Bloody games = bloody conflict?

Here we go again.

From the Guardian comes news of new research conducted on the amount of virtual blood in a videogame and its impact on real-life aggression.I guess there’s going to be a renewed spate of research on this with the sale of GTA IV that’s broken more than a few records in the entertainment industry and entered the Guinness Book of Records to boot. 

One of the most read posts on this blog was one I wrote quite a while back on the video games and gender, where I noted that,

While studies may help us better understand the linkages between in-game violence, gender and real life conflict, I don’t think that any study I’ve come across to date help me understand how it is possible for someone to blow themselves up to kill and maim otherswhile others, no less discriminated against, continue to promote non-violent dialogue with their opponents.

This is also the essence of a great debate I had with Colin Rule on this blog on the nature gaming violence and how it could affect real world behaviour.

This incessant singling out of computer games for their violence and its potential to promote real world violence seems to ignore one simple fact in most households. Good parenting. I played Castle Wolfenstein, then Doom, then Quake I, II and III and Duke Nukem 3D for hours on end. I loved to kill at random and when I got sick of killing the enemies, I killed my team mates. Just to see how the AI of the game would respond to that illogic. Today though I use ICTs to build peace, I would still like to play GTA IV or the stunning Crysis on the rare PC that can run it well. 

I guess I’m an ill-fit into these studies of gaming violence. 

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