on February 24, 2016in Electronics as Addiction-Distractiontags: antisocial behavior video games, bringing up boys, bullying, school shootings, shooting games, shooting games effect on brain, spiritual effects of violent video games, the demise of guys, violent video games, violent video games effectswith No Comments
What Is A “First-Person Shooter” (FPS) Violent Video Game?
“First-person shooter” (FPS) video games is a type of shooting video game experience. There are two aspects to this type of game. One aspect is that the player is shooting some type of weapon, like a gun or rifle. The second aspect is that it is done in the first-person, or “I”.
Traditionally, many video games included shooting weapons, both big and small, realistic and unrealistic. I do recommend you avoid all violent video games, but first-person shooting games are uniquely violent and uniquely destructive to the mental-spiritual growth of the person playing.
What Does “First-Person” Mean?
So what is first-person actually mean? The first person is “I”. The second person is “you”. And the third person is “he” or “she”.
In the older games, your character would be facing left to right. They start at the left side of the screen, and move to the right, and shoot the enemies that are directly upward, downward, to the right, and sometimes to the left. This is like saying “he”, “she”, or “they”, which are “third person” references. Although the player is still identifying with the character on the screen, they are looking at the character in the third person, as an other, as a he or she. So there is a certain amount of disconnectedness with the game. It’s still violent, but it’s not as violent as first-person.
In a first-person shooter game, or “FPS”, the player can not see their whole character on the screen. They are playing from their own perspective. They can see the weapon and their hands holding the weapon, and the character on the screen is facing forward, into the screen, the same direction as the person playing the game. Therefore, it feels realistic, and the player feels like they are totally immersed in the game, in the first person, as an “I”.
Since the player is now playing as an “I”, the enemies are no longer “they”. Instead, the enemies are looked at directly in front, directly into the screen, so they become “you”. It becomes “me against you”, which is much more aggressive and direct. The conflict is “in your face”, and you are face to face with your enemy. I am shooting you, the enemy. Not that my character (he) is shooting the enemies (them). It makes you feel like you are the one carrying around the weapon and aiming. It’s completely real and personal.
Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Reality: You Become What You Meditate On
Is this bad? What’s the problem? The issue here is that you become what you meditate on. And in a first-person shooting game, you are meditating on targeting, aiming, shooting and destroying every “you”, or every other person. You are meditating on separation, separation from every other human being.
In pointing your weapon at the “enemy,” you are meditating on the angry destruction of every other. It is the process of pointing your attention at another human being, or even an animal or an object, and then judging them as evil, bad, or simply as other, divided against you. Once you’ve affirmed to yourself that they are against you, you now decide that you will be against them, instead of trying to understand or forgive them. Then, you decide that you will destroy the other person, who you have confirmed in your mind that they are your “enemy.” Finally, you follow through with this destruction by pointing your weapon at them and shooting them, shooting to kill, or to completely take away their life through control and domination.
FPS Shooting Games Train Your Mind To Target Others With Judgement And Wrath
When you play a first-person shooter video game, you are literally training your mind in this process of seeing every other person (and everything outside of yourself) as an enemy, judging them wrongly, targeting them, aiming for them, locking your judgmental and destructive gaze upon them, and then following through with completely destroying them by taking their life away. This is the mental training process with every shot taken.
So let’s say you “killed” 50 or 100 or 500 people while playing for half an hour, or an hour, or 4 hours, or however long you played that day. All during that time, you are literally meditating and training your mind in this process through the repetition of these cycles of judgment, enemy, otherness, and destruction. It is literally mind-training, mind-changing, brain-washing, whatever you want to call it. And it is a real process that creates real changes in the physical brain and in your mind, in your thinking and your perspective.*
First Person Shooters Teach: “Everyone Is Different And Against Me”
In real life, then, you have been trained to see everything outside of yourself, and especially every other person, as the enemy that must be destroyed. This will be most intense for any person you don’t like, or that hurts you, or that has a different opinion than you, or that likes a different basketball team than you, or comes from a different country than you, or that’s the opposite sex of you, or says “no” to you- any difference becomes the basis for target-judgement-lock focus-destroy-kill the enemy.
Does that mean that you are going to go out and kill people? Usually not, although we have seen many incidences where this is actually happening. Kids shooting up schools and setting off bombs has become all too common. It is one reason we need to stop playing these games, but it is definitely the extreme, and not the most common manifestation of this process.
The Bottom Line: Separation
In most situations, the most common and most profound effect of first-person shooter games, especially if they are played for more than an hour per day, is the symptom of introversion, or anti-social behavior. Once we understand this sense of separation from other people that is being trained in the mind with each game played, it’s easy to see how this will cause a collapse in the personality and in your heart, training the player to move inward and deeper, closing off his heart and cutting off the people around him.
It’s not just that he has less friends, or it’s difficult to talk to women. It’s deeper than that. Many people have social struggles, and those can be dealt with in different ways. But the mind-training of FPS games causes a true collapse- even a paranoia- where the player views everyone as an enemy-other, and he can not bear to be in relationship with anyone.
Pointing And Shooting Will Collapse The Heart
Unfortunately, this internal collapse of the heart get’s deeper and deeper with each game played. As the player disconnects more and more from relationship with others, whether family or friends, the player turns more and more to the virtual world for comfort and for confirmation that what he is feeling is true: “everyone else IS the enemy, let me continue to confirm my suspicions and play out my wrath through the game.”
Research Evidence And Scientific Studies About Violent Video Games
Research has shown that there are variety of negative outcomes associated with violent video games in general, including:
– Anti-social behavior
– Desensitization to violence
– Confused moral decision making
– Aggressive thoughts, emotions and behaviors
– Identity issues
– ADHD behaviors like attention problems, hyperactivity, and impulsivity
If you’d like to read some of the studies yourself, click here and let me know what you dig up!
It is important to note that these are just looking at the outer effects of playing these games; they are not taking into account the deeper spiritual idea of separation and other-ness. Separation is what causes us to be anti-social or aggressive, and keeps us running away from love in all of our relationships. Separation is the root problem that we need to stop reinforcing through these FPS games.
What Is The Truth About Life?
What is really true? The truth is that no one is separate from anyone else. The earth and everyone in it forms an intricate balance of life and death, of consumption and waste, a recycling of life that continues indefinitely. And the spirit of truth and love is the spirit of oneness and unity, cooperation and community. And most deeply, unity and love are manifested in relationship.
There can’t be relationship if I am looking at the other person as an “other,” separate from myself. The other person becomes the enemy, and the goal becomes to either destroy the enemy, or to take advantage of them for my own pleasurable gain, without regard to their humanity. This is most profoundly expressed through pornography- using the “other” for your own pleasure, forgetting about their humanity.
This separation, targeting, judging, and using others, is how most of us already live! We struggle in our family relationships, in our friendships, and in our intimate emotional-sexual relationships or marriages. As we try to realize a higher way of love and relationship, first person shooter games simply reinforce and counteract the process of spiritual growth and deepening relationships, making everything that much harder.
Our Responsibility As Parents Concerning Violent Games In The Home
As responsible parents, we simply can not allow these games in the home. Take them away, throw them away, take the video game consoles and computers out of the bedrooms, and be strong in preventing our sons from training themselves in the way of separation, and seeing everyone around them as an enemy. If they back lash, do what needs to be done. Get counseling. Get help from friends and family. Do lots of talking, hugging, loving, and educating. But don’t give in- if they are living in your home, you must take full responsibility for the process. Knowing the effects of FPS games, you must be true to yourself as a good parent.
Make Shooting Games Impossible To Get To
Don’t be afraid of putting physical barriers to playing these games. Remember, they are extremely addicting. If you put a pile of cocaine on the table in front of a cocaine addict and tell him, “don’t do that! It’s bad for you! It can kill you!” he is still going to do it! FPS games (and video games and electronics in general) are extremely addicting, so we have to create actual physical barriers from playing them, especially if parents are not always in the home.
Some things that you might need to do to eliminate FPS games from your home:
– Throw away the FPS games. Don’t give them away so others can play them!
– Educate your child’s friends and family about FPS’s destructive effects on relationships. Send them to this article.
– *Do not leave any gaming consoles or computers in the bedrooms.* Keep them in an open part of the house. This will also help prevent pornography.
– Hide the console in your closet (if your kids are small enough) to limit the amount of time they spend on it.
– Cancel or unplug the internet, or take the plug with you, so that they don’t play online while you are at work.
– Take the video game console (x-box, etc.) with you to work. Throw it in your trunk every morning.
– Search your kids rooms and backpacks for FPS game cartridges about every week, or use your judgment for how often. They live in your home, it’s your responsibility to raise them. It’s for their own good, and it’s NOT an invasion of privacy. When they are responsible enough to live on their own, then they can have their privacy. They may not show it, but deep inside they will see that you actually care enough about them to be deeply involved with their lives in a loving way. And they will feel loved and protected by you.
I know, I know… It’s just a game. Well, I wish it was just that. But it’s not.
Remember, you become what you meditate on. This is the law, a sublime truth that is obvious in all forms of life. If we don’t respect it, then the random addictions and distractions that steal our attention minute by minute, day by day, will take over our lives, and we will be servants of all of the commercials, TV shows, games, and brands. And those forces will be happy to control us and make money off of our attention!
It’s time to awaken, and be free- happy, and free.
What have you done to eliminate FPS games from your home? Please share your ideas below so that we can all benefit from them!