One of my favorite video games of late is Wolverine. This is odd to me, because for years I refused to play violent games, preferring those bright, colorful ones designed for 8 year old girls. Violent video games just weren’t my thing. I loved to watch my husband kick butt on HALO or Resident Evil, but I was never comfortable with the thought of being someone’s prey, even if my predator was CGI. Then something changed. After spending years playing cute, furry animals whose missions consisted of acquiring as many bananas, gold coins or mojo as possible, my skills began to improve. I was finally able to recall what each button on the XBOX 360 controller was called. So when my husband got Wolverine the video game, having been a fan of the guy for decades and now skilled on the XBOX, I figured I’d give it a try.
Video Game Violence: A Laughing Matter
I spent the next couple of weeks slashing through bad guy after bad guy. In Wolverine, I tore apart massive Wendigo prototypes, machete masters, Leviathons and various robots. I threw guys off cliffs, slammed them into spikes, ripped off their heads and sliced through their ribcages. Wolverine was by far one of the most fun video games I’ve ever played. Since that time, my blood pressure hasn’t increased, I’m no more prone to road rage and I have yet to attack anyone, including the girl who cussed me out because she thought I intentionally cut her off (I really didn’t see her). Instead, I tried to apologize as she spewed her venom from her rolled down window. I’m also not waiting for spikes to shoot from my hands. This is because though I play in a really fun and intense virtual world where I get to be a bad mama, I live in the real world. In the real world, I’m bound by laws, gravity and my physical stats. I’m under no delusion that in the real world, when someone gets sliced in half, it’s pretty much over for them. And that if I’m the one who does the slicing, I’m headed downtown, probably for life. Violent video games can’t undo my morality, or anyone else’s.
Many adults seem to believe that video game violence is responsible for violence and apathy. The other night on Fox, Bill O’ Reilly suggested that the reason that citizens didn’t help a hit and run victim was because of violent video games. His implication that violence on television somehow dulls our senses in the real world is absurd. The person who refuses to help a hit and run victim, when there is no clear threat to her, is simply an SOB. Not some video game or violent movie junkie, just a douche bag.