Video Games: the High Tech Threat to Our Younger Generation

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  • Topic: Video game, Video game industry, Nintendo
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Video Games: The High Tech Threat to Our Younger Generation

Anyone who has ever walked through a shopping mall on a weekend knows how popular videogame arcades have become with our young people. It is becoming a force in the lives of millions of kids all across America. Parents and teachers become more concerned and worried when they see their kids devoted to videogames. They are highly concentrated because vidiogames greatly influence the mental and learning processes of the younger generation. Many parents believe that their children learn values more from the mass media rather than their from homes. Generally speaking, the video and computer game industry has been a growing concern to the religious groups, responsible politicians and bewildered parents for the disturbing contents and the substandard themes in some of its games. The videogame technology must be recognised for its role and influence on the younger generation because, for better or worse, it clearly affects their academic and social life.

Indeed, statistics are really alarming on the videogame industry. It is a multi-million dollar business growing at 40 per cent a year from 1987 to 1993 (Palmeri 102). Tetzeli in his article "Videogames: Serious Fun" compares videogames $ 6.5 billion--a--year business to the Hollywood film industry (110). He continues to point out that two Japan based conglomerate have put about 64 million videogame machines in US households in total. In addition to that they also produced and licenced for all their softwares for their machines (110). Palmery estimates to produce and market a ful featured videogame it would costs up to $10 million (102). Because of the cost producers attempt to make a return on their investments and earn as much profits as they can. To achieve their goals, they feature more blood, gore and human dismemberment in their games to appeal to the younger generation because violence sells. According to Palmery the game Mortal Kombat has sold a record 5 million copies for about$65 apiece.(102)

The advanced technology in upcoming videogame machines even allows the players to interact with screen images in ways never before possible. Analysts in this field say that it is only a prelude to the emerging world-wide network popularly known as the electronic information highway( ).

Two of the Japan's formidable corporate giants, Sega of America Inc., and Nintendo of America Inc., are a real force behind the growing phenomenon. `The world wide home--videogames marketwhich they dominate is worth arouwnd $20 billion, of which about two-thirds represents thegames themselvesand one third the machines theyare played on....Their empires are based on a manufactureing and distribution system built around cartridges and dedicated machines (Massacre 71). Their battle for the market share and the massive multi-billion dollar world wide market and their expensive advertisement battles have attracted the public attention(Hulme 20). For instance, ten million marketing budget and the publicity fuel a national debate on Videogame violence which obviously helped Mortal Kombat finish the year as the top selling Videogame of the year is the another success story. The game should bring $150 million in one year revenue by the end of 1994(20).

Who else is to blame other than the technology itself for the public outcry against the violence and sex in video games? Some computer experts say that with a modem, most videogames could be accessible, just like making airline reservations and holding library books. It is that easy. Evans, a concerned mother of two boys, complains, "You see, those mothers know when their kids go to the mall or some place like that, they won't be able to buy cigarettes, or alcohol or pornographic magazines." Evans continues, "But kids can walk into any movie rental store and pick up one of these violent video games, nobody will say no. The parents feel like they lost control with...
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