Video Gaming Your Life Away

video gaming

Sophia L

“It’s a game where you go around shooting people, and little kids swear at each other,” a Westmount student nonchalantly responds to inquiries about the world-renowned game, Call of Duty.
Video games are like drugs: they pull you into a world of fantasy and you can’t resist the indomitable temptation. Today, a majority of youth all around the world is addicted to these enticing video games, provoking violence and brutality. Is this the vision for the future generation?

According to Statistics Canada, there are nearly 2.2 million teens aged 15 to 19 in Canada. Ninety percent of Canadian teens play video games. In today’s teens, their tightly packed 24-hour schedule holds three top titles. Sleeping, obviously, places a smashing first, while school hours lag just one to two hours behind. Which activity owns bronze though, may greatly surprise you. Children and youth in Canada spend an average of 7 hours and 48 minutes of screen time a day. Video games occupy 1 hour and 51 minutes of the total screen time.

In almost every problem, a third-party is involved. In this case, who is the one robbing our youth of their hours?  The first obvious party would be the youth themselves From the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, it was discovered that 50 percent of boys and 14 percent of girls favoured games with an “M” or “AO” (adult) rating, and kids as young as 10 are playing these violent video games. They play these games, but who provides them? Parents are in charge of these teens. Parents say they love their kids… but could they be the thieves? The funny thing is, parents who obviously see the video games are classified as (M) Mature or (AO) Adults Only, are usually the ones buying the video game consoles for their children. (Only to take it away later, complaining that their child is forever bound to a fantasy world.) True, some parents may buy the video games, but who provides them?

The Video gaming companies produce and sell these games on the market. In 2008, the Canadian video gaming market raked in $2.1 billion. Video gaming markets makes money (while promoting violence and barbarity in youth) while kids are committing suicide due to video game addictions, heart failure from exhaustion, becoming obese… I’m not making this up.

In fact, here is a depressing and heart breaking story:
“Xiao Yi was 13 when he jumped from the top of a 24-story building.  The note he left behind for his parents was written from the point of view of a video game character.  Further, the note detailed his wish to meet three of his gaming friends in the afterlife. His parents asked him, at one point, about his addiction.  He replied that he ‘had been poisoned by games and could no longer control himself.’”

video-game-interventionsm-comic

There are many other tragic stories like the first and we need to stop them. Video gaming companies need to recognize their promotions of a hopeless future generation.
Teens: make the right choices.
Parents: help your children make the right choices.
Video gaming companies: look out for the youth… the future isn’t about MONEY.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Video Gaming Your Life Away

  1. I agree with you to an extent. The majority of mainstream games that teens are going to be attracted to are mostly violent. But as video gaming has evolved, the genres have expanded. This argument may have been applicable back in the 90s and 2000s, however almost half the video games out there now are actually not violent. Research “indie gaming”. Many developers are trying to challenge our expectations of what a video game is, and at this point it is an art form. Indie games tend to present thought-provoking stories, and are now borrowing storytelling techniques from literature, painting and film (film at one point was not considered an artform, neither was photography). These games need more exposure so people can see that gaming is not just blood and guts, just as the film industry is not composed of only violent films.

    Yes, though, the main problem lies with the careless parents who don’t seem to give a crap what their kids play as long as it acts as a sort of virtual babsitter.

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    • Thanks for your insight on this and, same goes for me, I completely agree with you to a certain extent. I do understand that some video games are in fact a form of art, just depending on the ones you choose to play. I do believe I focussed more on the violent games, but I’m not trying to demote them. If a child has self- control and such, then they don’t need to worry. It’s just for those people who can’t stop gaming and it becomes an addiction.
      And for parents, it depends on which situation in which they stand in the wrong… Careless parents, however, is one component.

      – Sophia

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      • Apologzie for late response. Yes, unfortunately, what’s popular is violence and sex. Just as with film and literature. Another problem with gaming is the introduction of “addicting” features, almost comparable to the way Big Tobacco adds certain chemicals to the product… in gaming there is “Leveling Up”, “Acquiring Trophies”, and games that never end…

        But, yes, spot on with careless parents. I am always in disgust when I walk into a Gamestop and the cashier tells the parent “This is a Mature rated game, are you sure you want to buy it for a minor?” (they have to say this), and the parent without a second thought says yes.

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