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Response to Turkel

Turkel argues that many people compare video games to television, categorizing both as “mindless addictions.” She differentiates between the two, highlighting the fact that television is something you watch, whereas video games are something you do. The article points out the complex skills and strategies that video games require, and addresses the ways in which playing video games are valuable. For children, Turkel explains, the simulated world of video games serve as a bridge to new worlds and to the larger computer culture. Turkel recognized the negatives of video games: “[f]or many people, what is being pursued in the video game is not just a score, but an altered state” (509).


However, the dangers of video games have become more recognized since the publication of Turkel’s article in 1984. Video games have become increasingly sophisticated, and advances in graphics and animation make it even more likely to blur the lines between reality and the gaming world. McLuhan stated: “[t]he effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance” (207). The negative effects of video games, particularly on children whose brain patterns are still developing, needs careful consideration.

One Response to “Response to Turkel”

  1. on 08 Apr 2008 at 8:57 ameconway8

    I agree that we need to be careful about children playing with video games, especially violent ones. Their understanding of real and unreal has yet to be fully developed and can cause a dangerous confusion. However, this confusion can be said of literature as well, especially fantasy. After taking a Tolkien seminar where the discussion of what age a child should be able to read the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings because it could possibly cause a misunderstanding of what is real. This argument could also be applied to parents and schools banning Harry Potter. When does the censoring stop and how old is old enough?