1. #1
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    Can we talk about video game violence?

    This isnít a post that purports to have answers, or a call to action, or the one true way. Rather, itís an invitation to open a discussion.

    Last week, one of the most horrific acts of non-wartime gun violence in US history unfolded in Orlando, Florida, where a single man unleashed an assault weapon inside a nightclub, killing some 50 people and injuring more than 50 more.

    Just a couple of days later, Microsoft, Sony, and a number of game developers held press events around the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, and each one of those events were filled with action detailing brutal and bloody virtual killings, sometimes on a grand scale, all in the name of ďfun.Ē

    My colleague Brad Stephenson was moved nearly to tears by the brief acknowledgements by Phil Spencer of Xbox and Aisha Tyler of Ubisoft, deploring the violence that had just occurred in Florida, but the juxtaposition was clear. Microsoft went on to showcase the bloody Gears of War among other violent titles, and Ubisoft featured their own brand of violence with Watch Dogs 2.
    Can we talk about video game violence?


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  2. #2
    EvilClivE's Avatar
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    Question Re: Can we talk about video game violence?

    The phrase/term "Violent Video Games" used to be the default 'probable cause' for news media reporting on random acts of violent crime, specifically shootings, where the perpetrator had no obvious link to the victims. In recent years, the increased threat of international terrorism, has somewhat superseded this, as first assumption.

    Whilst they are two different explanations, the trait they both share, at a neurological level at least, is some form of abnormal/radicalised mental state. (If we presume these actions are not the actions of a sane mind).

    Now I'm a big fan of Freakonomics so 'causality' naturally fascinates me, and whilst it may be possible to evidence a particular person's steps down the path of radicalised terrorism, the leap in logic from simply playing a game called 'Grand Theft Auto' to actually committing a crime of 'Grand Theft Auto' is huge.

    'Grand Theft Auto V' was a phenomenally successful release for Rockstar Games shifting a massive 11 million copies in its first 24 hours alone, and, as of February 2016 - a total of 60 million copies worldwide. I'm sure you've probably figured out where I'm going with this massive CLANG of such a drop of statistics. All 60 Million of us are (thankfully) not mass murderers.

    This whole meandering post can be summed up by two key points:
    Violence is everywhere, if desired, one can consume it on every type of media, on every platform; Movies, TV, Games, even Books.
    Does the element of physical interaction and tangible control of violence in video games, somehow elevate its influence on us?

    Such terrible, tragic atrocities as the one mentioned in the original post, are (arguably) committed by people who have a very altered perception of reality and society. Even if the person(s) involved had played violent games, the extent to which this single factor had, in relation to an infinite amount other possible factors, is pretty impossible to quantify.

    Disclaimer: I have precisely zero qualifications in psychology.

    Just my 2 cents...

    (I have only just realised the irony of my username in this whole situation)

    Clive

  3. #3
    EvilClivE's Avatar
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    Re: Can we talk about video game violence?

    Can we talk about video game violence?
    I'm leaning more towards 'no' at this point*.

    (*not strictly true, rather that nobody viewing this thread chose to enter the debate. Except me of course.)

    Defining variables with way more detail than I need to, since 1982,
    Clive

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