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Do Video Games Cause Violence?

October 11, 2009

Dear Dr. Sangfroid,

I am concerned with how often my children play violent video games. They are ages 10 and 14, and when I leave them at home alone I know they spend the whole day playing Halo or Call of Duty, two violence-centered video games. I often overhear them talking about “head shots” and “awesome guns” and even acting out the scenes from the games. With all the child and teen violence in America, I wondering if it is all because of video games?

Worried Mom

Dear Worried Mom,

Of course video games cause violence! Just like plastic swords at the Renaissance fair, angry lions at the zoo, and MTV causes violence! Everyone knows children obey only one thing: the media, which is filled with violence.

Some people claim solid parenting, a positive presence of a mom or dad, and the teaching of good morals and right from wrong are what helps a child differentiate between violence in video games and violence in real life, but everyone knows that’s just crazy talk. The truth is, children and teenagers are absolutely incapable of telling the difference between video game violence and real life violence. In fact, thousands of children and teens die each year from attempting to perform tasks they see in video games, such as flying, casting magic spells, fighting dragons, and doing a 360 kickflip on a skateboard.

There is only one way to prevent your child from becoming violent. First, here are some ways that won’t work:
-Talking to your child about violence
-Monitoring what video games they purchase
-Restricting what movies they see according to age
-Being a part of your child’s life
-Teaching them right from wrong

Here is the absolute only way to guarantee that your child will never become violent and shoot up their school:
-Take away all TV, movies, video games, zoo trips, cell phones (they could be texting other violent children), computers, internets, books, and animals.
-Isolate the child from all human interaction.
-Protest video games and whenever a child does something violent, immediately find a reporter and tell them you saw that child playing a video game seconds before the incident.

Keepin’ it cool,
-Dr. Sangfroid

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. jlsemmel permalink
    October 12, 2009 2:05 am

    I feel so much safer with this wise advice!

  2. October 13, 2009 9:59 pm

    I love violent video games. Really. It’s cathartic to shoot shit, even fake shit.

  3. Le Templar permalink
    October 16, 2009 3:46 am

    Hi there!

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Great exploration of different types of humor in Ask Dr. Sangfroid and the post where you explain why PC wins over Mac. Making me LOL means your writing works, period! I also like how you mix things up with a straight commentary on Lady Gaga. Great use of links in this post so you can quickly make your points and move on, making the writing more accessible to readers who want to know more, as well as those who just want to move right to your conclusion.

    Keep up the great work!
    Le Templar
    PVCC Puma Press blogs adviser

  4. October 20, 2009 2:11 pm

    More research is needed. Government must isolate a child and have subject play GTA 14 hours a day. Then we’ll know for sure.

  5. Atemulover permalink
    November 9, 2009 7:02 pm

    THIS IS BULL. WHY ARE YOU BUYING HALO FOR YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN AND WTF ! DOES YOUR CHILD ACT UPON KILLING PEOPLE, ARE THEY BULLIES? DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES< DOES YOUR CHILD WISH TO INFLICT HARM APON OTHERS FOR NO APPARENT REASON JUST BECAUSE THEY PLAY VIDEO GAMES? CHANCES ARE NO, NO THEY DON'T. Go talk to a real psycologist about your children's problems, because I garentee you, you cannot pin point video games as the cause of violence. your child is talking about headshots because it's an object to the halo franchise to kill an elite (which is an alien species, it's not even human) using a headshot method in order to achieve a goal. And as a first time player of halo, it is most definatly fun. but what I'm concered about is why you leave your children at home all day alone A. and B. why does your 14, and 10 year old play halo and other M FOR MATURE RATED GAMES IN THE FIRST PLACE? YOU ARE BEING AN IRRESPONSIBLE PARENT AND IF YOU ARE SO CONCERNED GET RID OF THE HALO. Also understand that just because your child is speaking about violent tendencies of which to commit on his X-box 360 in a fictional universe doesn't mean your child is a bad or violent person and they don't obsess over it. I belive your 14 year old is perfectly fine. it's the ten year old I'd be consered about seeing as how a child of that age has very little judgement, it's a biological factor. And so you should know, the games you have listed teach very good morals, the goal of halo is to stop an evil alien empire from destroying the world of men, and setting aside your differences with elites that are in your side. Team work, justice, survival of the fittest, standing up for what you belive in, and those you love. You yourself should play video games before you judge them or those who play them. I'm sorry but this kind of bull, really just pisses me off. I, I'm sick of aruging about this issue on all kinds of sites, And I'll have you know that I'm a young female, hardcore, gamer who's mother neglected me constantly and used videogames to distract me from what was really going on. I was breed on super mario and Mortal Kombat since the age of 4 years old, ANd I also am a huge fan of violent anime, and Yaoi comics which are japense comics about gay, homosexual sex and I am a good, honest, student with many friends, a bright future ahead of me and no violent tendancies what's so ever. I've never gotten in trouble at school, never picked a fight with anyone, and I get along with all types of people of all ages, races and sexes. And let me tell you I agrue the media is filled with violence but, is that really a bad thing. look at japan, just research about japan and their violent media and realize their low crimerate. you cannot pin video games on an issue as broad as violence. And I believe that if your child does not display unordinary violent tendencies leave them alone, just leave them alone. your the parent, you figure it out.

  6. Atemulover permalink
    November 9, 2009 7:05 pm

    Do NOt listen to this advice at all it’s bull shit and taking away all your children holds dear will only make them hate you and they will rebel against you.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      February 23, 2010 10:10 am

      LOL someone doesn’t realize this is a satirical post. Maybe you need to put down the video game controller and spend some time interacting with real people to learn what jokes are.

  7. Steve Berkley permalink
    November 22, 2009 3:43 am

    @Atemulover: I think this was intended as a joke, but you’re right; totally banning violent video games will make things worse.

  8. Steve Berkley permalink
    November 22, 2009 3:46 am

    Also, I’ve played violent video games before, and I didn’t turn into a machete wielding psychopath…………..let’s face it, Jack Thompson{stupid lawyer in Fla……….. look up him on Google if you don’t know who he is} and co., are ambulance chasing dick-suckers with no real integrity.

  9. Shaun permalink
    March 24, 2010 4:44 pm

    with all due respect miss, I have played plenty of violent video games all my life, and from a first hand experience, I can tell you that if your kids have any violent behavior, its not coming from video games. Games are a safe way for children to relieve those violent thoughts, etc. If you think your kids are going to go shoot up a school or something, stop freaking out, and dont take that guys advice, taking away a kids video gams permanently will make them angry with you, more rebellious, and more likely to spend there time playing these games anywhere else they can. If your that worried, you should be thankful they’re at least playing them in the safety of your home where you can monitor them.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 24, 2010 8:58 pm

      Bro did you miss the multiple instances around this website, and in the comments, that this is a blatant humour piece and not serious at all? At least thanks for being polite about it :)

  10. Kit permalink
    September 24, 2010 3:04 pm

    This is a ton of BS. games dont cause violant children its the lousy parenting skills. If a kid mimics what they see in a game or on tv let them. If the parents are dumb enough to let their kids watch it then so be it. If you are so worried about this kind of stuff dont buy it for your kids. YOU ARE THE PARENT YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO STOP IT. stop your damn whining and use your common sense, if you have any.

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