The conversation surrounding video games and violence has continued to be a polarizing topic, which makes Dr. Christopher Bartel's book a perfect addition to The Neutral Ground family. Bartel's book (Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy) takes a much-needed nuanced approach to the discussion. Instead of looking at the games, Bartel asks us to look at the players. Rather than saying this game promotes violence, Bartel asks the players to assert more agency in their gaming experiences--to be more aware of what the game potentially does to you and you alone. In this episode, we talk about how games test our ethics, how they blur the lines of social etiquette, and what parents can do to help make sure their children's gaming experiences are as healthy as possible. I also tell a rather personal story of my father taking me to Funcoland (remember those?) on September 13, 1993--also known as Mortal Monday--to purchase Mortal Kombat on the Sega Genesis. This was significant because it was one of the first games to receive a "mature" rating. I had worked all year cleaning up for a mechanic's shop to save up my money. Did my father let me buy it? Find out in the podcast. Don't forget to hit the subscribe button, the like button, and leave a kind comment to help support the podcast.
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