Do Violent Video Games Make Players More Violent?

Karen Gutierrez Garcia

Video games are a form of entertainment for people of all age ranges. Gaming is a pastime many Americans enjoy during their free time with a reported 162 million players.
Video games have evolved from simple 8-bit 2D games that dominated the market in the early 1990’s with games such as the Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Tetris, etc. New innovations in gaming such as A.I. intelligence, game mechanics, and graphics have made recent games more realistic and visually stunning to play. The new innovations in gaming have made parents more concerned with the content in video games that younger audiences are exposed to. Take into account Rockstar Games’ 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V, a smash hit upon release. It broke seven world records in a measly 24 hours. Controversies soon followed the game with many citing it’s violent nature too disturbing. 
In the game, one of the three playable characters, Trevor, has to torture a man for information and allows the player to choose different methods of torture. 
Parents have been against the gaming industry for violent video games since the 1990’s. Since then, the ESRB, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, has been created to give video games a rating. The rating would inform the consumer of the best age range for the video game. For example, a game rated E is allowed for all age ranges but a game with an A rating is for adults only.
Is there a connected link between violent tendencies and video games? Research has found no correlation between increased aggression and playing video games. Despite the claim, many scientists, politicians, and parents continue to believe that playing violent video games will increase a person’s aggression and violent tendencies. The National Center for Health Research has concluded in a published article, “Violent Video Games and Aggression” that “…there is no clear evidence to support that assumption [that violent video games cause violence].”
Other researchers point to other factors such as mental health, racism, social environments, and easy access to weapons is the reason and cause for violence in youth.