Virtual violence is still violence

I’ve started following We Hunted the Mammoth, an interesting blog that deals with problems of misogyny and shares my feminist opinions.  From what I can see, there’s always a huge discussion there and people actually use reasoning and do not stick to platitudes when explaining their point of view.

Recently, a new post has been published there and I decided to add my 3 eurocents to the comments.

I wrote:

Many accuse video games of increasing violence and causing psychological harm. I’m far from such biased views, but if we take a look at the history we can see that at some point games become violent. And I mean REALLY violent. Like psycho-crazy-rapist violent. Topics got darker, more gloomy, more gory. What was niche became a required feature. Graphics got better and we can now see everything in fine detail.

I think players were strongly influenced by those changes. They saw violent and criminal behaviour presented as acceptable, as excused by artistic licence. They got used to phenomenon of being violent in the reality of a game-world. They felt ok inside.

Soon after, Jono replied:

@slivarth, No I disagree. There’s virtually no evidence that violence in video games causes violence in real life. There are some studies that find a correlation and some that don’t. Overall though, correlation does not equal causation. Yes, I agree that there are some assholes in gaming but the majority of gamers are not assholes nor are they violent, myself included.

Well, I never said gamers become violent in real life. Such cases are extremely rare and hard to prove. What I meant was that gory violence inside games became staple of a modern storyline.

A note on the correlation/causation topic. I believe the correct phrase is correlation does not IMPLY causation which does not totally exclude B from being true if sentence A->B has to be changed to A->C.

Also the reaction of male gamers towards other people with different opinions is scary. There are no boundaries, they jump to death threats at the very begining!

Again, the question remains is the gaming industry attracting or creating such mindsets? As in any complex systems it might be a combination of both.