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A Trip Down Memory's Game - Are video Games Becoming Too Violent?

Updated on February 6, 2013

As a Gamer, I’ve heard a lot of things concerning video games; the one that seems to come up the most is the subject of violence in video games and frankly it’s starting to bug me…. Sometimes it even scares me. I’ve believed that it was because as a gamer if I love video games and they’re violent then I am violent by association, but in reality that is not so.

Growing up I have played a variety of game genres, as a kid I traversed through the Mushroom Kingdom and raced cars in hot pursuit of a need for speed; as a teen I was veteran of the covenant war and a resident of Liberty City; and now I am most recently a niphilm who protects humanity and a commander who conducts galaxy spanning quests through varying systems with massive effects (Disclaimer: this was figurative don’t expect me to do much more than sit on the couch and eat cheetos if earth is invaded by aliens). While it’s true that there are people with problems and issues that lead to truly sad events, violent acts, and otherwise despicable acts; the more I hear about it the more I believe that whenever video games get backlash for violence its has less to do with the games themselves and more with us confusing Correlation with Causation. Which to put it simply is seeing coincidence as a pattern; to be blunt AND simple, just because a lot of video games have violent acts and violent acts occur, and it does not mean that violent games are responsible for violent acts.

Videogames have a powerful ability that I have witnessed, and when and if it is used correctly it is as good as inspiring a child to pick up Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein or to call them towards a passion. The process is called tangential learning and to put it simply it’s when your exposed to new concepts through familiar aesthetics (like videogames) the web series Extra Credits has an episode dedicated to this and after watching it I came to a sudden realization; if it weren’t for the game Rockband, I would have never picked up a bass or guitar and started playing, it exposed me to playing music through a familiar medium (videogames) and I got into it, and it’s benefited my life. It doesnt just apply to music either it works for various subjects like history. While many may argue that it could work the same way with violent video games, I would disagree because to get a fighting game you would need to already be interested in fighting in some way for you to get it, therefore establishing your interest before you’ve played it.

My theory is that the reason that videogames seem to be getting more violent is due to society ITSELF becoming more violent, but it’s not apparent because it’s a subtle change, almost invisible until an extreme example comes along and reminds us of the horrors that could be and for many are. I can’t say for certain but what I can say for sure is that as violent as videogames are or may even become, it can always do an entire world more of good.


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