COMMON SENSE

It seems sensible to assume that the more children (and adults too) are exposed to violent acts the more they will become accustomed to them and be less horrified by them. If it is seen as the norm, it is more likely that more people will regard violence as not such a bad thing and commit violent acts.

However, many people, especially those in the electronic games industry, say there is no evidence that people who play violent electronic games commit more crimes than those who don’t. Surely more effort by sociologists, psychologists and criminologists should be put into designing experiments to test the effect of violent electronic games on people’s behaviour. The ethics of computer games should be given more attention in colleges and in society.

VIOLENT GAMES AND THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND

Of course more empirical research would help, but here is my worry about violent computer games. Pick up any book on success and personal development and there will be a chapter on using the subconscious mind effectively. Indeed, there are whole books devoted to teaching people how use the subconscious to achieve one’s goals – no matter how challenging they are. In summary, the advice is that if you want something badly enough and you make a crystal clear picture of success in your mind and you visualise this many times a day, the image will become reality.

Turning mind pictures into reality happens because  the subconscious cannot distinguish between reality and a very clear emotionally charged image. Once given an instruction (intentionally or unintentionally) with conviction, the subconscious will strive to fulfil it – make it happen. And here’s the connection to violent electronic games.

In violent games the goal is to kill, injure and maim as many people (the enemy or aliens) as possible and often in the most horrendous ways. The graphic images show people being shot, decapitated, dismembered or burnt  – with lots blood and agonising sound effects.

The goal is to kill and one gets a great deal of satisfaction from this virtual killing and hurting others – the images of violence are emotionally charge with excitement and sense of achievement. This means that the subconscious is being programmed to seek out and enjoy violence and to know that it is wholly acceptable in pursuit of the goal. As we know many youngsters play these games many times a day – so the repetitive programming of the subconscious is taking place.

UNDOING THE EFFORTS OF SCHOOLS AND PARENTS

Without being fully aware of it, some games creators and publishers are undoing all the efforts in schools and homes to help young people avoid crime. In my view, if we allow violent electronic games to continue, there is no hope for a less violent society.

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