I play all kinds of video games, they could
have an effect on how one feels or learns about violence but that's as far as you could go, could. I've played shooter games for years, I have vivid memories of watching the film 'Predator' as a kid and as those who've watched it will know, that's a pretty nasty looking film in places, some of my earliest memories of computer games were the likes of Wolfenstein and Doom (both 1st person shooters involving nazi's and monsters)...yet I classify myself as an extremely non violent person.
The questions of who you're killing and the realism involved in the action could both be applied to one game in particular, Grand Theft Auto or GTA. I've played nearly all of those games as well and now the issue starts to become weird, it's easy enough to grab a bat in those games and beat an innocent bystander to death, the cops arrive of course but then with a simple click of a button you can mow them down with an uzi and proceed to use a rocket launcher to brush aside the army etc etc.
The look of GTA is, to my eyes, one of a cartoonish feel. There are certain issues regarding graphic detail, level size (freedom to explore) and performance issues (system speed etc) in games that determine how they're all designed and presented but I don't know how this affects the action, re-action and motivation for playing GTA in the 1st place. I guess the cartoonish feel takes the edge off
what you're doing, in that it becomes easier and more natural to laugh a lot while playing as opposed to a more intense shooter game. What am I laughing at though? I think it's the absurdity of it all.
For me personally I think it's all about having a perspective to enable you to place video games into context. I don't think playing violent video games taught me anything about violence per se but rather, even if only on a sub-conscious level, acted as a re-enforcer of the boundaries between reality and fantasy. My experience through playing violent video games is that I'm not really in the right mind set to actively "learn" anything, even if the game was geared towards more of a learning experience. Though I guess everyone is different. I'm not sure when and how I really learnt about violence except that I've always felt real displeasure at witnessing any kind of unhappiness in people, with violence, clearly at the extreme end of that spectrum.
It seems there needs to be a context with a kick or a pull that makes you want to play any game so in GTA the freedom and huge areas to explore is an example, of first person shooters, world war II games appeal to me because of that era in history, it's fascinating and absorbing on so many levels. If an action within a game makes sense within the context of the setting then you do it, but it's within
the context of the game, which is why I think people make too big a deal about violence in games as if committing violence in a game is an indicator that person wants to commit violence, in real life. Basically, if there is to be a good discussion about violence in games I feel it should be applied much more broadly than just to gory games but to any kind of battling at all.
What I wonder about, is whether this need for an appealing context is really just a crude layer of thought that masks a simple desire to cause havoc in a fantasy setting. It does seem to me though, with regards to this 'Left Behind' game, that in their motivation to create a "battle" game with no gore/violence that they're in fact missing the point any worthwhile discussion about violence in games would centre on, which would be more to do with motivations for battling at all as opposed to the level of realism involved. Phew, sorry went on a bit there (I could keep going...
), just nice to see a topic in the Video games forum that doesn't have 'Millsberry' in the title though. :wink: