Game Violence: Minecraft and First Person Lover

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Game Violence: Minecraft and First Person Lover

Game violence has long been a hot-button topic for gamers, and for those who would rather gamers not be gamers but rather be sports viewers or something else entirely. While some believe that game violence leaves us twisted horrible wrecks of humanity, unable to spawn even basic feelings of tenderness or compassion or even conscience, others believe that the people who believe what was just mentioned are so full of it they squeak when they walk. And recently, we got a look at two examples of video game violence that aren't exactly what you'd expect.

First, we go out to Sweden, where the game “First Person Lover” was developed as part of a marketing campaign for Swedish clothier Bjorn Borg, according to reports. Players dress characters in the Bjorn Borg 2015 spring / summer line then go forth to “strip the hate away,” by using a series of love-themed weapons—the kiss gun, the petal shotgun, the rainbow crossbow, the bubble blaster, and the teddy grenade—to peel off the clothes of our enemies and replace said clothes with Bjorn Borg apparel, thus ridding the world of hatred, ostensibly unless you've instead joined the Big 'n' Tall Resistance.

Then we go to Turkey, where the Turkish government is reportedly looking to ban a certain violent video game for its effects on children and families. Fearing that the game may “promote aggression” , the Turkish family and social policies minister Aysenur Islam has ordered an investigation into the title. You've probably already got a running list in your head of titles that may well fit this investigation, but you'll likely be stunned to find it's not on your list. More specifically, it's "Minecraf"t. The Turkish authorities are reportedly concerned that "Minecraft" “...sends a message to children that hitting animals and people is fine.” The collective sound of the resulting facepalm from the gamer community could be heard as far away as, by some reports, Guam.

So we can see here two fundamentally different looks at gaming violence. One in which the violence has been replaced with involuntary acts of love, and one in which the violence is extremely overexaggerated for reasons that stagger the mind. The idea that anyone could find objectionable content in "Minecraft" is an idea that's almost unfathomable; someone really needs to tell the Turkish government about “Peaceful” mode, in which there are no monsters on hand at all aside from those you hit only to render into meat, an activity engaged in almost daily in Turkey. While it would be easily also to consider First Person Lover as a game that goes a bit too far, it's also a noteworthy point in that it's basically the same thing as a first person shooter, only without the shooting. At least, without the shooting of anything that might outright kill a person; while it's basically the same concept, by using completely different weapons, it's suddenly turned a game commonly objected to into what's almost a parody of itself, a kind of self-effacing version that almost dares you to call it too violent. It's the same game, really, whether you're firing kisses to redress someone in Bjorn Borg gear or attempting to splatter someone's head from a hundred feet out with a sniper rifle; the only thing that's different here are the graphics.

Maybe "Minecraft" will prove to be the Waterloo for an overreactive Turkish government. Maybe "First Person Lover" will show us all how insane it is to be concerned about video game violence when the same mechanics can be so thoroughly turned on their head as to be unrecognizable. Maybe we'll all find that, at the end of the day, there are bigger things to worry about than video game violence. But regardless, there's certainly plenty for us to consider in the entire issue.

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