Tag Archives: Doom

Violence in Video Games

On 20 April 1999, something happened which rocked the world. Two young lads known as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, entered Columbine High School at about 11.10 a.m, armed with an assortment of weapons, with the intention of killing as many people as they possibly could. Within an hour, the pair had killed 13 people and injured 21 others, with three people getting injured escaping. They then turned their weapons on themselves. After the event, many reasons surfaced why they had done such a dreadful act, and I was reminded of this recently when writing some recent articles. One theory stated was that the killers were spurred on by listening to heavy metal music and by playing violent video games, which I would like to explore here.

Realism at it's most...realistic.

My first ever games console was a Super Nintendo. While I didn’t have a big game collection, I did have a few different genres, which included shoot ‘em ups and beat ‘em ups. A few years later, my SNES got replaced by a PlayStation. I owned a fair few violent games for this. Doom, Alien Trilogy, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Soul Blade, Quake 2, GTA and GTA 2 to name a few. When I upgraded to a PS2, the pattern continued. And so with this generation of consoles, with probably half my current game collection having an age rating of 15 and over. I should also mention that I have listened to heavy metal all my life. I am also a former soldier, capable of handling a weapon. I have, however, never killed anyone. I have never played Borderlands and wondered what it feels like to really shoot someone in the face. I have never played Soul Blade and wondered what it feels like to hit someone with a sword. I have never played GTA and wondered what it feels like to steal a car.

This Doesn’t Make Any Sense!

While playing GTA IV, I was mid-mission, and needed to travel to the next location, so I hijacked a car. Unfortunately, I did this in front of a passing patrol car, and so my wanted level went up a star. When I tried to outrun the police, I crashed the car, and was arrested, losing all my weapons and some cash. Later in the same gaming session, the police wanted a quiet word with me for exchanging paint with their car. Once again, I crashed, and the officer in question had a gun pointed at my back. Having decided that Robocop was being too cocky, I proceeded to shoot him and his partner, resulting in my wanted level going up, and the police getting more aggressive. More and more police swarmed in my direction, with me firing back, causing a street battle of epic proportions. After about five minutes, I had police approaching from both directions, and was quickly cut down. Cue slow-mo death, and loading screen, with a resurrection outside of a hospital, minus some cash, but retaining all my weapons. In a city with strict gun control, I would have thought that the guns would have been confiscated, like they are in previous GTA games. But they weren’t. Now this isn’t a problem until you realise that if you commit a crime that warrants a one star wanted level, there’s less of a punishment for having a full scale war than there is for being arrested. Which, I think, is utterly bizarre. This got me thinking about games that have moments that make no sense, whatsoever.