Video Game Violence, is there such a thing as too much?


So chances are, you’ve played a violent video game or two. Maybe even killed an innocent civilian for no reason, without even giving it a second though. Or maybe perhaps when playing “No Russian” in Modern Warfare 2, you said to yourself, “Now this is just too much.” Well the website arstechina.com asked their readers what they felt. The results were mixed of course. Some readers used specific examples to back up their point, games such as Fallout 3, Manhunt 2, and Duke Nukem forever.

Others were simply quoted as, “Um, nope. It’s a game.”

So should there be a line drawn? Is there too much? In my opinion, every one is different. Sure, I’ve never been disgusted or repulsed by anything in a game, however others are horrified when I describe things to them. But there is no way to deny video games can effect us. They make us laugh, get us angry, even become sympathetic towards a fake person. So is it that big of a stretch to think that too much violence can affect us as well?

“Nay,” says this gamer, but maybe I’m wrong. The rest is up for you to decide.

Via arstechnica


Written by: Ferginator88 - News Contributor


  1. #1 by JCMoorehead on September 30th, 2010 [ 550 Points ]

    When I started doing my bit on the radio I had this discussion with the person who runs it. He’s not against video games as such but he did pose the question to me about why they have to be so violent. I didn’t really have an answer aside from the fact that they’re mature games for adults and as such the violence is there for a reason.

    I myself am not affected by video game violence and I don’t mind it being in there. However what does concern me is when a developer tries to be violent or ‘mature’ for the sake of mature. I felt this when I played through Killzone 2, this was a game with an 18 rating and as such I expect swearing, violence, blood the usual but when I played it I felt like it wasn’t so much for a mature gamer but more they just using the 18 rating as an excuse for foul language. I don’t really like the idea of games like Postal either where it’s just violence for the sake of it. My point really is I like to see some justification beyond the fact it’s 18 rated.

    I’ll use MW2 as an example, the No Russian mission I feel used the violence against civilians in a great way. It got it’s point across and told a story, it provoked emotion and thats what I like to see.

    This all said it comes down to choice, games are rated for a reason and at the end of it you have the choice of whether or not you carry out certain actions. I think if it affects you beyond an emotional level to the point of carrying out something then there is a chance you were disturbed in the first place.

  2. #2 by Jay on September 30th, 2010 [ 83111 Points ]

    The ratings have everything to do with it. That’s why, personally, I wouldn’t mind if there were laws in place that restricted certain ratings sold to minors (including games and movies) without parental consent. When I was younger, I had my parents pick up my M-rated games all the time. It wasn’t a big deal, they even watched us as we played them.

    It’s common sense to have measures in place to restrict minors from buying things that aren’t intended for them and could help parents ensure that their children aren’t getting a hold of things they don’t want them to. They’re kids for Pete’s sake, they don’t have the same rights as consenting adults as it is. If they did, there wouldn’t be an age limit on alcohol and tobacco, etc

  3. #3 by JCMoorehead on September 30th, 2010 [ 550 Points ]

    Going to the parents/kids gaming thing, whenever I do a review for my website or for the radio what I actually do is I mention the games rating and I mention why it’s rated that way and give more information and I always make sure to say “It’s up to parents if they want their kid to play this game or not but this is what you need to be aware of.”

  4. #4 by mulligank on September 30th, 2010 [ 625 Points ]

    I fall into the it’s a game category. But fall into the ratings law as well.

  5. #5 by Jason Andrews on September 30th, 2010

    I don’t think there is enough violence in video games. I think we need more.

  6. #6 by derrickgott007 on September 30th, 2010

    On the kids/violent games debate here is where I stand as a father of two children….

    My kids are 13 and 11, and they have been playing “violent” games since they were younger. The difference is I have taught them that this is fantasy and they know that violence has no place in society. Right now they love playing left 4 dead 2 on their 360. (at their moms)

    One of the first games we played together was the multiplayer of Conkers Bad Fur Day on the N64. They loved being able to chase their dad as a Teddy and they’d try to cut my head off with the samurai sword. I have instilled in them the difference between right and wrong and what’s acceptable in society. Guess what? They’ve both been straight a students all through school and never get in fights or sent to the office.

    It all boils down to parenting. So instead of them blaming games when a child does wrong, they need to blame the parents and the fact that they ignored and didn’t take part in keeping an eye on what their children are doing/playing/ or talking to them about what’s right or wrong and fantasy and reality.

    Violence IS needed in games as it’s an outlet for stress for alot of adults myself included. It has alot to do with the hunter/gatherer instinct in people but that’s for a whole other post… Lol

  7. #7 by shadowcrazy on October 1st, 2010 [ 325 Points ]

    derrickgott007: On the kids/violent games debate here is where I stand as a father of two children….My kids are 13 and 11, and they have been playing “violent” games since they were younger. The difference is I have taught them that this is fantasy and they know that violence has no place in society. Right now they love playing left 4 dead 2 on their 360. (at their moms)One of the first games we played together was the multiplayer of Conkers Bad Fur Day on the N64. They loved being able to chase their dad as a Teddy and they’d try to cut my head off with the samurai sword. I have instilled in them the difference between right and wrong and what’s acceptable in society.Guess what? They’ve both been straight a students all through school and never get in fights or sent to the office.It all boils down to parenting. So instead of them blaming games when a child does wrong, they need to blame the parents and the fact that they ignored and didn’t take part in keeping an eye on what their children are doing/playing/ or talking to them about what’s right or wrong and fantasy and reality. Violence IS needed in games as it’s an outlet for stress for alot of adults myself included.It has alot to do with the hunter/gatherer instinct in people but that’s for a whole other post… Lol  

    I LOVE YOU….no homo tho lol

    anyways i agree with this til death

  8. #8 by Joes on October 1st, 2010 [ 35 Points ]

    What I would boil the argument down to is this: when video games become truly too violent, they will stop selling. The rest of the discussion is subjective opinion on artistic content (as an aside, this is a very dangerous thing to base legislation on). If truly digusting video games are popular enough to make a lot of money this should be cause for evaluation of the society at large and not the video games themselves (cliche, yes, true, yes). Frankly, the only thing I would find truly disgusting would be if a game excplicitly advocated or glorified violence against a specific person/country/group (for their part, Medal of Honor devs took the time to explain in detail how they tried to avoid this). I would also like to mention here that the conversation should be about specific games and their violent content as opposed to speaking about “violent video games” in general as this merely incites or propogates a moral panic, usually, as a scapegoat for an issue (such as violence in schools) or for some sort of political gain.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Like trophies? Like giveaways? Want to speak your mind? Register here!