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View Diary: I am a Gamer (332 comments)

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  •  Well, I am willing to discount this notion. (7+ / 0-)

    There is such a distinct difference between reality and fiction here, that if anything, I would argue they typically reduce violence. Not by catharsis, which is largely disproven and discredited; the only available studies actually suggest that violent video games, like all violent media - extending to film, TV, and books - do increase short-term aggression slightly.

    Short-term.

    However, they put this sort of violence neatly in a box. First-Person Shooter games almost never take themselves too seriously and gamers associate an inherent absurdity to violence as a result. Evidence? This is entirely non-scientific, but World of Warcraft - which is not an FPS but has a significantly overlapping demographic - had a quest where you had to torture a prisoner.

    No reactions were graphically displayed. There was a simple, low-quality set of basic 'ow' audio files used for the prisoner's reaction, no effect on his model, and a simple set of canned, repeating text responses. You did not have to persist in it very long.

    Despite such a very small level of abstraction being broken, the quest was somewhat renowned (when the content was relevant) for leaving a lot of people with a very bad taste in their mouths.

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