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What Is the Cause and Effects of Music, Television, and Video Game Violence on Children and Teens in America?

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Bradis McGriff

Humanities 110

November 27, 2004

Dr. Privateer

What is the cause and effects of Music, Television, and Video Game Violence on Children and Teens In America?


Usually when a child or a teenager commits a crime, it is never their fault. When a child or a teenager commits a crime, the responsibility never belongs to the parents either. Instead, when a teenager or a child commits a crime, the first thing that the prosecutors or the media wants to place the blame on is video games, the television program that the child had been watching, or the blame is placed on the type of music that the child or teen had been previously listening to.

This is what concerns me. Everyone is responsible for their own actions regardless of what television program video games the child, or teen, what type of video games that are being played, is watching and what type of music is being listened to. What bothers me even more is when the actors who are in some of the video game or movies take some of the heat for the movies that they are in. The same case in some of the music. Artist is often blamed for a lot of the violence in America just by some of the types of lyrics that they recite in their songs.

In this report, I am going to simply tell you how I feel about the artist and actors taking all the blame for the violence in America. I am going to tell you whose fault violence really is. I am going to state the facts and give you some personal experiences of how the media (video games, television, and music) is not responsible for violence amongst the youth in America.

Video Games

Video games were a $6 billion industry in 2000 and sales are expected to reach as high as $8 billion in 2001. Over 250 million units were sold in 2000 alone, and it is estimated that 60% of all Americans play video games on a normal basis. This level of market penetration makes it important to investigate the messages video games send children. There are some benefits to video games. Studies have found that playing video games can improve children's visual attention skills, and their computer literacy skills. According to research most of the top-selling video games (89%) contained violent content, and the negative consequences of the violent acts were rarely shown.

Although there are a few games that are educational and help kids with their learning experiences, most of the top rated games contained violence. Perfect games that I can use for examples of violence in video games. Take for example the whole series of Grand Theft Auto games. The Games include Grand Theft Auto, and Grand Theft Auto Two for Playstation. Then when graphics were improved and Playstation 2 came out it came out with better graphics and the Grand Theft Auto series continued on with Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and a new game was just released entitle Grand Theft Auto San Andraes.

You probably can get an idea of what type of game it is and what goes on in the game just by the title of the game alone. You go around and complete missions for drug lords and mob bosses, but there's a catch to it. You are not given a car to complete these missions and you do not buy the car, you have to go out and steal it. Not only do you have to steal the car, you have to steal a car that somebody else is driving by throwing the person out of the car and beating them up or killing them. Then to carry out the missions that you are assigned you must purchase weapons, which include guns and grenades and all sorts of things. To make matters even worse, you can pick up prostitutes and have sex with the prostitutes for money right in the car. In my own personal opinion this is one of the worst games that has ever been made. Think about it, what kind of games are being made? What Kind of influence do games like this have on the youth of America? I know that it doesn't have a positive effect on the youth of America. The youth in America are influenced by video games and I know this for a fact.

If you see a kid playing a football game and you ask him what he wants to be he would probably tell you a football player. If you see a kid playing a basketball game he would probably tell you that he wants to be a basketball player. The same thing applies to violent video games, just a little bit. When a child plays a violent video game, the child probably believes that this is cool. They may not want to be a murderer when they grow up, but the child may began to start thinking about things that he sees on the video games. For instance, the child may began to wonder what does it feel like to own a gun? What does it feel like to shoot a gun? What does if feel like to actually rob a bank and if I rob a bank will I get caught? These are just a few of the questions that the youth of America may have and it may inspire them to do violent crimes.

So the question I have is this: Who's to blame for the violence amongst the youth in our country? I feel that it is a combination of things that we can blame the violence amongst the children and teenage population in our country. It starts out with that is actually buying the games for the children. When a child tells a parent what game that they want, the parent will usually just go and buy the game without reading what type of game it is that they had just purchased. As long as the child is happy, parents wont even mind buying the child the game that they want as long as the child stays occupied. In some cases, the parent doesn't even accompany the child when the child goes to buy the video game. Instead the child is just given the money and told to buy whatever they want to buy with it. I grew up in a house where my parents bought every game that I ever played in my house and none of these games were violent games. When my parents saw the commercial for the Grand Theft Auto games and they found out that I wanted the game, they immediately told me that I couldn't have the game. I am 18 years of age now and I bought the game for myself and my parents aren't worried that the game will influence me due to the fact that I am a responsible young man and I know that the things seen on the game are wrong. But the same thing doesn't apply for young children. The child's younger years are the years when the child determines what is wrong and what is right. If a child grows up playing these kinds of games and they aren't told what the consequences are if they commit these crimes, then the child may want to do some of the crimes that are seen on the video game.

So can you blame it on



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