Role of Video Games and Cartoons in Education
Do you remember your childhood cartoons? What about your school life? How was it? Were you talking about every single episode of your favourite cartoon with your schoolmates? What was the cartoon’s effect on you? Also, were you interested in video games? Were you spending time in front of a TV screen to play them?
A few days ago, when I was walking in a street, a young boy passed me. He had a school bag with him. I noticed that the school bag had a logo. The logo belongs to a popular video game called “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)”. Even though I have been interested in video games since my childhood, I have never tried to play this game but I know what it is like. It is an online game. I guess around 100 people can be online in the same warzone (map). The aim is to remove the rest of the people playing it. If you are removed, you can start with a new map and people.
I will not talk about any more details of the game. After I saw the school bag, my elementary/secondary school days came to my mind. I have begun to think about what we had at that time. We had Lucky Luke, Popeye, Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, He-Man, Transformers; and later on as video games, Captain Commando, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Final Fight, The Punisher and so forth. All of these had two sides; one side was the bad side (bad characters) who wanted to destroy the world somehow, and the other side was the good side who wanted to save the world from the bad characters. My friends and I were excited when we were watching these cartoons on TV. We were watching without blinking. After they saved the world at the end of an episode, we have become really glad. When we were playing these video games, we were sure that we were part of the good side always. Our aim was clear. Stop the war for peace and a better world. As I wrote, all of us were their fans, we all had notebooks, books, pencils, school bags, notebook cases with their stickers, small posters, images etc. Even if these cartoons and games had violence, we wisely separated what/who was bad and good and aligned ourselves with the good sides.
We grew up, and now we see that real life has two sides, like in our cartoons and video games.
But now, a video game-like PUBG has no side. One hundred people on the same map. No one is good or bad. The aim is just killing others. Even if your friend is online too on the same map, in the end, you have to kill him/her to win the game. I do not want to blame PUBG only. There are many games like this, but I don’t know them.
My question is: why are there school materials with these kinds of game logos on them? They enter schools easily on school bags, notebooks, pencils, and so on.
Dear reader, could you understand what I mean by this? Our kids are following bad examples, unfortunately. What can a student learn from these games/cartoons? If the aim is to kill everyone, they cannot even notice who is bad/good. Students must have role models to show them the right way. Unsupervised freedom takes them down unknown paths during their youth. I’m not saying that they should not play games or watch cartoons. It is impossible in this era. Also, I’m not saying this because I spent many days in front of the screen. Both parents/teachers must keep track of what is popular among youths and, if necessary, block it from harming their kids/students. Ministries of Education must sanction companies that produce these kinds of materials. They must not enter school!
The gaming sector targets our kids to make more money. If games are like our games in the past, I welcome them. But contemporary games are a big question mark for me. Violence is part of this life (unfortunately), but we must find the brightest paths forward, and support the rightful ones.
– Oğuz Yılmazlar
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