Virtual Murder

From the July 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

Some say gory “first person shooter” video games are a main contributor to youth violence. Others believe things are under control, since most video games (90 percent, according to the president of Interactive Digital Software Association) are bought by adults:”So clearly, parents have the ability, if they have the knowledge and the interest, to regulate the games that come into their home.”

Most defenders of violent video games consider the Electronic Software Ratings Board, which rates software and online games, a safe enough defense against them getting into the “wrong hands.” But games are easily accessible online, since the Internet is practically an unregulated medium. And if anything, the M rating (for mature audiences) just lets teens know that this is the game they want to play.

What else would you expect, when the ratings board gives an M rating to Duke Nukem while its action figures are being sold in toy stores? What about Resident Evil 2, which has an M rating and is being advertised in Sports Illustrated for Kids?

“First person shooter” games do affect people’s minds—both the young and not-so-young. In fact, they are useful in military/police training, according to former Army Colonel David Grossman. He says they help people overcome their natural resistance to shooting people.