“Do Video Games Kill? ” Since the released of a video game called Doom in 1993, certainly one of the most popular first-games shooters games. It is like a double-edged sword, because it does not help video gaming grow into a multibillion dollar industry, but is would teach kids how to kill. In “Do Video Games Kill? ” sociology professor Karen Sternheimer talked about that the “video game explanation” for kids violence has become more pervasive. In this article, the author talked about politicians and 199 newspaper articles think that the video games teach young people how to kill and are the culprit.
They blame video games. However, the author dose not think the video games are negative products. Because she thinks that guns, poverty, families, and the organization of schools may also influence youth violence. When we want to understand why young people, particular in middle-class or otherwise stable environments, become homicidal, we need to look at what the games they play. “While all forms of media merit critical analysis, so do the supposedly ‘good’ neighborhoods and families that occasionally produce young killers”(244).
Politicians and other moral crusaders created a name for video game, called “contemporary folk devils”, because they seem to pose a threat to children. Newspaper articles proposed that the video games are constructing culpability, and they are the culprit. But in author’s mind, she does not think the video games are not only way to teach young children how to kill. This is the biggest problem with media-effects research that “Poverty, neighborhood instability, unemployment, and even family violence fall by the wayside in most of these studies.
Ironically, even mental illness tends to be overlooked in this psychologically oriented research” (16). For instance, African-American young people are involved more than twice as often as white in the juvenile justice system. So the author thinks poor males of color be killers easier than others. For example, many people now can not find job, so they just feel sad and lost their mind. They think it is unfair, so decided to kill others. So the video games are not only ways to teach killed. On the other hand, the author thinks playing video games can improves spatial skills and reaction time.
When we play the video game, we need to improve our attention, and to decided some decision immediately, so playing the video games actually can improve our intelligence. She found evidence about the video games do not increase aggression. She uses some reports quotation to contract and then points out video games does not increase aggression. For example, “ The Boston Herald quoted a clinical psychologist who said, ‘ Studies have already shown that watching television shows with aggressive or violent content makes children more aggressive’’(15). So the media effects are clear, consistent and conclusive.
But the author thinks that news reports do not use academic sources to do the media effects research. In conclusion, the video games are not only ways to teach youth how to kill. They killed maybe because of poverty or families, because of unemployment or neighborhood. There are many other facilities to lead youth people kill. And the video games also have some positive sides, like it can improve the spatial skills. So it is not just like politicians and news articles thinking, the video games are not folk devils and are not culprit. ———————– 1
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