Violence and Video Games Over Time

A large amount can change over 10 years. Take a moment to think about 2002. You’re probably a completely different person than you were then. You’re not the only thing that’s changed. The world around us has changed as well…

According to IMDB’s list of the “Most Popular Video Games Released in 2002“, the most popular video game released that year was Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. According to a similar list for 2011, the most popular game is Star Wars: The Old Republic.

This doesn’t quite make the point that our video game preferences have gotten less violent over the years. However, it brings to mind a TEDTalk that I saw recently about television.

The speaker compared the climate of the United States over approximately 50 years to the most popular television shows of these eras. For example, when unemployment was high and the economy was suffering, Zalaznick’s study found the most popular television shows included rich people and lavish things such as Fantasy Island.

I wonder if there is an effect on video game popularity based on the cultural climate in America. Of course, there are franchises such as Mario and Grand Theft Auto that have been popular for many years. But what about games like Call of Duty?

War games have been popular for many years, but are they more popular post-9/11?

Is the popularity of violent video games a function of an anger or angst in American culture today that longs to be expressed? If violent video games were to be limited (more exclusive), should we be worried?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. elton1
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 17:08:26

    These are some great questions to pose! I think these kind of questions are far more relevant than the stupid ones we’ve seen researchers trying to answer (short term aggression of playing violent video games). Longitudinal comparative studies ftw!


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