Friday, 09 January 2004
In the video game world, I
can jump higher, run faster, and sometimes fly. I can also do things like shoot
people, steal cars, and chop my opponents up with swords. Would I do any of
these things in the real world? Absolutely not. Some of these
things I can't do. I wouldn't do the rest because of my
moral obligations to society.
Is there a link to real world violence and video
games? Thatís a tough question to answer. Iíve played video games my entire
life. Some of my favorite games are more violent than others. I have never had
trouble distinguishing reality from the fantasy world of video games, but there
are others who do have trouble. We have seen it in Columbine, Atlanta, and Los
Angeles. Almost anywhere you look, another violent act contributed to video
games has been committed. Are we becoming a brainwashed society
who imitates what we see in the pixilated world of video games? I seriously
doubt it. There is a problem, but I donít think we will find the answer by
eliminating the violent nature of video games.
As a whole, America is a very violent-oriented society. This has a lot to do with most Americans having competitive natures. We did not become more violent because of video games, rather our video games adapted to our violent natures.
When someone commits an act of violence, it usually is impulsive. We are a structured society, and we desire to make sense out of the chaos of violent behavior. We first need something to blame. If little Billy gets run over in the street, one would most likely think, ďGee, if someone had drilled it into Billyís head to be more careful!Ē thus pinning the tragedy not on chance, but on poor parenting. That is exactly how it happens when a child commits a violent act. Instead of helping the child with his problems, the entire video game industry gets crucified.
In most cases, we find that the children perpetrating the acts of violence were either treated for or showed signs of mental illness. These violent acts would have been carried out regardless of whether these children played violent video games. For me, most of the video games on the violent side become more of a therapeutic tool.
Video games are manufactured fantasy. They are a new form of make believe for the generations to come. There will be aspects to the video game industry that will not be pleasing to some, but thatís whatís great about America. We can all enjoy pretty much what we want, even if not everyone agrees with it.