Society assumes all video gamers are violent, dumb males. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are many female gamers and many games that don’t involve violence but rather intelligence and in some cases, genius. Violence isn’t always why people play video games; there are other reasons like storyline, and creativity. Video games aren’t just mindless games that teach people how to be couch potatoes; they have educational aspects hidden within the entertainment.
The gaming industry used to be dominated by males. But not anymore. According to ESA (Entertainment Software Association) in 2013 the female gamer population was 45 percent. More females are playing video games because they replaced board games in the new technological society. The social aspects of video games are enticing and give females another way to socialize and strengthen relationships with people. Assassins Creed and Bioshock are some of the games that females lean towards. Both Assassins Creed and Bioshock are adventure-based games that have in-depth storylines that carry you through the world
The storylines that are in video games such as Assassins Creed and Bioshock have violence in them, but aren’t remembered for just that. They are remembered for adventure, creativity and problem solving. The other areas of a video game outweigh the gunfire and violence. There is adventure and roleplaying in video games that allow you to get lost and create a new identity for yourself. Some adventures have very little violence such as Lego Star Wars. You are brought into the Star Wars world and taken through an in-depth story line and the only violence is the destruction of Lego characters that are just rebuilt. Rebuilding isn’t just in Lego games. Creation modes are in most video games. You can create your character and let your imagination take over. Creation in video games is more then just character creation you can create worlds, scenarios, you can create your own maps and challenges for other people to play. The creation qualities in video games are endless. Some video games that have these options are Minecraft, Disney Infinity, the new World of Warcraft expansion will have town creation as well as character creation and these are just a small handful of games that have these options. Within those creative outlets and adventures bring problem solving scenarios and clues to follow. Silent Hill is a horror-based game where you follow clues and solve puzzles and riddles to get through the town of Silent Hill and escape. Bioshock is also a clue-based game where you follow notes and find hidden storylines throughout the world. Violence is an aspect in these video games but it isn’t the most important or most memorable moment.
The violence in video games is a reflection of different conflicts the world already has in it like war, crime and other types of aggression. The violence can also be educational and bring social issues to the forefront whether it’s discrimination, sexism, abuse or even fear. There was violence before video games and there will be violence after video games. The difference is that video games can show the horrifying moments of war that aren’t shown on TV and rarely talked about. In the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises they mimic wars that have gone on throughout history and people playing the video games can see that anything can happen. If you are playing a hardcore match in Call of Duty friendly fire is enabled and in a split second you can kill your teammate. These mistakes can happen in real life and it shows people how much attention and mental strength is needed to be a soldier. The violence and war in video games isn’t just to show what is truly happening, some of the violence is educational. The Assassins Creed franchise is soaked with historical accuracy and themes. In Assassins Creed 3: Liberation the storyline is in the late-18th century and is based in New Orleans. The subject matter deals with slavery and the Civil War. Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag has historical accuracies all the way to the guns the pirates use and how they fight in the game. Without realizing it people are getting a history lesson while playing video games. History lessons aren’t the only things people are learning. In Saints Row IV the character creation can be either male or female. While walking throughout the ship in Saints Row IV, no matter what sex you chose you could have a romantic relationship with anyone on the ship. More video games and video game companies are showing their support for LGBTQ rights and bringing the conversation into their games. Other social issues that are highlighted in just Saints Row alone are racial profiling, gang violence, sexual relationships and some taboos that go with them.
There is a lot of intelligence and genius in video games. A dialogue is created for the bigger issues in the world because they are integrated into the game. Females play video games for the same reasons as males do – to relax, relieve stress and lose themselves in the storyline. Storylines become the main aspect of video games and the violence is just one way to get through the issues in the game. No matter the reason, video games are more then just virtual warzones they are social educators.