Effects of Video Games

First published on facebook, October 10, 2013

My middle child was born an angel, with white hair and a sweet disposition.

Just look at this face. Yet he grew up to be a man who does and reads what he wants to, and the devil possessed him (on his lunch break, I think—Marty's lunch break, not the devil's) to send me this link to dark damage to children.

Oh should I have kept him away from video games all those years? LOOK at that face.
Oh, wait. Is that a two-year-old's SMIRK!??

I was set up. I've been used. Must barricade the doors.

Note added in 2018, P.S. the link had gone bad, so here is is at the internet archive:
4 Ways 'Grand Theft Auto V' Turned My Son Into a Monster

Brought here On October 10, 2020. The article was on the Cracked.com website, and it's fun.
We never owned the game in question, though my kids had played it elsewhere, and didn't ask us to buy it.

It has come up in discussions in the past, though, and this might be a place to collect some of those links, someday.

DOH! I made this page without remembering I had saved it before, with different format and choices.🙂 I'm going to leave both, because this one went toward Grand Theft Auto, and the other went toward being in a safe place on the couch

Comments about the photo, and more info about the game, from that facebook post:
Alex Polikowsky
OH My gosh he is so adorable!!!!!!!! Look at that face and that little grin and smiley eyes!

Sandra Dodd
I love this comment, in the article, about proof of violence: "On the fourth try, he couldn't take it anymore, and he said under his breath, "This is stupid."

Just as I've said. Sitting on the couch in their parents' homes.

And I don't think my kids have ever owned a Grand Theft Auto game, though they've played it at friends' houses. Maybe I should wish they had never had friends. ** JOKING.**

Alex Polikowsky
This was hilarious!!!

You are lucky they did not have the game. They could have turned out like the kid in the article. 😉

Susan Jarman
Great read - "Don't patronize me," I warned. "You know I don't know directions."

Sandra Dodd
That was a good one, Susan. 🙂 The kid is so careful not to rile his loving dad. 🙂

Sandra Dodd
I never see anyone kill spiders but me, too, for the record. I didn't kill spiders as much or as coldheartedly until I had babies, and the thought of one of them biting one of those babies changed my relationship to the insect world altogether. And to small rodents. They weren't so cute anymore after I saw Kirby, and Marty and Holly, all fresh and new to the world. An urge to protect them came upon me and my biology was different—my hormones transformed me, and I had a visceral hairs-down-the-arms NO YOU do NOT! feeling about spiders inside my house after that.

Killed a black widow just last week, with a package of post-it-notes. I'm not a Jain, I'm not a Hindu. That gives me a license to kill spiders. And to go on tangents.

Webs, nets, connections

I don't kill them in the yard. Well, sometimes a black widow that lives on the gate latch or some such, maybe. (No promises, black widows.)

Alex Polikowsky
I still don;t like killing them and I am very scared of spiders.

Kathy Isaacson
I remember that angel fondly

Susan King
That was hilarious. Read it to my 9 year old son and he found it funny

Renee Cabatic
As Xander has been playing Grand Theft Auto 5, I've written down some of the things he's been learning:
1) choose your friends, co-workers carefully
2) how to buy and sell stocks
3) some yoga poses
4) new vocabulary
That's doesn't include the conversations brought up by the talk radio playing in the stolen vehicles.

Jo Maslin
You might like this one about the perils of video games & errands 🙂 Are video games influencing our children to run too many errands?
(backup, in case that link goes bad)

Cat Forest
Oh My! What a sweet photo of Marty!!

Sandra Dodd
About errands, I've seen it lots. Kids will cross the desert to get something, or do something. They will wash and feed imaginary cows to get an imaginary horse.

Karen James
I would squish any black widow I saw near anyone I loved.
(Edited it to sound less harsh next to this sweet photo, but the sentiment still stands.) 🙂
edited to use "squish" instead of "kill"
More commentary about the game from older discussions:
Tia Leschke, 2003, about kids growing up non-violently

Elissa Jill

I was a little nervous about GTA:Vice City but I did what is suggested, I sat down and watched, attempted playing it and it amazed me the problem solving, the map skills! Zack only rented that one but bought the strategy guide and relaly had a good time. It was very hard. Several people, same discussion, different link in the archive

On Joyce Fetteroll's site, "I can't condone untra-violent games like Grand Theft Auto" and Joyce's responses.

The discussion Joyce saved things from, which also has some discussion about role-playing and sexuality (with chess pieces, and Barbies, in the examples), and about mental health.

From the transcript of Pam Laricchia's interview of Teri DeMarco, Unschooling and Technology:

You know I laugh because I have a son who loves first person shooter games on Xbox—this is the son that likes the challenges and the competition—and he’s a CEO in Grand Theft Auto. He has his own crew, he pulls people in, he has to deal with giving them cuts of the loot that they get, he has to then pay for all of the upfront cost of the guns and the whatever. (laughs) And he’s running a business. And when he’s really into that, he recognizes that sometimes in order to get the good—you know, his friends that are better at the heists—to come, he has to give them a larger cut of the pie. Or, he’s got a friend that really needs some cash so he’s willing to give him a bigger cut. You know, those types of things. But that’s all negotiation, right? That is a huge life skill, and just recognizing that hey, people have to be somewhat motivated to want to help you out, and you have to take on costs to do these types of jobs. It’s just interesting—whereas most people would say, “Oh, GTA, I’d never let my kid play that.” Well, my goodness, I’m so glad I let my kid play that, you know what I mean? There’s huge learning there.
—Teri deMarco

Brain Candy (notes/quotes from an interview with Steven Johnson, with links)

Others, in interviews if you put Grand Theft Auto into the second search box there. I'm sorry I can't bring a link to the search itself, but that searches several unschooling sites.

More Marty Dodd

More video games

Violence, in games, video, TV, movies