The Trending Battle Royale Video Game Fortnite

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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In today’s society there is a lot of violence that is broadcast through many forms of media. There are violent video games, movies and even real life violence on the news and internet videos. Due to this over exposure of violence people are being desensitized to it. We tend to normalize things when we are exposed to it on a daily basis. The same thing happens with violence, being over exposed to it can cause people to become numb to the pain and suffering of others causing a lack of empathy, can increase aggressive behavior, and can make people fearful of being harmed.

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Empathy as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another (Merriam-Webster). Violent media causes a lack of empathy and makes people numb to the pain and suffering of others. This may cause individuals to seem to not notice violent incidents. It can also reduce the way someone perceives the seriousness of an injury. In a study at the University of Michigan, one-hundred participants were tested to see if violent media numbs them to pain and suffering. The researchers split the participants into two groups. The first half of the group played violent video games for 20 minutes and after they were done they were given a questionnaire. While they were taking the questionnaire, a staged fight broke out just outside in the hallway. During the fight one of the fighters got injured and was left at the door. As soon as the person got injured the researcher started a stopwatch for three minutes to see if the participants went to help the injured person. Some of them took longer than three minutes to help and some didn’t help at all. The second half of the group did the same, but instead they played a nonviolent video game and when the fight occurred most of the participants went to assist the person that was injured. “When the people who played a violent game did decide to help, they took significantly longer to help the victim than those who played a nonviolent game” (Bushman 276). Based on the study, it is suggested that people’s reactions to violence are lessened after watching violent media. This is the result of being desensitized to violence and the lack of empathy for others, because the first group of students were already exposed to violent media they were less likely to act on the staged fight, as if it had been normalized to them. This is also true with real life violence as well, if a fight were to break out in school students would be more likely to pull out their phones and record it rather than stop it. I watched a video were a gas station attendant was trying to warn someone that it was dangerous to smoke at a gas pump. The guy and his friends began to argue and fight with the gas station attendant even though he was just trying to protect them. Several people were surrounding them and no one stepped in to help, rather they stood by and watched the man get beaten to the ground. This could be because it has become so normal to see violence in media that people are actually numb to the pain and suffering of others in real life.

Studies conducted around the world have also shown that violent media increases aggressive behavior. Watching violent television, watching violent movies or playing violent video games could increase the likelihood of a violent reaction in certain situations. In many studies done by Dr. Craig Anderson, it was proven that violent media causes increase in aggressive behavior. In one study that was done students, their peers and teachers were observed for aggressive behaviors and violent media consumption twice during a school year. This research found that boys and girls who played a lot of violent video games changed over the school year, becoming more aggressive. An example of this is shown in the trending battle royale video game Fortnite. When children play this game they are expecting to get a “Victory Royale”, winning the match, but when they don’t it’s possible that they would get angry and take it out on their parents or siblings. It was also found that within a high-risk population, incarcerated juvenile offenders, violent video games are associated with violent antisocial behavior. (Kaplan) It has been proven that in certain situations, over exposure to media violence can lead to more aggressive behavior.

Different types of media make people believe that the world is a violent place causing what is known as “mean world syndrome”. The fear of being a victim of violence may cause people to act more aggressive or even carry a weapon for defense. The attitude of “get them before they get me” has become more frequent today. In many cases because of being exposed to violence in many outlets it may cause people to be more precautious and to act more aggressively, in some cases even reacting with violence due to fear.

Overall, over-exposure to media violence affects people in many negative ways. These can include making them less likely to react to violence, becoming overly aggressive, or making people fearful of being harmed. The desensitization to violence that is being experienced by our society only makes for a grimmer future for today’s youth. It may be something that doesn’t seem important but without a sense of empathy, we are destined to lose the natural human reactions needed to live in a peaceful world.

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The trending battle royale video game Fortnite. (2019, Feb 06). Retrieved from