STUDENT VIEWPOINT: Spend time outside instead of with violent video games gone wrong

By Paige Giehtbrock

Within the USA, we the people have been threatened, shot, and killed due to the lessons within violent video games such as “Fortnite” and “Call of Duty.”
In Parkland, Florida, many of the students who witnessed the shooting confronted state and federal lawmakers.
Students affected by this have demanded a ban on weapons such as guns and rifles, which were used to kill their friends and teachers.
Unfortunately, young adults can still get their hands on a variety of weapons. Students should also consider confronting federal lawmakers about the negative effect that violent video games have on young children who lack consistent adult supervision.
Unfortunately, according to Susan Scutti of CNN, “more than 90 percent of children in the United States play video games.
Among kids between the ages of 12 and 17, the number rises to 97 percent. More importantly, 85 percent or more of video games on the market contain some form of violence. The titles seem to say it all: ‘Manhunt,’ ‘Thrill Kill,’ ‘Gears of War and ‘Mortal Kombat’” (Scutti, Susan, “Do Video Games Lead to Violence?” CNN, Feb. 22 2018).
This is a problem that affects kids and teens all across the United States. Fortnite and Call of Duty encourage children to hunt and shoot others. There is no benefit from playing these violent games, so why do kids continue to play them?
Addiction is a big problem in today’s society. “Researchers and social scientists have been troubled by video game addictions since the phenomenon first presented itself with the advent of video games in the 1970s and 1980s” (“Video Game Addiction & Solutions For Children & Adults|Violent Games,” Addiction Expert).
Violent video games reward players for simulating violence, and teach children that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflicts. Video games often require players to stab, shoot, or kill. Aggressive games suggest that it is socially acceptable to use these actions on real-life humans without any consequence.
Therefore, a solution to the “violent video game” problem is simple. According to The Gamer’s Chronicle, “it doesn’t cost any money, doesn’t have to be passed by state or federal legislators, and it will only take minutes of parent’s time, and will end up actually improving the quality of life for our children” (F., Travis, “Solving the Violent Video Game Problem: Parent Censorship,” Leviathyn, April 7, 2013).
The solution is to teach children that these video games are worthless. Inspiring children to go outside takes effort, and doesn’t seem to happen naturally since the invention of video games.
However, it would only take two minutes out of a parent’s day to take their children outside. Both kids and adults need to hit the pause button. Playing outside can offer moments of conversation, trust, and emotional growth between adults and children of all ages.
Too many kids and young adults are being ignored because of busy schedules and parents who are constantly on their cell phones. Consequently, children are growing up in a world where everyone is behind a screen.
Adolescents need their parents to step up, put the phone down, and listen. When parents are accessible to their children, they have a better chance of being involved in their emotional and mental health.
On the other hand, video game companies such as Nintendo, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony Interactive Entertainment would argue that “Fortnite could have a positive effect on kids too, [since] video games are moving from being solo experiences to more social experiences that invite people to come together and bond over a shared positive activity” (Fogel, Stefanie, “‘Good Morning America’: Should Parents Worry About ‘Fortnite?’” Rolling Stone, March 2, 2018).
But what they fail to recognize is that is in 2018, there have already been 20 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed.
We need to take matters into our own hands. Help me help other students and parents who need to understand the importance of talking to children of all ages.
Put down the video games, put down your phone, and make yourself available to each other. Together we are more powerful than we are by ourselves. Everyone can make a difference, and it starts with you.
Seventh grade ELA students in Allie Dennis’ English Language arts class at SMS wrote proposal articles in the form of a opinion editorials. They conducted research on topics of their choice.

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