GeekyDad / Member

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Some like it bloody

Stumbled into a sale thread over on NeoGAF, and came upon this gif:

iWpkspOBezPer.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?