Moving on from the “video games 2 hard” meme, the latest problem that mainstream video game journalists feel need addressing is how the latest trailer for The Last of Us Part II is just way too horrifically violent. Who would’ve thought? A game that involves fighting zombies and raiders, while exploring the darkest corners of humanity in a survival situation, has violent overtones.
It’s about time someone addressed this too, because I can’t help but agree. I would love to see The Last of Us Part II with less combat oriented conflict, maybe they could add a mechanic where players can just talk nicely to the zombies instead? Perhaps the bloodthirsty raiders are just misunderstood, and once we clear up the confusion Joel and Ellie can sit down and have a cup of herbal tea with the people who were trying to firebomb them and hack their bodies apart with machetes earlier.
We need only look at the effects that violent video games have on people to see the damage that digital media is doing to society. Earlier this week, The Insatiable Gamer obtained exclusive records that showed an undisclosed member of Polygon’s writing team suffered a traumatic mental injury after playing the newly released Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Transcripts of the therapy sessions that took place over a week long period show that in the first encounter with an enemy, the writer who we will refer to as L, initially tried to reason with the first Nazi enemy in the game. “When that failed, he started firing his weapon at me, and I just panicked. Since I was playing the game on the easiest difficulty my character wasn’t dead yet, so I pulled the (controller) trigger, and before I knew it I was firing what looked like a real life gun, probably an AR-15, directly at them.”
“The gunfire and controller vibration game me such a fright that I immediately dropped the controller and started crying. I couldn’t handle it, and I had to shut off the game. For the next few hours I felt anxious and nauseous, and I kept having flashbacks to that moment. The muzzle flash was burned into my memory, and I had trouble sleeping. That was when I decided that I had PTSD, and sought professional help.”
People would have you believe that exploring real world themes through video games and marketing them on themes present in the game is acceptable, as if video games were some sort of art form that could be used to hold a mirror up to the ugly parts of society. Anything that doesn’t have a trailer where the main characters sit in a meadow full of butterflies should not be marketed, lest someone be confronted with something outside of their comfort zone. Unless that turns out to be racist, we’ll let you know next week.
L is expected to make a full recovery after being prescribed a course of thumb sucking therapy, which they will pay for with the money they make by hating video games.
Also published on Medium.