In the 21st century, FPS (first person shooter) games ranging from gritty entertainment like Call of Duty to colorful, fantasy battles like Overwatch. These shooter games, no matter how harmless they seem, all have one thing in common: war. Keep reading to find out how this affects our youth and the logic behind it.
Marcus and Alex:
Look at the Nintendo go-kart franchise Mario Kart. The happy, racing game has no violence, right? Wrong. Under the cute outer surface, this morbid game has you throwing reptile shells and fireballs at your opponents just to win. And the blue shell? A homing explosive that will devastate you and your cart (and friendships. Look it up). Also promoting seatbelt less driving. And regular Mario, even worse. Squishing and stomping cute, mostly harmless, creatures to death. Or take the fun, loving RTS MMO Clash Royale. Seems harmless, but… no. See some Skeletons? Smite them with a fireball.
Witches leisurely strolling about the arena? Hello, Rocket!
Can you say overkill? Or how about everyone’s favorite pink puffball Kirby. Walking along and swallowing an innocent bystander whole, even ones that are sleeping, SLEEPING!
This just promotes murder. Whether dirty or not, battle is a very prominent aspect in video games. But what is this actually doing to kids? Here are the countries with the highest firearm death rate:
Firearm Deaths Per 100,000 people:
- United States – 10.2
- Japan – 0.07
- China (Hong Kong) – 0.19
- South Korea – 0.13
- United Kingdom – 0.25
Almost a fifth of the deaths from these respective countries have been inspired by a violent movie or video game.
Physiological effects on children
Recent research has shown that connections between children playing violent video games can cause later aggressive behavioral problems. In retrospect studies have also shown a twelve percent increase in aggressive behavior after watching violent television as well. Some parents and psychologists have said that there are children who benefit from the proficiency and coordination of playing video games while others disagree. Critics of video games claim that watching violent television is less detrimental due to the children not physically playing out the violence. Research has also shown heavy viewers, which is four or more hours a day, put in less effort at school, have poorer reading skills, play less friendly with friends, have fewer hobbies and activities, and are more likely to be overweight. The American Psychological Association says there are three major effects of watching violence in the media (i.e. video games/television) children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, children may be more fearful of the world around them, and children may be more likely to behave in aggressive or hurtful ways toward others.
Often, children who play violent video games deal with aggression and anger issues later on in life. These games seem to trigger something in these kids, especially those with antisocial protagonists like GTA (though that’s also bad, for totally different reasons). Many teenagers have lost their lives attempting to re-enact or recreate game hero’s actions and adventures.
The national institute of mental health said that violence affects kids in 3 ways. 1. Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, which makes them not care about other people. 2. Children may be more fearful of the world around them, which is bad because they might not want to explore new things and finally… 3. Children may be more likely to behave in an aggressive or harmful ways toward others which is bad for the obvious reasons. There was also a test done to see whether violent media is more effective on adults or children under 18. The results shown that the short term effects are stronger on adults but the long term effect are stronger with children.
All in all, video games aren’t necessarily bad. Heck, I’m a big gamer myself, and Alex and Michael are too. But you have to make sure that you are able to differentiate video games from reality. Bloody war games are fun and entertaining, but it’s very easy to be hooked.
Thanks for reading!