December 21, 2006

Burger King Serves Up Games with Obesity


Burger King released sales figures today revealing its three promotional video games, Sneak King, Pocketbike Racer, and Big Bumpin’ have sold over two million copies and over eight million combo meal deals in the United States in just four weeks.

There is controversy surrounding these games as they promote fast food, mischievous behavior, and sneaking and surprising.


You can't be serious that a game promoting "sneaking and surprising" is corrupting modern youth. It might be that young children should be kept away from ultra violent games, but now you're just being ridiculous.

Promoting sneaking and surprising?

Damn, better turn that off. Kids soon might be HAVING FUN.

For shame.

sneaking and surprising, we must eliminate hide and go seek now...

So... By saying sneaking and suprising is corrupting our youth you are saying peekaboo causes teen violence in the future??

The "sneaking" you're talking about isn't harmful at all...The characters run around and have to sneak up on people to give them food when they're hungry! What's wrong with that? Sounds harmless to me!

Do you people have no shame? I read these at first thinking that they were a joke. This is simply a promotion from Burger King, and I doubt the fast-food conglomerates are contributing to teen violence, rather they are trying to advertise. This really is ridiculous we're having this discussion, read this for yourself...

it addresses not only the issue of video games, but also the issue of pop culture in general, which seem to be your two biggest threats.

This site may be the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO BEHAVE AND STOP BLAMING MEDIA. People like this simply do not have the parenting skills to teach their kids how to deal with the world and are looking for someone to blame.

Um... how is this bad? I just dont see what is so wrong about any of those games. Any game with a rating of E to E 10+ shouldnt be bad for the mind. I wouldnt be surprised if you stared to boycot Mario for jumping on people. Cant you just trust the ESRB for crying out loud?

it promotes sneaking and surprising?*sigh* i sneak and surprise my sister all the times after she goes"Ah!" we laugh whats next are dora games bad?

Kyle Damon
Professor Haynes
WR 121

Are Video Games Harmful

Video games started with the game Pong in the late seventies. In the early nineties video games started to use violent themes. After a couple of years, video games had become the newest technology to be accused of corrupting children’s minds, health, and actions. Do video games really cause harm, or, are parents trying to shift the blame on video games because their children did not turn out the way they wanted them to be?
Video games started the three dimensional world as we know it today. Video games are much more than a source of entertainment; they are a way to expand the minds of many children. Every video game has some amount of learning material.
Opponents are doing all they can to prevent video games from growing. They say that video games cause brain damage, obesity, and violence. Opponents say that brain damage is caused by multiple hours of video game playing. They also say that the leading cause for obesity is video game playing, because the majority of kids spend at least twenty five hours a week playing video games. The last point the opponents make is that violence is caused by video games with violent themes.
Despite opponents’ claims, video games do not damage the gamer’s brain; the games actually enhance the intelligence of the player. Video games are good tools in preparing for the future. In a debate about video games being harmful, Greenfield wrote the following:
The suite of skills children develop by playing such games provide them with the
training wheels for computer literacy, and can help prepare them for science and technology, where more and more activity depends on manipulating images on a screen. (15)
People acquire new knowledge and complex skills from game play. This suggest that gaming helps address two of the nation’s most pressing needs, which are strengthening our system of education and preparing workers for twenty first century jobs (Greenfield).
Skills in utilizing two-dimensional representations of hypothetical space are keys to various computer applications, including programming computer and video games. As these skills may be important to being aid in reading and using the information on computer screens. Repeated practice of these applications by computer and video game use will enhance selected spatial skills.
The success of complex video games demonstrates that games can teach higher order thinking skills such as strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem solving, plan formulation and execution, and adaptation to rapid change (summit 22).
Not only do video games help the mind enhance, but according to one critic, “Research has also identified benefits associated with creative and prosocial uses of video games, as in physical rehabilitation and oncology” (Cesarone 1) . Video games help people in recovering mentally and physically after injury.
Now for the claim that opponents say that video games are a leading cause of obesity. Obesity is a growing problem in America. Putting the blame on video games with out an accurate study is meaningless. In one study, Greenfield wrote the following:
Parents in the Annenberg survey report that children (between 2 and 17 years) in homes with computers spend approximately one hour and thirty seven minutes a day on computers, including video games. (8)
This study included a random sample of kids from the Chicago area. This study showed that children with computers utilized about twenty hours a week doing homework, e-mail, and video games.
I myself decided to do a field study on video gaming comparing violence and obesity and how these two topics might correlate. I began by calling the two video arcades in town. I asked both arcades two questions:
1) What percentage of the regular customers in your arcade are obese?
2) Do the regular customers that play the violent games tend to be more
aggressive or violent compared to other regular customers who don’t play the
violent games?
For the first question both arcades answered that less than ten percent of regular customers were obese. For the second question both arcades answered with a bold, “NO!”
This study was relevant, but it still needed more evidence. I decided that I needed to see the results of the study to believe them. So, I went to both of the local arcades for one hour. After an hour I was able to estimate that one out of ten customers was obese. In that hour at both arcades, I saw no acts of aggression or violence. Then I decided to go to a local fast food chain and spend one hour studying their customers. After the one hour of studying customers, I was able to estimate that seven out of ten customers were obese. I also experienced a man horribly angry and forceful because the fast food restaurant prepared his hamburger wrong. Maybe critics need to blame fast food chains for America’s destructive traits.
Finally to address opponents’ claims that violent video games cause kids to be violent. Can video games really cause kids to be violent? According to David Myers,
“Most pack-a-day smokers don’t die of lung cancer. Most abused children don’t become abusive adults. And most young people who spend hundreds of hours in these mass murder simulators won’t become teen assassins,” (2).
The metaphor of violence is not interpreted by a player as actual violence. The player does not even see the game as being violent. According to Barbara James, “Games, violent or not, are about problem-solving. The violence is essentially an interface to a puzzle. You have a goal—get to the other side of a room. You have to solve the problem of how to get there—in this case by shooting a certain number of people quickly,” (2).
Perhaps video games will be criticized for some time to come. What America needs to see is that this is the digital era and video games will have a very big role in the future. What Americans need to realize is that studies indicating that video games cause brain damage, poor physical health, and a poor mental state are indeed inclusive.
It is time for us as a nation to take responsibility and look at how America is raising its current generation. We have become a generation of people who fail to take responsibility for its own emotions, actions, and behaviors. Instead we would rather revel in the idea of pointing fingers and placing judgment in areas that we may not be readily informed about. For example, we furrow our brows or place blame on new types of media entertainment, rap music, and, of course, video games.
We as a nation would be better served if we exercised the willingness to take a look at ourselves as parents of this nation. Have we talked to our children about good values and morals? Have we set our digital systems on a “G” rating? Have we stopped to think, “When was the last time I cooked a healthy meal for my child, instead of taking my son or daughter out for a Happy Meal?”

I suggest a spinoff website; MASAS: Mothers Against Sneaking and Surprising. This is a serious issue that must be addressed before our youth become corrupted by the addictive evils of sneaking and surprising.

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