Futurists of the 1950s predicted that by the 2000s, flying cars and robots would be a part of our day to day lives. Instead, we live in a world of live streaming, smartphones and social networks. While those forecasters didn’t quite get the timing right, they got the technology right.
The world is rapidly changing, so fast in fact, that children are having a dramatically different childhood than their parents or guardians. This disconnect has criminal justice implications because we often fail to understand that the world has changed, and those changes are impacting the way crime is carried out and victims are preyed upon. As leaders in the field, many of us (Millennials, Generation X and Boomers) are still measuring childhood (Generation Z and alpha) through the lens of our own childhoods, thus misunderstanding the real world in which our children and youth now live. Internet online gaming is an entire universe with its own social norms, rules and language.
The ability to create new community and friendships is ripe. There are many positive implications to this new world, and it is very exciting to watch the world change in some ways, but there are also many negative consequences. This presentation will briefly highlight some of the positive but will mostly articulate things that we need to be aware of in the field of criminal justice. Generation Z and alpha are growing up in an increasingly technological world where much of their social interaction takes place online with people that they don’t personally know. Popular games are teaching them to interact with each other in less than respectful ways and research indicates there is a relationship between online gaming and micro aggressions, cyberbullying and loneliness. Sexism, racism and homophobia are amplified and exaggerated.
There is also an underpinning pornographic tone that colors online gaming worlds. In this session, we will explore the research associated with media violence and aggression and its correlations and linkages with real world violence. The presenter will discuss how neuropathways are developed in children and youth in the context of gaming and loneliness. We will discuss online grooming, sextortion and the new vulnerability coming generations are facing- and often facing alone without informed guidance. This presentation will examine gaming through an intersectional lens exposing predominate themes of racism, sexism and homophobia. Finally, we will discuss the implications of the underpinning pornographic tone.
Finally, this presentation will provide multidisciplinary approaches to positive youth engagement and in building healthy next generations while understanding that they live a totally different world than many of us did. We have to adjust and understand in order to do our duty to protect, mentor and provide access to justice.
-To understand online gaming: an overview of both positive and negative
-To explore implications of gaming through an intersectional lens
-To explore the relationship between violence and gaming
-To discuss the often-present pornographic tone
-To understand grooming, trafficking, cyberbullying and micro aggressions in this context
-To provide tools to assist in shifting our practices with coming generations