In Oryx and Crake, we see how Margaret Atwood used the game “Extinctathon”, “Barbarian Stomp” and “Blood and Roses” to allow the reader to submerge in the minds of two adolescents who want to enjoy themselves. However, we see how the main objective of these two games is to feature virtual violence and to transport the mind of the reader to a world where raping, murdering, massacres, genocides and that kind of violence are popular and is even attractive. Although this is only a fictitious book, this is not too far away from our reality. Violent video games and even movies have become the new trend for people to entertain themselves for a while. But does our society realize what this is causing in our future generations when parents allow their children to submerge in the word of video games and to play violent things or expose them to all kinds of violence?
After researching a little bit further on how getting a child used to virtual violence affects their view of reality, I found out that playing violent video games or watching violent movies do display brain changes mostly in what is called the “emotional center” part of the brain. It might even trigger depression, anger, aggression and impulsive behaviour. There is research proving this phenomenon, if you are interested, check this out:
Of course, I am not saying that virtual violence makes everyone more violent, all I’m trying to say is that if we continue living in a world that popularizes virtual violence for our own entertainment, what kind of people will we become? I feel that Atwood tried to portray the the reality of the darkness of these things in her book. We see how Jimmy and Crake use all their free time to entertain themselves by virtually killing people, raing women, slaughtering everyone, by watching pornography, not realizing what the kids behind those porn movies they were watching were going through. Later on, we see how Jimmy is unhappy his whole life, and Crake becomes careless, it is as if he has no emotions, and he shows no regret when his plan of wiping off humans from the face of the earth is finally a success. And we as readers think, “What is wrong with the characters of this book?” But the truth is that we live in a world where human beings enjoy themselves this way, too. When we have free time and we feel tired, we seek enjoyment and pleasure sometimes in watching movies or playing games that even if we don’t realize display violence, horror, darkness, and the atrocities of which the human mind is capable of doing if pushed to the limit. Even if we don’t like it and push the idea aside, is it possible that watching so much virtual violence on a regular basis desensitizes us to the pain, to the gravity of living in a world where violence happens everyday? Is it possible that virtual violence is responsible of some of the crimes that we see commited in our world?
What do you think, what is your opinion of the movies or arcades that feature virtual violence?