Friday, March 26, 2010

Violence in Video Games

March 25:

I am not sure what it is, maybe it's E3 that sets it all off, but it seems at least once a year all the news hubs and media organizations get started on their 'violent video game witch hunt'. Sure, this debate will rage on and on and I doubt we will ever see the two sides come to much of an agreement but I just don't see what the media's angle is. And trust me, there is always an angle with them. Always has been, always will be. You can count on that.

I know people on both sides of the argument and the ones who think games are too violent love to forward me a link they found on their Yahoo page, like the one yesterday that listed ten games that went too far. GTA IV was on there, my God! The surprise nearly knocked me off my chair. To think that people who don't really play video games think something like Grand Theft Auto is violent. Listen pal, if you've never eaten spicy foods before, don't go diving in at your local Thai place or swallow a habenero pepper. Go in easy. Seeing GTA as a first entry into the world of action games is not the most recommended move. Try a Barbie game first, see if you can handle it. More seriously, play a game that's easy to pick up with a clear story line that at least explains why you're running around with a gun shooting at anything that moves.

Video games can be violent and yes, some have wanton violence, thinking they are going to sell just for the fact that you can blow someone's head off. Such games have little merit and drag down the better ones. But who can say that Bioshock is too violent of a game after getting involved in the deep story and message the game conveys? Ditto for Mass Effect 2 and even Metal Gear Solid 4, which spends a hell of a lot more time (maybe too much for some) telling a story than it does having you kill.

Like I said, there is no end to this debate and I am not trying to create one. Taste is taste but the media needs to explore the issue more, rather than make a yearly attack with no substance behind it. It's like saying Goth kids are scary. Well, maybe on the outside they are different, but get to know them and more often than not they are just like everyone else.

JM out.

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