Video games come in a variety of types and genres. These include racing games, puzzle games, platformers, first-person shooters, fighting games, indie games, and more. When classifying games, the question of violence is a somewhat common one and one that has sparked political conversations and a number of debates. But the fact remains that violent games can be wildly fun and need a real comeback within the gaming industry.
Violence Gone Bye
Years ago, games were very violent. This can be tracked back to the '90s with games like Doom, Mortal Kombat, and a variety of others. The rise of the 3D genre would later see gore in games like Resident Evil and games from later generations like Halo: Combat Evolved would further escalate the level of realistic violence seen in games. The HD console generation seemingly brought violence in games to a comical climax with über violent titles like Gears of War, Dead Rising, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and God of War III.
Since the early 2010s, gaming violence has gotten considerably tamer. Although titles like Mortal Kombat entries and Doom installments are still in existence, violence has largely mellowed out. The aforementioned Halo series has since become much less violent. With Halo 5: Guardians, for example, the game was rated "T." This wasn't a point of huge controversy, but it didn't go by unnoticed and signified that the Halo series would be relegated to being less serious than some of its more "mature" brethren.
Embrace The Violence
The point simply is that more games ought to incorporate more of the excessive and campy violence that gamers have previously seen throughout the years. It isn't to be enjoyed morbidly but it rather adds a dark sense of humor to the game and fosters a larger impact, for example, when one kills someone in a multiplayer match. Furthermore, violence is hard to seamlessly incorporate in movies, as hard as slasher films may have tried back in the day, either due to poor CGI effects or unconvincing practical effects.
Frankly, gaming is the best medium to incorporate violence to either make a statement or use it to ridiculous effect. Not to sound twisted, but being able to slash, smash, and thrash zombies in games like Dead Rising is far more fun than watching it on-screen in a film. Moreover, it also does not have the same aforementioned effect of satisfaction. In other words, being able to take down hordes of zombies yourself is inherently more fun, and more engaging, than seeing it reflected in a TV show or film.
The gaming medium also explores the idea of "ludic violence." In other words, gaming allows developers to design games with rather light-hearted or playful violence. While one might be tempted to say that this numbs gamers to violence in reality, violence can instead be implemented in a way that doesn't detract from its real-world impacts. Consider the epic proportions violence gives a game like God of War, which dives fully into a brutal mythology.
Games are not as violent as they once were. While this may appeal to some, including concerned parents and other worried audiences, it is also a sad shift for an industry where uses of excess blood and violence once somehow made experiences more light-hearted and engaging. Hopefully, this is an era we can return to at some point.