The video games industry often comes under scrutiny because of perceived glorification of violence in some of it’s games, particularly the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto series. However this criticism clouds the media’s perception of the whole industry which is a shame as the industry is actually very broad. Would it be fair to criticize all written books for being too sexual because Fifty Shades of Grey is? No, of course not and for the same reason it’s unfair to criticize all video games because a certain few feature strong violence. This is what Charlie Brooker, comedian and video game enthusiast, tries to get across to Channel 4’s lead news reporter Jon Snow in the following clip.
Jon Snow seems to represent this media prejudice against the industry (or is guilty of it) but this is mainly through naivety. Like Charlie says the most publicised games tend to be the most violent which then makes people believe these are the only types of games on offer. There are millions of games on offer that do not feature violence as the main theme. One game I bought recently solely focuses on Space Exploration and building rocket ships which could even act as an educational tool. There are also games that are being incredibly imaginative like the Stanley Parable for instance.
or trying to create distinctive and interesting art styles like Limbo which takes the platform genre into a dark and enigmatic area.
However as these games are only really well known within the ‘gaming community’ and even then they’re far more niche than a Call of Duty title, they will never quite be recognised by the mainstream media who consistently claim that video games are encouraging violence and are one of the reasons that countries like the United States have so much gun crime. The media has also targeted the film industry but to a lesser extent as the general public know that the action genre is simply one genre of films. I think these worries are unfounded though as violent games are only going to encourage violence in people who are incredibly susceptible. It would be unfair to blame video games for this as such people would be influenced by anything, TV, films, books. It would be a problem with the person themselves rather than the industry.
When you play first person shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield it is a simulation at the end of the day and you’re completely aware it’s not real. However I would admit that these games are more and more becoming the generic and lazy end of the medium. Every Call of Duty game since Call of Duty Modern Warfare has been basically the same game but just repackaged. Battlefield tries a little bit harder but feels like it’s on the verge of following in Call of Duty’s path of endless recycling.
To those people who say that they don’t like video games just realise you sound as ridiculous as when someone say’s they don’t like any film. There are so many different games that all work in different ways, some are karoke games, some are sports, some are intriguing interactive stories, some allow you to build your own worlds and yes some are violent war simulators. Somewhere there will be a game that you enjoy.
Blog Post Over.