Today I was listening to the podcast by “The More You Nerd”, entitled, Spahoyler edition: Game of Thrones Season 2.” I haven’t finished it yet, but as with all podcasts, the first half hour at least, wasn’t about the topic, but about: video games.
At some point within the last couple of years, you may have heard the hype surrounding “the evil of video games”. People have been linking the instances of general violence with time spent playing video games.
In the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the man who was responsible for the 2011 Norway attacks, the prosecution stated that Breivik was an avid player of the popular online game, World of Warcraft, and that this game was the reason behind why he killed all those innocent people. Two things that you need to keep in mind here: 1. Breivik (the man ON TRIAL) himself said that the video games were not what caused him to act the way he did, and 2. the prosecution themselves stated they did not know much about video games.
If you don’t know anything about them, and the guy says it isn’t what caused his depraved mind to flip out, then how can you say that statistics back it up? You can’t just pull statements out of your ass without backing it up.
It annoys me, to no end, when people say that no good can come from playing video games. They improve memory, hand/eye co-ordination, reflexes and your general decision-making capabilities. Have you ever tried to take a dragon down in Skyrim with a bow and arrow or fire and ice spells? If yes, then you know that you have to act fast and aim properly, or that dragon will take you down. The first time I took down my first dragon, I had to get my younger brother to come in and finish him off for me. Now it takes me less than two minutes to slay a dragon, just with spells.
Sure, I understand that games like GTA, CoD, Halo, and plenty more have tons of violence in them. And sure, it’s POSSIBLE that there may be some case where video games do cause violence in the real world. But that doesn’t make it into a correlation. I know a guy who once said that he couldn’t get lung cancer because he didn’t smoke and no one in his family had ever had it. It took all the patience I had, not to punch him (he’s a med student) because smoking is a RISK FACTOR of lung cancer, not the root cause. It adds to the chance that you may get it. You can have no family history and live an extremely healthy lifestyle and still get lung cancer. C’est la vie. C’est la very shitty and unfair vie, but c’est la vie, regardless.
But, I digress. My point is, there are many, many things in this modern world that add to the possibility that some day, somewhere, some individual’s mind will slip and cause them to become irrational and hurt themselves and/or others. Video games might contribute to it, perhaps. But there are so many more things. The violence shown in movies, on the news, books, newspapers, even in your homes and neighbourhoods – these all contribute towards the next school shooting, or the next school playground fight. YOU DON’T KNOW. You can’t even do much to stop it. All you can do, is raise your kids with love and affection, teach them what is right and wrong, and hopefully one day, they’ll make it on their own, and won’t be psychopaths.