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Author Topic: Video games and agressive behavior  (Read 1953 times)

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Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Video games and agressive behavior
« on: April 28, 2009, 01:33:19 PM »
I am doing a speech topic on violent video games showing increases aggressive behavior in kids under the age of 17 or anybody.

Purpose: To convince people that the rating on violent video games should not be increased by the government.

Thesis: The need is that kids are lashing out and that violent video game is being blamed for the increase aggressive behavior in them.

I was wondering how other people feel about this. Since most of my speech class are girls who don't play i don't have alot help from that audience.

Do you guys think violent video game only increases anger in kids as they play?
Should there be passwords of mature games to keep kids from playing?
Should parents be blame for what they kids are playing and the fact that they are acting thing they see out in society?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 01:51:34 PM by saturnschild »

Offline Merlyn

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 02:13:18 PM »
Ok, I have much input for this topic.  First off, I personally feel that violent video games relaxes me.  But so does any sort of activity that causes a release of endorphins or adrenalin, playing those games, as well as some racing games that I like, have that effect.

Now, since I work someplace that sells mature games, often times to very idiotic parents.  I must say that the ratings are not the problem.  And passwords won't do anything, because the kids will simply learn what they are.  Not to mention that most current gen consoles have parental controls that allow blocking of any ratings. 

Ok now as for the parents, I think that they need to actually be willing to spend time looking into the games their kids want to play.  A while ago I sold an xbox 360 and Gears of War 2 to some parents for their young child... not even 12 if I remember correctly.  He also likes to play HALO 3 regualarly.  They hadn't even known Gears was a M game, or what halo was like.  But they still got it, even after noticing the violence and gore tag on the rating. 

ESRB ratings are a suggestion.  (I suggest you take a look at their site.)  It is also voluntary, but most retailers refuse to carry any unrated games.  And they even suggest that you find information on the game to make an informed decision.

I played many M and T games before I was at the suggested age limit.  And yes, I do consider myself an aggressive person at times, but not do to games.  I don't see much difference between violent games and playing with toy guns, GI Joe, or toy swords.  People make their own choices.  And pretty much all games do show a difference between right and wrong.  Even though that is the parents job to teach and impress upon children the importance of those morals.  Millions play the same games, only a few react violently and blame the games.  Which seems more likely, there are a few screwed up individuals, or millions that are somehow screwed up and therefore wind up unaffected by a negative influence.

Offline Moonhare

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 03:13:33 PM »
I would have to second that. I grew up watching violent cartoons and playing violent games and I am no more violent then I would be without them. I use them as a health way to get rid of that pent up frustration that could turn into something worse. (Anyone take a look at how violent Tom and Jerry is? and that's old school if there ever was. Don't see that many people blaming Tom and Jerry for violent behavior, or how about Looney Tunes?)

As a parent, I am careful not only in the selection of games I let my kids play, but in explaining thoroughly that the games are like pretend. It's not real, it not meant to be real it's just a story you can play out. Nothing in TV, Movies, Cartoons, Anime, Video Games, or most other types of media are real in the sense that there are not actors behind them playing a role. As to whether the things in them can happen in real life, that's a different story and I let my kids think about it before asking me.

The news and documentaries are the only things I can think of that maybe considered true life in the sense that they are not actors, but as my kids don't watch them yet, I leave it as most of what they would be interested in watching/playing is make-believe, and not something they should do more than pretend, or play on the game station.

My oldest is now eight. She is getting to the point now where she is noticing the difference and asking the questions that I expect from her. Like did the dog in Marley and Me really die at the end? I sat down and explained again that even though the story behind it might or might not be true, the dog playing Marley didn't die. She is beginning to know that there is a line between suspended disbelief and real life.

Does violence on the screen in any form, including game play that lets you act out a character's behavior, cause aggressive or violent behavior. I don't think so. I think its lack of something in the process between child and parent, something the child has seen in their real life that causes these behaviors, or a disorder in the child.

At least this is my two cents worth.

Offline Silk

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 04:26:48 PM »
If anything the violent games are helping to quel agressive behavior as to be that violent and agressive vent when were pissed off (Hell of alot more healthy to strangle someone on a game than someone in real life!)

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 05:02:44 PM »
OMG guys thank you thank you very much for these very well thought out responses. It really help straighten somethings out, and get an idea of where I should start and go from.

And I do agree with all of you.

Silk I was going to have something already containing to what you have said. For it is the same for me, Playing games like Gears, Halo, or Left 4 Dead are stress releaser for me. Yes sometimes I find myself getting more angry while playing the game but by time I turn the game off I am in a calmer state.

Moonhare it is nice to have a actual parents speak on this. And I do feel like that what parents or adults with younger players should do. Tell them the difference even if they act like the should be old enough to know it themselves. Everything to what a child does or how they act starts with what their parents teach them. And that a good question why aren't old violent cartoon are not blamed for how kids act. I was just watching Tom and Jerry today and though funny I find my self cringing at some of the thing done to Tom by Jerry. The throwing of knives shooting of guns and sometime views of death, why wasn't this criticized like violent games.

And Merlyn I agree with the same thing I said to Silk violent video games are a stress release and they are relaxing when played with eases. For sometimes I can get to a certain boss and it can be very frustrating. But sometimes the game I am playing is not even a violent mature game. Last game I played like that as to be Kingdom Hearts. I was going against Sephiroth and he was kicking my ass all over the place for like 7 tries, and I had finally got him to his last health bar and only like two more hits where left then he pulls out this combo from his tiny ass and mops the floor with me. I was so angry I indeed up throwing my controller at my PS2 and punching at my hardwood floor with my bare fist. Kingdom hearts is not considered a violent game and it is not even rated as a mature game, but it brought out so much anger in me. So why just games with violence like blood and gore a criticized?

and the whole ESRB I have went to there website and looked around. And yes parents should know more about these kinds of things. I do believe they made the ESRB for that parents kind be wise about what they are buying there kids. Even know my mum still looks at the games I buy and she does say something if she sees the M for Mature on the game, and I am 20 years old. And I still get carded as well. Thats why I say adults in general not just parents need to take charge of the selling, buying and playing of games.

Thank you again for the thoughts.

Offline Silk

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 05:08:37 PM »
Another thing that may be worth the mention is that games like gta are not promoting agressive behavior, "Hey ill attack this person with a knife, now i got twelve police officers beating on me" Although its funny that just because a few people used game violence as a excuse in a court, apparently its a worldwide pandemic.

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 05:16:51 PM »
true it is for that is why I am deciding to write about it. I already did a paper in my English 102 class and that paper got me a passing grade so I am trying again with speech . And there is alot of research where they took younger kids like in grade 4 or 6 placed them in two different groups and had on play a violent game while the other just played a non-violent game. And up with that violent game do increases behavior for the kids that played the violent game played rougher then the kids that  played the non violent game. And I am just appalled by this research.

Offline Silk

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 05:21:27 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobo_doll_experiment

Bandura has proven this a long long time ago, the mimicing behavior of childeren copying peers is old news and hardly related purely to video games. Its a mute arguement as just getting rid of one possibility is not going to rid the entire problem. Its like saying that you've made all rodents extinct because you killed off the rats.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 05:23:21 PM by Silk »

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 05:29:02 PM »
oh yes I have read this before. Actually for my English paper I have read it I believe I didn't use it but thought it was very interesting.

Offline Silk

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 05:32:26 PM »
Still the relation between the two is worthy of comparison as to why this targeted data is invalid due to it not being the only form of "mimic violence" it is just splitting hairs. Like saying the McDonald Big mac burger is not healthy for you when its allready shown nothing McDonalds is healthy for you.

Offline Oniya

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 12:32:16 AM »
The salads aren't that bad...

Another parent here - So far, my little one hasn't played anything more violent than Neopets: The Darkest Faerie, but she's watched me play a string of Final Fantasy games, the old-school Spyro, KH1, and I'm in the middle of Dark Cloud 2.  I've chosen not to let her watch me play MediEvil, but sometimes she watches my husband play one of the WWF/WWE simulator games.

She also goes out with my husband when he goes down to boffer combat, which involves real people really hitting each other - with safely padded weapons.  And if you ask her, she'll tell you what the two most important rules are:  'Only play with someone who wants to play', and 'No head shots'.

Yes, I've seen her get excited about some interesting things - we're reading the Hobbit, and just got through the fight with the spiders, and she really got into it.  (I was actually a little relieved, because real spiders make her call for me or Daddy.)  Still, she understands - and will even say to me 'Don't worry, it's just pretending.'

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 06:49:50 AM »
Oniya you bring up another research that i have found. It is mostly like the first one but they had some kids just watch both games. I can't really remember how that turned out. but it shows that it take more then just playing games.

Offline Oniya

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 08:32:27 AM »
Oniya you bring up another research that i have found. It is mostly like the first one but they had some kids just watch both games. I can't really remember how that turned out. but it shows that it take more then just playing games.

The important thing that I was trying to get across is that even a second-grader can understand 'just pretending'.  I'll admit my sample size is insignificantly small, and there is actual parenting involved (oh noez!).  Also, it probably provides an example that it isn't just video games that kids might be exposed to.  (Yes, I prefer the old-school cartoons as well.  90% of what's been coming out recently is crap {see Sturgeon's Law}.)

Offline Andy

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Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2009, 10:06:28 AM »
Violet games only provokes violence IF the kid can either put themselves in the place of the in-game character, OR if the kid cant tell the difference between game and reality.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2009, 04:17:44 PM »
Violent games are actually an outlet for aggression, not a cause of it. I've been playing video games since I was little, and it always helped me to channel my anger. Shooting nazi's or chopping down Orc's is a better alternative than injuring someone in real life.

People, like Jack Thompson are just wrong. Much like the people that blame music for bad acts, it doesn't quite work that way. The individual would have committed those acts regardless.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2009, 08:31:33 PM »
I think that, like any activity that has the potential for frustration, violent games can build frustration and aggression, but only insofar as the individual's personality allows.  I speak from experience when I say that my "nerd rage" doesn't come from the game itself, but my inability to complete a task within the parameters of the game, or the repetitive failure of others I'm playing with to act for the benefit of the team instead of their own personal goals.   This is why I rarely PvP in World of Warcraft anymore, because I simply cannot handle it. 

While I think that violent video games games can enhance aggression and violence, they don't add anything that already wasn't in the personality or mood of the player.  They're no more training kids to be serial-killing sociopaths than Marilyn Manson or Rammstein or Leatherface are.  If that's the way the kids turn out, that's how they were going to be with or without the influence of video games.

Offline Kittenchan

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2009, 08:42:57 PM »
Finds herself less likely to snap at her mother or someone I'm pissed at if I take out my frustration on imaginary things in video games. *nods*

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2009, 11:47:56 PM »
Yes yes all this is excatly how I feel about this. Tomorrow is the day that I have to give the speech and I really can't this really helped me out a lot.

And I do find games myaled to be a way to release stress l play a game like left 4 dead or halo or gears when I need to think or just want to relaxe for today not to learn anything I get that enough from the tv shows and the movies of today time. So why just video games. I see the treatment of games just like the treatment that comic books got when they first started to hit it big with the younger generation. So I guess with just give them time the way they are viewed may change.

Offline Oniya

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2009, 08:20:29 AM »
Change is already occurring.  Instead of all video games being 'eee-vile', there are now games being used for enrichment (Brain Challenge or something like that), fitness (WiiFit, anyone?) and some research that shows that real-time video games help promote mental fitness (as a result of the quick decision making required).  I've even heard that the military makes use of a video game in training exercises.

Offline Mathim

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2009, 09:44:50 AM »
Anger and aggression are two entirely different things. What causes the anger in the first place? Parental neglect? Bullying? Lots of reasons at any rate, obviously. Do video games disassociate fantasy from reality for people? Perhaps some, if their parents aren't doing their dog-danged job teaching their kids better than that. I think if anything, video games are responsible for obesity and not much else, since kids want to play those instead of playing outside. Although, if you know about this kind of thing, exercise relieves stress and decreases anger and of course provides an outlet for any pent-up anger and aggression so in a way, video games are responsible for aggression but only indirectly. Ultimately it's the responsibility of the parents to educate their own children and dictate what activities are healthy or not and which their children are allowed to engage in.

And yes, I have been doing research along the same lines, so I know what I'm talking about this time. Now I have to deliver a speech to a class on this in about two hours.

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2009, 09:50:12 AM »
yes yes they are useing video games in that way but it is just the view on game that show blood and gore and nudity. They think it is infecting kids because they exsite. And with the stupid people out there actually doing thing to have cause for people to be against them like a boy steall a taxi and killing the driver just because he saw it in Grand Theif Auto and he wanted to see if he can do it. That kind of stupidty will just hurt the game indusrty in the end.

But I just done with my speech and it went horrible I didn't say anything I really wanted and I was all over the place.

Offline Gunslinger

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2009, 11:45:07 AM »
There are certainly a lot of different opinions on this topic, and on an internet forum you will probably find a lot of people that say I play violent games and I am ok
This is true most people play video games and are healthy, well off individuals. In my opinion there is just as much violence on TV, movies and even music as there is in video games. Keep in mind that we have a very violent history and it is very surprising to me that if you look at context with our violent history (or nature) we have been less violent in more civil countries: got used to that and now wonder why are some people more aggressive than others. I am not saying we are violent in our nature I am just not ruling that fact out.
However you should try to find studies and evidence to really answer this question and not rely so much on personal anecdotes because most people on the internet love video games and will defend them(this is called a bias).
This is a very complex topic what I have found (when I worked on something similar for school) is that there is very little evidence to link video game violence to aggressive behavior.
Here are some articles that might help:
http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/display/article/10168/54191
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020401/tips/1.html

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2009, 12:20:04 PM »
true I did have a hard time finding info for this topic mostly just new reports on thing conected to video games.

Offline setojurai

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2009, 08:46:55 PM »
I play violent video games.  Does this make me go out and kill people?

I watch the news, does this make me a serial rapist/murderer?

I watch adult videos, does this make me a sex criminal?

I play Monopoly, does this make me a neo-capitalist?

I play Dungeons and Dragons, does this make me a satanist?

I listen to people who have ideas, does this make me wrong?

I exist, does this mean I should die?

Think about that for a moment.

Offline Cysma

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2009, 09:16:23 PM »
Oh! Oh! I just did a research project on this very topic! The folder is sitting right next to me as I type this.

The paper also talks about how video games can be good teaching tools, their addictive nature, and how gender roles are affected by them.

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2009, 09:25:39 AM »
I do believe the way we act towards certain games can differ based on gender. I not really sure but sometimes I see and feel that guys get more you know competitively aggressive more then girls do. One of my research that i have found saw that boys where seen to out expression there newly hyped up aggression on other more then girls will do.

Offline Silk

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2009, 05:32:56 PM »
I find its the opposite and that females tend to get alot more aggressive, my theory for that is based more on the way we are brought up. Boys in school on the most part spend their time in team games, and throughout everything because of this trend of playing games vs others get taught the ethics of sportsmanship, as well as learning from a early stage that it is only a game and not the end of the world.

Girls who are more inclined to not take part in team games and spend more time conversing do not get what is the sportsmanship ethic and are a great deal more competitive and aggressive in competition because of this.

For a example of this situation is during one of my units I had to do a essay on a subject and how it relates to people. My choice was at a laser tag business in a forest terrain. I was there for three weeks, the guys who came were up for a fun game, no hassles between them. But when teams with girls arrived.. I think only 4 in 21 games involving girls and women did not have some sort of incident where it was taken too seriously. I even asked the owner and he agreed with these findings in that guys are generally there for the fun of the game while the girls seemed to play the game as if it was life or death.

Guys may be willing to play more agressive games such as paintballing or rugby than girls are, but that does not make them more agressive in general. If anything it works as a vent in itself.

And i will leave this with a well known saying here in england

"Rugby is a thugs game played by gentlemen, while football is a gentlemens game played by thugs"
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 05:35:11 PM by Silk »

Offline Gracie

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2009, 06:22:29 PM »
I feel that this depends on the individual playing the game.  For some individuals its an outlet for aggression and helps to calm them down. For others, it may put ideas into their heads if they blur the line between fantasy and reality: shooting people is fun in this game, lets try it in real life! It is the parent's responsibility to ensure that their child knows how to behave appropriately, as well as to provide appropriate games for their child.

I have seen kids get aggressive from non-violent video games. One kid I know has several times yelled in frustration and threw the controller at the wall because he couldn't get passed a level he had tried multiple times. But this kid is just as likely to get frustrated while playing outside, if for example he kept missing the hoop when shooting a basketball. So this aggression was not necessarily caused by the video game, but more likely the kid's frustration with himself.

It's all in the individual's personality. I do not think video games are to blame for violent behavior.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2009, 05:47:54 PM »
I know you already gave your speech, but this is an interesting topic for me. Video games are a mixed blessing, very solidly.

I do not believe violent video games cause an increase in aggression in the people who play them often. What I do believe is that they are generally a solitary activity which, if played a lot during the formative years, can result in reduced social skills, general awkwardness and a feeling of ostracism. Of course, being a dedicated bookworm through my formative years - and well into high school - I am well aware that it isn't the only thing that can result in these traits. Only one of them. There is also the fact that multiplayer video games exist and can somewhat mitigate this trend, although that causes some of its own problems re: conflict resolution and sharing. Remember the squared-off edges of the original NES controllers? My oldest (younger) brother and I used to beat each other with them over whose turn it was.

It is a great outlet for aggression. If I've had a difficult time with something, it's cathartic to go on games and shoot the crap out of something for a while. However, it's often more cathartic (for me) to grab my sneaks and go for a good run. When I lived in an apartment complex with a pool, going for a good swim was fantastic. And if I felt un-productive, or like I was failing at something, taking some of the weighted pool toys and diving after them was a good way to get an easy sense of accomplishment. So while games are good for some aggression, they should not be relied on as the only outlet.

Do they encourage dependence? They certainly do... but so does everything else. I have an ex who developed an MMO-dependence. I also have a friend who developed a dependence on weed. I have another friend who really, really seems to be unnaturally fond of his television. And one of my relatives has described behaviours in his girlfriend that make me think she has become dependent on (and possibly also addicted to, since there's a chemical element) exercise. Anything that makes you feel good can cause dependence.

What it boils down to is parenting initially, and people who care about you once you're an adult. In your formative years, you must be taught to seek many, varied ways to vent your frustration. You must be taught that cookies are a sometimes food (even if I resent the fact that the cookie monster is used to teach it). You must be taught that sharing is just something we do, and all play and no work makes Jack a lonely boy in the long run. If you are sliding into unhealthy behaviours as an adult, someone will need to take you by the hand and discuss them with you.

Either way, the blame does not rest on exercise, or sports (which seems to send the parents into a rage more than the children, these days), or video games, or candy, or McDonald's. The blame rests on the parents, and in part on genetics. More and more, contemporary science is learning that while we may be born with certain genetic characteristics, those characteristics may remain dormant in our genes for our whole lives. We may have the gene that makes us a psycho serial killer, but perhaps we have parents who are attentive, consistent, and overall make us feel loved ... so the conditions are never right for that gene to activate and begin producing anything. It's called nature via nurture, and if you think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense.

... that was longer than I initially intended.

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2009, 09:48:21 PM »
OMG Trieste I wish I had you doing my speech when I had to do it. I mean I thought about some of the things you said really make sense I never really thought it about the way you did.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2009, 11:14:56 PM »
Well, I've thought about it a whole lot, more than most people have. :) I'm glad you liked it, though.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2009, 11:21:51 PM »
Never really understood the whole debate to be honest.  Thus far I have not seen any compelling evidence to make a case linking the two outside of some fairly flimsy data that seems more circumstantial than factual.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2009, 11:46:44 PM »
I feel that it's a scapegoat. A straw man to point at when something like the Columbine massacre happens. It is the refuge of the parents who aren't.

Offline LaCroix

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2009, 06:45:37 AM »
I have to agree with Trieste here. Theres a famous quote that I read in one my gaming magazines a while back that stated something along the lines of "If video games were really having any effect on children's behavior then wouldn't an entire generation of adults be locked up in dark maze like rooms running around eating pellets and fruit at this point?" making an allusion to PacMan which was an insanely huge craze after it was released.

Offline Oniya

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2009, 10:44:17 AM »
Quote
I played Pac-Man loads when I was younger and do you see me running around in dark rooms popping pills and chasing ghosts?

Yeah, it was a dig at both sides though, because of the pill craze that was growing in the drug culture at the time as well (being slightly less conspicuous than smoking or shooting up).  It's a fine example of how correlation doesn't necessarily imply causality.

Offline Risa

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2009, 11:51:22 AM »
I feel that violent video games actually decreases aggression. Well, with my brother, he can have a very prominent violent streak and tantrums. He is autistic, you see, and so he thinks differently than the rest of us. Playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl helps him calm down the aggressive feelings in his system and calms him. Maybe it varies with the person, but it's a fact that I've grown up with, and it happens with my other smaller brother as well, and he is not autistic. And I know that if I have bottled-up feelings of anger or frustration, playing video games like SSBB help me calm myself down.

Offline saturnschildTopic starter

Re: Video games and agressive behavior
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2009, 02:01:05 PM »
Yes that was my point the last time I spoke about this in another one of my classes. That video games are just a scapegoat for the real problems that could be happening at home or just the government it self.

@LaCroix that is a quote I never heard before and it is a good one. If I talk about this topic again in anouther class that is for sure is going to to be used. what magazine was it do you remember.