That old scapegoat

Here we go again, video games being used as a scapegoat.

I know that by the time this gets posted it will be old news. Well, until it happens again and if history does repeat itself as it is want to do this old excuse will be used again and again.

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My reaction to hearing that phrase

I get that as an outsider it might not be my place to comment and all, but even here in Scotland gamers hear that old lie that video games promote violence. I for one am sick of it.

Even here our Government lost it’s mind over GTA back in the day and have banned games like Rule of Rose. Most recently it got into a tissy over Detroit: Become Human due to the portrayal of the abusive dad and what might happen to the little girl.

‘Video games promote violence’ has the same energy as ‘vaccines cause autism’ as in my eyes both phrases are ill-informed and overused. There have been multiple studies disproving both of these statements time and time again yet people still chose to believe it as it’s convenient for their narratives.

You know what both makes me laugh about this lie? It was the exact opposite for me.

When I was younger, I was a very violent person. I was aggressive and got into fights a lot. It’s not something I’m proud of but I would lose my temper quickly and kick or punch whoever even slightly annoyed me.

So, what happened?

I started playing games. Well not exactly as I had been playing games for a few years beforehand, I have always preferred a good puzzle game or chill one but it was around 14 when I started playing games that had a bit more violence in them, my favourite being Team Fortress 2 which I still love to this day. That was when I started to get less aggressive.

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I now had a new punching bag to take my anger out on. Instead of getting into fights with friends I would wait until I got home and take it out on the digital enemies in the games.

Even now when I have a rough day at work I bottle it up during my shift and release it in something like Saint’s Row or more recently Sniper Elite 4.

On top of that, through gaming I made new friends and found a place in the gaming community. I got to meet likeminded people and play together. Since then I have had a better grip on my temper and have never raised my hand against someone outside of that brief time I spent at Karate classes.

I understand why the gaming community seems to have a bad rap, but if anyone who believes this ridiculous lie is reading this let me assure you that the vast majority of gamers have no intention to recreate anything they do in games. Well, maybe build a house, make a family or have superpowers but you know what I mean.

Despite what you might be told, we can tell the difference between the virtual world and the real one. Hence the reason we play games in the first place, the real world sucks! Many play as a distraction or in my case as escapism from this dumpster truck fire of a world we, unfortunately, call home.

Now if you excuse me, writing this has made my blood boil. Time to play some Dead Cells to get it out of my system.

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One thought on “That old scapegoat

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  1. It is one of those ridiculous myths that just keeps getting rolled out at convenient moments. I also like a good bit of violence in my games after a bad day at work. It is very cathartic and helps me be calm. I don’t play shooters largely because I’m terrible at them, but I do play a lot of role playing games set in a pseudo-medieval setting. That said, I’ve never felt the need to don armour and run around brandishing a sword while chanting fire spells.

    Liked by 2 people

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