I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to write about for this weeks blog. So I’ve decided to simply write about violence in general in relation to video games, and my experience with violence in games.
My first real taste of somewhat realistic violence in a game was GTA 3. At first, the “novelty” of being able to kill random people was fun. But after playing the game for a while, I found that the “fun” of running around and killing people for no apparent reason sort of wore off. The storyline of the game, pushed forward by completing missions for various characters, was the real reason this game was fun. And yes, while violence was a part of many of the missions, usually involving “taking out” a certain person, it wasn’t the main part of the story. Most of the missions involved far more driving than violence, probably used to stretch out the gameplay as I remember quite a few missions that involved driving to more than one place, usually far away from each other.
I guess the point I am trying to make with that is that while the violence is an essential part of the game, it wasn’t the main reason that the game was enjoyable. I was more interested in the characters and the story than I was in the gratuitous acts of violence. In fact, in subsequent Grand Theft Auto’s (San Andreas in particular), I found that some of the most enjoyable things to do had nothing to do with violence. I found jumping off a cliff on a motorcycle with a parachute far more exciting than going around murdering the generic characters that would walk around on the street.
Violence is a part of the majority of games out there (at least the more mainstream ones), and even if it’s not as obvious as in the GTA series, it is still an important part of the gameplay. Violence is in everything from Crash Bandicoot and the Pokemon games to Call Of Duty, GTA and any other major game series. But I have found that in the majority of games that I’ve played, the violence is never the main element. Even first person shooters have a storyline, they have a reason to play other than just “Oh my God, violence yay!”. I think that violence will always be an element of video games, whether the game is intended to be violent or not. After all, violence is a part of playing, and video games are an ultimate form of play. But I think that in the bigger picture, the story, the characters and even the random little side missions will be a bigger draw card for video games, rather than general violence.