Desensitized America: Video Games
April 18, 2011Posted by on
When I was growing up, the original Nintendo game console was the big hype. Everyone wanted the console that came with Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, and Track Meet. The console came with a controller, a gun for duck hunt, and a running pad for the track meet game. It was awesome. I had friends over and it was the beginning of the video game industry that would explode in the coming years. As innocent as shooting fireballs at King Koopa or hunting for slow predictable mechanical ducks on screen was, I do remember the quick succession of games that came out that became more and more violent.
By the time I got to college, it was the XBOX and Halo became the huge hype while over the internet the game Counterfeit was so popular that entire shops were opened where you could pay money to sit at a computer and play Counterfeit. Both of these game were first person shooters which meant the screen was from a first person point of view with a gun in front of you. I had many late nights of playing Halo with my roommates, connecting two or three XBOX consoles to create teams. We would scream and yell and even get angry when things went wrong. I also had a roommate in college that was so into Counterfeit that he had a head set with a microphones screaming “Bridge! Blue 5! Counter! Counter! Counter!” late into the night.
Really the topic of violence and video games is not new. In fact it’s something that has been discussed for a while and like movie rating, video games have ratings that determine how violent or how appropriate the game is for certain age brackets. But I believe the level of violence in video games is again, the continuing of desensitizing the youth of America.
I believe there is a spiritual component to all we see and hear especially in the main stream media. The elite who have control over the content that we consume as a mass populous must have some sort of agenda. A good question we always must as ourselves is, “who benefits?” This question is not strictly in a financial sense, but also in a social, emotional, and even spiritual sense. It is my belief that it all has to do with the break down of any sort of moral or ethical belief systems, mainly Christianity.
Jesus once said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” -Matthew 5:43, 44. Love your enemies was and still is a revolutionary concept. Video games, especially the violent ones, do the exact opposite. The goal for many of these games is to identify the enemy and destroy them. I am not suggesting that everyone who plays violent video games are going to walk out and become violent people, but consider my personal experience.
There was a game called Grand Theft Auto that got really popular a few years back. It is an RPG (Role Playing Game) where you walk around a town, steal cars, rob banks, make deals with the mafia etc. There really is no point to the game, but the bottom line is that part of attraction of the game was the ability to hijack cars by literally kicking people out and taking over a vehicle and drive around crashing into people, buildings, trees, or whatever is in the way without any consequence. Now I am guilty of playing this game a few years back and after playing for several hours, I had an interesting experience. The next time I got in a car, my mind was in Grand Theft Auto mode and although I would never act out on it, I was ready to run over people walking on the street, crash into other cars, run red lights etc. Now again, I would never act out on it but the fact is, my mind was somehow in some sort of hypnotic state where all I could do while driving was imagine myself doing the things that I did in the game.
There are several other games currently that kids are into that promote violence. The most popular right now is perhaps Call of Duty. But at the end of the day, we just have to be careful and keep our children and ourselves aware that in this video game saturated society, what’s really important is not found on a PS3 or XBOX or Wii or iPhone or whatever. In the near future, I would like to talk about occult symbolism found in video games today. It’s a whole different topic but it does tie into the degrading of our society through the use of electronic entertainment.