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Are Video Games Actually Desensitizing Us To Violence?

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Growing up, video games played a big role in my life at times, as they were often the go to source of entertainment. Whether I was spending time with friends or unwinding on my own, there was little “fun time” spent -aside from playing sports outside -without a Nintendo or Sony controller in my hand. And for good reason, as there is no denying that for many of us video games can be incredibly fun to play.

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I still remember to this day how immersed I became in games such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and the Metal Gear Solid franchise -all of which managed to preoccupy countless hours of my childhood and teenage years. To this day I still on occasion play video games and in the right environment and/or mood can have a lot of fun doing so.

With video game console capabilities consistently improving I found myself curious to explore just how big of a role video games play in our modern society and whether or not they are having any lasting effects on those who play them.

Video Games By The Numbers

According to a dossier released by statista in September of this year global video game revenues exceed $100 billion US, with $6.1 billion of that being generated by video game sales in the United States alone.(1) These already staggering numbers become even more surprising when one takes into consideration the state of the US economy. How much of that $100 billion is being spent by families and individuals who cannot comfortably afford to buy that $59.99 game or that $349.99 console?

In terms of time -arguably our most precious resource -in 2013 the average US gamer over the age of 13 spent 6.3 hours a week playing video games -which is up from an average of 5.6 hours spent in 2012.(2)

What Type Of Games Are We Playing The Most?

kidgamingViolence, in some way shape or form has been a predominant theme in the world of video games for quite sometime. The numbers support that conclusion with the action and shooter genres accounting for a combined 51.9% of video game sales in the US in 2013.(3) Even if masked under the intentions of playing a hero whose sole purpose is to destroy a series of “enemies” to save the world, violence is violence and we seem to love to engage in it virtually.

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The top 5 selling games in the UK in 2013 are further proof that this trend is global, with 4 of the top 5 being from the action and/or shooter genre.(4) Atop that list is the latest instalment from the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto series a franchise synonymous for gratuitous violence, sexuality and mature themes -as evidenced by its M for Mature rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

“Currently there are more than half a billion people worldwide playing computer and video games at least an hour a day — and 183 million in the US alone.” – Jane McGonigal, Game Designer & Author

So, with so much violence being engaged in virtually by so many of us worldwide is it having an effect on us? And more importantly is it desensitizing us to these mature themes? There seems to be two opposing points of view.

View #1: Violent Video Games Reduce Brain Response To Violence

A 2011 study out of the University of Missouri-Columbia looked at the long recognized belief held by many scientists that playing violent video games can cause players to become more aggressive in their daily life. The study involved 70 young adult participants who were randomly assigned to play a violent or non-violent video game for 25 minutes. The researchers then measured brain responses as they showed the participants a series of neutral and violent photos. The final stage allowed the participants to compete against an opponent in a controllable task that allowed them to choose how aggressively they would blast their opponent with sound. Researchers found that those who played a violent video game were more aggressive in their blast by comparison to those who played a non-violent game.(5)

Another study in the publication Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that aggression triggered by video games can last for up to 24 hours after the game is played -if the player continues to think about the game.(6) Thinking back on my own video game experiences I can often recall times where the game lingered within my mind long after I had put the controller down, making this study personally quite interesting for me to read about. The authors of the study noted that violent gamers often play for a lot longer than the 20 minutes they were allotted in this particular study, making it more likely that they let thoughts of it ruminate within their mind habitually.

View #2: No Causal Link Between Video Games & Violent Behaviour

Several authorities, including the US Supreme Court, the US Surgeon General, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission all stand on the side of there being no causal link between violent video games and violent behaviour. Any theories to the contrary they state are a myth, and in response have compiled a list of research to support this stance.(7)

They do advise however that individuals -especially parents -make informed decisions about what they do and do not choose to expose themselves to. Each game is subject to a rating and suggested age range, and all major gaming systems are required to have programmable parental controls.

How To Decide For Yourself

As with so many other things in the world these days I’m finding that the best solution always lies within. When deciding whether or not to expose yourself to violent video games, observe how you feel when you play them. Are they purely an entertaining experience that you are easily able to disconnect from? Or are they an escape that allows you to release frustrations, feelings and emotions?

I’d also advise to look within when deciding whether or not play video games at all. Observe your behavioural patterns to see whether you are simply engaging in an available form of entertainment or if it has become a habitual decision. Be sure to be honest with yourself when analyzing this as well, as you won’t be doing anyone a favour by masking how playing as much as you do makes you feel.

I personally do not think that video games are inherently good or bad. They aren’t for everyone, and there is a time and place for them for those who enjoy them. It’s up to us to decipher just how much and when that is, if at all.

Sources:
(1) http://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/
(2) http://time.com/120476/nielsen-video-games/
(3) http://www.statista.com/statistics/189592/breakdown-of-us-video-game-sales-2009-by-genre/
(4) http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/16/100-best-selling-video-games-of-2013-revealed-4265929/
(5) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525151059.htm
(6) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920094620.htm
(7) http://www.theesa.com/facts/violence.asp

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How The Education System Limits Your Consciousness

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Higher Education has come under fire lately as being expensive, and students wonder whether or not it's worth it, from a financial perspective, to get a degree.

  • Reflect On:

    Does the system of education truly educate us? We have to question, why are we accepting a society that doesn't allow humanity to TRULY thrive? We made it this way, we can change it.

The debate around whether or not a college degree is worth it has become ever intensified over the last few months as people begin to beg answers to the question: when will students pay off their debt? How long does it take?

Further to that question, I believe “how many students end up in a job or career they actually enjoy?”

But economics seems to be the big question here, and that’s fair given our world always seems to push us to consider those numbers as the height of importance in society as opposed to creating a society filled with passionately acting individuals who do what they love.

It’s all too often we hear that thinking we could all do what we love is ‘a pipedream’ or ‘not thinking like an adult.’ In these responses, if we pay close attention, we are actually saying we’ve come to accept that the way the world is should simply be accepted. Sure, in some cases these days we are working towards making a difference in areas of society like equality and poverty, but are we truly changing our system radically enough to make it so humanity can thrive? Or are we accepting enslavement?

In a recent podcast about my philosophy on how shifting consciousness and understanding conspiracies theories are intimately connected, I explored the system of education and how that functions. The education system seems to be a learning tool for us to accept the world the way it is. While we think we are educating ourselves, and we are in some ways with specific skills, there is something more to the story we aren’t exploring. We essentially are taking an ever expansive consciousness, with full capability, and molding it into a tiny tight system of living and being that doesn’t even support our ability to truly BE.

I truly believe we need to begin dreaming bigger and imagining bigger about what we are capable of changing in our society. We have to question, why are we accepting a society that doesn’t allow humanity to TRULY thrive? We made it this way, we can change it. What if we could learn about the technologies we truly had and were capable of without having to hold them back because of commerce? What if we learned medicine without the influence of pharmaceutical money and drugs? What if we learned about how we could act as a global community creating abundance for all instead of learning how we’re all separate and we need an economy to operate? Are any of these things real? Or just a story? Why are we being told these things as if they are facts?

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Check it out in the video and podcast below.

Subscribe to the CE Podcast on iTunes or via email.

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Let’s Stop Believing That ‘Children In Cages’ Is A Left/Right Issue

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The only reason that the issue of 'children in cages separated from their parents' is in the public eye is that it was part of an attempt to criticize Donald Trump's immigration policy. The situation was similar under Obama.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it possible that this Left/Right tirade on immigration is hiding a deeper problem? What will we find if we are able to see through the smoke screen of fabricated polarization and theatrical political debate?

When I hear stories like the one that’s hit the current news cycle–kids being detained in cages and separated from their parents after having entered the country illegally — I have learned to suspend judgment until I get the whole picture. This comes from finally discerning, after years of taking sides and identifying with one side of the polarity, that there are always two sides to any contentious issue, and the truth lies hidden somewhere in the vast middle.

Still, mainstream media sources tend to slant their stories based on the side they identify with. And this slant is even more pronounced when we are dealing with testimonials from members of either of the dominant political parties.

The very reason this ‘kids in cages’ story has even come into public view is that the Left is trying to cast the Trump Administration in a bad light, based on their current ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy.

The response from the Right? They were able to identify the photo below, which was used and shared as part of the criticism of Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy, as a photo taken in 2014 — while the country was under the Obama Administration. And so they are able to ‘put the heat’ back on the Left, not only insinuating that Democrats are misrepresenting evidence for political purposes, but also that they are guilty of what they are accusing the Republicans of.

2014 photo of a US Customs and Border Protection center in Nogales, Arizona

For more insight into this, take a look at Joe Martino’s recent short video ‘Why are we just now hearing about children in cages?’, and his in-depth podcast ‘Don’t be fooled by politics.’

We’re Asking For It

The truth is, we as a collective can hardly complain if important social issues keep coming to us through the dense filter of polarized political theatre. As long as we as citizens continue to fundamentally identify with one or the other side of the polarity, politicians will continue — in essence, they don’t have much choice — to ‘play up to’ their base and excite and arouse them, so that they can maintain power and support.

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Take a look at the dramatic exchange between ‘crime-fighting super-hero’ Donald Trump and ‘sanctity of life’ crusader Nancy Pelosi trying to stake their positions on the immigration debate:

The Immigration Issue

In effect, the issue of immigration in the United States has many facets and needs to be dealt with in a comprehensive way. Most people would agree that, as currently constituted, The United States has some right to a process to determine which people will and will not be permitted to live and work in the country. Most would also agree with the notion that all people should be treated with a certain level of dignity and respect.

Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order to end family separation at the border would seem like a step towards conciliation — though it is met by the other side with general scorn and skepticism, amidst questions about whether this will reunite the families that are currently separated. One side will argue that 500 children have been reunited since May, the other side will ask whether those people are still in custody or they have been freed. Democrats will say that Republicans don’t treat immigrants with any respect, Republicans will argue that Democrats are blocking funding that will allow for adequate living conditions for detained illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, for as long as any of us have been following this issue, people continue to suffer and endure abuse in a broken system. It is such a systemic failure, would it be such a surprise to eventually discover that the system has always been broken — on purpose?

Let’s Leave The Theatre

As conscious and awakening citizens, our primary role here is to stop buying into to the exaggerations, omissions and outright falsities being propagated on both sides of the aisle. Our own discussions about immigration policy should not be dictated by this fabricated polarity, within which we have to self-identify with one side or the other. Let’s try to look beyond and see that there is a much more powerful force, pulling the strings of both sides of the debate, and maintaining a state of confusion and inaction.

Suggestions now coming out that the Mexican border immigration phenomenon has long been used as a cover for child trafficking may be the point we should really be keeping our eye on. Despite Donald Trump introducing the idea that the Democrats are ‘responsible’ for this, we have reason to believe that immigration policy from both sides has long been facilitating crimes being perpetrated by powers far above the Left/Right fray. And if we are prepared to read between and beyond the distraction, and investigate through the smoky veneer, we may soon become agents of significant change that our politicians could never be.

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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

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Alternative News

Hegelian Dialectic: A Tool To Enslave Humanity

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Hegelian thinking is built within our entire social and political structure and is a tool used to control perceptions withing society.

  • Reflect On:

    How much do we play into the elite and system in place simply by moving along with our lives as if everything is the status quo? How are we opting our consciousness out?

Hegelian thinking affects our entire social and political structure. The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution.

If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the vision. When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box.

Hegel’s dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action. Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in the elites game and it holds this system in place. Opting our consciousness out is the key.

The chess board is a well known Masonic or Hegelian symbol, the black and white squares symbolize control through duality in the grand game of life in all aspects. Left or right, white or black people, conservative or liberal, democrat or republican, Christian or Muslim and so on. Through two opposing parties control is gained as both parties reach the same destination, which is order through guided conflict or chaos.

Left (thesis) versus right (antithesis) equals middle ground or control (synthesis). The triangle and all seeing eye we see so often symbolizes the completion of the great work which began almost 6000 years ago when humanity was taken over and disconnected.

The pyramid is supported by the bottom opposing sides. The capstone at the top is established through controlled solution or middle ground. Hegelian dialectic is one in the same, the final plan is in action, however, the system is decayed and destined for failure.

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The dualistic order out of chaos model is based on separation of the people driven by economics. However, the planet is at the apex where consciousness is shifting and people are seeing beyond this game. Therefore the system that is ‘controlling us’ can be will be no more. Those manipulating the planet have used Hegelian dialectic to separate and control brothers and sisters, children of this planet.

The only way to completely stop the privacy invasions, expanding domestic police powers, land grabs, wars against inanimate objects, covert actions, and outright assaults on individual liberty, is to step outside the dialectic and shift consciousness. This releases us from the limitations of controlled and guided thought.

It is all the same game brought on by the cabal of this world, we are choosing to play these roles to support a system designed to hold us back from thriving, but it is time to change that game. We can expect to see more madness and fear tactics from the establishment to keep control., but you are always free to think outside the box and let go of the Hegelian Dialectic. You can view this system for what it is as the moves on the chess board become more and more blatant.

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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