Wii/Natal Violence...

I've always kind of laughed at those who state as a general rule that violent video games cause those who play them to be violent. There are a  number of reasons as to why someone would believe this, one of them is that the game is literally training you on how to shoot someone. This idea is especially funny to me, mostly because you can't learn how to shoot someone with a controller. I could play Gears of War 2 for the next 4 years, that doesn't change the fact that I have never actually fired a real weapon. I'm obviously not saying that I couldn't figure it out, but I am saying that me firing any type of gun efficiently would require a lot more than a video game.

Enter the Wii and project Natal. For better or worse, it definately seems as though motion control is here to stay in order to appeal to a wider audience. Speilberg and company make an exceptionally big deal about the controller being a barrier to the mass audience. And, with that layer removed, they will be able to appeal to a wider demographic. I do not dispute this. But with this layer removed, it seems to be involving the player that much more in actual actions taken within the game. What I'm wondering at this point is exactly how far developers will take it.

Violent video games aren't going to disappear simply because we change the way a player inputs their actions. What if, instead of pressing X to reload your weapon, you actually have to make the motion of reloading it? What if, instead of pressing series of controller inputs to rip off Medusa's head you actually have to make the motion of ripping off Medusa's head? Even the Giant Bomb folks joked about hitting Milo in one of their pod casts.

I'm not saying I would agree with the argument, but I can definitely see a lot of people saying these games are training people to execute violent acts more efficiently. I'd bet my next paycheck that someone will use this argument as evidence that video games cause violence. And, in a way, they would not be fully unjustified in thinking so. In the industry's effort to further a player's involvement in the game, they may be propagating a stereotype we wish to avoid.

Be prepared.

3 Comments
4 Comments
Posted by Swick

I've always kind of laughed at those who state as a general rule that violent video games cause those who play them to be violent. There are a  number of reasons as to why someone would believe this, one of them is that the game is literally training you on how to shoot someone. This idea is especially funny to me, mostly because you can't learn how to shoot someone with a controller. I could play Gears of War 2 for the next 4 years, that doesn't change the fact that I have never actually fired a real weapon. I'm obviously not saying that I couldn't figure it out, but I am saying that me firing any type of gun efficiently would require a lot more than a video game.

Enter the Wii and project Natal. For better or worse, it definately seems as though motion control is here to stay in order to appeal to a wider audience. Speilberg and company make an exceptionally big deal about the controller being a barrier to the mass audience. And, with that layer removed, they will be able to appeal to a wider demographic. I do not dispute this. But with this layer removed, it seems to be involving the player that much more in actual actions taken within the game. What I'm wondering at this point is exactly how far developers will take it.

Violent video games aren't going to disappear simply because we change the way a player inputs their actions. What if, instead of pressing X to reload your weapon, you actually have to make the motion of reloading it? What if, instead of pressing series of controller inputs to rip off Medusa's head you actually have to make the motion of ripping off Medusa's head? Even the Giant Bomb folks joked about hitting Milo in one of their pod casts.

I'm not saying I would agree with the argument, but I can definitely see a lot of people saying these games are training people to execute violent acts more efficiently. I'd bet my next paycheck that someone will use this argument as evidence that video games cause violence. And, in a way, they would not be fully unjustified in thinking so. In the industry's effort to further a player's involvement in the game, they may be propagating a stereotype we wish to avoid.

Be prepared.

Posted by Dalai

If I could beat the living snot out of Milo, then I welcome this new era in video game violence.

We've already seen it with Manhunt 2 a while back.  Ultra-violent games that will use Project Natal will be scrutinized for simulating murder or whatnot, but it's already happened in a few instances with the Wii.

Posted by RenegadeSaint

I think you make some valid points and this will surely be an area of controversy in the future.  I just hope the console makers don't put too many restrictions on the games they allow (AO rated games aren't allowed on any console outside of the PC right now).

Posted by Seppli

I don't think, that the games themselves, no matter how brutal they are, no matter if I have to mimic a 'killing motion', does influence me in being violent or not.

Nerdrage is where it's at. Frustration leads to anger, anger leads to violence. Games are not the only thing, that can cause rage. Rage is a question of personality. Games can cause rage. But games also teach, that rage doesn't help you win. The coldblooded gamer will, as a rule of thumb, beat the furious gamer. So, I guess, games can improve a persons personality, by training him in keeping his rage at bay. How knows, maybe games can even teach a dude to be a cool cat.