In the past few days, I have been reading a book called Overcoming Hurts & Anger (How to Identify and Cope with Negative Emotions) by psychiatrist Dwight L. Carlson M.D. The book was published in 1981, so it is not hot off the press, and there are many references in it to the Christian Bible, which generally took place sometime before 1981 ;P
Nevertheless, the most important thing about books is how they affect our life and how much useful information we find in them, and this book turns out to be quite useful to me. By writing about it here, I hope to make it useful for you too.
Here’s a quick summary of the key ideas in the book:
Anger is the result of unresolved emotions, like frustration, disappointment and rejection. When negative emotions are dealt with, anger does not develop
Anger builds up in layers. We are all creatures of habit and relive our patterns every day. Any dysfunctional situation we encounter is likely to take place again and again, each time adding another layer to what the book calls our “unresolved anger fund”
Regular tantrums, even violent outbursts involving breaking things, are not the same as resolution. They are a desperate attempt to get attention that may lead to resolution, but they resolve nothing. In fact, as you might expect, they make things worse and even worsen the violent person’s feeling of self-esteem, safety and human connection
If you are a parent and your kids play or want you to buy them video games, keep reading! Today’s post is about how parents view video games, how video games are rated and how you can help stop violence inspired by video games by following some simple tips and perhaps save lives.
Video games are considered art. The game designers do their best to make each scene as real as possible and see themselves as artists. You can watch this to understand how this artistic work can be disturbing and potentially dangerous.
Please make sure there are no children around when you watch this video, because it is extremely violent. If you are sensitive to vicious brutality and blood, you may want to skip the video altogether.
While Tsoof was doing his assignment on video game violence, I was shocked with the level of violence the kids were exposed to and it really got me scared. By the end of it, he also showed me some statistics about parents and that got me even more scared.
Parents and video games
Here is a list of figures from a US research into parents’ involvement and attitude towards playing video games:
50% of parents play computer and video games with their children
93% of computer and video games are purchased or rented while the parents are present
88% of games are purchased by adults
72% of parents believe video games are “fun for the entire family”
71% of parents are asked to play by their kids
66% of parents believe computer and video games provide good opportunities for them to socialize with their kids
63% of parents believe computer games are a positive part of their kids’ life
50% of parents claim that playing computer and video games with their children provides good opportunities to monitor the game content
10% of parents never check the official rating of the computer and video games their kids use
In the first chapter of the series, I wrote some facts about the gaming industry and some research regarding video games and violence. Here is a list of real life killings and acts of violence inspired by video games. You may even recognize some of them.
Real life violence out of virtual worlds
April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher in the Columbine High School massacre. The two were allegedly obsessed with the video game Doom.
1 April 2000: 16-year-old Spanish teenager José Rabadán Pardo murdered his father, his mother and his sister as an “avenging mission” given to him by the main character of the video game Final Fantasy.
20 November 2001: 21-year-old American Shawn Woolley committed suicide after what his mother claimed was an addiction to EverQuest.
February 2003: 16-year-old American Dustin Lynch was charged with aggravated murder and used an insanity defense that he was “obsessed” with Grand Theft Auto III.
7 June, 2003: 18-year-old American Devin Moore shot and killed two policemen, inspired by the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.