Saturday, January 22, 2011

Video Games and Violence

Although you have probably seen this story on you local current affairs show one thousand times, I still feel that the majority of the public is still mostly against the violence in question and for some pretty silly reasons as well. So I will dedicate the rest of this post telling you why I think violence in video games is not such a big deal.

The main argument against video games violence is one about its impact on children. ("WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!") As most children play video game, and some video games are violent (very violent) not to mention how impressionable children are, you'd think that this would breed violence into them, you'd think. Until you take into account the rating on the box. It isn't there to be pretty, its there to tell the customer (you) what ages should be playing this game. So if your a parent and you go and buy "Daemon Spawns Bloody Slumber Party XI" for your 8 year old, who then goes and beats his sister across the head with a frying pan while recreating the games 7th level, you only have your self to blame for not seeing and taking the rating on the box under advisement.

You see there is an awful stigma attached to the gaming industry and that is; when you say "video game" you think "Children" and so you immediate draw the conclusion that "Daemon Spawns Bloody Slumber Party XI" is a game for your Child. This is something we must all get past. Did you know that the average age of a gamer (person who plays games) is around 35?

This is why we see so many violent game these day, the industry is just catering to their core (adult) audience, who want to play adult games not "Babies First Adventures in Candy land (where the is no violence or swearing or anything like that): The Game" (Now that's a game for your 8 year old, minus the last part). 

Now your probably thinking, "Ok Mr. Fagan, that's all well and good but what about all the adults that have been said to have committed crimes because of violent video games?". Well I would reply "You mean the 100...200+ people out of the hundreds of millions of people the play video games all other the world". Smug retorts aside, not one psychologist has been able to link real world violence and video games. In fact some say it does the exact opposite and actually enables the player to blow of steam, and therefore are less likely to be violent.

Being a game Designer/Creator my self I hope that one day game's are looked at in the same light as movie's and book's are as an artist medium, after all its just another form of story telling.

Now that's Not 2 Far Fetched, is it?

(image is not mine)