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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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15. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 19:47 Prez
 
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.

I have long since believed that our choice of entertainment does not influence us but is just a reflection of who and what we are and, so I agree with that point. But his whole rambling article is leading up to the part where games "have a role in the larger problem of gun violence", which without any evidence presented to support it is BS as far as I am concerned.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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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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13. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 12:20 avianflu
 
I'm a long time gamer, but hearing some teens talking about CoD can raise the hair on the back of your neck. Now imagine an adult non-gamer hearing those kids talking, and I can see why some parents become wary.  
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12. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 11:11 Prez
 
Golwar wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 08:02:
It always baffles me when the kind of logic is mentioned that we are violent creatures, so why care about violence in our environment at all?

Good question. I think it has some to do with our ability to empathize. EDIT: That, and knowing there will be punitive consequences due to violence in a society that has laws against it in order to maintain some semblance of order.

It is true that games surely ain't the major factor or reason for gun violence. But does anyone really doubt that they have no impact on the youth at all? Not even the slightest?

I haven't seen any evidence of it myself, nor have I seen any evidence to support the causality people always infer. At best it seems to be a possible correlation. But a cause? The evidence is just not there.

I've always been opposed to hyper-realism in shooters or extra over the top brutality in games to add some spice. If that is all that makes a game special enough to appeal gamers, than there is something going wrong.

If you are correct that there is "something going wrong", I would say that the prevalence of ultra-realistic violence in games ( and movies, and TV shows, and books, and music) would only be a symptom of it, not a cause.

This comment was edited on Jan 17, 2013, 11:30.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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11. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 08:08 Golwar
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 04:39:
Correct me if Im wrong, but Europe has access to violent games, film, books, documentaries, media etc. etc....

...and yet you dont hear about violent school shootings about once or twice a year from say France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy etc. etc....

It is all a question of the perspective. There are school shootings everywhere, but usually with less deaths and not as frequently as in the USA. They are once more the trendsetters. What the media makes "cool" there, swaps over to the rest of the world. The most effective solution to stop such shootings would surely be to restrict media coverage.

A list of shootings can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 08:02 Golwar
 
It always baffles me when the kind of logic is mentioned that we are violent creatures, so why care about violence in our environment at all?

It is true that games surely ain't the major factor or reason for gun violence. But does anyone really doubt that they have no impact on the youth at all? Not even the slightest?

I've always been opposed to hyper-realism in shooters or extra over the top brutality in games to add some spice. If that is all that makes a game special enough to appeal gamers, than there is something going wrong.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 07:47 El Pit
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 04:39:
Correct me if Im wrong, but Europe has access to violent games, film, books, documentaries, media etc. etc....

...and yet you dont hear about violent school shootings about once or twice a year from say France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy etc. etc....

For Germany, you're wrong. There have been a couple of school shootings with several victims over the last decade. As usual, all fingers pointed at violent games and movies. The true reasons (the killers were bullied in unbelievable ways, had huge problems with their families, had access to guns, and so on) have been ignored. In one case, the nutcase who shot former schoolmates even fooled his family for almost a year: he had to leave school because of several reasons (one of them being too dangerous and unpredictable to attend school anymore), but never told his parents. Instead, he still left home "for school" every day. But nobody wanted to discuss this behavior after he shot teachers and pupils at his former school, which imo clearly proves his disconnection from his family or maybe even fear of parental consequences, instead the usual scapegoats were publicly crucified: games and movies.

Politicians and industry need these scapegoats. They don't want to discuss the growing pressure on young people who sometimes collapse and turn into dangerous psychopaths who still get ignored till they go on a rampage. It's too expensive to start psychological programs at schools and universities, and in no way do they want to discuss how to reduce competition and pressure in a society that very early segregates between hopeless bottom feeders with very, very few chances to leave their pariah level and those happy few people who later in their lives will live off those pariahs (more or less).

Times are getting harder everywhere with worldwide markets and worldwide competition. Which western country can really compete with work slaves in China, India, Malaysia, and so on? NONE! That's why conservatives try to reduce social welfare for those who are simply unable to compete at high levels (the help being denounced e.g. as "social hammock"). In the end, everybody loses, it's just living on borrowed time for everyone involved.

And no, I can't see any alternative to capitalism. This competition, it's in us. It's a part of being a homo sapiens. And it's an inner drive that dooms us.

This comment was edited on Jan 17, 2013, 07:54.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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8. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 04:39 InBlack
 
Correct me if Im wrong, but Europe has access to violent games, film, books, documentaries, media etc. etc....

...and yet you dont hear about violent school shootings about once or twice a year from say France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy etc. etc....

Ive included only western countries on the list because they are most similar in culture to the US and have the same access to 'violent' media.

They are barking up the wrong fucking tree and they know it. Its a waste of your taxpayer dollars and its fucking despicable, because something can be done about this, but this isnt it!
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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7. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 01:26 Creston
 
PropheT wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 00:07:
As long as it's a fair and objective look at these things, there might finally be somewhere that we can point to without having to double and triple check the source, originator of the study, who paid for it, and so on.

That's kind of what I'm hoping. The CDC is an excellent place to do this study, but on the downside, it'll likely take YEARS to complete. (They're not the quickest bunch in the world.)

But if the CDC says "there is no link," then at least the government can't open its fucking yap and whine about it anymore in the future.

Creston
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 00:19 JohnBirshire
 
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.

Exactly.
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2013, 00:07 PropheT
 
As long as it's a fair and objective look at these things, there might finally be somewhere that we can point to without having to double and triple check the source, originator of the study, who paid for it, and so on.

When they come to no conclusive evidence that video games, movies, or music are causes for this sort of thing we'll be thankful for that study. This could really turn out to be a good thing for gamers in the long run, since I don't personally believe they'll find anything that would condemn the hobby or those of us that enjoy it as the psychopathic wackos a number of politicians have historically tried to paint us as. Hell, if Joe Lieberman had done this ten years ago instead of trying to ban them we might have been thanking that goofy muppet right now.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2013, 23:16 El Pit
 
No need for the President to order anything. Because of the censorship in Germany and Australia, the game companies have already started censoring their games WORLDWIDE so that they can be sold as "non-censored" in those countries (resulting in higher sale numbers). Examples: Borderlands 2 and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. Mean

EDIT: Didn't President Clinton already order a pretty big research on violent video games after the Columbine massacre? And IIRC, the results weren't solid enough to allow him to enforce censorship?

This comment was edited on Jan 17, 2013, 00:19.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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3. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2013, 23:04 Creston
 
Cracked.com: Proudly writing troll articles for cheap inflammatory hits since 1998.

Creston
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2013, 22:42 Cutter
 
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.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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1. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2013, 21:51 Prez
 
The Cracked article author is indeed fucking cracked. How you are supposed to connect that a videogame teaches what a gun looks and sounds like when it fires as well as some basic mechanics of using it with his assertion that media "plays a role" in gun violence is something he conveniently fails to illustrate. He makes some decent points throughout but he lost me with his self-important ramblings.

This comment was edited on Jan 16, 2013, 21:57.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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