Video Games And Prejudiced Stereotypes

By: Victor Epand

I enjoy playing computer games and video games, although I am not a teenager, and even further from being a child - yet according to many people, I am highly likely to be a violent, irresponsible, society hating thug with no concern for the welfare of other people or the environment, and with a high chance of ending up either dead or in jail. Surprisingly, I am none of the above, and am actually a perfectly sane, perfectly sociable, intelligent professional who does a great deal for charity and has a family and two dogs. Statistics - they're always guaranteed to be wrong 67% of the time. Like that one.

The thing is, it is very easy for people to jump on to a popular bandwagon and assume that anyone who has a fascination with, or simple enjoyment of, computer games or video games which involve one character or characters killing or conquering another, must have an unhealthy tendency towards violence and that this will become so engrained within their psyche that, sooner or later, they're going to lurch down the street armed with a machete, an evil grin and a blood stained hooded anorak.

In fact, not only is violent crime decreasing quite considerably and quite quickly, but at the same time, the number of video games available, and the number being bought and presumably played, is increasing. How does that work out then? If the use of the games is on the increase, it would follow, according to popular assumption and argument, that violent crime should also increase.

The problem is, that time and again it has been shown that playing video games or computer games does no more harm to you than watching television or reading books. The real issues and problems with any social makeup or lack of morals lie with the upbringing of a child, with the family and its own morals and consistencies. Computer games cannot be blamed for society's general lack of understanding of how to tackle the issue of crime.

Granted, there are some very violent games on the market today, and personally, I tend not to favor them as much, and in most cases these games have age restrictions on them. Although this is supposed to prevent children from seeing or playing these games, there is no such check carried out if bought online, second hand, passed down from an older sibling or friend, and even many parents don't check the labels in the first place.

As with anything in life, computer and video games have to be used in moderation, and anyone who becomes unhealthily absorbed or obsessed with a game is doing no good to themselves in any case - such an addiction needs to be identified and dealt with early. But just because some children enjoy spending an hour or so each day pretending to be an orc, or a secret agent, or a military leader, there is no reason to assume that they will eventually walk down the high street, completely brainwashed into believing that they really are orcs and that they need to purge the high street of humans. At least, if they do have those thoughts, the cause of the problem lies a lot deeper than in a video game.

Gaming
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