Tasty Snack of the Month
I wonder to myself, as I play Digital Devil Saga and devour my enemies, does anyone ever go out and eat someone because they see it in videogames? I’m pretty sure if that had happened I would have heard of it, as every negative incident that can be linked to videogames in any conceivable way is made a spectacle of, it seems. Someone shoots someone, someone played a game with shooting in it, the shooting must have been caused by the game.
If it is the case that games can influence the behavior of people in such a way, then why have I not ever heard stories about people eating other people because of a videogame they played? Surely if they could have such a strong and direct impact there would be one story. This leads me to believe that games, in fact, don’t have the ability to directly influence the behavior of the people who play them. This is not to say that there is no way violent videogames could exacerbate violent tendencies in mentally disturbed individuals, but I really don’t think it has anything to do with the specific content of the game.
If someone is screwed up enough to not understand why they shouldn’t go kill people, it really doesn’t matter what type of game they are playing. If they are playing a violent videogame, anything that would transfer into their warped psyche would be the violence. I think its more a matter of those people wanting to hurt others, and a gun happening to be the easiest method of doing so. Whether they were playing Grand Theft Auto or Stubbs the Zombie really doesn’t matter.
But back to my real point. Why don’t people cannibalize each other more often? Is it just that the people who want to cause harm to others do not have the stomach for it? Perhaps the detachment from reality they feel when they play videogames can only be applied when they are using a method of murder that allows for similar detachment. You can not watch a movie to kill someone, you cannot read a book to kill someone, you cannot use your special Icebolt attacks to kill someone, so you have to use a gun. In this detachment theory, the way videogames would tie in would be that disturbed individuals play them and think, “Killing people in this isn’t hard, maybe it will be this easy in real life.” The problem with saying that that is the fault of videogames is that you already have to be a murderous psycho before you play the game.
I’ve gotten off track again. Games don’t make people eat people. This is unfortunate in a way, because if more people engaged in murderous activities that were obviously and directly related to specific parts of videogames, we might have definite evidence on the topic of videogame violence.