Want to know if video games cause kids to become violent? Ask those who’ve played and grown up.
It’s a daily feature on television right now, and the language is getting strong.
The “violent video game” debate goes back as far as 1976, where people were up in arms over Exidy’s Death Race and what it could do to the psyche of those who played it. Berzerk was targeted in 1981, said to make certain that young players would grow up to be violent people. Mortal Kombat is perhaps the most famous of the controversial games, setting forth a chat that resulted in Congressional hearings and the ESRB Ratings system.
And yet here we are again. It’s 2013 and every day since the horrible Sandy Hook events in December there has been someone in the mainstream media or behind a podium ripping into video games and using them as a scapegoat. From claims the Newtown, CT shooter gained a “false sense of courage” from Call of Duty to Ralph “Darth” Nader saying the video game industry is equal to “electronic child molesters” it seems there are no punches to be pulled by the pundits wanting to blame video games for the world’s ills.
So… where are the gamers in this chatter?
I simply don’t understand why people with no qualifications to speak on video games are the ones who get most of the airtime. I can’t go on television and give medical advice because I watched reruns of E/R or give legal counsel because I checked out Law & Order, yet this is what the “experts” on television do regarding video games every day right now.
This Saturday, the Carolina Games Summit is giving some balance to this as they allow myself and Rachel Lara to give the gamer’s point of view on this debate. It’s an exciting opportunity, but telling that the only way that the gamers can get equal time here is to create the platform themselves.
We are part of the generations of gamers who have grown up fine, despite claims this previous media would somehow corrupt us. There are tons of these people out there, including those who played the aforementioned Death Race and Berzerk.
What is it going to take for the media to realize these people are there to talk to? Want to know what becomes of those who grow up playing “violent” video games?