Weighting in on the issues of Mental Illness and Violent Media

Mental illness and the debate on Violent Content

Weighting in on the issues of Mental Illness and Violent Media

Violence in video games is nothing new, in fact it’s become the norm when it comes down to most of the games we play. In 2018 we have come to an age where school shootings are exposing the violent nature of human beings. But as we struggle to figure out why this has happened many of our politicians have reached out to the low hanging of fruit of violent video games being one of the main causes of the youths going out and slaughtering. But is this truly a sound argument?

Many of youths who have acted out in violence have at some point in time blamed violent movies, certain genres of music, and violent video games for being one of their motivators for their actions. Sad to say, though, that violence is part of the human condition. Not all of us act on our violent thoughts that we have, we can’t say at one point or another that we haven’t had such thoughts, to deny it would imply perfection.

Many of us within this world have some form of a mental illness. We have weird quirks and tendencies that may seem abnormal to others while others find it to be somewhat normal. However, with this being said, many of these mental illnesses can go unchecked and un-medicated. Without it being monitored, it can cause a lot of problems especially for a developing youth. Hormones are raging and we are desperately trying to find our place in the world and trying to make friends. In every school though there are bullies. And many of them will use the excuse of “They were asking for it” or “If you knew them you would have done it to.”

With peer pressure, hormones and bullies, there are also the neglectful parents. There are some people who just shouldn’t be parents. You can’t sit a child in front of a TV and expect them to learn social norms and to be able to adapt to society. Without being taught some of these kids have a hard time distinguishing the difference between reality and fantasy. Alongside of the above factors these youths will start to exhibit certain behavior that will cause some alarm. Many lash out in violence and some end up using drugs to cope. It’s a perfect storm of chaos.

When do we hold the parents’ responsible to being a parent? When do we hold the bullies accountable? Many might say though that, “Its not the parents’ fault!” “Its not the student’s fault!” So why must we resort to a form off media that is used as entertainment? Humans are violent by nature, we are just more civilized than we were from where it all started. To really understand the source, we must take a lot more care towards mental illnesses and trying to set up a support system rather than taking away forms of entertainment that have been around for years. We should not be censoring artists because of how the media form is being villainized to be used as a crutch to try to solve the problem.

If you would also like to do some further reading on why this a very weak argument, I implore you to go and look at these recent studies that have been performed. One study having more than 3,000 participants being tested.

Here are some reference documents for what has been discussed in this article:

No evidence to support link between violent video games and behavior
Daily dose of violent video games has no long-term effect on adult aggression
No evidence to support link between violent video games and behavior

W.C.

B-Rated Horror Movie Enthusiast, currently attending school for my Bachelors in Video Game Art and Design.
B-Rated Horror Movie Enthusiast, currently attending school for my Bachelors in Video Game Art and Design.

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