Friday 12 August 2011

I Blame Riots For Grand Theft Auto

Nee naw nee naw

The people who blame videogames for violence, especially for the sort of riot based violence the summer of 2011 specialised in are fucking idiots. I have no intention of getting into the giant clusterbomb of discussing why riots happen, or how you stop them because I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. I’m an awesome game designer, not a sociologist/politician/gobshite.

What I know about isn’t poverty or depravation or education or crime. What I know about is fun and games. See, the thing no-one really likes to talk about with riots is that they are, you know, a riot! They’re chaotic, social and, at the time, fun. They’re incredibly stupid and if you’re on the receiving end of one, completely terrifying, life-destroying and potentially fatal. But if you’re in one, in a huge, anonymous crowd of people being terribly naughty and doing all the things you kinda want to do but would never dare, then they are great. A carnival with free stuff and running and hiding and shouting and breaking stuff and standing still. Awesome!

Fuck the Police
We had a smashing time

Blaming games for riots, or indeed any anti-social or criminal activity gets the entire thing back to front. Riots aren’t fun because Grand Theft Auto is fun. Grand Theft Auto is fun because riots are fun. Doing what you’re not supposed to do, is fun. Smashing things up is fun. Setting things on fire, is fun. Running away from a slow, heavily armoured opponent is called kiting in computer games, is called fucking with the police during a riot and it too, is fun.

Most people would never actually do a riot because they understand that their bit of fun comes at an incredible and hideous cost to all concerned, same as most people would never commit murder or steal some shoes and run away or set fire to a policeman’s hat. But it’s not because we don’t want to do those things or because those things aren’t enjoyable at the time. It’s because we understand the implications and costs of our actions. 

Damn, it feels good to be a gangster
Computer games take those costs away and allow people to indulge those fantasies without the horrible implications, pain, death and moral vomit that they would otherwise cause. They isolate the fun part and present it alone, without care or worry for the player. Don’t blame the thrill of computer games for violence. Blame the thrill of violence for computer games.

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy that this needs saying. It does need saying.