An entire swarm of Kotakuites has bombarded the tips email with a story from KETV 7 in Omaha Nebraska entitled, "Video Games Normalize Killing, Doctors Say." A completely atrocious headline, though good enough to get the story linked from the main page of CNN. Less hard-hitting news and more of a research roundup, the article presents information from studies done by Iowa State University, Kansas State University, the Indiana School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health showing that violent games normalize our children to violence...putting them more in tune with violent behavior and therefor much more likely to engage in it.
"Exposure to violent video games, even E rated video games, increases aggressive thoughts, increases pro-social behavior and increases general arousal," said Dr. Greg Snyder, a psychologist at Omaha's Children's Hospital.
Phew. And here I was feeling dirty for getting all excited while playing Dora the Explorer.
Probably not what he meant mind you. Snyder went on to theorize that exposure to violent video games desensitize our children to the real thing.
"The more normal it is, the more likely it is they're going to activate or engage in those behaviors when provoked or even unprovoked," Snyder said.
Interestingly enough, the piece then shifts gears to show the other side of the story, something you rarely see in articles of this type. They even have a nifty quote from Ryan Miller, the manager of general operations for Gamers in Omaha.
"Just like any new media, it gets attacked. When any new genre of music comes out, it gets attacked. TV will, of course, get attacked. I'm sure, way back when, books got attacked," Miller said.
I'm sure too Ryan, as book burnings can be traced as far back as Emperor Qin Shi Huang of China in 213 BC. He makes a solid point though, and one I've made so many times I am beginning to get sick of making it. Video games are being used as a scapegoat, and it is getting old. Could someone please invent some sort of new entertainment for parents to blame so I can go back to posting funny cake pictures?