games have been around for a while now. Whether it was blasting asteroids
on Atari, or saving Princess Toadstool on the Nintendo Entertainment
System (NES), video games have been around as a past time to kill a few
hours here and there. As time passed, the video game systems (known as
consoles) and games have become more advance. The on-screen output has
increased dramatically from 8-bit graphics on older gaming consoles to
the current generation video cards in high-end computers.
leap in video processing power has made video games look and feel more
footage of Electronic Art’s Crysis™
to be released for PC”
this increased realism however, something else increased: The amount of
footage of Capcom’s Dead Rising™
on Microsoft’s Xbox 360™”
all video games are violent in nature, such as Microsoft and Rare’s Viva Pinata, video game
violence is still a growing concern in the media. Games that are rated M
and intended for audiences over the age of 17 are making their ways into
the hands of much younger kids.
game footage of Epic Games’ Gears of War™ on Microsoft’s Xbox
Game Related Crimes in the Media
Video game violence can be
seen on the news. On September 5th, 2006, a 18 year old
schizophrenic man was arrested for stabbing a 51-year-old lady seven
times and leaving her to die in her own blood because the gangster voices
in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto told him to. Grand Theft Auto, a game series
made by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, is a game where
you control the main character and make him take part in underground
crimes. You take orders from you superiors and fulfill them, whether it
be drug dealing, car chases or murder. This incident is not the only time
video games have been paired to a murder.
In both the news and the video
game world, the game is getting a lot of publicity. The reason is a
lawyer named Jack Thompson. Jack Thompson has made it clear his goal is
to take down Rockstar’s “murder simulator” at any cost as well as
several other titles by Rockstar. Rockstar has had lawsuits filled on
them by Thompsonplenty of times.
However, with Grand Theft Auto’s revenue approaching $2 billion dollars,
the game is going nowhere soon.
Video Games and Aggression
In a study preformed in 2000 at the Iowa State
University of Science and Technology,
researchers say playing violent video games increases your aggression.
Young males were largely affected. The study showed that while playing
violent video games, the students showed signs of increased aggression.
The same aggression temporarily stayed with the students after playing.
Fast forward 7 years later to
2007. Our increased technology has allowed more violent and more graphic
video games. However a study at Swinburne University of Technology
contradicts the study held at the Iowa State University of Science and
Technology. Their study showed “children
prone to worrying, neurotic behaviour and predisposed to aggression were
likely to be more aggressive after playing violent video games”. 
There are still debates today
arguing if violent video games do indeed increase aggression, or if the
user was simply aggressive in the first place.
Less and less kids and young adults are
spending their time running around with their friends playing kickball,
or having fun running up and down the street playing hide-n-seek. For the
most part, technology in general has had a big influence on this. With
high speed internet, computers and video games, more kids will decide to
beat their favourite game then go outside.
As video games became more
popular in the early 21st century, many kids found themselves
playing a multiplayer split-screen game of Smash Brothers Melee on Nintendo’s
GameCube™ console, instead of a game of tag. This still left means for
physical interaction however, because you were forced to play on the same
TV.The seventh generation of
video game systems has begun to change that.
Both Microsoft’s Xbox 360™ and
Sony’s PlayStation™ 3 have begun to center on single player gaming. For
multiplayer, it is no longer “call over your friends” and play on a
single TV. Multiplayer gaming has now become playing on your own TV
across the internet with other players and your friends. This has removed
that physical interaction the earlier gaming consoles once had. They
typical mentality of gamers is becoming “why go all the way over to my
friend’s house when I can play from here over the internet?”.
A game now famous for video
game addiction is Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft (WoW). It’s
a never ending online game where you explore vast maps, join parties with
other gamers, and defeat monsters and dungeons to level up or get items.
Because there is no set story, there is no ending and a player is able to
continue as long as they like. There are millions of players already in
this online fantasy world, with new players joining every day. Players
will sit in their rooms staring at this computer game for hours on end.
This obsession can lead to sickness and even obesity. In extreme cases,
the addiction can be life threatening. There are even RMT or Real Money
Trade sites all over the game. WoW players will pay other people real
money to get a special item or skill within the game. It is estimated
over a billion dollars was used around the world to buy WoW items or to
get levels in 2006. This brings up a difficult question: Is World of
Warcraft an Addiction or a Lifestyle?
A video posted on YouTube of a
news broadcast on the Australian ACA network about World of Warcraft
addiction is just a small look in the world of this obsession.
Video games of 2007 have become both more addictive and more
violent than their mid-1980’s counter parts. It is the duty of the parent
to read the ESRB rating of a game before handing it over to their child.
Limits should also be set to insure the child does not develop unhealthy
habits because of video game addiction.
Video games can be a great pastime, as while as a good brain
work out on some puzzle games,but
only when used correctly.
a part of almost every youth’s life. You will see a teenager anywhere
listening to their portable music players. Music for some has become their
way of life. Technology for the most part has greatly affected this.
has evolved over the years as technology increased; from the invention of
the audio-cassette player in 1962, to the hard disk drive players of today.
Compact Disc media was the biggest music fad in the 1990’s. As the number
of cassettes dwindled, the number of CDs and CD players emerged. The most popular of players of the time
became the Sony DiscMan and WalkMan players. With high quality sound, and
80 minutes of playback, it’s no wonder CDs quickly spread like wild fire. In
1988 blank compact media and burners emerged. These tools, when used with a
PC, left an endless number of possibilities for mix CDs. However, it wasn’t
until the mid to late 90s that people began to embrace the PC as a
household item. CD players eventually evolved too. Players were made that
not only read audio from CDs, but also data, making room for MP3 CDs. By
reading data instead of sound, it was possible to exceed the 80 minute
limit and increase it over 4 hours depending on the quality of the music.
In 1999, the Digital Versatile Disc became mainstream. DVDs, with their storage space of 4.7GB,
allowed hundreds and hundreds of songs to be put on a single disk.
Depending on the length and quality of the song, well over a thousand songs
could be played from a single disk. The DVD however was invented with video
in mind, so portable DVD music only players were never launched. Instead,
flash memory made itself more popular in the market. Flash memory MP3
players entered the scene. Originally only holding sizes of around 32MB, and
being extremely expensive, MP3 players didn’t grab too much attention at
HDD (or Hard Disk Drive) players have become the most popular music players
on the market, the fastest selling of these players being Apple’s iPod.
With the ability to download music from online stores and through programs
like iTunes, CD sales have begun to fall. MP3 players have outsold CD
players in the current market. Teens are carrying around a gigabyte or more
of music wherever they go. Because of this, there are an increased number
of deaths related to music. In New York, listening to an iPod while
crossing the street can get you fined.A teen maybe listening to music and not
hear a car speeding around a corner. They could be listening to music while
walking down train tracks and not hear the locomotive’s warning. Having
these portable players also adds the ability to listen to music while in
class. This can prove to be a distraction during an important lecture.
“Apple’s popular iPod
distribution has also become much easier because of the internet. A new and
upcoming band can release a demo on the internet for other people to
download. An artist can gain faster popularity then they once could. Piracy
has also become an issue at the same time. Because it is so easy to go on
the internet and spread a song, some people will upload a whole CD for
people to download. In some cases, someone will listen to this pirated
version and buy the real CD, but in most cases the digital copy will be
taken without giving back to the recording industry.
With increasing technology,
youth have more and more music they can carry with them. In most cases this
music harmless. When the right factors are mixed in, portable music can
also pose as a safety risk. It is up to the consumer to make the right decision.
With systems in place like the internet, music piracy is on the rise.
Protections like Digital Rights Management (DRM) have been invented to try
to prevent piracy, but so far have had no effect. The way music is used and
listen to by youth has evolved thanks to increasing audio technology.
™ Crysis is a registered trademark of Electronic Studios
Inc. Dead Rising is a registered trademark of Capcom. Xbox 360 and the Xbox
360 logo are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. GameCube is a
registered trademark of Nintendo. PlayStation and the PlayStation logo are
registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE).