Today I’ve heard a lot about GTAIV and people bringing up the subject again of violence in games and is it healthy or not and if games should be banned. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing about it for a little while longer where it will die down until the next violent event or game comes along it will flare up again. Well if you find yourself in an argument about it and you’re looking to defend games or just understand the subject better, then the folks at Greater Good Magazine have released some articles written by accredited psychologists that take a well-balanced look at games and their psychological effects on people and the results shed a more positive light on violent games than people (especially those in the media) generally hold in their hearts.
First is an essay about playing – not games necessarily, just the need for people and especially kids to just go out and play. It starts by saying that “Play is rapidly disappearing from our homes, our schools and our neighborhoods” and goes onto advocate why we need to play. I have been hearing more and more lately about schools removing recess from their curriculum thinking that they are doing kids a favor by “protecting them” which is probably the most absurd thing I have heard – this article helps point out why this trend is foolish. And for as much as I love games and played them as a kid, I also loved going outside to play, either by myself or with friends. Check out Can We Play?
Next is Playing the Blame Game. This is all about video games, in particular violent games and dispelling common myths surrounding their effects on players. I enjoyed this one as it is balanced, pointing out where some concerns are legitimate but also pointing out where critics are simply wrong or overstate the facts. This one also mentions a time when a certain US state tried to ban violent games in arcades and how it failed.