Hate the player not the game! – Should violent video games be banned?

3 min read


You may recall a few weeks back we asked for some submissions for my sister, who lectures a Criminology class, and her upcoming videogame debate. The idea behind the debate was to discuss whether or not violent videogames themselves were responsible for violent behaviour and whether we should be censoring them or restricting their sales.

The results are in and both sides of the group agreed that violent videogames do not cause crime… however the pro-censorship group did feel that if a person is predisposed to crime then videogames may influence them to react in a violent manner. As a society we deserve to be protected from the 1%-2% of people affected by violent games.

The group against censorship agreed that violence games could influence an already predisposed person but they did not feel this was enough reason to censor the games, the games are not responsible for the behaviour but rather the violent gamers themselves need to accept responsibility for what they have done.

Here is an in depth bullet point breakdown of their findings, would you agree with this or do you think they missed the mark on a major topic?

  • The age of someone who plays a specific game is more of a predetermining factor
    • Pre-puberty and during puberty violent media, not specifically games, can affect a person who has violent tendencies
    • It cannot be looked at in isolation, family environment is more of a predetermining factor than the game
    • The lack of parents watching over their children is a problem


  • Society needs to evaluate what is seen as “abnormal culture”.
    • The so called ‘nerd culture’ is still looked at as unusual,
    • We generalise that when a child plays games and is interacting over the internet, they are being ‘un-sociable’ and isolated.
    • This can lead to real victims / youths needing attention being ignored and falling through the gap


  • Bullying is more of a factor than the violent media and there is a need to look at punishing the offenders not the victims.
    • A lot of the cases that are brought forth for the debate of banning games when one looks at their past it is normally the bullying that is the determining factor.
    • In many instances the bullying is done by the so-called ‘jocks’ against the so called ‘nerds’ – it is important for society to start punishing the bully’s and in addition stopping the bullying before it occurs.
    • The culture of our world is protection of the offenders


  • There is no quick fix to this. Videogames may affect / influence a predisposed person to violent tension
    • Parents need to also accept responsibility, children (under12) can’t watch SAW, but they can play a violent game
      • Parents also need to be educated on why the age restriction is on certain games and what effects the violence can have on a child
    • Children imitate their role models, parents / older siblings fall into this brackets for the young child.
    • Video games are used as an excuse for behaviour in doing so many other factors are ignored
    • Research is being done that is looking at the stimulation on the brain when a person watches a violent movie or plays a violent game – so we know there is an effect, but we are unsure of what and to what extent

Last Updated: March 29, 2010

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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