Do Video Games Make People Violent?

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Do Video Games Make People Violent?

  • Ron Danielowski

    What’s your opinion on Wireds’ article “Why Online Games Make Players Act Like Psychopaths”? (

    I think “high-cost of death” games (think Titans getting ganked – are good.

    I am curious to see how these brutalists will fare when they attack the wrong individual who will then infiltrate and destroy the group from within, or who will organize enough people to not to only resist but ambush and destroy the brutalists.

    If Eve Online can be considered a high-cost game – and I would argue that it is, then the unique solutions to brutalism coming out of MMORPG’s like Eve Online will naturally trend and bleed over to DayZ.

    In New Eden, successful multi-billion/trillion ISK corporations (with assets extending to real life) are infiltrated and quite literally destroyed for things like a long forgotten slight. Long forgotten – but for the one individual who would not take the unjust treatment laying down.

    This is so common that CCP even made a video ( about it, and vast corporations are built on teaching people how to destroy their digital tormentors via. infiltration and corporation espionage.

    It is my belief that if DayZ is interesting/rewarding enough that new players are strong enought to gut through building their character, that these digital “Average Joes” will ban together with sticks, stones, and makeshift clubs to utterly destroy their tormenters. Much like the Eve Online universe has shown time and time again.

    There is even a real life corollary here.

    According to this ( news article which claims that unarmed civilians in Borno, Nigeria banned together with sticks, stones, and makeshift clubs to kill more than 200 heavily armed Boko Haram terrorists.

    This was a communities’ natural reaction when the neither the Nigerian military, it’s security forces, nor the international community were capable of stopping the threat.

    If true, this seems to support the argument for “decentralization” and proves that the individuals responsibility for personal, neighborhood, and community defense is potentially much simpler, cheaper, and more powerful than those the state can offer through extortion.

    This in turn lends credibility to the 4GW theorists and aficionados who predicted such organic organization as a result of citizens who quit relying on the state to provide for their needs. This “self-actualization” and realization that they don’t need help to protect themselves as they provide for their own security without having to pay extortion fees to the various agencies.

    They soon reason “Why not keep security local, effective, limited (to the laws they want enforced, rather that what some bureaucrat feels needs to be enforced – think the failed drug war)?”

    A simple solution that both save their hard earned money while eliminating the extortion and monopoly on violence only the state can bring on a massive scale.

    I believe that an additional thing the brutalists of the video game domain will quickly learn is that in todays digital age, their bad name will follow them around and opportunities to brutalize will become farer and fewer between as people trounce them on sight.

    A brutalist may enjoy some temporary fame, but they will be left in the dust of those who would rather peacefully interact while making life hell for the brutalists who do show up.

    There are indeed lessons to be learned from Wired’s article, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out in game.

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    • Gabriel Scheare

      Games don’t make anyone do anything. Even if a face came on the screen and directly told the gamer to kill someone, it has no ability to override the watcher’s free will. All media, interactive and otherwise, is only made up of suggestions and invitations.

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      Brad L. Farr

      I don’t think that media can make a child into a violent person, unless the child has no other influence. If the parents do nothing for the child and simply leave them to it, and they have no influences that teach them basic life skills really, then I’m not so sure.

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