‘PBS Game/Show’ Attempts to Answer Why Killing Is a Fundamental Game Mechanic

PBS Game/Show host Jamin Warren attempts to answer why killing is a fundamental game mechanic in the latest episode of the series. Though there are a number of possible reasons, Warren notes that death is a concept that people of all ages can understand, and it provides immediate conflict for players.

Violence and death pervade video games in a way that is atypical of most other forms of media, but why? Outside of the act of just shooting a gun or swinging a sword, the smallest moments of “winning” or “overcoming” in a game are marked by forms of violence and aggression — even Kirby is known to swallow enemies whole. But is it something deeper than just game designers that have a propensity towards violence? Maybe the system, or more specifically computers, favor violent acts at their most elementary building blocks?