When I originally read this article I decided to do some research but got bored reading biased research and stories taken out of context. The arguments for and against the influence of violent video games has been long standing and will more than likely continue till the end of time. Even recently within Australia, there has been a push from many states to include an R18+ category, as well as the banning of the latest Mortal Kombat due to gratuitous violence levels. So who better to voice his opinions on the matter than John Carmack, one of Id softwares founders. Carmack has been there from the beginning of FPS and violent franchises, being involved with the ground breaking Doom, which followed on from the Operation Wolfenstein phenomena.
Standing in total defence of violent games, Carmack is quick to comment, “There is more evidence to show that violent video games reduce aggression and violence”. He goes on to mention studies relating violence in games to cathartic type behaviour. Using QuakeCon as an example, Carmack believes a cross sectional study would reveal a much more placid crowd at the gaming convention. The technical director dismisses much of the hype surrounding the correlation between violent games and gamers aggression, clearly not losing any sleep over the matter to say the least.
Personally I do think violence in video games has an effect on our brains and anyone who argues differently doesn’t have a leg to stand on. If any gamer was hooked up to a neurotransmitter and played violent games one would of course expect certain centres within their brain to be active. What we are forgetting is if the same gamers were playing Fifa soccer, one would expect, as studies have shown that the SAME centres are activated sometimes at more intense levels. Think of the reaction that Soccer itself brings out in crowds. The countless riots and fences of iron to separate violent crowds all brought upon by a sporting event. Has anyone ever talked of banning Soccer or all sport for that matter simply because it brings out violent tendencies in some people? I grew up in Australia as a child with every kind of toy gun I can think of. The result, someone who believes all guns should be banned worldwide. I also grew up with cartoons where coyotes were massacred day in and day out by a bird, and ducks had their beaks blown backwards by redneck hunters, yet I feed feral cats and love all animals.
On the question as to whether violent games affect younger minds, that’s a different issue and all I will say on the matter is “RESPONSIBLE PARENTING”. If you couldn’t bothered as parent to check what rating the game YOU are buying for your child has then it’s not the industries issue, it’s yours. So in a nutshell I have no issue with violence in video games no matter how disturbing it gets. My parents taught me right from wrong, something that the video game industry can’t change. Reading other gamers comments I’m confident their parents instilled the same values.