Why Videogames are Violent

On Errant Signal Chris Franklin covers various aspects that result in games mostly being about killing things and why its difficult to make games about nicer activities.

If you like this video, I recommend his other videos as well; I find Errant Signal to generally well thought out and I can appreciate his points even when I don’t agree with them.

  1. Not to be mean, but this guy is so not-even-wrong on so many levels, it’s pretty astounding.

  2. I think I enjoyed watching this — it’s fun to see things broken down in this way — but, man, it’s almost bizarre how clearly wrong/invalid most of his arguments and statements are. I mean, to take the headline statement as an example, there are tons of spatial games that aren’t violent, and the video even shows over a dozen of them.

    But to break things out a bit further, his thesis has a couple steps to it:

    1. Computers are inherently geared toward spatial simulation, above all other sorts of things games can be made out of. [Obviously incorrect. His spreadsheet/database game examples are so much closer to what it means to be a computer at its core.]

    2. Violence is a natural result of looking for concrete, player-graspable rule-sets within a spatial simulation. [I don’t see it.]

    While this sort of technological argument would be elegant if it were valid, the place to look for answers as to why X% of video games are violent would be the marketplace/culture surrounding them (and from which they spring). Why are so many of the big, blockbuster movies violent? Is it something inherent to celluloid?

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