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Violence in video games useful if done for the right reasons

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 14:01

In an editorial posted on's front page, Jeremy Parish writes on the use of violence in video games and how it can be used as a sort of necessary evil in the production of great games. Many of us are aware that the games that endorse mindless killing, destruction, and everything Michael Bay, do exist, but this description does not speak for every video game ever made.

Game developers already have a tough battle as it is to find out the perfect way in which to fully immerse their audience into this new world that they are creating. Add to this, the challenge of providing a reason within the immersion for why the player should be fighting or succumbing to this violence.

The games industry faces many challenges in the coming years, but learning to make violence count could be the toughest and the most essential to the format's artistic integrity.

Why should the player feel compelled to eliminate this entire room of enemies? Why should we be okay with killing any guard that spots you as you sneak into a top secret facility so your presence isn't made known? Is it for a captured sibling whose safety relies on our committing to such actions? Is what we're fighting some otherworldly race so that it therein makes it okay to kill as we are only "saving the world"?

Or is it simply made clear that what is being done is rational human beings, sitting down to play a video game, and the realization that everything playing out before their eyes is a compilation of pixels, not blood and guts?

I personally am a gamer, if you couldn't already tell. I play games ranging from tossing shells at the lead kart in Mario Kart, to slicing people in half as the seemingly invincible God of War, Kratos. What I do in the virtual world has nothing to do with my actual reality. In reality, I'm a senior in college at the age of twenty because I have practically killed myself trying to get through with school as quickly as possible and start the newest chapter in my life. The only mark you'll find on my record is one speeding ticket. No murders, no robberies, and no jail time.

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