Skip to comments.Violent video games worked for me!
Posted on 10/02/2004 7:45:33 PM PDT by qam1
Its very, very naughty to throw a hand grenade at an ambulance.
I long for the days when I could massacre the undead in video games and not worry about corrupting myself or society. But wait who am I kidding? The controversy over violence in video games is far older than most people realize.
From 1976s Death Race, to Mortal Kombat in 1992, to the 2001 release Grand Theft Auto III and beyond, the controversy pesters whenever over-anxious parents, watchdog groups and legislators are looking for an easy basket against moral corruption. In all the hubbub, these arguments have missed a fundamental question: What ever happened to the children that first played violent video games?
Its been more than 25 years since the Atari 2600 mainstreamed the industry and 20 years since the original Nintendo. The granddaddy of violent video games, Mortal Kombat, is already a tween. Countless violent video-game playing children have grown up to be adults. Has anyone sat down and looked at whats become of these children?
I know I was curious, so I sought them out. It ends up theyre everywhere. Starting at my law school, it turns out many fondly recall finishing opponents with blood-soaked vengeance in Moral Kombat II. Over in the Medical School, I found students who, when not learning how to preserve life, routinely gather to dissect each other with bullets in Halo. Heck, I even spoke to members of law enforcement who passionately enjoy carjacking vehicles in Grand Theft Auto.
Whats going on here? Not one was in prison for murder, arson or even tax evasion! Many scoffed at the thought of even owning a gun.
Ive observed sizable numbers of doctors, lawyers, junior executives, political consultants and many other young professionals who play or have played violent video games to some extent in their lives. Werent these the same kids who were supposedly being corrupted by video games? Yet here they are, taking up the mantle of leadership in society. Might these be mere games and not devious engines of social corruption?
Yet, just the other day, the British Broadcasting Corp. continued the rage against the video-game machines, citing games where players murder their opponents in games such as Doom III (omitting that their opponents are ghouls, but Ill hold off on that issue). They even awoke the classic anti-video game argument, that mimicry encouraged people such as the Columbine shooters.
Hmm Did I just not understand Columbine? Two unholy sociopaths shoot up their school, and it was because of their video games? As though playing violent video games made them in any way different from any other teenage male for the last 25 years? It seems as though violent video games are an easy answer for those whove never played them.
What is it thats happening in this handful of marginal cases? Are these instances of people being morally corrupted by video games, or morally corrupt people who happen to play video games? Why not just point these arguments at all media, including movies and books?
To a much lesser extent, they are, but because video games are still a relatively new medium, they bear the brunt of worse misconceptions. After all, even holy books are interpreted to mean vile and terrible things (just look at Brother Jed) video games are no different (and in the case of the Bible, no less violent).
Still, I have hope. As each generation of gamers gets older, we will hopefully carry this same understanding to our own children: Just because you shoot some zombies on the Play Station 2, doesnt mean youre going to shoot people at your high school, reality and fiction are separate, and its very, very naughty to throw a hand grenade
You are missing out!
Too bad the Delta Force series is finished and replaced by a piece of crap called "Joint Ops". As for BF1942, it was the biggest waste of money I've ever spent on a video game.
Actually the first person shooter games have really gone down hill lately. They all seem to be tilted either toward arcade like action or total realism. Games that are all one or the other usually suck. A balance is needed between them.
I haven't enjoyed the DF series since DF2 became cheaterville and never found a game I really liked since then except for WWII Online. I'd play that but I got a lifetime ban for voicing my opinion to some changes that were coming even though they specifically asked all the players for their opinions.
MGS2 is a great game! Yeah, the story is a bit convoluted and there's a hint of anti-Americanism thrown in for good measure. But there's so much more to it than that. Have you played MGS2: Substance?
MGS2 had, perhaps, the single worst storyline in the history of fiction--I'm still trying to forget it =P
Oh rub it in, why don't ya?
It was fun to knock down that girl, lay down on her, and call her brother through. That is where MGS2 surpassed the competition.
Criminologists and sociologists make the case that violent video games are cathartic: youth-on-youth violence dropped sharply immediately following the advent of Doom and Mortal Kombat. All the 'evidence' on the other side comes from analog experiments which should always be taken with a grain of salt when applied to complex social phenomena, and anecdotal incidents like Columbine (the perps played violent video games, therefore. . . but then again, so did lots of the victims and millions of others of their generation who never thought of bringing a gun to school. The argument is entirely akin to blaming an incident of violence in Japan on the fact that the perpetrator's hair was straight and black. One can't prove causation of a low-incidence phenomenon by a high-incidence phenomenon.).
Can't beat the M-60.
Unless of course you have the mini-gun.
Did you try Return to Castle Wolfenstein? I enjoyed that immensely. I'll have to check out the DeltaForce series.
Anyone tried DOOM III yet? I plan to get it soon...probably for Christmas.
I've heard that SOCOM is pretty awesome (not available for mac) and there is a story relating to one of the commercials about that game, remember the one in which they're playing online and this mysterious group signs into the game and methodically blows everybody else away and all the "dead" players wonder: Who ARE those guys? And it turns out to be a REAL SEAL team playing on a laptop in the middle of the desert? Well, I had a buddy at SOCOM who recently retired as an 05 and he said it really happened! "Just like shootin' fish in a barrel..."
I like the Clancy games (wish more were ported to the mac) because his company employs ex SpecOps guys to write the tactics and so I have a chance to use my own experience and training in the mission planning and execution phases. Works pretty well with Ghost Recon and Rogue Spear. Weapons capabilities are extremely realistic, too.
Is your username based on the short-lived TV Show of the same name?
(I still haven't played Doom 3.)
I just finished the demo last night the word awesome doesn't quite do the graphics justice. But you better have an awesome machine to run it they're not kidding with thier system requirements.
Never really got into Wolfenstein or DOOM. Played them a few times but they just weren't that interesting to me. Same for the GTA games. Mostly I like either strategy games, an old example was Janes Fleet Command, air combat games, or a few of the first person shooters.
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