… and takes on many forms.
I recall as a very small kid there was a moral panic over Space Invaders and that was over thirty years ago. Ever since this panic has periodically risen like a zombie on you didn’t put enough (virtual) ordnance into. Computer games have been blamed for almost everything: addiction and ensuing social misfittery, obesity, violence, militarism, school shootings, RSI, satanism, peadophile “grooming”… Not even class-A drug use has been blamed for such a variety of things. Makes you wonder why so many things. Wouldn’t one social evil be enough if it were true?
This courtesy of the BBC and a charidee is the latest installment in a longer runninng series than Final Fantasy…
Social workers at Wings South West said the result was that the social skills of gamers were going downhill.
A computer games advice charity said youngsters were in danger of losing empathy and the compassion of “genuine relationships”. said youngsters were in danger of losing empathy and the compassion of “genuine relationships”.
Yes, you read that right. A computer games advice advice charity. I have now heard it all.
Paul Bowser, who works with young people at Wings South West in Bideford, said: “We have a number of young people who most of the time look almost stoned, not necessarily on drugs, but just with sleep deprivation because they’re gaming all the time.
How do you know they aren’t actually stoned? I mean Occam’s razor and all that.
“It’s certainly different from a few years ago, partly because the technology wasn’t there.”
Except it was, wasn’t it? Because an Atari VCS2600 wasn’t exactly an XBox 360 but it looked amazing to the kids back then. Then the Spectrum, Amiga, a series of PCs and that’s just my gaming machine history. Each one was spankier than the last.
Robert Hart Fletcher, who runs Kids and Media, a charity giving information about children’s use of digital media, said: “Gaming is a phenomenon that’s been around quite a while.”
“Now we are starting to see the effects in behaviour of young people.
Now as I said at the start this moral panic is not new. The way it is articulated changes over time but it’s the same thing.
“In the past people had genuine relationships with empathy and compassion which has been replaced by this virtual relationship where they are not necessarily having to show empathy or compassion.”
Oh, what drivel from another rent-seeking technophobe! Technology allows unprecedented social contact. I wonder if he is aware that most people people know on Facebook for example are known to them in “real life”?
“That’s starting perhaps to affect the way they interact on a day to day basis.”
Bradley Bown of the Game store in Plymouth said more education should be available to parents about the controls available.
Bradley – typical. Industry keeling over over in the face of ridiculous demands from what are quite frankly self-serving pressure groups rather saying, “Sod Off!”. Anyway Brad me old China who do you think shall provide this education? For (I assume) a gamer yourself you’ve made a bit of a tactical cock-up there.
For what it’s worth I don’t think any of these nonces really know anything about gaming. Almost proper all studies have shown it improves hand/eye co-ordination reflexes, and teaches things like problem solving tactics and planning. I had to lay-off playing Hardwar many years ago because I’d found myself knocking up an Excel spreadsheet to maximise my trading strategy. I just had an epiphany that in other circumstances someone could be paying me to do that!
PS. In the context this is interesting and the suggestion of gaming PTSD is deeply stupid and insulting.