Video Game Violence (EGHQ)

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Video Game Violence (EGHQ) is an opinion piece written by Greg in 2003 and posted to his Extreme Gaming Headquarters website. (Source) He previously wrote another piece with the same title, which can be viewed here.

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The first video games were introduced to the United States and other parts of the world over twenty years ago. First of many titles were Pong, PAC MAN, Snake, and even eventually Super Mario. The first of video game violence came with Super Mario and PAC MAN, kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, kind of like certain aspects of real life cartoonized onto our wooden paneled TV's.

A lot has changed since the time of the 2D 8-bit games, DOOM, Duke Nukem, Quake, Wolfenstein, just a few of the titles that shook the world with low quality, minimal detailed blood flow and with that, all of us PAC MAN players could only respond with sweating foreheads and raging keyboard fingers. All this time we have been playing video games as if it has no effect on us, and what we do in the game, stays in the game... maybe this is true, or maybe we are lying to ourselves.

Every time I hear that another game has been censored, I wonder whether or not I should be sad, or happy for gamers all over the world. As far as I care, violence is perfectly fine for those that meet the age group in the ESRB ratings, yet I can't help but feel raged when someone logs onto SOCOM: US Navy Seals and begins to speak to other players with a child's voice. Children as young as 5 years old are logging onto SOCOM and other adult video games, and witnessing death, violence and hatred, why? What a dumb question. Look to the ignorant father, look to the naive mother, look to the irresponsible parents for the reasoning behind their child's early exposure, for they may just be destroying minds with illogical tolerance for their child's demands.

I found it humorous in Duke Nukem: Time To Kill, that when you shoot one of the pigs in the skull (evil aliens from space, pigs), their heads just roll off the back of their shoulders. I actually was laughing, but then again, I was no older than 12, who was I to laugh at such things unless I had been recently trained, and encouraged to do so?

In World War II, flame throwers were a popular weapon of choice for generally burning villages, and Japanese people out of their homes, and hiding/escape tunnels, and now in video games, you can do that as well. Back in 1942, we did not have video games, in fact, a movie theatre was hard to come by. With all this in mind, a person could easily come to the conclusion that video games have no effect on the mind.

Among many questions, a popular one is, why we humans enjoy killing, why we are excited by the idea of others dying (but of course, not ourselves). I cannot tell you what makes some people's minds so blood lustful, for that is a section of psychology in which I have yet to understand, however, I can tell you that it has become accepted in our society for death and violence to occur... it always has. Some blame it on the devil, some blame it on the raising, I personally am sure that our violent tendencies come from our role models, movies, video games, and music... but then again, in video games, a person must kill in order to witness violence... in a movie theatre, all you have to do is sit, and watch the screen.

Grand Theft Auto 3, and Vice City, among many titles, are harshly attacked the newspapers and television programs for the acts that take place, but really, in this game, do you have to kill a cop? Do you have to pick up a prostitute? If we are to attack GTA on the ability to do, then why are we not all duct taped to walls for fear of slapping someone on the butt, or giving granny a jab to the chin?

Grand Theft Auto 3: Another game that revolutionized the PlayStation 2 gaming world, yet over-Christianized ignorants choose to attack freedom, not the first amendment, I am talking about freedom to do what you want, when you want, in a video game. Other games choose to square everything into a plan list, Rockstar Games is freedom to live without a list of priorities. In fact, in order to criticize GTA3 or Vice City, do you not have to break the law (in the game) while at least killing one cop and/or pull over to the side of the road to pick up a prostitute in order to mention it in your article? Now now press, why would you try and do such a thing? [shakes head]

Some video games do however go to far. Duke Nukem had naked women everywhere, some cut in half, some with a mutilated face, and that was unnecessary. Yet games like SOCOM, Grand Theft Auto, and even Midnight Club are REAL-LIFE simulations, not pointless gore fests. People die in war, there is such thing as "The Mafia" and street racing can kill. All these games teach real life lessons, people die, people die, and people die, yet it seems most people think that video games are evil unless the title begins with "Pok'e" and ends with "Mon".

I don't like games with pointless killing, and there are games out there where the point of the missions are to run over innocent civilians. Yet we cannot ban games because of ability, if there was a mission in GTA3 that was titled "Kill 50 people in 2:00" than Rockstar would lose a customer, yet never once have I killed a good person in these games, never once did I hold up a high school and shoot random students, never once was I set on a mission to pick up a prostitute and use her for sexual gain, that is all up to the gamer to do those things on their own time.

Torture is something that should have never been introduced to the gaming world, or even the world, yet it is there, and it needs to stop. What also needs to end is drug relations, sexual content, and other elements of which are unnecessary to create a good game that will entertain thousands.

Report Written By Vighkel