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Violence in Games 2

A look into Game Violence

Violence in Games

There has been an on going controversy of the amount of violence in games which hasn’t diminished as game graphics has made the violence more realistic. Some worry for the mental health of the gamer, either because he or she may spend hours each day killing enemies or because children could be exposed to the horrors of violence.

Gamers feel that they grew up with violent video games and aren’t any worse off for them. They manage to constrain themselves from performing violent actions. If anything, violent video games are cathartic, preventing actual violence from happening.

Most game designers don’t consider the level of violence in their games that’s usually a worry for the producers. Most designers are making the games they want to play and what their audience demands. The demand for violent games and the level of violence is determined by previous similar games being profitable. In the United States, parent advisory stickers were introduced on to the game boxes to warn parents of the contents of a game. In other countries, less concerned with free markets, controversial games are simply banned.

The parent advisory system was a good concept, as it gave parents information about the contents of a game, especially since most parents are not gamers. The parent advisory in practice is a concern to game creators as the judging of the contents of a game is highly subjective and some games gained unfair stigmas for being more explicit then they actually are.

The realism of violence and gore has increased over the years in both games and movies. I feel, it is because we are blood thirsty animals. We have thankfully moved away from human sacrifice and having slaves fighting each other to the death for our entertainment. We now prefer the more sophisticated digital violence instead.

Modern healthy people don’t revel in actual death nor enjoy the blood lust of a real kill. We have made progress in our society in directing people’s natural violent tendencies toward digital pixels instead of actual people. We shouldn’t encourage violence, but we should seek to understand it. We have to accept that violence isn’t going to disappear from our entertainment, but as game designers we can show the consequences of violence, why we choose not to use it to solve our problems.

In Cyber Run, a science fiction table top RPG set in the future, we have changed the focus of rewarding experience away from the death of an individual enemy to rewarding character progressing toward his or her goals. We even reward experience from failing to achieve some objectives as we often learn more from failure than from success.

In Skilamalink, an online murder mystery set in Victorian England, the graphical violence is at a minimal due to genre of the game. Most murder mysteries seen violence is infrequent the focus is instead on the body and the crime scene. The consequences of the player’s actions and murder create the game’s story.

Check out more at: Grumpo Games Blog

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