Calling out to mothers and fathers: play the games (video games, cell phone games, Playstation, anything!) that your daughters and sons usually play. Write a short review, looking at the game from the point of view of its female characters, the vocabulary used, the violence directed at women, and anything else you feel is important. Tell us what's good, tell us what really needs to change. Send it to us, post it on your blog or facebook, tweet it, email it to your friends, and share it with your children.

Don't take anyone's word for it. Play the games yourself! After all, games both mirror and inspire reality!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reflections: violence games laying grounds for a perverse society

This one is from Hemant, a Master's student in Defence Studies at the University of Madras.

Violent games: laying grounds for a perverse society

The gaming industry is a $10 billion dollar industry in the US alone and there is seldom place for ethical or moral standpoints. Obviously, we aren't looking at a 'dharma' propelled game! However, people needn't design games that bulldoze it either! There is a remarkable increase in the number of games that have featured violence* as their central theme. With that, arrive the kickbacks of nudity, sex, and abusive language. A considerable proportion, ~40%, feature women as the central figures; a large proportion of the rest feature women as objects of use, misuse, and abuse. Games, in certain exaggerated cases, have acted as violence triggers; in the game, an environment is simulated whose image the gamer is able to relate in his real world - the world that he walks in. Violent games thus are likely to tend to distort the viewing lens of the gamers; much like porn, much like smoking. A large proportion of such users aren't the educated ones bored to death at home or work; these include a lot of teens, adolescents, and young adults who are in the process of building up mental imagery of the very 'tomorrows' that we seek to protect and gender violence that we seek to eliminate. A regular dose of nudity, violence, mixed with profanity, and voyeurism: aren't games building up a perverse society?

*violence - includes bloodshed, gore, indiscriminate killings, rape, prostitution, et similar.

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