Video games are truly fascinating, with over 2 billion players around the world while being gender diverse as 46% are women and 54% being male, there is a large community overshadowed by the indirect connection of gun violence and overlooks the positives this wide community contains. This gaming community is not violent as advertised to be when it comes to the news or from the president himself. This community is a great community where you can join in and share laughs and interests in similar topics that helps bring people together, and this is what should be recognized. Where you can find this community can be either all around the internet in places like Reddit or Twitter, but there are actual locations, specifically in New York City, where you can meet gamers. Although video games are seen as violent tools, video games are a great hobby people can utilize to unite come together, and has developed an environment for gamers specifically in New York City.
It is believed by the public that video games cause violence in people, even though there is evidence against this from being fact. In 2018, there was an unfortunate school shooting in parkland Florida that claimed 17 lives of people. This tragic event shook up the nation, and our president Donald Trump stated “the level of violence (in) video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.” (https://youtu.be/3RKZn2Sf7bo, Donald Trump) This statement from the president states video games and the extreme violent exposure to guns and other “violent” things are wiring our brains, teaching us slowly but surely how to aim, shoot and murder other individuals. In another article by Lyndee Fletcher titled “14 Mass Murders Linked to Violent Video Games”, Fletcher states different examples of mass shootings done by people who played video games. In the article it states “To dig further, here is a list of some of the most violent horrible killings in the past few years; all of these killers had an obsession with violent video games.” and the list of names presented are “Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Lee Loughner, Elliot Rodger, Nehemiah Griego, Jacob Tyler, Roberts Anders, Behring Breivik, Michael Carneal, Jose Reyes, Dylann Storm Roof, Jeff Weise, Chris Harper-Mercer, Evan Ramsey.” This long list of individuals who committed atrocities, according to this article, were all addicted to playing violent video games. Fletcher also added in saying “Other killers have been hooked on violent video games too and have a warped sense of what’s real and what’s not, thinking that real life is just like a video game.”(Fletcher, 14 Mass Murders Linked to Violent Video Games). Suggesting that all killers who have been hooked on violent video games has had a sense of distorted view of reality. While it has been proven in studies video games cause aggression, there is no correlation between video games triggering someone to suddenly have the urge to kill someone. There is no scientific evidence a person’s mind is completely taken over by the illusion of combining the virtual world with the real world. While these have been killings that have happened previously, video games are simply not the reason why they have happened. Out of all the countries and nations around the world, America has the most incidents of mass shootings, and if we were to compare video games in america to other nations, Japan is a city that breathes animation and video games as if it’s in their culture now. Even with all the violent video games in Japan, there are very few to no mass shootings occurring annually. Now with the negatives of video games being exposed here, let’s focus on the factual positive effects of video games.
Social media platforms are everywhere, but nothing really makes you feel like you belong somewhere like the video games community. This hobby belongs to the people the public labels as gamers. Stereotyped to be all males, fat, unhealthy, drinking Mountain Dew and eating Doritos all day every day and never go outside, this social group is falsely placed in the eyes of society as a negative source of energy and being the kids who sulk in their hoodies at the back of the classroom corner alone. This could not be further away from the truth. In a study by Gwen Dewar who has a PhD in Authoritative parenting stated in her research saying “Students who said they spent more time playing prosocial games went on to report more acts of prosocial behavior … so it seems that playing prosocial video games predicted an increase in prosocial behavior over time.” and “Kids who spent more time playing prosocial video games reported more prosocial behaviors. And when presented with the social scenarios, these kids were also less likely to attribute hostile intentions to other people”(Dewar, The social effects of video games: Games that promote helpfulness). This study proves that people who play games that encourage more social behavior, encourages the person to actually become more social in the real world. The data also shows that kids who play more pro social games overtime will consistently stay social for a longer period of time. With the help of video games, you could get up and go find yourself people who find similar interests in games, and you have new people to play with. Going to a friend’s house just to play a game of Mario Party with them and having a fun time is one of the greatest things you can do with people. Just spending time in general while playing games creates experiences that are worthwhile. However aside from personal experiences, there are actual locations dedicated to be a place for gamers, by gamers that can be found not just in the digital world, but in real life too.
New York City is a very popular city that is the home of many great gaming dedicated locations. First there are the gaming stores of NYC but there are so many different ones that also end up totaling over at least 100 gaming stores in all of NYC combined. The popular locations people buy games from are the more commonly known places like GameStop, where people go to come together and try to either rip off the system or get ripped off when trying to sell games. But the hidden gems of gaming can go to locations known as JNL, a place where collectors and old school gamers can come together and play games that were created before the smartphone era began, though people also go to this place to try and get early copies of games before they are released to the public. Another location treated as both a place where you can buy games and a place where you can meet new people and experience new things is Nintendo NYC. Nintendo NYC is exclusively only for people who are fans of the nintendo games and it’s a very large community, with currently 15 million systems Nintendo has sold through the span of 3 years, you will find a huge community no matter what game series you love. Nintendo NYC also hosts events us gamers can attend to like midnight releases, streaming videos everyone can gather up and watch together while also reacting together and screaming/shouting when something amazing is announced, and for the younger generation of gamers Nintendo NYC sometimes have characters from the actual games come and take photos.
This picture was taken in Nintendo NYC, as gamers were reacting together to a video game live stream.
In conclusion, although some readers may object that video games are addicting to the youth and make them have unhealthy decisions. For example, in The United States of America the average time spent on playing video games is roughly around 22 hours per week. This results in the youth spending too much time in front of their TVs and spending it all indoors with no one to talk to. This goes against the sense of community of gamers I’ve been stating, however the youth playing video games is now their new way of hanging out with their friends. For my own personal experience, playing video games after coming home from school was the best way I could ever manage to find friends to be with and hang out with. Through video games I was able to create my own community of friends that I spent years with, and enjoyed every day of it. As I grew older, I started to realize that a community of people you can meet up to play games with actually exist in the real world and not just in your screen. After learning how to meet new strangers in online games and befriending them, you can do the exact same thing with people in Nintendo NYC, or the employees in GameStop who also just love games and are excited to talk about them just as your excited to play them. The significance and message of my map is to explain the community of video games isn’t just in an online platform, but it’s in the real world and filled with people that aren’t too different from yourself who are waiting to be challenged in a video game or just someone who just wants to have fun.
Fletcher/Movie guide, Lyndee. Charisma News, http://www.charismanews.com/culture/52651-14-mass-murders-linked-to-violent-video-games.
Trump blames video games, movies for violence, 22 Feb. 2018, https://
YouTube, YouTube, 11 June 2019,
Dewar, Gwen. “The Effects of Video Games on Social Behavior: Games That Promote Helpfulness.” The Effects of Video Games on Social Behavior: Games That Promote Helpfulness, https://http://www.parentingscience.com/effects-of-video-games-prosocial.html