Letters to the Editor: Superheroes

Superheroes

Each week we publish letters sent to us regarding previous issues and highlight particularly interesting forum posts. If you'd like to comment on an article directly, send your letter to editor@escapistmag.com.

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Nice, my letter was published, and right at the top. I'll do that more often now, I think.

In response to SamuraiAndPig, who states that his/her problem with games is that violence is portrayed as The Solution and generally rewarded.
1. While you can certainly find a lot of games where a violent mechanic is the core gameplay, there are many where this is not the case. The Sims comes to mind as a massive non-violent franchise, there are lots of others. But, pretend game violence works well as gameplay because its dangerous/exciting, the concept is easy to grasp, the mechanics are usually easy to understand and the feedback is clear. All of that makes for a fun gameplay experience.
2. The most infamous violent game of all GTA has profound effects that come from behaving violently. Of course acting violently is all you can do in that game, so you end up with a lot of consequences all the time.
3. I think that this whole violence in games is a straw man. Where is the proof that game violence translates into real world violence? If this was the case, wouldnt the 100's of millions of game players be running around shooting indiscriminately while shouting 'BOOM! Headshot!'? The opposite is true, the curve for violent crime has diminished as video games audiences have increased. While I don't believe that games are a sole cause for this, it certainly seems to disprove a negative causal relationship.
4. I have seen a study done on the players of violent games and overwhelmingly they view it as SPORT, not violence. Do we all condemn football players for TACKLING each other? Or soccer players for KICKING the ball? Those are violent actions...and they are real life. But somehow those athletes don't seem to translate their game activities into real life violence, at least generally speaking.
The gaming community must coherently respond to these false accusations or we will continue to be scapegoats and fodder for cheap political and societal grandstanding.

 

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