The lesser evil

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. 


Nuggets of Knowledge

  • Playing video games with some type of educational value of whatever type, even sparingly, seems to have a positive effect on the people who play them.
  • Age does not appear to be a factor when it comes to effects of video games. A child of the age of 7 is no more vulnerable to any side effects of a video game than an adult would be. 
  • The idea that video games promote social isolation is false. Video games are often social activities and provide common ground for people to connect to one another. Social connections made through video games, such as those online, are deep and meaningful to the people involved. 
  • Evidence supports the idea that video games can be used to capture the attention of people for the purpose of education, taking a typically dull or complicated idea and putting it in a modern and common virtual world. 
  • Youth violence has actually dropped as sales of violent video games has risen!

More nuggets to come as more research is done!

Sources (1) (2

Children As Consumers of Violence

Children As Consumers of Violence

Here is a quite lengthy article about various studies done with the intent of discovering the effects of video gaming. 

I won’t expect you to read it all, so I will pick out the parts that correlate to my specific topic…


Because school work. 

Plus I want to reread it to make sure I properly understand it myself. Wouldn’t want to present some incorrect findings because I misinterpreted the sources I got them from.


A Kick In The Nuts

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. 

A Favorite YouTuber Of Mine

A Favorite YouTuber Of Mine

To start off this blog, I’m going to share a link to one of my favorite YouTubers, Criken. All of his videos have to do with video gaming – more often than not, they are violent games – and how they can be used in a comedic fashion. 

I’ll be coming back to this channel later in other posts and in a video that’s currently in the works, so stay tuned! 

In the meantime, enjoy the hopefully hilarious antics of Criken and his friends in various virtual worlds.