Violence in Video Games

There’s been a lot of talk in the wake of E3 about how very violent video games have become.  I want to talk about it in detail when I have more time, but below is a bit I wrote on the subject in order to spark off discussion a couple of years ago that I thought I’d post here.

Violence in video games.

Does it turn kids into mindless killers with a bloodthirsty thirst.. for.. er.. blood.. <_<  erm… whatever… or is it just that people who are already violent are attracted to violent things?

There is an argument for saying that games condition people – you learn to play the game, you get better at it.  The developer logs in portal talk about teaching the player as the game goes on, so that as you pass through the test chambers you learn how to use the portal gun.. maybe the same can be said for other games and real guns? 

I think us gamers can find ourselves tending to deny the very possibility that things could affect us, but is that just self righteous naivety? :-S   Think of it this way.. If you play Tetris a lot, then the next time you’re at a supermarket you might find yourself ordering the boxes into neat rows. I personally arrange everything in a precise order on the conveyor when I’m at the checkout.. nothing to do with packing, nothing as sensible as that. It MUST be neat. I’m sure somewhere in my head I’m thinking I must score more points that way..

A dead person, in Dishonored.

I know I’ve found myself playing GTA for a while. then later when I’m walking around town I think of things in terms of that game; ooh I could jack that car, drive over there, run him over, steer across that embankment, run over that person, jump out, hit that policeman with a baseball bat, jack that other car… etc..

not that I’ve done that. I haven’t. Honest. That wasn’t me.

Now to some extent that’s all perfectly natural, but is there a point when that crosses the line?  Are some people more susceptible than others?  And if just playing a game makes you feel this way what about troops coming back from combat situations?

Soo… what do you think?  :rock:

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