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The Truth Behind The Gore: Why We Love Violent Video Games

It has been brought up time and time again by concerned parents, teachers, and at times politicians that there could be a correlation between violence in real life and violent video games. This theory of correlation has been heavily researched, and if you’re looking to read further into it, check out this article by fellow Syft writer Izzy Salant. Today, though, we aren’t going to delve into the question of potential correlation; instead, we’re focusing on how much the violent video games we love benefit our lives, helping to relieve tension and stress. Let’s dive into the world of slaying zombies and attacking ogres to discover how these games that are so filled with violence actually help us maintain composure and happiness.

Violent Video Games
Courtesy of Pasta77/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A few years ago, I was visiting my sister and we were playing a video game together that was purely based on choosing a character and then fighting to the death with your opponent. Based on that description, it certainly sounds like a rather intense game, but that afternoon, as my sis and I sat in front of the television kicking each other’s characters across the screen, we laughed and joked the whole time. Even now, however-many years later, it still serves as a bonding memory for us. If I remembered the name of the game, I would recommend it to everyone I know. 

Something about the experience of fighting in such a setting was at once exhilarating and stress-relieving for my sister and myself. This delightful effect that playing violent video games has can be shown across the spectrum of all of our favorite violent games. From Minecraft, where you literally beat zombies to death in order to survive, to Among Us, where you sometimes have to kill your friend and leave their body in a mess on the floor, many of our favorite games give us the opportunity to work out our stress and tension in a completely satisfying way that leaves no real world consequences (unless a friend carries a grudge after you call them sus.)

Among Us Violent
Image Credit: Rae @Valkyrae on Twitter

A personal favorite of mine for stress relief through violent gaming is World of Warcraft. I have a tendency to play rogue, so I am usually smaller than most of the monsters I am attacking in quests and general game play, and if I have had a long day at work, there is nothing more satisfying than coming home and viciously slaying a pack of harpies or taking down a giant ogre. Relieving real world tension in these virtual worlds where nothing truly bad can happen is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to remain calm and composed. If you find yourself stressed about work or worked up over the state of the world, fighting your way through a goblin lair could be just what you need to feel at peace. 

World Of Warcraft Fight GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Image Credit: World of Warcraft @warcraft on Giphy

Whichever game you choose to play, be it WoW, Among Us, or even the old but still good Until Dawn, you can rest assured that the tension relief you get from slaying zombies and attacking monsters is completely healthy, and frankly, it is one of the best ways to relieve stress and feel better in real life. So the next time you have a rough day, sit down at your computer, play your favorite violent game, and know that you are not only having fun: you are benefiting your mental health. 

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