Advanced Essay #4: Violence as Consumption


Hey ya’ll! I present to you my Advanced Essay #4. I’m actually really proud of this one. Before writing this essay, I used my free write space to get out all of my thoughts and potential ideas. I ended up with many topics/ideas, but I had to choose one. That’s when I decided to write about violence as consumerism. I chose to write about this because I can relate to it and it’s just very interesting to me. To understand why people buy into violence. To My goals for this paper were to open my readers’ eyes to the perspective of violence as consumerism, manage my time wisely, to not overwrite my essay, stop by the Lit Lab and include a great, larger idea.  I very happy to say that I accomplished all of my goals with no problem at all. If I had to do this again, I think I may build a little bit more on my larger idea. I hope this essay affects your perspective on violence. Enjoy!


When it comes to violence, there are two perspectives involved. The first perspective is of  those engaged in the violence. The second perspective is of those seeing the violence. Many people believe that focusing on those engaged in the violence is the most important thing when it comes to these sorts of situations. However, those seeing the violence is just as important. In today’s society, violence is ingrained in most of the things that we consume, such as movies, television, social media and, most strikingly, in video games. I can relate the most to the last one.

Growing up, I would see violence in TV shows, movies and games a lot. One time in 2011 or 2012, I went over to my best friend Tim’s house to hang out. When I walked into the house, I saw that he was playing his Play Station 2 as usual, but, today was different. He had a new game called “DC vs. Mortal Kombat.” I had never heard of it, so I sat on the couch next to Tim to see what was going on in the game. This game was so bloody, grotesque and brutal. It involved a one on one fighting game that only ended in death. I had never seen anything like it before that day. Any kind of violence I had seen before this game never involved blood and death, just kicking and punching. This game disturbed me, yet my eyes never left the television screen. After ten minutes into this game, I had become intrigued. It was at that point that I joined Tim in the game and then, days later, got the game myself.

As I had, many people have given into the sway of violent video games. Games such as, “Call of Duty”, “Mortal Kombat”, “Battle Field” and many more. The imagery that’s displayed in violent video games has a strange quality that draws many people into buying them. This is what the mixture of violence and consumerism looks like: People taking pleasure in involving themselves in violence. In a TED talk with Peter Mantello, he explained the phenomenon of violence and consumerism merging together in the video game world. He stated, “In the first person shooter game, the battle field transforms into a market place. And so the key prerequisites to capitalism, production and consumption, revolves around production (the killing of adversaries for cash-kill points) and consumption (the trading of cash-kill points for weapons and body armor). So the more you kill, the richer you become. The richer you become, the more weapons you can buy. The more weapons you can buy, the more powerful you can become.” This quote gives you the reason as to why people react this way to violent imagery in video games. Indulging in this violence makes them feel powerful. This makes sense too because, speaking from personal experience, when you shoot someone down, or take someone out with your immaculate fighting skills and/or powers, you feel on top of the world and unbeatable. It’s an oddly amazing feeling.

This is one of the things that capitalism comprises. It took violence and put a price tag on it. Capitalism understands the powerful feeling these violent games give people. So they continue to manufacture more of these games. We, as a society, continue to consume these games. Capitalism prospers while society gradually becomes more violent. The more society buys into violence, the more it's safe to say that violence is human nature. People have been trying to end violence for many decades, but the result is always the same: more violence.


"Consuming War: Peter Mantello at TEDx." The Vision Machine. Accessed March 20, 2017.