Kane Roderique-Walker - An On Going Argument The government, media and the ignorant world in general always seem to ignore the fact that the rating system and age restrictions have been much more successfully implemented for the games industry than in the Film and Music industries. It has been proven to be a hell of a lot easier to buy a CD or film underage than it is for a game, so why all the focus on games when in fact children are exposed on a much larger scale to violent and disturbing music and cinema.
Plus a link between violent video games and increased aggression or violent behaviour has never even been proven. For every study that comes to the conclusion that games are corrupting today's youth, there are three more that say they are doing no such thing. If anything games HAVE been proven to be a useful stimulant in regards to forms of education and in the mental development of younger children. It improves hand eye coordination and dexterity, encourages quicker thinking and rewards rational thought in those who play them, there are simply more benefits than disadvantages. Doctors even use video game technology to train and practice performing surgeory, there is statistical evidence to support that shows this improves their performance. Some people just do not seem to be able to grasp the concept of progress, or the difference between subjective speculation, and a well formed evidence supported argument.
If a young boy takes a gun and shoots 8 of his classmates, it is because there is something inherently wrong with that child, not because he plays too much GTA. People are so quick to assume that games are to blame, there was a case in which a man murdered a child, this child, the VICTIM had been playing Manhunt. Somewhere along the line someone decided to tell the media that the murderer in fact, had killed his victim after a marathon session of Manhunt, when in fact there was nothing to hinted at the killer ever having played the game. When FOX News jumped on the supposed scandal of what they called Mass Effects explicit, sick, alien lesbian pornography, which they referred to as interactive, the woman attacking the game had never even played it. Nor had she played the section in question, seen someone playing it, been shown footage of the game being played, or done any noteworthy research whatsoever. In fact the sex the accused the game of graphically depicting, is never even seen, it is simply implied, the game fades to black before the two characters even touch.
It is clearly a generational thing too, those who are older tend to be unfamiliar with games, and are understandably cautious of them; and so they should be, as there are some things that aren't suitable for younger human beings. However, they fail to see how they are doing exactly what the generation before them did when they blamed rock music for pretty much exactly the same things they blame games for today. People actually picketed Marilyn Manson's house after the columbine shootings. How can one musician honestly be held accountable for the massacre of dozens of school kids, by two severely disturbed young men? But don't try an tell that to Jack Thompson and the like, it's different this time, games really are affecting kids, because there interactive. If that's the case then why aren't we all running around shooting each other? If you think it might harm your kid, don't let them play those games. Stop shifting your parental responsibility onto the games industry, games are arguably an art form. You would not ask a painter or director to stop making art that may offend you or fuck up your offspring, so why games?
People still associate games with children, they see them as toys to be played with and not as a medium for expressing ideas and emotions. This undermines the industry and allows others to take pot shots without fear of repercussions. But it ignores and dismisses the amount of blood, swear and tears that go into creating unique experiences that in some cases surpass what a film can offer. It also fails to take into account the fact that most people who play games are adults, the violent ones are not made for kids. That's why the box says 18 on it. If a child is not 18 at the end of the day it is you who decides what he can and cannot play, so do exactly that, don't, as most people seem to think is a good idea, complain and expect the government to do something about it.
I do not blame parents for being concerned for their child's health, I'm sure I would do the same were I of that age group. It is media and the blatant fear mongering that occurs within it, their are some people out there who should just know better than to go around making claims with nothing to back them up. There is little evidence to support the ignorant, small minded claims and accusations of those clutching at straws on their pathetic moral crusades. But hey what do I know, maybe when I'm older I'll do the same. In fact, when virtual reality becomes a reality, look for me in the angry mob.