Video Games, Violence & Addiction

Today I’m going to blog about something non-writing related in a sense and something that’s very topical at the moment. I was reading about the ongoing trial of Anders Breivik and the revelation that he took a year off work and played World of Warcraft and Call of Duty 16 hours a day in isolation. Now, I consider myself a ‘gamer’ (whatever qualifies me for that title) and I have loved playing video games since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog. I even played WoW for almost 6 years and enjoyed my stints in Battlefield, the CoD series and other shooter titles. Never once did I feel a need to hurt anyone in real life.

The reason I felt like blogging on this subject is because certain people have now come out with the usual cries to ban violent video games. No doubt some parents will be wrenching away the Xbox 360 from their children in disgust or threatening to throw it out the window because they think their child might become a murderer. This, of course, is an extreme view. A lot of parents simply just don’t want their children to become addicted to games and have no life outside of them. I understand this standpoint – I was probably addicted to WoW for a good few years until a year or so ago. Those sorts of games are addictive and they can eventually take over reality. But can they really prepare you for the reality of killing someone in real life? I don’t think so. It takes a certain type of personality and the desire to kill in the first place to drive someone to such an act. It’s interesting – if an avid reader committed murder, would people start blaming his love of crime fiction for preparing him for these crimes? Millions of people watch detective dramas on TV every day, yet the vast majority of viewers don’t feel compelled to copy what they watch. In no way am I defending the acts of such people, I just thought I would offer a viewpoint from within the gaming world on the subject.

I guess I lied when I said this post wasn’t about writing. Well, it’s not really, but there is a valuable point here. Writers can learn from and become inspired by every type of person out there and by every piece of news that makes the headlines. People are complex and so are their motives. Think about that when you next look for inspiration for your work in progress.

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5 thoughts on “Video Games, Violence & Addiction

  1. 48colorrainbow 19-Apr-2012 / 22:32

    When I first heard about Anders Breivik’s gaming, I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone railed against video games yet again.

  2. Kevin 26-Jul-2012 / 04:18

    Although we see violence in other media such as television, movies, books, etc. These are passive forms of exposure while video games are active;Psychologically, people best learn when actively involved.

    Just a thought………

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