UM classical studies professor touches on video games

Richard Janko,  professor of classical studies at UM, gave a talk at the Rackham Amphitheater a couple of days ago, in which he discussed how “ancient manuscripts that discuss Plato and Aristotle, buried for centuries in the lost Roman seaside town of Herculaneum, provide insights on how violent television programs, films and video games may affect young minds.”

Unfortunately I missed the talk — I found out about it just now.  It seems that Prof. Janko disapproves of violent video games. The article about the talk in the University Record states:

‘ “Aristotle had a theory that we learn to be virtuous by being habituated to be virtuous and that literature gives us emotional experiences that we would not have in real life,” Janko says. “The corollary to that is that people can also be habituated to violence. Aristotle felt this applied to young minds. Although adults might be able to handle such situations, young people should not be exposed to them because they may affect them. I saw this recently when I sat next to someone in a library, who was playing a violent video game, and realized that he was being trained to shoot.” ‘

Although this pessimistic take on video games may be considered to be the equivalent of a wet cloth dampening the generally upbeat tone about video games that our guest speakers in class have had on the subject, I found this news about Prof. Janko’s talk to be of interesting for the reason that it is not every day that you see classical studies professors thinking about video games!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: What’s going on at Michigan?! « Videogames & Learning (222)

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