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?
So, Kotaku posted an article that got people upset, talking about how people will want to “protect” Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, with quotes from executive producer Ron Rosenberg.
There were a couple of disturbing things in there: firstly, the idea that people don’t project themselves into Lara as a character. The viewpoint presented here is that all gamers are men and therefore don’t identify with Lara, instead they want to protect her. Later on, there is talk of an attempted rape, where Rosenberg describes her as being like a cornered animal. Just clumsy language, but ultimately dehumanising. Tit.
So, why am I here saying that the game itself isn’t that bad?
I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit over the last couple of weeks and decided to make it the subject of a blog post. I’m a heterosexual white guy living in Western Europe, and I know that means that in general I have life set to easy mode. Male privilege, that’s what that means, and Video gaming ably demonstrates how years of male privilege can have a detrimental effect on our relatively new art form.
Sexism is rife within games. I don’t think anyone would really sensibly argue with that. There are very few games with female central characters; those that do have a central female character can fall into the trap of her being a male fantasy type, and using her as eye-candy. Bayonetta I’m looking at you.