The dangers of video games for our children are not as simple an equation as linking first person shooter games to real mass shootings.
How do games today differ from those we played when we were kids? Even watching the progression, the dangers creep in unawares. Samuel Sattin has been playing since the days of Duck Hunt, but it takes playing Uncharted 2 with a child for him to understand the line between what adults and children understand of virtual violence. Chris Bernholdt, father of three, watched hand held devices evolve from a football game consisting of dots and lines, and shared by three brothers, to the device mesmerizing his toddler today.
Is video game violence simple? Zachary Engel describes games including Spec Ops and BioShock, that despite the simple nature of the”winstate,” does not reward violence, and may even cause complicated feelings—paranoia, regret—the player doesn’t expect. Zach Rosenberg holds parents responsible as gatekeepers for the violence in games, but another reason to review them is to know what challenges they pose. Like Rosenberg’s parents, Jeff Bogle reviews games with his kids by playing with them: when the Bogle family plays Skylander, they play it together.
How you deal with any challenge your children will face, you can follow your parenting philosophy in guiding your children and teaching them what is expected of them. Dr. Saliha Bava’s advice on handling video game violence with your children will serve you well when having other kinds of talks.
It may be that the violence in our society is too great to normalize, even while video games do exactly this. M. Theron Bostic is heartbroken by what he perceives as a granting of childhood hours and innocence to a pastime that does not deserve them. Thaddeus Howze sees the violence as not only too much and not merely as too pervasive, but as characteristic of our society; that our focus as parents and mentors should not be on the games we play, but on the reality they reflect.
The Video Game Violence Series on The Good Life
Lifetime gamer Zach Rosenberg finds that the responsibility for video game violence, like so many other things, falls at the doorstep of parents.
Zachary Engel describes a new generation of first-person shooter games that cause players to reconsider violence and control.
Samuel Sattin introduces a new generation to the latest in violent video games, and realizes that much has changed since the days of Zelda and Duck Hunt.
Stay at home dad Chris Bernholdt carefully screens games before playing them with his kids. What could go wrong?
NYC Therapist Dr. Saliha Bava’s tools for talking with kids about violent media (and a whole lot more).
Jeff Bogle finds that even in a game as innocuous as Skylanders, sharing the gore has a way of minimizing its impact.
Thaddeus Howze insists that we are a nation in crisis—a moral crisis, a social crisis but most importantly a mental health crisis that we are completely in denial about. We are violent because we are trained to be.
The sound of children playing—an online first person shooter game—devastates active duty Army tanker and father M. Theron Bostic.
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