Confession time. I’m suicidal. I was diagnosed with depression this past February.
I’ve mentioned this project to my therapist along with my gaming habits. His reply to this was that if playing games made me happy, that I should continue to do so.
Now why am I bringing this up? Well, when presenting in class, another student brought up that he didn’t like the idea of people shooting one another, virtually or in real life, that he’d rather they just talk it out.
Talking is all well and good, but, from my own experience, sometimes, it isn’t enough.
Let’s look at it from another perspective. Some person has anger issues. They’ve gotten into a lot of physical confrontations. They’ve gotten beaten up very badly, to the point where their visits to the ER have gotten ridiculously frequent. Now, they go to see a therapist. Although it is nice to actually talk about their issues as opposed to letting their fists do the talking, the itch to punch stuff is still there.
What do they do? They get a punching bag. Instead of taking their aggression out on other people, they go to the punching bag and proceed to beat the tar out of it.
To me, violent video games are like punching bags. They’re a less radical method of taking out aggression that doesn’t involve physically hurting other people.
Again, talking it out is great (and, frankly, it’s saved my life before), but there are times where it isn’t enough.
I remember, a few weeks ago, I had been playing some video game – I believe it was Pokemon SoulSilver (Yes, I still play Pokemon. What of it?) – and I had ended up yelling at it a lot. A while later, I hopped on Skype and began chatting with my friend, Danielle. I brought up the fact that I had been yelling at my DSi and she said that it was better that I had taken my anger out on virtual characters as opposed to real people.
Lesser of two evils? Perhaps. But if it comes down to hurting people in real life or hurting virtual people, I’d rather go with the lesser evil.
More nuggets to come as more research is done!
In an attempt to inspire myself for ideas for this project, I’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube – specifically Criken’s channel (yay, procrastination finally serves a purpose!). While I normally just kick back and laugh hysterically at the antics of Criken and company, I began to look deeper into the content of the videos, specifically the violence. On the surface, it may seem, well, abhorrent in this politically correct day and age we find ourselves in. How the hell could fighting for your life and shooting other – sometimes innocent – people in order to survive ever be seen as comedic material?
(Yes, I’m being rather melodramatic. But hey, it’s my project and I’ll be a drama queen if I want to!)
When we think about violence, comedy typically isn’t the first thing to come to mind in association. We think of fist fights, people chasing one another with knives and guns, warfare, maybe even parents hitting one another while we plug in our headphones in an attempt to drown it out.
But let’s look a little bit closer. Think about a fairly recent comedy that you watch or have watched. Community, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, whatever.
Now think about a time within the show or movie that violence was used as comedic fodder.
Isn’t exactly burning zombies with moltovs, but it’s still some sort of violence.
And how about America’s Funniest Home Videos? Nut shots as far as the eye can see.
There is still a world of difference between physical violence as comedic fodder and gory violence as comedic fodder, but there is still a string of connection between the two. That cannot be denied.