A lot of technological development comes directly out of military sponsorship, and video games are no different. The Atlantic talks about the active role of the military in developing the "military-entertainment complex" here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ ... es/280486/ -- I found it interesting that they now use video games in healing roles as well as training roles. But that military connection to industry that Eisenhower warned about may provide a link as to why the technology to simulate killing has advanced so quickly over the past half-century.Eduk wrote: ↑December 4th, 2018, 10:24 amWhile I agree that a large and perhaps disproportionate number of the most watched games on twitter are the first person shooters such as Fortnite, PUBG etc you are mischaracterising a number of the remaining games. It is like saying that fantasy novels involve killing and war and therefore they are bad. Or that horror movies involve killing so they are bad. Hearthstone is a card game. It is as offensive as D&D.Sure, there are plenty of fun games that don't involve killing and war. None of them cracked the top ten in streamer popularity last year.
Sadly if you look at any of the most popular charts in movies, tv or music you will find disappointment. Again what you have to show is that games are somehow different.
I just think you have to have a bit of nuance.Mario involves 'killing' enemies by jumping on their heads in a war with the evil Bowser. Mario is nothing like actual killing or actual war. PUBG with its 'realism' is nothing like actual killing or actual war. Again if I read the battle at the end of the Hobbit am I prepping myself for armed conflict?the availability of graphic-intensive killing simulators
On the streamer list, Mario wasn't one of the top ten viewed games, but I agree that it's a stretch to say that stomping on Goombas is akin to murder. Hearthstone is similar though having played it myself I can say that losing a close game due to some BS RNG can generate a lot of ill will and aggression. In the same vein Lol and Dota are probably too artistically stylized to be considered human on human violence. Even Fortnite technically lacks blood or gore. But how can you say PUBG is nothing like actual killing? Granted you can change the color of the blood that comes out, but I think shooting people in the face with handguns, shotguns, and sniper rifles causing a cloud of blood to come out seems to me fairly representative of the human imagination of the act of killing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSwNzK4TgNk
The thing is, I'm not taking a position where I'm terrified that some kid playing a videogame or reading the Hobbit is then going to suddenly head out and actively murder people. Kids that do that probably had some serious issues that were going to be expressed in a negative way regardless of their exposure to violence in media. What I'm more afraid of in the average case is desensitization and moral disengagement, and the average person getting the wrong idea of how bad war and killing and violence actually are. For example, consider the situation like the widespread support for the Iraq War in America. I worry that people subjected to the subconscious glorification of war and violence, especially at a young age, are less likely to have an accurate idea of what actual war entails, and more likely to buy into the whole "Yee-haw let's go kill some A-rabs" message. This is why even in cases without graphic depiction, the trivialization of war and death at scale makes me intuitively uncomfortable. There's studies linking even a physiological desensitization to real world violence to video game exposure. I think everyone should have to watch a documentary like Restrepo before they commit our teenagers to the next movement in the war on terror. Not pleasant stuff.
Not saying that we should ban soccer -- but culture is contagious. I'm sure you would agree that there are plenty of hooligans that would not engage in violent and reckless behavior if there weren't a big mob of other hooligans to back them up. You're right that it is mostly an incidental occurrence to soccer, but soccer encourages tribalistic attitudes of us vs. them that can serve as a rallying point for dehumanization and violence -- and now hooliganism is part of the culture in some areas. I don't think any sport can be said to be pure evil by any means -- plenty of good things can come out of team-based cooperation and achievement as well -- but I can see a potential causal link between football and hooliganism related to the engendering of tribalistic attitudes. In general, my personal view is that playing sports is a great use of time -- watching sports, less so.This is true. Like many other technological advances. Thus far the world has continued to turn. There are myriad examples of the harm of games and myriad examples of the lack of harm of games.No previous generation had the ease of access to the visceral and addicting degree of entertainment now available to adolescents. Like many other technological adaptations, we are essentially running an experiment with no control scenario. There may be long-tail effects that we won't know until it is too late.
Actually this argument reminds me of another one I heard a while ago. The argument was the football is evil because of hooliganism. Now we all agree there are hooligans. We all agree they are detrimental. But I didn't agree that football created them, there is no causal link.
Anyway, putting aside Alias's fair point about it being symptomatic of broader cultural issues in society, right now I pretty much view exposure to violence in videogames as analogous to drinking soft drinks, and the role that hyperpalatable HFCS calories play in the childhood obesity epidemic. A little bit probably isn't going to bother anyone unless they have a medical condition, and it's not really a reasonable response to endorse a government ban on all soft drinks. However, setting restrictions on advertising soft drinks to children and encouraging parents to limit overexposure sound like reasonable initiatives to me. And it's not just video games -- I'm also bothered by the fact that so many popular YA novels are dystopian exercises where the main character has to murder their way to revolutionary freedom, e.g. Hunger Games, Maze Runner or Divergent.
For a long time, the harms of smoking were not well understood, and it's my private hypothesis that similar harms from highly addictive lizard brain entertainment at scale are not yet well understood. Not everyone who smokes dies of lung cancer, after all, even when the link is statistically significant. I think there could be acceptable initiatives, like those similar to cigarettes, alcohol, and carbon emissions -- maybe there could be a "violence tax" to discourage publishers from churning out non-stop highly lucrative murder simulators. But at present this remains a cultural discussion rather than political or scientific one, and so the choice of what kind of society we want to be will remain scaled out across millions of individual choices each day.
In general, perhaps there is a broader question to consider which is this: do we as a society have a duty or means to stop people, especially young children, when they want to do something that might be bad for society in the long run? Not every child has the benefit of good parenting, after all. Is the sacrifice of violent entertainment too much to ask of a society? Should we wait until the tipping point data comes out?