Therapy From Violent Video Games?

There has been a good amount of controversy with violent video games over the years. People who don’t understand video games want to point their fingers at video games for some of the dark deeds done by humans over the years. It seems that parents and politicians are blaming video games rather than parenting and societal expectations. Do we have burst of rage that lead to killing sprees, by playing violent video games?


The quick answer is no. But don’t take my word for it let’s watch this short video.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the idea that playing a violent video game may be doing more good than harm. After a rough day, there are many ways to unwind. Many take to drinking themselves into a stupor, but that’s not everyone’s style. Many of us like to release our frustrations out in a way that causes less bodily harm by playing video games. For the average gamer, playing an excess of violent video games doesn’t cause us to go on a blood soaked rampage. It gives us an outlet for our pent-up emotions, and more often than not, a funny story to tell. Games like Grand Theft Auto get a bad reputation for being mindlessly violent, but it’s a form of entertainment, much like any movie or song.

Violence has been a part of our society long before any of us were born. One of the most iconic examples is the Roman Colosseum. Close to two-thousand years ago, tens of thousands flocked to this location to get a glimpse of the carnage that took place there. Even today, we create various forms of media to hypothesize the acts of valor and savagery that took place within those walls. If those acts still existed we would find them unethical, yet we continue to have the urge to witness that bloodshed in some form or another. We watch car races in hopes to see a 40 car pile-ups. We watch MMA(Mixed Martial Arts) in the hopes of seeing someone’s limb get snapped. We’re captivated by movies like Human Centipede and yet those ethics are not questioned publicly, why do video games tend to get singled out as the “bad guy”?

I believe games can be used as a tool for good. I’ve had the privilege of knowing men and women who have served for our country and many of those people play games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, ETC. You would think that war would be the last thing they’d want to see and yet here they are enjoying themselves. A good number of them had issues like PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder) and I’ve witnessed the pain and frustration that it can cause.  Something worth paying attention to is when I see them playing games, they are calm and focused. Many of our soldiers come back broken and video games are a key in helping to put back pieces of their mind. This is only my observation, but there are studies taking place that claim that virtual reality video games may be the best treatment for PTSD.

There will always be exceptions to any situation, but I truly believe that playing violent video games(in moderation) can do more good than harm. There will always be those who think that video games are a bad influence, but let’s prove them otherwise. For the video game developers, I challenge you to make games that invoke thoughts and feelings within us that get us asking questions. For the gamers, I ask that you remember that you represent a whole community and to act accordingly. For the parents that may read this, I would like to point out that video games are not babysitters; they are a form of entertainment and should be treated as such.