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Killers and violent videogames link - 'political statements and propaganda' says Painkiller dev

8 February 2013

Painkiller Hell & Damnation publisher and developer, Nordic Games and Farm 51, have spoken openly to PlayStation Universe about the continuing debate over whether violent videogames have any adverse effect on gamers.

The debate was brought to the forefront once more in mainstream media following reports that Adam Lanza, the shooter in the much-publicised Connecticut school massacre, played Call Of Duty in his spare time. Painkiller is a first-person shooter that features violence so PSU asked the studio whether they think that developers have a responsibility to tone down violence in videogames.

The studio debated this internally and issued the following statement:

“This is a very difficult question, and definitely one which could spark off a totally separate interview on this topic alone. The question raised very good internal discussions on both ends so we will provide you with a somewhat collective answer here:

In general, society has a big desire for explanations. The simpler these explanations are, the easier it is for people to use them to make political statements and propaganda. In our opinion it is very dangerous to draw these kinds of “conclusions” (ie that every FPS-game/gamer is a potential killer) out of a gut-reaction and not based on empirical data and knowledge. We read hundreds of articles (by serious and well-respected media) and studies on this topic, and there is no statistically significant connection between these terrible acts of violence and gaming/gamers.”

It’s a sentiment that PSU agrees with whole-heartedly. Every time a young male goes on a shooting spree there follows the inevitable link with videogames which gets blown totally out of proportion. But it’s good to see that no matter how much the debate rages, developers in 2013 are continuing to produce games that allow us to kill our fellow gamers in a variety of gruesome ways. And long may it continue.

To get your next fix of violence, you could try Painkiller Hell & Damnation which is due for release on PS3 and Xbox 360 on April 5, 2013.

You can read the interview with Nordic Games and Farm 51 in full here.


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