web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Video Violence And The Slaughter Of Children

Front-Page-012513

Are you really comfortable with your child being affected in such a profound way by a video game manufacturer whose fundamental motivation is to manipulate your child’s brain to continue playing so that they can realize the greatest profit possible?

Are you really comfortable submitting your child to what amounts to brainwashing by people for whom your child is essentially a disposable source of income?

Video game producers maintain that just because a violent person plays video games does not mean it was the video games that made the person violent. After all, uncountable numbers of people play violent video games without engaging in violence. Right? Perhaps. We do know that in 1999 only five percent of students aged twelve to eighteen reported being bullied in school while thirty-two percent complained of being bullied in 2007. That these numbers correspond with a rise in video game playing cannot be discounted. Mr. Safran suggests that the professed lack of a causal link between these video games and violent behavior has everything to do with science’s inability to document conclusively that the games have a detrimental effect on the neurology of children and not what actually happens.

To scientifically conclude that video games have a direct causal relationship to violent behavior, researchers would need to “feather out” some of the variables that impact behavior, i.e., environment, upbringing, genetics, diet, education, etc.

No doubt some are more susceptible to the influence of video games than others (most likely, the same players who become most immersed in the gaming experience). Certainly, the perpetrators of these mass murders have been individuals with significant social and psychological deficits. However, the number of young people drawn into these games is astronomical – nearly ninety-seven percent of twelve-to-seventeen year olds, for example.

Perhaps the most insidious thing about these games is something that Joshua Gardner pointed out in a piece for ABC News. He quoted Laura Davies, M.D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist in San Francisco who is reluctant to support tighter controls on media of any kind but who believes too many children are exposed to too much violence through video games and that there can be consequences.

“A huge part of discipline and development is understanding consequences. Letting kids know that their actions have consequences,” said Dr. Davies. “Video games like Grand Theft Auto turn the consequences into positives. You kill a prostitute and get points, you’re rewarded.”

Video games are not only immersive but they upend any civilized moral system by rewarding murder and violence.

Even without the a clear, causal link between violent video games and violent behavior, there is one observation that we can make with certainty. The proliferation of violent video games and violent media desensitizes players to real-life violence. These games teach impressionable young people that violence is an acceptable way to solve conflicts and achieve goals.

* * * * *

From a Jewish perspective, the desensitizing is perhaps most fundamental (and suggests the nexus of causality). As Rabbi Emanuel Feldman wrote in “Sandy Hook: A Jewish Antidote” on Aish.com, there are no “quick fixes” to the problem of violence but Judaism offers some insight. “The Talmud (Kiddushin 30b) records an incisive tradition in which God says: ‘I have created the inclination to do evil, but I have also created an antidote, which is the Torah.’ Thus, man is not born a warm and fuzzy creature. He is born grasping and selfish, fists tightly closed, concerned exclusively with his immediate needs. Says God in Genesis 8:21: ‘The inclination of man’s heart is evil from his very inception.’ Left to his own devices, not taught the ways of civilized behavior, so will he remain throughout life: a rapacious, self-centered infant masquerading as an adult whose fists will not open until he departs this earth.”

We are profoundly physical beings. We are, by nature, heavily influenced by the physicality of life. Our senses inform us and influence us directly and profoundly – which is why the immersive quality of these violent video games is so detrimental. We experience the violence as if it were real. We are rewarded for our violent behavior in the games.

In reality, of course, because of our brute, physical nature it is only Torah that offers the antidote to our brutishness, not a reinforcement of it.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Video Violence And The Slaughter Of Children”

  1. Even though I do not practice my religion I admire and greatly appreciate and agree with Rabbi Safran insight and wisdom.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Lag B’Omer became the “Scholar’s Festival” reminding all that derech eretz kadmah l’Torah-

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Jews cover the head not as ID but because wearing it makes concrete to ourselves our devotion to God

It’s easier to take Jews out of galus than to take galus out of Jews – Chassidic master

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

It is difficult to remain faithful in galut, the ultimate Rorschach test for all Jewish generations

Racheli Frankel: “I didn’t think they were thrown just anywhere. The tears of Hebron embraced them”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/video-violence-and-the-slaughter-of-children/2013/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: