Desensitized America: Video Games

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.

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8 responses to “Desensitized America: Video Games

  1. Paul Johnson April 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    “But I believe the level of violence in video games is again, the continuing of desensitizing the youth of America.”

    Every game mentioned here, with the exception of the NES games, were rated M. I constanly see studies about the effects of violent games and movies on young people, but ultimately the parents are to blame. If we allow this kind of content to be played and watched by our children, then we allow this content to influence them. Simply explaining to them that it’s just a game won’t be enough.

    When I was growing up, my parents had issues with me playing Mortal Kombat, and wouldn’t allow it in the house. Since the game was rated M, I couldn’t buy it myself and was at their mercy. As I grew older, I was able to purchase those games myself but I was also more mature and understood it was fiction. Could I still be influenced by them? Sure, but I had a better grasp at reality at this point.

    Even now, at the age of 30, I still get carded when buying certain games, so these kids are getting them from someone. I was playing Crysis 2 last night on Xbox Live, and all I heard were 10-12 year olds talking about killing each other. Personally I think I was pretty dumb at that age, and you could have told me anything and I probably would have believed it. So throw in some killing and I’m going to start thinking it’s a great way to spend a weekend.

    Bottom line, these companies are going to keep making games. I don’t know if they have an agenda of wiping out Christianity, but I do know they like the money involved. But it’s up to us to decide on whether or not it is ok for our children. If we don’t, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves for any negative reactions that will occur.

    • facelikethesun April 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      You make a great point. Of course parents are to blame to some degree. And yes all these games were rated M. But honestly, with what I see around me, that makes no difference. Parents are willingly buying these games for their kids because its “cool” or because their friend has it etc. You have to remember too, I am in Orange County where what’s popular or what’s trendy is more important than the content itself. Of course this is a generalization and not everyone is like this, but with my experience working with kids (I was a coach for a youth sports team) it was obvious that “rated M for mature” had no bearing on what the kids were playing. I am 28 years old, and I’ve noticed that it’s gotten very bad in the last five years. My main point that I wanted to make was that the games are out there and available for anyone to consume regardless of the rating. The responsibility falls on the parents, but at the same time, it’s getting to a point where parents are the ones playing the games and exposing the kids to the content as well. I am not saying they are trying to destroy Christianity per se. But the decline of ethics and morality in our culture, especially towards kids, to some degree is deliberate in my opinion.

      • D April 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm

        Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this, specifically regarding occult symbolism/concepts that are so prevalent in video games today.

        I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit lately. I just wrote a little blog post about this thing called “L.A.R.P.” (live-action role playing), after watching a documentary about it. There are tons of parallels between stuff like that, and D&D, and video games today. One thing that kept popping up in the documentary was how virtually everyone involved in playing L.A.R.P. was also heavily into playing computer games like World of Warcraft. As I watched the film, it became clearer and clearer that games like that are very specifically oriented towards teaching people the basic “concepts” of witchcraft, spell-casting, aquiring various “powers”, etc. But when you stop and think about it, you are forced to realize that the vast majority of video games carry some degree of these kinds of concepts. Even seemingly innocent sports games now usually involve “super moves” which enable your character to do “super human” things. All in all it seems to definitely be steering people toward hungering after super-human abilities, “psychic” powers, or whatever other kinds of “paranormal” experiences…

        Beyond this, I believe there is also the underlying element of conditioning video gamers to the basic concept of living in alternate “worlds”. No matter what kind of video game you are playing, whether violent or not, it involves stepping into a “virtual world”, but yet that whole terminology and concept is already considered to be so cliche that nobody seems to talk about it. Yet it is an undeniable fact.

        I believe there are connections between the rise in gaming which conditions people to learn to live in what equates to “different dimensions” simultaneously, and the coming “black awakening” that Russ Dizdar is always talking about….

        Anyhow, glad I found your blog. Also glad to find another individual who is asking these questions and examining these issues who lives on the West Coast! I’m up in the Pacific Northwest, and so far have felt fairly removed from so many of the teachers/bloggers who are closer to the East Coast and Mid West…

        D

      • facelikethesun April 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

        Cool. I read your post on the LARP stuff and watched a part of the video. It is very interesting how the virtual world is beginning to interface with real life. It kind of reminds me of the movie I think to was called the Surrogates with Bruce Willis. And now it’s becoming more and more apparent with websites like Second Life. It mitt be a while before I can write that next article because I’m trying to get that ghost hunting video done. By the way, I tried to comment on your blog and wasn’t able to. I’ll try again some time. Thanks for reading the blog.

  2. D April 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Hmmm, you’re the second person to mention having trouble leaving comments on my blog… I’ll try and poke around in the settings and see if I can’t figure out what the problem is…

  3. D April 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    (you’re making a video about “ghost hunting”…? That sounds interesting too… Just read a good post about that topic on a friend’s blog, http://dontaskthatinchurch.blogspot.com/2011/04/hunting-season-ghost-hunters-are-frauds.html )

    • facelikethesun April 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Just read the article. Although I agree with conclusions, I take a slightly different approach to my opinion of the show Ghost Hunters. Hopefully it will be done on the next week or two.

      • Frank April 25, 2011 at 1:30 am

        Thanks for the feedback on my ghosthunters article.

        That’s what I get for never watching GH. I added your blog to my blog’s links, you’re a Christian blog I take it?

        Btw, loved this videogame article.

        I too had issues with videogames and the occult. The soul reaver series, (while I was old and “mature” enough to play it) really messed uo my walk with God and caused me some srious rebellion.

        So, even being old enough isn’t enough, one needs to know what dangers are in said game, and understand what the implications are. My money is on most americans not being discerning enough to play mature games.

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