“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.’”
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.