Super Nanny points to video games as reason for London Riots
By Gamingangel on August 17, 2011
The London Riots were an example of violence and overreaction. Instead of healing, I'm witnessing more overreaction by UK's celebrities. The blame game has started and all signs point to video games.
"Supernanny" Jo Frost says, “Watching the streets of England burn last week … I felt for a moment as if we had stumbled into a real-life violent video game of the kind that so many of those involved are addicted to,” Frost wrote in a column in The Daily Express.
A policeman in the area was quoted stating, “These are bad people who did this. Kids out of control. When I was young it was all Pacman and board games. Now they're playing Grand Theft Auto and want to live it for themselves."
Frost even throws in the "research shows" arguement to say that young men become aggressive after playing 15 minutes of "one of these games". There are so many things wrong with this statement that it's hard to know where to start. People always say "research shows" when they are trying to prove their point. But ask them to point to the actual research and you get a very different story. Nevermind that most research on the video game industry has been done by small sample sizes and has excluded women. If you are interested the ESA has real facts about gamers and the gaming industry. While people may think the majority of gamers are kids, but the average age of gamers is 37. That's a far cry from the influential child that shouldn't be playing mature games to begin with.
Former Oasis star Noel Galleghar, says, "I don't care what other people say: Brutal TV and brutal video games are a reason for this pointless violence as well. The people are immune
to violence, they are used to it."
The riots were a violent, horrible act. Perhaps some of the people involved were gamers, maybe they weren't. But the one thing they all have in common is that they have no respect for their community. That has nothing to do with gaming. The rioters have to be held responsible for their own actions as adults. When we scapegoap the gaming industry (and why always gaming instead of movies), we allow these adults to remove the blame from themselves.
At Blog Her 11, I felt it was important to speak about gaming to parents that might have concerns or questions. Like anything taken to extreme, gaming can be a negative hobby. For most people and with supervision, gaming can be a positive experience that can encourage children into a technology based career. I learned about tech at a very young age because my reward for learning to program was getting to play a game. I loved being able to code my own games (at a very basic level) . The choice to go into IT as a career was simple for me.
I cannot stress enough the impact of parental supervision. Parents have to know what their child is playing and what they shouldn't play. I see too many parents that blindly purchase a Mature rated game for a 10 year old. That game was made for 17 and up for a reason. With so many games out, I can imagine a parent being frustrated on how they are supposed to keep up. Well the ESRB has an easy to use application where you can see a full breakdown of any game. I'd welcome you to ask me any questions or come by GamingAngels which is written by women for women and covers the gaming industry.
I think it's time we stopped playing the blame game and placed the blame where it belongs...personal responsibility.
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Xbox MVP 09, 10, 11
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