Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



The prevalence of video game violence remains a concern for members of the mass media as well as political actors, especially in light of recent shootings. However, many individuals who criticize the industry for influencing real-world violence have not played games extensively nor are they aware of the gaming community as a whole. First, this thesis aims to illuminate the chronological history of game distribution. Second, this thesis covers small segments of games of the modern age to illustrate the unique communicative mechanisms offered by games. Third, this thesis analyzes whether or not the industry should be regulated through the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association. Finally, this thesis explores the research about the possible links between game violence and real-world violence, while also summarizing and analyzing recent tragedies associated with the medium. It is suggested that video games should be considered free speech without any governmental regulation and that the medium, as creative expression, has value through its unique communicative mechanisms.