Videogames Blamed For Violent Behaviour…Again

Videogames Blamed For Violent Behaviour…Again

Gamers live “sedentary solitary lives”, according to one teacher.

Here we go again. Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Union have expressed concern over violent videogames, claiming that the children they teach have been mimicking violent videogames in the playground.

Alison Sherrat, the junior vice-president of the ATL, has said that children have been “throwing themselves out of the window of the play car in slow motion and acting out blood spurting from their bodies”, and that “there is a lot more hitting, hurting, thumping etc in the classroom for no particular reason”. She “began to reflect on what children have been playing over the last few years and realised we have noticed a marked increase in the aggression in general.”

“Obesity, social exclusion, loneliness, physical fitness, sedentary solitary lives – these are all descriptions of children who are already hooked to games”, she added.

Naturally, the UK press have been drawn to this like flies to a pile of poo, eager to imply a link between violent videogames and violent behaviour. At least four articles have used feature images of small children squashed against televisions screens with a controller in their hands, grinning like the Aphex Twin. Unfortunately I don’t have access to any children who are willing to look evil while playing games, so a stock image of everyone’s favourite moral punching bag, Grand Theft Auto, will have to do. Sorry about that.

I would be preaching to the choir if I were to rant about the nonexistent link between videogames and violent behaviour, so I’ll just leave you with 3 sobering thoughts that occurred to me as I was reading these articles.

1: If a person spends 20 hours in any given month reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is generally accepted as a healthy intellectual endeavour. If a person spends 20 hours in any given month playing Skyrim, however, you are seen as being addicted to “fantasy worlds that separate (you) from reality”, according to Sherrat.

2: You have to be 18 years old to purchase Dead Space 2 which, while not exactly Sesame Street, is generally a slapstick Alton Towers-esque rollercoaster ride that is unlikely to give any enlightened 14 year olds sleepless nights. However, any 7 year old child can walk into a book shop and buy a copy of Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory, which features genuinely dark and disturbing moments of violence and horror.

3: When Grand Theft Auto 10 comes out on the Xbox Virtual Reality in the year 2065, and it allows you to fire mutilated prostitutes out of a cannon into a pile of stillborn infants, we’ll find ourselves just as pointlessly outraged as we dribble over our crossword puzzles, the generation beneath us will say we don’t ‘get it’, and the cycle will continue forever.

Now go back to your murder simulators, you fat withdrawn freaks!

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