Video Games and Ethical Responsibility
We are the first generation to grow up in a world full of computers. Everyone and their cousin has one. It is almost impossible to go on a vacation anymore without seeing a computer. Some hotels and cruise ships have public computers and even many planes have video game systems built into the back of every chair. With computers being so predominant in our daily lives, we must have some use for them. Many people use them for work and many for the internet, but an overwhelming amount use them to play games as well. Games as simple as solitaire, as fun as pinball, or as challenging as chess. These are simple games that almost anyone can pick up. You can teach your four year old child how to play solitaire before you even have to teach them to shuffle a deck of cards. The simplicity of being able to play a game on a computer and the advancements in technology creates a huge market for video games, and with this, much more in depth and advanced games are created. Such as games where you can charge onto Omaha Beach as a soldier in World War II, or you can live the life of a gangster and break every rule in the book, or you can build and then govern your own modern day city. These are just a few examples of what video game creators are offering people these days. Each of these games not only offers more in terms of how interactive they are, but they are also visually breath taking. Certain games are capable of letting you zoom in and to see a worm in an apple and then progressively zoom out to see the whole world. Other games allow you to shoot an enemy and watch his arm fall off or his head explode. Others even allow you to watch your army destroy and pillage an entire town. The appearance of everything is slightly less than lifelike and mistaking a video game for real life currently would be near impossible, but that is rapidly changing. The mental effects of allowing people to easily commit such atrocities in a realistic but virtual world are not known since we are the first generation to grow up with video games. Is it desensitizing us? Will we be more likely to perform these actions in real life? With questions like these being thrown up in the air, people wonder whether game developers have any responsibility over the content in their video games.
The creation of the video game industry
The first video game, Pong, was released by the founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell, in 1972 to a bar in California. It was a crude box with a screen and a quarter slot. The basis of the game was table tennis; you hit the ball to the other side and avoid letting the ball get past you. The simple idea had the Pong machine jammed with quarters within the first week, people loved it. With the release of Pong the market for video games was created. Home versions of video games reached households by 1975; no longer would you have to go to a bar or arcade to play a game.1 From this point on children would be growing up in a...