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Why violent video games?

It was earlier this week in my Mass Communications Ethics course that we discussed the negative effect that violent video games have on the youth of America. Of course this is all debatable, and this post isn’t meant to challenge or condemn anyone for playing these games.

The point is to examine America’s obsession with these games. A prime example of this is the new video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which was released on Tuesday, earned $310 million in opening-day sales alone. According to Daniel Terdiman, a blogger for CNET news, 4.7 million copies were sold in the United States and the U.K. alone in order to break this record.

This is more than the next highest selling video game, “Grand Theft Auto IV” which also made $310 million in first-day sales worldwide. (Modern Warfare made $310 million in just the U.S. and U.K.) Also, just to put this into perspective, last year’s Batman movie “The Dark Knight” made $155 million in the opening weekend… WEEKEND.

Obviously, “Grand Theft Auto” and “The Dark Knight” are a little bit on the violent side. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” is the same.

As the title suggests, this game revolves around… a war. According to a review by the Associated Press, “You’re really a good guy who has infiltrated the terrorist cell.” If you’ve heard any press about this video game then I’m sure that you’ve heard about the terrorist aspect of the game.

A tad controversial? Yes. Although, critics say it’s essential to the game.

The “Call of Duty” saga includes six versions of the game. Two different companies are responsible for the creation of the games. This year’s version came from Infinity Ward and has been seriously popular just within the few days of its release.

Now, it’s easy to blame video games on the violent tendencies of American youth. According to the American Psychological Association, “High levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior (e.g., self-reported assault, robbery).”

The truth is that the average age of a video-gamer is 35-years-old, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT for game industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The war and violence obsession in America is nothing new really. It’s nothing really new though, is it? Violence is a part of everyday life. We may not see it in America but it happens all over the world.

Could it be our sheltered lives that give us such a hunger for blood?
If the average American saw half of the amount of bloodshed that they see in this video games and movies, they would be shocked.

So, I’m confused… Can anyone tell me why so many people are interested in violent video games like this?

Escapism?

Masculinity?

Hidden violent tendencies?

I just don’t get it. Sure, I’m female so maybe I’m missing the proper chromosome.

I’d like to know. If you’re interested in shooter video games, tell me why.

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