Monday, February 7, 2011

Video Games... may give you cancer

Okay, maybe video games won't give you cancer like a cigarette will, but a new bill attempting to pass through congress could slap "surgeon general" like warning labels on all video games rated "T" and up.

Yes, some people can quote studies that attribute increased violence from kids to violent video games, while others can point to studies that show no correlation between the two, but thats beyond the point. What is it the makes it seem that violence in games is more influential than violence in other forms of media?

Is it the inherent interactivity that video games offer over all other forms of media? One could easily argue this. It is not just a fictional actor carrying out theses acts, it's you, the controller. You run over the hooker to pick up the money you just gave to her. You chainsaw the alien in half. You rip the Minotaur's jaw off. Children then pick up real-life violent traits due do their relative familiarity to violence in the fake-world. What was once just easy as pushing a button becomes as easy as swinging a fist. At least that is how the logical argument goes, but that's not really how children learn.

Children are inherently impressionable, they learn about life by observing others around them, most notably their mother and father. It's no wonder their first words are "momma" or "poppa". If their parental figures are not around as frequently as needed, they can learn from others, such as a nanny or even a fictional character. Is it not true that children are more impressioned by others than themselves? Then shouldn't violence portrayed by others in film or music have a greater impact then silly violence one commands with action figures or in a video game?

Of course, none of this supported by any real scientific tests or facts, but since the studies can't agree, we'll have to figure it out in congress.

1 comment:

  1. Video games certainly influence children, regardless of how violent they are. When I was in middle school playing Madden I wanted to be Brett Favre, and when I was playing Grand Theft Auto, I wanted to be the dude inflicting havoc on San Andreas. We are influenced by everything we see on TV or play on a video-game console, we simply cannot help it. Even though I thought it would be awesome to roam the streets of San Andreas and go nuts, I never would actually pick up a gun and kill hookers and cops and innocent bystanders. I think most Americans who play these video games have common sense, and a "Surgeon's General" type warning is totally unnecessary on video-games. When you're under 13 and attempting to buy a game rated T or above anyway your parent has to consent.


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