It seems that not a day goes by without reading of the gruesome horrors associated with modern day life. As with films and TV in days gone by it would appear the humble Video Game has emerged as the great terror influencing the youth of today's modern British society.
20 years ago if you were to say the words video game to anyone it would conjure up images of fat moustache sporting Italian named plumbers swtor credits making their way through a two-tone side scrolling magical land to an infuriatingly repetitive 8-bit soundtrack. However if you utter the same two words in 2009 you are likely to be greeted with a gasps and sighs of disgust as the image of a hooded teen in a darkened room with a year's supply of energy drinks and crisps piled up beside them.
It seems very much that Video Games have become the enemy of the 21st Century however given the contradictory nature of video game critics it is difficult to take this view seriously, however that has not stopped passionate advocates of modern day video cheap wow gold games doing their upmost in protest of this new medium of violence. None perhaps have done more for the cause than Florida based attorney Jack Thompson. Thompson has made it his mission over the past decade to rid the world of violent video games and ensure those that do slip through the new do not fall in to the hands of minors. Mr. Thompson has a particular bee in his bonnet regarding one Edinburgh based publisher Rockstar Games. Since the launch of Grand Theft Auto and the Creation of Rockstar games in 1997 the world of video game critics rejoiced at this new 'scapegoat', the combination of on screen violence and hands on game play led to concerns that video games may well be conditioning youngsters when it comes to extreme violence. The games questionable graphics and soundtrack lead to many claims being dismissed, as it was not believed a title with such graphics could have a serious influence on a minors mind.
This changed with the release of the PlayStation 2 in 2000 and Grand Theft Auto 3 the following year, this for the first time bought truly 3D gaming to users. It was with the release of GTA 3 that Jack Thompson's ears pricked up with great attention and it wasn't long before he was at it again. In 2003 Dustin Lynch made an insanity plea after being accused of murder claiming he was 'obsessed' with the game and been influenced by the game's depiction of graphic violence. The plea was retracted and his mother stated that it had nothing to do with Video Games. As video games have improved both graphically and in terms of game play they have taken on new roles in society and in recent years have seen a return to the family orientated entertainment hub of yesteryear but can video game developers truly claim complete innocence? The Call of Duty series is one of the most popular and successful franchises in video game history and has even been adopted by the US army as a way of training the US armies soldiers in strategic combat so does this not enforce the argument that video games can indeed 'train' players in violent situations? Well not exactly yes the advancements made in video games has made the level of realism unquestionably detailed however can it really be argued that today's youth are uneducated enough to struggle to differentiate between real life and a number of coloured pixels on a television screen? The contradictory nature I referred to earlier plays into this subject. Obesity in recent years has become a real hot topic in the USA and indeed Britain and what was being blamed? Yes, that's right the time being spent in front of the small screen playing video games, so personally I find it very difficult to imagine these obese gamers who apparently spend nothing short of 'all' their time in front of the television causing mayhem and dysfunction on the streets of this nation.
The video game rating system ensures titles intended for adults are not sold to minors however it does not ensure that they will not be played by such minors at some point. A similar rating system is in place in the USA however it is not nearly as tight as that in the UK and mature titles have been sold to underage US kids. Grand Theft Auto although a favourite for the prosecution is not the only franchise to be blamed, the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 which saw the worst shootings of its kind in modern history, Jack Thompson was quick to lay the blame firmly at the door of this exciting entertainment form after he stated, killer Seung-Hui Cho was a fan of first person shooter counterstrike however it was later revealed by Cho's roommates that they had never even seen him playing the game. Never the less the claim had great resonance here in the UK leading to many retailers refusing to stock certain titles one of which is another of Rockstar's titles 'Canis Canem Edit' originally known as bully which underwent a name change for the UK market due to pressure on the publisher, despite the game completely advocating bullying. The massacre also contributed to the banning of the sequal to controversial Manhunt in the UK market.
As with mobile phones and their apparent links to cancer much research has been done in to the link between violence and video games, and it is not just violence that has been researched, oh no, it is also video games apparent glamorization of sex, drugs and maybe even rock and roll'. And what is the conclusion? Well unsurprisingly research showed no significant link between video games and violent crimes, sexual assault or drug intake. However alcohol on the other hand can be directly linked with the above however has this led to a global damning of alcohol? No. So what of our friend Mr. Thompson? What did he make of this research? Well, not much as it happens however in a sign that video games are 'fighting back' in a totally non violent way of course he has since been barred by the state of Florida from filing any new cases due to improper conduct and abusing the system.
So great news games are off the hook, well if only it were that simple. Critics will continue to look for an easy excuse in justifying a youngster's behaviour and when the white coat clad forensics move in they may well continue to march past the sawed off shot wow gold
gun and the latest edition of shooting for beginners and march straight for the games room and the latest video game with an 18 certificate. But I ask these critics to consider this, the gangs or the games which came first? In the meantime we await the latest medium that will warp and destroy the minds of the children of the world abandoning logic, reason in favour of blaming the glamorous and evolving world of modern entertainment.