For the next few months, or till the next school shooting, we will be hearing a lot about the impact computer games may have on society. While I really enjoy games that happen to involve violence-- Jane's 688(I), Silent Hunter, Flying Corps, Age of Empires, M1 Tank Platoon....-- I do believe that there is a connection between the rising levels of gore and violence and the desensitizing effect on young minds. Now this doesn't mean that all or most of these desensitized children (anyone under 19 is a child when you're 40) will snap and go on killing rampages. But I believe the correlation between the previously unseen amounts of blood and guts in some of today's games and the rising numbers of teenage killers is obvious. It's undeniable.
Do I advocate censorship? Yes, to some degree, and I believe it works best when it is self-imposed. Censorship is nothing more than a certain level of control. I practice control every day, as do most other humans, whether it is refraining from crossing the center line in the highway to chewing with my mouth open. It's time we in the computer gaming industry set an example and practice a little self-control. While liberals will defend personal freedoms and devise excuses for abnormal behavior; while the NRA and the gun lobby rants about Second Amendment rights in the face of a gun-crazed society; while the music industry defends freaks like Marilyn Manson (#&$^!!@*#!) and Snoopy dog-dog (sic) and the cult of abuse and violence; while Hollywood continues to churn out mindless films of extreme killings; we players and game developers could show we have not lost our senses. We could say no to overblown, excessive blood, guts, and mayhem. It would set a benchmark for responsibility, something that is sorely missing in American culture.
We can surely live without games that go to extremes to show body parts and blood flying in every direction. Magazine advertisements that show a man in a bathtub full of blood. Games where the objective is to ram your speeding car into pedestrians. Games that thrust the mindset of the gun into the subconscious of the player for the sake of wasting everything that moves. The glorification of killing everyday people for the thrill of it. When this becomes "cool" and responsibility is regarded as nerdy, we can accurately say America neatly fits into the definition of a sick society.
Your thoughts on the subject?
I think . . .