two supposed fans of the excessively violent "quake" series of
games gunned down 18 people in a Colorado high school, were we
to believe that the inclusion of these games in their upbringing
was a significant contributing factor in their decision to partake
in a real-life mass homicide? The issue is indeed an old one concerning
violence in video games, but regardless of how often one can beat
an issue to death, the death of those 18 individuals shouldn't
be forgotten for any reason--and neither should the question of
whether younger individuals are being wrongly influenced by these
visually violent forms of leisure.
I have never before considered violence in a simple video game
to be hazardous to anyone's upbringing. What possible poison from
these games can seep into the minds of children and infect them
unless something inherentely lied in an already damaged psyche?
And yet the Columbine tragedy resounds through my head every once
in a while when the video games/violence incident is raised in
conversation. I'm not here to answer any questions on this issue,
but what I would like to do is provide varying perspectives and
hopefully entice some of our readers to respond.
of you may be familiar with the uber-popular publication PC Gamer
and a few more might recall an article published in the magazine
on the "next game gods". Within the pages of this particular article,
American McGee (the creator of the recently released game, Alice)
had a few interesting tidbits to share on the video games/violence
subject. Having been the creator of Alice (a game that gives us
a twisted continuation of the original Alice story by Lewis Carroll)
his perspective seems rather key seeing he is a developer near
the forefront of game design today.
far as accountability, the first time I saw the Columbine news
I was coming off a plane and I looked up at the TV monitors
and saw the shootings and it was instantly, 'That's Horrible'…I
spent the next week or so in a funk not wanting to make games
anymore" (PC Gamer, Nov. 2000, p. 78)
comes across as being legitimately concerned, but maintains in
the same thought, "we're not anymore responsible than someone
who creates a film or makes a movie" (PC Gamer, Nov. 2000, p.
78). And one has to understand that McGee is more or less forced
to straddle his morals and his career choice, but can he legitimately
say that games are no better than movies in regard to the effect
they have on children? Let's look at it this way, movies are certainly
more realistic than a game will ever be (or so one would assume)
and yet, a movie never places a viewer in distinct control of
a character that has the primary goal of viciously demolishing
all opponents in one's path.