Why are video games so merciless?

March 5, 2007 at 3:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Video games are getting nuts, and i mean nuts. I’ve been playing the damn things since my brother left Super Mario Bros unsupervised while he went to the bathroom, and i still play my PSP when i get the chance. But games get to a point where they seem to be pushing more boundaries than just simple graphics and concepts. It’s the point where people are playing games because it offers them the ability to “play G-d”: to show mercy on someone or kill them, and even i think that’s dangerous.

Now i am not of the mind that video games cause violence or school shootings in themselves, because that’s damn foolish and well….i play the damn things to, you see. But it gets to a point in gaming where the gamer himself is “getting off” on what is really psychotic.

Now I’ll stop beating around the bush and give you an example: there’s this new game i’ve got my eye on called Bioshock, and it’s a first-person shooter. In the game, you enter this underwater world that splintered off the US in the 1920’s, where all hell has broken lose and genetic mutuation is a commodity. There are these characters called “little sisters” that drink the blood of the dead and make this stuff called “adam” which makes instantaneous gentic mutation possible. They’re protected by these big monsters called “big daddies” and after a long drawn out battle with one, you basically have these “little sisters” at your mercy, and this is what i’m talking out here. If you want, start the video clip load, pause it, and then go to the end to see what i mean. Here’s the gameplay movie:

My concern is this, if the unstable gamer out there plays this game and loves the fact that they can let live or kill these “little sister” characters (which are not suppose to be human, btw,) isnt there a danger that a new level of personal perversion is being awoken within them? The game look pheonominal, but in a word where a lot of people feel disenfranchised, this game (looks) to be enabling people to take their rage out on characters that look like kids, and that’s fucked up from any angle.

What do you think?



  1. Scott B said,

    My kids are just starting to be of an age where they are interested in video games. It is a bit daunting to face as a parent. Luckily for the most part now, they are interested in sports games. But we’ll see where that goes.

  2. Hillary Kimmel said,

    Personally I have never understood the attraction of video games . I’m not impressed by the “skill” it takes to win at a game because how does that translate into real life. It’s just entertainment , and pretty one dimensional at that. Hey, no wonder your hands hurt !

  3. Caleb Lyons said,

    Scott: There are a lot of good games for kids out there now, even a few that help develop good reaction time and memory skills. It’s just that there are also a lot of games that allow the player to live out seriously twisted fantasies as well. If you got your kids something simple like a Nintendo DS, there are next to no truly violent or inappropriate games on it. It’s something to look into.
    Hillary: Video games are rarely about the skills, it’s more about the fun and strategy of it. Although there are a few games out there that really do require serious skills to excel at, like Halo 2. It’s pretty damn engaging to play head to head with another human being, hunting one another and trying to outsmart each other. Aww hell, y’know what? It’s probably just a generation difference thing.

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