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Violent games take heat for attacks

OKLAHOMA CITY—It’s rare to find a child that doesn’t have a video game or two but now more parents are concerned about what their children are learning from popular products.

Janna Sharp said, “I am 100 percent concerned that they desensitize our youth.”

Sharp has two small boys and two stepsons in their teens and fears these games can negatively affect children’s perception of death and violence.

From fighting in a virtual reality war to shooting strangers, it’s realistic video games that make her worry about her kids playing first-person shooter games.

She said, “Young men, recluse, maybe who have been bullied, who don’t have a lot of social activities and you get trapped in that world.”

According to a Harvard health study, federal crime statistics show violent crimes among youths have decreased since 1996, even as video game sales have soared.

Psychologist Dr. Stewart Beasley says video games are not likely the catapult to horrific crimes, like we saw in Connecticut.

Instead, he believes we need to take a closer look at mental illnesses that affect millions of Americans.

However, Sharp says virtual violence can still be taken to the next level.

She said, “If on one hand a school shooting is wrong and gun violence is wrong, but it’s okay if it’s on the TV, we’re sending the wrong message.”

If you are concerned about the games your children play, put the TV or computer in a common area and watch how your kids react to playing the game.

You can also check the rating written on the video case to see what content is in the game before you buy it.