Press Start to Begin: A Journey Through Video Game Censorship
Johnathan Ciolek, HON400: All College Honors Colloquium
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Annemarie Franczyk, Communication
Why is there so much violence in the world? The ancient old theory for this is because of violent video games which in turn make people become violent, especially children. The ideas that video games are corrupting youth has caused people to call for more censorship in games that depict death, nudity, drug use, etc. Is this really a necessity though? The idea of censorship began in 1976 with the release of a game called “Death Race” which struck up a lot of controversy over violence in video games. From then on, other games, such as Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and Wolfenstein II have also received much criticism for their content. By looking at the individual games and the experiences they provide, a more concise perspective that video games, while they may be violent, should not always be censored. Certain video games offer historical context for events and by censoring such games, history is being withheld. In addition, when these video games are released, the sole purpose of the game is not to preach morality. That is what makes video games unique: their willingness to push boundaries and open the audience's eyes to different perspectives they may not have been aware of before. I will be focusing on the characters and messages portrayed by various controversial games to explain why these video games are not as immoral as people see them.
Ciolek, Johnathan, "Press Start to Begin: A Journey Through Video Game Censorship" (2021). Psychology and Social Sciences. 12.