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

Violent Video Games

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,103 times Debate No: 16870
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




This debate topic is one in which me and my opponent will discuss violent video games, and it's affects on the users. I will argue that violent video games do in fact encourage the user to become violent, or to do violent things. While my opponent will refute this and give his/her reasons for refutation. Also the first round will be for acceptance and clarifications.


I'll accept with only a few clarifications

1. I would like to limit the scope of research to the US just for relevancy's sake.

2. I would prefer that instead of using the Pro's interpretation of "encourage the user to become violent" that we instead ONLY argue that "they encourage the user to commit violent acts" as it is much harder to judge the merits of what it means to "become violent".

Just to be clear then the burden of proof is as follows

Pro: Violent video games encourage the user to engage in violent acts.

Con: Violent video games do not encourage the user to engage in violent acts.

I look forward to debating you!
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to once again thank my opponent, for accepting this debate.

Society should restrict the sale and play of violent video games because children become desensitized to violence and its impact. If children are exposed to violence through media, such as violent video games. When children see violent acts in society they equate it with the non-personal response of a video game. Then those children become a danger to themselves. As children have no real picture of the devastating effects of violence in reality. The violence of video games often down plays violence. So to the child it is not very huge. Which is a major concern. It is a major concern because some children may try to emulate the violence seen in video games, thus causing harm to either themselves or others. Final thought violent video games cause violent behavior and violent acts.

Below I have posted a link to better support my argument.


Hello and thank you for taking time to read this debate.

For the purpose of clarification I will not state my intent to argue for the remainder of this debate. The Con will argue that the sale of violent video games to minors in the U.S. does not have a substantial effect on their actions and that there are other causes or reasons why young people commit violent acts.

Here is my evidence.

#1 - No connection between violence and games. Other causes like home life and and mental stability are the core.

A PBS Report citing the findings of MIT Professor Henry Jenkins [1]

"The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to 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. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful. It has led adult authorities to be more suspicious and hostile to many kids who already feel cut off from the system. It also misdirects energy away from eliminating the actual causes of youth violence and allows problems to continue to fester."

As we can see per the evidence there have been numerous studies AND in fact the surgeon general telling us that the exposure to violence based on video games is a factor that leads to violence. Compare this to my opponents evidence which is unobtainable so we cannot even test the validity of the entire study. As this is my opponents argument it is the only argument I need to win to win this debate but I will go ahead and provide more evidence bellow.

#2 - Violent video games are in fact core to the development of children and their decision making skills.

A PBS Report citing the findings of MIT Professor Henry Jenkins [1]

"On April 19, 2002, U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Sr. ruled that video games do not convey ideas and thus enjoy no constitutional protection. As evidence, Saint Louis County presented the judge with videotaped excerpts from four games, all within a narrow range of genres, and all the subject of previous controversy. Overturning a similar decision in Indianapolis, Federal Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner noted: "Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low. It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware." Posner adds, "To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it." Many early games were little more than shooting galleries where players were encouraged to blast everything that moved. Many current games are designed to be ethical testing grounds. They allow players to navigate an expansive and open-ended world, make their own choices and witness their consequences. "

This quote is long but meaningful as it holds multiple reasons as to why children have to be exposed to violent video games. As explained, the article cites a district judge who explains why we have to protect the rights of children in exposing them to violence and thus the consequences of actions. They become as Posner writes "The ethical testing grounds." and so should be accessible to children. To back up this claim the article cites Posner who justifies this exposure with reference to the violent nursery rythmes and fairytales we already tell our children. Thus if you find even the slightest moral, ethical or logical justification for exposing children to violence you vote con.

#3 - Video games aren't desensitizing.

A PBS Report citing the findings of MIT Professor Henry Jenkins [1]

"Classic studies of play behavior among primates suggest that apes make basic distinctions between play fighting and actual combat. In some circumstances, they seem to take pleasure wrestling and tousling with each other. In others, they might rip each other apart in mortal combat. Game designer and play theorist Eric Zimmerman describes the ways we understand play as distinctive from reality as entering the "magic circle." The same action — say, sweeping a floor — may take on different meanings in play (as in playing house) than in reality (housework). Play allows kids to express feelings and impulses that have to be carefully held in check in their real-world interactions. Media reformers argue that playing violent video games can cause a lack of empathy for real-world victims. Yet, a child who responds to a video game the same way he or she responds to a real-world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed. "

Despite what the pro tells you, video games aren't desensitizing. As the evidence above explains, video games aren't meant to stimulate real emotional responses and thus aren't meant to show that a kid is disturbed simply because he laughs at death in a simulation. In fact they act as a release to feelings that are normally oppressed in 'reality' culture today. This answers the pro's only claim to violence and is thus a reason to vote con.

#4 - Studies that conclude that violence in video games lead to more violence in kids are biased.

Staff of Science 2.0 Report on the findings of Professor Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex. [2]

"However, Kierkegaard explains, there is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games. Despite several high profile incidents in US academic institutions, "Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s," says Kierkegaard, "while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before. "With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence," he says, "Instead, violence has declined." Research is inconclusive, emphasises Kierkegaard."

The evidence goes a long way to win the con's because it states that really any study provided by the pro has no real world statistics to backup the nature of the findings and thus can only be limited to the theory which is invalid until there is evidence to support it.

#5 - If your claim is true then why has the rise of video game sales been accompanied by a drop in violent crimes by children?

Quote from Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and Cheryl K. Olson, ScD, co-founders of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health [3]

"It’s clear that the ‘big fears’ bandied about in the press - that violent video games make children significantly more violent in the real world; that children engage in the illegal, immoral, sexist and violent acts they see in some of these games - are not supported by the current research, at least in such a simplistic form. That should make sense to anyone who thinks about it. After all, millions of children and adults play these games, yet the world has not been reduced to chaos and anarchy."

This statement and evidence is pretty damning to the case of my opponent because it poses a logical question that simply can't be answered by studies that are supposedly in support of the pro. This is because, as stated by the very qualified authors of my evidence, there has been no increase in violence even though violent video games are hot sellers. Thus there can be no conclusion for the pro because there is simply no real world proof.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to my opponent's response!

My Evidence (No abstract mining here)

[1] -

[2] -

[3] "Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games" by Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and Cheryl K. Olson, ScD, 2008.

Debate Round No. 2


Gensai forfeited this round.


Um yea...

Thanks for the time and I hope y'all enjoy. will debate this later if anyone wants.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by ThePixeledWarrior 7 years ago
No problem, I appreciate that you tried and I'm sure it would have been fun!
Posted by Gensai 7 years ago
I would like to apologize to my opponent, for missing the 3rd round. I have been having trouble logging in as of late.
Posted by Gensai 7 years ago
I am sorry puck Im not sure I understand your implications.
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Given your article is behind a pay wall, abstract mining? Fail.
Posted by Gensai 7 years ago
Thank you that is something I feel strongly about.
Posted by ThePixeledWarrior 7 years ago
Ignore my last comment.

I have to commend you on that admirable debate you had over gay marriage. I would have voted for you if I could but I didn't have privileges yet.
Posted by ThePixeledWarrior 7 years ago
If I accept, do you want me to post my argument immediately or simply accept?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con should instigate this debate, a lot of wasted effort there.