Doom Creator: Violence in Video Games is Good for You
John Carmack, the creator of Doom and founder of id Software, has commented on the oft-discussed, rarely proven link between video game violence and its effects on real life. Not only does he put no stock in claims that one leads to the other, but Carmack actually said in a recent interview that he sees violence in video games as a good way to exorcise the demons.
Here’s a snippet from an interview he gave to IndustryGamers on the subject:
“…if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it’s cathartic. If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you’re probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think it’s at worst neutral and potentially positive.”
He also has a harsh view of politicians and talking heads who’ve tried to make the case against violence in video games, saying, “People just play games now and I never took seriously the violence in video games debate. It was basically talking points for people to get on CNN and espouse their stuff on there.”
I can definitely see a solid comparison between the average gamer-con-goer and the average college-campus meathead. Personally, though, I definitely think that video games cause violence. Usually, though, it’s more the result of facing cheap-ass AI or something, which makes me want to hurl the controller through the TV and scream obscenities. Like that part in Mega Man 8 where I just kept DYING AND DYING and I couldn’t even get to the boss, but then when I did I died again and I had to play the whole level again, and I screamed at the TV “EFF YOU! EFF YOU!” and my mom came in to ask if everything was alright. And I was all like, “yeah, whatever.”
But y’know. Same difference.