Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Video Games DO Influence People. And That's OK.
So moving onto the actual article topic, and I wanted to share my honest opinion about video games and how they 'influence' people. After all that GTA V controversy I thought I'd have my (rather late) say.
I'm probably going to upset a lot of hardcore gamers out there when I say this, but video games DO influence people.
But wait, wait, WAIT. That's 100% OK. In fact, if they didn't influence us, we wouldn't really be the complex humans we are.
First of all by 'influence' I don't necessarily mean 'make go out and murder a mall full of people'. I'm talking about 'influence' in a more slight sense. Playing GTA V won't make someone go out and kill 10 people, but it might influence them to it if they've already got mental problems and violent issues.
My point is that people with particular tendencies can have those tendencies exploited by various sources. And it's a 'duh, no shit' situation.
Is it even remotely surprising that unstable or vulnerable people are easily influenced by outside sources? Of course not. Far from it.
People take advantage of other people all. The. Time. And they can do this through influence. Influence reaches different levels from simple insinuation that leads to particular action being taken by the other individual, to direct telling or ordering and even brainwashing.
The people that do the influencing are usually cunning people who know how to exploit people's weaknesses and get what they want, while the influenced person is usually either weak, unstable, worried, concerned, scared, fearful of upsetting the other person and generally isn't a very dominant character. You know the kind of person I'm referring to though, right?! We've all met at least a few people like this. People who you say something to and their opinion immediately changes to accommodate yours. Or if they seem uncertain of something you suggested they'll still go along with it easily because they're just not very dominant or 'certain' as it were.
So obviously it's clear that influencing people and being influenced is natural, and something we can easily achieve ourselves.
All the people that were 'addicted' to video games who have gone out and killed didn't do that because of the game, but because their mental state was already in that position. They were already prepared to kill. The video games just fed their violent urges.
But that. Is. Fine.
Why? Because first of all, as I pointed out, influence is natural and you can't have a go at a video game for influencing a nutter to blow himself up when humans influence each other all the time to do negative things. Hell, just look at cults and mass suicides. Were video games responsible for those? Nope. But influence was. And that's why games aren't the issue. It's simply influence itself. It will always be there and everything and anything can do it.
Games, movies, people, music, TV - even the very thing that reports on the issue: the media. Yes, the media is the most hypocritical thing in the world. Newspapers and news sources preach peace and unity and 'banning video games' with one hand while furiously and violently masturbating to all the people they manage to influence with the other. It's why the media fucking exists. That is the purpose of it. It's legal propaganda. If a newspaper has a particular stance on something, then you can be sure their aim is to make every single fucking reader of it agree with them.
It's called the power of the press. And it can help people who have had terrible ordeals or outrageous things happen to them get into the spotlight to get justice, but it can also destroy lives. The key with the press is you are never in control. Whether the media is your enemy or ally is determined entirely by whether they want to spin your story as one that positively or negatively affects you. Will they make you out to be the arsehole or the hero? Guess what; you don't decide.
The media is irresponsible to the max. Influence is their purpose. Their aim. Their point. Yet they oppose things such as video games for influencing people too. The media does WORSE influencing, however, than any video game or movie to ever exist. Journalists have absolutely no issue with printing a trillion stories about someone and ma
king every human being alive hate the shit out of them for no apparent reason, but a game like GTA can't feature guns and murdering because it might inadvertently tip some already unstable maniac over the edge? Yeah. Sure. Carry on.
What's more, even if games didn't influence people. Even if, somehow, despite the fact that everything that exists influences humans somehow, video games didn't actually have any psychological effect on us, people would still be influenced by movies. And TV. And music. And every other thing in our lives. So why pick on games anyway?
Let's face it, our lives are just one massive barrage of influential content trying to make us think this way and do things that way. Ads are everywhere trying to get you to buy the latest this and the latest fucking that, while the media is trying to make you support this political party and that political party and hate this celeb and that celeb, while the political parties themselves are trying to influence you to vote for them over the others and the celebs are trying to convince you to pay attention to them so they can get their latest pay check and blah blah blah blah blah.
Life is just one massive clusterfuck of information and 90% of it is pointless bullshit. So go home, stick in GTA V, blow up a fictional version of L.A. and have a fucking blast.
If you want to follow me on twitter, which you probably don't, and ready my depressive, cynical, ironic and dumb tweets about shit you probably don't give a flying squirrels arse about, then follow me @mookyst.
If you have anything to add or want to share your opinion then please comment. I love hearing your thoughts because if you post something interesting we can have a conversation about it and if you post something incredibly dumb and hateful (like"this is gay") then I can take a screen cap of it and humiliate you on twitter. Peace out people.