By Erica Riccio-Polletta
Over in recent months, doctor’s and society have dubbed that video games can cause mental illness. As someone who plays video games, I find this very interesting and annoying at the same time. With the current events from the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, video games are viewed in a negative way, and being said to cause these tragedies. However, video games are not as evil as society have deemed them. On the contrary, they bring a whole new level of literary imagination and storytelling. There are strong literary qualities in video games that have its audiences hooked.
Video games are basically an interactive movie. Players are in a new environment, a completely different person that could never happen. The player is encouraged to make their own story and become a hero. Also, depending on the storyline for the game, the player could spend hours playing because the story is that exciting.
Take Minecraft for example. Minecraft is a sandbox game, meaning it’s an open world and players are free to manipulate the game’s environment, and players can create their own lives from their imagination. This game has servers for players to participate in and are able to interact with other players. It’s a new way of meeting new potential friends and a new way for socializing. Players are easily lost in time from playing because there is so much to do. With myself for example, I can easily play a session of Minecraft for twelve hours because of how much there is to do. The objective of the game is to survive, and gather enough materials to defeat the Ender Dragon. However, players just get together and make a town with a farm and a garden to survive, and explore the map. There are also mods to enhance the gaming experience for players. This means that there are different downloadable content for players to have a more in-depth experience. However, there are games that go a greater distance that society has deemed inappropriate but is still a fan favorite, and that game is Grand Theft Auto.
GTA is another sandbox game where players can manipulate and control their environment. In recent games, players are able to play online with friends and socialize, similar to Minecraft. However, GTA brings the literary side to a different experience for players to become the “bad guy” instead of the hero. GTA has the player be three different characters from different classes in society and partake in illegal activities. This goes from speeding, stealing, and gun violence.
In current events, society as deemed video games with gun violence and mental illness when there really isn’t a connection at all. Just like movie ratings, there are game rating, such as E, for everyone, and M for mature. Parents do not look at these rating or explain to their children that most of GTA is fake and meant for fantasy play.
GTA is meant for play and not to be taken seriously. It is meant to explore the story and literary elements of storytelling to open eyes of how the negative part of society could work, just like any other game.