There has been an ongoing debate recently about video games, aggression, how they affect players, if they can or cannot be exposed to criminal behavior, so on and so forth. We would like to tackle this problem a little bit differently and explain, once and for all, why it is going to remain an “unsolved” issue.
First off, aggression is something that fuels us, human beings. It is not something that we should pride ourselves with, not at all. It is simply our condition: we need to fight with someone or something for someone or something. It is, in a way, “normal” and it defined our race for thousands of years.
Why do we admit that it is normal? Because of several social, psychological and psychosociology studies that have been carried out over the years. Sociologists like Desmond Morris or Konrad Lorenz have explained over and over again how aggression is part of the human species, we need to fight for our place in society and then secure it.
Now let us go a little more taboo and face the facts: aggression and violence are alluring. There is always something about them that attracts humans, just like science fiction or even death. Peace in video games is boring and it would not offer us a different experience from our real lives: we would have to live two same lives instead of just one.
On top of that video games are a place in which people can actually eliminate their anger and they make the world a safer place. We admit that it is not entirely like that, but it is a plausible argument: we are not going to kill anybody, steal thousands of dollars or go to war in our real lives, so video games allow us to explore an alternate reality, live those specific feelings in there and come out in the real world as peaceful individuals again.
But there is one more taboo subject that video games teach us: sometimes, but just in extreme situations, violence does bring some benefits. And we want to talk Batman here. Batman has been shaped as a very profound character in the last years and while he does resort to violence, he never kills and he never harms the innocents.
Batman just puts bad people where they belong, but the Batman experience also teaches us that sometimes the law and diplomacy are not enough. And this is a truth that we should be aware of. These situations are quite scarce and perhaps the majority of people never even have to face them, but it is something that we should keep in mind as human beings.
So this is why the subject about aggressive video games cannot be closed so easily. It is our nature to like them. And while this is not something that should pride us, a mature approach implies that we should accept ourselves as we are.
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