Video Game Violence: The History that Began it all

On March 12th, another segment was added to the God of War video game series. As a prequel to many of the other games of the series, many anticipated the return of the great Kratos, the God-Slayer. Even more anticipated was what the game had to offer: fantastic back-story, online game play, and (of course) extreme violence. God of War (GoW) has always been a brutal game, ever since gamers first gouged out eyes from Hydras just to retrieve a key in the first installment.
However, as years have gone by, each GoW game has upped the ante; the violence has become the most brutal it has ever been. Fans have always enjoyed watching this vengeful Spartan take and destroy thousands of Greek myths with a slash of his Blades of Chaos. However, the new kills available in God of War: Ascension, are far more brutal than its previous predecessors. Even the scene where Kratos ripped of the head of Helios (the Greek sun-god) in GoW 3 stands little chance to this new game. It brought an eternally controversial question to mind: when and why are video games so violent?
Well, this is a possible theory. The origins of humans (scientific or religious) all share one thing in common: our ancestors all began as nomads. Before domestication ancient humans roamed around with their meals. While roaming, it is entirely possible for the nomads to meet another tribe of humans. Nomads only knew three things: eat, mate, and fight. Nomads had to fight against one another to survive the harsh world our planet once was.
As ages passed on, violence became a dominant trait for humans. Sparta was a Greek city made of soldiers and an almost undefeatable army. Romans, a normally cultured people, created the Coliseum to watch violent battles for entertainment. Assassination, piracy, war; humans have a tendency to have violence in their lives.
Of course, humans have become more civilized as time continued to flow. Laws and regulation flooded human society, hoping to quell the violent natures that have followed us for centuries. Humans are still violent today. Murder and other crimes are still a very real concept. Luckily, the law is quickly dispatched and eliminates the threat with little collateral damage. However, as Alan Grant (Sam Neill) once said in Jurassic Park, “You can’t quell 65 million years of gut instinct.”
So what are humans to do? What could they use as an outlet for violent behaviors? The answer revealed itself through the game that started the ESRB rating system: Mortal Kombat. This game started the rating system when arcade players became obsessed with the fatalities they could perform in the game. However, thousands actually had issues with the game and tried to ban it permanently. Eventually, the rating system would be created so that games such as Mortal Kombat could be filtered and slowly fade into history.
Just the opposite happened in the end. Since then, many other games have come out with violent concepts (although nowhere near the concept) of Mortal Kombat. And, just like Mortal Kombat, violent video games have become one of gaming’s most prominent genres. Not only in gaming, but action movies, horrors, and even comedies (only miniscule in the last category), violence has begun to appear everywhere. Why would people create more violent things when they once wanted to remove them all together? The answer is very simple: they enjoy the violence. Whether it be an all-out gun fight or a simple fist breaking a nose, humans love to watch a violent scene occur.
Violence occurs everywhere. People don’t know why, but it is the truth. And violence has become popular. However, the times and laws have changed, making people seek out indirect methods for violence. Movies and games have filled that spot. In no way do I say that violence has benefited humanity. However, while it is true that there are humans that cannot even stand violence at all, it does not change the fact that human history has been largely written due to the violence nature of our ancestors.


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