Friday, June 16, 2017

I Blame Video Games!

I was talking with a coworker a few days ago and we got on the subject of kids and violence. As we were getting ready to go back after our break her parting words were "I blame those violent video games."
Now I don't think videogames are the problem. Personally I feel that parents and society have a huge impact on how are children react to situations. But this got me thinking, I know that's dangerous, do video games really make kids violent. As a mom who lets her kids play games that they probably shouldn't I want to know. So I started researching... and found one article that didn't seem skewed. I'll admit that after a while I did get tired of reading studies and statistics that contradicted each other over and over. So there maybe more out there I just had to give up.
In the end I came to the conclusion that no one really knows, how a child will react to these types of
games. My kids might be fine, while someone else's can't deal. Yet it seems a tradition to throw entertainment and media under the bus. In the Victorian era it was the dime novels, these were full of violence and sex. They are fairly tame by today's standards, but back then scandalous. I remember when it was violence in cartoons, that was the catalyst.
Now just to put things in perspective I grew up in the late 80's- 90's eras. That means I grew up watching Bug's Bunny, G.I. Joe, She Ra and TMNT. I loved and still do love watching the old Hanna Barbera cartoons. I played Street Fighter and Mortal Combat on the Sega. I knew the combo moves for Sonya. But I also knew the difference between what was fantasy and reality. So I sat my 8 yr old down and asked him, "you know that the games we play aren't real?"
He looked at me as if I was stupid and replied, "Yeah mom, it's just a game. You'd go to jail if you did that for real."
I'm good with that answer. I'm sure there are parents out there who are fuming after reading this. The thing is I'm not telling you how to raise your kids, and I don't need folks telling me how to raise mine. I'm just tossing out there that you might want to do the research and make your own decisions.

Screenshots my game play from FallOut 3

Further reading:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-video-games-inspire-violent-behavior/
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/violent-video-games-and-young-people
http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

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