When we’re young, our idea of video games can, more or less, be summed up by Minecraft and Lego Batman. As we grow up, our focuses shift heavily towards competition, making violence unavoidable. Games like “Call of Duty” have taken up heavy residence in our teenage society. Parents seem to be turned off by the idea of killing each other for kicks, but is it really that bad? Where do we draw the line between harmless fun and psychotic dysfunction? The vulgarity of violence in video games has nothing to do with the game itself, but rather the people playing them. Certain video games simply help the process along.
It’s easy to rant about the evil possessed by video games, but the malevolence we mistakenly assign can only come from one source; human beings. While it is important to be thoroughly aware of the implications of every action we take, either in real life or with your face in the screen, it is all a matter of human mindset that creates the predicament of violence in video games.
There are two types of popular violent video games, first-person shooters like “Fallout”, and stress relief games such as kick the buddy. Alongside the two kinds, come two harshly differing levels of violence.
It’s difficult to comprehend the fad behind first-person shooters when it is relayed from a real-life perspective. Imagining each death as a real person is rather sickening, but teenagers see it as nothing more than a game. They’re not real people, and they’re not really dying.
What makes death so upsetting is the loss of what will never be done again, not the actual death. Tearing a piece of paper in half should be more upsetting than this. When a video game character dies, they regenerate minutes later, but the paper will never return to its previous state. The only thing that makes these characters “people” is the fact that they look like people. We wouldn’t mourn that piece of paper if it had a drawing of a human on it, so what makes the video game any different?
From a teenage perspective, first-person shooters aren’t about killing at all. It’s just competition. Whether it be a way to be a step above friends or strangers, that step up is all there is to it. Violence can’t be promoted if violence never processes through the players’ minds. Even if first-person shooters represent death, they are nothing more than an innocent competition.
However, it is impossible to assume that all games can be seen from that light. Not all video games are completely innocent.
“Kick the Buddy” is a mobile game with the objective of beating a “buddy” to death in the name of stress relief. The game possesses features such as a paper shredder that the doll can be put through, as well as numerous weapons and methods such as quartering.
“Kick the Buddy’s” slogan is “The best stress relief game ever”. The idea is to use the game whenever you’re mad or stressed, imagining the subject of your affliction as the doll. You then proceed to literally beat the life out of the doll. Then, presumably, you would feel better, but you shouldn’t. Pretending to beat the stuffing out of someone should actually make you feel worse.
The issue of video game violence presents itself through human intention. While first-person-shooters can be excused under the purpose of harmless competition between friends, “stress-relieving” games such as this only have the demented goal of satisfying through violence. The addition of violence to modern video games has never been the problem. It’s what we do with the games that should be disturbing.