I've been playing violent gory games since Wolfenstein 3D, and I'm no serial killer.
It's great fun to shoot at things in games, and I especially enjoy killing humans in games. I like it when I shoot one in the head and his head explodes with a big splatter of blood, and he falls to the ground, leaving a nice big bloodstain. Why is it so much fun? Because I'd never do something like that in real life. I don't like hurting anyone, and I'm generally a pacifist. In games, nobody gets hurt for real, so I'm all for slaughtering everything in sight.
Critics can say it's the fact that the games are interactive that makes them dangerous, but actually the opposite is true. If you're angry and you watch someone get beaten to a pulp in a movie, you can cheer them on but it won't release much of your own frustration. Play some Tekken or Street Fighter, beat the crap out of some opponents, and suddenly you feel a lot better. While playing games, people can act out on their most hidden bad sides: murdering, killing, cheating, etc. The games don't create the need to do those things, all they do is allow the person to "let it out", which could even make games part of the solution instead of the problem.
I wish people that don't play games themselves would just stop saying that games contribute to violence. Why do they insist on giving their opinion on something they know nothing about? If they have ever played a game in their lives before, then they should play more of them before saying anything. It's not the kind of research that you can just interview people and make your own mind up from what they say. You have to know what you're actually talking about.
If games really have an influence on violent behaviour, then why don't we see more game-playing kids shooting up their schools, or blowing stuff up? The few that go on shooting sprees are troubled people. So some of them also happened to play violent games, so what?
1 January 2003