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Op Ed

Ars Technica - Did President Obama just order the government to study video game violence?
Sure, it's a bit galling that video games continue to be a political football that seems to be inextricably linked to violent rampages in our national discourse. And the thought of wasting any tax dollars on what is a thoroughly settled scientific question shows just how broken the political process can be. But let's keep things in perspective. Video game violence is an extremely small part of an extremely wide-ranging proposal by the White House to deal with gun violence on multiple fronts.

Cracked.com - The Truth About Guns and Video Games.
All right then, I guess we as gamers have only one recourse: We stop denying our role in the larger problem of gun violence altogether. Nobody's buying it anyway. You can spout studies and statistics all you want, and your debate partner will turn around and see a 10-year-old in his living room mowing down a village full of Arabs with a technically accurate machine gun, proudly rattling off the virtues of its fire rate and reload times. Gamers look ridiculous when we flail about, trying to deny that a fourth grader who understands the benefits of burst fire and knows to hold his breath while sniping is a bit disconcerting. Just like movie-goers look ridiculous if they say James Bond movies portray a pistol as anything other than an excellent solution to the problem of people who are in James Bond's fucking way. Just like music fans look ridiculous when they insist that all the gang violence glorified in giant, flashy colors in every other rap video has no effect on the children watching them.

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14. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 17:50 Asmo
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 16, 2013, 22:42:
And so obviously everything else must be a result of violent cartoons, TV and film for all the decades prior to that right? And I suppose violent books before that right back to Gutenberg including the bible? And I suppose any oral tradition preceeding that when people would sit around in festhalls and taverns and talk about the battles of old, right?

Holy fuck, give me a break. It's a violent universe. We're a violent species. Some of us just plain broken and do crazy shit like go on shooting sprees. Yet, somehow the 99.9% rest of us all manage to get up, go to work, pay our taxes and NOT go on a murderous rampage when we're pissed off. So much for the theory of violent media turning us all into murderous lunatics.

Umm... You didn't actually read the article did you..?

Did anyone?

That's what video games are: They are emulators for the systemic violence inherent in our culture. They allow us to hurt a lot of people, to feel that we are effective problem solvers and prolific distributors of sacred punches, all without actually harming anybody. Yes, that's pretty fucking sick. But so are human beings in general. Video games are just a symptom, not a cause. The cause is that basic, nasty little idea: "Heroes hurt bad guys."

That's the problem.

I certainly don't agree with all of his conclusions etc but his core point, that the games (media, music etc) we enjoy tells us a lot about who we are as people, is spot on.

His suggested solution ("become a nation of pussies") is, imo, impossible because the violence is human nature, not just glorification of fixing problems with violence. The US does tend to take it to the nth degree though with it's soldiers/nationalism.
 
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