Experts have recently come out in criticism against violent video games which they feel are desensitizing young people to violence, alcohol and generally unacceptable and aggressive behaviour. A psychologist has recently identified the playing of these violent games combined with alcohol consumption as a deadly combination that the adolescent brain cannot logically process. The psychologist has pointed out that youth begin to feel that they are actually in the game itself and begin to behave as they would in the game.
Even Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has linked violent video games to a surge of crimes committed by teenagers, crimes such as killing, stealing and fighting.
An ex-SAS Commander even likened the games youth are now playing to military grade simulators which is supported by the posting of such a confession by a mass murderer who admitted that he felt as if the game was his training. These games are basically making youth more comfortable killing, stabbing, stealing etc. That combined with alcohol is a deadly combination as most youth are not able to make rational choices. Their brains are still developing, they are developing mentally and emotionally and these games are affecting that development negatively according to these experts.
This is what a post on News.com.au had to say:
VIOLENT video games were “rewiring” adolescent brains so that when a real confrontation was combined with alcohol it created a “toxic formula”, a leading child psychologist said.
Dr John Irvine said “hundreds of hours” playing violent, realistic games was not only desensitising young minds but programming them to respond aggressively.
“It’s impacting on the thinking of young kids and they really feel like they’re in the game,” Dr Irvine said.
“So really it’s rewiring kids’ brains so when they get to a real situation where there’s a confrontation I think their brains are flicking into the games they spent hundreds of hours playing.”Dr Irvine said children exposed to violence at home were the most likely to respond aggressively but video games – when combined with “alcohol and a bit of bravado” – were responsible for an increase in referrals for aggressive behaviour to his READ Clinic at Gosford.”I’ve been in the game probably longer than most child psychologists and I have seen the change,” he said.
“It’s a real toxic formula, even for the kids that are pretty well balanced. What all the violence does is it gives them a tolerance of violence, it doesn’t repulse them.”
His comments follow those of Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione who yesterday linked video games that rewarded teenagers for killing, theft and crashing cars to soaring knife crime.
Former SAS commander and now managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, said modern games had essentially become military-grade simulators.
Mr Wallace pointed to a blog posting written by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik: “I see Modern Warfare 2 more as part of my training simulation.”
Mr Wallace said military simulators were not only designed to increase weapon skills but to break down the natural aversion to killing.
“These aren’t games, these are simulators,” he said.
Naturally the creators of these games are not accepting any responsibility, citing the lack of conclusive evidence.
However like Premier O’Farrell I believe parents have a big role to play in monitoring what their children a doing and what games they are buying them. Younger children shouldn’t be exposed to the games their older siblings are playing and parents have the authority here to make sure their children are protected. This is what the post goes on to state:
But Interactive Games and Entertainment Association boss Ron Curry said linking virtual violence to reality was “overly simplistic” and there was “no conclusive evidence” to suggest games were responsible.
“Sometimes it’s easy to jump on the latest panic,” he said.
Mr Curry said most gamers were adults, with an average age of 32: “The vast majority of young adult gamers who go out on a Saturday night (don’t get into trouble).”
Meanwhile, Premier Barry O’Farrell said he ensured his sons played appropriate video games and recommended other parents do the same: “We were appalled to listen to some of the soundtracks. Language that was not allowed in the O’Farrell household was being used.”
His sons are five years apart and he expressed concern younger children may be exposed to inappropriate language through video games viewed by their older siblings: “Parents have a responsibility here.”
Posted by Peter Cutforth