Do Video Games Cause Violence?
Video games and the culture around them have been a part of my life for a long time. That is why the claim that video games cause or inspire violence is one that is of concern to me. While gaming addiction is one of the clearly-seen negative effects that has affected some, the idea that video games inspire real-life acts of violence is a much more scary, but debatable, topic.
The idea that video games cause violence doesn't seem too far fetched. Video games can be violent, graphic and realistic, not to mention that some of them allow or even encourage bad actions inside the game. The fear is that this could desensitize people to violence, and the added element of being part of the game makes it more immersive than just watching a movie.
While video games could play a part in some people's aggression, it doesn't help if we just blame video games for violence when there are many bigger factors involved. The motivations of people are complicated. It is also clear that the majority of people can see the difference between the virtual world and reality. They would never do in real life what they would do in a video game, because it's so different.
Right now, the research on the issue is pretty mixed and lacking a definite answer to the question. An interesting idea that has been explored is whether video games actually decrease real-life violence, as aggression is channeled in games rather than at other people.
I hope and pray that smart and caring decisions are made to end needless violence throughout the world. There is no easy answer, and it is something that we have dealt with and will continue to deal with.
I believe video games do not have to be a problem, but a tool to help people connect and learn alongside other gamers, all while becoming better people in the process. I myself have actually developed patience from playing difficult games, and persevering to the end. I know video games have been a source of joy for myself and for the friends and family that played together with me.
Never Too Small to Make
a Difference: Greta Thunberg
I believe it was from USA Today that I first learned about Greta Thunberg, or at least noticed her enough to remember. It was an airing of the speech she gave during the U. N. Climate Summit on September 23, 2019. Even though I found out that she has been making headlines since 2018, it wasn't until recently that I've readily been hearing stories about her and her work.
For those of you that don't know, Greta Thunberg is a sixteen-year old girl from Sweden who has led a movement challenging world leaders to take a much firmer stand on protecting the environment and reducing emissions to slow global warming. She has inspired youth from around the globe to take action, including school strikes.
I find it pretty incredible that someone of her age has been able to do what she has already done. It's good to see young people like her caring so passionately about the world around them and taking action for what they believe.
While she is, for the most part, a popular figure, there has been some controversy surrounding her. Some claim that she is just a tool being used by climate activists to push their message. Others go so far as to demonize her and create conspiracies about her plan.
I, myself, don't believe such things, but I do take some concern at the more radical parts of Greta's message. While more action definitely needs to be made by countries throughout the world for environmental needs, I don't think we are at such a dire point that we should seriously hurt jobs and the economy. There needs to be a balance between the two.
I may not agree with all the aspects of Greta Thunberg's message, but I appreciate the attention that she has placed on protecting our world. Hopefully she will get the ball rolling faster for smart action to be taken, so the world will still be as beautiful as it is today.
One fact about my life that you may not know is that most of my education has been through homeschooling. Starting in 1st grade all the way through 10th grade, I have been homeschooled. I have only been to public school full-time during my preschool and kindergarten years, and my junior and senior years. I am to graduate from WHS in 2020.
Being homeschooled was definitely a different experience than public school. My mom was basically my school teacher. I sometimes learned beside my brother, who was also homeschooled. That wasn't always the case, however, because he was two grade levels above me. I also independently learned through electronic lectures and instructions.
There were actually many advantages to being homeschooled. Some of those benefits included having more flexibility in my life. My family was not restricted by strict school schedules, so we could plan vacations more easily. I could work on school any time of the day, and sleep in if I felt like it. I took some courses that aren't usually offered at any public school, like Latin. I often understood difficult concepts better because I had more time to learn and practice.
There were some disadvantages though. One of them was it was hard to create deadlines, so I learned a habit of procrastination that still gets in the way. Another disadvantage was the lack of social interaction outside of my family. While I made some good friends of other families who were also homeschooled, I did not get the everyday social interaction that I have now at Washington High School.
While I think homeschool was good for me, I'm glad that I transitioned to public school because it is a totally different environment to learn from. I've had great experiences that I never would of had with just being homeschooled. My perspective has grown now that I got to live in the two different "worlds" of school, which I am grateful for.
My Favorite Room
I have lived in the same house my whole life. While that used to bug me a little, I now realize that it has allowed me to really bond with my home and appreciate it. There is one room that I appreciate the most, however. Nope, not my bedroom, but the basement.
My basement has gone through various changes throughout the years, but now probably the best way to describe it is as a game room. Playing video games is the main reason that I'm downstairs, but I could also be playing piano, using the air hockey table, or reading a book from the bookshelves. Pretty much all the cool stuff is in the basement, which is why when friends come over, usually the majority of our time is spent there.
Perhaps the main reason that the basement is my favorite room are all the fun memories. From building countless Lego sets to story role playing with my brother, ever since I was very young that room served as a place for my imagination to grow. We even used to turn the basement into a haunted house around Halloween!
While my basement has changed a lot over the years, it will always be the place where I know I will find something to give me a bit of happiness.
A Dog's Life
7 years ago, my family was looking for a new companion: a dog. My older brother searched through Petfinder and found one that grabbed his attention. It was a Shih Tzu, with messy thick hair and a longful look on his face. His name was Muffin, and he was only 3 months old.
I wasn't exactly sure if Muffin was the right one when I first looked at his picture, but I agreed with my family to go pick him up from the rescue home. It was an over 2 hour trip through southern Missouri to get to him, but when we saw Muffin in person for the first time, we knew it was worth the trip. Since then Muffin, who we now call Chester, has been such a monumental part of my life that I can't imagine life without him.
There isn't a day where Chester doesn't grab my attention, one way or the other. Maybe he runs up to me, maybe he lays right on the book I was reading on the floor, or maybe he just stares at me in the distance with his big eyes, practically begging me for a belly rub. He's for sure the cutest dog that I've ever seen, and I don't think that's going to change.
I can't say he's the world's most disciplined dog however, that's for certain, though he is becoming more mature as the years go by. Despite how much Chester has frustrated me and my family at times, it is nothing compared to the joy that he's given us. He's been a constant support for me over the years. There's something about playing with him, or just being near him, that can't be recreated. He's excited every time I come home to him after being gone, even if it's just 5 minutes.
I can't really remember what life was like without Chester. Right now, I know that I have a little someone I can always go to, and Chester knows that, too. Perhaps all those sayings about a dog being man's best friend is true after all!
Too tall for my own good. Movie enthusiast. Video games aren't fun when they're too easy. Prefer late nights to early mornings. Can do a great job, it just might take awhile.