I’m not really sure if this falls under a research blog post, as I am not quite ready to post any of the things I have done research on yet, but I think it is a good thing to get into before I start to get into the nitty gritty of my research. There are many types of violent games, and not all are graphic games.
I’d like to start by discussing the violence in games like Grand Theft Auto, that are both violent and pointless. The violence in Grand Theft Auto doesn’t really lend itself to any purpose, in fact if you play through the game or use cheats, you can basically just rain havoc and death upon whichever city the game takes place in. Not only that, but the police are basically helpless to stop you. Even when you get five stars and the tanks roll out, if you have cheats, you can just blow it up. I don’t think there is anyone that would say you play a “good” guy in GTA.
I touched on Assassin’s Creed in my game analysis, but its the polar opposite of GTA in terms of violent games. Violence in Assassin’s Creed is a last resort, and the guards may chase you when you murder a templar, you are often in allegiance with someone that history has smiled nicely upon. Thus the player gets the feeling that they are not perhaps above the law, but are only breaking one law in order to prevent another from breaking many more. Although these games may often get grouped in with GTA type games, they are clearly specifically different genres. Violence is not tossed around like a curse word the way it is in GTA in AC, but it is treated like a holy word that is only said when it absolutely has to be.
While both of those games are very graphic, there are violent games that do not involve gore or even guns or blades. An example of a game of this type are the Super Smash Brother games. These games are inherently violent, the basis is nintendo characters brawling with each other, but there is no violence and I have never come across someone that would classify the series as violent.
These are just some thoughts that I wanted to write down to make sure I keep them in mind while I do my research. My initial thought is that I will find most research about games like GTA, but I am curious to see if other games take blame for what a lot of people consider to be violent trends because of video games.