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Media violence, is it ruining our youth?

Posted 01-20-2006 at 11:34 PM by cs-cam

This seems to be a too often debated topic, perhaps the answer is simpler than people think? Violence in video games was recently raised here on the forums and followed up by a comment on the difference between what kids see in games and what they see on TV.

Violence in video games first made it's appearance in the old DOS shoot 'em ups like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom and games like Carmageddon. These games spawned an entire genre of games with the phrase "Doom-clone" being the predecessor of "first person shooter". Another condemned video game is Grand Theft Auto, this puts the player in the shoes of a criminal in a big city. They are encouraged to steal cars, sell them for a profit. They receive jobs from local crime bosses and are paid hansomly for their successful completion which can involve robbing a bank, murdering a "snitch" or stealing a sports car.

Games like this attract attention across the board, from kids wanting to play them to the media to various levels of governement. Doom was directly blamed for the Columbine High School Massacre when it was revealed that the two students involved were players of the game, they were also fans of Rammstein and into the local gothic scene, how tragic. Isn't jumping to conclusions fun?

Video games don't make decisions for people, they're a passtime. A comment was made in the forums that blaming video games is a way for parents to blame their childrens faults on something other than their upbringing. I don't know if I agree with this fully but to an extent I say it's possible. I think perhaps parents have far too much faith in their children. I don't have any kids myself but I currently work in a high management position and I worked my way there from the bottom so I've got some input on this. When I was a junior manager, I had 80 or so people under me to supervise. That's a tough job, particularly without a bunch of experience under your belt and I know how easy it is to talk your mind into thinking - "Nah, they're too smart to make that mistake, I'll leave them going by themselves, I've got plenty of other stuff to worry about". Given the time to stop and really think about it, I'd have realised that when I was new like them I made that same mistake a few times myself and chances are they'd do it too unless I was there to catch things as they happened. Naturally, I was off worrying about other things and had to come back, clean up their mess and explain to my boss where things fell apart.

While I know that for 99% of people out there, an underling at work would never get as much attention as that persons own child, however I see things like this happen with the people I know far too frequently. People spend too much time focusing on material objects while relationships suffer. All the people who spend their days criticising media violence should stop and think a bit before opening their mouths. Sure, something in the media may have pushed that person over the edge but something far more important to them than what they saw on TV or a computer screen had to put them on the edge to begin with. Find the cause of that and finding the solution just might not be as hard as you think.
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  1. Old Comment
    Well said.
    Posted 12-31-1969 at 07:00 PM by cs-cam cs-cam is offline


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