The Disturbing Trend of Virtual Combat in American Pop Culture INTRODUCTION A recent trend in video games today is virtual combat. What is the fascination that society seems to have with inflicting pain and how has this begun to effect children today? With the increasing number of news stories regarding out of control children being carted off in handcuffs from school as young as 5 years old, it would seem that something is affecting our youth which causes violent outbursts. Further research on this subject is important because of the disturbing trend of violence within our schools. Video game companies are targeting our youth because of their fascination with virtual combat and violence in general. It would seem that this is one facet of many playing a role in the behavioral pattern of children witnessed everyday on our local news channels.

This is a concern for parents and citizen alike. War-like video games are geared towards battles of long ago such as Vietnam and Normandy and could invoke old wounds and lead to more hostility amongst the races not to mention the desensitization of our children. If a child plays a video game in which he is seemingly "killing" a Vietnam character, he might go to school and target that oriental child in his class at recess. Moreover, does this fuel children to seek out a "real" gun, which leads to even deadlier behavior such as searching and using a parents fire arm on an "enemy". A child's idea of an enemy could be another child who angers them on the playground. Violence among our teenagers in high schools seems to be on the rise as well.

The easiest demographic to target for these types of violent video games would seem to be teenagers as they are likely to have part-time jobs and extra money to purchase such items. Teenagers are already angry; giving them more fuel in the form of violent war-like video games seems to add fuel to the fire.


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