I sat down this afternoon to play a video game my roommate bought a few years ago where it's the typical situation of me picking if I want to be an elf, barbarian, or whatever other strengths or weaknesses the races in the game have, and continue with the realtime RPG funtime until I either grow sick of it or defeat all my foes (far less likely). As these games have tended to go recently, I was faced with the choice between choosing good (the default plot of the game) or choosing evil, shown by the bright blue door, or the red flaming door.
I never liked choosing evil in these games because I always thought it'd affect me in some way.
Is this irrational?
Assuming there is a such a thing as evil and good, and good is preferrable to evil like my Christian roots will inform me, will my spirit be affected by playing a game where I choose malevolence over goodness? Is it just a game and it has absolutely no bearing on my moral strength or my life outside the game?
I find it absurd to say that video/computer games don't affect their players. They do. If I sit and play Gears of War for three hours, or decide to play the original Zelda, this will affect me. The question is whether or not it's negative.
I believe it is.
Have you ever been sucked into a video game where it becomes more real than your actual life? Do you think the decisions in that world where a person has immersed themselves make no difference in their real life, or even reflect who they are?
I am convinced these games are more influential than we might think. Look at those guys on youtube that scream and break things because of Halo or WOW.
This is not me being another voice condemning video games outright as evil. I enjoy them and will play them, but I will not separate them from the rest of my life and say that what I do in that time has no effect. It's ME playing the game. I am in control, so what I do says something.
This is one reason I never like Grand Theft Auto, Gears of War, or games of that ilk.
It undeniable that they're violent, and it's undeniable that we immerse ourselves in them.
It makes a difference somewhere, how much I don't know, but I do know it can't be overwhelmingly good.