Opinions, they say, are like assholes. Everybody’s got one, and it probably smells of mountain breezes, freshly baked peanut butter biscuits, and sleepy kittens snuggled up in woolly blankies. Maybe that’s just mine. Opinions are also like assholes, though, because sometimes they gape open, putrescent fumes belching forth from their convulsing, murky viscera, and shit on everything you love. And as room falls silent, and the children start to cry, clinging to mothers who watch you with wretched dismay, the thing is that Bayonetta was a rubbish game even if it’s got a 90 on Metacritic.
I’ll go first.
Violence in video games could be a legitimate problem. I don’t mean tabloid moral panic-generating stuff about games training kids to be serial murderers and whatever, but I do mean that six-year olds who blame the missing biscuits on conveniently invisible friends shouldn’t be making impulsive decisions about whether or not to let a hooker live in GTAV. It’s easy to say, oh, you know, I grew up playing video games and I’ve never bombed a shopping mall, but I also grew up with games like Asteroids and Bananoid and Bouncing Babies. Okay, Bouncing Babies was actually kind of horrifying, now that I think about it.
The point is, a lot of pre-teens now are growing up on the management end of a virtual sniper rifle. And people becoming desensitised to gratuitous graphic violence is not exactly something that some tabloid moral panic-generator made up for a headline on a FOX News Special Edition. It’s a thing that actually happens. And I wish it was something we could talk about without everybody shutting out everybody else with arguments that amount, more or less, to some vehement variation of “NO U”.
Obligatory bonus unpopular opinion: Boob armour is stupid.