Throughout history, nearly every generation has condemned their respective youth for one thing or another. In fact, three Ancient Greek philosophers once had similar thoughts about the youth of their time.
Socrates, Aristotle, and Hesiod all criticized the youth, and stated there was no hope for the future. Continuing on this logic, the youth today should be as intelligent as a box of rocks. Today’s theory is that video games are the culprit to blame. Virtual reality is a place where America’s youth seems to be spending most of its hours nowadays. Just like we have seen exponential growth in technology, the video game industry has modernized rapidly.
Newfound violent acts and themes in the video games of today have led adults to believe that video games are corrupting the youth. Individuals should reject this fallacy because of the statistics that refute it, the illogical reasoning behind it, and the exclusion of the benefits of video games by critics.
Nobody can challenge numbers. Yet, the numbers are against video game critics. Contrary to the statements made by adults and some legislators, the increase in video game sales has brought a decrease in crime in many countries, including the US. Studies have also shown that crime has had an overall negative trend since the introduction of the video game era. But what does this tell us? This evidence may not be conclusive, but it sure does benefit the side of the video game players.
Adults would argue that the violence in video games is translating to violent acts in the real world. But is this logical? Well, let’s look at what video games consume in a child’s life. While they may be instilling violent thoughts and examples into the minds of the youth, they take up a vast majority of their lives. Without all of this time consumption, wouldn’t their boredom often result in more violent acts out on the street unsupervised? In addition, the virtual reality they are allowed to foster in is providing a vent for violence. It is much better for their experimental thoughts about drugs, sex, and violence to be curbed in a fake world. Lastly, one must look at all factors of violence before we make assumptions. Just because mass violent acts have occurred coincident with the video game era does in no way mean that video games are the only possible culprit. One should consider other factors like improved weapon technology or increased accessibility to weapons in many countries.
When benefits outweigh risks, there should never be controversy to begin with. Video games pose few risks, the only major one being refuted already. However, there is a multitude of benefits accompanied by playing video games. Children, adolescents, and adults alike can build life skills in these games. Similar to the purpose of algebra in school, one can obtain invaluable problem-solving and critical thinking skills. In most all games, creativity is not only encouraged, but it is required to complete the objective or beat the game. Something that school has been trying to get us to do for years.
On top of all that, there is the one major benefit for kids and teens: entertainment. Yes, while in a perfect world, everyone is constantly studying and learning 24/7, we are human and simply cannot accomplish this. Students nowadays are getting up at 5 a.m. and sitting through class after class for 7 straight hours, with only getting a 25-minute break all day long. Then they must return home, just to continue with hours of homework on top of all of their projects, and extracurricular activities. It is absolutely necessary for students to have some medium of stress relief. Something where anything can happen, where they can be free. And on that matter, video games deliver.
While most adults will attribute modern violent acts with the introduction and consumption of violent video games by children and teens, statistics, reasoning, and analysis of benefits can assist in making a proper conclusion. Video games just simply are not the only reason for the degradation of society; in fact, they may not even be a plausible reason at all. Video games can be described as an advocate for crime and stress reduction. Remember, adults have condemned their youth for hundreds of years. History repeats itself. One day, the youth of today will fulfill their legacy with their outright hatred and criticism of the new technology of the future. We also have another blog about Violence, and it discusses whether violence influences your decision to play certain video games.