The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Violence in Games

This post is recycled, and was originally published on WatchZine on Wednesday 2004-03-03 at 14:00:00 UTC. I tweaked some grammar and spelling here and there, but I resisted the urge to rewrite this entry almost entirelyand rewrote fairly large portions of the text to make it flow somewhat better. To exemplify the relationship with the original text, I made extensive use of DEL and INS elements. I did not, however, refrain from commenting on myself. Sensitive souls beware: I added some brand new explicit content.

“Halt” clearly the voice of a German soldier sounds.Halt! shouts the voice of a German soldier. After a well aimed shot in the head of the soldier‘s head, the player starts going tosearching for his next victim. A zombie appears. The player getstakes out a flamethrower, and some seconds after thatlater the zombie is somediminished to a pile of burning meat. Then, a group of German soldiers came togetherassembles [or gathers] and is (coordinated) attackingattacks the player in a coordinated fashion. Two of them are killed by the rocket launcher, the; pieces of bodies are flying aroundbody pieces go flying about. This is a scene from Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Some people say this is bad for the minds of growing children,: that it will make them criminals, or even terrorists. Nonsense? [It’s a reasonable introduction, but the end is rather weak. This is at least somewhat intentional, however, since in Dutch (high school?) argumentative essay writing the thesis statement is to be avoided until the conclusion. I always thought this was quite silly, and my present-day familiarity with American-style writing only reinforces this opinion.]

These days, games becomeare becoming more and more realistic. That makes them more violent. [Now that’s nonsense. It makes them appear more violent. Besides, I thought you were arguing against this point of view?] Ten years ago, in Wolfenstein 3D (the mother of all shooters, and still a game which is forbidden in a lot of countries [Like where? I don’t know of any countries other than Germany, and that was for Nazi symbolism, not for violence.]), the German soldiers died in big red pixels. [See? It was much more violent in those days. You don’t see those bad-ass blood splatters anymore these days.] No matter where you shot it, the body turned with you. Now, that doesn’t exist anymore. Every character is build fromconsists of at least three to four thousand polygons. Shoot something from behind: it falls realistically; you can do bad things to the body and walks around it. Would this be bad? No, you just need to keep in mind that it’s a game. At young age, parents should tell their children what’s fake and what’s real. Children are able to ‘goimmerse themselves into a game very good,well; that doesn’t matter, as long as their parents/ or friends keep them in the real world. Besides, every game has a parental lock option, which allows parents to reduce the amount of gore. [While I agree with the general gist of this paragraph, the point isn’t made as well as it could have been, and some poorly phrased examples detract from the strength of the argument. Kids are aware of the differences between fiction and reality as well as adults, but parental locks aren’t exactly a convincing argument in support of this, and are almost a red herring to the real issue. No matter how realistic games look and sound, they really aren’t any different from watching a movie or reading a book. Governments are messing up the world and are trying to get history books rewritten so that they only point out the positive aspects in history—or have already succeeded, like in America—. Games are a non-issue and if there are people who cannot distinguish between games and reality, we should be glad that they’re doing their vicious deeds in games.]

Then it’s possible to putSome people point a finger toat the shootings in the U.S. Why? Some people sayIt is alleged that theythe shooters did it because they played so-called bloody games like Duke Nukem and Quake (I think they aren’t bloody at all [I think you’re fucking wrong.]). The way they went through the school looked like they were finishing level after level in a game. Also, here in the Netherlands something like that happened,: a boy killed a girl, because he ‘got stressed by a game’. Okay, you can get stressed if you die again, but to kill your neighbor girl… That has nothing to do with the game, h. He would also have done that without the game; someone like that would also have done that if his lock refused to work. Indeed, those people we should protect, but not against games, just against themselves! [A good point is certainly made, but I’d have to check the Dutch original to see if the point was so poorly made, or if I lost something in the translation. Probably a bit of both.]

Of course you have the eleventh of september9/11 [Of course, who wouldn’t think of 9/11 when discussing violent games.]: some reporters said that the idea came from a game. Their action even was successful: some games, like Red Alert 2 (which has a scene with the destruction of NY – one of the coolest levels in the game [If it had been Chicago, I would have been up in arms. Go Wolves!]) and Flight Simulator 2002 were taken from the stores (or not released yet in the case of FS – hey, in a simulation you should be able to chrash!), o. Of course you take it from stores out of respect for the victims, but the terrorists surely haven’t gotdidn’t get their idea to chrus thecrash into the WTC from a game. [That may or may not be true—if they got inspiration from anything it would have been a movie—, but it’s really a red herring to the real issue.]

It becomes time that people will see that gaming is pure fun. Making sure games don’t contain violence and aggression takes a lot of time, which can much bettercould be used to do something about the real causes of violence and terror instead, and to help psychicologically violateddisturbed kids. [Like these guys?]

Frenzie (15 Februariy 2002) [This is positively ancient!]

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