Video games have always prompted multiple debates regarding both violence and how much time they caused kids to “waste.” I recently came across an old Good Morning America broadcast on YouTube where the console war is discussed with the topic of video game influence on children as a whole.
Now if you flash forward to a more recent newscast, you might notice a change in tone. If it’s not a simple briefing of how many units another Call of Duty game sold on opening night, it’s usually a local news organization attempting to expose some kind of evil or mischievous plot engineered by video game developers (as illustrated in this next video).
I already thrashed this clip last year, but you get the idea.
I would say it’s weird how mass media outlets treat video game events like frightening extraterrestrial activity, but it’s not strange at all. Video games are still a young medium, so it’s not surprising to see them receive this treatment. Like a new student arriving from another school, video games are highly misunderstood by a majority of “regulars” who already enjoy other forms of entertainment.
What’s terrible is how mass media reactions to video games have actually devolved. Since the early days of crucifying games like Mortal Kombat, the mass media “witch hunt” against video games continually found ways to discredit the hobby. More often than not, video games are portrayed as the harbinger of social problems among both misguided youths and deranged adults alike. Hopefully with some education and time, more individuals will not only validate video games as an acceptable activity, which actually promotes social interaction, but as an interactive medium with limitless applications.