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While watching the news not long ago, I caught something that’s been getting on my nerves.  They were noting the anniversary of a school shooting that occurred and were going into details about the perpetrator(s) and made sure to state that, “They were known to play many violent video games.”  I dare say that the majority of people, since the inception of such games as Goldeneye and Halo, have played violent video games.  Even my friends who don’t play video games regularly could be considered to “have played violent video games”.

I’ve played these games for as long as I can remember and no matter how much I practice on them, my real-world shooting skills just don’t seem to get better.  It’s the darndest thing.  Perhaps I’m doing something wrong.  Anybody got advice?

I’ve been looking into this for a little while now and finding all sorts of conflicting info about it.  The test that everyone seems to quote was done back around the year 2000 and they had college students play Myst or Wolfenstein 3D.  Afterwards they’d compete and the winner could blast some speakers at the loser for however long and loud they like (within reason).  They claimed (of course) that the violent game players tended to hit their opponents louder and longer than the others.  Among that info they also noticed that in revenge, ALL people tend to hit them back louder and longer than previously.  The women in the test were the evil ones and did the most damage across all the different groups.

Some newer studies are coming out that are finally on our side.  They’ve noticed that kids with violent tendencies tend to go FIND violence.  They found that some people even feel LESS violent after blowing away aliens, Nazis, terrorists, innocent bystanders, etc.  I know that after a long stressful day I feel better after playing some Fallout 3, Rainbow Six Vegas, GTA4, or Smash T.V.  The escapism is a beautiful thing; I can’t flip my car and walk away or pop heads like canteloupes in real life, so I expand my boundaries in the virtual world.

Maybe some kids shouldn’t play these games, but that’s really up to the parents to enforce.  Not much else can be done.  The world has been filled with scapegoats since the dawn of time.  jazz, comic books, rock & roll, metal…The list goes on and on. 

In my opinion, video games are about as dangerous as a gun sitting on a table…it’s only as dangerous as the mind you give it to.  I’m happy to see this generation of gamers growing up and becoming adults across the fields of business and politics so we can finally start shedding some insider light on this new art form and give ignorance a nice swift boot to the head.

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