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Life lessons in “Violent video games”

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Violent video games, the obvious cause of terror, murder and every violent act in our society. If you can’t tell, that was some serious sarcasm. There isn’t anything wrong with violent video games, and I’m here to prove that.

So by using this, very, very right wing website, we can find just what’s wrong with violent video games. Further down in the article, there’s a list of the concerns that I’m going to analyse and argue against. The best part is, I am an impressionable teen and have been playing games all my life, so lets see which is true.

Children who play violent video games stimulate their brains with violence and thus seek to recreate the simulation 

Grand Theft Auto V (2013) is considered one of the most violent games on the market

So this is an age old argument that children are impressionable and seek to create violence. If you hand a copy of GTA V to a five year old and tell him to play around, they’ll kill everyone. Well, that’s just wrong. I’ve got a younger brother, and we’re going to use him as the test subject in this scenario. Every scenario for that matter. Does he look to recreate violent scenarios? No, because he knows the difference between reality and video games.

Many young, impressionable children do know the difference between the real world and the digital one. Mortal Kombat was shunned by many for being violent and impressionable. But if you can give me any examples of a child pulling someones spine out and strangling them with it, let me know.

Empathy is lost more readily in children who play violent videogames

The Walking Dead (2012) is one of the few games out there that connected with users emotions perfectly

This may be the one I can’t personally argue the most. I wouldn’t say it’s down to videogames, more life experience. But I’m not the most empathetic person, no need to be really. Still, saying that, I’ve been playing games for so long that I do actually know what empathy is still. I feel very empathetic while playing games too.

One example is The Walking Dead: Season One, that had me crying. So I don’t think video games make us feel less empathetic, but they make us feel empathy. It’s quite the opposite when you think about it for just over one second. Clearly something the man that wrote the other article didn’t do.

Violent video games teach children that nothing is to be valued in life save their own selfish desires

I would most certainly argue the opposite. Again, lets argue against this point while using my brother as an example. A few days ago I was watching my brother play GTA V with some friends. That seems to be the only game he plays. But for one mission they were surprisingly co-ordinated. My brother drove around while his friend used the “Trackify” app to make the missions easier.

So not only does this build teamworking skills, but also shows the value of co-ordination. Actually, this article stems from this idea of teamwork in violent videogames.

As for valuing nothing, I’d argue this as wrong also. Use any game that uses a currency, it teaches the value of money to both young and old. The best examples I can think of are simulator games and RPGs, where currency and value is the most important part in being able to buy the next best gear.

Children learn how to use weapons and how to fight in the most crude, violent ways imaginable

Yes, because video games like DiabloAssassin’s Creed and Final Fantasy really manage to teach people how to fight don’t they. Next time there’s a news report about someone using a giant sword the size of a building to kill someone, let me know.

I know what you’re thinking, the GTA V torture scene is pretty graphic for underaged users. Well, I’m a year underaged to play that game and it didn’t effect me. Mainly because, like I stated earlier, people understand the difference between reality and imagination. If you can’t understand the difference between reality and video game, then you shouldn’t be playing video games at all. Not just “violent” video games, but games in general.

The true-to-life graphics take gaming today out of the fantasy realm and put violence into the real world

Very realistic, right guys?

This is the age old argument, violent video games cause violence. Surprisingly, this is wrong. Just because a game looks good doesn’t mean it looks good enough to do in real life. See, games actually manage to balance out the danger of influence by putting in negatives subtly. Health systems, death of the character controlled by the player. It’d be off putting to a lunatic if they saw themselves continuously die, right?

On top of that, just because a game looks good, doesn’t mean someone is going to shoot another person. Euro Truck Simulator 2 looks nice, but it never gave me the feeling that I should run someone over. Do you see what the problem is? Any game can make someone snap, but it never does happen. Just because someone is killed, it doesn’t mean video games are to blame. If someone is genuinely insane then they shouldn’t be given access to these games, it’s why the ESRB system doesn’t work.

Video games can teach young boys to grow up disrespecting women and treating them as sexual objects

This one sort of links in with the very lengthy article I did on Anita Sarkeesian. As I’ve previously stated, most games define women as equal in the fields they follow. Multiple games have female protagonists, examples being literally any RPG ever and Bayonetta.

But what I don’t understand is why these very small, optional parts of games are made into such a big deal. Yes, I understand that it’s wrong to objectify women, but I’ve argued before that games don’t do this. And much like violence, it doesn’t teach kids to do anything if they can distinguish reality from fiction. Which is very easy to do. Harry Potter never convinced us that we could become wizards, so why should Bulletstorm convince us we can fling people around with a giant anti-gravity whip.

Violent games can create an addict out of youngsters, leaving them chasing that “high” associated with committing violence

Because killing people is the equivalent of a drug trip apparently. No, I can argue against this one personally. People who write these types of articles don’t understand the many factors that can change in game development. There is a huge difference between fun and violence in gaming.

I think overall we can all agree that gaming doesn’t cause violence. Anyone who disagrees clearly hasn’t got experience with the field I work in, therefore aren’t really qualified to speak about it. Remember, you actually need to have experienced video games to talk about how they have any impact on you.

The positives of violence

So like I mentioned before, my brother and his friend co-operated as a team to finish a level. I noted also that their coordination skills were impressive, as well as their reaction times. Specifically when driving, they were both able to make split decisions on where to go and how best to get there. Like all players of GTA V, they crashed a couple of times, but they managed to get through traffic and enemies impressively well.

On top of this, the sociability skills that come from “violent videogames” is impressive. Xbox Live, PSN and Steam are all platforms where online play brings people together to work towards a common goal. Social skills are important, and what better way to learn them than through violence?

Footnotes:

[1] http://discussmuch.com/violent-video-games-produce-violent-behavior-in-our-nations-youth-and-should-be-banned/