Blog Two

Feb. 5th, 2015 09:54 am
siamesa: (Default)
[personal profile] siamesa
 I recently saw a column in the Charlotte Observer discussing whether our society has become more violent than in the "good old days."  Such discussions always interest me.  Typically, the culprits blamed are violent media- action movies, video games, even sometimes the NFL.  In my opinion, however, those very escapist fantasies are among the reasons we are much less violent than our ancestors.

Last weekend, I was watching my beloved Davidson Wildcats lose an ugly one to St. Josephs.  Finally, in the closing minutes, watching shot after shot fall like a brick, I retreated upstairs.  "I'm going to go kill things," I informed my father.  

"In Guild Wars," I hastily corrected.

I logged in, pulled up my level twenty-one charr necromancer, Magda Silvereyes, and felt my frustration dissipate.  Of course, Guild Wars 2 is no God of War or Grand Theft Auto.  Magda fights mostly ghosts and monsters, with long range magic and without visible blood.  Even Aleen Nell, my level eighty, knife-wielding thief, doesn't dole out particularly realistic violence.  But the stress relief is there, satisfying something primal.

In Renaissance England (my primary era of historical study), people had different recourses.  Public executions drew the same boisterous, happy crowds as Shakespearian plays (not particularly Barney and Friends-esque themselves).  Just down from the Globe theater was an arena to watch bear-baiting.  And, of course, there were always good old-fashioned brawls.  Murder was omnipresent.  It was expected for a husband to beat his wife, and for parents to beat their children. 

It's a depressing thought, but maybe humans need violence.  And maybe watching Charles Johnson sack Matt Ryan is a healthier alternative than watching gladiators die.

Profile

siamesa: (Default)
siamesa

April 2015

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
192021 22232425
2627282930  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:28 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios