A rantbox by Michiel Scholten

Violence and video games: an opinion

I was reading an interview with Eugene Jarvis [the creator of legendary arcade video games Defender and Robotron - BTW, you got to view an advertisement for some seconds to read the whole article], and he's got an opinion about the "relation" between violence of youth and videogames: on this page he says:

"Really, what it's about is the five people that actually send the 3 million letters to their congressman. There's five people and Senator Lieberman that are all upset about this stuff. It amazes me because you go on the Internet and anybody can access just horrendous, horrible shit. It's the most disgusting stuff you would ever see in the world and totally without censorship in your home. You look at cable TV. There's just an open sewer going into people's living rooms. It amazes me that video games are the whipping boy of society when there's I don't know how many other things out there, but they always come back to [video games].

You think of Columbine. Why did those guys kill their fellow students? Was it that they played video games? It had nothing to do with the fact that the guy had seven shotguns under his bed, he made bombs in his basement, and they were practicing with guns all the time. No, it was the fact that they played video games, which is the same as the other 20 million kids or 50 million kids playing video games. Video games aren't what were different about those guys. What was different was that the guy had seven shotguns under his bed. But we can't talk about guns. We can't talk about gun control -- we can't deal with that. Nobody ever got killed by a joystick."

I agree with him. I play Quake III on my work against my colleagues [yeah, after 5PM ;)], but is there a higher chance of me getting a shotgun from somewhere and start shooting people [like my boss =)] when I'm frustrated? Didn't think so. Yeah, the game of Quake will be better, but that's entirely virtual.

But that's just my opinion :)