To be honest, I am surprised we haven’t dsicussed this exact question before.
The only previous poll I can find close to it is from August 2007: Poll Question 043 – Are Single Player FPS games too violent? (for some reason the actual resulst are not visible and I have decided to find a plugin that will keep the poll data on the site, instead of outsourcing them).
I got the idea from a BBC article entitled Do video games make people violent?. Its headline is: More than 200 academics have signed an open letter criticising controversial new research suggesting a link between violent video games and aggression.
It’s an incredibly delicate and complciated subject and I suspect that most voters will say NO as we all consider ourselves well-adjusted people who can seperate gaming from reality.
I would like to make a few points beofre I hand over to you for your thoughts.
ANYTHING can make certain people violent. These people are probably going to be violent not matter what they watch, read or play.
The United States of America obviously struggles with this issue due to the constant and sould-destroying shooting they have. So it’s not hard to find videos like the one below (it’s completely safe for work – it’s not a shooting but somebody talking about a shooting).
What amazes me si the routine voilence seen in regular TV shows.
As I have said before on this site, I truly believe that everything we see, watch, read, listen to and play has an effect on us. We need to be more careful about what children have access to as they are the ones they can be affected the most by inappropriate things. Once you are an adult, and by adult I personally mean at least 25, you are more able to contexualise everything and remain unaffected or at least know what you should interact with.
As the saying goes, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
Do I think we need to stop children playing violent video games? Yes, I do. Not because I believe it will turn them into killers but because in the long term we may be creating a society more accepting of violence – although not necessarily perpertating it themselves.
I’d like to talk quickly about Half-Life. I have never installed any mods that increase the amount of gore in the games and I am more than happy to not see any blood or gore in the games. That aspect does not interest me.
For me, it’s fundamental that the protagonist is saving the world not on a personal vendetta mission. Of course, everything could be twisted to see righteous but I feel that needless violence is avoided in the Half-Life games.
Finally, let me warn readers that as much as I want an open debate about this but I will remain extra vigilant for ANY comment that I feel breaks the Commenting Rules and will not hesitate to edit or even delete comments which I feel are inappropriate