‘Hitman’ entertaining for the gamer, but violent for others

By Staff Writer
November 17, 2006

Meghan Hurley

Everyday many new video games come out and quickly gain attention and popularity, but one that seems to be a little above the average is the new “Hitman: Blood Money,” to which there is already a sequel on the verge of being released.

The game originally came out in 1996 but was strictly for PC computer use. The current version is not totally related to the original in anything but its name. The PlayStation version of the game has a different story line and far better graphics, and is a much more open ended game overall, meaning that the player is not held down by restrictions and the need to do only certain things to get through each level. There are many limitless options for completing a level and moving on, but it can take up to two hours to figure out how to get through a level on your first play. After that, more experienced gamers can get through some levels in as little as a few minutes.

The key to the game is to be stealthy in everything that you do, and money is a factor in everything for the PlayStation version of the game. The main character, or the hit man, is named Agent 47. The point of the game is to complete certain missions and to do them as cleanly as possible or some of your pay for the hit can be kept to pay for a cleanup, assuming it was a sloppy hit. Other places Agent 47’s money can go into are weapon upgrades and bribing witnesses into not saying anything.

It appears to be a popular game, but the violence in it may not be for everyone. Joe Windt, a sophomore criminology major, said, “It’s not like Madden, NCCA or Kelly Slater’s Surfing, though. In Madden you at least get to lay someone out and feel good about yourself; in Kelly Slater’s surfing you can rip a good wave and the chicks are all over you. I’d rather tackle someone and feel good than to shoot them and watch them die in a video game.”

Studies are also showing that the violence in games such as “Hit Man” has the potential to affect anyone from young children all the way up to college students.

The American Psychological Association, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, had this to say: “Playing violent video games.can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life.” The study continued with, “Violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor.”

These video games can be seen as tools that are desensitizing kids to violence, while the interactive ones are even increasing aggressiveness in not only young children, but college-aged people as well.

The bottom line is this: when playing games like “Hit Man” or anything else of the sort, just have fun with it and respect the boundary between reality and the game.

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