Over the years many laws have been proposed to regulate the contents in the videos, music, magazines and other forms of media and more so to the children and young people who are under the age of 18 years. These legislations focus on how suitable the contents of these media are to the audiences who are targeted. The look at the suitability of the contents in regards to issues like violence, sex, profanity, substances abuse, impudence and other types of contents that are suitable for mature people only. Some of these legislations for instance will aim to restrict those who distribute videos not to sell or rent those videos to those people who are under 18 years. Other seeks to restrict movie theaters to select the contents of the movies they are showing to the underage. For the past few years the debate that is in the public domain is whether the state government and the local governments should enact the laws that should stop the sale or rental of those video games that are sexually explicit or excessively violent to the children who are below eighteen years. This paper will focus on the reasons why these legislations need to be passed by state and the local governments.


            According to the research that was carried by Gentile et al (6), there is a drastic increase in the number of hours that adolescent boys and girls are playing video games recently. On average adolescent boys are spending about thirteen hours per week on the video game while adolescent girls are spending about five hours per week on the same. This means that there will be increased impacts of these video games on the lives of these teenagers both positively and negatively. One feature of the video game is that they require the players to become part and parcel of the game and not just watching like in the case of movies. The player shares in the experiences of the game which make the player to see the reality in the game. This will shape the perceptions of the player towards life experiences which may affect the player either positively or negatively though there some positive impacts of video games to the children such as increased computer literacy, the negative impacts far outweigh the benefits of these video games. This calls for the need of the government and other agencies to intervene in order to control this timely bomb that will affect lives of children now and even in days to come. Video games and other television programs will affect the performance of the children in school. Children who spend a lot of time and more so on the weekdays watching television or playing games are likely to perform poorly in the school.

Gentile et al.(6) continue to argue that teens who play video games for long period tend to show some of the following characteristics; they are very aggressive, always fighting with their age mates, not in good terms with their peers and teachers, show poor performance in school. According to research, video games instill certain character in the player as the player try to identify and emulate the favorite characters in the game. The player is also in a position to control the favorite character actions thus making him or her to internalize those actions in his or her life. Bushman and Aderson (1680) argue that there is a high tendency for player who has played video games for a long time to develop aggressive thoughts. They continued to argue that when a player who has played violent video games for long time is confronted by a life situation, they are likely to respond in an aggressive way. According to the joint statement that was presented in the summit of public health 2000, increased exposure to videos that are violent will increase thoughts and feelings of aggressiveness and more so to the children. These effects of aggression will be long term and may affect the behaviors of the player in the long term. The report also said that increased video games that are violent among adolescents and children have great influence on their behaviors.

            Video games are very interactive in nature and if they happen to be violent, the player will acquire that character in the course of that interaction. The player in many video games gain more point depending on how he or she is aggressive. The violence action is repeated many times in the eyes of the player. The player of the game also plays a crucial role in the interaction with the game where he or she control the violence and also witnesses that violence as it happens. The player experiences the violence in terms of kicking, shooting, stabbing and killing. Through these repeated and interactive actions the player learns or acquires these violent behaviors. Video games have been blamed for teaching children and adolescent wrong values. Some video games and movies teach players and viewers that wrong values such as vengeance, aggression and violence are rewarded. Non violent solutions and negotiations are not presented as option in many confrontations. Many video games and movies also portray women and girls as weak characters who are sexually proactive and helpless.

When the children spend so many hours in the video game, they may become isolated socially for they will have no time to play and interact with other kids. The child is also going to have little time for other crucial activities like reading, doing homework, sports and interaction with family members and friends. In addition video games may limit the imaginative thinking of the child which is crucial in the growth and development of the child. Many video games require the player just to follow instructions which are constant and repeated over time. Though the issue of creativity development is disputed by some researchers, video game in one way or another will slow the creativity of the player. Video games also shape the moral values of the teens and the children who may acquire some of these wrong values which have been presented as rewarding by the video games and movies. This is likely to affect the behaviors of these people even as they grow. Cases of social violence are likely to increase as a result of aggressive behaviors among the youth. These effects of violent behaviors have made young people in high school and collages to be involved in cases of violence such shooting their fellow students and teachers, increased strikes in school and other similar cases. The case below is an example of how video games can impact negatively the behaviors of young people in school.

Columbine families’ v Computer game makers

In this case, two students in Columbine High school shot twelve students and one teacher in 1999. The relatives of those people who were killed in the massacre filed a law suit against the makers of computer games claiming that the video games contributed to the killing of their loved ones. They argued that two teenagers who carried out the massacre were influenced by the violent video games they had watched. The plaintiff blamed 25 companies that make computer games for the killing and they wanted to be paid a damage of about $ 5 billion. However, the case was likely to be thrown out by the court just like the previous similar cases where the court said that the computer game makers are not subjected to the laws of product liability.

            The legal case above shows how the video games and movies can affect the behaviors of the player negatively. There is possibility that the aggressive behaviors in these two students were learnt and acquired from the computer games they play or the movies they watch. Thus there is great need for the state government and local governments to enact laws that will prevent such crime from happening again. If the governments enact laws regulating the accessibility of video games and movies among the students, then cases of violence will decline in the society. Though critics to these legislations argue that, such restrictions will interfere with the rights of the children and teenagers, the rate of crimes that result from violent behaviors among the youths are likely to decline with the enactment of the new legislation. Youths are the people who are mostly affected by the sexual contents that are portrayed by the different forms of media. Adolescent stage is a period where many developments take place among the teens such as sexual attitudes, gender roles and the shaping of their sexual behaviors. Therefore the contents they are exposed to will help to shape their perceptions towards sex and sexuality that will affect their future. According to the broadcast media survey, 80% of the movies shown in the network television stations have some sexual contents. 60% of these videos portray impulses and sexual feelings and a good percentage also show body movements that are sexually suggestive and proactive clothing.  Many movies also pay little attention to the risks of sexual intercourse that is unprotected and its possible consequences to those involved. The situation is similar even when it comes to the video games that have contents that are sexually explicit in them.

            Consequently, when youths and children are exposed to those movies and video games that have sexual explicit contents at such an early age, cases of premarital sex and early pregnancies become common phenomena among young people. Healthy professionals and policy makers have also warned about the increased cases of sexually transmitted disease among the youths such HIV infections. This calls for proper rules and regulations that will ensure that the ability of the youth to access video games that have sexually explicit content is limited. This will ensure that youths do not access these video games in anyway. Increased cases of early pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among the youth who are in school pose a great danger to the future of the nation. Many young people whose productivity is needed because of the future of the nation are dying prematurely as a result of these sexually related infections. Thus there is an urgent need for the state and local governments to enact the legislations that will limit accessibility of the youths to these video games that are sexually explicit. Though the critics of these legislations argue that this legislation may interfere with the rights of the youths to choose what they want, the enactment of this law will do more good than harm and therefore the state and the local governments should enact this law for the sake of the future of the youths and the country as a whole.

            It is becoming challenging for the parents in America to protect and monitor their children from the negative influence of the media. By enacting the legislation, the state and the local governments will help the parents to protect their children from negative media influence. The government also has a constitutional duty to shield its citizens including children from sexuality and violence. Several states such as Washington and Illinois have made attempts to enact this legislation but have always faced several challenges such as being termed as unconstitutional by the court judges. Other critics of the legislation have also argued that it is not clear which video games should be banned and which one should not be banned. For in 2006, Michigan State passed this law of banning sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to the minor and put a heavy fine on any person who was found breaking this law. However, in 2006, when judge Caram was making his ruling, he said that video games are usually protected by fourteenth and the first amendment of the constitution. Despite all these opposition, every reasonable person sees the need for legislation to protect the youths and children from negative media exposure. Though the Entertainment software rating board (ESRB) has tried to provide ratings and the information on the different media contents, much need to be done since as for now there is no any law in US that prohibits the rental and the sale of the violent and sexually explicit video games to the minor.


The impacts of video games with violent and sexually explicit contents cannot be over emphasized in the modern society. Most of these video games need to be restricted from the children and the youths because of the way they are negatively affecting their growth and development. Though the critics of the of the legislation may argue that the sale of video games to the minor is unconstitutional since it is protected by the fourteenth and the first amendments, the government also has responsibility to protects its minors from the exposure of violent and sexually explicit materials. These negative impacts are also heavily costing the nation and its future generations through deaths resulting from sexually transmitted diseases and increased death resulting from the violent crimes. The social and economic cost of these negative impacts is also increasing to the society as increased resources are spent to treat the consequences of these impacts. So there is need for state and local government to enact this legislation for the sake of the future of this country.


Bushman, B. & Anderson, C. Violent Video Games and Hostile Expectations: A Test of the General Aggression Model. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2002 (1679-1686).
Columbine families sue computer game makers. Retrieved on March 14, 2011.

Gentile, D. A., Lynch, P., Linder, J. & Walsh, D. The effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility, aggressive behaviours, and school performance. Journal of Adolescence, (2004)27, 5-22.

Gruber, Enid & Grube, Joel. Adolescent sexuality and the media a review of current knowledge and implications. BMJ publishing Group, 2000. Print. Retrieved on March 14, 2011. (1)

Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit. (July 26, 2000.) Available: releases/jstmtevc.htm.

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