John Carmack: Games help 'reduce aggression'

Are violent games more about letting off steam than working up anger?
Are violent games more about letting off steam than working up anger?

Feted id Software games developer John Carmack thinks that games can act to reduce aggression in society - rather than increasing it, as many anti-gaming reports claim.

Providing that parents take care to not allow their children to play age-inappropriate games, Carmack thinks that violent videogames can actually work as a steam-valve to reduce aggression in adult gamers.

"People just play games now and I never took seriously the violence in video games debate," the Doom developer told Industry Gamers, talking about an E3 experience in which lots of games journalists felt the need to consistently quiz him about the violence in games issue.

Violence or social steam-valve?

"In the end it didn't matter, it didn't make any impact on things. I never felt threatened by it and it turned out not to matter. If anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence," he continued, although he did not actually cite any of the said evidence.

"There have actually been some studies about that, that it's cathartic. If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you're probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention.

"I think it's at worst neutral and potentially positive."

Via Industry Gamers

Adam Hartley