Video Games

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Growing up, I watched a lot of games being played but very rarely did I participate. Still to this day I am more of an observer than a player. However, I genuinely enjoyed watching my grandfather play games such as Zelda and Doom both of which I could watch for hours without getting bored. Although I myself did not have experience with playing games aside from occasionally being handed the controller to hold someone else’s spot, I can honestly say that I enjoyed video games as a child. Now I would also like to point out that I was not exposed to realistic based violent video games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield, I still had nightmares about the Doom monsters for many of my young years. I can only imagine how drastically seeing such realistic violence must effect children whose brains are still developing both physically and socially.

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For my thirty minutes of play time I decided to bust out my old friend Zoo Tycoon. I have a feeling people may be laughing while reading this part of the post because most people in my life laugh at the fact that building fake zoos is what I consider “gaming”. Although I very rarely get the chance to spend time playing games, when I do it is always games that seem more suited for small children. There is something about it that is strangely calming for me that I cannot quite put into words. On the opposite side of calming, I am currently watching my boyfriend play Halo. While Halo is not steeped in realism, it is definitely a violent game that your mission is to destroy aliens and/or other players. While I personally have never understood the draw to games such as these, I do understand why other people find them entertaining.

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After reading this week’s articles, my thoughts regarding violent video games have not changed. I truly believe that children should not be exposed to games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, or Assassins Creed; any game that depicts acts of realistic violence on humans and does not promote empathy. I feel strongly that children should not be exposed to virtually any violent material until an appropriate age that they are able to decipher between what is real and what is fantasy. I was very glad to read the section regarding myths about violent video games.

One of my personal favorites was this one:

“Myth 6. There are no studies linking violent video game play to serious aggression.

Facts: High levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior (e.g., self-reported assault, robbery).”

It is reassuring to know that a vast amount of studies have found evidence that what I have believed to be true all along is actually scientifically accurate.

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On a separate note I also found it interesting that certain games are developed to help train soldiers; I had never considered this use until now but it makes perfect sense.

This is what Slate had to say about one such game”

“The best-known game to deal with real-world battlefield scenarios is America’s Army, a popular multiplayer first-person shooter introduced by the U.S. Army in 2002 and the gold standard in “militainment.” The game started as a recruitment tool, but the Army has since used it in group training as well.”

Overall, I would say that while these games can be useful, they can also be extremely detrimental; especially to young children. At the very least, more should be done to keep children from being exposed to these violent games. I know that I will not choose to raise my children with games such as the ones mentioned in these articles.

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