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Default GamesIndustry.biz - Violent Games Debate Over

January 8th, 2014, 17:37
In an editorial entitled The violent game debate is over Brendan Sinclar talks about
how

the idea that a few hours of Grand Theft Auto can turn well-adjusted kids into middle school Manchurian Candidate killers is being clung to by a vanishingly small portion of the population.
Brian Sinclair finds that games the indutry would never have been published is resonsible for this:

What will finally inoculate the major players the industry from this sweeping criticism is games with introspective stories about straining family ties, exploring the difficulty of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, or coping with a child's terminal cancer. It's no coincidence that games like Gone Home, The Novelist, and That Dragon, Cancer are emerging from outside the framework of the traditional gaming industry.
More information.

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January 8th, 2014, 17:37
The plain fact is that there is no violent video game "debate". There are a handful of lazy politicians and journalists who go back to this dried up well over and over again trying to stir up a controversy, and failing. Parents honestly don't give a crap what their kids are playing, and at this late date no scientific study has ever shown a correlation between violence and video games.

In my opinion games journalism sites like RPS actually feed this problem by jumping on and overreacting to this non-issue.

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January 8th, 2014, 18:20
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
There are a handful of lazy politicians and journalists who go back to this dried up well over and over again trying to stir up a controversy, and failing.
Count me to them as well. I never liked violence in games, and I often wondered why game designers were holding the opinion that non-violent storytelling doesn't sell. It's a fact, no-one does non-violent storytelliung nowadays. Pure adventure games, which were non-violenjt, have died out. No-one is buying them. No-one is making them. And no-omne is making them, because no-one believes that people would buy them. The question is, why do firms believe that no-one would buy them ? Partly, because pure adventure games are no "action games". Yet Monkey Island is something everyone agrees to be a mile stone in gaming. Just no-one wants to do any further mile stones.

As a side-note, I still believe that the acceptence of violence in games - or in media in general - has something to do with culture. Here in Germany, a recurring joke is like this : Americans censor the tiniest little bit of naked skin (and of sex), but freely allow the most horrible and brutal violence to be shown to anyone, including children. In Germany, it's the other way round …

Any German gamer you ask - except those who play shooters, maybe - will admit that this recurring joke exists.

The wish of gamers here in Germany to have "uncut" games - games that show *everything* - has come to strange blossoms : The *original* (now gone) description of tha game called "Trine" included the word "uncut" ! Now, have you ever played Trine ? What is there what would have been cut ? "One never knows", one answer might be, and this very answer shiows just how much the belief that "we" are betrayed by "the gaming companies" by delivering solely "cut" game variants has already been driven into out minds …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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January 8th, 2014, 19:12
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Pure adventure games, which were non-violenjt, have died out. No-one is buying them. No-one is making them. And no-omne is making them, because no-one believes that people would buy them.
This is (fortunately) false. I personally have no interest in adventure games, but RPS covers them regularly. The idea that there are no adventure games is an urban myth in the same style as Gaming on the PC is dead! Check it out.

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January 8th, 2014, 20:52
"The idea that a few hours of Grand Theft Auto can turn well-adjusted kids into middle school Manchurian Candidate killers is being clung to by a vanishingly small portion of the population."

A few hours? No. But 10+ years of graphically violent gaming as a child, combined with violence on television— you're damn right it will effect some people. Let's take this debate for what it is instead of trying to blame video games. We have created an increasingly discompassionate, narcissistic society catering to the dark part of human nature in an effort to sell products. Whether that's a video game or a prime time television show, that wanton violence exposure is almost inescapable.
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January 9th, 2014, 09:21
The debate is over because it never started. It was just posturing to keep pretending that people would if things were proven.
And people wont from the started, then things were not to be proven.

Human beings are not the only species to use games. In all cases, they serve one purpose (among others): preparing, training.

In case of violent video games, showing why violent video games should be a different case is mandatory.

When the game of chess was spread in Europe, very fast, people understood the potential of it to help training for strategical thinking. Demanding that violence generated by video games expresses itself in manners that resembles the video games is another way to frame an outcome.
Did people expect that the strategical thinking they got from playing chess to express exclusively on the battlefield? Maybe but they were to discover it would express in any field that could accomodate it.
Violence comes in all sorts and kinds so why should violence coming from video games express itself only in one way?

The industry is aware of that and is careful about showing patterns of violence that do not make their customers uncomfortable.

Bringing GTA as an example is fine because in San Andreas, the studio stripped one gaming feature: the PC could point a gun at a clerk, threaten him to get the cash before the police arrives on location.
In San Andreas? Uncomfortable.

The very fact that violence can not be treated neutrally in a video game and it is limited to follow patterns the audience is comfortable with shows the fear of impact of violence in video games.
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