August 19, 2005

Videogames Don't Kill People: Parents Do

The world's problems with videogame violence would be solved a lot quicker if parents actually payed attention to what their kids were doing and also did some research.

To begin: video games are not responsible for teenage violence. Not now, not ever. Even more so, it has been through the ignorance of actual video gamers that has led to this. Most parent's conceptions of gaming are so old that it drives them into bad stereotypes, allowing 12 year old kids to buy games geared and marketed towards adults.

Let's start with something: even with video games and the supposed tools of killing from the US military, juvenile crime has been on the decline, at one of its lowest levels in 30 years, as of right now. What does this say? Well, for starters, video games surfaced in the 1960's, about 40 years ago. If the crime rates have been dropping for 30 years, then it's obvious that video games aren't causing more crimes. This is just fear mongering on the part of senators clamoring for time and those who say "think of the children" when they're merely looking out for themselves.

Moving on, we encounter the main problem with video games today: not enough parents know what they're doing. They buy into a bad stereotype, the one of a video game industry still geared towards the little kids, boys specifically, in which nothing bad is supposed to ever happen. This might have been true...20 years ago, but today, that is the saddest and most incorrect stereotype ever created by man, dare I say it even more incorrect than the male female stereotypes.

Fact: A very large part of the video game market today is those people 18 or older. Get over it. There are a lot of video game players who are legally adults, and game developers will target them, no matter what you do. The only effective tactic you have is to not let your own children play the games you dislike. Nothing more.

Fact: The video game industry has a very strong governing board for ratings in content, the ESRB. This group, in fact, was stronger than the MPAA ratings, introducing brief textual descriptions of content found within video games. Movies took that from video games, not the other way around. The ESRB ratings are also similar to those of the MPAA, look here for yourself.

Fact: The studies done to prove video games cause violence are inconclusive at best. All they say in the end, because they don't actually have games in their context, and because the studies themselves reached inconclusive results lead to this: agressive people like agressive games. It doesn't show that the games create the agressive people, it just shows that those people like the games. They were agressive before they played the games, nothing more. Don't claim these studies as proof, because the end result is that they're not.

Fact: Video games are extremely social nowadays. Almost every game in existence comes with multiplayer options, most of which on the PC include online multiplayer options. People meet friends, enemies, and even lifelong partners through these games nowadays. Face it, adults. More people play video games today than ever before, and they're meeting up. Video games are now social tools, used to meet others. They are no longer just the 1 kid sitting alone by himself playing. It's that one kid, who goes to school the next day and talks about his adventures, the one kid, who forms clubs and websites. Video games are no longer single player activities.

Fact: Girls play video games, a lot of girls, in fact. See above mention of people meeting up as life partners through games. Add to that casual games like The Sims and you have a formula where girls are bound to be found. Even more so, games almost always have a strong feminine role, which is more than you can say for movies and television.

Fact: Parents need to take more responsibility. The standards are there. The rating are there. The facts are there, all it'd take is for some parents to take greater responsibility, and video games would not be any problem. They've become an accepted part of today's society, so it's time for parents to step up and take up the mantle that belongs to them. It's not the video game company or the government's job to regulate this new form of art/entertainment, it's yours. If you don't think it's appropriate, then don't let your children get it in the first place. It'd save us a lot of trouble.

2 comments:

  1. I agree lots of studies have proven there is no connection.

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  2. I made some posts on your previous article about illegal immigration. I wouldn't mind arguing this out with you.

    ReplyDelete