How is a war game played

Media war

The representation of the computer game worlds has become more and more realistic over time. This is why the discussion about the dangerous effects of violent computer games has also increased in recent years.

Computer games are played by people of all ages today. In particular, new trends such as games with motion control or mobile gaming appeal to new target groups. The greatest interest, however, is particularly among male adolescents. After how
Adolescents playing a first person shooter where you only see the hand with the weapon of the fighter you are controlling in the game. (& copy AP)
before more than half of boys, but only about one in seven girls, play computer games. Much of the market is therefore tailored to the needs of the young. You are particularly interested in games in which you have to fight or compete and action is in the foreground (sports simulation "FIFA" is number 1 of the most popular games with 28 percent, followed by "Grand Theft Auto" (GTA) - 15 percent, "Call of Duty" - 13 percent, "Counter Strike" and "Need for Speed" - 12 percent each; 2010). Girls prefer more peaceful games in which there are adventures and puzzles to be solved ("The Sims" in first place with 36 percent, followed by "Singstar" - 14 percent and "Wii Sports" - 13 percent).

Violence is an integral part of computer war games. The opposing parties do not negotiate, they shoot. There is no non-violent conflict resolution. The appearance of violence is very dependent on the genre. In war simulations and strategy games, the player sees the effects of violence (exploding buildings, devastated landscapes, etc.) from a great distance. As a rule, human victims cannot be recognized. Quite different in first-person shooters: The opponents are en masse here
In the documentary "Shoot them all! - The strange world of computer warriors", experts and young computer gamers talk about the effects of violence in computer war games. (© ZDF)
Excerpts from the documentation can be found on the DVD "The War in the Media" in E2 - Media Product War? / Knowledge in detail / Computer war game / Use and effect.
shot at close range. These games are often accused of glorifying violence. However, the average gamer perceives violence in the game differently than in reality or when watching a movie. He doesn't empathize with the characters in the game. In-game violence is primarily a means of winning. Most players focus on the missions, the orders, the playful trial of strength and the tactical possibilities. Despite this fact, the question arises whether children and young people can be influenced in their behavior by war games. If so, what are the expected consequences of the games?

Violent computer war games repeatedly come into public discussion. When violence among young people makes the headlines, the call for a ban on the so-called "killer games" usually follows immediately. However, whether and how violent computer war games work is highly controversial among researchers. The research results to date indicate that there is no simple and generally valid connection between the consumption of depictions of violence and real violence. That means: Not everyone who plays computer war games also becomes - automatically, as it were - more violent. Nevertheless, violent games are associated with a certain risk of triggering or intensifying real violence in the player. The only cause of problematic and violent behavior is not the games. Conversely, high consumption of violent media is often a sign of problematic life situations and aggressive or violent role models in the young people's environment.