A '''video game''' is
any electronic game played on a computer or console. They vary greatly in type and complexity, but all games are alike in that they translate player input (from a controller, mouse, keyboard or motion sensor) into onscreen actions. Games are usually stored on some sort of digital media - ROM cartridge, [[CD]], [[DVD]], or even cassette tape for early computer games - though older or more inexpensive games may have dedicated chips which are pre-programmed to play certain games only. In recent years, game developers have moved to digital distribution, allowing anyone with a credit card or [[Paypal]] account to purchase games online.
Home consoles are classified by ''generation'' to indicate their relative power and date of release. The current major consoles (XBox360, PS3, Wii) are considered ''seventh generation''. Handheld consoles are not generally put into generations due to their more irregular release schedules.
Though a popular form of entertainment in America, some video games (especially in modern years) may tend to promote a [[liberal]] worldview, and can cause [[sexual immorality]], [[atheism]], [[obesity]], and [[violence]]. Several prominent murderers in recent years were inspired by video games, for example.<ref>http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-316491/Teenager-gets-life-Manhunt-murder.html </ref>
Video games have also been shown to help people to become more attuned to their surroundings and increase coordination, and in the future may be used to treat people with visual problems and to train soldiers. <ref> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/05/0528_030528_videogames.html </ref>
== Various genres ==
Video games in the course of their existence have grown from the simple arcade style games, and have become more detailed and separated from one another. Genres can now include [[first person shooters]], [[racing]], [[Simulation game|simulation]], [[role-playing]], [[sports]], [[action]] and many others. Even then, games can combine genres, such as ''Mass Effect'' (Role Playing and Third Person Shooting), or not fit nicely into any genre, like ''The Mystery of the Druids''.
== Popularity & Controversy ==
Games have risen in popularity over the years, as is shown in the rise of video games sales from the 1980s until today. This has brought with it a various amount of controversy as the video game industry continues to grow with its original player base.
Video games are addictive activities targeted at teenagers, sometimes with tragic results.<ref>Some claim that 2/3rds of videogamers are over 18 years old, but far more people are over that age and a much higher percentage of minors are videogamers.[http://www.pan-o-matic.com/blog/?p=45 Only a third of videogamers are under 18]</ref> Certain genres of games are becoming increasingly violent and offensive, attracting the attention of legislators in many states to protect the exploitation of children by them. Games such as ''[[Grand Theft Auto]]'' are very violent, sexually explicit, and feature [[criminal]] behavior. These games are rated "M 17+" for "Mature," but courts have stricken down laws preventing retailers from selling them to children, under an interpretation that the First Amendment protects offensive video games even for children.<ref>http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/148962.html</ref> After a ''Conservapedian'' filed an [[amicus brief]] with the [[U.S. Supreme Court]] to consider this issue, it surprised [[liberal]]s by granting ''[[certiorari]]''.
However, in 2011, the Supreme Court denied a ban on the sale of violent video games in California, claiming they were protected as they "qualify for First Amendment Protection" and pointing out that there has historically been no shortage of violent imagery in children's fairytales, classical literature, and comics. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia pointed out that "disgust is not a valid basis for restricting expression", and continued that any effects of violent video games on children "are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media".<ref>[
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf BROWN, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL. v. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION ET AL.]</ref>
It has also been suggested that it is the role of parents to regulate what their children play, and that laws restricting video game vendors are an effort to replace parents' decisions with the government's decisions.<ref>
http://www. theepochtimes.com/ n2/ content/ view/ 45083/ </ref> <ref> http://www. gameculture.com/ 2010/11/ 10 / editorial- parental- responsibility-and - today039s -media </ref> <ref> http://www. latimes .com /news/ printedition/ opinion/ la - ed- games28- 2009feb28, 0, 1556900 . story </ref>
Some claim that kids who don't play video games at all seem to show more violent tendencies. Of course, as expected, those who played violent video games for large amounts of time also showed violent tendencies, however the study claims that this is a "risk marker", not an actual cause.<ref>http://wii.qj.net/New-research-reveals-kids-who-don-t-play-videogames-at-all-are-more-at-risk-of-violent-tendencies/pg/49/aid/118505 New research reveals kids who don't play video games at all are more at risk of violent tendencies</ref>
Multiple studies have shown a correlation between violent video games and levels of
real life violence, caused by playing some of the aforementioned video games.<ref> http://www. apa. org/science/ psa/ sb-anderson.html</ref>
Although nudity is not prominent in [[western]] video games, there are various products containing sexually-suggestive material. One reason for the relative lack of explicitly sexual material in western games may be the refusal of retailers including [[Wal-Mart]]<ref>http://www.walmart.com/catalog/catalog.gsp?cat=440903</ref> (the leading distributor of video games in the United States) and [[Toys R Us]]<ref>[http://www.toysrusinc.com/safety/practices/ See Toys "R" Us's video games policy]</ref> (the world's largest toy themed retailer) to sell games carrying an "Adults-Only" rating. One notable target of controversy is the ''[[Grand Theft Auto]]'' series after a third-party mod was released that allowed the player to engage in a mini-game containing explicit sexual material. Mods are, as "third-party" would imply, fan-made and are not the responsibility of the game's developer. Other sources of this criticism relate to the game ''[[Tomb Raider]]'' as it was one of the first games where a female character (the protagonist) is depicted and advertised as a sex symbol.<ref>Ashley, Robert. "The Secret History of Videogame Sex." Official Playstation Magazine Feb. 2006: 96-99.</ref>
== Video Games & Society ==
== Education in Video Games ==
While most popular video games are experiencing an increase in violence, language, and sexuality, other gamers and game developers are beginning to view video games as an educational opportunity. Firaxis Games, a noteworthy video game development company, has been creating a video game series called ''Civilization'' for nearly a decade. <ref> http://www.firaxis.com/company/ </ref> Civilization is a simulation game that allows the player to lead a nation from ancient times to modern day. It features a dynamic military system, politics, trading, and historical content. It has been recognized for its unintentional educational properties. <ref> http://www.firaxis.com/community/teacher.php </ref>
Microsoft Flight Simulator is another example of a video game
being recognized for its unique educational properties. <ref> http://www.microsoft.com/Products/Games/FSInsider/product/Pages/InfoEducators.aspx </ref>
The popularity of several of the favourite sports video games has led to an uptake in children wishing to take part in them. If an adult plays video games with their children, they can learn about their child's personality and interests.
== Faith in Video Games ==
Faith in Video Gaming has, as a rule, either led to the creation of new and dynamic antagonists, or video games that are mediocre, such as ''Spiritual Warfare'' and ''Bible Adventure'' for the Nintendo, or ''The Bible Game'' for various systems. ''Bible Adventure'' in particular is infamous for its poor design and playability.
The Bible, or other such religious texts, tell a story spanning many different viewpoints. Turning these ideas into a video game, however, most often leads to games that tend to bore most video game audiences.
Religion has, however, taken a prominent place amongst the various heroes and villains in video games. The ''Breath of Fire'' series and the ''Shin Megami Tensei'' games, in particular, use a god as a main antagonist in many of its incarnations. Other games to use religion in some way include the ''Final Fantasy'' series, ''[[Left Behind: Eternal Forces]]'', ''Black and White'', ''Heaven and Hell'', ''Xenogears'', ''Okami'', and the ''Tales'' series, particularly ''Tales of Symphonia''. Unfortunately, many (not all) of the aforementioned games present religion (or it's respective church and followers) as evil, fake, or having ulterior and nefarious motives
. Virtually no video games present faith in an honest or positive manner, as few conservatives or Christians work for game companies, then again direct content.
Games may include a fictional religion as part of the setting if the use of a real religion may invite undesirable controversy.
Video game reviewers have sometimes unjustly attacked and reviewed games where real-world religion plays a notable role. One of the most prominent examples of this is the game ''[[Left Behind: Eternal Forces]]''.<ref>http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/pc/left_behind</ref>
*[[Video game controversy]]
*[[Video game industry]]
*[http://www.whattheyplay.com/ What They Play - the parent's guide to video games]
*[http://www.leftbehindgames.com/index.php Left Behind Games - a Christian, family friendly video game company]
==References== <References/ >