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Article: “Violence is a necessary function of the video game”

February 13, 2013

A really interesting article on games and violence:

Most game murder (and its moments-older twin, game violence) leaves no imprint on the memory because it lacks meaning outside of the game context. Unlike depictions of death in cinema, which can trigger keen memories of the viewer’s own past pains and sorrows, game violence is principally systemic in nature; its purpose is to move the player either towards a state of victory or of defeat, rarely to tears or reflection. Likewise, there is no remorse for the game murder not only because the crime is fictional but also because, unless you’re playing for money or a hand in marriage, there is no consequence beyond the border of the game’s own fleeting reality.

While not all games have to have violence, as with drama I agree with its premise that, “Violence is a necessary function of the video game.”

As the US ponders tighter regulations for games (but perhaps not guns?) this is key in the debate on games and violence – around what constitutes a ‘violent’ game and what impact, if any, it may have. Also worth reading on the subject is this article too.

A violent game?  Not really.

A violent game? Not really.

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