Let’s delve into gaming history for a brief moment before we rant.
It’s no secret that video games can become horrendously violent, and, in terms of games like the Grand Theft Auto series, very sexually explicit and graphic. Since the days of early gaming, there have been some type of violence, even for games that were on Atari decades ago.
However once video game companies saw a massive jump in the use of graphics and processing power technology, the way games were made and the content put into them also saw a change. Violent games on consoles like Sega and the SNES began to surface; the Mortal Kombat series was a turning point in terms of overly violent games that showed gruesome executions, or ‘Fatalities’. While the ESRB, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, an organization in charge of the ratings systems for video games, was only in its infancy in the early 1990’s, video games were still being rated to some point or another.
PlayStation finally flipped the script in terms of visually stunning video games for the 90’s era; following this change were the increased use of violence in video games, even for games that were rated ‘T’ for younger audiences. The titular Resident Evil series became very prominent of this era and joined major video game series’ like Mortal Kombat in terms of graphic and disturbing content. However, once the PlayStation 2, the original Xbox and Gamecube were released in 2001, that’s when gamers were fully engulfed in the world of gaming violence; from games rated ‘E’ for everyone to rated ‘M’ games and yes, even games rated ‘A’ for Adults Only (such games are very, very rare and seldom made) games literally have everything now when it comes to different types of violence and even sexual situations.
Here we are now in a new year and already a horrific act of gun violence has stained 2018 permanently. The Parkland Florida school massacre was horrific; no one says otherwise. However there are just some things that you don’t do in terms of shifting the blame, or at least partly. Donald Trump, our President, will be meeting with some as of yet unannounced gaming executives sometime next week to discuss the violence in video games and their connection with gun violence, or violence in general in our society, and what can be done to shield our youth from such violent activities.
Here’s the deal people; such a battle between linking violence in our society, specifically towards our youth, and video games has been an ongoing fight for over a decade. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there has been some form of proof that violence in video games in terms of awarding points for ‘killing’ or eliminating things or human NPC’s (non-playable characters) has set a “poor example” for our youth when associating rewards with violence.
But this isn’t the whole spectrum when it comes to video games and associating them and other media content with violence.
It has been proven in some studies with Harvard and other reputable universities that there is little proof or concrete evidence to support that violence in video games, or media content as a whole, leads to violent tendencies in our youths culture. President Trump, in this author’s opinion, is just using such things like violence in video games, television and films to just point the blame of what happened in Florida. 17 children and teachers died; it’s horrible and such things should never happen in our society. However let’s not point the blame at things that have been in our culture since the early 80’s; look at better gun regulation or better yet….the parents that allow their youth to use such video games or watch violent media content! It’s already been proven that the FBI dropped the ball on the school shooting; they were tipped off multiple times about Nicholas Cruz and his violent tendencies. Even the sheriff’s department was tipped off over 20 times about the 19 year old. So to point the blame at video games as well is just a moot point.
It’s no secret that youth rebel; they want to go behind their parents back to partake in rebellious activities such as watch porn, play rated ‘M’ games like Grand Theft Auto or smoke. And sometimes parents just don’t pay attention or are just not aware.
Take the film Deadpool when it first hit theaters in 2016. Yes, it’s a Marvel film like The Avengers and Iron Man; however Deadpool was, and has always been, made for mature audiences. He’s been watered down in some animated films and games for younger audiences, but for the most part it’s a series for adults. When the film came out parents were taking their children to see it, not caring to see that it was rated ‘R’. Once they began seeing Ryan Reynolds’ character having full blown sex on the big screen and dropping F Bombs, parents were in an uproar that their children they took to see this Marvel film (remember, Marvel is owned by Disney) were exposed to such things. Here’s a newsflash: perhaps it’s the parents fault that their children were exposed to such things in the first place because they weren’t paying attention.
Here’s another example that I, the author, can personally attest to: I use to work for GameStop for a short time; it’s a major retailer that sells, buys and trades video games and other major media content and accessories. One day a kid, no older than 8 years old, comes up to the counter to buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto V. For those that are not aware, GTA V is a game that has immense violence and graphic sexual content; I mean you can literally control your character to pay a prostitute to get into the vehicle you’re in and perform oral sex. It’s that graphic. And the game is a worldwide commercial and critical success. This kid was with his aunt, who was oblivious to these facts; so I had to pull the aunt to the side (legally doing my job) and explain to her what the game entailed and that this 8 year should not be playing this. It’s obvious the kid was trying to pull one over on his aunt (and has probably played the game someplace else), however it didn’t work and she dragged him out of the store in a heartbeat.
It all comes down to what we allow our younger audiences to view and play; sure, there may be some studies that suggest video games can cause social disorders or violence, however such studies will occur throughout the world, be it a study that condemns video games or a study that shows video games, or any media content, have little to no psychological affect on our youth. This is the world we live in; it’s up to us to allow and regulate what our youth can and should not watch or play.
(The aforementioned are merely my own personal views and opinions in terms of video games and what our youth should and should not watch and play and what role parents play in this.)
For those that disagree, agree or have an entirely different opinion on this matter, please hit us up at Arch City Sports!