Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gamer's Surprise: "The blood's real, the death's real"

Front page headline in yesterday’s New York Times……“Violent Crime in Cities Shows
Sharp Surge, Reversing Trend”

The news….Many communities are suffering a rise in murder, robbery and gun assaults since late 2005 because of methamphetamine use, gangs, poverty, more released ex-cons on the streets, easy access to guns and, according to the story, “a willingness, even an eagerness, to settle disputes with them, particularly among young people.”

But the real kicker comes next, in a quote from Chris Magnus, the beleaguered police chief of Richmond, Calif.: “There’s a mentality among some people that they’re living some really violent video game…What’s disturbing is that you see that the blood’s real, the death’s real.”

And that’s it: A passing reference to a culture of video-game violence that most certainly plays a significant role in fueling crime among vulnerable youth in vulnerable communities.

The story is loaded with statistics, but none reveals how much time these young robbers and murderers spend in a cruel, addictive video world that teaches them that violence is fun, acceptable, and carries zero consequences.

It’s bad enough that time spent with these violent games is time utterly wasted for all players. Chief Magnus and others in law enforcement may be realizing that “Grand Theft Auto” and its ilk are conditioning the suggestible to kill.

The law enforcement/crime prevention community needs to wake up, gather the evidence, connect the dots and demand legislation that will address the problem. They might start by looking at this Free Radical "video games" site, which is packed with links to references on video games and crime.

While they are doing that, we—adults and kids alike—need to take back our lives from a synthetic, mediated world of twisted values and violence.

More resources: You can find help at the Center for Screen Time Awareness and the Northwest Media Literacy Center.... An excellent video on this subject is "Game Over."

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home