Violence all around, where are video games to be found?

I’ve been surrounded by discussions about violent video games over the past two days. With the tragic events at Virginia Tech people are searching for answers. And rightful so. Unfortunately, lawyer Jack Thompson drew a connection to video games on Fox News only hours after the event happened. Chris Matthews challenged Thompson’s claim that video games caused the situation on Hardball. Even Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Phil have weighted in on this topic.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families effected by this tragedy. The events of Monday gave the classes that I’m working with a lot to talk about. This week we started the violent video game research unit with 4 more English classes. The topic itself normally challenges the students, who are ready to provide anecdotal evidence on why violent games are not “bad.” But with the heightened awareness of this week (4/20 being Columbine’s anniversary), the students have a genuine interest in the topic. While some students argue that “of course they do” others are ready with story after story to disprove their claims. And proof is the essential lesson in this unit.

Using the evidence and looking at the proof, frustrates students who are used to having their opinion be enough proof. But I welcome that. I love their frustration and eagerness to challenge the topic. The focus of their paper is objective and evidence based. By hitting an emotional issue like this, it challenges them to remove themselves from the paper. The students are confronted with the hurdle of pulling their opinion out and solely focusing in a scholarly research. We are back at the process tomorrow and I’ll give you an update.

Photo by RichardAM