After Sony closed out E3 on a fine Monday night, an observation which started earlier on in the day came back into fruition while reflecting on a day of watching numerous games, consoles, and ideas being presented, as well as the commentaries that followed.
It was the observation about the significant role of violence not only gaming, but almost all of our entertainment. Now, I’ll start off by saying that this is not going to be a preachy post about how gaming, movies, music, books are causing all the world’s problems involving violence, because they are a mere reflection of the world we live in today. What does strike me is how much violence plays a part in how, most of us, enjoy our free time. Out of all the games I saw at E3 I’m not sure I saw one that did not involve some sort of violence whether it be as blatant as any shooter on the market or a more sneaky one like Plants vs. Zombies. Even games like Journey, which is mostly focused on beauty, its world, and companionship, has its share of violence even if you aren’t the one delivering the punches. It’s an observation that struck a chord with me, and really dives to the depths of modern civilization as we know it.
This is merely an observation, I don’t mean to tell people to not involve violence in their works of art because art should never be censored no matter how controversial or mundane, and I realize that violence is a great vehicle to create conflict, which leads to intrigue giving reason to why it’s so overused. Although, as noted before our entertainment and art reflect what and how we are as a society, so I guess the question is how far have we really come along? Are we so civilized that we enjoy watching, reading, listening, and interacting with inflicting pain on other beings, whether they represent humans or not?
One theory I have about this subject is our creation of evil. I have a firm belief that evil, as most would consider it, does not exist, only that we were clever enough to create “evil” to know what “good” was, because if everything was “good” all the time it would be hard to decipher what “good” was. This idea has become so engrained within us that we are constantly looking for “evil” in the world, that’s why people enjoy reviewing Wars so much, particularly WWII, because which ever point of view you come from there is a common evil that people can agree upon, and feel “good” about defeating, and what better way to show its defeat than killing it? Hence violence.
This theory has some bold accusations and I by no means claim it to be true, because I don’t have the sources to back it up. It is merely my best explanation to the question posed earlier from my experiences and intuition about the subject. Take it or leave it, but if you take anything from this post I hope it would be the question to which my theory was inspired, because it is an important question to say the least.