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Are Violent Video Game Manufacturers Liable For Real-Life Violence?

The relationship between violent video games and real-life violence is an old one. You can go back several decades, looking to the glory days of Nintendo and Sega in the 1990s, to find some of the first significant examples of parents, lawmakers, and other individuals trying to hold violent video game manufacturers responsible for the real-life violent acts caused by their players.

Do these parents, lawmakers, and other individuals have a point? Should violent video game manufacturers be held responsible for real-life violence? This is not an easy question to answer. The debate has been raging on for quite some time.

Violent Video Game Manufacturers Are Liable

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In order to develop an understanding of this complex subject, the issue must be explored from both sides. To begin with, you’re going to want to look at the arguments that suggest violent video game manufacturers should be made responsible for their content.

As mentioned before, this argument goes back a number of years. Going back to the releases of such games as Night Trap and Mortal Kombat in the early-90s, lawmakers, parents, and advocacy groups have tried to establish a strong link between these violent titles, and the violent acts perpetrated by the players in real life. School shootings at Columbine and elsewhere only added further fuel to the fire. As time has gone on, the depth and realism of violent video games has only become more intricate, more engaging. As video games continue to grow and evolve, you can expect violent games to become even more elaborate, in terms of how they create opportunities for violence.

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years. These studies do seem to indicate a strong link between violent video games giving people the motivation to commit violent acts. Furthermore, these studies seek to remind people that game developers ultimately know what they are doing. According to Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers Michael Daniel Rehm, that is a big point: They know what they are doing. They strive to make realistic games, and they strive to give kids the kinds of games they would like to play. There is no question that a lot of kids like to play violent video games.

Violent films and music have been dealing with these arguments for decades. By comparison, video games are a relative newcomer to the conversation. However, video games have been the subject of numerous lawsuits and investigations. Even so, these lawsuits have been consistently dismissed. Yet the controversy continues, and it is not expected to diminish at any point in the future.

Violent Video Game Manufacturers Are Not Liable

At the same time, it is important to look at some of the arguments that serve to explain why video game manufacturers are not liable for what their players do. Essentially, it all comes down to a matter of censorship. It also comes down to numbers.

Simply put, the vast majority of those who play these violent games do not commit violent acts. Furthermore, people will point out that if all violent media was eradicated from existence tomorrow, you wouldn’t see violent acts suddenly disappear. People would simply find new ways to motivate themselves, or they would act without any outside motivators whatsoever. There are many who put forth the argument that there are a number of other aspects in our society that contribute to violent acts, beyond things like video games and films.

Within this argument, you will find a belief that banning games, or holding manufacturers liable, would do nothing to stem the tide of violence. It would simply create a system of censorship, with games being banned or edited, in order to deal with a problem that isn’t actually going to be addressed in a meaningful way.

In fact, many people believe that violent video games provide a healthy outlet for the vast majority of the people who play them.

What Do You Think About Violent Video Games?

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There is no question that certain unhealthy mindsets will use video games to facilitate dangerous, destructive thoughts. Should we focus on these individuals, in terms of justifying the need to either ban violent games, or hold the manufacturers of these games responsible? Some believe we should. Others believe that it would establish a harmful precedent, in terms of freedom of expression.

The debate is only going to continue. It would seem that there are no easy answers.

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The Future of Video Games

Ultimately, when it comes to the future of video games, this is the most important thing to remember: While the future may bring about numerous, far-reaching changes, the core concepts behind video games will likely remain the same. Games are going to bring people together. Games are going to provide individuals with the interactive escapism they require. Finally, games are going to continue to be fun.

However, even when you keep in mind all three of these things, there is still a great deal about the future of video games that is worth keeping in mind. While predicting the future with complete accuracy is naturally impossible, there are still a number of possibilities that are worth exploring.

What Can We Expect From The Future Of Video Games?

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Some believe that video games will continue to look for ways to take on the film industry. Others believe that the ongoing development of video games will more closely resemble art, with a number of reinterpretations guiding the way. However, others will still make the argument that in terms of the future of video games, TV is much more apt comparison. Consider the golden age of television that we currently live in. There are literally programming possibilities for every taste imaginable. A dozen trends are rising and falling simultaneously. New ideas are emerging all the time. Television has always had the ability to enjoy a more complex, multifaceted approach to evolution, than virtually any other creative medium imaginable. The same thought can certainly be applied to video games.

This is one thought on the future of games and gaming. Just keep in mind that it is not the only thought by a long shot.

A Look at the Future of Video Games

What does the future really hold for video games? There are a number of possibilities and trends that you can explore:

  • Parents are going to become significant gaming advocates: Parents playing games with their kids is hardly a new concept. However, as time goes on, you’re going to see that concept become even more elaborate. The young parents of today were the gamers of yesterday. They were the first generation to truly live a life that has never not included video games. This is a love and advocacy that is certainly being passed on to their children.
  • The sandboxes are just going to get bigger and bigger: Take a look at some of the hottest open-world games right now. The initial releases are large enough, but then you throw in the downloadable maps and other pieces of content that are made available over time. The end result is quite simply astonishing. In terms of games like The Witcher or Grand Theft Auto, we’re already talking about worlds that seem as though they can go on forever. Expect this trend to continue. Expect the sandboxes to only get bigger and bigger.
  • Games are going to be conceived to tackle multiple avenues simultaneously: Cross-platform distribution is not a new invention either. We understand that for the past couple of decades, it is not unreasonable to see games released on multiple platforms. You can expect this concept to become even more complex, as time goes on. Angry Birds is a great example of this notion. You’re going to see games released for hardcore players that are going to be more than just singular titles. You’re going to see the games released in conjunction with other media variations, such as movies, TV shows, or anything else along those lines. Developers are going to look to create games that impact the life of the player on a variety of levels.     2655844-screen+shot+2014-07-10+at+3.26.40+pm
  • Games are going to reach out to more people: Studies are now indicating that more girls are playing games now than ever before. Expect to see more content created accordingly, particularly since gaming is now becoming such a complex, multi-device concept. Furthermore, you should also expect to see games developed for older players, as the 30-to-40-year-old gamers of today hit middle age and beyond.
  • What about virtual/augmented reality? Virtual reality is coming, perhaps sooner, rather than later.

The Future Is Going To Be Amazing

Without question, the future of video games is going to be amazing. What do you think the future is going to bring?