How Dare Parents Assume Kids are Not Affected by Video Games
If you are a parent you might think your children are not affected by video games. However this would be a dangerous and ignorant assumption.
How dare we think kids are any less intelligent than ourselves.
Did you cry when Bambi’s mother died? What about Old Yeller? Maybe you cried during the ABC television series LOST, or were angered by its ending. The point is you experienced thoughts and emotions based on what you saw or read, and none of these things were “Real”. So why would you think that kids don’t also experience the same thing and instead offer the excuse that kids know video games are not real?
Innocence is shattered at some point in everyones life. It is a funny thing though… when a kids goldfish dies their parent might even try to hide the dead fish and replace it, but freely allow their child to “kill” on a video game.
For the most part we do not “kill” each other in video games, but rather the targets are computer characters. Yet there are many games when the opponent is played by a real person, a family member, friend, or even a person on-line some place else.
Kids are desensitized to violence and death through video games. We would be foolish to think other wise. It is not like you witness one death of a computer character and instantly turn into a murderer, this would be far fetched, but on some level desensitization occurs. A vulnerable child, one with mental issues, or a fractured self esteem, is the one for whom playing these games can be a concern.
Indeed they learn that power is gained in a certain way. They learn subconsciously that in the game,when they behave a certain way, they “win”. For a few kids (and even adults) this could grow into a problem.
Perhaps it is a natural thing. Years ago story telling, and reenactment, was the most basic form of entertainment. Stories of “the hunt” were offered up as evening entertainment around the campfire but were also very important offerings, they taught survival skills and lessons. As such it may be human nature to be “changed” by listening to stories, or watching things.
Certainly the more real the game the more real the feelings. Pac Man probably isn’t going to stir the same feelings as Halo 3.
I cannot say for sure if my love and compassion for animals started when I read “Bambi” or not, but it certainly know that I was affected by it. I know it made me cry. I know I cried during LOST, and I won’t even watch Old Yeller because I know that will make me cry too.
So if you are one of these types who assumes your kids are not affected by video games, think again. I am not suggesting the games are bad, or evil, they are what they are. As a parent it is your job to watch your kids closely and be sure they are developing with all their needs met, not just their need to kill things in video games.