Are Video Games Bad for Your Health?

BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE AT STAKE SINCE MORE PEOPLE NOW BUY  GAMES THAN GO TO THE MOVIES OR BUY DVDs.  SOME BELIEVE THERE IS A LOT MORE AT STAKE THAN THAT.

Matt Hanes, Engineering teacher at Northside High School, Columbus, GA

Matt Hanes, teacher of engineering at Northside High School,  explained to members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbus the big battle between those who say the games cause kids to be desensitized to violence and to become more violent themselves and those who don’t agree.  That one still hasn’t been resolved. But, one thing he made clear was that parents should never just go out and buy a game a kid asks for. He or she should always check first to make sure they are age appropriate.

All this made me reflect when I played “war” or “cowboys and indians” when I was a kid.  There were no computers.  High tech then was a teletype machine. Yes we “killed” the enemy with our toy guns.  Did that make us more violent?  I don’t think so. We knew that it was playing.  We knew the difference between fantasy and reality.  Also, I think it was better than video games because we were actually playing with other real kids.  We were socializing and doing it outdoors.  Today, too many kids aren’t getting outdoors and playing with other kids enough; they are sitting at computers and game consoles instead.  

Bottom line: parents should control what video games kids play and the amount of time they play them.  Of course, many of today’s parents are addicted to the games themselves.  Who’s going to discipline them?

Now I can get back to my favorite video game: Freecell.

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One Response to “Are Video Games Bad for Your Health?”

  1. Ray Johnson Says:

    Video games are just a part of the huge cultural problem of fascination with, adoration of, violence.

    Television commercials, boxing, kick boxing, entertainment wrestling, as well as violent movies, all contribute to a culture with an appetite for violence.

    I wonder if this isn’t a resurrection of the basic theme of the Coliseum in pre-Marcus Aurelius Rome, where people collectively laughed to keep from crying as they witnessed the horror of other human beings having their throats cut.

    From cartoons of human-representing creatures being smashed and then resurrected, to television ads exploiting and marketing the malicious enjoyment of others’ misfortunes, possibly playing a big part in unwittingly producing an epidemic of the numbing variety of post traumatic stress disorder. A pathological sense of power and control is the motivation at all levels from the source to the destination.

    Video games, especially those recruiting participating of participants in violent games dispose to hardening of the heart and failure of empathy. They dispose to volunteering to participate in government sponsored violence in the form of warfare.

    Violence in all these forms is actively and passively enjoyed, from early childhood on. I have personally seen preverbal children in diapers holding a bottle while incorporating these cultural themes. This is when many basic assumptions are incorporated.

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