Why violence in games does not cause violent behavior
This post is supposed to be sent to people who think that shooting an outlaw in a game think that will cause you to shoot people in real life. No, it will not.

Okay, since just saying "videogame violence does not equal real violence" will not convince you, let me give you an example. Let's say that your favorite character in a TV show smokes. Does this cause you to smoke? I assume not.

Now, you may use "But you control your character's actions!" as a counter-argument. Okay, let me bring another point up. When a human does a thing and that thing returns some result that is good for us, we like it. It brings satisfaction. When you shoot someone in a videogame it is usually to finish an ingame task. Once the task is finished, we are satisfied with ourselves, because that is what we were aiming for. I am pretty sure that when you ask a lot of people who play games, they will not tell you that when playing a videogame they shoot people just to see them die: they shoot them to finish some kind of task. Let's say that you are cooking. You cook because you are trying to get yourself food, so that you can satisfy yourself by eating it, not because you like to slice tomatoes or flip pancakes. Same thing with us: we do not play violent videogames because we want to see people die, it is because we want to finish a certain ingame task. If someone says that they play violent videogames to see people die, that is most likely because they are angry: anger causes aggression, aggression causes violence. You probably know this because when you are angry you want to beat the hell out of SOMETHING, not necessarily SOMEONE. You do not want to beat the hell out of everything just for the sake of watching things get destroyed, right? We are not savages: we do not want to brutally murder everyone in our way when we are angry, we want to suppress our anger by destroying things ingame. It's not like we want to murder things because we play violent games: murdering was, is, and always will be a part of the human brain! It has not went away during our 200.000 years of evolution: you do not have to play a violent game to go hunting or stomp on an ant just because it so happened to walk near you.

If this does not convince you yet, I do not know what will. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Made on