The concept of gaming has taken on a whole new meaning in the 21st Century. As people have adapted to the change in technology, so too has the view on video games changed. No longer are games focused on strategy and learning through thought-provoking moves; now, there is a shift toward a more violent approach with fast-paced reflex and a need for survival through violent acts. Throughout this blog I will explore the significance of the artifact, “Video-Game Controller”, which is an object used to signify the much larger scope of “Video Games” as a whole.
Technology has made its way into society and has influenced the way we live and function throughout our daily lives. One can rely on technology to wake up, obtain currency to survive, and even to protect one’s self. But one way that technology has also influenced people is through the video-game controller. As strange as it may sound, the controller can help explain why some violent acts have increased in recent decades. However; this artifact does not explicitly translate into violence, nor does it imply that it does not entertain harmful thoughts. With the advancement of technology, one must be cautious when exploring the boundaries of this artifact.
Two decades ago, the controller was nothing more than an adventure, a cognitive stimulant, to help expand the mind into a strategic way of thinking. Games like Frogger, Super Mario, and Tetris, were all games that explored the different spectrums of strategy. In Frogger, one played as a frog that had to strategically get from start to finish, without getting squashed by moving vehicles. Simply, this game was intended to test the fast, strategic thinking of the player. In Super Mario, one played as a plumber who must save the princess from the villain, who in this case was a large monster turtle. The idea of this game is for the player to dodge objects and gather coins to reach the princess, ultimately battling the villain for the release of the princess. Finally, in Tetris the player must stack blocks, fitting them together, much like a puzzle, but within a time limit. The idea here is to capture how the player thinks, in order to stack the blocks successfully. Once again strategy is the key.
As technology has changed, so has the idea of strategic thinking. Increased development has created a need for more realistic gameplay; thus, resulting in riskier behavior. For example, the characters are no longer fictional, they look and act like human beings. In recent games, the character could be a drug dealer, with the need to kill the competitor, thus murdering another human. Scholar Flaviu Pătrunjel said, “Tortures are not morally justified here…similar violent content of making a show out of implying suffering to animals and humans.” Meaning, that no matter how one looks at this scenario, there is no good to come out of playing this game. The advancement in the game industry does not only effect the younger generation, but also adults who look for entertainment. One could argue that there has been a shift from learning strategies to being more for entertainment purposes.
In recent years, researchers have noticed how violent the games have become; some games focus on categories such as: war, terror, murder, need for survival, and provoking fear. News broadcasts have even warned parents of how these games can influence violent behavior in children. It is true that a child’s mind can be easy influenced by what he/she sees and hears, so it is reasonable to be cautious when allowing such games to be played by a younger audience. Furthermore, studies on psychology has examined that when an individual entertains a violent thought long enough, one can actually convince themselves that they can get away with it. Thus, adults too should be cautious when evaluating whether these games are reasonable or not.
It is evident that the video-game controller over the years has taken on a new way of living, such that, children are more interested in staying inside, playing video games than exploring the outdoors. The advancement of the controller has influenced the want to stay inside and play one more “mission or level.” One could argue that some find a need in playing these games; that this controller has almost a dominance over the minds of some; that’s all they think about and want to play. Some children would skip dinner, class, and even isolate themselves from friends to play more games. This large movement to hold that controller in hand and play one more “mission” has caused a disconnect from reality, as well as, entertaining violent behavior.
One question to wonder is, are these games good or bad? The answer simply is that it is hard to say, because there are other factors at play when violence is acted upon. One example is the film industry making movies that revolve around murder and violent acts. Another example is the music industry making music that promotes drugs and violence. Given these two examples, it is hard to pinpoint the actual effect of video games alone because of the other factors that have a similar influence on these behaviors.
Throughout this blog, I have identified the potential influences that the video-game controller has on mind of society. Video games have changed dramatically within recent decades, sadly for the worst. Even though it is hard to say whether new games influence violence; it is evident that it does not help influence kind behavior. So, as a result we must be cautious where technology is going to be in the next few decades. The morale is to be in control of your thoughts and do not let anything control you.
 PĂTRUNJEL, Flaviu. “Death Games And Survival Horror Video Games: On The Limits Of Pure Torture Show Entertainments.” Scientific Journal Of Humanistic Studies 4.7 (2012): 38-45. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.