FPSs Why We Kill : Part 1, 3
This desire, of course, was unattainable. Not everyone can fight in war. The vast majority of people cannot. Nor can the average person have much of a say in politics (a vote, yes, but it’s been more than proven that the average person does not value their vote too greatly in this day and age). And so we all were left with one unfulfilled desire: To create change. It was the desire gaming had filled since day one. We had always wanted to see the results of our actions, and for years the innocent, fantasy games of old had been adequate for that purpose, but no more. Our need for a sense of power and for a sense of change was forever altered with the horror that fell upon us all, and with it, so too were our games.
Gaming had never had such a power in the real world before terrorism struck us all. Prior to then, games had been fun. The vast majority of games had been fantastical, surreal, often childlike, and, even in their darkest moments, innocent (games like Doom were considered dark at the time, but in hindsight can anyone truly question their innocence?).
After 9/11, in a world in which we all carried with us an emotional need to feel the power of our actions and our ability to make a change, gaming had a clear gateway to mainstream society and culture. And it is of little surprise that before long, the gaming world was flooded with myriad games that sought to fulfil that desire for empowerment and the desire to make a change in a fight that clearly was of great importance to us all.
This change would not come immediately, for two reasons. Firstly, it would be unduly risky for any game developer to release a realistic game about such a heated subject without at least testing the waters. And secondly, by mere virtue of the longevity of games development. It would be several years before the full affect of terrorism on games could be seen, but terrorism would turn out to be one of the biggest shapers of games development of all time. The desire to be involved in the fight against terror and the fight for justice and freedom would lead First Person Shooter games to the very peak of gaming, where they would stay ever since.
In part two of Terrorists Selling Video Games, we shall look into exactly how game design sought to fulfil that need in us all to be involved in the fight on terror.
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