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Game Theory: A Year When Real-World Violence Crept Into Play -

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There’s no evidence that video games cause — or even correlate with — violence, and that can’t be stated often enough. And one of the most pleasurable aspects of playing in 2012 was how many tremendous games had nothing to do with shooting people in the face.

But I do think gamers are overly defensive about the news media’s focus on video game violence. Video games, or at least some of them, are horrifically violent. Tom Bissell, writing for Grantland this year, phrased it this way: “Why do gamers want their puzzles to bleed and scream?” It’s worth at least engaging with the question.

I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to violence — I intend to see “Django Unchained” and expect to enjoy it mightily — but I have to admit that I’m a little tired of all the killing in my video games. No, games don’t turn people into killers. But since the day when 28 people died in Newtown, I have craved games (and other things) with more beauty and less blood.

Newtown struck home, in part, because in my personal life 2012 has been about fatherhood: My wife and I welcomed our second daughter. But parenthood kept creeping into my games in 2012 too (and not just because I couldn’t help noticing the similarities between raising a child, walking a dog, and playing a video game). In a continuation of the phenomenon that Stephen has called “The Daddening of Video Games,” the past 12 months were filled with games that led me to reflect on the relationship between a father and a child.

I'm tired of killing in videogames too, but there are plenty of nonlethal games, right?

Everything from Portal to Angry Birds is more about problem solving than killing.

sometimes killing is problem solving, but i enjoy watching all the neat Skyrim youtube videos of the non-violent monks beating the game...

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