Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Violent Video Games

This thought popped into my head this weekend as my wife and I played some sort of racing game for Xbox with a younger cousin: Why is it that video game violence gets such a bad rap when video games essentially instruct in all sorts of bad behavior? If we're supposed to believe a shoot-em-up game is going to encourage children to behave violently, why wouldn't it be equally true that racing games encourage young people to drive recklessly when given the opportunity to drive? Just a thought.


Blogger McMc said...

I'm sure there are actually people who would argue they do promote reckless driving but to reason it out for a second, I think there is some logic as to why racing games aren't scrutinized.

Racing games are all about the cars and there are rarely any characters involved (except for a game like Mario Kart). First person shooters, on the other hand, have a hero that you control. You hear the hero talk, you make him do "bad ass" things and you can go on horrible killing sprees with that hero.

The whole point is that your always playing as a good guy who gets the girl, saves the world and look awesome doing it and that kind of behavior you almost want to emulate whereas driving a car you can actually do on an everyday basis and even though it might be fun to drive recklessly, it's not practical. Not that killing people is, but again, I think most arguments people make suggest that these violent video games warp children's brains and desensitizes them to this stuff, etc.

Just my Devil's Advocate moment of the day.

12:27 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

I suppose maybe my point is that racing games are violent. Every racing game I've seen has cars traveling dangerously at high speeds and winding up in crashes that should be as violent as any shoot em up.

So if video game violence is supposed to desensitize kids to violence, why doesn't reckless driving- shown in video games to have no consequences- similarly desensitize kids.

9:17 AM  
Blogger McMc said...

In driving games, the violence you describe is a negative. If you're racing and you crash, you're going to lose. It's a negative consequence. In shooting games, you win by killing. Killing is positive reinforcement.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Jkrik said...

Wow... you guys need to get laid

10:53 AM  

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