The USS Quad Damage

Cooking Mama and Yakitate Japan

Gamers, despite their best effort, think guns are cool, like moviegoers think smoking is cool.

gamers look at violence as artful and beautiful

Speaking as a gamer, I don’t believe violent video games make you more aggressive. Having said that, I’m looking at my desktop background, a picture of the greece riots, and admiring it’s beauty. It got me thinking about games such as Madworld and how gamers think about violence.

There’s a Manga and Anime named Yakitate Japan whose protagonist is on a quest to make Japan’s “national bread”. The story is rather well written, and by the end it really drags someone in. You’ll inevitably start to see baking as cool (which sounds hard to believe but it is the case). There are games which are cooking related, such as Cooking Mama, but these fail to capture the real feel of Yakitate Japan. These games are about rote than about specific techniques.

The Manga has a very game feel to it, in that it speaks about systems (specifically the system of bread-making). If a game was made, you could imagine avid gamers discussing bread making strategies, and indeed to becoming baking enthusiasts. As it is, there is no such game, but I know of people who’ve played games such as Fifa and really get into soccer — they effectively take the game to a new level; they become soccer enthusiasts.

The biggest games on the gaming scene, however, seem to be about warfare. Whether the setting is in the past, present, or future, the tools of the trade are weapons. Guns, knives, and various explosive devices. The escapist has an article regarding the intersection of gamers who know about guns from a game and actual firearms enthusiasts. I wonder if it is merely an intersection or if gamers become enthusiasts at the behest of the games they play. I’m not claiming this makes them violent, merely that they become interested in the minutae of the tools of the trade. Some may even become shooters.

This may go further. I think that gaming instils in us an aesthetic of violence. That is, like movie-goers look at smoking as “cool”, so gamers look at violence as artful and beautiful. While some gamers might become interested in the political aspects of war, others will become entranced in the idea of a good soldier, whether it is an Anzac, an American soldier, or even the Russians. To be clear, this pre-dates gaming, and you can see the crazy nationalists come out on Anzac day violently defending their flags. However, it builds the aesthetic where there was none before. It makes us enthusiasts. And that’s a good thing.