Humans have always been, and will always be violent and video games are no different. Does the roman coliseum, WW 1 and 2, or most of Africa ring any bells as to what humans are capable of?
Stumbled into a sale thread over on NeoGAF, and came upon this gif:
After recent events and the reaction(s) from the NRA, it was no surprise to see no shortage of blog posts expressing frustration over various interests pointing at violent video games and blaming them for the many terrible acts we're seeing these days.
But it's also taboo on gaming sites to even ask the question: what is with this fixation with violence in video games? It's no longer merely a means of telling a more complex tale, it's a bullet point on the sales pitch for a "AAA" game (and it's been that way for a while). Perhaps there was a time when folks found it compelling to view and act out extreme violence in a mature game because it made us think about the human condition, but it seems like the focus now is just to...well, commit those actions in a fantasy world.
To me, the argument of "do violent video games cause people to commit violent acts" is a bit like missing the forest for the trees. I'm more interested in having the discussion of what does this say about us as people -- not just gamers, but thinking, feeling human beings trying to make our way through life, whether in a fantasy world or in the real world.
Is it so wrong to even ask the question? And if it's such a sore spot for gamers -- something that gets you easily riled -- why is that? What are we so afraid of? Why can we not have this discussion? Setting aside whether or not violence in video games causes people to act out violently in real life, what is the significance of such extreme and prolific violence in games? What does this voracious appetite for it in our games mean?
Violence in video games is a wonderful gift to society. It does two things:
-Provides an outlet to play as someone you are not.
-Teaches children (and many adults) all the dangers of the world. Maybe they shouldn't press their friend's head against the stove element. Maybe they shouldn't punch their friend in the face. The video game shows you (with exaggeration) what happens to your friends if you treat them with disregard to their safety.
I think is good that you make such a big deal out of it. I man you are on the USA, one of the most important countries in the world. In other countries where there is an incridebly amount of violence. For example, in Mexico in some cities, schools have to close because teachers or students are getting kidnap; there was an incident once, when some drug dealers trowed a grenade outside a night culb killing innocent people, people getting chooped in to pieces and leaving them outside streets to scare people, in some scenarios you have to give money to extorsionist to leave your business alone. All this happens sometimes in daily basis, but you should not get used to this. I know some people are making too much of a deal about what happen in USA, but is better to worry about something like this right now. Violence in videogames might not be related to what happen, but it shows that people worry about could happen if things get out of control.
I dont play it unless it has a certain amount of blood and realism. Games like Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and Final Fantasy comes to mind for starters. I wouldn't even waste my time with those garbage games.
well to me it is the same thing with movies ... since the last 3 or 4 years I start to feel unconfortable with the violence in many movies ... like the new Batman ... and it is the same thing in many video games like GTA ... and the rise of the shooter genre goes hand in hand with all of that.
the gif you posted let me think about Manhunt ...
Violence is part of human nature. Civilization has curtailed the outlets for it. Hence, violence in video games.
I'm glad I finished Sleeping Dogs before reading this. That gif would have ruined a number of moments for me.
I've killed no less than 1000 random monsters over the weekend. I bashed their skulls in with clubs, burned them with fire, cut them up with swords and axes. And on top of all that I'm a demon!
But then the game I'm describing is Disgaea, and it's all in good, cartoony fun. The game in the GIF above looks pretty disturbing, but then is killing a person in a woodchipper really more disturbing than killing some enemy in any other game? I think it all comes down to how it's all handled.
When I play most RPGs, I really don't feel that bad about killing random monsters and enemies, even though by the end of the game I've probably killed a million different things. In Advance Wars I've sent countless waves of soldiers to their doom, bombed the crap out of another nation's army base, and - perhaps meanest of all - made my enemies slog through magical snow that made their situation even worse while my soldiers somehow became stronger due to it lol.
But if I was walking around and gruesomely killed one generic character in a more realistic game, I think it would bother me a bit. Go figure. XD
I think violence in video games has fallen down a very slippery slope. Violence doesn't seem to make a point so much anymore. It has become the norm instead; white noise indistinguishable from the background now. This is complicated due to the fact that violence in media is never properly and realistically portrayed. If it was, every games would probably be suffering from PTSD. To make a point, the violence in games would just have to become more and more gruesome, thus setting the new norm.
People want to do things in video games that they can't do in real life. It's not about realism. The world of video game is a fantasy world for many people.
Weird when so many video games try to have realistic graphic in realistic world ... GTA, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, COD,Red Dead, Assassin Creed etc ...
During the 80s and 90s there were more real fantasy ... I mean zelda, metroid, mario, final fantasy etc ... all very non-realistic game with less than realistic violence.
During the 80's and early 90's they didn't have the technology to make games realistic. Games like Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy worked fine with 8 bit graphics, but they couldn't do anything remotely realistic.
Not that it stopped them from trying. I recall plenty of gun-based games on the NES. Guerilla War, Narc, and Contra in particular come to mind. Granted, they didn't have the blood, but they all still involved using lots of guns to mow down lots of people.
And while Nintendo, for a time, had a policy against any content deemed to mature, there were a number of arcade games back then that had no such reservations. There was even a light-gun shooter that was nothing more than shooting dead bodies.
Games have always been violent, just some more than others. And as the technology has increased (along with the age of the average gamer, by the way) the violence has simply become more realistic.
I know Nintendo didn't want a lot of violence in their game and had to make Midway recall every catridge of the first Mortal Kombat because many moms fought it was too violent.
But in those time, their were more game in a real fantasy world with SciFi everywhere than game trying to do something in the real world. I recall more game with a futuristic theme than anything in those time, even the most memorable movies of that time were very futuristic.
@Coco_pierrot I would argue that games like GTA and Sleeping Dogs don't take place in the real world. Instead I see them as exaggerations of the real world. Movies like The Dark Knight supposedly take place in the real world, but you would hardly call them realistic.
But they are still closer to real world than say Rayman or Mega Man, Doom etc. And for what I heard through the news about criminal gang ... it isn't that far.
As for the Dark Night, the main caracters aren't that realistic but the world in which they are is.
It's interesting that the gif is from Sleeping Dogs. That's one of the few games were violence like this doesn't really fit in. I mean, the guys a cop! In cutscenes he doesn't want to kill people then the gameplay starts and you start hacking people to bits in the most gruesome way you can find.
So yeah, violence in this particular game is only there for sales (like you said), which is a shame because it could have been used to show the protagonists slip into the grimy gang world as he loses control of his moral compass. That would have been a good use of violence but in this game it seems like it is only there for us gamers. Which I, like you, don't understand. Because violence isn't why I play games. Maybe there is a disconnect between the producers and consumers. Then again, maybe the majority of gamers like this brutality, even when it doesn't fit in with the story.
As a relatively old gamer (in my 30's!), it seems clear to me that the obsession with violence began with two games released close together: Doom and Mortal Kombat. Prior to these, there was certainly violence in games, but there was very little of the gratuitous blood and gore that has been present ever since. These games pushed the envelope in many good ways, but unfortunately they also "mainstreamed" a level of violence that appealed to the lowest common denominator. While the blood made perfect sense within the context of those quality games, it led to a string of games (and ad campaigns) that were simply exploitative, and from which the industry has not fully recovered.
True but there is also something else now ... I mean there is more and more depictation of torture and very over the top violence in recent game more than in previous gen. Also it matches the increase of brutal violence in recent movies.
Same as what DisturbedFan789 said. Humans need bloodshed, gore, brutality, sex. It's all in our nature. We're just animals. Just most people seem to refuse to acknowledge this factor to try and make the world a 'better place'. There was hardly a single war in our history that didn't involve rape, pillaging and tearing down 'innocent' civilians who weren't part of a recognised army. That was regular daily activity for mankind.
There's probably significant differences between male and female gamers, most men will likely have a bigger drive for violence and blood. Also, weaker and smaller people for whom violence was not a large factor during their maturity into an adult, tend to avoid conflict in reality. Some can then compensate for that in a videogame.
Can you honestly deny that throwing somebody onto a spike and seeing their insides burst out of their front is just plain fun?!
@Kreativity I disagree with this argument. Humans are not "just" animals, we're animals with a capacity for abstract thought and decision-making. If a person commits a violent crime, like the war crimes you mention, it's not just because of an instinct; it's because they chose to act a certain way when they could have chosen otherwise. And as for instinct, I'll point out that most of the higher animals don't frequently kill others of their own species; such an instinct would tend to wipe them out of existence. So, it seems more likely that the human drive to do so results not from some evolutionary instinct, but rather from their rational capacity gone haywire.
The same reason the Roman Colosseum was so successful. Humans like violence. Even just the sight of violence is enough to get some adrenaline flowing and, frankly, it gets us high. It's the reason people argue on YouTube, it's the reason people watch splatter films. It's an addiction, debatably brought on by the fact that we don't do what our instincts used to tell us, which is hunt, kill, fuck, eat, and guard your territory, particularly hunting, killing, and guarding (not to mention taking what someone else has that you want). Civilization, laws, and rules have tried to stop us from behaving in our natural ways, and violence in media is just another form of control. Humans are violent creatures. It's how we've survived and it's likely how we'll go extinct.
I always joke around with my friend when I would tell him whenever someone dies in a video game, someone dies in real life. I think it started when I was watching him play GTAIV and he was mowing down pedestrians on the sidewalk. Since people die in real life when someone dies in a video game, I try and only kill the baddies hoping that only real life baddies will die. Of course I really don't do that, but still....
I don't have an appetite for violence in games; not in that way, and even at times, to a certain extent, I feel bad for the killing in games and think that it was a little too excessive. I think more games need to be self aware and not just for the sake of "OH MY GOD! THIS IS AWEEESOMEEEE!" Violence in games at times can be fun, for example, if the shooting feels 'right', the shooting and killing artificial intelligence can be fun.
I think there are some games that make a joke out of the violence and it may be considered funny because of how outlandish it may seem. When I hear my young cousins say Call of Duty is cool because of the fact you shoot guys in it, I have to question their judgments, because games are more than that I believe, and I don't think you should play a game merely for it's violence.
I think, or at least I'd like to think gamer's are smarter than that and the reason it annoys us when people blame games is because it's not right, certainly not for the majority of us. I do believe however that if we didn't have the violence in reality, we wouldn't be as influenced to create or play the games that we do, and we'd most likely see more games like Journey.
I don't know if I'm in the minority, but the things you said in your blog as if all of us think that way is incorrect. I don't think it would be cool to kill in reality, but at times, there are many cool characters in games, and wielding a weapon just looks cool. If I were to ever kill in reality, it'd have to be for a good reason, and even then I'd most likely question what I had done. All my morals are in-tacked.
Your blog is a little insulting, because it makes it seem like the plurality of us aren't smart enough or we're so close-minded that we just don't want to get into such things, when it's very easy to express our distaste for criticism over our beloved hobby. It's almost unwarranted. I think in some small cases, video games, just as film; TV, or even music can change a persons views and may make them grow violent, but I do think it's rarer than is stated.
One reason I disliked God of War 3 was because of how Kratos as a character become desensitized with what he has done, and what he is about to do, and he was no longer sympathetic as he once was at the beginning of the trilogy, and while I enjoy the shooting in Uncharted (though not so much from UC2), it is awkward that he kills all those that he puts down.
There are moments in games when the controls are taken away and your character will do things to other characters that seem overly violent (like putting thumbs in someones eyes), and I'm not blind to that, then there are other times when you are controlling and there are just moves you can do, like slit someone's throat that seems inordinate, because of doing certain actions in games doesn't mean I'm blind to the violent.
I don't know what else to say, I know I'm not a violent person, not at all, and not anywhere in my mind do I correlate reality with the things I do in a video game, as in, I don't want to do the things I do in games in real life. I don't even go to games for the violence and the thrill of the kill.
"Perhaps there was a time when folks found it compelling to view and act out extreme violence in a mature game because it made us think about the human condition, but it seems like the focus now is just to...well, commit those actions in a fantasy world."
I think it has always been about acting out the violent acts in games, little to no thought goes into it when it comes to violent parts of games.
I agree, there are a lot of games that feature violence and that should change. There are plenty of games that don't feature violence that are brilliant such as Journey, unfortunately games like Call of Duty have much more widespread popularity. I'm not sure why this is, but I will say when I saw that GIF I laughed and thought it was hilarious. I don't know why. Maybe because it was so over the top or maybe that I'm just a sick person. But then I realize, I've never inflicted violence on another person despite my kill count in video games easily reaching the millions.
An influence is just an influence. No matter what, its down to the person to make a choice. For instance, in the MGS series, you don't have to kill every person and because I have this option I always go for it. Its easier to go through the game killing everyone but killing is not in my nature so because I have that option I use the tranquilizer. In games where I have a choice of killing a person or not, I always choose not to. To counter act this, I also support games that either don't feature violence (such as Portal 2) or allow you to choose to avoid it (such as Heavy Rain).
That and the fact that the NRA was obvious trying to deflect attention away. Bulletstorm is an obvious example of gratuitous violence in gaming but why no mention of Call of Duty? Guarantee you that a big percentage of its membership plays Call of Duty. It is the highest selling game every time it comes out. It shatters records every year, why wouldn't you mention that game? I mean c'mon.... Mortal Kombat? I had not read that the shooter dropped his gun and suddenly started knocking heads off (excuse my imagery). That was just completely irrelevant.
They also failed to mention the fact that they've sponsored a video game in the past.
About that Sleeping Dogs, some the ones that get impaled or thrown into ice chippers deserve all of that and more. If you played it you'll know why.
To me, the problem I have with this discussion, "what is with this fixation on violence in video games?" comes down to the "in video games" part. The vast majority of modern entertainment is just as, if not more, guilty and should not be exempt from this debate. Turning on the nightly news I view children who got sniped in a civil war 24/7, WWE (channel flipping on that), UFC, horror/action movies, television AND video games all trying to one up themselves from the last time. I have no problem with this discussion as long as its fair, judge all media by the same criteria or don't judge any of it. Video games are violent and may cause some people to want to commit murder, I won't deny that, but I hate when those people pointing the finger at me for playing a game turn around and watch a horror movie or an action thriller and think nothing of it. The question shouldn't be why are video games violent? But rather, why is so much media, including but not limited to video games, violent? Personally, I want to have a discussion about violence in mass media, but no one else really wants to have a discussion, people just want to demonize someone or something else to help them sleep at night and rationalize a terrible tragedy. People (the majority anyway) don't have the capacity or attention span to have a real dscussion anymore.
Hmm, US government sponsored games like America's Army are meant to sharpen the mental states of soldiers who go through combat stresses, so in our civilian terms it means desensitizing to the violence/noises/fear of being killed/whatever. Perhaps it's a good thing to look at violence with a clearer mind instead of having sensational saber rattling from those who don't even have an idea of what their children wear to school, in the same way a soldier who is mentally-sharpened or desensitized or however you want to call it makes better decisions in a difficult situation, and these situations are more than just pulling triggers and aiming at "bad guys." Establishing contact or providing first aid under stress come to mind. These things are 100% applicable in a civilian emergency.
So I say, bring on the pixelated guns, but start getting worried when they begin handing out game consoles when you join an armed forces, or partake in a certain games journalist award...
@rollerloller America's Army was just a glorified recruiting tool, though. They saw all these young people playing violent games and marketed a game towards them so that could be thinking of joining the army while playing games.
@JustPlainLucas I brought up America's Army because it's the only thing I could think of. They have video game-like computer programs used to treat PTSD, combat stresses, etc.
What does that say about us as a people? It says that we're violent. We have been, always have and always will. It's in our history books. The US was created out of violence. Violence is in art, literature, music, film and video games. Americans have made films like Saw, true, but look at what the Japanese have made. Ever heard of Ichi The Killer? That's some seriously messed up stuff there. The thing is, we are flawed as a species. Violence has been in our genes since we were neanderthals clubbing our neighbors and stealing their women. It has NEVER left us, and a great many of us handle violent tendencies by escaping in fantasy so it doesn't materialize in reality.
Now, I actually laugh when I kill someone with the environment in Sleeping Dogs. I get weird looks from people when I talk about games and the things that I do in them, but I always tell them, "It's just a video game." Where exactly do you draw the line when it comes to violence in video games anyway? I once had an aunt who didn't like me playing Super Mario Bros. because I was jumping on turtles. It doesn't matter how violent the game is. What matters is if you can tell whether or not it's fiction or fantasy. If you got kids who want to shoot people in video games, let them do provided they know that doing it in real life is seriously not ok.
"What are we so afraid of? Why can we not have this discussion?"
Because people are cowardly when it comes to looking in the mirror, questioning their own beliefs and wondering if something they love or believe in might be in the wrong. They like the little bubble they've created for themselves to live in, and they don't like the idea that something in that bubble might be wrong, so they attack people who criticize. This isn't by any means exclusive to gaming or gamers. It's people in general these days.
I'm all for having these discussions. We (at least in America) live in a culture of violence. It's in our television, movies, comics, video games, and media. We glorify guns, we glorify blood and guts. Here in the gaming world, we see constant praise for brutality, from fans and media. We don't have to go further than Gamespot, who awards games that are overly violent with a badge. Some games themselves reward players for being excessively brutal. Game companies get rewarded financially for making products that are excessively violence, and they shamelessly and irresponsibly market brutality to kids because they stand to gain from it (for example, the Dead Space 2 marketing campaign). In our hobby, excessive violence is actually rewarded, which is strange and a little messed up if you think about it. Not enough people ever stop to ask if there's anything positive about any of that.
Blaming video games or guns alone for the acts of others is a bit of a cop out and doesn't dig deep enough for the truth. The roots of those problems are bigger and deeper. But I think, like you are getting at, it's important for us to ponder every part of the equation and ask if all of this starts to add up rather than dismiss any criticism and pretend like there's nothing wrong. Have the difficult discussions and debates. Don't take the easy way out and let games off the hook. They're not infallible.
@kfjl Like many other gamers I was frustrated at the blame being heaped on them for the recent violence. I am not afraid to however agree that I am totally desensitivized to violence, at least in the virtual world. I don't get scared by the goriest horror games but that doesn't mean I enjoy violence . Frankly I find excessive gore off putting.
This is a long way of saying a violent however person will always find some reason to give in to his/her urges, if its not games it will be books, movies etc etc.
@kfjl Firstly, numerous studies have been conducted on the subject and there is absolutely no evidence linking violence in video games to real life violence. Secondly, Japan. They have tons of violent video games, very strict gun laws, and almost no shootings. It's some ridiculous statistic like over the past 5 years they've had less shootings than the United States has per day. So you say you want to have the discussion, well there it is, discussion over.
@WTBG I never said video games have been directly linked to violence, nor did I say they directly caused violence. What I'm suggesting is that they do contribute to an overall culture of violence that we live in -- a culture that breeds and encourages more killing -- and they don't help solve the problem.
Discussion not over.
@kfjl Furthermore, you say that we shouldn't "let games off the hook". Why the hell not? All the evidence suggests this is exactly what we should be doing.
@kfjl Once again, Japan. They have tons of violent video games and yet have a very peaceful culture. Secondly, there is a massive distinction between violence that happens in video games and the violence that happens in real life. It's easy to look at violence in video games and think "wow, that must be making people more violent. How could it not be?" However, in actual fact there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary. That's why, every so often, when a Republican senator proposes a study to look at the effect that video game violence has on people you never end up hearing about the study again. The reason for this is simple, the study proved no link between video game violence and real life violence.
@kfjl To be aware of violence in our media is different than thinking about how it effects us as players or viewers (obviously). I think it's true that too many games have violence, and trailer after trailer for a new game has a protagonist (or antagonist) killing someone or something, but I think while those are the things advertised, some people will look into the game not because of the violence, or not just because of it, but because of something else that caught their eye, like setting.
I really don't think it's wrong to be mad when a group of somewhat illiterate people talk negatively about something we love doing. Just because we like to play games with violence in them, doesn't mean we're violent, and it doesn't mean they make us violent; in a way, it could be possible to do the total opposite; to aspire to be the antithesis of what you see and do in games. I don't want to say that violence in games can't and will not make someone violent, because it may very well happen, but I don't think it effects everyone, and I don't think it's the thing that makes it happen.
Everyone that talks about how violent video games makes people violent talk in generalizations, and that's just not true. There are other aspects of peoples lives that factor into making a violent person, and video games; film or music are not the heart of the problem. I think it's perfectly fine to be a little distraught when hearing these stories of blame. You of course can't 'let games off the hook', but you also shouldn't go to that first and foremost when trying to determine why someone acted out such terrible things.
I like violent games because you can do things that your conscience in real life won't let you. I cannot look at media the same way as real life, I can watch or play violent games and movies but if I find myself in a real life violent situation I feel sick in the stomach. I love playing shoot them up games, But the thought of pyhsically hurting somebody even if I don't like them makes me cringe. And i gather the majority of people are the same. So I think that violent games and movies allows us to fantasize about world that our natural selves we never dare of entering.
In ancient times people watched gladiators get eaten alive by wild animals.
They found it immensely entertaining.
The answer is quite simple, fantasy violence is exhilarating but not dangerous. It's the same reason we like horror movies, or roller coasters. We like the thrill without the danger.
I'd like to bring the question to entertainment as a whole. Movies such as Saw, or even the Expendables are all about violence and it's all over-the-top. It's the style these days, from huge "AAA" blockbuster movies of giant robots fighting each other in 3D-iMax-huge-screen-action to downright torture movies. The style is over-the-top in every respect, from the ridiculous actions of Nathan Drake in a falling building/building on fire to explosions at his very feet. Look at Bulletstorm, The Expendables, Saw, or Call of Duty or God of War. Everything is just over-the-top.
If it was just video games then we could claim we need to pretend to act these actions out but it's not. I gave plenty of examples of movies that do the same thing. It's society as a whole and what they want to view/experience, not what they want to act out. That being said, it really is completely over-the-top and unrealistic. There is nothing normal about bullet time, rechargeable health, or one guy being able to kill 100 in some base before a helicopter shoots at him while he doges missiles, or whatever. The point is that it is unmistakable fantasy, even if the actual effects are more realistic.
Art has done this for a long time, that is, taken what is realistic and then putting it into something that is obviously fantasy. Honestly this is no different. Entertainment has taken our curiosity of familiar/realistic things put into complete fantasy and combined that shock value and curiosity of the dead. Explicit death has been very popular in past times throughout history. It is simply coming back into the limelight at this time. That is why you can turn on the TV and see Criminal Minds, NCIS, CSI, etc. Everyone is fascinated with death. It's simply just running it's course as it always has throughout history.
There's a lot of stretched truths in this blog post.
For the most part, gamers don't gravitate towards a game *because* of the supercharged violence. There is no appetite for extreme violence.
In games like Skyrim, you can (in First Person) decapitate enemies heads. It's quite bloody and gruesome. Now, be honest, do you think of Skyrim when you think about violent video games? I don't think many people do. Most game developers do not spend a crazy amount of time on making sure their game has a ton of crazy violence.
Your gif example of Sleeping Dogs is a decent example for your point, however it's still not entirely truthful. The point you're missing is that the gap between fantasy and real life makes all of the difference in the world.
We can enjoy games like Sleeping Dogs, or Grand Theft Auto, because in the back of our minds, we know it isn't real. That distinction is your answer.
@experience_fade but why do you enjoy it period? only because it's not real? that doesn't explain much to me. maybe you don't think it's wrong because it's not real, but then why not shoot rainbows at non-living lava monkeys that turn into butterflies when you hit them? why grind someone's face with a table saw? and if gamers didn't gravitate towards the super violent games there wouldn't be such a market for them IMO.
@zyxe Just because you're shooting (or whatever other way you can kill) these artificial intelligence and having fun, doesn't mean that somewhere in our minds we wish we could be doing these things in reality. Furthermore, those violent games players gravitate towards often have multiplayer, and the violence isn't what have people hooked, it's the competitiveness, that's why Call of Duty, and even Madden are so profitable. I also think people becoming less sensitive because of games is a fallacy. I've been playing video games my entire life, and at an early age, even violent ones; I didn't grow up to be what these games have offered, and I was never desensitized over violence. I verily believe violence in individuals in culture lie in how we are raised.
@zyxe I should also mention that all that games that I absolutely love are not because of the violence that can be acted out in it. For example, Dead Space, I absolutely love that franchise, but it's not because I want a good bloody time (pun intended), it's because I like the characters Visceral's created, and I love the futuristic setting they've made; minus the negative aspects that hinder that universe, I wouldn't mind if our own future was like it; same goes to other games as well, like Mass Effect. I also love Star Trek and the message that gives us.
@zyxe @WTBG @experience_fade Same thing happened to me when i was in college, my classmates & teacher were watching "funny" accidental death videos (yep i said teacher). Now i would like to point out that i have played many violent games since i was a kid whereas none of my classmates were gamers, the teacher certainly wasn't, yet i was one of the few who thought it was messed up.
So if a person is violent and also happens to plays games, the chances are that he/she was violent to begin with and the games had nothing to do with it, and if a sensitive or normal person starts playing violent games they are not going to turn cruel and evil, there is no link between games and peoples behavior.
@zyxe @experience_fade Ok, firstly your classmates obviously have some serious issues. However, you're comparing apples to oranges. There's no need to feel bad when someone dies in a video game because no one actually died. The videos your describing are entirely different because, from the sound of it, real people were dying. Also, you can't just say "studies rarely prove anything" and expect that to discredit many years of research done by psychological professionals.
@WTBG @experience_fade because studies rarely prove anything, really (IMO). they have to have a really huge sample of people and go over a long time period, and it's virtually impossible to tell what has really caused such violence. i remember being in a lab for school and being sickened by my classmates watching people die in "funny" accidents in videos online. i don't think it would cause them to go out and commit murder, but it's desensitizing in subtle ways where we start taking humor from others' suffering, and that can affect us in many ways that studies haven't shown or gone into.