Hidden addiction behind the screen, a long standing debate about violence in video gaming hyped up with killings, maniac depression amongst users, physical aggression and the inability to interact on a social level with another human. Technology and gaming both in hand have come a long way, with just over 20 year in the early 90’s there were so called innocent games the likes of Aladdin, Super Mario, sonic and since the creation of 1960’s space war the first true video game up until the latest PUBG battlefield games there has been an dramatic evolution is gaming, from basic code typing to consoles to ultra hologram reality with a wide lens of gamer’s of different ages and genres driving the demand for more sophisticated stories and moral choices gets thrown out the window.
The competitors of Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii and Gamestick each of these are designed 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 with revenues worth alone of over 50b and rising dictating how powerful the gaming industry in the world. 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, to now where the gaming world has a slice of backlash and continues to do so from a wide variety of organisations to parents, universities, researchers and some gaming producers themselves on the vast long term negative effect is has on individuals. With the increase exposure of violence portraying in gaming with every release to the next generation it has become a norm of behaviour to display in the real world.
Fuelled by violence, the American Psychological Association task force found a link between violent video games and increased aggression and with due time and enough evidence there will be a direct link between gaming and criminal behaviour. Research from a variety of think tanks have linked that players may practice riskier behaviours such as reckless driving, binge drinking, smoking and unsafe sex and to the extreme school shootings at an ease assuming these games are having a warping effect on right and wrong. The link between whats real and whats fantasy crosses over time warping your perspective on what is real or what is not, both of these worlds have some how submerged together and therefore are unable to differentiate between what’s reality and what’s fantasy.
A pair of professors from the Université de Montréal and McGill University just published a paper in Molecular Psychiatry, displaying a link between first-person shooters and the loss of gray matter: the part of the brain that handles consolidation of short-term memory into long-term memory as well as spatial navigation. The overall outcome was the decrease in the ability to remember spaces, instead delegating those virtual worlds into the sphere of habit. The level is not only sociological but you also are more at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder and depression when they’re younger. This is just scraping the surface of the potential long damage of the brain and behaviour but further research would be set aside. After all, who would want to stop a billion dollar industry from having gains from exploration of mere human gini pigs. Academic journals will be biased to only show the positive outcomes of gaming but with certain studies there are unfortunately few participants to show negative affects, so the studies with be flawed. Reports establishing aggressive behaviour in children, teens and and adults get condoled and de-valuated due to lack of evidence without consideration of the time and mental evaluation of the individual gamer prior to gaming and after hours of gaming.
The essential aspect on the inability to grasp time and how much exposure of violence scenes each player comes across is enough to provoke anti-social reaction. Having a gamer to identify with violent and murderous online characters can have a negative effect on behaviour not only at that particular time but later in life. 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.
There are people out their that stay in rooms of up to 20 hours a day playing video games and living in fantasy worlds this has been diagnosed by WHO as a gaming disorder it which it describes it is as “a pattern of gaming behaviour characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
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. The adult is more worse off, in japan alone an academic of isolation has hit its people mostly young men which has crept on for so long. More people in Japan are isolated in their rooms for months of years. They virtually live in their rooms and will not leave, creating a hikikomori group of people, meaning withdrawn lifestyle due to video gaming. In china gaming is so addictive the game manufacturers have to impose time limits on children playing its own product with the majority of smart phones and tablets and in some US research some employers wont take on individuals due to their commitment to gaming. This overall is destroying the modern work ethic with had taken previous generations to fight for.
Research suggests that we are spending way more time online than previous generations, with images being far more graphical and disturbing.
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 constantly active: Gamers are indirectly doing things that they’d otherwise imagine or witness in books or movies.
The gaming world apparently tends to push people into more “dangerous lifestyles” such as drugs, wild sex, stealing and an acceptable appearance that weapons are a norm. Its is also being noted in these types of games, the gamer’s 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 creating devastating consequences this is because the game often creates intense situations which leads to pleas for mercy or kindness getting ignored, therefore creating a lack of empathy within people.
Battlefield video games carry warnings it involves “intense violence” yet EA denies themselves that video games encourage violent attacks. Justify the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty and PUBG of which are stacked with blood and death, but when you have celebrities and you tubers endorsing the games you are racked with the question on responsibility of blame.
- 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, you may spend less time on other activities such as reading, sports, interacting with family and friends and studying.
- Put together people are now spending an average of 3 billion hours a week playing video games.
The inability and lack of research is not the reason for academic failure of journals showing no evidence of substantial long term damage to people, later generations and society as a whole but the blame on governments who back billionaire dollar industries paving a way for them and giving them more leniency on open doors in whatever can go in a game makes it odds to their favour to discredit any scientific research that goes against what they choose to portray. Investigations into links between video games and addiction, aggression, violence, social development and a variety of stereotyping and sexual morality issues are still being debated but not on the level enough for it to make a significant change, and the the video game industry representatives strongly dispute the connection making no way for laws and amendments to change without sufficient data. The deceptive denial of these game makers makes them clear the way to any responsibility towards a persons health and individual killings, truth is developers wield far too much influence to ignore this responsibility.
Published article: Maria’m A.S (editor)
Freedman J. “Media violence and its effect on aggression: assessing the scientific evidence.” University of Toronto Press, Toronto 2002 ISBN 0-8020-8425-7.