Written By: Brandon
Words cannot begin to describe the sheer thrill and excitement I felt when I bought my first set of video games. I remember saving my cash in my Star Wars bank and using that money to purchase some of my all-time favorite video games. The first video game system that meant the most to me was my Nintendo 64. I saved up my allowance and Communion money to buy the system myself and bought three new games with it: “Super Smash Bros.,” “Banjo-Kazooie,” and “Mario Kart 64.”
While my first experience with video games was a positive milestone in my life, I wanted to discuss an issue that is becoming more of a concern with the younger generation of gamers today: violence. Video game violence has increased significantly from when I was growing up in the 90s. The purpose of this blog isn’t to bash the video gaming industry, because there are many benefits video games can offer. Instead, we as a society need to become more familiar with how violence in gaming affects consumers, and not put it aside due to the sheer awesomeness of interactive gaming.
As a teacher, my students are always discussing with me about different video games, some that I even played as a kid. For example, I have two brothers that love playing “Super Mario World” on the Wii. I remember playing this game when I was their age, and I love sharing in these adventures with them. We always play this game whenever I see them, and we do not go to sleep until we have beaten an entire world. This represents a great quality video games have to offer: they bring people together for the sheer purpose of enjoyment and passion. They can be an escape for some children into their own world and have shown to strengthen one’s team work skills, creativity, and gross motor functions.
The growing concern however is not only the violence itself but also the audience to which the violence is shared. Studies have been done regarding violence and whether to much exposure has a negative impact on a child’s development. Some young children have difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy, which makes them more vulnerable to the effects of media violence. They may become more aggressive and fearful if they are exposed to high levels of violence in video games. Children have easy access to violent computer and video games, therefore necessary steps must be taken by adults. There is absolutely no reason why a 10 year old boy should be shooting terrorists in Call of Duty or picking up hookers and shooting up stores in “Grand Theft Auto.” Instead, let’s simply keep a better eye on what we’re adverting and where we are sending a mixed message to children about the reality of violence. A message to Parents: ADHERE TO THE ERSB GAME RATINGS.
What was the first violent video game you remember playing?