Video game players

What do people think about video game players?

Source: Jakub Hlaváč

  • they tend to be violent
  • they are rabid and ill-tempered
  • they escape reality because they don’t want to face it
  • they are addicted
  • only guys play video games
  • they are asocial

Experiences and Consequences

What can this type of thinking and judging lead to?

Video games have been a part of our culture ever since the 70’s. A young generation grows up around modern technology which quite often influences their interests and their social behavior. Some psychologists claim that if you are exposed to violent content, you will be more likely to act that way. Others maintain their opinion that gaming relieves aggressivity, lowering the tension. That’s why there is no definite answer to whether gamers are more violent or not. If playing games isn’t the only or the main activity, it can’t be considered the only cause of aggression, especially if the content isn’t violent.

 It’s true that the game Pokemon Red and rising number of suicides may have lead to widespread prejudices against the safety of video games. ,,The superstition about Lavender Town Syndrome has roots back in 1996 when first Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Green came out. According to many records, during the time after the release, the number of sick children rose sharply. Suicide rates among children also rose, especially amongst 7-12-year-olds.” Thanks to the Lavender Town Tone, 100-200 children committed suicide, mainly by hanging themselves or jumping from a height, such as a bridge or a building.

It is often forgotten that games can have a positive influence, for example, one English Journal, Mirror.co.uk, tells a story of a boy who saved himself and his grand dad from sure death because he learned how to drive in the game Grand Theft Auto.

If we let ourselves get influenced by negative prejudices, connected to certain correlations between video games and violence it could be seen even in our economy, for example by introducing ,,sin tax” on games.

Did you know that

  • games themselves became a part of American pop-culture in the 70’s and in Czechoslovakia, this trend didn’t set in until after 1989?
  • many people pin the invention of video games to William Higinbotham who in 1958 developed Tennis for Two to entertain visitors in National Brookhaven lab?
  • in 1961, a group of students (including Steve Russell) programmed a game called Spacewar! on a brand new computer DEC PDP-1? The game placed two players against each other, each controlled a ship with rockets. When this game was introduced at MIT in 1962, it became a widely known and available game.
  • in 1969, Ralph Baer created the first prototype of a gaming console where you could play several basic ball games right after connecting it to the television? This machine was later sold to the Magnavox company who started producing it in 1972, under the name Odyssey. This console became the first gaming device of this type in the world.
  • first controversy and discussion around video games and violence broke out in 1976 when the game Death Race was released. The goal of the game was to run over goblins. This game raised public awareness about video games and discussions about violence are still going on.
  • Maze War and Spasim were first games with three-dimensional first-person shooter elements and they are from 1974?
  • the first handheld game was released in 1972 and was called Tic Tac Toe? The display was made up of nine buttons which changed color after pressing, from green to red and vice versa.
  • in 1977 Atari released their cartridge console called Video Computer System (VCS), later called Atari 2600? Nine games were designed and released for holiday. It quickly became the most known console at the time.
  • Pac-Man (1980) was the first game that reached mainstream popularity?
  • almost half of gamers in the US are woman? This figure comes from the Computer and Video games research for 2013.

Aggregation – would you like to find out more?

So what is the deal with woman and video games? There is one widely known bias: gamer girls are usually ugly loners. Journalist Alzbeta Trojanova disputes this in her interview about the quality of Czech video games and sexism in the virtual world.

In Nottingham, England, they try to change the view on the gaming world by building a Creative Center. It is an interactive museum and a gaming house at once. This idea was brought up thanks to the festival GameCity, which focuses on the history of video games which is a quite popular topic amongst the British computer community.

Manfred Spitzer deals with the phenomenon of the digital world and mainly the influence of videogames on youth in his book Digital dementia.