Gaming is a lifestyle

8 myths about Video Games

Being a gamer I constantly hear people complaining about video games and how they ruin the young people, but no matter how hard I try to explain it to them, they most of the time ignore it and keep having this… phobia about it!
I found a post made by Henry Jenkins (with a name like Jenkis he has to be right, right?) a professor from MIT, where he busted 8 of the most common myths about video games.

The original post is rather long (but definitely worth reading) and can read it here, but I’m going to give a shorter version, to save your lazy ass some time!

The availability of video games has led to an epidemic of youth violence.
The crime rate among the younger people in the United States have been an at a 30-year low. Researches show that the people in jail have spent less time in front of a media than the average person. Even though the people behind the school shootings in the US have been playing some sort of video games, it doesn’t mean that the video games is the cause of this. 90% of boys and 40% of girls play video games. The U.S. Surgeon General’s report say that video games aren’t harmful at all.

Scientific evidence links violent game play with youth aggression.
There are no research that has shown that video games are the primary factor to aggression nor that a violent video game could turn a normal person into a killer.

Children are the primary market for video games.
Since the first video games was launched years back the center of the video game market has stayed with most of the older generation of gamers. 62% of the console market and 66% of the PC market is people age 18 or older.

Almost no girls play computer games.
(This is most likely the one myth most gamers hope isn’t true!)
Years back it was predominantly males who played video games, however the number of women playing has been growing ever since. Women do even outnumber on web-based games (guess that’s Farmville, huh?). But overall gamer-girls have been increasing in numbers, mainly due to The Sims.

Because games are used to train soldiers to kill, they have the same impact on the kids who play them.
The military psychologist David Grossman claims that because the military uses games in their training (to shoot and kill), the young people playing video games are being brutalized and conditioned to be aggressive in their everyday social interactions. But (!) this is only true if we (1) remove training and education from a meaningful cultural context. (2) we assume that the they  have no conscious goal and they show no resisitance to what they are being taught. (3) That they unwittingly apply what they learn in a fantasy environment to real world spaces.

Video games are not a meaningful form of expression.
Violence has always been, and will always be, in great interest to the humankind. We get violence everywhere we look, even in fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, H.C. Andersen and so on. And from an early age kids gain an interest to it, and there fore it would not only be “quixotic” but also deforming for the kid. They would be unprepared to cope with the world as it is. In a lot of video games we get to enter a “magic circle” where we can make our own choices and see their consequences, and in the end examine our own values, based on the actions we’ve made.

Video game play is socially isolating.
Hah, oh boy have we heard that one before!
Most video games is a social game, and almost 60% of gamers play with friends! Games are more and more based on multiplayer gaming, and even singeplayer games are often played socially. Sociologist Talmadga Wright has spent a lot of time observing online communities and claims that in most games there are often two games: one based on combat and conflicts and the other based on cooperation and comradeship. Two players can be fighting to death in the game, but growing closer as friends in real life.

Video game play is desensitizing.
When people play video games they enter the “magic circle” where they are allowed to express feelings that have to be carefully held in check in real life. A lot of people clam that violent video games can cause the lack of empathy for real world victims, but someone who would respond to a video game the same way they respond to a real world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed. But research shows us that violent play leads only to more violent play.

 

That’s about what the dear Jenkins said, but as it is rather late here there might be a small typo or mistake somewhere, but I’m sure you’ll survive! Either way you can read the original post!

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