The concept that gaming makes a person violent is so old and clichéd at this stage that it should probably be viewed in 8-bit and get dug out of a landfill in El Paso. It’s as ancient as a Kabuto and stinks of more bullshit than The Great Mighty Poo. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a similarly charming theme song. Yet, it still seems to be an incredibly common subject matter and a reason for gaming to be frowned upon. Each time a new game with any form of violent concept within it is released, I’m bombarded with information about how playing said game will ultimately lead to the planet’s demise. We’ve all heard the worn our tale of how you can beat up a prostitute to steal your money back after paying for her services in the Grand Theft Auto games or how realistic the deathmatches are in Call of Duty games because you’re witnessing the action through the eyes of a killer. Of course it’s always worth mentioning the flack that Red Dead Redemption receives because it just happens to be made by RockStar, even though it’s just a harmless spaghetti western. That’s without even mentioning some of the other famous games that constantly get dragged back into this argument and used as cannon fodder against gamers the world over.
So what’s the big difference between this serial on-screen slaughter and the carnage within the cage at UFC? Reality, that’s what! The recent Ultimate Fighting Championship was host to some of the sickest scenery I’ve ever seen. Most of which I simply couldn’t stomach. The most noteworthy of all would be a brutal bout between Robbie Lawyer and Rory MacDonald which lasted just under the entirety of five rounds and resulted in one of the men looking like a walking shotgun wound. While Lawler had his top lip split all the way up to his nose, this almost seemed tame in compassion to MacDonald who received so many punches to his nose that not only did it break in the early moments of the fight but it was continuously used as a target until the man could no longer take the pain and simply covered his face and rolled into a ball. As this man’s spirit was crushed and he was reduced to child like state, sporting blood covered pulp where his face used to be, the crowd absolutely lost their shit with excitement. While watching MacDonald lose his fight and become a shell of the man he was when he entered the octagon 25 minutes previous, I lost my lunch. As the crowd cheered for the standing athlete and jeered at the one who had been floored, I couldn’t help but fight back tears at the sheer lack of humanity involved in this attraction.
These man aren’t heroes, they’re glorified thugs engaging in a barbaric storm of violence. I don’t believe that they should be looked up to for their talents within the octagon. Instead, I’ll happily admire fictional characters whose reasons for fighting are more than simply wanting to beat the other guy into submission. Characters that have class, have depth, and deserve my respect. Regardless of whether they are soul devouring vampires like Raziel, cybernetically enhanced humans like Raiden or ex-pro wrestling mayors of Metro City; these guys are worth so much more, in my opinion, than any one of the fighters I saw at UFC 189. Yet, the entire nation seems to be quite happy to drool over Conor McGregor and how badly he can hurt another living human, while they simultaneously inform me that gaming is dangerous.
And as the population of Ireland collectively kiss this man’s arse and view him as a living god, I’m just sitting here wondering how they intend on blaming it on Doom when some guy winds up dead inside the octagon.
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