Should video game content be regulated beyond ratings?
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Video games have now been around for several decades. Throughout that time, many questions have arisen regarding what some of the subject-matter and portrayed attitudes might be doing to certain people's thinking...especially young, vulnerable, and impressionable children.
In the early days, when technology offered only simple games like Pac-Man, Asteroids, Donkey-Kong, Tetris, and the like, few real concerns were raised, with possible exception that they might be somewhat "addictive" and might take people away from more important things, and some might even contribute to a few minor physical (or emotional?) idiosyncrasies. The fact that Pac-Man was "gobbling up dots" didn't seem too harmful, nor did Asteroid's "shoot-'em-up" scenario, nor Donkey-Kong's "get-the-girl-from-the-gorilla" challenge.
Of course, we know the games have changed to include just about anything imaginable today. Some of the modern games are pretty harmless as far as attitudes and violence go, but many are not, at least in my opinion. Some games glorify killing, some glorify crime, some glorify sex, some glorify bullying, harsh language (profanity), arrogance, blood and guts, and on it goes.
Video games can be significantly helpful in some educational scenarios, as long as they are not full of negativity or various forms of mistreatment and causing of harm to others in the game-play. Some video games can help with hand-eye coordination, organizational skills, typing skills, and more; and such benefits should certainly be recognized and promoted for what they can do. But, it still remains that other video games are NOT helpful...in fact, some are actually harmful...as scientific studies already show.
It is not favorable to resort to government regulations, but it might be the only way out of the current mire we find ourselves in with regard to some of the ugliness and outright criminal traits being glorified in some of today's video games. Couple that with high-definition, 3D graphics, over-the-top soundtracks, and all the other things that go into these games, and you have a recipe for some very powerful and not-always-very-good influences that will have an effect on anyone...not just our kids.
It's time to tell our government representatives they need to step in...very minimally, but firmly...to tell video game producers they cannot continue to promote things that are clearly in opposition to fostering peace and harmony and tolerance between people. Use the link below to make your contact.
- Contact your government representatives (U.S.)
You can use this link to contact your U.S. government representatives. Follow the instructions given at the site.
- Violence in the Media - Psychologists Help Protect Children from Harmful Effects
After seeing violence on television, children may be less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, more fearful of the world around them, and more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others.
- Some Video Games Can Make Children Kinder And More Likely To Help
Some video games can make children kinder and more likely to help -- not hurt -- other people.
- Teens, Video Games and Civics - Pew Research Center
The first nationally representative study of teen video game play and civic engagement looks at which teens are playing what games, the equipment they use, the social context of their play, and the role of parents and parental monitoring.