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The trend and growth of video games

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  1. Introduction
  2. The proposed bills
  3. The obscenity laws
  4. The Columbine shootings
  5. The homicidal inspiration
  6. The popular video games
  7. Link between violent games and aggressive behavior
  8. The sex object factor
  9. The female imagery in games
  10. Male-controlled images
  11. Results of viewing sexual violence
  12. Proposed policies
  13. Idea of banning or restricting games
  14. The positive impacts of banning
  15. Improving the proposed policy
  16. Conclusion

The interactive world of video games is growing. The effects of this trend are stretching farther than ever as today's children spend an increasing amount of time immersed in the fantasy world that the game console offers. While many children see little to nothing wrong with this fact, concerned adults scrutinize the factors involved that seem sure to have an effect on children's developing minds. As defenders of video games are quick to assert, there is nothing new about the idea of depicting murder, sexual violence, or other antisocial behavior. But with the innovative position the young gamer inhabits as the perpetrator of these acts, and the increasingly realistic imagery made possible with advancing technology, the stakes may be higher than ever.

During the last legislative session, bills were proposed by lawmakers from seven states in an attempt to restrict the sale of games to minors. Not one of the bills survived. The gaming industry has experienced victory after victory as every attempt to limit them has been cut down based on interpretations of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

[...] Many of the most popular video games are violent, and over half of boys and girls studied chose violent games as their favorites. With exposure on the increase, researchers are exploring the effects of playing these games. In one lab experiment with 4 to 6 year olds, an increase in aggressive behavior was observed after six minutes of playing a moderately violent game. In another study, 2nd graders who played a violent game showed more aggression after playing than did their peers who were assigned to play a racing game. [...]

[...] The violence against and degradation of women in video games is getting worse. Much is evident by looking at the roles of female characters in games. Many games push negative stereotypes and encourage violence against women. In Duke Nukem, the main character receives points for killing prostitutes. The females in the game are portrayed as sex objects, with the main player being awarded for throwing money at them. Female characters are often the kidnap victims of ruthless men; they are represented as submissive damsels in distress, in need of being rescued. [...]

[...] Lastly, the two judges' opinions, mentioned previously, that there is not enough evidence of the negative effects of games on children should prove to show researchers that they will have to keep up with the work they are doing investigating video games' effects, if only to prove things to lawmakers. If this policy were to be implemented, its effects could be judged by surveys and other research. Questions could be asked about whether the law actually was helpful in keeping the specified games out of children's hands, and about attitudes of children in terms of the way the laws made them feel about the games. [...]

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