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Since the 1960s, society overall has gotten a lot more lenient on a lot of different issues. Before the 60s, you were shunned by many people if you cursed in public. Now itís a very common thing to see someone on TV say the "a" or "d" words on TV, and occasionally even the dreaded "f" word. Violence also wasn't a very important issue in the 60s, but now it's everywhere you look. In many major cities, it's common to see someone getting beat up whether it be at a sports event or a gang war.

Every generation tries to look at itself and see what parts of life could be changed for the better. When doing this, it means that there's always going to be some certain thing that's to blame for "society's breakdown." In the 60s, it was rock music! That stuff was speak of the devil! Clothes and many other things were to blame for the problems of the 70s. Bellbottoms, disco, and long, straight hair were terrible. Though the 80s didn't have nearly as many problems as the previous two decades, the problems it did have were blamed on television. The idiot box was clearly to cause for drug problems, increased violence, and a general 'slacker' attitude of teenagers.

Now that the 90s are almost to a close, we're starting to pick apart what went wrong in our generation. The big buzz word of the 90s has been technology since so many new things were invented in this decade. Of course, some of these things have been branded as evil, just like rock 'n roll and disco before them (though they might've had something evil with disco...) . I can name one of the big things that you've probably heard about before, and probably in a negative way: video games.

Yes, video games are the scourge of the 1990s. Games such as Mortal Kombat and Night Trap have desensitized our nation's youth to violence, as well as keeping them begging to stay up past their bed times "just ten more minutes!" Ingeniously evil games such as Mario, Sonic, and Zelda have made a killing by grabbing kids' attentions and their dollars when they go to the store and beg mommy for the "Official Sonic the Hedgehog Colored Pencils!" Or the "cute little Mario Bean Characters!" I mean, it's pretty much already been proven that video games are morally wrong. Take, for example, the school shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The two kids who shot the guns played video games a lot! They spent many an hour slaying the vampire or helping the army take down the evil conqueror. And of course, these games must've told them that it was okay to kill people! That is the conclusion, of course, if you look past the culture in the south that makes guns an integral part of society from birth on up. Kids sometimes learn to shoot before they step into a school classroom! And never mind that the Southern Baptists say wives should subject to their husband's wishes, sending everyone false messages to teenagers who are already confused about what's right and what's not.

Some of you who know me a little bit better may know that I create video games on my computer. I know, you're probably appalled at the very thought and are spitting your morning coffee all over this column right. Well, go ahead and do that. I know that I'm creating some bad things. For instance, take a look at one game I've made, The Fishin' Hole. In the game you assume the identity of an anonymous fisherman as you try to suck the lake dry of fish. In doing this you use such cruel and unusual tools such as worms and minnows on your hook, trying to lure the poor defenseless fish onto your sharp, pointy hook.

That's one way of looking at it, at least. Another way of looking at it is you're fishing and just trying to catch a whopper! The two descriptions of the game make it sound out to be almost a totally different thing, don't they? Another evil activity that has been made into numerous video games involves many sweaty people running around a large floor with strange, almost-demonic symbols painted on it in an attempt to make boundaries for the players. The name of this evil activity is basketball.

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Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.

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