As the prominence of violence in video games has increased, the debate focusing on the impact of violence has amplified, as well. The arguments surrounding these games concerns whether they cause aggressive behavior and desensitization to real world violence. This article discusses both sides of this argument. In these games, there is a rationale that since the violence involves killing virtual characters, the repercussions are negligible, and even irrelevant. Certain games capitalize on this premise. Specifically, the game franchise Halo. Halo provides players a cathartic experience, allowing them to slaughter aliens, without consequence. The means of justification of violence in the game are detailed in this article. Along with other violent war games, Halo desensitizes players to real world violence, allowing them to view graphic images with lessened empathic responses.
Keywords: Halo, video games, violence, desensitization, aggression, media violence