Do Violent Video Games Affect Our Children Later in Life?

I grew up playing video games, and I got my first Super Nintendo when I was five years old for Christmas. That was the best Christmas ever, and I spent the next few months playing as much Mario as my parents would allow. I remember the intense feeling of nervous excitement racing through my entire body after I got through each dungeon and faced the boss. The objective in Mario is pretty simple: just jump on things and avoid being hit until you reach the end. However, each boss changes their attacks and I would spend hours trying to move on to the next level.

I was so proud of myself when I finally beat that game. It inspired a childhood passion for video games. My best friends and I would spend the night at each other’s houses to play the newest game all night and see how far we could get through the story. It wasn’t long after that, I got a GameBoy to play games on-the-go, and finally, I upgraded my Super Nintendo to a Nintendo 64. I was blown away by the graphics at the time, and I remember playing a multiplayer game called GoldenEye 007. It was a first-person shooter that will forever remain a legend in my memory. Four of us would each grab a controller, set up the match, and run around the map trying to eliminate every other player. It was a lot of fun until my mom walked in and saw all of my friends shooting each other in the video game.

Needless to say, she was deeply concerned about the potential influence that a violent video game would have on my perspective in life. I don’t blame her for wanting to raise me to certain standards, but looking back, those concerns were completely unfounded. Violent video games don’t encourage people to act violently anymore than watching football or playing paintball. She thought that I stopped playing the game after she took it away from me, but I would just wait to play it at my friends’ houses. Now that I’m an adult, we both look back and laugh about how upset she was. In her defense, no generation before us had ever experienced violent video games, and no one knew how it would affect kids over time.

Nintendo 64 graphics are nothing compared to today’s video games, and I can understand why parents might still be concerned for their child’s interest in violence, especially now that it’s so realistic. With gun laws changing, it is essential to teach kids about morality. As long as parents take the time to explain the difference between right and wrong, video games won’t encourage mass shootings. It’s similar to situations where kids go outside to have water gun fights or play the classic game of cops and robbers. Even though children are playing these games outside, most parents aren’t concerned that their child is going to grow up to shoot people or become a criminal.

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