With hooded youths in pitched battles with police, all reason gone and high on destruction, I felt for a moment as if we had stumbled into a real-life violent video game of the kind that so many of those involved are addicted to. These horrific games where points are given for burning, shooting and killing, where the graphics are so realistic you believe that they’re real scenes of carnage, where those who play fantasise they have the power of life and death, are so brutal they completely desensitise anyone taking part.
I love Grand Theft Auto as much as anyone but I can honestly say I have never accidentally mistaken it to be "real scenes of carnage" and I really struggle to believe that anyone else would do the same. Even the rioters aren't that stupid. Many of the people rioting were doing so for a reason: protesting because the London police killed an innocent man. The people who didn't really know what they were doing were all teenagers, bored over the summer. None of them were running around with guns shooting prostitutes, stealing cars or killing people for no reason whatsoever, so why do games which allow you to do these things come into question? They shouldn't.
Technology is allowing us to do or be whoever or whatever we want in this modern world and I think it's a wonderful thing. What about all the children who want a puppy but can't have one? Nintendogs will sort that out. What about all the football games that allow you to play for your favourite team? What about all the games that allow you to sing and dance in the comfort of your own home? There are so many games out there that aren't violent in the slightest yet it's the same thing. Obviously there are more grown up games like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty where you can kill people, but coming home from a long day of work and shooting a few people on the Xbox is not going to make someone think they can do this in real life in the same way that playing Guitar Hero doesn't automatically make people think they can go and become a real rock star.
As for "completely desensitising anyone taking part" I wonder if Jo Frost actually realises how stupid people would have to be for this to be true? If she is owning up to seeing a violent game and therefore feeling the need to be violent within her life like she is suggesting, then to be honest she needs help. We play these games because we can't and wouldn't do it in any other way and there is nothing wrong with that. In my opinion, this is the way life should be. I love taking my anger out on Black Ops by shooting people in the face, it makes me feel better and if I'm stressed there's nothing else that makes me feel better this quick. You really don't need to be a genius to know right from wrong and it really isn't hard to understand the difference between real life and a fantasy. I play a hunter on World of Warcraft it doesn't lead me to believe that I can go tame a wild lion and shoot dragons in order to get myself shiny things. I dare Jo Frost to find a handful of people that play games who believe that they can do in their day to day lives what they do in the game - they just do not exist. With technology advancing the way it is "gamers" do not exist anymore. Everyone plays games in some sort of capacity even if it is just Farmville or the Wii Fit. The people playing these games are normal people who are brought up to know the difference between right and wrong, real and fake.