Welcome to Boss Fight Friday, a weekly video game hot stove where the writers of Game Savvy give their take on video games and where you, the reader, get to start the weekend off right. Last week we discussed all things Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Everything from our expectations to which house is our go-to choice. For some of us, it was our first taste at the Fire Emblem series.
This week we’re discussing all things video game violence and if the media uses what we love, video games, as a scapegoat. Game Savvy’s writers have some opinions on this serious edition of Boss Fight Fridays.
So without further ado, let’s get into and of course, feel free to leave your answers in the comments below!
1. What’s your take when people say “video games cause violence”?
Em: People who think video games cause violence are looking for an easy out that can brush over the real, foundational problems in society that encourage violence. I can’t pretend to know a lot about the factors that likely contribute, but it isn’t video games. People being violent isn’t new since the invention of technology. It’s just easier to act on those thoughts and connect with others who encourage them. Games aren’t any more responsible for that than any media or entertainment.
Christian: I think it’s an argument that is just old and a scapegoat at this point in time. If playing a certain time of video game made us into the people we are, then I would be an elite NFL Quarterback. Or Spider-Man. Most of the people that do say that are either a) uneducated, or b) they are in that old school generation where the most up to date game was Pac-Man. If video games cause violence then so do films and TV shows.
Nana: People who say video games cause violence don’t really take into account other factors. While there is the desensitizing argument, I don’t think holds any weight given the fact that you can use that argument for anything.
Alan: Outright denial. It’s simply not true, there is no scientific evidence pointing towards that being the case, and just looking at the world at large points to that being false.
Steven: Video games are used as a scapegoat by those who are too corrupted and ignorant to admit the real issue is hatred and racism.
Dennis: When I hear people say that, it just sounds like an obvious distraction to the actual issue at hand that is going over people’s heads. There is no scientifical proof to say that video games cause violence, and there never will be any such evidence.
The issue of violence. More specifically, gun violence concerning what is happening in the news. It’s not just a mental health problem in my mind but mainly a gun control problem; you can’t have one without the other when it comes to these mass shootings. You have these individuals(who are not sane in the head) finding it easy to get there hands on automatic or military-grade guns while using it to kill the innocent.
2. Do you think some video games are too violent?
Em: I don’t think they’re too violent. Violent games, like anything, have content warnings and ratings on them. I do think there’s a problem with parents not monitoring what their kids play or who their kids talk to when they play games. A bigger issue is probably the people you sometimes encounter while playing these games more than the games themselves.
Christian: No. That’s all up to personal preference. Do I cringe when I see the new Mortal Kombat finishers? Yes. Do I play Mortal Kombat? No. That’s what ratings are for and (hopefully) good parental guidance. rolls eyes. Just stop letting your eleven-year-old play Grand Theft Auto.
Nana: No. I don’t think so because when that can appeal to the charm of the game.
Alan: I think that context is absolutely key in this conversation. Doom is one game that is absolutely gruesome, but that hyperviolence cannot be reproduced and is aimed towards fictional beings. Hatred, on the other hand, glorifies the murder of Innocents in a very real way, and it shouldn’t exist. Games can be used as a tool to examine parts of our humanity but we must also ask ourselves if certain parts of our humanity, in this case, the ultra-violent fringe, is even worth taking a closer look at through games, is that something we want to indulge?
Steven: This is a difficult question, is GTAV to violent for a child? Yes. Do I feel like a playing GTAV is going to corrupt a child’s mind to the point of causing them to commit mass murder? No.
Dennis: No, they’re not. It is as violent as any medium out there for people to ingest. Especially when creative people are trying to tell their stories or they’re just trying to find out how far they can take the needle of violence in games.real life can be as brutal as video games if we let it be.
I think the violence in games is more of a problem when it comes to how much under aged individuals are getting there hands on these violent mature games. Parents don’t seem to care if their child is playing a game that’s not age-appropriate to the rating there kid can play. I think a crackdown on the rating of games is needed.
3. Why do you think the media likes to use video games as an excuse/scapegoat?
Em: Because it’s something they a) don’t understand, b) think is juvenile c) can blame without actually having to examine difficult problems with the world they live in.
Christian: Because it’s the easiest thing to do. By blaming video games they can direct the discussion completely towards that without answering any of the actual topics like mental illness, ACTUAL medical studies, or just hard facts when it comes to numbers. That and like Em said, they just don’t understand the concept of video games. It’s like how my Mom doesn’t understand how I’ve met some of my best friends through online gaming.
Nana: This one is interesting because from according to my sociology studies, the media tends to move the blame to trends for violence(i.e. Rap Music and horror movies), so I think it’s the media trying to demonize trends.
Alan: To put it simply, it’s an easy Boogeyman for older voters. Before it was comics, then it was music, and then games. It’s something that they do not understand and can then speak about without needing any actual fact-checking because the masses who will believe this lie, don’t know any better. What I think is absolutely WILD is how someone can say a game like CoD is evil and then somehow not see that it’s a war sim, simulating what we can actually do in other countries. They’re detaching the games from the subject matter completely.
Steven: Because the media is owned by the politicians, and the politicians are owned by the NRA.
Dennis: Probably because it’s easy to blame something they don’t find legitimate then actually doing some actual god damn research like journalists are supposed to do. Guess that says the politically biased media organizations are making these claims aren’t doing actual journalism. Shocker.
4. What’s a game that makes you rage the most?
Em: Call of Duty. I play it specifically because it makes me yell and sometimes I just need to yell. Stop spawning me right where there are 4 people waiting to shoot me!
Alan: Cuphead. Yep, Cuphead. By far.
Steven: That’s a list, basically any platformer, multiplayer games if I keep losing, pretty much any game has the potential to make me rage but as someone of sound mind I know how to control my emotions.
Dennis: None. To be honest, I don’t rage quit while playing games. I find it to be a waste of energy when I could just be using the time to get back into the game and re-strategize my efforts to get better at a game I’m playing.