ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Video Games and Life

Updated on July 15, 2016

Video Games and Life’

By Tony DeLorger © 2010

‘When I were a lad’ I had a machine-gun made from an old tennis racket, a plastic helmet and a tattered flack shirt with epaulets. I spent most of my time in a vacant back block, doing all my maiming and killing. Back then one had to have an imagination; it wasn’t supplied as it is these days. Nothing came with batteries because we didn’t need any. Give me an old cardboard carton and I could amuse myself for hours, to my mother’s delight.

A generation later and my sons have a stocked arsenal of state of the art weaponry that could bring down a few city blocks; all available with the press of a button. Video games are more than just games to the millions of ardent gamers who spend half their life in front of a TV screen. Gaming is not only a multibillion dollar industry but a global phenomenon, having hypnotised a new generation of kids, bereft of physical exercise and intent on mastering each new example of techno-wizardry. With high definition graphics, amazing realism and compelling story-lines, these new generation games offer adventure, new skills sets and challenges that no other form of interaction can offer. In short, games are addictive, to kids right up to adults. It’s like watching tele, reading a great adventure book, rumbling with your mates and learning to use a computer all in one slick package. How could kids not love it?

The question remains, is this sedentary activity, with all its seductive powers, harming the development of our children and having any negative impact on our future society? I have no interest in gaming personally, but I do have two kids at home with flat screen TVs and gaming consoles, continually hanging for the next game release. For parents this can be of some concern. Not just the cost, each game around $120 a pop, but more importantly does this time invested in video games lesson actual engagement in life? Does the fantasy become so real that a child can lose perspective on the real world?

There has been a multitude of research done on this possibility and with some mixed results. There have been children so transfixed by certain games that they don’t eat or sleep and in the end become psychotic and physically ill. On the other hand, most kids see the exercise as purely entertainment and are not affected at all. Also censorship has become an issue, with many violent games deemed too much and unsuitable for younger children. Further, some traditionalists see these games unsuitable for anyone in the Australian marketplace. This exception seems to me hypocritical as we are bombarded with ‘R’ rated material all the time on TV; at least the games are virtual cartoons and not real, like our daily news. Surely it is up to us parents to supervise games the same way we restrict adult TV shows and internet content.

So what of the psychological ramifications of violent games like ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Modern Warefare’? As has been claimed in the past, will our kids turn into psychopaths and possibly re-enact what they see on video games. It has happened, but the way I see it is that these cases are psychopaths to begin with, their eventual acting out a certainty, video games or not. So blaming the game is ill-informed. Again, it is our job as parents to oversee what is played. Even more importantly, we need to convey that games are fantasy, not real life and should be treated as they were intended- to be a fun leisure activity. Again, a balance should be struck with exercise and outside activities, time spent on playing games and making sure kids have normal sleep patterns.

We live in a different world these days, as least when compared with my childhood, and technology has in effect restructured society. But I can assure you neither of my boys wants to pick up a weapon and hurt someone. They take their frustrations out in cyberspace, creating havoc in a fantasy world, where anything goes and where acting out belongs.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I don't like violent games. I'll go for treasure hunting or answering questions. :D

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)