Monday, July 2, 2007

Virtual G.I. Joe

Think Progress noted that the Army is using violent video games as recruiting tools. Hardly surprising. But the catch is the nature of these games. A new one features the "'curb stomp, which involves characters in the game crushing an opponent’s skull with their boot." Talk about gruesome. Studies have begun to indicate that violent video games can result in "having more aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors." I'm not saying that we should take away Johnny's (and in most cases, it's boys that are playing these games) GTA3, but rather that we should think about what the role of these games is. If we're using these games to recruit killers, then should we be so surprised when young boys show up in our classrooms with guns? The rule isn't hard and fast. Most young boys use these games and grow up to be fine young men, and some of the classroom killers didn't really play video games. What we're seeing here is a correlation, not necessarily a causation. This can be an indicator that someone is prone to violent behavior.

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