Culture is frequently reflected in movies, television and electronic games, and has been throughout modern history.
The influence of The Cold War, for example, had a deep and enduring influence on the American film industry. Over the years following the Cold War, a string of films were made, echoing various related themes. Walk East on Beacon, for example, is based on an article by J. Edgar Hoover. It depicts the struggles of Soviet spies to foil a top-secret scientific project (Landon).
Just as culture can affect media, media can equally affect culture. As computer games have become more popular they have had a considerable impact upon popular culture. Video games encourage players to self-produce their own media. For example, In 1999, Doom gave out a code that allowed gamers to modify and lengthen their game. Pro-sumers such as this one have unified gamers and have given them a medium through which they can discuss game experiences and tactics.
Within recent years, many influential games have been released. Goldeneye 64 is well-known as being one of the most influential items in gaming history. It introduced the video game world to console based games that contained a story, weapons, secrets, unlockable characters and multi-player, among other attractive features. The FPS genre is now the most popularly used genre of game in the western world, mostly as a result of the impact of Goldeneye 64 (Hent, 2010). This game has been so influential that in 2010 it was released, thirteen years after its original release.
The Grand Theft Auto series is a further example. It has influenced games such as Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. The concept of an ever-changing world has drawn in many game developers. Crime genre games such as Kane and Lynch have been designed and produced as a result of Grand Theft Auto (Hent, 2010).
Resident Evil marked the start of Survival Horror (Hent, 2010). The game has produced several sequels and a prequel. Some games that are based on Resident Evil include Dino Crisis and Parasite Eve.
Video gaming has become a common hobby for individuals of all different ages. Many children and young people spend a great deal of their time engaging in the activity. Some games could be deemed as educational, but many of the more popular games, however, positively feature acts such as killing, abusing drugs, committing crime, using bad language and acting according to stereotypes based on race, sex and gender (Children, 2006).
There is increasing research begin carried out regarding the impact that videogames can have on children. There are worries about how children are effected by playing violent video games when they spend excessive amounts of time playing them (Children, 2006).
Studies of children open to game violence have revealed that they can become: “immune or numb to the horror of violence, imitate the violence they see, and show more aggressive behavior with greater exposure to violence” (Children, 2006). Some children take on the view that violence is a method of dealing with problems. Research has also suggested that the more realistic and regular the violence is, the higher the effect on the child. Furthermore, children with learning, emotional and behavioral difficulties are likely to be more susceptible to violence in gaming.
Children and young people can become obsessed and even addicted to videogames. Spending vast quantities of time playing such games can result in inadequate social skills, time away from friends, school-work and other leisure activities, poor school grades, partaking in less exercise and gaining weight, and violent thoughts and conducts (Children, 2006).
Movies, television and video games are closely linked to culture. Culture can influence the media, but the media can also affect culture. As television and gaming become ever more popular, it is likely that the relationship between media and culture will tighten even further in the future.
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Nicolosi, B. Video Game Culture: A Harmless Addiction? Catholic Education Resource
Centre. Retrieved from http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/media/me0031.html