Gaming Induced Violence

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No point being the odd one out, so I’ll join the club and use the lovely italics as an introduction to any of my posts that need it. I’m the third wheel of this little trio act that is appearing on this here website, coming from the brilliant community of Interlopers.net where I met both Rustvaar and ad_hominem a number of years back. I’m pursuing the goal of  one day becoming one of the monkeys working in this game industry and hopefully may be able to bring another perspective to this here blog. My first post was going to be about some of the finer elements of Battlefield: Heroes but decided to go with this darker topic. I’m not offering an anaylisis or an in-depth investigation into the following, it is more of a mini-rant.

The media has always had a fun time poking holes in our beloved gaming hobby, especially when it comes to turning us into insane violent killers. Such examples such as the GTA Taxi Steal and the WoW Couple have both been tied to gamings darkd handed influence. Even the Columbine Massacre has been linked with the likes of Doom. Recently a casual game of Counter Strike Source in a humble internet café ended with one of the players deaths.

“According to the investigation report on the Novosibirsk Prosecutor’s Office website, the two boys had met at a local cyber café to play Counter-Strike together. Alexei, the older of the two boys, had continuously defeated his younger rival which led to several fights breaking out, only to be broken up by the café’s administrator. During the night, both boys were drinking alcohol and continued to play the game, despite their rapidly degrading relationship.

Alexander had left the café first and, with another, older friend, waiting outside until Alexei finished playing at 3:00am. Upon leaving, Alexander proceeded to hit Alexei over the head with a brick until he succumbed to his injuries. The half-buried body was discovered the following morning by residents.” – More Here


I’m sure it isnt only me who finds these events quite disturbing. Not because these events happen, because any crazy person is going to do something completely irrational at some point whether or not games are present. The teenager who stabbed a taxi driver to see if it was as easy as GTA presumes was more than likely, in my opinion, to do go off the rails in such a way irrespective of games being a major part of his life. The WoW playing parents could have easily both been addicted to gambling and just imagine Counter Strike fiasco if one of the “friends” slept with the others girlfriend. (Then again, does anybody who goes to an internet café to play Counter Strike have a girlfriend… I jest, I jest.)

What annoys me is how the media takes these and runs with the idea that all of us “gamers” are some sort of violent animal that are liable to explode at any point, and that games are destroying our children’s minds. Has anybody here murdered somebody in the shopping queue because they played Postal before leaving for milk? How many murderers out there also watched films, read books or listened to music? Why must the new medium of games always be at the forefront of everything that is wrong in the world?

One of the common arguments is that shooting games can be used to train themselves up in the art of shooting. I struggle to find any correlation between playing a video game and shooting a real gun. The only similarities I can derive is in the animations of loading and prepping a gun, even if they aren’t correct most of the time. If video games were decent training tools maybe these killers wouldn’t miss all the time. Yes, the army does use “simulations” but there is no way in hell they prefer to train their recruits in the art of marksmanship in the simulation over the firring range.

The Counter Strike player who murdered his friend may of been affected by any number of things arguably would of hit somebody round the back of the head with a brick sooner or later anyway. Just don’t be so naive and place one hundred percent blame on the game.

Unless his friend was hacking…

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