Pro vs Con in this debate is NOT ABOUT IF VVGs should be played (at all), it is if they should be censored and controlled.
Pro has tried to alter the dynamic of this debate to be Con denying violent video games existing at all. No. There is a difference between a video game having the most graphic and realistic violence imaginable as a commonplace feature in the game and a game having an unrealistic gun, non-human and non-animal like characters and it merely seeming like a very fast 'sport' of sorts.
To me, there's a massive difference between a thrilling action game with no realistic violence and a severe gang rape scene where you spend 8 minutes tormenting the victims' husband and beating him to death before 'enjoying' her. That is just the tiniest glimpse of what kind of stuff is censored.
Let me just establish something about the flaw in Pro's Round 1:
A) Violent video games (VVG's) are acceptable by Kant because the characters do not hold same value as human beings.
However, when real humans are influenced in the direction of valuing real human beings as little as the characters (instead of the opposite) that becomes the precise issue.
B) VVG's are acceptable under Aristotle's thinking, because games can force moral choices to make meaningful messages
Wrong. This is firstly absolutely nothing to do with Aristotle's thinking, he doesn't say making moral choices is automatically resulting in the correct choice being taken.
As for what this implies, VVGs that are so gruesome and realistic that they are basically an action horror/thriller 18+ movie turned into a game are probably the worst game-type to help the brain learn meaningful decision making of any kind. You just spam buttons and get off on the violence, at most you make tactical decisions about how to win fights.
C) Under utilitarianism,
Sure, utilitarianism is very important in this debate, thanks for bringing it up.
Now, let's get to the real juicy stuff.
Pro ignores that harms video games cause real human beings. My rebuttal to his Kant point explains what actually happens with VVGs to those affected by them. I have never come across someone who enjoys and will purchase VVGs that are so bad they should be censored (but which made it to market anyway, though the gaming industry has got better at censoring things nowadays in 2021) that values the game character as much as real human beings that way around. Instead, what happens is that they potentially, and by potentially I mean it does happen to quite a few not just theoretically, find the concept and genuine act of brutally harming, maiming, tormenting, even raping another human being as 'fun' or a 'light topic' to talk about.
To be clear, I don't think Pro is correctly depicting to you just how bad uncensored violence is.
PLEASE DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU ARE VERY SENSITIVE OR UNDERAGE TO PERCEIVE SEVERE VIOLENCE, I NEED TO HINT AT AND DESCRIBE HOW BAD IT CAN GET.
Do you understand how bad a video game can get? Manhunt 2 and games like it involve taking a crowbar to someone's skin, bones, eyes, you can imagine what is done. It's displayed in extremely clear HD graphics. You can say 18+ is enough but any adult who has a minor or sensitive adult (yes adult) in the home could expose them to it fairly easily and accidentally. That said, it's a fair enough argument that that's their fault and they should be held responsible. So, what exactly makes adults so immune to violence? Nothing at all, really.
Unlike pornography, there is never an age where a human naturally gains the innate urge to beat the absolute living shit out of another human being. Some have severely sadistic fantasies, anger issues and thrillseeking tendencies that do result in enjoying violence to unhealthy levels however there is nothing in us that leads to that. Male-sex individuals will experience an increase in raw aggression because of what testosterone does to the body and mind and since they're not so used to it puberty will change them in that direction but that's not close to the level of violence I'm implying.
I want you to a second imagine a human head and neck, or even an animal in a slaughterhouse's general upper body, let alone backside. Now imagine the upper-limit of brutality, skin ripping, flesh, weapon-based abuse to the person you can without wincing. Really close your eyes and do this, if you don't want to then admit how sickening it is. I am asking people who don't believe it to properly experience it first-hand.
This is not a healthy urge to even be simulating the experience of or lust towards. This is extremely dangerous to encourage someone to indulge in. While not all video game enthusiasts who enjoy first-person shooters go shooting everyone, there slowly becomes a fine line when the games get too realistic and brutal in what they accustom the player's mind to be okay with seeing (and eventually dreaming, which alters you at a subconscious level).
In the description of this debate, there is a definition:
Censor: examine (a book, movie, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it.
This is not what Pro is implying. Pro is implying that Con has to advocate for the abolition of the entire genre of Violent, Action-packed video games.
Perhaps the most iconic fighting franchise of all time, Mortal Kombat
never skimped on the blood and gore, whether it was Johnny Cage literally punching someone's head off or Sub-Zero ripping out his opponent's spine.
Released in 1992 on the Sega CD, Night Trap
used full-motion video to suggest violence and murder as vampire-like creatures known as Augers stalked teenage girls through a mansion.
While racing titles are common in video games, ones that give you bonuses for running over pedestrians are not. That led some countries, including Germany, to censor Carmageddon
. Pedestrians were replaced with zombies and robots. Brazil outright banned the title.
This 2003 survival horror title, filled with gruesome executions, is considered one of the most graphic and violent video games ever. It was banned from sale in Australia.
also wound up at the center of the investigation of the murder of a 14-year-old in England.
One of the first controversial games, this Atari 2600 game from 1982 featured a naked General Custer who rapes bound Native American women.
While the game sold more copies than others released by publisher Mystique, the controversy eventually led to it being removed from circulation.
It should come as no surprise that the Grand Theft Auto
series has been courting criticism since its very beginning. The games include violence, killing (even cops), drug use and torture.
While GTA has become one of the most popular franchises in gaming with 15 titles thus far, that has not stopped some countries -- including Thailand and the United Arab Emirates -- from banning the series.
As the name suggests, Postal
follows a man with mental health problems as he kills civilians and law enforcement. The game was popular enough that sequels, spinoffs and a (terrible) film were all made.
Its sequel, Postal 2
, was banned in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Germany and Sweden.
This game proved controversial, in part, as the first high-profile FPS released after the massacre at Columbine High School.
Its portrayal of violence earned Kingpin: Life of Crime
a mention in the US Senate. Some stores, including Toys R Us, refused to carry it.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
This game drew heavy criticism for its "No Russian" mission, which allows you to take part in mass shooting attack at a Moscow airport and murder civilians. The mission was removed entirely from the game in Russia.
While there are many violent survivor horror games, Rule of Rose
came under fire due to the young age of the characters in the game.
While it was released in the US on the Sony PlayStation 2, the game was canceled in the UK shortly before release.
The sixth installment in the Silent Hill
franchise was also the most graphic. Due to its content, which included torture, dismembered bodies and decapitations, the game was banned in Australia and Germany.
That is just a glimpse of games that were actually created and got banned for how brutal and/or gory they were. The reasoning? Mental scarring and potential violent acts that could result from what it did to the minds of those that played it and took it into their subconscious mind.
Dreams overall can have much more of an impact on our brains than we’d like to believe. Whether it is affecting our moods, relationships, or defining issues and problems in our lives, it is clear that dreams can affect our day-to-day actions without our knowledge. So next time you wake up in the middle of the night due to a crazy man chasing you down the street, remember to define the context of the chase and identify the man pursuing you.
This study even proves that we dream about things we don't consciously realise impacted us and set into our memory throughout the day:
^ study focused on amnesia patients.
If you are a person of normal memory and play a brutally violent videogame, even if you don't realise how much that impacted you, it will. The reason videogames are only borderline increasing aggression at the moment is because they already are being censored, you have no clue the kinds of games that could/would be invented if people thought they could put the effort in and it wouldn't get banned.
This is a debate about limiting how violent and horrific video games can get, nail-ripping, eye-gouging, brutalising one person while you hurt another they care about in front of them, normalising mass murder as a 'lol it's just characters' concept (which devalues real people, not the other way around so Kant is irrelevant) all apply.