In the 50’s they blamed comic books, in the 60’s they blamed
television, in the 70’s they blamed movies, in the 80’s they blamed
music (those hidden messages when a record is played backwards) now they blame
video games.Maybe we need to accept that as a country we are very violent,
since the 1950’s how many wars and police actions have we been involved
in?We expect our young men to not be violent; until we want them to go to
war; and then we want them to kill for questionable reasons, or stand in the
middle of a city, and let people take pot shots at them, and tell them they
cannot fight back, or we will put them in prison. Then when they come home, and
suffer from PSTD and other ills, we do little to help them transition.And
we fail to fund mental health treatment, for those who actually are at risk to
be violent. Maybe we need to blame ourselves.
I don't know where I stand on the issue. I haven't played a violent
video game in probably 10 years.However I did play them extensively
in high school and my first few years of college. They never increased any
violent tendencies in me, nor did they desensitize me to violence and killing.
In fact I remember accidentally running over a cat one night on my way home from
a friends house (where we had been playing video games.) I balled on my way home
because I had killed a living creature. I'm sorry the desensitizing
argument doesn't really work for me.We need parents who are
more involved in their kids lives. We need better services for mental health,
most insurance plans are a joke when it comes to mental health coverage. Of
course if we try to force insurance companies to do anything we have outrage
from the right... so I guess we are just out of luck.
Mormoncowboy,Excellent post! Now we are talking!
Casey See,What caused teens to rape before easy access to pornography?
Where did those teens get those ideas? Pornography can effect the mind, but this
is primarily due to the aspects of addiction. As stated many times over here;
someone who seemingly responds so adversely to media... Well, they were lost
whether or not they played the games, watched the movie, listened to the rap
music. (Haven't heard the 'rap music' wedge for while?) No one
pushes the 'media makes kids violent' more than the NRA their hired
politicians and their supporters? What could be the motivation there?
Casey See said: "In the last three weeks we have seen two different examples
of young boys raping uncontious young women at house parties, These young men
bragged about what they did and took pictures of them doing it. Where did they
get these ideas?"This is tied to "Sports Builds
Character" NOT video games and movies, try and stay on topic, as date
rape/rape or legitimate rape is NOT a new with high school/college/pro athletes.
Knowing a little something about research, when an ideologically driven
researcher say's that "more research needs to be done", what they
are often really saying is "well, a lot of research has been done, but the
results have come back negative, so I'd like to do more research until I
get one positive so that I can maintain my point of view". I suspect that is
what is really going on with the long standing video game violence debate. Are
video games are even a factor in violent outbursts, even when combined with
other "risk factors"? I guess my first question would be, will those
"other risk factors" be enough to account for the violence alone, or do
violent games push those factors over the edge??? I suspect that
many of the puritans who oppose violent video games do so for more ideological
reasons than empirical ones. In other words, they are riding the band wagon of
causalities of violence to make their position legitimate...but they really just
oppose video games as a general behavior, rather than as a reaction to anything
empirical. We should spend less time trying to control one another.
I would hope they also include Japanese people in this study. The Japanese play
more hours of violent video games than Americans, yet their violent crimes rate
are among the lowest in the world. Part of their low homicide rate is due to a
lack of access to lethal weapons in Japan, yet even their regular crime rates
are low. Is it the water? Is it their religious beliefs? Something besides
violent entertainment is at work here.
Look, there is a direct statistical correlation between the popularity of
violent FPS games and a REDUCTION in violence. Americans play, in general,
fewer violent games and for a shorter period of time than youth in Europe, where
rates of violence are negligible. Why just assume that playing these games is
negative? It makes sense to me that they're cathartic.
Some commenters mention that these games are just fantasy. But the real fantasy
is in the minds of those who actually believe that watching and participating in
lucid acts of very detailed and graphic violence over and over again has no
negative effects. Some commenters are so delusional as to propose that there is
actually a positive effect. There is no common sense in that assertion at all.
None. The only "studies" showing otherwise were sponsored by the gaming
industry to get whatever results they were looking for. Very similar to earlier
studies by the tobacco industry that told us their studies showed no negative
effects of smoking.It's not rocket science to see and
understand the direct correlation between being repeatedly exposed to something
and the subsequent desensitizing that then takes place. It's just common
sense.There are numerous correlations made by studies of prisoners
in prison for violent crimes in society and their admitted exposure to
pornography and violent video games. It then turns into a no-brainer... except
for those already hooked on such things and so then wanting to rationalize and
justify their doing so.
In the last three weeks we have seen two different examples of young boys raping
uncontious young women at house parties, with at least one of the girls
committing suicide. These young men bragged about what they did and took
pictures of them doing it. Where did they get these ideas? We aren't
told, but recent studies indicate that a majority of young teen boys, and many
teen girls are watching pornography. I suspect that they were acting out these
porno flicks that they saw. They truly didn't see (at the time) anything
really wrong, because they were desensitized by the porno. For
those who think that violent movies and games won't affect someone, we know
that they do raize agression and many who and not fully mature mentally, they
will act out fantasy as if real life. Just as pornos affects a person's
view on sex the same can be said with violence.
Nan and others if you look at the blog I suggested, which is Show me the
Science, you would see several unbiased studies that state the opposite. These
studies mention that video games played no more than 3 hours a day but as little
as one helps the player become more resilient to the problems that face them in
life. In fact I suggest you google the game RE:Mission and see the beneficial
impact that it had.As a piece of anecdotal evidence I learned to
read quickly and retain the information by playing the game The Legend of Zelda
the Ocarina of Time. That game had no speaking parts and to solve the puzzles I
had to memorize the information given through text, oftentimes much earlier in
game. Video games helped me become an avid reader. In fact to this day I have
read over 100 new books, most of which on my own volition. These books have
ranged from classics like Dante's Inferno and A Christmas Carol to Brandon
Sanderson's Way of Kings. Video games are not bad. They are certainly
categorically better than just watching T.V
As long as any product or service generates gigantic sums of revenue, the
problem isn't just that it should be banned or controlled by federal
government decrees, the problem is mostly due to those who buy it. This is
evidence of a general downward spiral of morals, values, and personal
responsibility.Given that many children who buy or use violent video
games or attend PG-13 movies, the question needs to be answered: who is really
running the household? The kids or the parents?
I don't need to wait for the research. Thank you.
I am 100% sure there are much better ways for anyone to spend his/her time than
violent video games. Why waste life engaged in something that is of no benefit?
There is no way that it can boost the right kind of confidence or relieve pent
up emotions or other bogus excuses. All of us should be doing that which is
helpful to others or at least beneficial for our own minds and bodies. There are
thousands of better ways to spend "spare" time!
Aleksjensen - I understand why a 40+ year old mom of 3 teenage boys would seem
out of touch to a 17 year old. That's ok. You lack the experience that
comes with being responsible for the well- being of others. BTW - I
enjoy watching my sons play Mindcraft. It is an amazingly creative game. The
chickens crack me up. Admitedly, I also endulge in a somewhat violent game
myself and really enjoy it......shooting angry birds at buildings full of green
pigs is one of my favorite pastimes. I am actually better than my own 17 year
old son. :)
Aleksjensen, make sure to back up your information. Where do you get your
"most kids" from? I know I'm not one of those "most kids."
I know all I get out of those "point and shoot" video games is a
headache and a bad temper.Happy Valley Heretic, the Bible might have those
images in there, but it teaches good lessons and family values. What good lesson
comes from a graphic video game? And what about the younger kids who are exposed
to these video games and do not yet fully understand the difference between
reality and fantasy? They cannot be written off simply because they aren't
old enough to play such games. They see it as well.
Jeanie, you are actually sounding like more and more out of touch with each new
comment. Most kids, for instance, get more confident and proud when they play
these aggressive and competitive games. I personally have something to do with
my friends that we ALL find enjoyable and challenging! Maybe its because
I'm only 17, but it seems harmless to me. I can only assume you also hate
dubstep for being to random, TV for being to violent, and Minecraft for being to
Desensitizing or otherwise, I still wouldn't want my child to play them.
What is it teaching people? That violence is socially acceptable as long as
you're holding a controller? I would think that a society that claims to
promote family values wouldn't want the rising generation to think things
like this. How much longer before our toddlers are learning about how to kill
zombies on some graphic video game? See you later, "child innocence."
Have fun with "social interaction." You two might like each other.
People google the blog Show me the Science by Dr. Jane McGonigal. Then read the
studies and then come back and talk about violent video games.
I would argue the games are a reflection of American society.How many
years has American been at war, or causing a war, or secretly supporting wars
with weapons and training?When people read the Bible as a school
book, were they not exposed to violent imagery, gruesome descriptions of
torture, rape and worse?I agree with the poster who said he and his
can actually tell the difference between reality and fantasy. I can watch
and play violent games/movies without recoil, yet when the news shows actual
acts of violence around the world, I emotionally feel it. When I see blood even
from minor accidents it turns my stomach. How can this be?Because one does not effect the other, except in broken minds. With millions of kids playing these for over twenty years now, if there was a
connection, the nation would be a bloodbath by now, it isn't.
What you exposes yourself to repeatedly has an effect on you. This is obvious.
The idea that it helps release pent up aggression is laughable. The idea that
it is relaxing and "enjoyable" to watch or participate in violence for
entertainment, even if you can distinguish reality from pretend, is warped."Know what your kid is doing" goes a long way. We don't
have violent games in our home, but I can't control what happens in my
child's friend's home - no matter how clear I am with parents. kIds
are not always forthcoming and some parents have different ideas about what
constitutes violence. Yes, as parents we need to do our part, but
we are also a member of a larger society that makes decisions about what is
culturally acceptable. It is no longer culturally acceptable to smoke where it
used to be seen as hip and even elegant. Maybe with time and effort gratuitous
violence will happily suffer the same fate - and we will view people who choose
to play "horrifically violent" games the same way we view people who
choose to smoke.
jeanie: "Not every one that plays violent video games will act out violently
in real life, but the percent of people making violent choices goes up as
well."Violent crimes have actually gone down as video games
became more popular. On the first page of this article, it says, "Instead,
they focus on "big picture" trends that show Americans quadrupling their
inflation-adjusted spending on video games over the past 20 years at precisely
the same time that violent crimes are falling to historic lows."Star Bright: "That and the violent movies that are produced for out youth,
and even if rated 14 and older, who exactly gets hooked on these movies and
video games?The Youth!"It isn't the fault of the
media that children have access to violent media. It's the fault of the
parent or guardian. Know what your kid is doing!BYUalum: "The
fact that these mass murders can be traced to violent video games has not been
covered much by the main stream media."The possibility (NOT
'fact') HAS been discussed. And there is no FACT that murders can be
traced to violent media. Did you even read the article?
"Pent up violence"? This is a myth, like pent up anger. What is
so great about violence that we need to experience it hours a day?
"And what parents can do"Is this seriously a question? You
are the parent, therefore in charge or at least you should be, of the games your
child/teen is purchasing and playing. Assert yourself! Simply do not let your
child buy and play these violent games. Quit trying to be the "cool"
parent and your teens BFF, they have friends for that. Step up and make it
clear that violent games won't be tolerated in your home, and that they are
not allowed to play them at their friends homes either. When and if your hold
breaks these rules then there are consequences. Teach your child by example,
which means you as parents don't play those games. I take the time to get
to know the parents of the children my kids play with and I discuss with them
what is acceptable (video games, movies, internet etc) for my child to watch or
play while in their care and they express the same to me. Please quit blaming
the tv and video game companies, it's your family, take responsibility for
what happens in your own home
It's never a good idea to ban or heavily restrict something based on the
possible actions of a few "at risk" individuals. I have no problem with
ratings sytems (although I would debate their effectiveness) or requiring
parental consent to purchase certain games, but frankly I have no problem with
my son playing horrifically violent games, which he does all the time. He's
not "at risk" in any identifiable way, and most importantly, he . . wait
for it . . actually has a grip on the difference between fantasy and reality.I had this debate myself as a teen when I started watching violent
movies ("Robocop," "Re-Animator," etc). I kept hearing
"you'll become desensitized . . you'll become desensitized." I
started wondering if that were true. Then one night I saw a horrific hockey
injury (a slit throat) and felt physically ill I was so disturbed. Oddly enough,
I was kind of comforted that I felt that way, because it assured me that I could
enjoy violent movies while still reacting appropriately to real violence. For
99.9% of us, there's zero reason to start restricting what games we play or
movies we watch.
It seems obvious to me that violence has gone DOWN since we got these new video
games, they are simply a stress reliever. Nothing more. You can use them to get
rid of your pent up violence, the people who DO go crazy and kill people were
probably crazy to start with! Plus a little more aggression isn't a really
a bad thing.
With all the push from government to ban guns, why is this not the debate? No
brainer, I would say! Violent video games played over and over desensitizes
anyone playing them. The same is true of violent killings and mass destruction
coming out of Hollywood. Reality and fantasy become one. The fact that these
mass murders can be traced to violent video games has not been covered much by
the main stream media. The talking points are of taking guns away
from ordinary citizens who are protected by the Second Amendment to be able to
have arms. That would take away our right to defend ourselves against any
aggressor, including government! Taking away guns from citizens will not stop
the violence from people obsessed to kill. It would instead make all of us more
vulnerable in every way.
It seems to me that the gaming industry is following the big tobacco companies
many years ago in denying that their product has very bad consequences. Not
everyone who smoked got cancer, but the chances of cancer went up dramatically.
Not every one that plays violent video games will act out violently in real
life, but the percent of people making violent choices goes up as well. This
seems to be a no-brainer. I guess we need studies to prove the obvious so the
people who justify virtual violence as harmless entertainment will have less of
a leg to stand on?
These violent video games are the games that soldiers play to help make them
immune to killing women and children. I wonder why the governmnet is not
mentioning the role they have in making our youth more violent? That and
the violent movies that are produced for out youth, and even if rated 14 and
older, who exactly gets hooked on these movies and video games?The Youth!