Violence in Video Games

I thought I would make an entry in my blog as an extension of a Guinness-Breakfast conversation from last Saturday. That is the great thing about my friends and Guinness Breakfast in general, a melting pot of people and philosophies. Makes for diverse and stimulating conversation.

Many of the folks that come out to Guinness Breakfast enjoy games of one sort or another and our conversation eventually turned to video games. One of the games that entered the discussion was Grand Theft Auto IV. I indicated that I really had not interest in playing the game as it crossed a threshold of violence for me. That amused a number of people at the table as they know that I play Call of Duty 4 from time to time. I guess I appeared to be a bit hypocritical.

I want to get something straight before I continue with this post. I have nothing against people playing games that they enjoy and my comments are strictly an expression of my values and boundaries. In no way do I cast judgement on anyone who likes or plays something that I don’t.

I personally do not like the premise in Grand Theft Auto IV. I find that it crosses my boundaries of good taste and acceptability. I choose not to support that title by buying it or playing it. We all live in various shades of grey, and each person is entitled to define the boundaries of their own acceptable limits.  Call Of Duty 4 does not cross those lines for me. Is COD4 a violent game? Yes it is. The context of that violence does not violate my moral code or limits. I think that the context and the premise for violence is a very important component to a game. At least it is for me. These things are all on a scale and it is all relative.

There are a number of movies I can recall watching that disturbed me to the point that I would turn them off or switch the channel. These were not even gore movies. They were movies aired on television that had elements of senseless violence. I know there are many people who enjoy gore and slasher movies. It certainly is not my cup of tea. I don’t know, perhaps I should thicken up my skin? Perhaps I need to tune into the desensitization machine a bit longer? Until then, I will unabashedly say, “No thanks, that is not something I want” to those things that cross my line.  I guess there was no real point to this entry other than for me to try to articulate my thoughts and give myself a bit more clarity on this matter. Meh.

If the above service announcement struck you as hypocritical, please change the station and tune into another blog, or I might have to shoot you. 😀

EDIT: Ha ha ha. I just notices that this post is immediately above my Paintball post and picture. Love the irony.

Paintball Fun / (Why I walk like an old man for a few days after)

If you see this, it is too late. Yeppers. I still play Paintball. Started in 1989 and it still holds a fun attraction for me. In some ways, Paintball is one of the first activities Kathy & I started doing together. How romantic. “Hey dear, let’s go into the woods and shoot people”. :)I just played again this past Sunday and I am so impressed with the group of people that we played with. Everyone was a great sport and was out there to have fun. It generally only takes one person that takes life way too serious to taint an activity, but that person was thankfully nowhere to be seen. I guess I am really aware of the kind of people I hang around with. I am really grateful that the people I associate with have a genuine sense of fun, adventure, and good nature. That is no small beans folks. I cannot tell you how many times I have read an article, a forum posting, a blog, etc. where people would give a limb to have a social circle like this. Just awesome.

We had 18 people running around the woods in two teams. Great turnout. Great people. Great fun. We showed up at 11:30am and did not leave the field until around 5:00pm. That is a full day of action packed adrenaline fun. Kathy and Teri came out as well so that made the day even more enjoyable from my perspective.

I had a relatively good day on the field; I handed out a fair share of welts and received a good share too. Boy am I sore. Not from being hit by paintballs, from using muscles that do not get a good workout very often. Running, crouching, diving, sprinting, crawling, jumping, twisting, and anything else that ends in “ing” that you might pay some sadistic personal trainer to have you do.

So that is the price I pay. I will now walk like I pooped my pants for a few days because my quads and other nether region muscles scream at me everytime I take a step. Ahhh. These are the things that let me know I am alive.

To everyone I shot on Sunday; thanks. To everyone that shot me on Sunday; thanks. To everyone laughing at the way I walk right now; bite me. 🙂

Thankful Thursday – Board Games

Field Of ChanceThis is my first installment of Thankful Thursday. I will try to make a weekly note and tribute to something for which I am truly thankful.


Ever since I can remember, I have been enthralled with games. Games possess so many endearing qualities. It is one of life’s treasures. I refer to games as “Fitness Of The Mind”. There are countless studies that show that regular game play hones abstract reasoning skills, pattern recognition, and problem solving. Who wants to sit down and hone skills liek that… Not many. Cleverly disguised in a fun package that is full of theme and fun, games offer a way to develop these skills without even realizing it. It is very similar to the cereal commercials where kids are tricked into eating healthy because it actually tastes good. This is not my reason for playing games though, just a cool benefit.

Games are a great social activity where you can immerse yourself in play. That’s right, play. Along our life journey, we often lose the art of play. Life comes along with all of the serious side effects it has to offer and we set aside our ability to play. A healthy diet of games keeps that youthful seed alive and nourishes an outlook that can often see the light side of serious situations. Balance.

The challenge of solving a puzzle or a problem is quite the thrill for many people. Games offer so many avenues for strategic and tactical thinking. Lateral thinkers will approach these challenges in a myriad of creative ways. The variety of challenge is endless. Sometimes it is a means to set aside the worries of the outside world for awhile and press the reset switch on your brain.

This past few years I have really focused on games and the art of play. We play a number of games each week and these involve a variety of friends and family. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity, the time, and the friends to bring my passion for board games to life.

I am clocking in at about 250 games right now, although some of those are variants using the same pieces. There is enough variety to satisfy anyone’s interest and skill level. Here is a list of my game collection, as listed on Board Game Geek. 

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato Greek philosopher 427-347 BCE