point raised by my opponent, Pro.

Furthermore, Pro has failed to provide any rebuttals to the arguments I presented previously, nor did he follow his own rules in regards to round structure due to his multiple forfeits.

For these reasons, I urge a vote for Con.

Thank you.


Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RetroToast 3 years ago
Research shows it is completion that induces short-term aggression. Not violence.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 3 years ago
There are lots of things that induce violence... but I'll save my points for the actual debate :)

Expect my 2nd round post tomorrow night Pro.
Posted by TheSymbiote 3 years ago
Violent Video games induce violence that is for sure
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO forfeited the last two rounds, leaving him completely unable to rebut CON's arguments. Therefore, conduct and arguments to CON. Happy 87th, btw.