Week 8 First Impression

As a child who grew up in a small town with very few people my age, books and video games were my two primary sources of entertainment. At the time, I shied away from some of the more graphic games, but I think that might have had more to do with my fondness for puzzle games than anything else. Video games that are gratuitously violent or gory tend to annoy me because I don’t think it’s necessary most of the time. If the game itself is focused on action, then I can understand the desire to make it more realistic and to more accurately portray the damage in the game. It’s games like Mortal Kombat and its “fatalities” for example that I think are needlessly and excessively violent. To some up my thoughts on violent video games, I don’t have a problem with violence as long as it serves to further or enhance the story that is already being told. If the focus is not on any discernible story but is instead on the violence itself, then I take issue.

I think calls to have violent video games banned are a knee-jerk reaction that, while well intentioned, would not likely be all that effective. To start, I can see why the impulse is there. I do think that if kids start playing these games too young that there can be some desensitization to violence. However, I don’t think these games necessarily increase levels of aggression in children. It’s very possible that children who are already prone to violence are the ones who will become more aggressive with exposure to these games. From a logistic perspective, there would likely be too much pushback from the adults who enjoy these games to ban them entirely. The best that we can get is a rating system such as the one we already have that could be perhaps improvement by more stringent evaluation.

Shooting for Fun or Shooting for Real

Desensitization is the concept that comes to mind when seeing the trends of video games going from violent to full on gore, as characters in the games are shooting and killing other characters with no mercy or consequence. The video gamers are constantly bombarded with images of appendages being blown off, with blood spilling out everywhere. And the messed up thing is, all this excessive carnage and body counts are actually encouraged for getting points to a better score, or for passing a certain round or area.

My perspective on this matter is one of great hesitation and fear. There are ratings set in place where parents can check the back to see if the game is appropriate for kids. However, some kids can still get a hold of games by going over to friends’ houses or by using the consoles of their older siblings. I don’t think that children ought to have access to or even be exposed to such violence.

Especially when the child or adult is playing these games day after day, they will get so immersed in the game. You can often witness this when trying to grab the attention of a child or teen playing a video game and they give no response to you whatsoever. This could be a problem since the players of the game are so into it that they start believing what they see on the screen is real and okay; that violence in games like Grand Theft Auto are fun and normal. And, if they see this enough, that perhaps they can inflict damage to people in the real world and get that same sense of thrill they get from a video game. I’m not necessarily sure whether it is making all kids around the world act more violently, as people can separate good from bad and from what is fantasy and reality, but a good amount of people can get used to the idea and feeling and feel no mercy or sense of consequence.

I don’t believe these games should be completely banned. I do, however, believe that young kids should not be able to get ahold of these video games. Early exposure I think is pretty dangerous in influencing the minds of our young generation.


Learning from Video Games

Growing up, I played many genres of video games from Pokémon to violent video games using guns where in order to win I would’ve have to shoot virtual people. It was fun playing violent games despite the fact that enjoying violent games is probably not a good sign. For one thing playing violent games may have especially negative effects on a person’s mindset, for example these games may affect how the player may perceive violence in everyday life. When I was younger I used to be a very big video gamer, I was so engrossed in that activity that without my family monitoring and checking up on me when I was playing these I would probably end up a different person today. The negative effects of video gaming are very individualized, and the effects when playing video games in general may not be seen as strongly in some people than in others. For one thing if a person is so engrossed in a game and becomes too serious about it, they may let their temperament get the better of them when they lose a game. This is one thing that should be looked into because while video games are fun, they should not cause such a violent reaction. When this happens people need to step away from the game controllers, step away from the virtual world, and have fun in reality. Something that I believe people can learn from any video game is no matter how fun it may be to  play video games nothing defeats playing games and having with other people in physical world.

Violence in Video Games:

The usage of video games in the United States is at a high rate with video games available to all ages. Personally, I think that video games do play a part on the behavior of the people playing them , but I do not think it is the main reason why there is so much violence in society. I think that the environment the children are exposed to at home plays a major role in how the child behaves. Being exposed to violent situations at home may cause the child to see these behaviors as “normal” in turn causing them to become violent themselves. Although video games are not a major reason as to why children become violent they still play a minor role because the kids are being exposed to killing, blood, guns, and gore for the “fun” of it.If parents allow their kids to play violent video games for hours they are allowing their kids to grow up learning that killing people for “fun” is okay both in a fictional as well as the real world setting.

I think that video games should not be banned because they provide entertainment to many different people. I think it should be the parents decision and responsibility to prevent the younger kids from playing these violent games because they may not be aware of the situation. Younger kids at times are not able to comprehend what is real and what isn’t and in turn it could cause them to behave as the characters in the game do just because they are being taught that this is normal or cool in a sense. All video games provide information to let the parents know what age groups should be allowed to play, and that is why the parents should pay more attention to what their kids are actually playing.

Personally, if I was a parent I would not allow my kids to play violent video games because they are being exposed to preposterous situations. The violence in the games can have a minor effect on the kids, but no matter how small the games are still glorifying violent situations ;therefore,  making the children want to behave like the characters do because that is what is in “style”.

Violence in Video Games

While I don’t think that violent video games are solely responsible for violent behavior in children, they do play a role in desensitizing children to violence. As with many things, if a child is exposed to a stimulus repeatedly they’ll slowly begin to ignore that stimulus. In the cause of violence, this can lead children to believe that violence is acceptable in situations where it isn’t called for, and can cause them to underestimate the impacts of violence. Video games, as a whole, can positively impact children via socialization, problem solving, abstract thinking, etc. Due to this, I don’t believe that they should be permanently banned. I believe it is up to the parents of the child to gauge how well their children can tolerate the negative effects of video games. Many psychological issues lead to overly-violent tendencies. Video games exaggerate these underlying problems, not cause them.

Violent Video Games

I feel as though violent video games do not have as big of an impact as the media and critics of these games have made them out to have. I myself have been playing violent video games for plenty of years (Well before the intended rating of M and 18+ applied to me) and consider myself a pacifist that would not and can not see myself even thinking about violence. Therefore I see these games as a release of character. These games are not meant to make you violent but in context could bring out the true you if you allow them. This being said I have seen first hand, violent video games been turned into charity acts and competitions pitting some of the best gaming athletes on this planet against each other, while at the same time bringing people and nations together to fight for the same cause. Many people see these games as only killing and guns, or money and reputation, when in reality “its just a game”. These so called violent games have gained me many friendships over the years with great people and have actually brought fun and excitement to millions of people world wide.

As for a so called ban on these games, I feel as though it would be a very stupid decision. This world has always been about expressing yourself especially in the U.S.A and taking these games away would deprive us of entertainment and freedom. If we really think that video games cause killers and violence we need to look inside the individual not the game.

Week 8 First Impression- Learning

Violent video games have been a hot topic for many years. They have also been blamed for a lot of the violence that occurs in our neighborhoods and society. While I do not believe they are the sole reason for violent behavior in children, I do believe they have an effect. Some kids will spend hours upon hours playing violent video games and even though they are pulling a virtual trigger, they are still pulling a trigger and killing. I think the big idea behind this is that after killing people for “fun”, even if it is fake, it may desensitize the child to violence. Since they have done it on a game it doesn’t seem like a much of a big deal if they were to do it in real life. Of course, this certainly does not apply to all children. I think this also leads to the reason why video games are rated. When games are rated “mature” they are intended for people over the age of 17. I think this is because older teenagers are more likely to understand what is wrong and what is right. They know that the violence in the game is fictional and should not be done in real life. However, younger kids may not be able to fully make this distinction.

Video games are obviously not the only possible reason for why a child is acting violently. Violent behavior has a lot to do with the child’s life and experiences at home. If a child is educated on what is wrong and what is right and on the fictional nature of the game, they may be less  likely to be violent in their daily lives. Parents should also limit the child’s playing time so they expend their energy in other forms. There is a large variety of healthy ways a child can expend their energy besides playing video games.

While the effects of violent video games may be exaggerated at times, I do believe the prolonged exposure to violence can certainly have an effect on a child’s behavior.

Week 8 First Impression Post-Learning

When video games first came to the market, they were simple, colorful, and didn’t have a hint of realism in them. As technology improved, the quality of video games improved as well, which also was around the time violence grew in the media. This increase in violence in the media got into the video game world, which caused a sharp increase in violent video games, as well as an increase in the video game market as a whole. The change was very sudden, but it had a massive impact on how kids act. When I was young, we still mostly played Super Mario Brothers, Galaga, and Pacman, whereas my brother grew up more with Super Smash Brothers, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto; even though there were earlier versions of those games when I was a kid, they were no where near as advanced as they were when my brother was growing up, which is shocking because he is only 3 years younger than me. Even though I’ve played games like Call of Duty, I was in my teens when I started playing them, and I had already understood that the games were fake, and that violence isn’t okay. My brother on the other hand hadn’t gotten anywhere near mature when he started playing, and my Mom only let him play because he was going to see my play anyways. She didn’t realize the impact these games had on his attitude, since she never payed any attention to the games, until he started acting up in school. Granted, he has Asperger’s and already has a temper because of it, but the video games he was playing certainly didn’t help, they just made violence seem okay, and taught him foul language. Despite all of this, I don’t think we should ban violent video games as a whole, because those who are mature can enjoy them without acting like they do in the games, and can even be a stress reliever to some (including myself). However, the industry should be better regulated, and parents need to know what they’re buying their kids, because I’m sure my Mom wasn’t the only parent who bought games that weren’t appropriate for her child without knowing the amount of graphic material in them. In fact, I see parents buy things like Grand Theft Auto and Modern Warfare for their very young children, some look like they are 10, all of the time when I take my brother to GameStop. Parents need to be educated about what their children are playing with, and even though the world as a whole is more violent these days, that doesn’t mean we need to impose more violence on our children.

My perspective on Violent video games

I played all genres of video games growing up. It seems at times as though the more violent the video game the more entertaining. There is something about putting bullets into your opponents to obtain the objective that is addictive. Although I was always very fond of sports games as well, I was upset when I would lose. Personally I wouldn’t let losing in a video game go to my head and cause me to physically outburst in some way. At some times I do remember being quite upset from a loss. I remember witnessing some of my friends sling controllers at the wall curse at their sisters and even at me after a game did not go their way. I don’t think it is only violent video games that can cause an increase of violent behavior in an individual. I have seen and heard more outburst from relevantly non violent sports games. It seems that video games are taken way too seriously at times. The idea that you could ban an art form is preposterous. That is exactly what video games are, they are an art. Countless hours are put into their creation and admiration. I cannot deny that there is no connection between video gaming and violent behavior. I think the worst part about video gaming is what it does to a persons psyche, attitude, social life, and over-all health. Someone who loves to game yearns for the countless hours in front of the screen where they get lost in the gaming sauce. Throughout their day a video game addict has the persistent thought “I am going to play as soon as I get home.” How can a young adolescent deal with major academic tasks at their best with a game stuck in their mind all day. Someone who takes video gaming seriously is mentally distraught in gaming failures. If this individual has poor coping skills then just because they played a video game their whole attitude will be shifted in a negative direction and this negativity builds from failure to failure. Video gaming, similar to social media has taken friendships out of the physical and into the virtual. This can be positive if the person playing has a healthy social life outside of the game. This can be dangerous in light of cyber bullying which is no doubt a part of online gaming you can’t last ten minutes online without a twelve year-old calling you out of your name. From personal experience I have the understanding that video games induce a higher rate of cursing in most gamers. The cursing that comes from video gaming has a violent undertone, and forms a habit. From what I have noticed from my younger cousins, the online social system of video gaming increases their distance from their family they become glued to the screen and likewise they form an emotional attachment to this virtual world. Studies have shown that sitting still for hours on end is not good for your health. Without a parent or a will power to keep video gaming as an after thought in your life, you will see some negative impact there has to be some control on time and personal value given to the platform. The negative effects of video gaming are very individualized. From person to person the effects will not be seen as strongly in one person as the other. It trickles down to what is most important in your life, if it is gaming then there is going to be bad habits formed because of it. You can game and be a mentally and physically healthy individual, but there is a fine line.



Violence in todays Video Games

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Video games over time have become better and better, not only has the content of the various video games become better but the technology of the game itself has gotten better. This is just from the technology in the society getting better. When I was younger I remember playing a lot of RPG games which are role playing games but they all generally consisted of Disney characters or something that was very calm. Todays culture and game playing society still has RPGs but a lot of them are directed towards violence and graphic displays. As an avid video game player, I personally don’t think that they should be banned because of a couple different reasons. Firstly, these games sometimes portray real world events and gives the young player not only a stimulating game but a way to learn about what has happened in our world. I think that this way the player gains important knowledge that may not be taught in the school curriculum. Lastly, I believe that the act of playing the video games teaches the player the concept of multitasking. There are so many meters and gauges to worry about when playing these games, to worry about all of them together and still shoot with proper aim is in my opinion a skill and talent. I don’t believe that children are becoming more and more violent because of these video games. I think that video games are only letting the child see, gain some knowledge, and/or learn multitasking skills.