Games make kids fat murderers; oh wait, they’ve been around for 40 years

According to (normally old) people who like to worry and point the finger at devilish technologies they don’t understand, video games are responsible for breeding a generation of mass murdering teenagers and morbidly obese children that will never fit into a wetsuit.

But why?

Games are an easy target for those who don’t understand them, but it’s not as if they’ve just ‘done a YouTube or Facebook’ and exploded onto the scene as a life necessity in the last decade.
It’s games that are making you super fat, fatties.

Video games have been around for the past 40 years; yet, apparently, the earlier generations of the ‘70s and ‘80s weren’t negatively affected at all. If anti-games lobbyists are to be believed, it’s only kids, teens and a bunch of rampant 20-somethings that are degrading society with their virtual entertainment—which apparently leads to unspeakable evil deeds.

Video games are have become the new “playing with yourself”.

Why are games blamed for making kids fat and the behaviour of murderers now, when they’ve been around for the past 40 years?
”Blame it for everything!” shriek the oldies looking for something to blame for the youths’ rebellious nature. I might be wrong, but I don’t recall, errr, pleasuring yourself to ever actually be linked to any negative connotations that the old-beardies of yesteryear tried to associate it with.

It’s exactly the same scenario with video games. They were strictly the domain of ‘nerds and geeks’ 25 years ago, so they couldn’t possibly have been doing any harm. Those kids were getting straights As in class, unintentionally avoiding Chlamydia and now probably own the medical clinics in which their former peers are seeking urgent attention.

Now that games have become mainstream, they are corrupting innocent minds, apparently.

”But Ben, you blithering idiot, games are different now,” you’re probably shouting into the screen.

Yes, but that’s irrelevant. They might be more graphically violent, but I don’t think the ideas are different or we’re spending any longer playing. To point to World of Warcraft and Call of Duty addicts who spend all weekend online would be to incorrectly apply unhealthy traits of a small minority to the larger population of gamers. I’m sure there were Pong and Space Invaders players who exhibited similar addictive traits.

If anything, I play games less now. I much prefer a six-ten hour game thesedays over spending 50 hours in Skyrim. Yet, I’ve probably spent 40-50 hours playing Super Mario Bros. on NES. Partly because I didn’t have anything else to play for several years, but also because it’s so damn awesome.

These are violent monsters.

As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to play games on weeknights for much of my childhood, and when I was, it was capped to about an hour. It wasn’t until the school holidays rolled around that I could pull a four or five hour gaming session, and those were few and far between.

I doubt I play games any more now that I would have in another era—and if I do, it’s replaced time that otherwise would have been spent in front of broadcast television.

As for violence, professional life bludgers—I mean academics—are yet to find a correlation between modern game violence and actually smashing your little-shit of a brother’s face with a metal pipe. That’s probably going to happen with or without the video games.

Whenever a psychopath goes on a murderous rampage in the US, the media is normally quick to uncover that he played Doom or Modern Warfare 3. It never notes that he also enjoyed mini-golf or hated shoe shopping, because these are socially accepted. Yet, to well-rounded people, it’s clear that none of these aspects played a role in his abnormal behaviour—he was just bat-shit crazy.

Yes, we press the right trigger and see men’s faces being blown apart more vividly than ever, but the ideas haven’t really changed. Gamers were murdering in the ‘80s, and if the interactive nature of games is more encouraging of imitation behaviour than a strictly visual experience—which must be the argument if movies aren’t to blame—surely it doesn’t matter how realistic it is. You’re still giving the order to execute, whether it be on the SNES or the next Xbox.

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