Violent video games: Warning, danger?

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Violent video games: Warning, danger?

Your child ABSOLUTELY wants you to buy him Grand Theft Auto.  It’s almost an obsession…  Should you give in and buy it for him?  What if video games make him violent?  What if he becomes a slave to his TV screen?  What if he becomes a monster?  Triple Boris says, “Hold your horses!”

Playing video games – violent or not – has numerous benefits.

According to experts on the subject, video games, particularly those of the first-person shooter variety, have cognitive benefits.

  • They sharpen your reflexes (faster reaction times)
  • They improve concentration, attention, and performance.
  • They increase the perception of contrast and peripheral vision.
  • They boost capacities relating to multitasking and the ability to resolve problems of varying complexity.
  • They allow us to face our fears and can serve as an outlet.
  • They develop hand-eye coordination.
  • They satisfy the desire for independence and autonomy via the numerous decisions made within a game.
  • They promote the feeling of competency.

The beneficial effects are even more pronounced in children, since their brains are still more flexible.  With age, it (unfortunately!) becomes more difficult to acquire new skills.

Video games don’t create monsters!

Every time there is a mass shooting, the media rushes to mention that the killer played violent video games…  It might be considered easy to establish a causal link between the two.  Here at Triple Boris, we don’t believe it!  That level of reasoning is just too simplistic.  Over one billion people on the planet play video games…  Just think about it for a few seconds…

“Contrary to the claims that violent video games are linked to aggressive assaults and homicides, no evidence was found to suggest that this medium was positively related to real-world violence in the United States.  Unexpectedly, many of the results were suggestive of a decrease in violent crime in response to violent video games.”[1]

Some people are effectively more aggressive after playing a game, and that is often explained by a feeling of frustration or incompetence.  Have you ever noticed a hockey player throw off the gloves after a poor game performance?  It’s exactly the same thing…

Be sure to exercise good judgement…

These days, young and old alike are exposed to violent acts, and not only in video games.  At Triple Boris, we believe that it’s every parent’s responsibility to accompany their children and make them aware of violence in our society.  In other words, open the doors of communication!

What’s more, we think that parents should follow the guidelines laid out by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which all large studios accept being subject to. (It’s not obligatory…)

You certainly already use the classification system laid out by the movie industry to make your decisions…  Would you let your 8 year old child watch a pornographic movie?  The question answers itself.  So use the same judgement with video games!

…and be vigilant!

Parents should also observe their children’s behaviours to ensure they are not developing a dependency to video games, violent or otherwise.

  • Is he a recluse?
  • Does he have friends?
  • Have his habits changed?
  • Have his vocabulary and mannerisms changed?
  • Does he eat?
  • Does he sleep?
  • Does he seem depressed, anxious, aggressive, or overly passive?
  • What are his main topics of conversation?

The answers to those questions could be some warning signs you should not ignore.

You can also ask yourself the same question for adults in your entourage, because not only children play video games… 😉

In conclusion, Triple Boris believes that playing in moderation can be a part of a balanced life and reminds you all that abuse of any one activity or thing can be dangerous.  So, remain vigilant!

[1] Research paper: “Violent Video Games and Real-World Violence: Rhetoric Versus Data”

Link : https://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottoat/wp-content/uploads/marky-etal-2014.pdf

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