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Monday, 18 July 2011

Games too violent...? Maybe not...?

Am I going to argue that video games aren’t violent? No, of course they are. Are they too violent? I don’t know.

Sure there is a lot of violent games out there, from games like Mortal Kombat where a fatality can consist of ripping a man’s spine out from his mouth, to Super Mario bros where a playful Mario leaps on to the head of a turtle crushing it, then kicking it off a cliff. The question is, are they too violent?

I’m one of those people who are on the fence. In one hand I like video game violence, it allows me to act in a manner in which I would never dream of acting in real life. In many ways video games help me to relieve aggression. Which many studies have shown is the case with the majority of people. For those who believe that game violence causes outright violence, that’s simply false and they need to do the research themselves.

However my conundrum about video game violence is about the sheer number of violent games. It really outweighs non-violent games. There should be more non-violent games out there. Sometimes I like to just relax and play a fun and intellectually challenging game like Tetris but it seems as though the selection of non-violent games just isn’t there.

Another issue for me is; while I enjoy the violence, there are moments where I start to feel morally messed up. Like shooting real people in the head as a sniper. I enjoy it, but then I think about what I just did and I ask myself “Is this wrong?” But what did I really do, use a light pixel to shoot another light pixel? But then I think “these aren’t just light pixels right?” They do represent a perceived real event, which then perverts my mind. Or maybe I’m just thinking about it too much.

Maybe that’s where the problem lies, maybe it is nothing but fun, and therefore shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Or should it….?

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