Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Really? Still?

Just read this on kotaku.

These random "studies" about video games and their effects on children are well past the point of redundant.

I'm not saying that anything these studies find is right or wrong, just that everything that can be found out from them has been.  Kids play video games, and occasionally they do crazy shit after they do, like kill their cousin, or their parents, or run away and freeze to death.

Its sad, its tragic, its all that.  There is no denying that, but it doesn't do anything to detract from the root cause that, maybe there was something else that needed to be looked at other than just "video games make children crazy!"  For example, a 15 cannot buy a gun.  If they have access to one, mommy or daddy didn't do a well enough job keeping it secure and out of little Billy's reach.  Granted, this is not the answer in every case.  If a kid beats the shit out of someone with a hammer, well, its a hammer, not many people think they need to keep that locked up.  But, if Tommy played some smackdown vs raw and lost to Johnny, grabbed the hammer and went apeshit on him, chances are he had a little more wrong with him underneath the surface beyond frustration from a video game.

I mean, what was JT's excuse for mail bombing gay porn to legislators?  Or maybe he was right all along, and he went home and had some hot coffee every night before bed and it just made him crack.  Who knows.

So, looking back to the above linked article for a moment (its important to note that I have not read the article mentioned, and I probably won't, but that's really beside the point, because I'm not looking to tear it down or praise it, I'm merely commenting about the subject it covers), its focus is the author saying the topic needs to switch from "is it bad for children to play games" to "why do children play games, and what do we need to do about that?"

Its simple:  kids play games because they are fun, and it is a way to connect with friends.  I'm not saying that the way they connect is online only, its just it gives a common thing for them all to share, talk about, do together, whatever.  Its like watching a tv show and then talking about what you did or didn't like about a particular episode.  Or adults talking about the last baseball or football game, or women watching those tv shows about bridezilla, or ambush makeover, or that god damn show where women terrorize their fucking daughters by dressing their 3 year olds up like barbie dolls and talk down to them when they don't perform well enough.  Seriously,  how is that not considered child abuse?  Even if the parents aren't beating or demeaning their children, the psychological effects that has is something I feel should be more closely "studied" than any average 13 year old playing mortal kombat.

The simple fact is, everyone wants to escape reality every now and again.  Some people read books -- and I use that term loosely -- about women who fuck vampires, or get ass raped by men wearing gigantic metal cock sheaths, or the normal shit like James Bond.  Why do they do this?  Because everyone wants to live vicariously every now and again, because sometimes you need a break from waking up, making pancakes and bacon, folding towels, telling your kid how good they are at piano even when they are god awful, and watching the same tired ass tv shows day in and day out.  Or in the case of 8th graders, sometimes you need to not think about the shit you are going through on a day to day basis.

Can playing video games be detrimental to a teenager or a child?  Of course, but so can any number of other things that rarely get the blame that video games do, but at the end of the day, it always comes down to the same thing:  lack of parent interaction.

Children need guidance, and if they do not feel like they can go to their parents, or if their parents are perfectly content to let video games, or tv, or marijuana (I use that because I certainly hope children aren't getting strung out on meth or heroin, though I'm sure it happens)) do the baby sitting, then yeah, at some point, they are going to break and do something crazy like blow their friend's face off.  Its like Chris Rock said, anyone can be a father, but it takes a man (please avoid the obvious sex joke...) to be called "Daddy."  Women, that goes the same for you.  Yes, sometimes you need to be told how to raise your child, cause some of you are clearly fucking up.

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