Yet what Jack Thompson has achieved with his zealot-style rants is to push the debate on video game violence to the forefront. Not to mention drawing attention to the lack of regulation the video game industry has had to endure. Do violent video games encourage gamers to enact their virtual crimes on the real world? And if so should they be released?
“Snuff” has become a recent trend within the film industry. Eli Roth’s Hostel and the Saw trilogy are films that base their entertainment entirely on torture and horrific deaths. Their success raises questions on the sadistic attitude of humanity, a question Grand Theft Auto has been posing for years. Grand Theft Auto is not only the most successful game available on the Playstation 2 but the most successful adult video game of all time. It has dominated the charts worldwide for years and that includes Japan, a nation known to reject such western titles. However, the game’s success is not due to its storyline, graphical prowess or finally tuned mechanics, it’s because, quite simply, you can beat prostitutes to death with a baseball bat and get away with it. Hardly a good message for young children whose parents take no heed of ratings or ESRB warnings.
Yet surely the violence in video games has to be “real”, true to life violence for it to have any effect upon the human psyche, and how real is the violence in Grand Theft Auto? The violence in Hostel and Saw is not the same type of violence film goers see in the likes of Saving Private Ryan or, more recently, Blood Diamond. The violence present in these two films is both deeply unsettling and horrific to endure. Violence that is real and hard hitting. Those who are drilled, chopped and impaled in your typical teen horror flick are faceless, nameless characters with unrealistic fates. It is fantasy violence that is no more real than the type of violence seen in Lord of the Rings or even Road Runner. It is just Itchy and Scratchy with humans.
Grand Theft Auto is really no different to this. Performing a drive by on an innocent businessman would be far more disturbing if it wasn’t for the army of identical businessmen, with identical voices and phrases, lurking around the very next corner. It is about as realistic as a cartoon coyote that falls off of cliffs and gets repeatedly flattened by boulders. But can we really dismiss video game violence as harmless, inconsequential entertainment? Surely it can still have some effect on the more vulnerable members of society?
Well of course is does. But then so can anything. People are not converted to the ways of murder by playing a video game. I, and a million other gamers, do not suddenly feel the urge to butcher a policeman after playing GTA… or Manhunt… or any other game that has featured within the pages of the Daily Mail. It is only the unstable or confused that could ever deem it acceptable to reenact a violent video game. And these people are just as likely to re-enact a violent picture, film, novel or news program.
In fact for the normal playing public a video game can be a therapeutic exercise. When angry or stressed some gamers find that it is the likes of GTA or Halo that can relieve this tension. Nobody is hurt when violent acts are performed within a virtual world. Although video games can also have the opposite effect. We’ve all thrown controllers, punched walls or even ripped doors off their hinges (or is that just me?) after failing for the 400th time to complete that level or beat that boss.
I stand in defense of publishers who create controversial software. The artistic freedom the video game industry has been privileged with should not be taken for granted. But some publishers, who thrive upon the success their controversy causes, do nothing to help proceedings. This month marks the anniversary of Stefan Pakeerah’s murder, a murder apparently influenced by the game Manhunt (although a notion dismissed by the courts) and Rockstar, always one to capitalize on their own bad publicity, chose this month to announced the sequel to that very game.
So it’s no wonder that video game violence is such a hot topic for politicians, the press and the public… and this is precisely what Jack Thompson was hoping to achieve.
That and the ruthless murder of every Rockstar employee that ever lived.
Here’s to the future.
Ahaha, that's gold - it really is.
> The fact that every reply to this topic so far is saying that
> "nobody cares" or that the topic is "stale"
> tells me that there may be more of a problem with video game
> violence than I once thought.
> If everyone ignores issues like this then that is when a problem
> can arrise.
Or the fact the issue has been covered a kajillion times it's gotten stale and boring, hence why no one is bothering to make a reply on topic.
That and it's fun to mess with Dringo :-)
If everyone ignores issues like this then that is when a problem can arrise.
Personally I think that immature people like violent games. When I was around 15 years old GTA was so exciting because I wasnt supposed to be playing it and I could do all of these exciting things that I couldnt do in the real world. Once you have grown up you realise that its gameplay that makes a game interesting, not how much blood is in it.
I also dont think that games like GTA make people steal cars and stab their friends. The type of people who are out on the streets of a night getting up to no good are only there because they arent aloud in their house so cant play on their playstation, if they even have one.
> Oh and Hedfix, if you can find this article anywhere else... or
> anything like it, then I'll buy you a PS3.
"or anything like it" eh?
Ok I might try for that PS3 in a bit. :)
> Dringo wrote:
> I actually wrote it from a magazine.
Oh do shut up Hedfix. I applied for a job that required me to write 750-1000 word article entitled: "The Defence of Violent Video Games"...
So I mocked one up in a few hours, posted it on here hoping for a small debate, and then return to it with new ideas and thoughts created from such a debate.
But no, there isn't.
Oh and Hedfix, if you can find this article anywhere else... or anything like it, then I'll buy you a PS3.
> Dringo wrote:
> I actually wrote it from a magazine.