Recently, a mass shooting occured in America, and while we feel sorry for the families of the victims, the shooter was revealed to have a background of playing first person shooters. This revives the age-old question: Does playing violent video games cause real-life violence?
Well, to be honest, I think not. Violent video games have always been a part of gaming, ever since titles such as Doom, Duke Nukum, and Wolfenstein. The genre has now grown to include titles such as: Battlefield, Call of Duty, and the most recent one, Grand Theft Auto V. It’s clear however, that those recent ones are more realistic, but people aren’t forced to play them. It’s clear that there are two parties we must look at to answer the quuestion: The developers/publishers, and the players.
The developers are the ones who make the game, and the publishers decide too publish it. Clearly, when making the game, the developers have to know what they’re doing, otherwise it wouldn’t work. This means that they have to get the information from somewhere, and while the majority of the ideas may be their imaginations, they will most likely get the information on vehicles, weapons, and characters from the real world. Most recently, the GTA V developers used real-life gangs to voice the gangs in-game. The publishers, ultimately though, have to choose whether or nnoot to publish it, but if it’s a sequel or part of the same franchise, tthey most likely will publish it because it is almost certain to be bought by people.
The general public play the games for enjoyment. Let me repeat that last part: for enjoyment. Just because they play a game with violence doesn’t mean that they’re going to become violent themselves. If I play a Pokémon game, does that mean that I’m going to go out and start capturing animals and stuffing them into pokéballs? I hope not. Just because I play Mario does that mean I’m going to go down sewer pipes? No way am I doing that! So why, if I play Battlefield, do people think that I’m going to go out and shoot people? Logic. I remember this teacher I used to have who told us why we don’t go into the street and shoot people: “Moral Laws”. Laws we crreate ourselves that stop us doing things we don’t think are right. For most people, that includes shooting people.
And yet, with all the logic mentioned in the paragraph above, people still think that violent video games cause real life violence. People seem to forget that most people play video games for fun, for enjoyment, for having a good time with friends. Yet something tells me that the governments of the world are going to listen to the people that state that violence is a result of video games, and not us, the people they should be listening to. But why would they listen to us? To them, we’re all mass-murderers because we play first person shooters. And with Virtual Reality just over the horizon in devices such as the Oculus Rift, “violent” video games may be banned all-together because the virtual reality would make it “too real”. So we’d have a really cool piece of software, but we’d only be able to play “Fun with Grammar!”. I don’t think any of us want that to happen.
To conclude my case, I would like to leave a message with the people who believe that violence stems from video games. “You are looking at the people of the future. All those that have an interest in computing and gaming are going to start a new age. If you ban video games, if you believe that gamers are going to take that quietly, then you have no part in this new future”. Video games are the modern day go-to thinng to be blamed. It started with the Cinema, then the Televisiion, and now Games.
Tell us what you thought in the comments:
Do violent video games cause real-life violence?