Thursday, January 5, 2012

Things I’ve noticed: Sometimes violence in videogames can mess with your head

This morning I was talking to my nineteen-year-old daughter about the game Infamous. I wrote a review of it earlier this week and she is currently working through the game herself. She explained to me that at one point in the game while stopping a prison break, she witnessed one of the villainous dustmen shoot a police officer with a rocket launcher and although she had been knocking out dustmen up to that point, she made a special effort to kill this one.

It’s funny, as neither character were actually real people (sorry ReBoot – maybe they were, but for the purposes of this post let’s assume they weren’t) there should not have been any specific reason for her to target this one villain over any others, but I suppose the fact that as the main character in the game, it was within her power to theoretically stop the villain before he blew up the police officer, the least she could do was get revenge.

I guess that is one of the biggest draws for me when it comes to video games; unlike books, movies and TV shows, video games are the one medium that let me (the player) take direct action and an effect on the game world. This was the same draw for me into the world of Role-Playing Games when I was younger. Whether I was a Fighter, a Vampire or a cyborg-dwarf Shadowrunner, I could do things in the game that would have consequences.

It’s funny, but in a way I feel pretty good about my daughter’s reaction; I mean, sure she brutally beat a (virtual) guy and then threw a grenade on him for good measure, but the part I’m talking about is the fact that when she saw something that she found unacceptable, she did something about it. It makes me feel (virtually) proud.

No comments:

Post a Comment