Notch Slams Jonathan Blow Over the Effects of Video Game Violence

Notch has criticized The Witness creator Jonathan Blow regarding comments the latter made about violence in video games, following the tragic mass murder in Orlando. 

The shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 50 people in the LGBT nightclub Pulse, led to many in the games industry addressing and discussing the fetishization of guns from developers. Jonathan Blow was among those offering their opinions, with the developer tweeting: “The lesson of E3: Game studios are working very hard to build fantasies about how cool it is to be a mass murderer.” This comment came after EA’s E3 press conference, in which the publisher previewed shooters such as Battlefield I and Titanfall 2.

In response, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson replied with a series of tweets of his own:

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Both Notch and Blow sit on opposite sides of the fence on a very contentious issue in gaming. While multiple studies have confirmed that video games do not cause violence, regardless of the suggestions made by hysterical tabloids, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether or not the glamorization of gun violence as is evidenced in many video game series ultimately has a detrimental impact.

With there being a swelling campaign in the US for stricter gun control in the wake of multiple mass shootings, some in the games industry believe that the celebration of gun violence in games is damaging. However, others believe that as there is no direct causal link between video games and violence, there is no issue in shooters allowing players to live out these “power fantasies.” 

Blow addressed criticisms of his comments, adding: “Why are you so threatened by an obviously true statement?”

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With E3 right around the corner, many are adding to the discussion regarding the depiction of gun violence in video games, with developers and critics alike sharing their thoughts on the matter. With that being said, this conflict between Notch and Jonathan Blow likely won’t be the last time we’ll see this issue raised over the next few days.