Not Just For Nerds Anymore?

The popularity of video gaming has been a comfortable source for many news stories over the years. They are something to blame if something goes wrong in a high school, for teenage obesity, and even in some places for the lowering in quality of outdoor sports. A poor supply of players in skill positions?

It’s because they were playing the game on a screen rather than on a patch of turf somewhere, honing their skills. Is it valid reasoning? Almost certainly not. Does it provide a handy way of abdicating responsibility for the failure of a system? Sure it does.

The truth is that video games have their good and bad points, but it is entirely unfair to make baseless generalisations about them to cover for a deeper malaise.

High school shootings have been blamed on violent video games, even when it is clear to anyone with an understanding of psychology that the tiniest fraction of people playing a video game will be unable to understand the clear difference between what goes on onscreen and what is acceptable in real life.

Not only that, but if people are convinced by a video game that what they do in the game is OK in real life, then they can realistically think that about a TV show, a movie or even a news broadcast.

The vast majority of gamers are completely ordinary people, and anyone with any common sense realizes that. But the stories won’t go away, and we should probably accept this fact.

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