The lounge-room habit that could lead to murder
My child is sensitive and smart, he’s kind and intelligent, plays sport has a large social circle and loves violent video games.
I don’t know how it even happened. I mean I understand all the positive parts and I know how blessed I am to have a child with so many strong and capable attributes but I don’t know where I was when he got so heavily into playing violent games on the x-box. I can only assume I was out (or napping) and my husband was suggesting the agenda for the day because my husband too, is not averse to a violent game.
Now trust me my husband is the kindest most gentle soul on the planet and spends an inordinate amount of time playing with the dog’s soft ears and telling him how much he loves him. That’s how non-violent he is.
But he can get up from the couch, change his dog-talking baby voice in an instant and shoot a bazillion aliens at close range. On a screen of course
So I read with interest earlier this week when Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said that young people are being desensitised by spending hours acting out deadly scenarios on their computer screens.
The Daily Telegraph reports
"The thing that's concerning me is the prevalence of people who are at this stage not just prepared to carry a knife, but prepared to use it," Mr Scipione said. "That has increased significantly."
He said he had reached the conclusion that there was "nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence they're being exposed to, be it in movies, be it in console games they're playing."
I spoke about this report with my 11-year old and he rolled his eyes at me as he does so often when I sound like a “fuddy duddy” or I sound like I don’t trust him.
Of course he knows reality from fantasy he assured me. I was not convinced the x-box was not damaging his moral compass so I turned to my husband who showed me the backlash to the Telegraph report
The Herald Sun reports
A report by the Australian Institute of Criminology released in March showed crime rates had fallen across most major categories. It showed that car theft had dropped over 60 per cent over the past decade and homicides had dropped by 27 per cent between 1996 and 2010.
“Although many video games do allow players to explore a range of moral choices both good and bad, they do not typically set up rigid reward structures to reward antisocial behaviour,” Dr Ferguson (associate professor of psychology and communication at the University of Texas) said.
“Many games have considerable consequences for the moral choices players make.”
Professor of Communication and Media at Bond University, Dr Jeffrey Brand, told news.com.au that Mr Scipione had ignored several major studies that found no conclusive proof that violent video games made people violent.
I can only speak for my family. My child is still compassionate and kind to his family, to his friends and even to strangers. But he also has brilliant aim and can whack a baddy as well as the next man (who is his father).
Do you think violent video games can have a negative effect on kids? Would you allow your children to play shooting games?