I’m going to pick up a subject which is very controversial; Violence in video gaming. Now we have come a long way from gaming, it wasn’t 20 years ago in the early 90’s as a seven year old I was playing the likes of Aladdin, Super Mario and not forgetting sonic, at that time the only game console we had was the Sega. Most of you might remember, but a lot of the young generation will have no idea what I’m talking about. Since the creation of 1962’s Spacewar!, the first true video game up until the latest Final Fantasy, there have been millions of games created in the 50 years in between. Theirs been an evolution is gaming, these days gamers of different genres are demanding more sophisticated stories and moral choices.
In today’s world, we have three main competitors Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii, each of these are designing to create a sandbox-like environment where players could focus more on exploring the simulated world and have a chance of living in fantasy and this is no small industry, today’s time one of the latest releases, Grand Theft Auto Five commonly known as GTA V, like big budget movie releases, made revenues of $1b (about 2.5t) three days after its release, wow, its a statistic that show just how big the industry is. But we have come a long way from the likes of Hiroshi Yamauchi who transformed the gaming world and his contributions to the industry and overall role in shaping the course of its continuing evolution cannot be underestimated. But since then, the gaming world has had a lot of backlash and continues to do so from a wide variety of organisations, be it parents, the government or universities, the main reason for this is the increase exposure of violence it portrays in gaming, which has lasting effects regardless of age, gender or culture.
A lot of the gaming videos are fuelled by violence with reports establishing aggressive behaviour in children, teens and not forgetting adults. Just think about it, how many times do you play games in a week or in a day, how many hours would you let your kids play and in that time how much exposure of violence do you come across. There are people out their that stay in rooms of up to 20 hours a day playing video games and living in fantasy worlds. To them both of these worlds have some how submerged together and therefore are unable to differentiate between what’s reality and what’s fantasy, what kind of people do that, its like killing your own mood. A study has found that children who repeatedly play brutal video games are learning thought patterns that will stick with them and influence their behaviour as they grow older.
You practice in reality what you are taught
It’s the same with violent games – you practice being vigilant for enemies, practice thinking that it’s acceptable to respond aggressively to provocation, and practice becoming desensitised to the consequences of violence. More than 90 per cent of children and teens play video games, and researchers say the majority of those games contain some type of violent content. However, that does not mean all games are bad and that children will only develop bad habits.
Research suggests that we are spending way more time on things like this than previous generations, with images being far more graphical and disturbing no wonder the kids seem to get so engrossed in them, what happened to socialising outside.
In perceptive the developers have created them in such a way that they are perfectly architected to change our state of mind, they are trying to keep it active: Gamers are indirectly doing things that they’d otherwise imagine or witness in books or films respectively, this topic can have negative effects, positive effects or may be just neutral. For example those who played high-stakes gaming like Resident Evil were more competitive than those that played less intense games like fishing.
But at the same time gaming world apparently tends to push people into more “dangerous lifestyles” such as drugs, wild sex and an acceptable appearance that weapons are a norm. Its is also being noted in these types of games, the gamers have a lack of empathy. People virtually begin to lose touch with the image of starving children in NSPCCC adverts; which doesn’t make them monsters of course its just for the fact that they have seen the image many times before in their heads where someone is disfigured or hurt, gamers often create intense situations which leads to pleas for mercy or kindness getting ignored, therefore creating a lack of empathy within people.
Look at EA’s Battlefield 3 video game which carries warnings it involves “intense violence” yet EA denies themselves that video games encourage violent attacks. Although there is no hard data as to whether or not these excessively violent video games in fact cause people to engage in behaviour that is antisocial, including using guns, my sums are simply based on research done by a variety of universities. Justify the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, both of which are stacked with blood and death. I am not engaging in the vacuous witch hunt which some of you readers might think nor am I condoling the use of violence in video games.
Before you all say I have baseless facts and I’m one sided, I am not. I write articles on topics based on my thoughts and perceptions about a certain genre which in certain times need bringing up. So note I weigh my discussions for both sides. Even though I personally believe violence in gaming is utmost wrong, full stop but I have to take heed and look at the bigger picture for the huge number of game lovers out there. Below I have summarised misconceptions of the negative and positive affects on video gaming fantasy and violence.
- Violent video games are linked to real-world violence, and we should stop pretending. The more we play the more likely we will act upon what we see in the virtual world.
- People are living in fantasy rather than the reality.
- Many video games these days include a lot of weaponry and an objective that involves killing or having to injure someone. In doesn’t take a genius to note that one personal trigger in a certain situation can lead to an individual picking up an weapon and using it
- Playing violent video games can make some adolescents more hostile
- Women are not usually used in video games, and when they are their purpose is usually sex appeal; women are most often seen as big breasted, who are beautiful and curvy. Just look at dead or alive, why do they have to wear such tight clothing, or have cleavage showing and obviously the famous Lara croft, women have become so sexualised in gaming.
- Video games makes people become isolated
- A waste of precious time, what’s happened to sleeping time, study time or lesuire time. Ever thought about that.
- People are now spending an average of 3 billion hours a week as a planet playing videogames, do I need to say more
- Truth fact is violence has always existed whether it is video games or a movie, violence exists. It’s existed in the past and it will exist in the future. So video games cannot entirely be blamed
- Games pure entertainment and a safe ground to express violence, it takes the stress off after a hard days work
- Individuals have the ability to understand fantasy versus reality, do they ? (I’m not even sure about that) if we have kids its our job to teach them the difference right, maybe so but i could argument on that fact that a child’s mind is not that of an adults. To me it just distorts the young individuals perception of reality, they are just incapable of understanding at that age
- There are ratings on games for a reason, use it.
- The games are a very important social vehicle for many people, providing competition, friendly rivalry, hours of comparing strategies and camaraderie. You play it for the competition and for the desire to win, that is all.
- If the logic that violent video games cause violence was true, than that would mean the same for violent movies, especially horror movies. In fact, some movies have far more violence than certain games. Take Evil Dead for example how much blood gore did you see in that, so did that make you do the same.
- However it is also suggested that even the most violent of video games actually promote cooperation and encourage gamers to control their aggression.
- Video games are a great way to burn off stress with some escapism. Video games, especially more complex games, or complex gaming activities can drastically boost your multitasking and cognizance. It goes way beyond hand-eye coordination.
An intense article I know and a very tricky subject for a lot of you out. Let us know your thoughts, it would be great to hear from gamers and game developers on what they think of violence in video games.
Maria’m AS (ed. Truthrevoloution)