Understanding the Cycle of Violent Videogame Stories

August 31, 2010 -

Kotaku points us towards an interesting Ted Talk in which David McCandless, a self-proclaimed “data journalist” discusses overcoming information overload by visualizing and designing information so we can focus on what’s important.

After showing a graph a “landscape of the world’s fears”, or a chart showing off popular scares over the last decade, which included Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARS, the Millennium Bug, Asteroid Collisions and Killer Wasps, McCandless pulled up a slide charting the landscape of violent videogames.

McCandless stated, “As you can see there’s a kind of odd, regular pattern in the data… twin peaks every year.” Those peaks were in November and April. November is easily explainable in advance of the release of the Christmas slate of videogames, but why April? McCandless theorized that since the Columbine school shooting took place in April of 1999, “That fear has been remembered by the media and echoes throughout the group mind.”

Interestingly, McCandless notes a gap in violent videogame coverage or interest in the subject that occurred around September of 2001. Of course that’s when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked, or as McCandless explains, “When we had something very real to be scared about.”


Comments

Re: Understanding the Cycle of Violent Videogame Stories

TED is pure awesomeness! I have been a supporter for nearly a decade now. Since it launched its website I watch one short lecture a day.

I said it before and I'll say it again:

There should be a link on this site to TED.

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"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: Understanding the Cycle of Violent Videogame Stories

It's an interesting small bit of information to extract and extrapolate on, but I think we ought to watch and understand the entire presentation within its context.

Re: Understanding the Cycle of Violent Videogame Stories

Interesting that it was around September 2001 that GTA3 was released (after some last minute editing due to 9/11).

 
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Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
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Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
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Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
Goth_SkunkNo Mecha, not woe unto those who ask for representation. By all means, ask and be represented. I don't have an issue with it, nor would I say anyone in GamerGate does either. But be reasonable about asking too.06/30/2015 - 2:27am
Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkBut Games Journalism, who in the past has stood up for gamers and developers, when their hobby was under attack by idealogues and governments for being overly violent, suddenly switched sides in a move06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkYet the media continues to push that narrative, and they will continue to do so until their medium dies out from obscelesence or when the old guard retires and is replaced by people who were raised by gamers, people who know the score.06/30/2015 - 2:20am
Goth_SkunkGamerGate, by my view, is far more diverse and inclusive that the purveying culture surrounding games journalism right now. The stereotypical gamer is a straight white male, but GamerGate has shown, time and time again, that this is not really the case.06/30/2015 - 2:18am
Goth_SkunkAfter all, you did just call it a "problem."06/30/2015 - 2:15am
Goth_SkunkAs opposed to setting the bar high, creating a culture clique that promotes exclusivity rather than inclusivity. Cronyism rather than diversity. Do you feel that inclusivity and diversity are just buzzwords to be used whenever convenient?06/30/2015 - 2:12am
 

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