The Vast World Of Video Games

Explore how video games can help us & hurt us.

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Photo:JD Hancock on Flickr: Creative Commons.
The Vast World Of Video Games
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The Vast World Of Video Games

Highly publicized mass killings are usually done by young men.

And when reporters and investigators start nosing around, they often find that the young man in question played video games.
But that's because almost all young men play video games.
In fact, video games are a little bit like guns: there are so many of them out there already that it might make more sense to talk about how to live with them than about getting rid of certain kinds of them. 
In 2010, 145 million Americans played some kind of video game, but that probably includes stuff like Angry Birds. 63 million were willing to pay for them. In 2009, there were nine video games sold for every ten Americans. 
But they're not all the same, and they're not all violent. And the impulse to play them may be something we want to harness. 
You can join the conversation. E-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.



Michelle writes:

I think as well as my background in psycology isnt so much as making our young people violent as so much to de-sensitizing our youth to the violence that does exist.. More or less the young adults will take all the violent acts that occur and say oh well stuff happens instead of disbelief that it occured...


Kevin writes:

Hi Colin! Glad that a show like this is happening, even if I wish that this discussion didn't have to happen.

Just wanted to make a couple of points about the medium in general. Because video games (in their current state) are a relatively young medium, they are still slowly getting some very deep content. One recent game of particular note would be Journey, which is both critically acclaimed, non-violent, and not made soley for children or the casual market. (Hint: it deals with the Hero's Journey). Another would be Spec Ops: The Line, a violent video game that forces the player to look at the violent acts they are committing in a harsh light, and tries to make the player realize how terrible it is that they are enjoying the violence.

And, let's not forget, one of the best-selling video games of all time is Angry Birds! (Though comical, still violent!)


Bob writes:

I miss the mental challenge of computer “games” like Myst.

Bob Mitchell

Katy writes:

Please include a discussion about "Angry Birds" in today's show!!! Does it qualify as "violent video game" and how ok is it, really, to throw animals in kamikaze missions - however cartoonish or vindicated the mission may be??

Thank you!