Design by Marty Smith
We've all heard the knee-jerk accusations about how games can cause people to do bad things. They're a negative influence on today's youth, like rap or heavy metal music and Dungeons & Dragons before them. As the true story behind what games actually do to people over time continues to materialize, the subject is being broached more delicately by the media. For example, earlier this year, the subject of the influence of violent video games versus the demand for personal accountability was the central theme of an episode of the hit show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which a young defendant claimed that a video game drove him to commit an act of real-life violence.
For argument's sake, we're going to spoil that episode for you: The young defendant's defense does not succeed. Nevertheless, it seems fair to say that games are influential on the people who play them. Games are such a compelling form of entertainment that can cause us to go to relative extremes in our everyday lives.
But is that wrong? We're going to give you a few cases to consider so that you can decide for yourself.
This isn't an article about violence in video games. It's a chance for us to consider some of the moments in our lives as game players that made us feel strongly about something that, in the grand scheme of things, is probably pretty trivial. These are cases in which games drove us to relative emotional extremes. This is both how and why we play.
Avery Score/Assistant Editor, Mobile Games
"I caught glimpses of an approaching figure in my periphery. He leaned casually against the wall, lit a cigarette (flouting the "Engrish" sign), and started playing Street Fighter II Turbo on his GBA." - Read More
Jason Ocampo/Associate PC Editor
"I had to get away from my computer, so I made myself take a walk around my Seattle neighborhood. But everywhere I looked, I asked myself what I would do if a sectoid started shooting out a window, or a dreaded chryssalid walked around the corner." - Read More
Matthew Rorie/Game Guides Editor
"The guy was a gaming polymath, but he was also something of a shadowy figure. For someone who had the time to invest in gaining all these records, he was rarely spotted--at least when I hung around the joint." - Read More
After reading the lengths we have gone to in order to satisfy a gaming jones, what sorts of similar stories do you have to share? Been on a long road trip to a LAN party? Dueled in the arcades with a stranger? - Tell us your story