Cat Context 18: “I play violent video games, and I’ve never shot anyone”

This week the podcast crew got together to talk about violence and video games, and we solved everything! Oh wait, I meant nothing. Look, it’s complicated.

Do violent video games cause violent people? Probably not, but if you’re going to pull on that particular thread you’re going to have to unravel the whole nasty sweater that is culture. We also discuss when a game crosses the line, whether the ESRB should have teeth, and the importance of monitoring your child’s media consumption in modern times. Also, Aro tells a tragic story about a rabbit who stole the wrong bear’s hat.

Non-combat games were also on the docket, and we talk about those we played, those we wished we had played, and whether stealth games really count as non-combat. Also: More Borderlands 2! Totally legal talk about the Defiance beta! Our favourite video game heroes and villains! (Thanks for the call, Corr.)

As always Liore is joined by the most excellent Arolaide and Ellyndrial. What’s your favourite non-combat game? Email us at or call our voice mail at (347) 565-4673.

It would be downright awesome if you gave us a vote on iTunes. :)

* Tyler Black’s Game and Violence PAX panel slides
* Grantland on why we play shooters
* IGN asks 20 game journos what they think about the Joe Biden meeting.
* Kotaku summarizes the history of research on video games and violence.
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years


(Don’t forget to leave 5 stars!)

Author: Jessica Cook

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1 Comment

  1. I was thinking of this issue when I was reading these articles.
    “For years, Hispanics have heavily over indexed in the use of digital and gaming devices. According to Simmons, Hispanics are 32% more likely than non-Hispanics to consider video games their main source of entertainment. In addition, Hispanics are 54% more likely to buy a video game the day it’s released than non-Hispanic gamers.”
    “According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, African American youth between the ages of 8 and 18 play games 30 minutes more per day than white youth, while Hispanics play an average of 10 minutes more.”

    If video games are to blame for the rise of mass shootings in America. it would follow that higher consumption of video games by minorities would lead to them being more susceptible to semiautomatic mayhem, but the majority of mass shooters have been white. Furthermore, the mass shooting phenomenon goes back to the early 80s, before the advent of Halo, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft auto. Does anyone remember the San Ysidro massacre? How about the origins of the phrase “going postal?”

    It would be interesting to look at the entertainment consumption habits of mass shooters versus the general population. I wouldn’t be surprised to find what they had in common was a lot of incendiary talk radio rather then a lot of Xbox Live.

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