Media vs. Violence (p. 207)

Open question: Do video games cause children to be violent?

Watch the following video and compare two different professional opinions
According to Brad Bushman, How do games increase aggressive behavior in children?
According to Cheryl Olson, Do games increase aggressive behavior in children?.
Reading activity
Open questions:
  • What is the average age of a video player?
  • What is the percentage of women who play video games?
  • What does the acronym FTC mean?
Read the text “Video games don’t cause children to be violent” on page 207 on your book and answer the questions on page 208.

How to make an inference

Information is not always clearly stated in a reading passage. You must figure out some information on your own. Whenever you figure out something that is not told in a reading passage, you are drawing a conclusion or making an inference

Read the text about video games again, and answer the questions placed under each paragraph.

Video Games Don’t Cause Children to be Violent
Proposals like this are a solution in search of a problem

Michael D. Gallagher is the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association.

The Supreme Court recently decided to review a California law that would regulate the sale and rental of computer and video games to minors. We can all agree that parents are the best arbiters of determining what is right for their children. The issue at hand though is how best to support those parents. We believe that with parental controls, ratings awareness and retailer support, proposals like this are a solution in search of a problem. In addition, there are numerous legal reasons why 12 courts have already rejected proposals similar to this one, and we believe there are sound constitutional reasons why we hope the Supreme Court will concur.

  • What does the author refer to with “the issue at hand”?
  • To what proposals does the author refer?


The industry also has an independent rating system, similar to the movie rating system, that informs and empowers parents. Watchdog groups and government agencies, like the Federal Trade Commission, praise it as a system that works. A 2009 study by the FTC found that 87 percent of parents were satisfied with the computer and video game ratings. Last year, the FTC said the computer and video game industry “outpaces” other entertainment industries in restricting marketing of mature-rated products to children, clearly and prominently displaying rating information and restricting children’s access to mature-rated products.Retailers are supportive of the ratings system and are playing a critical role in keeping mature-themed video games out of the wrong hands. Virtually all major U.S. retailers are working to help parents keep control of the games children play by enforcing age restrictions.

  • According to the text, what is the “system that works”?
  • In your opinion who are “the wrong hands” in the text?

Parental controls are also built into all current-generation game consoles, enabling parents to block video games they do not want their children to play. This ensures that parents’ standards are enforced, even when they are not at home.

  • Who does “they” represent, parents or children?

As a medium, computer and video games are entitled to the same protections as the best of literature, music, movies, and art. In the end, Americans’ rights to speech and expression are sacred and inviolate—and millions across the political spectrum agree with us.

  • Why does the author state that “American’s rights to speech and expression are sacred and inviolate”?

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