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According to John Leo’s essay “When life Imitates Video” violent video games with graphic content have a negative affect on a child’s behavior. He indicates how these types of games desensitize children and make it easier for them to kill. He gives a few examples of teenage violence caused by video games, according to him.
Leo makes a comparison between teen violence and video games. He points to the Littleton massacre, a true bloodbath caused by two teenage students whom randomly shot and killed fellow classmates and a teacher, closing the stage by taking their lives shooting themselves in the head. Although Leo acknowledges that “there isn’t any direct connection between most murderous games and most murders,” he believes that violent games resemble the “style” and “feel” of video killing games simulated by the two teenage boys during the massacre. Leo refers to first-person shooter games such as Doom which is a reported video game the shooters at the Littleton massacre played.
Leo believes that the levels of violence in video games induce a child to carry out those violent traits. Such content in violent video games can increase a child’s aggression and increase a hostile behavior. Moreover Leo maintains that these video games only train children how to use weapons, as well as congeal their emotions to act out a murder by imitating the killing of enemies played in a video game. Furthermore Leo supports his argument by introducing David Grossman a retired army officer who makes a disturbing comparison between repugnant military strategies and video games. Grossman explains that “Shooting games in which the target is a manshaped outline, the Army found, made recruits more willing to “make a killing a reflex action”(Leo 54). Grossman explicitly indicates that violent video games are in reality contributing to a child’s aggression and more unsettling, training them to kill.
As with other media, not all video games are violent. Although Leo’s essay has, to some extent an overall emotional appeal, he does not provide concrete supported facts. He tries to persuade the reader to accept his ideas through emotional appeal. He claims that, “We are now a society in which the chief form of play for millions of youngsters is making large numbers of people die” (Leo 54). It maybe that the increasing popularity of video games is a major source of entertainment for children, however, it is not the cause for peoples’ lives. It is not logical to think that because of a games graphics similar to “real life” is the actual cause for someone’s death.
Still Leo argues against the common ideal, which children know the difference between reality and fantasy; however he believes that there are a few unstable children who get a hold of these violent video games. A flaw in his essay is exposed; he introduces a new perspective that does not coincide with his argument. In addition to video games, it is the neglected, beaten, picked on and made fun of children who begin to imagine these violent games as a reality. Simultaneously Leo implies that other factors must come into place which can contribute to a child’s social behavior. Hence, a social environment, parenting, family values are, in my opinion, the true grounds of a child’s arousal for violent behavior, not media exposure.
Indeed, Leo does, however, make a valuable plea to parents. He reminds parents by laying out the foundation of their responsibilities. While most American children do play video games, it is the chief responsibility for parents to protect their children. Parents should restrict violent video games with mature adult content from their children. It is the parent’s obligation to infiltrate their children with rationale in order for them to reveal the connotations of the overall media.
In conclusion Leo’s argument has great examples of comparison and a great appeal to the reader’s emotions, but just lacks the necessary facts to support his idea. Without a doubt, the Littleton massacre has viciously scared American society; however it was not violent video games that led to their crimes, but rather a combination of neglect, isolation, and environment. Awareness relating teenagers’ surroundings, ideology, and family or youth deviance, among all, may explain these crimes. Throughout the essay Leo utilizes various strategies to increase the emotional impact on a reader. His concern for society’s children overlaps his more vital concern that is the extent of violence exposed in video games. Although he does not provide a sound correlation between violent video games and its negative impact in a child’s life, he does however bring about a moral aspect towards the situation. A panic towards violent video games, his belief that video games are essentially harmful to children’s behavior, therefore, we are all in jeopardy of becoming victims. Clearly, parents do have a sole responsibility to their children’s safety. It is their duty to make the proper decisions about what is appropriate for their children to view. It is essential for that the children and the nations future.

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