Violent games: more damage than benefit?

A few days ago when my 9 year old brother found out that the newest version of GTA was release he begged my dad and did everything he could to get dad to buy it for him. Naturally, my dad agreed. That afternoon, having nothing else to do, I turned to watching him play GTA IV on his beloved ps3. Being an occasional video game player, I did have a gist of what GTA was about; shooting, stealing, violence etc, but I wasn’t prepared for what was happening in the game when I watched him play.Image

At first I thought it would be like CoD, where you had an army and you kill people that are assigned to you as enemies, on GTA though, killing of harmless pedestrians and stealing their car was considered applaudable. I watched as my brother furiously tapped the buttons on the remote yelling and screaming at virtually no one, and I realized that this was all going to have a very negative effect on his 9 year old brain. The more I watched the more concerned I got as the game contained foul language and people were sent on ‘Missions’ to stripper clubs to kill the women and/or their bosses. I’m sure my brother doesn’t even know what a stripper is, but knowing today’s generation, it wouldn’t take him long enough to figure it out.

Watching him play, I realized that this isn’t what parents should be letting their children play. There’s a reason why there is an age restriction label on these games, and most of them are rated M or 18+. A child’s brain is still in the developing process in this tender age and exposing him to this kind of violence is going to effect his personality.

Though many may argue that not all people who play such violent games would turn to violence in real life; and I agree with them (my brother wouldn’t hurt an ant), but you never know which one of those children might grow up to be a serial killer or robber or whatever their childhood games have encouraged them to be. Why take the chance?

There are many articles on the internet everyday debating over how damaging or beneficial violent games are, and post probably there won’t be a law banning video games anytime in the future, but what we all can play our part, at least in our homes, to limit our kids exposure to these games. Just like we demonize certain pop-stars because we know the effect that they can have on our kids, we should also pay attention to the kind of games they are playing since they can have the same or even stronger effect on them. Instead of letting them grow up as virtual killers or robbers, let them play more mind, problem solving games, there are many options to choose from if one really tries to.Image

Here are some of the articles that point out the negative effects of video games:

http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Children_and_Video_Games_Playing_with_Violence_91.aspx

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2214346/Violent-video-games-make-teens-aggressive-girls-affected-boys.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-st-john/8-ways-violent-games_b_3875846.html

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7 thoughts on “Violent games: more damage than benefit?

  1. Reblogged this on Jake Kuyser and commented:
    I agree with you. This game is bad for your 9 year old brother. What was your dad thinking? Or not thinking? His begging for the game might be horrible but having this game won’t make him a nicer person. I’m 40 and I don’t like the way this type of game makes me feel and act let alone an impressionable child. They are not just games any more they can be just as realistic and more affecting than films/movies and TV.

  2. As a gamer, I sincerely hope that the 9 year old was no longer allowed to play GTA. It’s endlessly frustrating to hear the screams of horror that people will proclaim. “I let my innocent child play GTA all day and now he’s a monster!” Take the damn game away… Parents don’t need bans to prevent their children from playing certain types of games.

    • Haha :p exactly the reason why I don’t want him playing. Ya my parents decided to not let him, after watching a few YouTube videos on the types of ‘missions’ involved. So he’s safe. For now.

  3. The new one that came out is GTA V. Did your dad cheap out and buy your brother the old one or was it a mistake on your part? lol.

    Now I’m not calling your brother a violent monster, but violent people will find a to be violent whether it’s in a video game or not. Would you rather a child experiment with violence in a video game where no life is physically harmed or would you rather he go out and harm some innocent animals? Most boys have an innate urge to do some damage. Most of them form their moral compass while performing tiny acts of violence. Children who end up being violent will find a way to be violent.

    I’ll stop rambling now cause what do I know? I can’t even get motivated enough to live.

    • Ya I know GTA V is out, and dad bought it for him as well, but my mom isn’t going ot let him play.
      Ya, I agree with you about the violence part and that boys need to be given a safe outlet to experiment, and I don’t have a problem with games like CoD or Medal of Honor, but I do have a problem with GTA because it isn’t only violent, its also morally corrupt. I love playing games like Tekken and Soul Calibur, so I know it feels really good to defeat someone, but GTA isn’t right according to me.

      Nah, I like your ramblings, they’re honest; something you don’t find a lot these days.
      Ah, please stay motivated to live, the world needs more people like you!

      • oops, I forgot to include “lol” at the end of the last comment. Without it, it’s a little too dark, lol, sorry.

        The main difference with GTA compared to other games is that there’s a(n im)moral element in it. (oo, I just invented a new way to use parentheses, lol) For the most part, the game actually doesn’t condone sociopathic behavior. It’s not any more immoral than most tv shows but it’s definitely a game that requires supervision for younger children. It would be like locking a kid in an empty room with a puppy and a loaded gun for hours on end. Just because there’s nothing else to do, the kid might shoot the gun. Anything could happen in that scenario. The kid might come out okay and not fire the gun, but why take the risk? Why would you put the kid in that scenario unsupervised? Why would a parent leave a child to play GTA on his own without supervision? It’s usually sheer ignorance. Guns around children isn’t necessary bad, especially in a dangerous place, but the lack of supervision and education is the stupid part.

        It’s not completely the parents’ fault for not knowing any better either. It is a tricky situation. It’s like, why would you expect a puppy to fetch a gun to a child? You don’t expect it so you don’t prepare for it but it COULD happen. Okay, enough about puppies and guns, lol.

      • Exactly. Why take the chance? Even if its just like 1%? The same with TV shows, there’s a reason the ‘M’ and ’18+’ ratings are given.
        Ya, please, I don’t wanna see any puppies dying 😛

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