Violence in video games provides a simulated experience of activities that would otherwise be "out-of-reach" to those who choose to buy and play them. It allows gamers to relate to a world that they feel is unreachable in reality, in much the same way as listening to similarly controversial music (Eminem, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath), or watching violent movies (Childs Play, Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

While the media portrays violent gaming in the same category as "bad" music and movies, there are arguments for and against whether those who use violent video games develop violent tendencies.

Those who stand strong against violence in video games believe the influence such games have in developing violence in people is strong enough to justify banning such games. These people believe the games are at fault, because they are the cause. I believe this view is narrow minded.

On the flipside, others believe that the simulated violence in video games goes at least a small way in reducing real world violence. They believe that videogames provide a safe place to release aggression and satisfy curiosity. They believe the games are an outlet for such behaviours. Games help get these feelings out of your system. They are there so when you want to kick the shit out of some random bastard, the police don't have to come clean the mess up and bust your ass. There is no doubt in every peace-lover's mind that virtual violence is more favourable to the alternative.

Of course, one does not become a car-thief, or a mugger, or a rapist or a murderer just by playing violent video-games. Those who quickly rise to their feet to blame the games do not realise that they are only a contributory factor to that behaviour. Violence in games could in this sense, change a susceptible mind to incorporate violent tendencies. I believe the change happens depending on whether, consciously or otherwise, gamers find entertainment or education within violent video games.

In the gaming world today, age restrictions are placed on the most gore-filled adventures and this is done with good reason. Young minds are in the process of learning and are therefore more fragile and susceptible to the wrong influences. Young minds also really like video games (sometimes to the point of obsession), so the potential to damage youth by exposing them to such material is blatantly obvious.

Violent games are, at their very worst, catalysts in the minds of potentially violent people. Therefore we cannot hold such games to be solely responsible for violence in those who use them.

Finally, if you want to kick the shit out of some random bastard you should get yourself a copy of Postal 2, and enjoy the gratuitous pleasure of being able to rip someone's head off and piss down their neck, only after sticking the boot in. Just keep the violence off the streets.