Does Life Really Imitate Video Games?




In the article When Life Imitates Video, writer John Leo gives his opinion that video kill games can lead to violent behavior. He makes many good points throughout his argument, although, he seems to put the blame of violence almost entirely on video games.  Leo believes that “we are now a society in which the chief form of play for millions of youngsters is making large numbers of people die” (p. 4). This statement hardly seems possible to prove; he doesn’t back it up with any evidence. There really is no way of proving that more people are dying each year because of murderers being influenced by violent video games.

From a parental guidance standpoint, there are already laws restricting minors from purchasing suggestive and violent video games. Therefore, if your child is playing these video games then how did they obtain it in the first place? In my opinion, violent video games should not be the one to blame. If the parents of these younger kids are letting them play these violent games, then they are the ones responsible for any influence the game has on their children. Leo provides a statement from Psychologist David Grossman who believes that parents “have to start worrying about what we are putting into the minds of our young.” Even if some parents trusted their children to play these sorts of games, then the least they could do is observe their thoughts and actions towards these games.

Leo admits the opposing argument that “this is a harmless activity among children who know the difference between fantasy and reality” (p. 5). I feel like this proves that the argument will always remain debatable and will never be resolved. Some children grow up well educated and cared for, and will never have a bad bone in their body even if they are exposed to violence. Many children do understand right from wrong merely because they’ve been exposed to violence in the first place. On the other hand, some children will end up committing crimes, but for multiple reasons aside from violent video games.



2 thoughts on “Does Life Really Imitate Video Games?

  1. I really liked your view on the article. I really liked how you ended it with the acknowledgement that there are different types of kids since most people don’t realize that. I will have to disagree with you on your views about parental involvement though. I respect that you’re coming at it from a parental aspect, but from a kid’s point of view, I can honestly say it’s not really the parent’s fault. Yes, I agree that parents should be cognizant of what their child is watching and playing, but there’s only so much a parent can do. Speaking from personal experience, I know how easy it is to get away and hide stuff from your parents. If a kid really wants to play a game or watch a show, they’ll find the means to achieve what they want. Whether it be going over to a friend’s house or going to the mall and playing at Gamestop, the kid eventually gets exposed to the violence. I think that it’s smarter (as a parent) to expose things of that nature yourself rather than trying to suppress them. At least when the parent is exposing them, they have control over how much the child is exposed.

  2. I agree with you in the fact that the parents shoulder some, if not most, of the blame. But I believe this because of an entirely different reason. Yes, the parents are the deciding what their child can and cannot see, but, like Arsalan said, there are many other ways for children to get a hold of. I know that, when I was a lot younger, my parents didn’t want me to play Medal of Honor. My neighbor, and one of my best friends that I hung out with a lot, had that game and we were able to play it without my parents realizing. All we had to do was lie to my neighbors mom and tell her that my parents didn’t care about the game, which seemed worth it in my young mind. It wasn’t at all hard to do things that my parents forbade. So, you can’t always blame the parent for what their child sees. However, it is the parents responsibility to talk to their child about that restricted content, whether it’s violent, sexual, or offensive. The parents must make sure that their children understand that what they see on the tv, or in the video game, is not real life and is not acceptable as real life behaviors. As long as the parents have a relationship that is based off of communication, then the parents, as well as the video games, are not to blame.

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