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Quick Quotes: John Carmack on violent games being cathartic

Saturday, 30th July 2011 21:22 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

“I really think, if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it’s cathartic. If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you’re probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think it’s at worst neutral and potentially positive.” – id’s John Carmack to IndustryGamers.

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12 Comments

  1. Night Hunter

    “I really think, if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it’s cathartic. If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you’re probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think it’s at worst neutral and potentially positive.”

    QFT! :)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. noherczeg

    I’d really like to see an interview at FOX with sir Carmack about this topic :D

    #2 3 years ago
  3. someguy2

    @2 They would slander the shit out of him because he made Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. MegaGeek1

    Ohhh, Finally Carmack quoted as saying something I liked. Its been a while.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    Yeah, I’m not so sure about this. I’ve played FPS games on XBL, it’s males and females flippin out like they just had a massive crack overdose.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. osric90

    There’s a lot more of chance that a kickboxer and/or football player will beat the hell out of you when drunk than a gamer.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @5

    What do you do when a game constantly kicks your ass? I know what I do. We all know what goes on at home is not how people are out in the public usually. Of course there will be people like Breivik and Columbine shooters who take it to another level but those are violent people drawn to violent games.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Amaterasu

    You know, there’s a second group lacking any kind of critical thinking or serious interest in discussing the topic of violence and video games other than politicians. And that’s gamers. The discourse is equally fucked up on either side of the fence and it’s just as idiotic to claim that games can’t have any connection to violent behaviour as it is to claim that games make sane and balanced people go bonkers.

    Games have become a fully-fledged (well, at least to some extent) medium with its own expressive and creative potential and, just like other media, they have the ability to affect people on an emotional level. So, rather than categorically deny even the remotest possibility of any connection between violent games and violent behaviour, why not lead a serious discussion and dissect the medium in question. There’s certainly no reason to believe that somebody in their right mind with a balanced social and personal life will suddenly start shooting people. But is it so unthinkable that a cornered, marginalized individual with radical views and trouble to fit into the societal order could be negatively influenced by a game?

    No! It’s not unthinkable! Just as it isn not unthinkable that a book, magazine, alcohol, drugs, and countless other factors could contribute, as a small part of a huge puzzle, admittely, to the radicalisation of such a person.

    So grow a pair and try to take some responsibility for the medium you adore. No one says all gamers are potential killers (and if they do, they should well be disregarded and banned from the public debate on this matter. But for the sake of games as an adult, expressive and powerful medium, let’s at least allow for a discussion to take place. That won’t happen as long as the (admittedly blunt and ignorant at times) criticism in the media is just (equally bluntly) dismissed and derided by players.

    So stand up and take some responsibility for this medium. Talk to people and explain to them what the difference is between violence in film, games and literature. Don’t just dismiss their fears, but take them seriously and ask yourself about the difference between protagonist-identification in film and player-control in games. Games have grown up (again, to a certain extent) and will continue getting more complex and tackling more complex subjects. In a similar vain to literature, film and numerous other media then, games have obtained responsibility and players should follow in taking this responsibility seriously.

    No time to proofread this, so pardon the casual spelling mistake.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. LOLshock94

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngt4dUGhiJE

    ^thats why mr carmack is an idiot

    #9 3 years ago
  10. MegaGeek1

    @9, ahahahahahahahahaha

    #10 3 years ago
  11. polygem

    100 % agree with this. not games make people violent. to think that there is a connection is truly retarded. violent people however can get attracted by entertainment products with violoent content in it. a game will never make a killer though. this debate is over for me for a long time now. it´s been repeating itself over and over again and the essence is that it was shallow and hypocritical right from the start and it stayed like that. it´s just trash. our society supports violence in every possible way, building weapons, fighting wars, letting people starve to death and abusing them, slaughtering animals in mass “production” for food etc. etc. all this often even in the name of religion. These contradictions of moral agreement in the society on the one hand and then acting totally opposite on the other hand is whats confusing for the youth and whats causing frustration and then aggression and in some cases serious mental issues. violent games might be a byproduct or a symptom for that “moral integrity” problem we have – but not the root. srry 4 bad english.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. klewd

    It’s cathartic for the same reason any sports is cathartic; evolutionary traits. See hunting hypothesis

    #12 3 years ago

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