I’m quitting violent video games

I used to be a frequent gamer, playing mostly Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft, and Dota 2. Although I haven’t played them much recently, I’m now quitting playing and watching them altogether, because the main objective in the game is to kill or otherwise destroy your opponents.

Recently while playing Dota 2, I reflected for a moment as players insulted and cursed at each other over chat. I concluded that the game pitting players against each other, and the intense violence of the game, was feeding their anger and hate. The verbal abuse, of course, is not restricted to those on the opposing team. A participant’s entire outlook on the game is essentially hateful and violent.

There is excessive violence in other forms of media, but video games in particular put participants in the same violent situations over and over without encouraging reflection on the nature or necessity of the violence. Of course, if a movie or TV series used mindless violence as entertainment, I wouldn’t support it either.

Violent video games have been successful in attracting large audiences, but I won’t be among the participants going forward. I believe that with creativity, video games can be fun, challenging, and even competitive without being violent. I hope such games become the norm rather than the exception.