My history with video games and various consoles is a very short and brief story. As a child I engaged with classic video game heroes such as Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog, completely obsessed with the car racing simulation game Gran Tourismo and madly fanatical about the FIFA franchise. Any other type of gaming genre and my attention fell away faster than the career trajectory of Wesley Snipes.
Throughout high school my friends had always asked me to join their team in the latest first-person shooter game but to no avail. I simply had no interest.
Fast forward 12 years to the present day and my interest in gaming still remains the same, however my interest into the psychological control of gaming and the theories surrounding gaming culture still continue to be a mystery to me. Over the last ten years the connection to both physical and mental acts of violence and gaming culture have become the key points of discussion throughout the public sphere, with experts on both sides of the ledger arguing their agenda and creating new theories surrounding the horrific details of real-life tragic events.
With headlines and news content created in order to associate blame for the actions of these cold-hearted killers. As a society we like to place blame on elements of fiction that we don’t know, but are willing to consider as fact.
The result. Moral panic amongst the masses.
As an outsider looking in on this topic I feel that both sides of the argument have very fair and valid opinions. Video games are becoming graphic in nature but does this link to a direct correlation to physical and mental violence? Can playing violent video games change your perception of moral values and increase your chance of violent behaviours? One thing that is for certain is that this debate will continue to surface throughout the media landscape for decades to come. For the news wouldn’t be news without the help of technological scapegoats.