Record sales of violent video games very worrying – Mitchell O’ Connor
Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today described reports of records sales of the new ‘Call of Duty’ video game in the lead up to Christmas as very worrying.
“In a week that saw needless bloodshed, both at home and abroad, the high sales figures of this violent video game are very concerning. Sales are estimated to have generated €1 billion in just 16 days. It is being lauded as the fastest selling entertainment product of all time, ahead of films such as the Harry Potter movies and Avatar.
“I really fear we are entering an age where such violence will be commonplace. Undoubtedly, society has become desensitized to acts of violence. There are a number of reasons for this, but violent video games certainly play a part. Life is precious and such games present people as obstacles and violent acts as having no consequence. Over exposure to such violence, be it in video games or otherwise, can distort reality.”
“Having worked as a teacher and as a principal, I am aware of how impressionable some young adults can be and I think it is really important that rules governing the sale of such games are enforced. I also think it is important that parents are mindful of buying adult games in situations where younger children might gain access to them.
“These video games provide no educational or social benefits. For me, the gift of a book will always provide real and lasting benefit. In Ireland, we are very fortunate to have exceptional authors both for children and adults and we need to support them more. It is also hugely important that literacy levels in this country dramatically improve. The Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) shows our literacy levels have fallen from 5th in the developed world to 15th.”