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Why do we need violent videogames?

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Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby DarthTwitch » 18 Dec 2012, 19:11

I've commented on this elsewhere on the site, but to re-iterate - I believe that violent video-games do not, nor will ever, contribute to violence in society. After all, video-games have only been around since the early 70's. I'm fairly sure I don't recall reading about Hitler or Julius Caesar playing a few rounds of GTA IV before massacring millions of people.

Violence, however, has been around since, well, the dawn of time. This argument is well and truly invalid.

EDIT One more thing. When are these right-wing imbeciles going to stop blaming everything from video-games to death metal for their own failings as parents, teachers and otherwise "socially responsible" human beings? Look to yourselves before blaming forms of entertainment on your kids' insane behaviour.

EDIT 2: Show your support and respect for the innocents who died in Connecticut recently by holding a 24-hour "ceasefire" on the 21st of December - http://i.imgur.com/NbjQu.jpg.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby SadCheesecake » 18 Dec 2012, 20:08

As I am quite young, I wish that violent (and awesome games that I want to buy) like GoW and CoD would release versions of the games that are a bit less violent so that they could be 16s, so then I could get them.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby golliwoza » 18 Dec 2012, 21:02

SadCheesecake wrote:As I am quite young, I wish that violent (and awesome games that I want to buy) like GoW and CoD would release versions of the games that are a bit less violent so that they could be 16s, so then I could get them.


Gears of War 2 and 3 have the options for changing the blood into sparks and replacing all the swears with bleep sounds. It would not be cost efficiant though really to even bother with releasing a seperate younger friendly version as quite alot of younger gamers myself included a few years back, would ask an older relative to purchase it for them.

I play video games in general to let off steam and relax from a busy or stressing day. Ingame I am very different from who I am in the real world and I know the clear definition between right and wrong. In most cases where someone commits a horrendous crime like a mass killing they have an underlying problem which is no way related to video games, the public media needs stop using gaming as a scapegoat.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby EdDeRs1 » 18 Dec 2012, 22:01

DarthTwitch wrote:I've commented on this elsewhere on the site, but to re-iterate - I believe that violent video-games do not, nor will ever, contribute to violence in society. After all, video-games have only been around since the early 70's. I'm fairly sure I don't recall reading about Hitler or Julius Caesar playing a few rounds of GTA IV before massacring millions of people.

Violence, however, has been around since, well, the dawn of time. This argument is well and truly invalid.

EDIT One more thing. When are these right-wing imbeciles going to stop blaming everything from video-games to death metal for their own failings as parents, teachers and otherwise "socially responsible" human beings? Look to yourselves before blaming forms of entertainment on your kids' insane behaviour.

EDIT 2: Show your support and respect for the innocents who died in Connecticut recently by holding a 24-hour "ceasefire" on the 21st of December - http://i.imgur.com/NbjQu.jpg.

and what good will said "ceasefire" do? its like awareness campaigns, looks good but n reality it does f**k all, the only real way to show respect to the poor bastards is for America to finally get its shit together and outlaw firearms for civilian use
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Thos. » 18 Dec 2012, 22:40

DarthTwitch wrote:I've commented on this elsewhere on the site, but to re-iterate - I believe that violent video-games do not, nor will ever, contribute to violence in society.


You are just showing yourself up to be as ignorant an extremist as those that blame games as the cause.

Multiple studies have shown that video games increase aggression and violence in those who play them. The question is how much of an influence they are in extreme acts. My guess is very little; but to flat out deny any connection is as narrow-minded as those who believe games are the primary cause.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby mistergrimm » 18 Dec 2012, 23:27

Violent videogames incite violence in individuals who already tend towards violence thanks to a multitude of other factors. The majority of gamers aren't violent, suggesting that videogames are not, by and large, turning the population into desensitised killing machines. I will concede, though, that they could act as inspirational source material for a budding murderer who is actively seeking that inspiration. If a sociopath had no access to videogames, he'd still be a sociopath. Maybe he'd go and read the Bible and crucify somebody - would we then see outcries against the disgusting word of God turning our children into mindless devils? The argument can literally be applied to anything, but it's missing the main point: mentally unstable people exist, and we need to treat them and monitor them effectively where possible.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Bezza89 » 18 Dec 2012, 23:43

Thos. wrote:
DarthTwitch wrote:I've commented on this elsewhere on the site, but to re-iterate - I believe that violent video-games do not, nor will ever, contribute to violence in society.


You are just showing yourself up to be as ignorant an extremist as those that blame games as the cause.

Multiple studies have shown that video games increase aggression and violence in those who play them. The question is how much of an influence they are in extreme acts. My guess is very little; but to flat out deny any connection is as narrow-minded as those who believe games are the primary cause.


I very much agree, and let's not ignore the fact that it's not just everything getting blamed on videogames, TV and films are very much still a target even given their much longer, erm, state of being here? lol. As this is a videogames site it will cover relevant topics, but in no way is every tabloid using vgs as a scapegoat, they use everything, and reacting to it is just what they want. We are all sensible people, but let's not ignore that stuff we all use everyday can have an influence on some people, however rare or unique the situation or events leading up to psychotic breakdowns are.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Worthies » 18 Dec 2012, 23:44

In essence we are all animals in one way or another, all with basic instincts and natural urges that the civilised society and human psyche has evolved to suppress. What video games, films, books and any other form of medium is allow the person to escape beyond the constraints that society imposes. What all people need is a form of escape every once in a while, and those escapes have been around since the dawn of civilisation, from the Gladiator arenas to fox hunting.

What the right wing press don't seem to realise is that video games are no different from any of these things. The only reason they oppose them is because the majority of people do not understand this new entertainment medium. They believe that because many video games allow the player to kill and hurt NPCs, they assume that they must cause violent behaviour which is not the case, except in rare circumstances often due to the vulnerability of the individual.

Another problem is that many people don't understand or heed the age restrictions on certain video games. Many parents won't allow their children to watch a violent horror film but they will quite happily buy them the latest edition of GTA. That of course lies with the responsibility of the parent and not the industry.

This situation will change soon though. Video games last Christmas outsold any other entertainment media, so soon this change will alter peoples attitudes and people will become more aware of the video game industry, just as much as they did with cinema. It unfortunately takes time for the more conservative elements of society to accept change.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Worthies » 18 Dec 2012, 23:53

I would say the populist teachings of the media is far more dangerous than any video game I have ever played.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby EdDeRs1 » 19 Dec 2012, 00:01

Worthies wrote:I would say the populist teachings of the media is far more dangerous than any video game I have ever played.

quite true, look at the Untied States and Canada, while Canada has even looser gun laws than the US the media is far less right wing and fear-mongering, meaning the people are not paranoid that the Communists, Blacks, Muslims, Atheists, foreigners, gays and anyone who dose not believe the exact same things as me and is un-merican are going to kill them all and combined with American media effectively turning the killers into celebrities, almost everyone knows the name of the killer but not one of the victims, and i could go on all day about Americas faults and how its there own damn fault but its not violence in video games, its not Marlyn Manson, its not Elvis wiggling his hips its society
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Drainwater » 19 Dec 2012, 00:04

Maybe we should ban violent video games. That way things like this won't happen right? Oh but what about violent TV shows? We better put a stop to those too. Violent movies? Best add them as well. Great now they're reading those violent comic books, add them to the pile. And that literature looks a little gruesome....

I'm not offering this as a sarcastic response to the "games cause/contribute to violence" argument, I'm just pointing out that it really is a slippery slope. Something other than parental responsibility is always going to be blamed first and foremost in these situations. Personally I think we need tougher laws to hold parents responsible. The case of the violence in Newtown is, of course, a terrible exception as the mother was a victim too. But how many times have parents in other cases just shrugged their shoulders and said "we tried to raise them right" as their children go to jail for the rest of their lives (or are put to death in Texas)? If the parents were held more responsible in these situations then maybe they might pay a bit more attention to what the kids are doing instead of letting a video game or TV be their guide.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Bilbo42 » 19 Dec 2012, 00:09

Hmmm.....Interesting question.

I think that there are two issues here, one is "cause" and the other is "contribution". The front page of The Sun today implies in my reading of it that Call of Duty is the cause of this mans act of violence and I think that is poor, oversimplified reporting on what is a very complex issue. In that case I think the media are scapegoating video games which are an easy target, also Call of Duty is a massive success and certain aspects of the British press love beating up anything or anyone that is a massive success.

The next question is: do videogames contribute to violence. That is a question I don't know the answer to. The causes of violence are multi-faceted: poverty, family relationships, other personal relationships, alcohol, drug addiction, feeling alienated, family breakdown and possibly certain psychological or emotional issues. There are also factors that are possibly to do with how masculinity is socially constructed: for example it is less acceptable for men to cry or express emotions. If men cry or talk about feeling humiliated or a failure they may feel less of a man for doing so. Of course the other contributing factor is the easy access people have to assault rifles in the united states.

So while, in certain cases, playing video games may be a contributing factor in the overall picture (not a cause) I believe that the thing that needs to be done in the USA to stop these events happening is tighter gun control.

In other countries of the world (such as the UK) violence from men towards both women and other men is a big problem. I believe the solution to these problems doesn't lie in banning video games. I believe the solution lies in encouraging males from an early age to express themselves emotionally and teaching males that expressing emotions is a good and masculine thing to do. Then when men feel angry, rage, disappointed with the world, humiliated, depressed, unloved and a failure they will be able to talk about it to others and then won't feel the need to lash out with a knife, bottle, fist or assault rifle.

The man who can express himself verbally...or in paintings, music, poetry etc. will be able to play Call of Duty in a healthy way and have lots of fun with it just as I played with toy guns as a child.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby KernowDevil23 » 19 Dec 2012, 00:22

http://listverse.com/2008/01/01/top-10- ... massacres/

Most of these happened before the "COD age" so please spare the videogame industry the insult of blaming it for the minority of nutters going postal.

Videogames are in NO WAY responsible for the atrocities that mankind commit. End of.

It's just a decent headline for the newspapers (read: scumbag journo’s with no talent).

Violent videogames are just like violent films. They're an entertainment medium designed to remove us from the realities we face on a day to day basis and are meant to be entertaining, not a form of research for a mad killing spree. 99.99% of the users can distinguish the difference. Only the mentally challenged/imbalanced cannot.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby OXM ETboy » 19 Dec 2012, 00:30

Just to be clear, I'm not laying the blame for murderous behaviour at the industry's door, and I'm not calling for censorship, a ban on violent games or anything like that. I'm just interested to know - in light of today's debate - why violent games (and for that matter, violent media in general) are so popular. It's one of those things nobody in the industry seems to question, which feels odd.
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Re: Why do we need violent videogames?

Postby Drainwater » 19 Dec 2012, 00:38

Sorry my post was a preemptive against censorship, not that I thought you were calling for it. I think they're so popular because they let us do something that we can't (shouldn't) do in real life. Ripping out someone's spine, pulling a perfect headshot, or lightsabering someone's arm off are all gratifying on some level because it's something we know we can't do in real life. Although for me, the violence is really just secondary to the gameplay. I rarely even notice it anymore :oops:
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