Though often portrayed as harmless, gleeful, and merry, modern video games are sub consciously shaping American children into sociopathic killers. Video games are vastly more dangerous, psychologically, than television and radio, per se. And if not carefully observed and thoroughly explained, the virtual world video games attempt to simulate will indeed become “realities.” Now, Radio, on a phenomenological level, is one-fold.
By this, I mean, in its application it, exclusively, revolves around the dispersing of language. This, no doubt, in no way subtracts from its potency as a psychological vehicle, in marketing, and in other persuasive agendas. Television, on the other hand, adds another variable to the formula.
Television, on a phenomenological level, is two-fold inasmuch as in its application, it revolves around the dispersing of language, and imagery. This, indeed, adds to the persuasivity of the device. One last conduit of media that I failed to mention above, but still is indespinsible to the discussion is the computer.
Computers, of course, add yet another variable to the formula. Computers, on a phenomenological level, are three-fold in that they involve language (spoken or written), imagery, and, what I shall refer to as, “user-ship.”
Usership is an important idea for the discussion before us. This usership brings the “mental” into a kind of “network.” Usership is a tool that, during this technological epoch, can be engendered in myriad different facets. A traditional computer uses usership with its mouse and its graphic interface. This allows the mind to not only listen and observe, but to “participate.”
Video games, which are extensions of computers, take this “participation” and intensifies it. It, I must say, is quite the “experience.” Hold on. Then again, it’s not quite the experience: verily, it’s not an experience at all. And unfortunately, for many of our glorious, courageous, and patriotic American children, from all backgrounds, and of all shades, its extremely difficult for them to distinguish between real experiences and imitative experience.
A truly devout, strick, loving, and caring parent will no doubt chastise me for my claim. They will say that through their good parenting and guidance their child will not be led astray. And they most certainly will be correct, for our wise ancestor King Solomon tells us to “train up a child the way he should go, and when he is older, he shall not depart from it.”
It is not that I am challenging one’s judgement as a parent in allowing their children to play any video game they fancy. Nor am I being a hypocrite. For I, with my eternally youthful spirit, on many an occasion, have fancied the adrenaline rush of virtual simulation. It’s for this very reason that I am concerned.
I have witnessed a generation grow up playing Grand Theft Auto, and, when they are well into their teens, they’re getting arrested for carjacking. And most of their first time stealing a car or carjacking some helpless person was on a video game.
Of course, probably they were introduced to the idea of these crimes by the T.V, or by some song on the radio. I would say by their environment, as well, but their environment is only a reflection of what’s going on inside its homes. Thus, if kids are playing games that encourage crimes (and violent ones at that); if they are seeing films and hearing songs that encourage the same thing; then, what do we expect their environments to look like?
The current game that has captured the minds of American Youth is a game called “Fortnite.” In summary, its a violent, wasteland, every man for himself, type of game that connects a network of users to one battlefield, to build forts, to hideout, to even practice guerilla warefare, as if in a true anarchical wasteland.
We have yet to see what type of zeitgeist it will produce in a future generation. But if it’s anything like the Grand Theft Auto generation, then I think we have a lot to worry about. Aristotle, in his infinite wisdom, once said, somewhere along the lines, that the future of a society depends on the education and wisdom of its children. Is it wise to allow our “future” to virtually go to war? It could be. But I seriously doubt it.
But there is one thing we all know for sure: there is nothing like the real thing.