I don't think the beer/coke analogy works here because of the important distinction between playing out a fantasy virtually versus potentially inflicting harm on real live people.
Back to my fart on people example [again, this is not something I want to do, this is just an example for the sake of discussion]: I could live my whole life repressing my desire to fart on strangers for various reasons. I could possibly, not want to selfishly put my desires above other people's right not to be assaulted by farting freaks, or, I could simply be afraid of the shame.
Regardless of the reason, if I can live out my fantasy in a video game I'm not only not violating other's rights, but I'm also not risking harm to myself through shame, retribution, or punishment for doing something deemed "Wrong" by society. Or perhaps [what if] my fantasy is not even clearly "Wrong", but just "Weird"?
What if I was perfectly capable of functioning at a job, and, I was not a threat to the safety of others, yet, I had a strong need to sometimes lick shoes? Lets say I have some restraint, and I don't go around licking shoes on the public subway, yet, I live in a future where privacy is almost gone, and if I was to continue giving in to my temptation to lick shoes at home in my apartment somehow people would find out, and my boss would think that I'm just too "Weird" so he would think up some unrelated excuse to fire me? Or maybe I wouldn't be hired in the first place. Perhaps I would be known as "That shoe licker guy"?
Why should I be prevented from living out my fantasy of licking shoes in a video game? [For the record, I don't want to lick shoes, I we don't even allow shoes in the house without these silly elastic shoe covers that we make delivery guys or meter readers wear when they come in the house]
Edited: Chris on 3rd Mar, 2016 - 7:01pm
Krusten, I think you have to accept that at least sometimes the opposite is true.
For some people having no outlet for their deepest desires may eventually become unbearable repression, whereas, if at least they could live out their fantasy virtually, they would have some form of outlet.
I feel a strong need to have at least SOME form of vice where I can submit to it's urges.
Chris, I don't want to dwell on your addictions but I think we're on two different angles. You are saying you need an outlet. I'm saying that some people use it as a step to other things. Really I was thinking about younger minds that are still open to material and they aren't yet mature enough to assimilate reality from their own immature assumptions. Staying on topic I want to say that adventurous sports and a descent partner will take away any need you might have to be in front of a screen being 'entertained' by virtual violence and sex.
Violent video games eventually lose their ability to produce guilt in gamers
Rapidly advancing technology has created ever more realistic video games. Images are sharp, settings have depth and detail, and the audio is crisp and authentic. It appears so real that research has consistently found that gamers feel guilty committing unjustified acts of violence within the game. Now, a new study suggests that the moral response produced by the initial exposure to a video game decreases as experience with the game develops. Ref. Source 5h.
Virtual reality games with full motion body suits are coming what is going to happen when pressing a keyboard or mouse button is no longer the norm and you have to physically pretend like you are striking an enemy. Imagine the psychological impact of that.
I agree with the people saying that parents need to be responsible for what their kids are and are not mature enough to handle. I think games should be able to portray life as it really is (Which involves a certain amount of unfairness, sexuality, and sometimes violence). However I don't like games like Grand Theft Auto, where the object is to break the law by stealing things and murdering people, just for fun. I have no problem with games like Battlefield that put the player in a battlefield surrounded by violence. I also like games like God of War with its high-fantasy take on what it would be like to be the god of war (Even though that game has lots of violence and at least the option for sexually explicit scenes). Now granted God of War is a little gratuitous, but I think so long as a game makes it feel natural that violence and sex have a place. Especially now that many 'gamers' are in their late 20's and older. I am not supporting that these games are for kids, but I think they have a place in the market for mature gamers.
Unfortunately parents don't take an interest in their kids development until after something major happens. When their kid gets thrown in jail for DUI at age 16, then the parents finally notice all the drug and alcohol paraphernalia on the music that their kids listen to and the games their kids play, and that must be the cause, not their neglectful parenting. We are people are responsible for our own actions and can't blame others for what we choose to do or allow to happen.
Sorry I got on a soap box there, but seeing games and music blamed for how kids turn out is a button for me. If your kids aren't mature enough to differentiate between reality and games, then they shouldn't be playing those kinds of games. Parents need to explain that while it is okay to enjoy playing certain games, that does not mean that behavior is acceptable in real life.