THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST. However, when President Trump mentioned that “VIDEO GAMES” should be responsible for the school shooting, it got my attention.
“We have to look at the Internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed. And we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it. And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And then you go the further step, and that’s the movies. You see these movies, they’re so violent”
Years ago, President Trump also made a comment on how “video game […] is creating monsters” on his twitter account when he was not yet the Mr. President. Although he was not wrong about the fact that there were downfalls to video games, he was also not so correct on the cause behind it. From his perspective, “the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” so that the content is what doing the evil trick. However, what United States Secret Service and the Department of Education found is that “37 percent of attackers ‘exhibited an interest in violence in their own writings, such as poems, essays, or journal entries,’ while only 12 percent exhibited an interest in violent video games.” NOTE: “exhibited an interest.” It is not even clear that whether or not the interests directly respond to the violent behavior in real life when almost all kids were interested in video games.
Like I said, THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST, and I am not going to and not able to find the true reason driving gun violence.
Yet Mr. Trump was not wrong about the “bad things” have been happening in video games. However, it is not the content, but the CULTURE many games created. Because of the competitive aspect that incorporated within many games, the “Play to Win” mindset raises many infamous games for having the most toxic gaming communities. “The Honorable” mentions include games like, League of Legend, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, etc.
Let me explain further, in the realm of multi-player games, the ways of communications are normally text-chat, or voice-chat. Similar to talking trash in competitive sports between players when the game is really heat-up and both sides start to take things personal.
Well, things only get worse in the online world, where each person can be “PROTECTED” by the Internet and hide behind the screen. Especially, in games that have many young players, you could often see an 11-year-old children dropping the N-word, the F-word, the ABCDE-word, you named it. Younger children do not really understand many of the words they use and also do not really learn the consequence. Not only the language is problematic, many comments contain racism, discrimination against the minority against women, etc.
Worst of all, kids were encouraged to do so over and over again in game, because they would get others’ attentions, even receive praise such as “this kid is a legend” from other players. Another evidence is fact that, there are so many YouTube videos from Call of Duty are simply recording of the voice chat, showing how hilarious the people sound. Well, you might just get famous by talking shi* in video games, what could possibly go wrong with that? The toxic culture in my opinion could be the real “bad thing” that is occurring daily in all sorts of video games. To be honest, I sometimes do find many of the trash-talking video funny, and you could think as the culture that I have myself exposed in. Many might say that the things that said on the Internet are often too far from acceptable, and many others might say that many people need to take those words less serious. I am with both; however, the issue could be a lot more problematic to those who could not draw the line, or distinguish the intention of the language.
Headline like this is only rare case; however, for many people, especially kids, who have not learned the fine-line that not to cross. The video game environment could be a really bad place to learn them from scratch. Even though, many gaming companies have a certain censorship on certain words you could say, there is no stopping player talking trash to each other. On the one hand, I have to admit it is fun to talk trash with friends on an appropriate level; there is certainly a limit to it. Eventually, I think it is up to the players themselves to realize the potential damage this abusive and toxic culture could bring to the game itself and the community. I believe that, if people truly love the games they play, they would do the best for the gaming community.