Rebuttal Rewrite-edwardnihlman

Do Violent Video Games Translate to Violent Behavior?

Violent video games causing violent behavior in gamers seems like a reasonable thing to conclude. The evidence for such a conclusion is also seemingly concrete.  Such evidence includes studies showing that aggression does increase when playing violent video games, as well as testimonies from culprits. However, everything that this argument is founded on is incorrect. I have found that the evidence supporting violent video games as a catalyst for violence is taken for granted and interpreted incorrectly to favor that stance.

Firstly, the American Psychological Association’s research on video games finds that there is a correlation between playing violent video games and increases in aggression. This would seem conclusive at face value if it were not for the fact that there are various forms of aggression. Aggressive behavior takes the form of anything from lying and throwing tantrums to fighting and hurting people. It can be verbal or physical, subtle or noticeable. The studies done by the Association are not conclusive in pointing out a link between violent video games and criminal activity, but rather violent video games and a broad spectrum of aggressive actions. It may be possible that there is a connection, but according to data collected by the Entertainment Software Association, as general video game sales increase, the total number of violent offences has been decreasing over time. This shows that despite a larger population of gamers having played violent video games, there have been less violent crimes.

On another note, a critical point is that some criminals admit to video games playing a part in their crime. ABC News reported in 2003 that William and Joshua Buckner shot at passing cars on the Tennessee highway, killing a man and injuring a woman. After being apprehended, they claimed that they were inspired to do the crime after playing a came called Grand Theft Auto. There seems to be very obvious scapegoating in this situation. James Fleck explains in his essay Why We Blame Others, that people will blame another person or source for an action out of habit. When someone is under heat for their actions, it is a natural reaction to attempt to bring attention off of one’s self and onto another source. This instance is no different. Whether or not someone is trying to lessen their prison sentence or some other underlying goal, criminals will typically bring other people or another factor into their crime so that they do not get the full wrath of their apprehension.

In conclusion, the evidence that supports the argument of violent video games causing violent behavior is often misinterpreted. Just because games can cause aggression, does not mean it results in criminal activity, especially when violent crimes are decreasing as video games are becoming more and more popular. Even testimonies from criminals cannot be taken at face value since a criminal will say almost anything to lessen the consequences of their actions. In reality, for a perpetrator to blame video games only adds to the idea that violent video games are used as a scapegoat.

Works Cited

APA Review Confirms Link Between Playing Violent Video Games and Aggression.” American Psychological Association. N.p., 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Entertainment Software Association, “Essential Facts About Games and Violence,http://www.theesa.com, 2008

News, ABC. “Did Video Game Drive Teens to Shootings?” ABC News. ABC News Network, 06 Sept. 2003. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

Fleck, J. R. (2011). Why we blame others: An examination of scapegoating (Order No. 1492807). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (862344967).

2 thoughts on “Rebuttal Rewrite-edwardnihlman”

  1. P1. The biggest argument against video games being a scapegoat is that they actually do lead to violent behavior. Violent video games causing violent behavior in gamers seems like a reasonable thing to conclude. The evidence for such a conclusion is also seemingly sound. Such evidence includes studies showing that aggression does increase when playing violent video games, and testimonies from culprits. However, I have found that the evidence supporting violent video games as a catalyst for criminal activity is taken for granted and interpreted incorrectly to favor that stance.

    You don’t need to identify your essay to readers as a Rebuttal Essay, Nihlman. Imagine you are a reader picking up your essay without preparation. Your first sentence begins with too many background suppositions.

    The biggest argument against video games being a scapegoat is that they actually do lead to violent behavior.

    1. Video games are a scapegoat for something (which means they are falsely accused of something, a negative). 2. Many have argued more or less successfully against the claim that games are being scapegoated (which means they want to negate the negative, which means they deny the scapegoating, which means they support the blaming of video games for something). 3. The best argument of this type is that video games lead to violent behavior.

    What your claim amounts to is that

    the best argument against the logic that A does not cause B is that A does cause B.

    Why tie yourself in that knot and immediately confuse your readers?

    Your second sentence is a much better first sentence.

    Your last sentence needs more vigor. You’ve acknowledged the quality and reasonableness of the “opposition” point of view. Now is time to slap them politely to the ground.

    However, I have found that the evidence supporting violent video games as a catalyst for criminal activity is taken for granted and interpreted incorrectly to favor that stance.

    You’re also shifting the ground of your argument. You first promised an argument about “violent behavior,” but now you’re drawing conclusions about “criminal activity.” I understand you want to distinguish between AGRESSION broadly defined and ACTS OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, more narrowly defined, and that’s a perfectly reasonable way to argue your point. But you must be clear in your own language to always specify the exact effects you’re attributing to the causes.

    However, “common sense” does not qualify as evidence, especially when the stakes are high. Violent video games might temporarily make players feel or act more aggressively, but that doesn’t begin to prove that they result in acts of physical violence.

    Or something like that. Do you see the difference?

    Nihlman, I’m trying this morning to offer incremental feedback to everyone who has requested it, knowing that I can only serve everyone by being brief and incomplete. With that understanding, I invite you to respond with revisions or further questions and another request for additional feedback.

    Reply please.
    —DSH

    Like

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