“WoW Is Not Really a Violent Game”

Finnish editor of Pelit game magazine wrote in her column that “WoW is not really a violent game”.

Which sort of made me wonder what is she talking about? (The article was fine, but this point about thoughts that suggest most games aren’t violent – like WoW – makes me wonder how our brains are wired)

Let’s take an example. In World of Warcraft you can use big swords. And get experience for killing anything that moves. To me… the missing link sort of calls for “violence” (or am I missing something?).

Are we gamers so accustomed to violence that “cartoony violence” or “hitting others with blunt objects to help us improve ourselves and get more money and stuff and whatnot” is “not really violence”?

Maybe in comparison to Hitman it’s not so violent but compared to Tetris WoW is pretty violent.

I rest my heavy case.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. They rate it T but I think that’s mostly because of some of the commentary from the other players… >_< I’m working hard at getting my server back out of the gutter by reporting everyone.

  2. Yeh…. I’m not saying that WoW would had very bad stuff in it. Simply stating that, it’s violent. “Cartoony violent” perhaps but violent anyway. K12, is it?

  3. To me what puts me off a game is not “killing people/animals” or “hitting people/animals with swords or shooting things”, it’s whether your targets/victims appear to suffer. Had to desensitise myself to play Diablo in places.

    Disclaimer: I play WoW.

  4. Wanton slaughter of wild animals, humanoids, anything that moves, endless killing, it’s a mass murder simulation man…

  5. Saw a Tom & Jerry cartoon today where a golf ball smashed Tom’s teeth. It did not feel like violence because it had no bad consequences – the next scene showed Tom heading after Jerry as ever.
    Can missing (real-life) consequences be a factor for this statement?

  6. Most gamers will find a game like WoW devoid of violence even if it is evident to a casual observer or an external viewer. The violence here is an abstraction. The shiny swords, the armor and the animations are merely decorations to provide some identification mechanism to a set of timers and boxes, really. They serve its purpose as an appealing hook, of course, but once you start playing you promptly forgot what you’re seeing because you’re not playing with swords and knifes, but with the timers and boxes.

    It’s a phenomena common to most games and very hard to describe to someone who doesn’t play games frequently.

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