Video games

Positive, negative or perverse?

12 JULY 2017,
The controller for one of the most popular gaming consoles, the Xbox
The controller for one of the most popular gaming consoles, the Xbox

The data does not lie: video games are sold and downloaded more than movies. The current generation reads less and plays more; so long as we continue with this trend, the population will become more illiterate. Only a small sector will be able to read and write, like the clergy in the Middle Ages.

Today, the discussion on video games has focused on two aspects: does playing video games increase violence or not? Do video games help children in their cognition processes?

A series of studies on the topic suggests that playing to kill others makes children more violent. One student at Colombine High School, for example, who in 1999 perpetrated a massacre, named his machine gun “Arlene". He chose the name from the character in the game Doom. The American Psychological Association (APA) appointed two commissions in 2005 and 2013 to study the impact of video games on youth violence. The report, which examined dozens of studies, concluded that although aggression does not depend on a single factor, "the data show a link between playing these videos and aggressive behavior."

Other experts tell us the opposite, stating there is no hard evidence that video games lead to more violence. More than 200 of these experts sent a note to the APA denying the connection. According to them, the rates of physical aggression in schools have decreased in recent decades. Games seem to do the opposite, helping get rid of aggression and thus preventing violence. According to them, the studies linking games with aggression show serious methodological problems.

The studies that see games as positive find that video games increase perception, memory, concentration, discernment, planning, and visual recognition skills as well as helping reduce dyslexia, eye problems, and other learning difficulties. Obviously, they streamline the mind for digital work, the creation of software programs, and many other internet skills.

The discussions of these two groups do not focus on the other aspects of video games. One is the impact on children’s perceptions of death. When you play all day killing zombies, vampires, or simple enemies that do not really die, since they come back to life, and you too can be killed, but come back to play again, you are learning that no one suffers from your actions. It also teaches you to become a living dead, Stephen King´s undead, a favorite character in our post-modern culture.

Experts, then, have focused on the wrong area: physical violence. Had they studied the cultural impact, they would perhaps find more correspondence between these games and cruelty. This new generation addicted to games will not only be more and more illiterate, but will destroy their personal and loving relationships, because they have learned that no one dies of betrayal or from attacks on your emotional stability.

They will be dropping relationships like hot potatoes in the same way they do zombies or vampires. After all, we are not in the days of Romeo and Juliet, when one died of love. These are the times of the undead. We must all recover from betrayal and disillusionment.

As for those who can’t, it is because they are a bunch of losers.