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Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite? Oh My!

Darius Rahmanian, Copy Editor

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The purpose of any game is ultimately the same. Whether it’s a card game, a board game, a tabletop game or a video game, the purpose is to achieve victory by playing and outwitting the other players with your inherent skill.

The imagination of “Dungeons and Dragons,” the precise calculations of poker, the simple yet deep complexities of board games, they are all perfectly fused into the modern phenomenon of video games. “Call of Duty,” “Street Fighter,” “Total War,” “Bejeweled,” “Overwatch” and many more games within the $30.4 billion industry infuse all manners of human drive for competition into a single medium.

The media, however, wants you to think otherwise; they’ll exploit tragedies to push the agenda that “video games make violent killers.” The last time I checked, professional “Counter Strike” players didn’t go on a killing rampage, and it’s their job to play these “violent video games” every single day.

Creative Commons via Ravenfield
he player character unleashes the power of the AirHorn-15, killing two of his enemies quickly. Power fantasies like this should not exist to entertain our children and their gun free zones

The concept of conflict is the ultimate game, a game of life and death thrown between two men to see who will come out on top. Video games represent the three fundamental conflicts a man can face; whether its a five-versus-five match against real players, a strategy game pitting your army against the AI’s or a game’s personal narrative challenging your motives and morals, the diversity video games bring as a medium is astonishing. However, to a parent in this modern day and age, they could care less what this means to the actual person experiencing these conflicts, they just see blood and gore splashing across the screen and the occasional expletive.

When you are playing a round of “Fortnite” or “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), your ultimate goal is to eliminate other players for the top spot. In Fortnite, a tactical creativity comes into play, building on the fly as other players fire cartoon weapons and you try to outsmart them. The violent “guns” are just a tool to eliminate other players, no sane 15-year-old boy is thinking about the guts and murder of cartoon characters jumping around in pink bear suits. In PUBG, the more realistic of the two, combat is about the art of surprise and finding out how to outsmart every player from the beginning by a test of highly precise aim and a tinge of luck. The hyper realistic “guns” and cartoon “guns” in both are simply just measures of preference in your strategy. “What will give me the advantage,” not “HOW WILL I EVISCERATE THIS PERSON’S SKULL AND DEFECATE ON THEIR CORPSE.” The usage of firearms within theses games is simply because firearms are the most common form of weapon we use today to conduct said conflict, not trying to train future mass shooters.

Creative Commons via
The player character, Steve, brutalizes a chicken for his own virtual subsistence. Definitely not a safe game for our vegan raised children.

Video Games like the modern DOOM that portray their “art” through heavy metal headbangers and excessive demon killing, give the media ammo to conduct their warfare against red pixels on a screen. Yet the environment is so far removed from reality that anyone believing it to be true will have a pre existing condition that needs to be treated. Even games like Postal 2, a game about apathetic killing of an entire digital township, satirizes people’s obsession with violence. I mean the player spits one liners as he or she urinates on people, the game is purely comedic and its shock value garnered it free media attention and sold copies. People don’t understand certain aspects of games until they’ve played themselves, and even the media loves to capitalize off of the inherent fear parents have for their children, getting those nice ratings in the process.

So say you are a parent looking for the next video game to buy your child. Your child told you to buy him “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” for his birthday. You go to your local Walmart and buy it. Days later you see him shooting people with blood splattering everywhere, hardly appropriate for your child. How could they sell this to children? Why ask this question when there is the ESRB rating system which denotes, in a very large letter at the bottom of the package, what age range should be playing “Call of Duty Infinite Warfare”. The most important thing when buying any child a game rated above their age range is to first think, “does my child have the ability to separate fact from fiction?” Whenever you hear in the news “Child steals car after playing Grand Theft Auto” it’s not the games fault it’s the parents’ fault. Letting a child have open access to a car, first off, is way more disconcerting and second, Grand Theft Auto is a very M-rated game and in some countries like Australia either banned or heavily censored it. Grand Theft Auto’s hyper detailed and painstakingly crafted worlds are meant for older audiences who can fully appreciate the satirical take on the modern world. The game just doesn’t have a pop up on the screen saying “Hey kids go drive your parents car on the freeway” yet the mainstream media loves to tell people that it does..

When CNN classified playing video games as an addiction for just the fact that people enjoy having a different usage of free time, you could imagine the storm that followed. In the article a “PHD” likens video games to drugs in terms of access, leading to the American Psychiatric Association classifying online gaming as a disorder, which is absolutely preposterous. Within the piece, they use age old examples like Mortal Kombat which was a goofy and gory fighter for the time that eventually spawned the ESRB. Then the equate playing first person shooters to an actual mass shooter who happened to play these games. Millions upon millions of people play these games and nitpicking a single example where the environment and not the game was the outcome is completely absurd.

Creative Commons via Minecraft Story Mode
Minecraft Story Mode encourages children to practice satanic worship through the summoning and fighting of the Wither. This game should not be played by the religious youth of America.

Real instances of addiction have appeared but the cases are so rare that they are tailored specifically to that individual, there is no mass spread of “Video Game Disorder” and a lot of cases have to do with individual mechanics that have nothing to do with the core gameplay or experience of the game. It’s baffling that blanket statements lead unknowing parents and consumers into believing their child could get addicted. Leave it to the media to mislead and demonize a group of people for simply enjoying pixels shooting other pixels.

Media attention concerning video games at one point put the entire community on blast for supposedly being “bigoted and sexist perverts.This event is widely known as Gamergate. Gamergate was an integral turning point for the entire industry, finally confronting the social justice scourge that was Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian. Anita Sarkeesian had claimed a gross misuse of females within video games even though for years video games had featured strong, and fleshed out female characters. Sarkeesian herself even stated she doesn’t even really play video games.

Soon enough, the media took up on the jig and was soon casting gamers as rapacious monsters, who satisfy their violent and sexual urges through playing say GTA. The supposed objectification of women in video games like GTA seems dicey at first yet when taken into contexts makes absolute sense. GTA has always been about an over exaggerated version of the United States and its most infamous cities. It gets the most flak because it makes millions upon millions of dollars per release, the mainstream gives it more hear and ultimately GTA uses that heat to drive its satirical narratives and push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable in a piece of media.

Creative Commons via Far Cry 5
The stunningly beautiful landscapes that hold dark secrets makes Far Cry 5 a testimony to beautiful world design and emphasis on environmental storytelling. Gaming Journals however ignore the games perfect balance in humor and commentary and instead bash it on its lack of political commentary.

Time and time again, older generations struggle to understand advances in technology and label them as satanic or addictive. First it was comic books, then the television, and now video games, people love to say “learn from history” yet don’t realize that they consistently repeat the same lines over and over. Blaming a product that has so much love and care put into it, that tells a story, that presents a challenge just because of singular instances that have nothing to do with said product. It’s important to understand all forms of mediums and their audiences. In the past years, the mainstream lost the war against video games yet their impact still remains.

Video Game developers have begun sacrificing true artistic integrity in the name of keeping good within the media’s eye. The market practices that companies impose upon their consumers have now only begun their gigantic fall from grace and in some ways the media is here to help. Hopefully, the whole social justice nonsense will be out of our favorite games and soon enough developers will be happy to make the game they want us, the consumers, to play.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite? Oh My!”

  1. Charlie Lewis on April 24th, 2018 1:01 pm

    I wrote a blog post about that, about why [Expletive] I hate videogames, because this is what it does. It appeals to the male fantasy.
    *cut to an image of nintendogs*

  2. Maxwell Yang on April 27th, 2018 10:53 am

    Thank you Darius for bringing this issue into the spotlight. I won’t tolerate any violence on my child’s Presbyterian Webkinz server.

  3. Jaime Munoz on April 30th, 2018 10:54 am

    Is this a joke. It’s just like my ego.

  4. Darius Rahmanian on April 30th, 2018 2:09 pm

    only the pinnacle of comedy

  5. Jeff Dunham on April 30th, 2018 1:22 pm

    Thanks Darius, Tell me when the freshman battle royale is on the app store

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Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite? Oh My!