Violent Video Games Are The Cop-Out Of Our Generation

Violent Video Games Are The Cop-Out Of Our Generation

The old saying "Monkey See, Monkey Do", now has a sad modern twist.

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Between the ages of twelve to seventeen, 97% of children play video games, with approximately 85% of them containing violence. The violence found in television and video games, subconsciously has a negative effect on those exposed to it. More than half of video games rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (E.S.R.B) contains harsh language and violence. Television and video games promote vicious behavior in children and desensitize an individual. American Psychologists have observed that violent video game use, has an increase in aggressive behavior, and decreases prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement. The violent video games also contribute to the increase in teenage school shooters.

As children grow and mature, they tend to use their toys to reflect themselves, and in more recent generations, violent children's products are highly promoted. Study results showed that 60% of middle school boys and 40% of middle school girls who have played a rated mature game, have hit, bullied, or beat someone up. With vicious behavior being seen on tv, children's actions have a 'Monkey see, Monkey do', and begin to believe it is okay to be violent. Another problem is that children have more troubles learning how to control their anger. Consequently, if they see characters in TV shows and video games, acting out they will believe it is okay for them to do the same. The typical American Child will watch 200,000 acts of violence, including more than 16,000 murders before the age of 18. The violent virtual realities are becoming more realistic in children games and shows.

As children become more exposed to violence they desensitize to the actions. In military training, the government uses brutally gory video games for troops in training. They become accustomed to shooting and killing people, so when they go into battle, they have an exposure to it. As people play video games, it teaches them that violence solves everything, whether it be right or wrong. For example, they kill innocent people in games which can lead to a lack of compassion. Children begin to think along the lines that if you are in a confrontational situation that they can act out with violence and the issue will be resolved. This overexposure to violent games and shows can increase aggression, angry feeling, psychological anusal and there can be a decrease in happiness/ helpful behavior. When viewing real violence, participants who had played a violent game experienced skin responses significantly lower than those who played non-violent. The body's skin reacts differently from violent versus nonviolent games. They become less aware of the acts they are doing because their body desensitizes, and this can also be linked to school shootings.

In the past fifty years, there has been a rise in the number of school shootings. Those linked to playing games have a higher chance of being antisocial and having troubles dealing with emotions. In Sandy Hook, the shooter was known to a frequent player of violent first-person shooting games. His existence largely consisted of playing video games. Unfortunately, The media continues to release information about school shooters, which can influence others. The media refers to these shooters as "Successful" Shooters, regarding that they murdered a high number, which can drive others to strive for the title as well. Also, the media seems to romanticize the way each school shooter executes their plan. A recent school shooter, Chris Harper Mercer had similar tactics as other shooters had in the past. He left a journal where in it, he critiqued other school shooters. Harper wrote, "I noticed where they always go wrong is they don't work fast enough and their death toll is not anywhere near where it should be. They shoot wildly instead of targeted blasts. They also don't take on the cops. Why kill other people, but you won't take out the cops. The exposure of the other shooters played a role in how Harper executed his shootings. Furthermore, the shootings are being too widely covered and critiqued by the media that now shooters are starting to critique it themselves and try to do it better.

The media and video games are the influence that leads to so many violent outbreaks. Children are being subjected to view violence in games, which can lead them to believe wrong things. Correspondingly, individuals who obsessively play video games are becoming desensitized, as they become used to the feeling of it. Sadly, there has been a rise in teenage school shooters over the last 50 years. In the year 2017 alone, there have been 273 mass shootings across America.

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My Definitive Ranking Of Animal Crossing Games

I know what you're thinking, and no, they're all not the same game.
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The Animal Crossing franchise has been around since 2002 and has four main games in its collection: Animal Crossing (Gamecube), Animal Crossing: Wild Word (Nintendo DS), Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS). Each game expands and improves upon the last one, while keeping the same simple game plot in mind -- you move into a new town and must take care of it and its villagers.

That being said, not every game is perfect. Here is my definitive ranking of Animal Crossing games, from best to worst.


1. Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)

In my personal opinion, this is the best Animal Crossing game of the bunch. They added lots of little features, while keeping the point of the game simple. In this game you could create your own constellations, open a coffee shop in your museum and even plant money trees -- all perks the Gamecube game did not have. Also, this game was the first in the franchise to allow for online play. You could now visit other people's towns, to explore and play together. I also think the unique design of the Nintendo DS helped make this game great. You could write letters or create patterns with the stylus on the touch screen, you see both screens simultaneously while playing, which allowed for easier game play then the Gamecube version. This game, to me, really defined Animal Crossing.

2. Animal Crossing (Gamecube)

It's hard to beat the original. This is Animal Crossing, in its most basic, true form. You have a mortgage to pay, a town to take care of and villagers to attend to. There are certain features in this game that I loved and wished they wouldn't have dropped when moving forward in the franchise. One of my personal favorites is the statue Tom Nook would construct if you paid off your mortgage in full - it was gold, shiny, right in front of the train station and absolutely ridiculous. Another feature, while not exactly honest gameplay, was another great one - the cheat codes you could find online. If you told Tom Nook a certain combination of letters and numbers, he would give you all sorts of goodies -- 30,000 bells, rare items, furniture. It was a nice little perk to have.

3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)

This game is arguably the one with the most changes and new features. This game took the usual Animal Crossing plot line and flipped it on its head: Tortimer, the mayor of your town, has decided to retire and named you his replacement. As mayor, you have so much you can do to your town: create new town projects, set new town ordinances, kick villagers out. Plus, a new island is introduced. You take a boat to it and have a direct line to rare fish, bugs and fruit. On top of all that, Nintendo just introduced a new update recently utilizing their amiibos in gameplay. All in all, this game is a lot of fun because it gives you so much to do. It can get overwhelming at times since there is so much you want to accomplish as mayor, but it's most always an enjoyable experience.

4. Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)

This game, to me, is the one I enjoyed the least. The game is pretty straight forward, like all other Animal Crossing games, but this particular one hyped up a city where you can shop from special stores or see shows. To be quite honest, the city never really impressed me. It was cool, but nothing that deserved all the hype it got. I also thought the controls for this game were a bit awkward -- you used both a Wii remote and a nunchuck, holding one in each hand. The nunchuck would control your movements and you would interact with tools, buildings or villagers with the Wii remote. It was something I could never get used to. This game wasn't bad, it just didn't live up to the other games in this family for me personally.

Cover Image Credit: Animal Crossing

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The First Game I Ever Professionally Reviewed Was A Train Wreck

What a way to jump start my career, right?

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First, I want to say that when I became a video game journalist, I knew the risks that would come with the job. With every game you review, there will be that one negative comment. With every game you review, there will be no promise that you will enjoy it. However, you have to play through it because that's your job. If you don't believe me, let me tell you the story of a disaster piece known as "Harvest Life." "Harvest Life" was one of my first big assignments that was given to me to review. Think of "FarmVille" having an ugly baby. Yeah, that's this game.

"Harvest Life" creates a base storyline that would come from any basic simulation game. Your grandpa has an accident with a tree and gives the farm to you to take care of, and that's it. With no questions asked, you are just thrown into the game. Within like five minutes, you get your first official "quest," which is to get a cat stuck out of the tree by... cutting the tree down while the cat is still in it. Makes sense to me. Whether it was a small tutorial to show how to chop trees or not, having this cat is pointless as it does nothing except just take up space on your farm.

The first thing that needs to be addressed is a missed opportunity for in-depth character customization. Now I need to say this aspect doesn't affect the game's score. There are games out there like "Animal Crossing" that don't allow character customization but still can be amazing products in the endgame. In my opinion, any game with a chance of character customization should strike while the iron is hot.

Let's talk about graphics in "Harvest Life." When I first booted up the game, it honestly looked like I was playing a mobile game or a farm game off some website at best. It was just so off-putting and a huge turnoff. It looks like the game isn't finished and somebody decided to just release the game way before its initial release date. It sadly plays the same way as well. A beta version of the same product.

After I wrote my review, I still was satisfied though. Not because of the game, oh god no. Nobody can change the way I feel about that. I was satisfied because in the end, I can call myself a video game journalist. I may be freelance at the moment, but to shake off that title I'll play as many horrible games as it takes until I reach my dream.

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