When I was growing up, my friends and I would jump rope, play hopscotch and roller skate to entertain ourselves. We talked about boys we had crushes on, teachers we didn’t like and what we wanted to be when we grew up. We bonded through communication. We looked at each other, listened to the sound and tone of voices and communicated via facial expression.
TV was minimal. But that was then. This is now.
Perhaps Atari is to be blamed for the breakdown of conversation. Or maybe we just changed with the times and no longer need mental stimulation but the adrenaline rush of blowing someones head into pieces. I first began to notice that something was changing when the video games I knew as a small child began to change, ever so slowly, into increasingly violent and provocative fantasies for children.
Women were being beaten, cursed out and raped. Then the dialogue came into play and it was destructive, disrespectful and down right nasty. Then came the games for a certain popluation…we all know who…that depicted black males robbing people, stealing cars and killing each other with guns. Those flew off the shelves overnight. In fact, putting a “M” on the cover guaranteed multibillion dollar sales annually. But what did that do to our kids and the perception of Coloureds in the country? And moreover, what did that do to our ability to communicate when all we do now is push buttons on a hard piece of plastic?
1. Since we live in a supremacist society that is rooted in perception, designing video games that depict violence with a black male lead only reinforces the stereotype of the Black Brute.
2. Mental stimulation in the form of discussion, like the one you and I are having now on this blog, teaches us to un-learn the brainwashing, rewire our thought processes and grow educationally and spiritually. Video games (not all are bad, some are quite educational but aren’t as popular) diminishes that. It lowers our verbal and reasoning skills thusly giving in, albeit unknowingly, to the traps that plagues this society.
3. Sitting all day, on the couch, puttering away on some piece of plastic increases our risk for obesity and all other obesity-related illnesses.
4. Money is taken out of your pockets and is pumped into an already wealthy company like: Nintendo, Sony and Sega…all Japanese based mega-corps.
Now…here’s my question:
Does the violence our black children learn by playing video games “prep” them for a life of crime? Can children be taught that killing, maiming and raping others is a socially acceptable behaviour? And who bears the brunt of the responsibility for this violent trend? The company or the parents?