Monologue on shoot- ’em-ups

I think most of you heard about the shooting incident in Germany by a 17-year old teenager.
You can read the whole story here.

Yesterday evening I watched a discussion on TV about this tragedy and like always after such incidents, the issue of shoot-‘em-ups (like Counterstrike) raised.
One person in this discussion said: “These kind of games are matter of taste.”

But I got stuck with the question: Why would someone actually play these kind of games?

I estimate that about 90% of the people who will read this already played such a game or at least know such games. I am no exception. But as I mentioned, I was pondering about why somebody would buy a game with the aim to kill people.
Ok, it isn’t real. You really don’t kill anybody. It is a virtual reality. But through these games a murder is simulated because the game is a simulation. We say: ”War is such a terrible thing.” But war games like ‘Call of Duty’ are fun, because they are only a simulation. Virtual Reality seems to be a cool thing – You as the protagonist can do things that you would never do in reality – leaving your morality behind.

Games simulating war, simulating bloodshed, are considered to be entertainment.

But still: Why are people enjoying the simulated act of killing others?
Does it come from the satisfaction to decide over life and death? Meaning, is pleasure felt when someone presses a button and a virtual bullet hits a virtual head? Because now the player feels more powerful or mightier.
But is this sane?

A Quote comes to mind:

"Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it."
Mark Twain

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