Question: Was Exidy responsible for starting the violent video games trend with Death Race? Was it Namco with Pac-Man? Nintendo with Mario Bros? GTA? Maybe, but according to a pair of German researchers, it was all really the Pentagon's fault.
In the latest issue of Current Concerns, Renate and Rudi Hansel linked the proliferation of violent video games to the U.S. military's work with military simulators. The Hansels claim that during the nineties the Pentagon released "killing simulators" for consumption by the general public:
During the nineties the killing simulators, employed for hand to hand combat in the US army and police, were released by the Pentagon to be sold for private use on the public markets. As a consequence the computer and video game industry that had co-operated with the Pentagon from the very beginning, boomed. Since then the so-called killer games have wreaked havoc among children and youths.
The Hansels are calling for these "electronic training programs for killing people" to be "taken back to the US barracks, where they came from. They have to disappear from civil society altogether."
Images are from Steven Lefcourt's 8-Bit Fatalities series.
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