Although there is no reason anyone should remember him since his disbarment over 8 years ago, Jack Thompson was many things. But most of all, he was seen as “that lawyer guy who hates violent video games and rap music.” The man was willing to lie to get his way, which ultimately led to him being permanently disbarred. But he was right about at least one thing that i know of video games certainly can alter someone’s state of mind.
Ask any gamer and they would most likely tell you the same. Every work of art from video games to paintings can make you feel things, teach you things, give you unique perspectives of the world, and can ultimately change how you see things. Let me be clear, Thompson was certainly wrong about the extent to which your mind can be altered; people are not going to play GTA and proceed to drive over prostitutes.
But video games have changed me. They’ve changed me in the short term where I felt a particular emotion, and they’ve changed me in the long term where I have a different outlook on something. But what I really want to talk about are the short term emotional changes. Games have made me feel happy, sad, scared, disgusted, you name it. I’ll admit that I’ve cried at times and I’ve even fell bonafide head over heels in love with a video game character, who will remain anonymous. Games have also made me angry, but always for technical reasons; bugs, glitches, difficult levels or bosses, that kind of thing.
That was until I played God of War 3. The first and so far only game that I didn’t find particularly difficult the first time I played it, but the story itself pissed me off to no end. I wanted to kill the gods. I remember putting the game down for the day and thinking something like: “I cannot wait to get to the next god, whoever it may be, and detach his head from the rest of his body too.”
I’m not a particularly violent person at all. When i first played it, I don’t remember anything going on in my life that put me in a bad mood. Yet for whatever reason I understood Kratos and I understood his hatred of the gods. They have all this power and what do they do with it? They essentially use it to pat themselves on the back all day every day. Every once in awhile Zeus turns himself into an animal and sexually assaults a seemingly random female human. Kratos himself is a product of that. They make me the God of War after i kill Aries for them, and then when i’m doing a bang up job, waging wars, my God of War status gets revoked. Zeus, my own bastard father, tries to kill me and then when i’m about to kill him, he runs off like a little bitch.
So what if I opened Pandora’s box and released hope? Hope is supposed to be a good thing, but instead Zeus is scared shitless, you know why? Because him and his cronies usurped the Titan’s evil regime, so that they can install their own, ‘how dare you give fire to humans’, evil regime. So with hope, Zeus thinks: “Oh shit, we’re next.” Well maybe if you weren’t such a dick, people wouldn’t hate you so much. Sure, there was evil in the box too, but bitch, you overcame it before, what’s changed?
In the final confrontation with Zeus, i was already pissed off at the beginning, but now he’s insulting me? By “me” i mean Kratos of course. Calling him a failure, and saying he’s never succeeded at anything. That was it, this camel’s back is now nonexistent. Screw everything, including Pandora, today you die, Zeus. I was happy that the game allowed me to beat him to death with my bare hands at the end. I must have kept pressing that button for at least five more minutes after the screen turned crimson. The icing on the cake was Athena, from beyond the grave, demanding that she be given the power of hope and horde it all to herself. Even in death, these gods continue to be assholes. Instead Kratos “kills” himself, releasing the power of hope to all humanity. “They will not know what to do with it.” Tch, piss off, Athena.
As you can see, this game stirs something up inside of me. Sometimes when i’m angry I like to watch some death scenes of the game on YouTube. My favorite is Hercules, and his pompous ass. It makes me feel better. I’m not proud of it, but hey i’m only human and humans hate sometimes. I hated the gods of God of War 3. Hate is not a very nice emotion to have projected onto you or to feel yourself in real life. Many might argue that recent events have shown that the last thing we need is more hate. But at least for me, God of War 3 has proven therapeutic.