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The Wrong Thing: You Know You Want It

I'm going to do you a favor and make my point up front. In which case, you have none to blame but yourself should you have taken time away from video games to read on. The question of evil in video games is of no consequence. It's the issue of choice we should consider. Or more importantly, who you're allowing to make them.

Not to get incredibly philosophical on you, but I'm fairly certain that the scholar R. Kelly composed a thesis and successful experiment that proved without a doubt that people are disgusting and terrible. When in a position where it seems our actions are of little consequence, or outside of scrutiny, we are far more inclined to behave in a manner that would be considered out of character. This is why in most countries I tend to avoid playing with my genitals on public transportation. We have culture, society, law, and religion, all to keep us from doing the terrible things that common sense would tell you is a really bad idea. But you know you want it. You love it.

Video games, they were everywhere. Mike Tyson was punching you into ass-pudding. Q-Bert was making you appreciate that testicles were not sentient. And you understood that you would rather eat your hands than take a job as a paper boy. Games were being developed for movies, to sell other products, to create new genres and change the way you looked at games in general. It wasn't long until someone realized that people enjoy the control, and adding an element of decision making could present people with an experience to match their interests. I can recall my first visit to the crossroads near the Iron Curtain, for it paved the way for all my gaming expectations from there on.

Nobody was looking. I pressed that button, and you know what ensued. Did it in any way make me morally reprehensible or affect my day-to-day actions? Not in the slightest. If anything I felt empathy for the girl that didn't quite understand when I told her she was my girlfriend at the time. Now the idea of an outlet where I could make the decisions with no real consequence had me in awe. And soon the door was open for games such as Grand Theft Auto; shooting cops to stay out of Butt Town, killing prostitutes to get your money back, and stealing things that will likely be covered by insurance anyway. All was well.

It wasn't long before a factor was introduced that would severely hamper the gaming experience. While some might refer to them as a form of evil, I prefer to address as them people. As networking technology has taken steps forward we're at a point where microphones and messaging are prevalent in our gaming. Where before we lived in our sphere and made the choices we wish, now we're confronted by the avatar of the thirteen year old boy from Wyoming that's screaming obscenities because the mother that routinely beats him isn't home. Where I was a god before, now I am one of many. The choices of others now directly impact me. What is worse is that I can hear this bastard and attach a personality to him. These characters are now personified fully, and now my reaction to them has become much more visceral. I am suddenly introduced to a new human element of gaming; nerd rage.

Gaming has become a largely social, while still anonymous, phenomenon where perfect strangers will vent their frustrations or share things that we probably didn't want to know. We understand that people will behave however they wish when consequence and scrutiny are removed from the picture. Now we are able to broadcast all these terrible things for the world to experience along with us. It's a veritable storm of racial slurs and foul behavior that will only grow stronger until we manage to offend the sensibilities of many people with a lot more power than us. See Australia for an example.

If you've made it this far then I'll reward you with a question of my own:

In Japan titles such as Battle Raper and Rapelay are released, while in the west there is a prevalent focus on gore and pushing our moral bounds. Do you see regions and developers moving closer together, or a sense of xenophobia pushing them apart as prejudice on gaming and community is built?
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About Jonnyone of us since 6:32 PM on 09.23.2009

A long time gamer and fan of multiple genres, my interests lie with most everything the community has to share. Provided it doesn't involve furries.
Aside from being a father full time I somehow find room to keep current on fantasy/sci-fi authors releases as well as comics.
I am a sporadic D&D player (4th edition ignored) with a great love for tabletop and board games as well.

As of recently I'm also a regular part of the poD20 podcast along with a few other Dtoiders. You can check it out at poD20
Xbox LIVE:ButtTrain USA
PSN ID:kaiadwin
Steam ID:Inigo Montoya


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