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Thought of the Day: Video Games and the Human Heart - They Write What They're Told, We Don't!

Thought of the Day: Video Games and the Human Heart

By Carla B.

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Best Movie Quotes: Film – Beta Test (Directed by Nicholas Gyeney)

“One thing we must acknowledge as a leader in this field is our responsibility to shape our society. If you look where we’ve come, or arguably where we’ve fallen to, you have to ask yourself, what happened to our humanity and where did it go? In my new position, my focus is to return the spotlight to the gamers. I find that the single most important thing. And hopefully if we’re smart enough, we can remind our consumers to engage in balance, to remember what makes them human in the first place. In between missions of course. ” — Movie: Beta Test (Character Max Troy played by Larenze Tate)

“Any ambitious man would dream of reaching the top. To deny that would deny my own humanity, I think. Andrew Kincaid was a god in his own world, and any god who is obsessed with his own power sets himself up for his own demise. And that power falls on his angels. Someone had to take up the reigns. All we can do is hope for a fresh perspective. Ultimately it’s up to us to enter this world, to take up that controller, to make those decisions. Ultimately it’s your quarter.” — Movie: Beta Test (Character Max Troy played by Larenze Tate)
 

Image credit: Mirror Images LTD

      Compassion and Empathy is something Humanity must not lose…

Healing The Heart ....

Today, video games play a big role in many of our lives — as it is often the go to source of entertainment. It’s been proven that in a large number of American households  there is little fun time spent -aside from playing sports outside -without an X Box, Nintendo or Sony controller in the hand — and most recently, smart phones….and for good reason…?? As there is no denying that for many, video games can be incredibly fun to play. I still remember to this day how immersed I became in games such as Super Mario and Pac Man — all of which managed to preoccupy countless hours of my childhood. With the gaming industry capabilities consistently improving I find it interesting to explore just how big of a role video games play in our modern society and whether or not they are having any lasting effects on those who play them. According to a study released by statista in September of 2014, global video game revenues exceed $100 billion, with $6.1 billion of that being generated by video game sales in the United States alone.(1) These already staggering numbers become even more surprising when one takes into consideration the state of the US economy. How much of that $100 billion is being spent by families and individuals who cannot comfortably afford to buy that $59.99 game or that $349.99 system? In terms of time — which is arguably our most precious commodity -in 2013 the average US gamer over the age of 13 spent 6.3 hours a week playing video games -which is up from an average of 5.6 hours spent in 2012.(2) Violence, in some way shape or form has been a predominant theme in the world of video games for quite sometime. The numbers support the basis whereas the action and shooter genres, which account for a combined 51.9% of video game sales in the US in 2013. Even if masked under the intentions of playing a hero whose sole purpose is to destroy a series of “enemies” to save the world, violence is violence and gamers seem to love to engage in it virtually.

Image credit: Getty

So, it would not be presumptuous to add that many of the  video games we see and interact with today allow gamers to be as brutal as they like — within a very realistic scenario. Users can simply go up to someone — on any given street and attack them, use their vehicles to run a person down, and or even carjack them. Sexism, violence and hatred are the video game industries biggest proponents today. It seems the goal is to systematically desensitize and erode our natural empathy, our innate state of being — of oneness. Sadly, what we are seeing today are individuals being brutalized on any given street corner by someone — and passerbys simply standing by and doing nothing. In many of these cases there is hardly ever anyone coming forward to help. Why is this? Could all this violence that is engaged in virtually by so many of us worldwide be creating some sort of dark effect on us? And most importantly, is it desensitizing us? Why are we allowing this to happen? I can remember back in the day, before all this new technology arrived whereas our very own pocket communities banned together to assist one another in times of need. We sought out, maybe only **subconsciously— to be a service to others, our neighbors, friends and humanity as a whole. With this being said, I guess the only question that really needs answering is: What can we do to reconnect with our heart?? A 2011 study out of the University of Missouri-Columbia looked at the long recognized belief held by many scientists that playing violent video games can cause players to become more aggressive in their daily life. The researchers measured brain responses as they showed the participants a series of neutral and violent photos. The final stage allowed the participants to compete against an opponent in a controllable task that allowed them to choose how aggressively they would blast their opponent with sound. Researchers found that those who played a violent video game were more aggressive in their blast by comparison to those who played a non-violent game. Another study in the publication Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that aggression triggered by video games can last for up to 24 hours after the game is played -if the player continues to think about the game. The authors of the study noted that violent gamers often play for a lot longer than the 20 minutes they were allotted in this particular study, making it more likely that they let thoughts of it marinate within their mind habitually. Several authorities, including the US Supreme Court, the US Surgeon General, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission all stand on the side of there being no causal link between violent video games and violent behaviour. Any theories to the contrary they state are a myth, and in response have compiled a list of research to support this stance. They do advise however that individuals -especially parents -make informed decisions about what they do and do not choose to expose themselves to. Each game is subject to a rating and suggested age range, and all major gaming systems are required to have programmable parental controls. As with so many other things in the world today, I’m finding that the best solution always lies within. When deciding whether or not to expose yourself to violent video games, observe how you feel when you play them. Scan your heart. Are they purely an entertaining experience that you are easily able to disconnect from? Or are they an escape that allows you to release frustrations, negative feelings and emotions? I’d also advise to look within when deciding whether or not play video games at all. Observe your behavioral patterns to see whether you are simply engaging in an available form of entertainment or if it has become a habitual decision. Be sure to be honest with yourself when analyzing this as well, as you won’t be doing anyone a favor by masking how playing as much as you do makes you feel. I personally do not think that video games are inherently good or bad. They aren’t for everyone, and there is a time and place for them for those who enjoy them. It’s up to us to decipher just how much and when that is, if at all. Ultimately, it should never be okay to advocate any kind of violence in video games — regardless of how the 1 percent spins it. Thoughts? Please share below in the comments.

Heart Chakra | Human Energy Flow - Image credit: HumanEnergyFlow.com

RELATED: The Heart Chakra and its meaning for the human body My prayers and hopes today, right now… is for us all to take a step back, look within and exude our true power in light and love. Connecting with our heart is what we should be doing…not disconnecting from it….regardless of what life experience we may be working through. We must not lose our humanity. Peace and blessing, Namaste. Thoughts? Please share below in the comments. SEE ALSO: The Universal Law of Freewill

Our Truth is not Out there…. it is Within.

**Subconscious: acting or existing without one’s awareness: subconscious motive. noun. 2. (psychoanal) that part of the mind which is on the fringe of consciousness and contains material of which it is possible to become aware by redirecting attention Compare preconscious (sense 2), unconscious

Sources: (1) http://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/ (2) http://time.com/120476/nielsen-video-games/ (3) http://www.statista.com/statistics/189592/breakdown-of-us-video-game-sales-2009-by-genre/ (4) http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/16/100-best-selling-video-games-of-2013-revealed-4265929/ (5) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525151059.htm (6) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920094620.htm (7) http://www.theesa.com/facts/violence.asp

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