Posted Wednesday April 2 2008 at 9:28PM [link]
Last Week I was berated, well maybe not "berated", but I was ganged up against by my University friends on how games have this huge impact on society and modern culture. We all can agree on that, but that's not the issue, so let me get to the point. They claim that it's because of that strong influence it has on our culture that makes the violent games another axis for breeding hate and more violence into today's youths. Well I held my ground and I decided to write this over talked about issue, which for all us gamers is an old, old topic not worth discussing, but I'm writing about it anyways...? (contradiction)
The video games are the modern equivalent of the 50-60s Indians vs. Cowboys or the 80-90s Cops & Robbers. Here we have kids forming a gun like shape with their hands or have a plastic replica to shoot down their friends. These actions potentially have an effect on the children before they play, while they are playing and the affects after they played the game. I find that those games are strong forms of acting out violence, but nothing really spawned from those kinds of games. Ask you parents ask your grand parents, because anyone can take anything out of context like I just did and make it seem so vile. People recently have an issue with violence in video games, but are we that naive? Violent games have existed far before video games came along.
Youths at the age of 3-5 shouldn't have developed a heavy care about things like video games it doesn't factor unless the Parent brings it to their home. Also in this age group kids are fairly developed in terms of being able to tell from reality and the virtual world. After all they should be doing quite a bit of pretending and using their imagination with stuff like power rangers. Not saying all youths develop the same but for the average child they should be able to diversify between the two by the age and after 6. Cause what are video games? It's a physical extension of another person(s) creativity and imagination.
In addition Developers and Publishers don't produce games that are graphic for children that are 10 or under. Those games that come out have certain age group ratings conducted by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (E.S.R.B). The Developers only make certain games with certain content depending on their intended target audience. If the Parents are buying these games regardless then who is at fault? It's the same as parents taking their kids to the 18a+ movies, but that seems to be more accepted in our society.
Video games are no different from a movie, a television show, the news/newspaper, or content on the internet. If you fear the nature of these Medias then take the actions to censor them from your kids and educate them about it. Don't just shield them from it, give them the mental tools to deal with the media and what they will see and experience from them. Cause I believe that we all agree that the terrible things that happens outside your front door (or sometimes indoors) are far more influential than a virtual game.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that video games have a minuscule impact on a violent person's motivation to be violent. If that child is violent then analyze the child's environment (home/school), how he/she was raised, the people he/she interacts with, the emotional and physiological stability of that kid. When ever a youth does something terrible and, oh wow, they played Medal of Honor everyone goes wild. People just want a scapegoat for the fact that many of these kinds of youths go unnoticed, or ignored and no one wants to take responsibility for not acknowledging the troubled kid and getting him/her some help. This is no different to how people reacted to the teens involved in the Columbine tragedy and when people found out the teens listened to Manson everyone pointed the finger of blame at him. No one is a puppet, Manson didn't guide them and made them do anything that they would've done on their own without his music and video games are on the same the same level.
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