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desensitized minds?

a comment on yahoo read:
could the popularity of first-person shooter video games, violent movies, and TV shows that glorify killing have desensitized Americans?

today, children play games which make adults like me cringe. they are ‘only’ games to my [adult] mind, but how does it impact a child’s ‘still forming’ and ‘spongelike’ mind if i cringe?

we set age limits for buying liquor, getting a driving permit [since all senses must be vigilant to drive], even the age minority should end. age limits for prisons. limits for bullying. limits to discipline by parents [a child can call 911 if a parent disciplines that child for cursing that parent. but society misses the point of disciplining or perhaps they don’t know the difference between abuse and discipline: one’s done out of love and the other, out of hate].

does imposing limits on a child imply that before 18 a child is not yet capable of making sound decisions or acting as rational [as] adults? yet adam lanza or james holmes were no longer minors when they killed, video-game style, but older, and still trapped in a child’s mind as though desensitized about hurting others.
People want immediate or simple answers when an unimaginable tragedy like this occurs. but, there are no immediate answers. only questions.

one question that begs to be asked amid the noise of all the violent whys society is now asking is: at what age do our young sponge-like minds begin to absorb these violent games? what kind of conditioning must be occuring in young minds from [years of] playing mortal kombat etc in their homes and arcades to blur the line between the virtual and real worlds? what impact are such games having on behavior and are they molding the behaviors for some kids?

what are our kids are doing while they enact these atrocious acts we consider ‘playing’ or child games, for which incidentally they are rewarded? it is evident that the preparation that goes into committing such game-like violent acts on real-life people prove that a lot of time/thought was put into committing them so flawlessly, so nonchalantly, so smoothly. without remorse.

we tell kids to go to their room, and close the doors of our minds as well.
do we open the door to our minds to consider what they’re doing during the [many] hours they are in their room? or with friends? or surfing the net? are we in essence giving them carte blanche to do whatever they wish in the privacy of their rooms? are we preparing more klebolds and lanzas who can plot their violent acts sans interruption in the quiet space of their room?
while we cannot be omniscient, we can watch with our third eye or our imagination given it is not the first time such atrocity has happened. kids are like monkies: monkies see, monkies do. this ‘follow fashion’ tendency could explain why peer pressure is a big deal in schools here.

the time has come to rethink the harmful privileges we give our children in this society. we must ask what makes kids so desensitized that they wish to hurt others when they’re angry or ticked at the world. an interesting note here is that kids in other places around the world also play these games, but know it’s a game and never take it onto the streets. when punished or upset, these same kids sit in a corner and think their anger through. why arent kids in US conditioned to think inwardly as coping mechanisms? why do violent games fill up the space or replace thinking inwardly? and why are we, as parents, institutions and educators sitting back and breeding incapacity in our kids to deal with and resolve problems ?

it has become crystal clear from numerous recurrences of such violence that we are ill preparing our kids for future hiccups as adults. are we going to put them in their room when they are let down or ‘mess up’ as adults?

when we impose so many limits on kids, why has an age NOT been set for the video games young minds absorb? while the games we gift kids or allow them to have/collect/buy have become a modus operandi for those who imitate the style to inflict harm in events such as columbine, virginia tech or newtown, way after they get out of ‘minority’ age, it is NOT the only solution to end the escalating problem.
a collaborative effort to make kids aware of space and others is impending.


2 Comments

  1. dianadventures says:

    Yes, i agree. But i do not think that the answer lays in video games, although, i truly hold true the idea that adult games are for adults, not teenagers, and must certainly not children. I think the problem goes deeper then first-shooter video games,( however, i stress the fact that, they are horrible!!) but in a society where parents do not have the time to really spend time with their children, to get to know then, not because they don’t want to or don’t care for their children. But because we live in a system where rest and taking off, for family or yourself is not valued, where slowness is the equal to wasting time. Maybe the horrible crimes that occurred this month could have been prevented by family and friends close to adan lanza or maybe Mr. Lanza needed proper psychological help, and his mother a new hobbies besides collecting guns. But of one thing i am sure, if our society held family, and true companionship of love above money, and other superficial things maybe these type of things could be prevented in the future.

    • i am majorly addressing video games as a problem for young minds with the given that there is absence of parental supervision [for whatever reason]. you quite rightly suggests we live in a fast society. fast doesn’t always win the race. and that’s not only in aesops’ fables like the tortoise and the hare, but in real life as well as we have been seeing and will see more and more of if problems aren’t curbed. but ’tis true that societies where family spends a lot of time together are those which produce children with a more conscious sense of space because they share space with others and don’t think of only self, but other’s selves when problems set in.

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