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9. Re: Op Ed Jan 15, 2013, 02:26 sdgundamx
I think this quote from the article is just brilliant:

I don’t believe that game violence causes real world violence, but I do believe that it does little to prevent it (emphasis added). And games with meaningful (and potentially distasteful) choice just might do better because they stand a chance of making the player think about what they’re doing on screen.

I agree for the most part with him and I don't think there's any direct causal link between violence and video games (i.e. because someone played a game they then go out and decide to physically hurt someone).

However, I do think that games do reflect and sometimes reinforce our societal attitudes--one of those attitudes being that violence is an acceptable and even preferable method of solving problems in certain cases (for example, "self-defense" in all of its interpretations).

I would love to see games that get us to question these cultural values and providing more choice is one way to do that. Like he says in the article, you're still going to get people who kill in the game just for the humor's sake (because you can and because it doesn't have an RL consequences) but you might also get people thinking more about violence not just in games but in RL as well.

It would be cool if more games could be fun AND get people to think about real-world issues too. I never played Ultima 6, but I hear lots of older games talk with reverence about the impact that game had on them when they discovered (hidden text: spoiler alert) that the gargoyles they have been tasked with exterminating are in fact intelligent creatures merely trying to defend themselves from the human genocide being inflicted on them. This twist got gamers to think about how we "demonize" our enemies in order to rationalize the violence we inflict on them. More games like that would be awesome indeed.
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