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May, 27, 2014

Warp your little brother’s personality for £19.99

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Name: Courtney Hartley
Member of: Applicant Panellist
Joined: January 2014
Courtney's Full Profile

It’s fair to say we live in a world full of the latest, up to date technology. At least once a month there is a new video game released, ready for addiction prone teens to enjoy. But can playing these video games really change how we act? We hear stories like “one guy spent 12 hours in his room playing Call Of Duty” and “my friend queued up for 4 hours to get FIFA 14”, but what makes us want to do this? OK the new graphics, adventures and players may be a contributing factor but spending on average 7 and a half hours a day shooting zombies cannot be good for anyone.

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Photo By Daniel Conway

I came to the realisation the other day that exposure to certain games can change people. My younger brother is at the age where he wants to play Mine craft and Call of Duty and basically shoot stuff. Yet it’s noticeable in day to day activities that he is getting more aggressive; shouting or hitting things if he doesn’t win something. OK he may be at an age where tantrums are ‘acceptable’ and he is a boy, but I have many friends that are girls that spend hours killing zombies and then get angry so easily if they are told something they don’t want to hear. It’s easy to assume these people are all just naturally ‘violent’ but from knowing them before these games became so popular, its clear there’s been a change in their attitudes and actions.

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Photo By Surat Lozowick

Undoubtedly many people do play video games that involve guns, knives and sex and are just the same person. The video games they play are simply an escape from all the stresses involved in growing up. However, many of these people also are not old enough to play these games. Indeed this is another issue in itself, but this over-exposure to violent games in the longer term can be dramatic. The need to fulfil the fantasies of hijacking cars and shooting people become realistic. Arguably these are only in extreme cases, but looking at the bigger picture it is evident that long over exposure to games like Grand Theft Auto at the age of 12 can lead to this. Exposure to aggressive video games at young ages is becoming a more common thing and inevitably this happening to young teenagers’ impacts their personalities and thoughts.

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Photo By Sean Dreilinger

Hence this opens a lingering question on whether these violent video games should even be produced and manufactured, or whether there is a greater need for more choice in video games for younger people, not involving violence. In addition it is also questionable whether advertisements for video games need to be censored or only shown at a certain time in the day. When you think about the purpose of video games, the only real need for them is pleasure. But is it pleasurable to see family and friend not just addicted to such games but also changing in front of your very eyes? The person you used to know has turned into a grumpy and angry individual. The cause not being hormones, but spending hours and hours playing violent video games.

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Do parents need to do more to limit time spent on video games? Could they really effect young people for the worse? What are your experiences with video games? Leave your thoughts and comments down below!

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