As children and adolescents, people try desperately to figure out who they are and what their role in society is. In this sensitive and critical point in their lives, it is crucial that they do not get the wrong view of roles in society. One way that children learn roles is throughout childhood play. What do many children do for play?
Play video games.
Video games are one means of giving children the wrong view of roles in society. Just like any other form of mass media, video games have become instruments in developing the identities of children (Dietz).
The roles they learn from these games influence their outlook on:
· different personality traits
gender role expectations
In this post, I’m going to focus on violence. Instead of passively viewing violence, such as in television, the children are actively involved in it. Video games most often portray men with a stereotypical gender role, as a sexually aggressive figure who fights for the girl, probably using violence.
Young boys play the roles of this character and get tied up in it. They play these games and see this image of a man and believe that the image they see is the image they should become. Their role in play and their role in the game shapes their identity as they figure out their role in society. The players may start acting more aggressively as they try to fulfill the role as a “successful man” (Ferguson).
Some people argue that video games are good because:
· they are an essential source of intrinsic reinforcement
· they can help those who play them to improve hand-eye coordination(Loftus and Loftus).
It is true that they can help reinforcement. However, what they are reinforcing is not always beneficial to them because there is more being reinforced than is blatantly obvious. Even if they have a good message to them in general, there are subthemes that are being engrained into their minds and having a negative effect on them.
It is also true that they improve hand-eye coordination. However, there are much better activities that also improve hand-eye coordination and do not have negative impacts on their socialization.
Video games are negatively impacting the youth of today and their perception of the world as they grow up. And violence is only the beginning.