Why Violent Video Games are Not the End of the World
A professional freelance writer and guest post enthusiast, Darcy Stach adores all things technology. She writes about everything from gaming gadgets, what she believe to be the best flight simulator, addictive apps and more! To check out more of Darcy’s work, visit her blog.
I’ve never been the type to flog a dead horse – in fact; I’m against all anti-horse behaviour – yet after hearing yet another spate of stories hitting the headlines surrounding the violence that is taking over society and the tenuous links that outraged parental groups and the media-at-large are drawing between these events and video games, I felt the need to throw in my two cents.
The debate that violence in video games is eroding the innocent, cherub-like minds of today’s youth certainly isn’t a new one but for some reason it appears that someone has turned up the volume in recent months. On the back of Australia finally receiving an ‘R Rating’ category for its video game titles and the unspeakable tragedies that seem to be occurring in a relentless fashion in the United States, the call to ban or restrict violent games has gathered more momentum than ever.
(Note: Just quickly, before anyone questions whether or not I am playing down the importance of the tragic recent events, please be assured that is absolutely not the case. The fact that these events were horrific and heartbreaking isn’t is question, whether or not video games played a part in them, however, is.)
I’ve held a belief on this topic for a very long time that, up until now I’ve never had a platform to express.
Violence is an inherent part of human society; it certainly isn’t pretty but it is something that is ingrained so deeply in most of us that it will never truly be cast aside. Do you think if we were not all naturally geared towards a violent existence that war wouldn’t have already been stamped out by now? Think about it, we’re high-evolved, rational-thinking human beings yet we still all march willingly into battle with each other, our armies charged will ‘taking out the enemy.’
You need look no further than one of the best selling literally pieces of recent history for an example of how much we glorify violence. 50 Shades of Grey was sold out of book stores for weeks on end as rapid hoards of (mostly) women snapped up every copy and devoured each page. Is it just me or is it insanely ironic to think that many of the people who gather around, protest and call for the heads of video game developers who dare to publish violent video games are the same people who fell in love with a literary protagonist who’s really down with hardcore BDSM?
Violence is all around us; we can (and should) use education and rational-thinking to curb it as much as humanly possible, yet unfortunately there are forever going to be a select few individuals whom cannot control themselves (for reasons beyond our comprehension,) that will carry out unspeakable acts.
I understand that’s a very difficult pill to swallow; looking our culture right in the eye and acknowledging that we may never be able to ‘fix it’ entirely is a tough blow. Rallying to ban Gears of War and other violent-themed video games, however, won’t change that; it’ll just drive us closer towards the irrational, paranoid, mob-mentality mindsets we’re looking to cure.
Violent video games aren’t going to herald in the end of the world or corrupt the minds of our youth any more than Elvis’ live shows did before he got fat and died on a toilet.
Let’s everyone take a deep breath, yeah?