January 10th, 2018
Violence in video games and children – Social discourse
Social discourse also provides support for the desensitization thesis. For instance, in their song, Little Weapon, Lupe and Bishop voice their dissatisfaction with the kind of violence that is depicted in video games meant for children. For instance, in the first stanzas, the artists note of the overwhelming violence themes of these games, with most of the characters they sing about, e.g. little Terry, Little Caleil, and Little Alex all slaying their enemies and opponents with the little guns they have. However, towards the end the artists, reflecting on the video game experience, state “Imagine if I had to console. The family of those. Slayed that I slain on game consoles. I aim I hold, right trigger to squeeze.” Such statements evidence the fact that even the artists realize the detrimental effects of exposure to violent video games. The artists being of the video-gamers generation highlight the fact that not only parents are opposed to such proliferation of video violence; some of the children in the same generation are concerned too. However, such concern could have arisen from the kind of socialization that the artists underwent, for instance, as depicted in some of the lyrics that parents were opposed to the characters sang about, playing the violent games. For instance, in one of the lines, Bishop sings: “Make the room silence she don’t approve of violent games. She leaves resume activity” indicating that the player’s mother in this respect abhorred the player’s engagement in the violent video game.
A primary study conducted by the author in a school setting whose attendants are children also reinforced the desensitization thesis. In this study, that employed a qualitative study design, with the data collection tool being a survey questionnaire, the poll results indicated that participants generally believed in the desensitization thesis. However, the study’s result may not offer a basis for generalization since the sampling process was biased. The author employed a convenience sample, which also impacted on the validity of the results from the study. Irrespective of such weaknesses, most of the surveyed population noted of the detrimental effect of prolonged exposure to video violence. For instance, one of the participants stated that, after playing games such as Manhunt, Mortal Kombat: Deception, and Grand Theft Auto, her children had started to imitate such activities as shooting their friends whenever they played outdoor games, forcing her to counsel them into not practicing what was in the video game. Although, the methodology for the study may not permit the conclusion that playing violent video games leads to aggression in children, the perspectives advanced by the parents and some of the children highlight the need for controlled proliferation of violent-themed video games to the children. Proceed to part four.