Right before this past Christmas, my brother texted me, imploring me to give him some gift ideas. Apparently he was scrambling to purchase some last-minute presents. I responded to him, saying there were plenty of games and movies out there, and that he knew what I liked. He pressed for a list, so I texted him back with a handful of titles that sprang to mind.
When I looked back at the list I sent him, I thought, oh dear…I’m pretty addicted to violence. I had sent him 11 titles to choose from. All of them revolved around the simple premise of shooting people, aliens or other creatures. I thought to myself, damn, am I really that bad? So I took it a step further and looked at all the Playstation games I own. I have 15. Three are sports games, and one is a racing game. The rest are violent, nine of which are shooting games. Eight of them are rated mature by the ESRB. Yikes.
My penchant for mayhem isn’t just relegated to the games I buy, either. It’s also evident in what I play online. I won’t even bother with the online portion of a game unless there is some realistic violence involved. I love my baseball and my racing as much as anything, but they don’t get my online competitive juices flowing like a good, old-fashioned firefight does. Maybe I need that thought of, “Hey, if I turn this corner a bit too fast, I’m getting two in the chest and one in the head,” which isn’t re-created in anything but a realistic online shooting game. This might also explain why I prefer the SOCOMs and Counter Strikes of the world to something like Modern Warfare or Quake. In SOCOM, you make a wrong move, you’re dead and you’re sitting it out until the next round. You can’t get tension like that in anything else. Especially not something that doesn’t involve guns. At least, not from my perspective.
The interesting thing about this situation is that I tend to be quite the pacifist in real life. Sure, I might have been suspended from a few hockey games because of fighting. And I even trained at boxing for a couple of months after college. I’m not afraid to throw these tiny fists around when the need arises. I just tend to find other solutions to problems, solutions that don’t involve violence.
Besides, who am I kidding? I’m 5’7’’ and skinny. I would get destroyed in a fight.
It is a little peculiar, though. Someone who has never even handled a gun, let alone shot one, finds extreme pleasure in staring down the sights in a video game. I can assure you I’m almost completely mentally stable. I have no desire to hurt anyone I’ve ever met. I just like my virtual gunplay. A lot, apparently.
How does everyone else’s gaming collections reflect on their personalities?