A clip from the recently released film Video Games: The Movie offers a number of game developers talking about violence in video games and the leap some researchers have made in trying to connect playing games with real-world violent acts. Speaking during the short clip are Gearbox Software creative designer Mikey Neumann, Former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski Video Games Live creator and composer Tommy Tallarico, and Blizzard Entertainment chief creative officer Rob Pardo.
Blizzard's Rob Pardo feels that the medium is simply being painted with a broad brush because it is so young.
"The interesting thing, I think, with games, is that we actually have an even better ratings system than movies but there's still kind of this general misunderstand with the older generation that all games are like Grand Theft Auto," says Pardo. "It would be like saying 'We don't want anyone to go watch movies because all movies are violent.' But people don't say that because everyone really understands movies as a medium."
Former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski thinks the link between violent video games and real-world violence is a myth. The research to-date backs up what he's saying – even in the most lopsided of studies.
"People like to make just kind of a causal link and say well video games cause violence. It's like, let's see, so, there's more crime in the summer and more ice cream is sold in the summer, therefore ice cream causes crime. That's not how legitimate scientific research works," he said.
Video Games Live creator and composer Tommy Tallarico thinks violent content in games simply shows the violence in human nature, just like it does in movies:
"Violence unfortunately is a part of human nature. And last time I checked, Cain didn't bludgeon Abel with a Gameboy; Genghis Khan didn't have an Xbox Live account; and Hitler didn't play Crash Bandicoot," Tallarico said. "I don't believe that video games are murder simulators; if anything, what the statistics prove is that it's exactly the opposite."
Finally Epic Games' Wyeth Johnson thinks the debate about violent video games will eventually subside as the medium gets older.
"You realize that it's about imagination and invention and connection to a world and it doesn't have these big trappings that people apply to them," Johnson said. "So I think it's a problem that's just going to naturally evolve away and we just have to defend the industry until that evolution happens."
You can watch the entire clip here or to your left.