While tweeting today, I came across a promoted hashtag #reborn. I now understand that this is a promotion for the latest release of video game Tomb Rider. I read a related review of this new release. The theme of the game is a battered and blood-soaked archaeologist who just escapes from her tormentors muttering the words “I hate …” and setting the tone for the action ahead. The reviewer uses such words as cover-based combat, graphic-violence, gore, looting, major personal injury, plenty of shooting to describe the action packed release.
This release claims to be a fine balance between exploration and action. The exploration part will surely make a player’s intellect happy while the high emotion action drama will thrill his nervous system. The designers have supposedly included a lot of refinements – stunning beautiful scenes calling into action all the best that an Xbox platform offers. This release is a notable deviation from the previous Tomb Raider releases, better known for the puzzle-solving spirit. Perhaps the visually attractive imagery and subtler sound effects are to compensate for a deviation towards more violence. Like in all violent video games the stage is clear to justify the action – the crazed ritualistic islanders- the instigators.
Sure, such games do send thrills through any person’s spine. Most folks lives are uneventful and everyone does look out for some excitement every now and then. This is more true for the young. Youthful energies lookout for expansionary immersions. How much is exploring for this in virtual space OK? What is the balance? Some counselors are of the opinion that the graphic violence in a video game de-sensitizes children and teens to real world violence. Surely the Gaming industry sponsors research on this topic. Will they really be happy if the research does attribute violent mental tendencies to realistic immersions in the virtual world? Can they not commit a chunk of profits from the sales of such games, in the mean time, to promote human values such as non-violence (hashtag #peacestarts) ?