With the release of Grand Theft Auto V, people are more concerned than ever about the effects of children taking part in acts of virtual violence. There's a few problems with this worry, though: firstly, GTA V is rated M, and is absolutely not intended for children. Secondly, GTA V forces you to commit acts of violence. It encourages and rewards brutalizing and murdering your fellow man. What really reveals bad behavior in kids are when they lash out violently in games intended for them that don't reward such behavior. Here are the gaming acts of violence parents should have really been worried about.
1. Drowning and Starving People in The Sims
The Sims was about life - the mundanities, the joys, accidentally memorizing certain Simlish phrases, everything. So, naturally, the most popular things to do in The Sims revolved around torture and death. There are a lot of ways for your poor, jibberish-spouting, unable-to-walk-around-a-plate Sims to die, but some of the most well-known ways required the active involvement of a player:
- Removing the ladders from the swimming pool is probably the most repeated throughout the internet - the act forced your Sim to swim around aimlessly, getting stronger and stronger, until they tired out and drowned. It was so prevalent that the developers added the ability for Sims to climb out of the pool without a ladder in The Sims 3. Players responded by figuring out you could just build walls around the pool and they could re-live their Dexter-esque glory days.
- The other way was to build walls around a Sim, trapping them and cutting them off from food, until they starved while soaking in their own urine. Their own blue urine.
No Sim, no matter how many times they fall asleep on the front lawn or refuse to clean up their messes, deserves to go like that. At least give them the dignity of burning to death after trying to cook mac 'n cheese.
2. Wildlife Massacres in Oregon Trail
"We should ford the river, I think. C'mon - it's only 5 ft. deep, right? The wagon should be fiiiine going across tha - shit. Well, Dylan died. Why did we bring someone who was 4'11" on this perilous journey?"
In the edutainment blockbuster The Oregon Trail, there were a few temptations for kids to be unnecessarily cruel. Obviously, there's the temptation to ford the river just to see who drowns, but there's one thing that was a bit worse than that...
The most fun part of the game is, not surprisingly, the only really interactive section: hunting. When you hunt, you can kill enough animals to bring back 200 lbs. of meat and keep your wagon pals on Filling Rations. The thing is, the game doesn't stop you once you've shot over 200 lbs worth of animals. Meaning you can end up taking down 12 buffaloes and when 2 would have sufficed. And kids knew that, yet would still wantonly lay waste to the buffalo population between Missouri and Oregon. You didn't see it, but standing behind you were about 50 Native Americans, all with a single tear running down their cheeks.
3. Thwackin' Town Residents in Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing is about the friendliest franchise you can find - you live in a quaint little village, everyone says nice things to you and sends you kind-hearted letters and gives you furniture. The closest thing to a villain in the game is Tom Nook, an insanely nice guy who gives you huge loans even with your non-existent credit history and allows you to pay it off whenever you feel like it. In this beautiful, sweet, innocent world, of course people resort to violence and anger.
The only thing that could even potentially motivate violence is the idea that you might find some of the individual animal villagers a little annoying. The method most people resort to is whacking villagers with nets or axes and writing them nightmarishly horrible letters. Neither of these things have even been proven to work. Really, any kid who feels the need to thwack a cartoony anteater with an axe deserves a stern lecture from Mr. Resetti.
4. Drowning and Murdering Customers in Rollercoaster Tycoon
Running a successful amusement park requires a few things: some land, some cash, a little bit of moxy, and -PLEASE Mr. Bridgman stop picking up the customers with your magic tongs and dumping them in a pond to drown. Also, you really need to finish building the rollercoaster you've decided to call "THE EXECUTIONER." Right now, it just launches 16 park-goers onto the cement at 95mph. And they have to pay $6.75 for that privilege. Also, every inch of this park is covered in vomit. Also, $20 to use the bathroom? That seems a little steep. This is not going to go over well with the investors. The ones you haven't already drowned, that is.
5. A Lot of Things in Tamagotchi
C'mon. You saw the poop right there. You're just going to ignore that? I know it's a virtual pet, but the poop's right there. It would be so easy to clean it up.
Also, when was the last time you fed this thing?
If you did any of these things, chances are you're some kind of sociopath violent monster.
In summary: We are all monsters.