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Is The Violent Nature Of Games Reflected In Gaming Communities?

Whenever I set out to defend gamers and the video game industry, I know that any curious researcher could find some potential proof of violence begetting aggressive behavior.

Anybody who has spent any time on an active forum or message board knows just how petty, immature, melodramatic and even downright hostile its members can be. As we continue to fight the politicians and lawmakers, maybe we should realize that we're shooting ourselves in the foot on a daily basis.

I understand that anonymity brings out the worst in people, and most forums on the Internet that consist of passionate fans are filled with embarrassing content. I get that. There's no doubt that anonymity is one of the inherent evils of the Internet. It's also true that fans of other entertainment venues (movies, music, TV, etc.) can be just as overbearing, just as childish, just as depressingly adolescent. All that being said, I don't think any of them can rival certain game communities in terms of cringe-worthy crap. Furthermore, I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask: Given that the majority of games today are indeed quite violent, is that violence simply being reflected in virtual aggressive behavior?

One of these days, a scientist is going to use a pile of nasty content gathered from various boards and communities, and we're going to be royally screwed. It doesn't help that we already have plenty of evidence of death threats being sent from gamers to developers. Toss in the absolutely disgusting filth filling the online multiplayer airwaves, and it's difficult to argue the point. There's no point in railing against the clueless and the biased when there are countless examples of rampant childishness on the part of gamers. We should probably remember that.

Tags: video games, violent games, violence in games, gaming industry

10/16/2013 9:39:22 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (51 posts)

Ather
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:01:18 PM
Reply

You know what? if games are making people violent, that's far better than physically violent. We should take what we can get. Nobody's complaining about verbal abuse after all.

Yes, verbal abuse is also wrong. Just the lesser of two evils.

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greg238
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:19:07 PM
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Idk what wrong wit people I been playing violent games since I was little nd nothing guess some people don't kno the difference between real nd fictional on another note just got my copy of beyond today this game is sick I really need to play heavy

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greg238
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:24:25 PM
Reply

Heavy rain dang typos

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Temjin001
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:29:54 PM
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this is one of the few boards I post on because Ben lays the smack down on idiots.

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ethird1
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 3:56:34 AM

if your nose was any farther up Buttka's butt you would not be able to breathe.

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Underdog15
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 7:45:54 AM

I can't imagine what it'd be like to have my nose up my own, however.

Care to enlighten, ethird?

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Temjin001
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 10:47:39 AM

now tell us how you really feel about it, ethird...

come on. let it all out.

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:11:24 AM

Thank you for contributing to what Ben was talking about and not contributing anything rationale out of that trap you call a mouth.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:17:48 AM

Don't take it seriously. ethird has made it plain in the past that reading his posts permanently lowers IQ.

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Draguss
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:39:39 PM
Reply

Maybe you just notice it more from the gaming community because you're more involved with it. Hardcore gamers are nerds, nerds are very passionate about our interests. You should see some anime forums sometimes.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:48:16 PM

I stay out of them, I love anime but I can't handle that much "passion".

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:47:08 PM
Reply

I think... hmmm... I reckon gaming is a sanctuary for those with much difficulty in real life. That doesn't mean games make people monsters, but rather that it just happens to be a hobby that attracts a lot of immaturity and yeah probably encourages it (online gaming is a pissing contest in motion). All violent thoughts science can find attached to entertainment are briefly experienced, meaning in the time it takes to get from the console to the computer.

We just have to bear in mind that correlations don't prove cause and effect. Just like every time the news announces that whoever drinks Diet soda is 3 times more likely to be a serial killer, it doesn't necessarily mean anything.

I follow politics regularly, politicians should look at the horrors committed on their boards and draw some conclusions from that. It's ten times worse than anything on a gaming board.



Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 10/16/2013 10:48:50 PM

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Teddie9
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 10:59:08 PM
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I myself don't seem to fit the bill, and neither do most of the gamers who regularly post on this site.

That being said most of the people on this site doesn't at all reflect what goes on at most places. The nature of Ben's articles attracts a very different crowd. I'm glad it exists but sadly we aren't the norm.

It may not be specifically violence. Given that gamers, unlike movie, book, or tv fans, do not invest their time with the material merely watching it but actually learn the economic, combat, social and other gameplay systems, their attachment to the characters, story and the realm itself might be more intense IN GENERAL.

Even online multiplayer feuds are usually over people being sore losers or making fun of players who are less skilled. That really is part of competition on a broad scale.

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tes37
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 11:02:52 PM
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It wouldn't hurt my feelings if violence was removed from videogames. I've played a lot of games that didn't contain violence and had fun with them. I've seen a lot of different types of games since the 70's and violence was never a selling point for me.

It could be that violent natured people are drawn to the types of games that have violent content. Spying on gamers through the internet and targeting the people who only play games with violent content is a real possibility. Who's up for a round of government game lag?

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ethird1
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 3:58:06 AM

No violence in videogames? Does mommy give you a hug before she tucks you in, right before she cuts the lights out in her basement for you to sleep? Huggywugguy wussyboy!

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tes37
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 8:20:45 AM

For your information, its your mommy's basement that I live in. Don't hate on me because I like saggy titty freaks.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 10:48:26 AM

ethird's mom has got a wooden leg with a birdhouse in it, what?

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Teddie9
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:26:21 AM

@ethird

He's not crying for it, only that he wouldn't mind. Perhaps we could all take a break.

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PC_Max
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 11:41:15 PM
Reply

Hmmmm...

When its comes down to forums and communities online with the benefit of anonymity brings out the nastiness in people. Many people, but I cannot say most as how can one quantify it. No with online poles.

Anonymity makes people brave to either speak the truth or as becoming more apparent theses days... bullying.

I am sure DURING gameplay in violent games when someone does not get what they want it feeds their emotions and brings out the worse that may or may not already be there.

In all honesty, I think people like to hate and like to hurt. It makes them feel better about themselves and being anonymous they know they are safe from any consequences... to a point. If they get banned, they just open another account under a diff email and name. Easy. And the cycle continues.

And this is not exclusive to games or game forums.

I find most here on this site so far the best community I have come across which is why I linger here like a wart on someones a**. :)

People here are generally good whether they agree with your opinions or not.

I will say this and I am sure I will get in trouble for it...

Stupid people shouldn't breed. They have a right to, but they just shouldn't. The do keep things... interesting at times though.

Keep playing and peace!

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ethird1
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 3:59:21 AM

Please don't be mean to PC Max. It hurts his wussy feeeeeeeelings. Awe. Someone give punkypoo a hug.

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PC_Max
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 12:11:57 PM

Hahaha.. glad you did not call me "Snuggle Bunny"! lol. Ah the awful memories. lol.

Keep playing and peace!

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homura
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 11:50:59 PM
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I'm just glad that we have come along way now from the violent days of Gladiator fights as entertainment and a heated disagreement in a forum or debate will be settled in a gentlemen duel to the death.

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ethird1
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 3:55:22 AM

Wussy.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 3:10:49 AM
Reply

I think that a lot of it can be drawn back to the moderators and writers of such sites a lot of the time. Having an author's bias clearly represented within the article basically attracts vitriol, and that is allowed to get out of hand too frequently. I'm not saying that it's necessarily the fault of the journalists (real or otherwise), but they don't help the cause often enough. Really though, people just need to calm down and stop making out as though they're 'internet tough guys', because it's nothing short of ridiculous.

Do I think that the violent nature of most games gives rise to the abuse flung about on forums? I'd have to say no. We're a passionate bunch, and we do sometimes find it difficult to face up to the differing opinion of others. That doesn't excuse us from making prats of ourselves in any way, shape or form, but it's just another reason for us to keep our collective tempers in check, especially when you consider that you can write a 1000 words of hate on a forum and have it mean, literally, nothing.

And with that... I'd like to sample a piece of a speech from The Great Dictator starring Charlie Chaplin. Just replace the aeroplane and radio with the internet:

"We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost....

"The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all."

Discovered it on Bliss and Eso's latest album, and absolutely fell in love with what it says. :)

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ethird1
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 4:01:42 AM
Reply

We are all violent in some way. We need to get it out somehow, every now and then, as it is just as part of being human as being in love is.

So shut your wussy mouths(I looking at you Butka! Get your FF 10 part 2 dresses ready!) Cause if you ever play BF 4 I am going to run over your face with a tank!

Hugs for everyone!

End of line.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 4:32:34 AM

How are you not banned yet?

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ethird1
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 4:53:42 AM

You have a name like Lawless and act more like a mommys boy than anyone here. Pathetic.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 6:11:08 AM

I shouldn't waste my time on the likes of you but...

I'd like to know why you think I act like a 'mommy's boy'. Is it because I try to put forth a rational and intelligent post whenever I take the time to, and a polite one most of the time? Is it because I appear to dislike violence and conflict in general, while still admitting the necessity of these things? Or is it just because you're a little bit insecure about yourself.

If you really want to know, the nom de plume that I use here isn't meant to imply that the heart of an anarchist pumps away within my chest... It's actually inspired by the fact that I was a sh*t-stirrer in the LAN parties that used to be held back in my high school days.

What's pathetic is you sniping at people, denigrating and insulting them based on what they have to say simply because you're so damn "alpha". The way you keep showing up here to attack Ben and selected community members makes me think that you suffer from a Napoleon Complex. And... the floor is yours, my friend, to prove yourself either worthwhile of any further discourse or a complete fool that I shall unreservedly ignore going forward.

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Beamboom
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 6:24:26 AM

I guess this confirmed the question raised.

Time to move on. Next qestion: Are all gamers by nature immature and socially challenged?

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 6:54:33 AM

*looks askance at Beamboom*

Maybe it's because it's difficult to gauge intent in context-free text but I get the feeling I should be faintly insulted. Are you insinuating that this exchange implies that both ethird and I are immature and socially stunted... and violently inclined? Or am I just insecure?

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Beamboom
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 9:33:59 AM

No it was not directed at you at all, darling. :)

But generally speaking I do feel immaturity and socially challenged is a staple of the gaming communities too.
In the gaming community I do feel very, very old at times.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:19:44 AM

Usually, it's just ethird's style to act like a complete ass. But I always figured it was an act. Now...

You're going to tone it down or you WILL be gone. I mean, thanks for proving my point and everything by being THAT stupid, but you've been flaming throughout this entire thread. So stop or get out.

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Underdog15
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 12:38:52 AM

I dunno about you guys, but I love my mommy to bits! I don't get to see her much these days! I miss her delicious chowder and listening ear!

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 5:54:43 AM
Reply

But that isn't just the gaming community, you get morons on every forum and the things internet culture implores such stupidity with meme's and terms such as 'Troll'. I for one am sick of it. But as the internet is still in growing pains, we have to put up with such problems.

But regarding violence. I don't know. I know some people who shout and curse when they play CoD online, but are the kindest people otherwise. Games like that do bring out a competitive nature in people and this is not something that is just with gaming. I remember seeing people just get as competitive and moany back at school in sports.

My problem is that the majority of AAA titles require you to kill someone frequently. It is getting a bit tedious now. To the point where I am getting tired of shooting people in games. But as gaming is now trying to change its imagine in culture and be more than a diversion for kids it is focusing on more violence. And this not to be mistaking with maturity, just because it has 18+ content doesn't mean the game is mature. I look at some games like Saints Row or Lolly Pop chainsaw and can't believe adults buy into it. I miss the joy of platformers without guns or Grand adventures in JRPG's and thought out this gen we've lost that sense of diversity the PS1/PS2 had.

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Underdog15
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 7:51:29 AM
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I don't think the forum issue is from video games or video game culture, though. I think people behave that way because it's anonymous. I see the same hostile attitudes on other forums too. Heck, I've seen it on a mom's forum my wife is on that is dedicated to cloth diapers. lol!

For example, I know Ben's into weightlifting and we've seen him in some PSXE videos. I betcha a million bucks if ethird was standing in front of him, he wouldn't say a damn thing. LOL!

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shaydey77
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 7:58:36 AM
Reply

Yes, it is reflective in SOME gaming communities...but not others.

I've never felt a violent 'vibe' from this community and do appreciate the thoughts and opinions of most on here.

If it was violent or abusive, I just wouldnt be a part of it. As for playing online with people that are vulgar tounged well I'm glad they have a mute button.

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PSN French
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 9:33:26 AM
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I can't believe I still come on this site. So, you're telling me that arguing and talking big on forums is an act of violence? I cannot believe there are so many people that cannot think for themselves, they just roll with what they are told. I'm sorry that you label people violent that are extreme about their opinions.

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:09:40 AM

Don't let the door hit you on your way out. Your "radical" views are not the same like in this community. You have shown your immaturity plenty of times and you will not be missed.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:20:47 AM

And I'm sorry you can't read. Later.

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Teddie9
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 11:30:04 AM

Did you get through grade school? READ THE TITLE:

Is there a word (my guess is reflected) that you don't know the meaning of?

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Underdog15
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 12:39:52 AM

How do you not have polio yet? I wish you could learn to think for yourself, PSNFrench. Always believing every conspiracy theory thrown your way.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 10/18/2013 12:40:40 AM

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PSN French
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 6:27:20 AM

I just don't get the simplicity of judgement. It is dangerous to assume so much about what is told online. It's like THIS argument, are we really violent people because we disagree? Hate me for my opinions if you please, but I would never call you violent.

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PSN French
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 6:28:34 AM

@underdog15... it's now called aeseptic meningitis, not polio. You would know this if you researched, but it is very surprising you remember that about me, how little I actually comment. I enjoy this site for gaming info, but the political banter gets frustrating. Why do we label gamers in a way that keeps gaming from being recognized as viable entertainment? ... My point was that online you get no real information of another, so why is it assumable? Yes, Ben I can read, but why are alternate opinions so hated here?


Last edited by PSN French on 10/18/2013 6:32:50 AM

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PSN French
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 6:36:26 AM

Ben, I do want to end with one opinion. I am sorry if I have sounded like I judge opinions here. In reality, I just don't get why so many people want to point the finger at others. I wish more people lived and learned like Bob Marley did in his life. I try to be respectful, but I disagree with a stereotype on gamers.

Last edited by PSN French on 10/18/2013 6:42:43 AM

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Underdog15
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 8:10:07 AM

I have researched it, and you're incorrect. Aseptic Myelitis and Poliomyelitis is not the same thing. I've even explained the whole thing to you before in great detail. It didn't educate you the first time, so I'm not wasting my breath a second time.

And you still haven't read the article, it seems. It's not about people being violent because they disagree online... like at all.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 10/18/2013 8:13:10 AM

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Underdog15
Sunday, October 20, 2013 @ 1:48:17 AM

P.s. It shouldn't be surprising I remember you despite how little you comment. You think polio vaccinations make polio worse... like.... no one in their right mind thinks that. Of course I remember such outrageously humorous and outlandish ideals.

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Thinker
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 10:48:20 AM
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In my opinion, the "Internet violence" in gaming communities is more of a reflection of the tribalism of any group of people with common interests.

For example, just take people supporting a football team vs another one, or baseball, or any other sport, or even things like patriotism, which has been called by one person as more often being a veneration of real estate over principles. And of course, religious fanatics.

Therefore, imo, the gaming community, as divided by platform (PS/XBox/Nintendo) exhibits the same virtual violence as other communities. When you consider that other such groups (e.g. sports) are prone to more frequent, ACTUAL violence, we are probably better off.

Last edited by Thinker on 10/17/2013 10:48:57 AM

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Brighat
Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 12:35:31 PM
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As someone who has been in a lot of Internet wars online, I can relate. I don't play violent games exclusively as I like to mix some E10 games in my playlist as well as old-school games. My attempts to tell people that they are wasting their money by supporting a company that treats their customers like ATMs and then being insulted over it usually starts the wars.

There are a lot of frustrated young people who might be having trouble getting somewhere in the world and the Internet is where they go to let out their frustrations. If somebody takes a shot at me over a comment that is a fact, that's a problem. Too many people use the anonymity of the Internet to get into fights; I'm one of them. However, I only do it if I said something that was pretty much the truth and get ripped for it. People who give out naked facts shouldn't have to go through Internet grief.

I'd have no problem if anonymity was abolished online and everybody had to show their face at all times. That's a long way from happening, though. People aren't ready for a Big Brother on the Internet landscape due to security.

Video gamers are a very serious bunch but sometimes we need to step back and realize it's just a hobby. I doubt coin collectors insult each other on message boards. Of course, it doesn't help that most of the vocal video gamers are 10-25 year old males. That's who most companies that release M-rated games cater to.

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Underdog15
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 12:42:09 AM
Reply

Sometimes I battle hard on the internet. But I'm one of the rare few that actually -would- be confrontational in person. At least on issues I feel strongly about, anyways. But physically violent? Nope.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 6:15:14 AM
Reply

yeah i think the community as a whole is like this but there is a few like this one which is usually pritty gud but yes as a whole the gaming community is pritty violent.

happy gaming =)

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Lunar_Miyuki
Sunday, October 27, 2013 @ 5:13:19 AM
Reply

its not videogames that make people violent its not movies its not anime its not TV
its the way were raised and when were online we honestly don't care about the person were talking to especially if we had a terrible day

you see online people can say whatever they want and will say whatever they want

anime forums ive seen so many death threats to tite kubo because he turned bleach into a nightmare

game forums we have death threats to developers for making games worse

wrestling forums we have death threats to wrestlers because we don't like their storylines
example mumhadded hassan was playing a storyline where he was from the middle east after the twin towers was crashed into in America he got constant death threats online and in person because of the storyline

more recent the WWE crowd had signs at live events saying if Cena wins we riot

yea yea we as gamers over use the word Kill because its natural to us because we have come accustomed to saying i need to kill this enemy but we know the difference between reality and fiction

Music artists have been killed over their Music like Dimebag in Pantera

to say us gamers are the most violent people is plain ignorance
when they should look at the murders people re created from movies
the murders people committed over not liking certain types of music
the death threats people get for doing a similar storyline to a terrorist

they should look at the stuff that happens directly rather than look at the stuff thats said on the webs

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