There’s always a lot of negative press about violent videogames, complete with the implication that for some reason, someone who plays them regularly will suddenly get up one morning, buy a shotgun, and kill everyone at work because that’s just what those games do. Funnily enough, this isn’t true at all, and here’s why:
1) People who kill other people have issues already.
It’s true – no matter how many games you play, there’s an entire world of experiences out there, and if you’re willing to steal a car and kill a bunch of civilians after doing it in Grand Theft Auto, then we strongly advise that you seek help. Crazies are crazies – videogames don’t make them homicidal, chemical imbalances and bad parenting do that.
2) No one blames the parents
People cry hatred whenever some ten year-old gets their hands on GTA IV. Well guess what? It’s an 18-rated game, and that means that by buying it for your child, you forfeit any right to complain when you realise that yes, there’s a reason it’s restricted to legal adults. Read the number, compare to age of kid. If the former is a larger number, then don’t give them the game. It’s not difficult.
3) Games teach valuable lessons
Whether you’re an adult playing Foxy Bingo or a teenager playing Call of Duty, you’re learning something. Not just hand-eye co-ordination, although that’s a big one; games like Call of Duty don’t glamorise war in any way, and a lot of games impart the message that realistic violence is a dark, scary thing that shouldn’t happen in real life, but unfortunately does on the battlefield.
4) Most games aren’t that realistic
Oh no! Dead Space allows you to chop off limbs! The horror, right? Wrong. It lets you chop off limbs, yes, but the limbs of bizarre mutant creatures. If the nature of the game itself is ridiculous, or is obviously a game (here’s a clue – you don’t respawn in the Army, but you do in Call of Duty), then only the stupid will be subsceptible to this. Kids aren’t stupid – they’re just less knowledgeable.
5) Game designers are not evil people
Although some games do impart rather worrying morals and memes onto people, it’s simply a case of making sure those people have their common sense in place before they play. If someone charges off a cliff after playing Just Cause 2, that’s Darwinism in action, there.
Games are violent, but so’s real life, sometimes. Games are funny, and educational, and cute, and interesting, too – so don’t get caught up in the right-wing agenda of bored, ignorant journalists – play, and make up your own mind.