Gamers have gotten a really bad reputation in the past few years. Why? You ask. Well, consider this situation: There�s a school shooting. The police go through everything that this kid owns. They come across Call of Duty, or Halo, or Killzone, etc. What are they going to assume? They�re going to assume that it was the game that influenced him to kill innocent people. Educated psychologists then automatically assume that kids can�t tell the difference between real life and the virtual life caused by the video game. The most famous debate in recent years is the infamous �Mass Effect Sex Debate� where the game Mass Effect was unfairly criticized of having �full digital nudity.�
For the few people who haven't seen the video yet, here's the video:
Games have been the scape goat for everything that�s gone wrong in society in recent years. Society complains about a naked digital person, where you can only see their back side, but you don�t hear anything about movies like Zack and Miri Make a Porno, where the entire movie is like a pornographic film. Not saying that this movie didn�t attract its own controversy, but it didn�t make news like Mass Effect did. I�m just saying that the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is doing its job, it�s up to parents to ultimately keep M (Mature) rated games out of 8 year olds� hands. People complain about games that �should get the AO (Adults Only) rating.� Facts show that as of August �07, only 25 games have the AO rating. Most games tone down its content to get the, more sellable, M rating.
What really bugs me is the fact that the media doesn�t judge games and movies in the same way. Not saying that they should be, considering they�re completely different, but people are freaking out about slight nudity in a game, while no one will say anything about the equivalent rated movie with full frontal nudity.
News programs and newspapers alike both say that games increase aggression in children. In my opinion, they actually decrease it. Consider this example: You come home from a bad day of work. You�re stressed and angry. You feel like you want to hurt someone. Would you rather grab a shotgun and go to work to kill people there? Or would you rather go online and play some Call of Duty 4 and kill virtual things on there, and avoid jail time.
Society is resistant of admitting that video games are now expanding into the adult category. Most people in the news say �Games are meant for children.� This was the case ten years ago. Now, adults are gaming because they grew up with video games. The group of 18 � 25 year olds grew up with video games, so obviously they�re going to bring that into adulthood, which calls M rated games, and even AO games, into demand. If you were to equate video games to movies, the ratio of M rated games/R rated movies to E rated games/G rated games are equivalent. R rated movies are in huge demand, because there are more people who see movies that are 17 years old and older than are under 17. The same can be said for video games.
There are a few big names that have some controversy that aren't new games. Those games are Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 3D, and Doom. Wolfenstein 3D has been banned in Germany. Here are the screenshots with why they're controversial (if it's not obvious):
Wolfenstein 3D (For implementing so many Nazi symbols)
Duke Nukem 3D (For being so sexual)
Doom (For being so gory)
But being older, they aren't brought up at all. But for the most part, some of them are worse than current games. But 10 years ago, games weren't taken as serious as they are now.
Anyone who wants to discuss this further, or point out something that I forgot, can post in the comments.