Violence in VideoGames

I just read a great article by Brooks Brown at 1up.com on the subject of violence in video games. A bit of background on Brooks Brown, Brooks was a student at Columbine High School and had been friends with Eric Harris (one of the Columbine Shooters) before a falling out.

This article flows along the same threads as my view on video game violence.

Read it HERE

My feeling is that the video games do not promote or incite violent behavior but that they allow you to follow a path of your own choosing.

In fact Entertainment Software Association (ESA) studies show that 50% of Americans play video games.

Fifty Percent? With that kind of rate tying video game playing to murder or violence would be like saying Pepsi makes people violent as opposed to Coke!

In my humble opinion it’s Parents own disregard for industry guidelines and ratings systems that are the source of their own complaints.

For example take a list of five of the more controversial games.

Grand Theft Auto (GTA 3 GTA:Vice City and GTA:San Andreas)

Rating MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

Manhunt

Rating MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

Doom 3

Rating MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

and The most controversial lately

25 to Life (AKA “The cop Killer Game”)

Rating MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

Notice a trend all these games carry a rating of Mature meaning for 17 years old or older only. Maybe parents should be keeping an eye on their children and who they associate with instead of letting them buy any game regardless of the rating. This would be the equivalent of letting your young child go see A Clockwork Orange, Reservoir Dogs, Scarface or Crash. You just wouldn’t do it. So why do you let it happen with Video Games?

Well for one you perpetuate the stereotype that video games are for children. This is completely false. Just like your parents didn’t like nor understand rock music this is one of our generations outlets. Returning to the ESA study I referenced before 43% of video game players are between the ages of 18-49 as opposed to 35% under the age of 18. This shows us that the market game makers have is the 18-49 year olds as they (in many cases) have more disposable income than the under 18 crowd and are a larger demographic.

In Closing I just want to re-iterate that parents need to get off their lazy self righteous asses and raise their kids right by monitoring the media their exposed to for appropriateness to their age group if your child is under 17 then don’t buy Mature games for them and be aware of your child s environment. Don’t let them play with kids whos parents are tearing down the values you set up. If you can’t raise your child who will.

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LiamM

I'm a self labeled Nerd who enjoys Playing Video Games, restoring classic muscle cars (i have a 65' Mustang in the works) , Running Big Data Clusters, Tattoos, Working on System Automation, Riding and customizing Motorcycles, and writing python Code. I'm an SRE with DemonWare/Activision Specializing in Big Data/Hadoop operations but all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely my own.