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Violent Games Good for Kids

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the contrary-wisdom dept.

Games 369

fjordboy writes "Scholars from MIT, the University of California in LA, and the University of London have worked together to oppose laws restricting children from playing violent video games. The battle is currently taking place in the US Court of Appeals and the case seems to hold a decent amount of merit. From Vnunet:"Experts on childhood and adolescence have long recognised the importance of violent fantasy play in overcoming anxieties, processing anger, and providing outlets for aggression." Similar article from Reuters as well."

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So that's what's wrong with me (5, Funny)

principio (558251) | about 12 years ago | (#4339581)

I knew I should have spent more time playing video games and less time studying.

Re:So that's what's wrong with me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339604)

What is wrong with you is that you have perverse sexual fantasies about Rick Austenson [] !!

Re:So that's what's wrong with me (3, Interesting)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | about 12 years ago | (#4339805)

As a game programmer games were my motivation to study.

That's probably a rare case though =).

?eye 0wnz j00? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339587)

headshot! pop pop pop!

FIrst Tost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339588)

fp... Rick Austenson is a foggot who fucks Michael A. Hartman

Re:FIrst Tost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339602)

what the hell is a foggot?

Re:FIrst Tost (1)

sgtpudding (603461) | about 12 years ago | (#4339624)

maybe he meant to write "forgot" - as in, "i forgot to think before writing"

Whew! (3, Funny)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | about 12 years ago | (#4339589)

I'm sure the folks over at The Army [] are glad to hear this one!

you total fucking loser (-1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | about 12 years ago | (#4339615)

cut your dick off

Single validation not enough (2, Insightful)

Amadaeus (526475) | about 12 years ago | (#4339592)

Repeated beatings of the gaming industry can't be rescued by a single validation. What really needs to be done is that society must realize that not all disasterous things int he world can be blamed on the gaming industry. When that happens, then it will be a true validation of pc/console gaming.

Dual approach. (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 12 years ago | (#4339635)

One one hand, it's helpful to have scholars challenge the old assumption that video games create behavorial problems in the young. Japan's use of video games is definitely in the "catharsis theory" school, allowing people - often adults - to do things they can't or shouldn't do in real life. There are arcade simulators that let men grab virtual asses in simulated subways!

Ultimately, however, what will protect video games from censorship will be free speech issues, not arguments about level of or lack of harm. The fact the more and more video game players are adults will help build consensus for thinking of them as a full-fledged media, and not just a children's toy.

Re:Single validation not enough (4, Insightful)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 12 years ago | (#4339651)

The problem is that Mommy and Daddy need someone to blame when little Johnny (or Eric or Dylan) goes on a shooting rampage.

Now, it's probably not Mom and Dad's fault either. Little Johnny is plenty old enough to know right from wrong and that killing his schoolmates is WRONG.

But there is a very human need to find a "reason", and video games are a convenient scapegoat. Besides, then some politician can call for banning them in order to be seen "DOING SOMETHING!!! ANYTHING!!!". After all, he has to think of the children(tm).

Re:Single validation not enough (1)

abradsn (542213) | about 12 years ago | (#4339812)

Exactly! REMEMBR ... Before videogames it was television and radio. Before that it was the newspaper. Before that it was probably knights, and ninjas. It's not the medium, but the material depicted. It is a well proven fact that depicted violence leads to increased violence in people of all ages. Keep this in mind.

Re:Single validation not enough (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339836)

It's always the damn ninja's isn't it, well, what about our feelings... You think it's easy to put on the black mask and never get any recognition for our work!!!!

Damn you ninja throwing star movies, and damn your pat moraito(sp?).

Re:Single validation not enough (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339851)

It is a well proven fact that depicted violence leads to increased violence in people of all ages. Keep this in mind.

No. No, such connection has ever been proven. Your opinion is not a fact merely because you want it to be. Keep this in mind.

They are right (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339595)

They havn't warped me.

--Inmate # 1268358 Walla Walla State Pen., WA

Don't believe it? (5, Funny)

FreshMeat-BWG (541411) | about 12 years ago | (#4339598)

For anyone who doesn't believe this: Sit through a two-hour long meeting with a manager and then go play twenty minutes of GTA3.

Feeling better aren't you?

Good for kids and adults!

Re:Don't believe it? (3, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4339700)

Sit through a two-hour long meeting with a manager and then go play twenty minutes of GTA3.

That could be dangerous if you aren't allowed to play games at work like 99.9% of people. Imagine sitting in said 2 hours meeting, getting all riled up for GTA3, then having to drive home before you can play. :)

New business plan? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339600)

1. Release report on video games
2. ????
3. Profit!!!!

Another way to scare parents. :) (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | about 12 years ago | (#4339603)

Conclusion: If you don't let Timmy get rid of excess agression by playing Street Fighter Epsilon 7, his chances of dragon punching his sister in the throat increases exponentially. Capcom and Tecmo should really use quotes from this report in their upcoming advertising. ;)


mekkab (133181) | about 12 years ago | (#4339665)


Ahhhh, I feel better already!

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339612)

Awsome news!

*loads up the shotgun*

When I was a kid... (4, Funny)

kbielefe (606566) | about 12 years ago | (#4339614)

When I was a kid I released my agression by chopping wood and mowing lawns. Nothing like violently chopping the heads off of 1 million blades of grass to relieve stress.

Murderer ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339658)

And I begged, "Angel of the Lord, what are these tortured screams?" And the angel said unto me, "These are the cries of the carrots, the cries of the carrots! You see, Reverend Maynard, tomorrow is harvest day and to them it is the holocaust."

Re:When I was a kid... (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | about 12 years ago | (#4339659)

If you feel like taking out some more agression, you are free to come over to my house any time and cut my grass :-)

This offer is open to anyone...

My wife and I have around an acre of land.

Re:When I was a kid... (2)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | about 12 years ago | (#4339739)

Yeah, that's what I tell my kids when I want to play Grand Theft Auto too.

Dennis Leary Had it Right (2, Funny)

EverlastingPhelps (568113) | about 12 years ago | (#4339819)

"Crying and mowing the lawn at the same time! How's that for therapy? 'Geez, the Leary kid is in therapy again -- their lawn looks great!'"

It's true (-1, Offtopic)

ziggy_travesty (611150) | about 12 years ago | (#4339616)

Allowing our children to play violent 3-d shooting games will inadvertnetly grow an army of pissed-off 13 year olds who will beat people to death with mice and keyboards!

Re:It's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339685)

you have stumbled onto the secret plan and must now be eliminated

thank you for understanding

Shouldn't it be (1)

thoolie (442789) | about 12 years ago | (#4339619)

violent games good kids as well as adults that are in touch with there younger side? I know manyt people that play RTCW and UT that are over the age of 30. I don't think that the games are any better for young people than for the older or visa versa. But remember, the games are only good for the kids if they are being played, if a game is being eaten, it could have some negative results ;-)

Re:Shouldn't it be (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | about 12 years ago | (#4339732)

Actually the lions share of the market is over 18.

RTCW and GTA3 arent designed for little kids. If they were targetting my 9 year old, they'd be doing a piss-poor job.

He couldn't care less about the titles I enjoy.

I mean, how much money does the average 5-10 year old have in his/her pocket? Richie-Rich aside, its not enough to buy a new game every week.

New as in full MSRP on release day, they dont make money when you pick up Warcraft II BattleChest for 4.99 at babbages.

The video game industry didn't surpass the movie industry in gross sales on little Billy's allowance.

That's the reason there are so many 'Mature' games.

All this "good/bad for your kids" debate does is misdirect the public.

Video games aren't "kids entertainment", any more than all movies are "kids entertainment".

Re:Shouldn't it be (1)

abradsn (542213) | about 12 years ago | (#4339846)

You idiot, check your video game statistics before you blabber non-sense.

hmm... (0)

Solidblu (241490) | about 12 years ago | (#4339633)

Even though you can argue this both ways and this arguement is far from over....

Poppycock (2, Insightful)

drhairston (611491) | about 12 years ago | (#4339637)

Have these researchers for a moment stopped to consider that hours spent glued to some machine instead of interacting with ones peers is the cause of "anxieties", "anger", and "aggression"? While there may exist a threshold for healthy computer gaming, I am certain that I have met many young men who have exceeded it.

Re:Poppycock (1)

Teknon (609021) | about 12 years ago | (#4339688)

Young Men??? Youen Wormen are imcapable?

Re:Poppycock (1)

MrResistor (120588) | about 12 years ago | (#4339834)

Since I don't know what a Youen Wormen is, or how it might be imcapable, I'm going to have to support the origional poster on this one.

Re:Poppycock (1)

evilninja (261516) | about 12 years ago | (#4339774)

You mean, if I had never played video games when I was younger, I'd be living a anxiety-, anger-, and aggression-free life?!?! Somebody should have told me this sooner!

Really, though, there's nothing like a good 36 hours of UT to get over a nasty breakup. I've turned to video games several times in the past (and will do so in the future) when I really needed to kill something but felt inhibited by federal law.

Re:Poppycock (1)

corey_lawson (562933) | about 12 years ago | (#4339776)

...and there are plenty of young men and women who spend too much time on whatever their pursuit is, instead of socializing and playing all the other reindeer games. It doesn't have to be EverCrack. It could be Chess, Cheerleading, Soccer, Cycling, Skateboarding, Computer Programming, whatever.

As long as they're not sneaking aroudn the neighborhood at night rounding up stray animals and performing vivisections on them...

Re:Poppycock (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4339821)

Have these researchers for a moment stopped to consider that hours spent glued to some machine instead of interacting with ones peers is the cause of "anxieties", "anger", and "aggression"?

I don't know so much about that. Mostly anecdotal, but as a child I lived pretty much in isolation until I was 5 years old. I lived in the country and interacted very little with my peers. I didn't have a Nintendo or computers or anything like that back then, but I did watch a good bit of TV. I had very few behavioural problems in school, at least not many problems with aggression, I did tend to be a loner, and had some trouble interacting.

My son is now 5. He has gone to preschool since he was in diapers. He has problems with agression and anger management, he has had them for a while now.

They developed when he started going to one particular school, and interacted with peers that were very rough and physical on average. This was mostly because in the town I moved to, there are no secular preschools, so I was forced to send him to one of the brainwashing kinds, with the accompaning trashy Christian kids. Earlier he was attending a non-religious school in a college town, mostly with the sons and daughters of professors.

Now, I do allow him to play first person shooters and such, but I turn down the gore options.

My point? I don't know. It's hard to say from a little bit of anecdotal evidence like this, but my impression is that his interaction with certain types of peers led more to his anger problems than any game ever did. I just don't think the games are affecting him in a negative way, but I can tell you that the peers definitely are.

Re:Poppycock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339863)

You say you turned out normal, but you seem to have a problem with people of faith. Calling a religious institution as brainwashing and referring to Christian children as trashy, completely invalidates anything you had to say that was worthwhile. You allowed you own problems to show through in your comment.

Re:Poppycock (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4339874)

referring to Christian children as trashy

I said trashy Christian children. As in the ones he went to school with were, not all of them are.

The games are even better! (1, Troll)

nizo (81281) | about 12 years ago | (#4339638)

Experts on childhood and adolescence have long recognised the importance of violent fantasy play in overcoming anxieties, processing anger, and providing outlets for aggression.

Not even in my wildest imaginings did I ever think up running around chainsawing people; good thing we have computers around to help augment our violent fantasy capabilities. Not to mention a verion of DOOM where you hire lawyers to sue the baddys into prison instead of blasting them with a shotgun probably wouldn't sell as well.

After making my first post... (0, Offtopic)

thoolie (442789) | about 12 years ago | (#4339653)

After making my first post, i read some of the others, it seems as though the /. community has grow bitter, or atleast a little angry. Everytime i look at the threads, i see many -1 flamebate, offtopic, troll, etc...(hell, i got my first -1 yesterday) Where have the goodtimes gone of Interesting, INformative, and Funny? Maybe we all need to play more violent games, is that it?

1IO9X7DCMT40K (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339655)

This post is for the cows.

those "experts" are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339657)

Most studies have found that most normal kids can handle mildly violent content in video games ok, but when it comes to extreme realistic gore, it pushes borderline kids off the deep end. They've also found that video games primarily excite the kids and small issues (conflict) can become bigger conflict just because of the already heightened emotional state. The cited "experts" in this blurb are just wrong. Fantasy is good but no studies I've ever read have shown evidence of catharsis. That's old freudian stuff which was disproven long ago. Check out Bandura's social learning theory for details about how kids most likely learn from video games.

Re:those "experts" are wrong (1)

Starknight (610891) | about 12 years ago | (#4339759)

Please provide attributions and/or links to these studies... or are they all done by such 'scientifically rigorous' methods as innuendo and unprovable anecdotes as the 'studies' in the 1980s which 'proved' that D&D caused a higher rate of suicide in teens?

Kiddie Porn (0, Troll)

Rader (40041) | about 12 years ago | (#4339660)

Does this mean that kiddie porn should be allowed because it allows pedophiles to act out their fantasies in "safe" ways.

Re:Kiddie Porn (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 12 years ago | (#4339671)

No since it dosn't. You see to make kiddie porn some kid has to be involved. If in order to make Quake the devlopers had to video people getting their heads blown off you would have a closer analogy.

Re:Kiddie Porn (2)

SquadBoy (167263) | about 12 years ago | (#4339699)

What about virtual kiddie porn? 82444/1 824

Re:Kiddie Porn (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 12 years ago | (#4339712)

thats a grey area that is still unde debate in many courts. In several cases however it has been deamed to be "ok" (and I use that term loosly) as no child was harmed.

Re:Kiddie Porn (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | about 12 years ago | (#4339820)

Yes it is sick shit lets start with that. I don't think anyone is in favor of it. But it should *not* be banned by the government. I don't think there is any grey area to it. The bill of rights is pretty much written in absoulte terms and the lines are clear if sometime less than pleasent.

Re:Kiddie Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339734)

. You see to make kiddie porn some kid has to be involved.

Maybe sex stories with pedophilic slants then would be a closer analogy.

I think Western culture has gone pretty overboard with this fear of pedophilia. There is nothing special about being 18 years old. Of course abusive and exploitative relationships should not be tolerated, but to throw someone in jail for having a relationship with a 16 year old is insane.

I think history will look back on this period in western culture as highly draconian and backward.

Re:Kiddie Porn (2)

MsGeek (162936) | about 12 years ago | (#4339765)

Donning Devil's Advocate hat... You see to make kiddie porn some kid has to be involved.

[devils advocate] Not if it was all done in CGI...if no kids were involved, where does your argument go?[/devils advocate]

Doffing Devil's Advocate hat, ducking and running...

Re:Kiddie Porn (1)

PissingInTheWind (573929) | about 12 years ago | (#4339709)

I think the problem with 'kiddie porn' is a lot with the way the content is produced and the harm it involves.

To produce a violent videogame like GTA3, you don't need to go in the streets recording movies of people that get ran over by cars or of thug beating grannies.

Re:Kiddie Porn (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 12 years ago | (#4339772)

But wait til GTA4!

Re:Kiddie Porn (2)

GuyMannDude (574364) | about 12 years ago | (#4339778)

Does this mean that kiddie porn should be allowed because it allows pedophiles to act out their fantasies in "safe" ways.

The problem with kiddie porn is that children have already been violated in the creation of the material. It's pointless to claim that kiddie porn results in fewer pedophiles acting on their impulses because children have already been harmed. One solution is the so-called virtual kiddie porn which would be an outlet for pedophiles and not have actual children being used to produce the material. However, if Ashcroft and his Goon Squad have their way, that will become illegal too.

I'm not picking on you, Rader, I just think you chose a bad example. Let's consider something different: Japanese hentai anime porn. In these movies, young girls are usually raped by evil monsters or demons. Here, actual people are not being harmed and it could be argued that watching such material is a safe outlet for those who enjoy fantasizing about violent, nonconsentual sex (and there are both men and women who have fantasies like this). I think it's important for those of us who defend violent videogames to keep these sexual examples in the back of our minds because sooner or later some "save the children" organization is going to use them against us. A lot of people who might be willing to accept violent videogames as harmless fun will balk at the hentai movies. Then it will be a simple matter for the anti-videogame crowd to say "You're against violent pornography, then you should be against violent videogames as well." And I argue that it's quite possible that that argument will win over some sitting-on-the-fencers.


Re:Kiddie Porn (2)

Aexia (517457) | about 12 years ago | (#4339788)

Kiddie porn is illegal because there's a kiddie involved.

Virtual kiddie porn, OTOH, seems to have been deemed legal because it fails that criteria.

It's only a game (1)

rohar (253766) | about 12 years ago | (#4339667)

Kids have always played aggressive games. I don't think that it matters whether it's a video game or sports.

Games don't create psychopaths and cause a kid to bring a gun to school. Parents (or lack of) do that.

Hold on there buddy... (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | about 12 years ago | (#4339814)

Kids have always played aggressive games. I don't think that it matters whether it's a video game or sports.

Now, are you going to tell me that the experience of playing cops and robbers or football is similiar to playing GTA3? Obviously, the kinds of images imprinted in the minds of those who play very violent video games is very different than that of making a gun with your finger and shooting someone.

Why is it that those who love violent video games will prop up any study that supports their cause and ignore or discredit any that goes against it? Obviously, it's a tactic that all sorts of groups like but I would hope that "nerds" could be a bit more scientific than that. It seems a bit obvious to me that engaging in agressive behavior, whether it is in the form of a video game or not, will result in a more agressive personality.

Games don't create psychopaths and cause a kid to bring a gun to school. Parents (or lack of) do that.

Most don't say that games create psycopaths or cause people to kill other people. Obviously there are a lot of factors involved. But as a parent, I don't want my children playing games that glorify violence. Of course, the typical response of people is that it is entirely upon my shoulders to make that happen. The ultimate responsability of my children's welfare is in my hands, but people have grown so used to the automatic response that it's up to the parents to control every aspect of their children's lives, that I'm getting sick of it. I guess I'm going to have to completely remove the television from our home (which I probably will do anyway), make sure he never goes over to anyone's house without me, because who knows what games he may play over their, and generally lock up my children in basements to protect them.

Whoa, now I'm on a completely different subject. What were we talking about?

Violent games do not exist (4, Funny)

Slashdolt (166321) | about 12 years ago | (#4339668)

When I used to play chess, I would often find myself getting very angry. I'm generally a fairly passive person, but when playing chess, I would just plain get mad. In fact, I would sometimes get so mad that I felt like hitting someone, but I never did.

Anyway, that's somewhat beside the point. "Violent" implies that you are doing something to someone. Nobody gets hurt when I sit down and play "Return to Wolfenstein" on my computer. No real Nazis die. My health doesn't deteriorate, and I generally don't even eat any real chicken dinners while playing. When I play a videogame that simulates violence, I often find myself relieved of lots of stress built up over the workday. When I play chess, I get really stressed and want to hurt people.

Obviously, chess is bad, and games with simulated violence are good.

You need therapy. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339752)

Quickly before you hurt someone, you faggot!

Re:You need therapy. (1)

Teknon (609021) | about 12 years ago | (#4339800)

Why? I don't see any need. I agree completely with Slashdolt - except it is Monopoly that gets me ticked off (those dumb dicce never roll my way)

Re:You need therapy. (2)

Theodore Logan (139352) | about 12 years ago | (#4339826)

They all do. []

Good? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 12 years ago | (#4339672)

Damn... guess I'd better stop playing all those edu-tainment games, which taught me strategy and how to manage resources, and get on the bandwagon of blood, gore and guns galore.


I just want to be of presidential timber...

This shouldn't be taken as a "victory" for games.. (1)

CurtisRWC (520668) | about 12 years ago | (#4339677)

This has very little to do about games, even though that's the slant that's being put on it. It also applies to books, movies, television, music, and theater. It also applies to non-fiction as well. I mean, how would world history look if we cut out all the bloody parts?

Still, I am glad that at least one more group has validated my addiction to GTA3 and Crimsonland.

Parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339679)

I find it interesting in how little responsibility society and the media places on parents for having 'bad' children. It's much easier to blame some evil 'vidya game' than it is to accept a fault. If you look at all the school shooters, delinquent teens and gangbangers, etc..., video games sure as hell aren't the common thread. It's often a horrible homelife with abusive parents, or more often, a mother who flocks from one abusive guy to the next. You'll find history of severe trauma, whether it be emotional, physical, or sexual in the majority of these groups. But oh no. Let's blame Goro. Yeah. His three arms are taining the emotional fabric of society. (Goro. wow. I'm getting old)

Hrm. (2, Interesting)

gTsiros (205624) | about 12 years ago | (#4339682)

Anger by itself is indication of inability to deal with an issue presented. "Things should not be this way". Having anger is wrong in the first place and "channeling" it to breaking stuff/killing sprites is not going to solve the issue. That is the first Part of the discussion.

On the other hand, if by punching the wall one manages to set aside his anger for a while and allows logic* to work to solve the problem at hand, then punching something is a good way to get rid of one's _anger_ (but not the problem).

It is a quick hack, if one can say that.

*:let's not deal with what is logic right now, but let's assume anger does not allow logic to work and also let's assume that this is a Bad Thing(tm). I think these assumptions are logical.

catharsis (2)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 12 years ago | (#4339683)

I keep saying it: people need catharsis.
We can deny our violent impulses and try to supress them, but they will only come back up twisted and exgagerated.

I personally feel that fraggin on a screen is much more healthy than slapping people silly at the grocerie store : )

Tired of this topic (2, Funny)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | about 12 years ago | (#4339686)

*bang* *bang* /me shoots down the poster and damn psychologists along with this rusty topic *feeling better now*

It's not the violence (2)

Qrlx (258924) | about 12 years ago | (#4339707)

It's not the violence that's bad for you . It's sitting in front of your computer/tv for hours on end delevoping poor vision and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It may have been un-PC to play Cowboys and Indians when we were kids, but noone ever passed laws making it illegal. That's probably because running around outside chasing your friends around is exactly what's best for kids. Sitting in front of a 27" TV playing Mario Kart isn't as healthy a thing to do.

There was a great anecdote I heard one time about some mothers who decided that they wouldn't be getting their children war toys for Christmas one year. As the kids eagerly opened their presents, their mothers were pleased that the kids could have such fun without violence. One kid received a wooden train; he promptly picked up the caboose, cradled in his hand like a revolver, and pointed at his friend "Bang! Bang!"

Railgun Rampage (1)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4339710)

I always thought violent video games made kids more violent. After all, when they act out killing everything in sight, they immediately run out and buy a railgun at Walmart, right?

It's good to see that at least somebody recognizes that kids know the difference between video games and real life.

Re:Railgun Rampage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339837)

Oh I dunno, but I sure get pissed off when I get killed in a game. Just last week I slammed my fist onto my table so hard I spilled a can of Pepsi and sent my wife fleeing from my wrath. I get PISSED. Sometimes after I just had a grueling round and she comes around I just want to take her and shake the shit out of her because I'm so fucking wacked out on testosterone. Thankfully I haven't hit her or beat her up after a bad game. Someday maybe.. someday. I hope she knows to stay away. If I have to get up and go find something to hit I generally start to cool off.

I agree with the scholars, but this needs saying.. (2, Funny)

grungebox (578982) | about 12 years ago | (#4339713)

Man, I want to punch that stupid California Congressman for proposing a law that makes it a crime to buy M-rated games if you're under 17! I want to cut seventy-four times with a rusty razor then dunk him in a vat of citric acid and hear him scream in pain! This whole issue makes me want to rip his limbs off, blend them into a fine paste, and force that disgusting mush down his throat! Oh, and I haven't started with what I'm going to do to his friends and family! Muwahahahaha! I thirst for blood!!!

In other news, I just bought Grand Theft Auto III.

This is dumb (5, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | about 12 years ago | (#4339717)

Parents making a decision, you just need to know one thing:
Does your child easily descriminate between fantasy and reality?

If he/she can, then games aren't going to have a detrimental effect.
If he/she can't, start the conselling early. Maybe you can make a difference if you start now.

Total opposite? (4, Interesting)

unicron (20286) | about 12 years ago | (#4339720)

Personally, I see some games making people more angry and edgy. Take, for example, Counter-Strike. I've been at lan parties where people have gotten seriously pissed off while playing this game, even to the point of violence more than once. And almost everytime it's the same thing: Someone says the way in which they died doesn't count because of any number of complete bullshit reasons(awp shot, camping, even accusations of cheating).

Even I'm guilty of this. I get midly pissed off if I own someone and they go "luck" or "won't happen again". I've seen people that shout "BS" after every single death, it's pretty fucking sad.

Not every game is going to relieve stress. If you're serious about the game, and you're not playing up to your usual standard for whatever reason, you're very quick to anger. It's not very theraputic if cs is giving you a pissed-off anxiety attack.

P.S. Camping with the awp=sniping(fair, and expected). Camping with the mp5=camping(cheap).

Re:Total opposite? (1)

freuddot (162409) | about 12 years ago | (#4339824)

Even I'm guilty of this

If you can't deal with the way your friends play Counter-Strike, how do you expect to deal with your boss ?

If you can't deal with the way your friends play Counter-Strike, do you think you stand any chance of getting a mortgage(sp?) at your bank without getting seriously mad at the bank manager ?

How about dealing in a polite way with the police officer that will pull you out because your are driving at bit fast, the day you're late for your daughter birthday party ?


Then, and only then, wonder if games are good or bad. Once you can stand the presence of other humans around you, you'll see that games, violent or not, have zero effect on your behaviour. There are other mechanism to control your behaviour. We call it morality and/or more generally, culture.

What's Really goin on (1)

W.Mandamus (536033) | about 12 years ago | (#4339725)

I haven't read the briefs but normally any form of content based regulation would fall afoul of the 1st amendment. There is however one loophole that allows for some regulation of speech when the welfare of children is directly involved. Basically the Supreme Court has said that kiddy porn does not fall under the first amendment. On the other hand more normal porn does not fall under this exemption. What it seems that the government is trying to do is make a good of the children case over violent video games. I wish them luck, last year the supreme court made it quite clear that they welfare of the child only applied to actually kiddie porn (as opposed to simulated), I doubt the court will expand the exception to violent video games.

this is BS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339727)

Yeah, those violent games worked out great for the columbine kids, right? Give me a break, when you spend 10+ hours a day killing "virtual" people you become desensitized to it. Then you start looking at "real" people more and more like the "virtual" ones, and then if they bully you, you are likely to kill them. Because you are so used to it. Games nowadays are not like pack-man, they are very realistic and getting to the point where there will soon be no difference between video game killing and real killing. And that is a fact. And no amount of reports from no amount of secular academians is going to ever ever change that.

Please do not feed the troll... (1)

Starknight (610891) | about 12 years ago | (#4339845)

... he gets cranky when his schedule is disrupted.

This study might come in handy (2)

Theodore Logan (139352) | about 12 years ago | (#4339741)

don'tchathink? []

Re:This study might come in handy (2)

Theodore Logan (139352) | about 12 years ago | (#4339779)

However, there's been others, like this one [] . I guess it isn't just black and white.

And I'm not talking about the game. =)

And...? (2)

raehl (609729) | about 12 years ago | (#4339746)

While I doubt the laws will be tremendously effective considering my childhood access to R rated movies despite parental disapproval, I don't see the basis for the legal challenge here.

It seems silly to argue that a video game company or retail store's right to sell a product to a child is greater than that child's parent's right to not allow their child to buy that product.

This isn't to say I think restricting access to video games is going to have any positive affects whatsoever, but that doesn't mean that decision should be taken away from parents.

catharsis theory rehashed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339751)

This sounds like 'catharsis theory' rehashed. The theory went like this: supposedly watching violent entertainment would provide catharsis for the viewer and reduce violent tendencies.

Seems logical, but too bad it was disproven when research showed the opposite

Other research has shown the link between violent forms of entertainment and violent thoughts and tendencies. For example, target shooters were studied and found to have violent tendencies increased after they engaged in target practice.

Regulate or don't regulate, but let's be honest: violent games have an effect on kids and it isn't likely to be positive.

Well... (1)

5lash (589953) | about 12 years ago | (#4339755)

...I'm 16, which means (fortunately) i cant drive yet. Because when i'm going through one of my "lets play GTA for 10 hours a day" phases, while i'm walking around town all i can think about is "hey there's an unattended cop car", "Omg its a Beast GTS!". And even when i'm in the car with my parents, i really want them to drive up on the pavement and mow some peds for extra cash...Now this doesn't mean i'm actually goin to start stealing cars, but maybe someone who had thought about joy riding, but would never really do it, could be tipped over the edge by games like GTA and Carmageddon.

OT: drivers license (1)

retrac (60508) | about 12 years ago | (#4339830)

>...I'm 16, which means (fortunately) i cant drive yet.

To which I have to ask, at what age can you drive in the UK? (I am assuming from your email address)

Over here in canada you can get a full drivers license at 16.


Ender's Game (1)

_Sambo (153114) | about 12 years ago | (#4339771)

This is also a great way to train our youngsters for the impending international cybernetic wars of the 2030's.

The "Army of One" slogan for this year's Armed Forces recruiting campaign will be consumated by a competition between the greatest FPS gamers in the world... Of course, the North Koreans will win.

On a more serious note. This may be a reality. I can't wait to see. (Hope I live that long)

I'm sorry folks, but this is utter crap. (1)

jkosturko (601845) | about 12 years ago | (#4339781)

I'm sorry folks, but this is utter crap. I'm not saying that I'm opposed to a good round of quake, but if a kid has a stress issue that they need to deal with, retreating into a fantasy world where's its ok to pelt someone with rockets is not the way to do it. When my kids squabble, I take them both in hand and say "settle this", then I usually leave the room. As a result, they have remarkably few serious problems.

well... (1)

trybywrench (584843) | about 12 years ago | (#4339784)

If violent games don't produce a mentality more able to accept and justify killing then why is the Army using one to get people to join?

The military is the closest legal enviorment where you can regulate like in a FPS... maybe a capture the flag game would be a closer approximation but still.

To quench some of the flames, i have been playing FPS type games for a long time and am definately not a violent person. So i know they affect people differently.

Video games != violent behavior. (2)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 12 years ago | (#4339786)

After the High School shootings in where the kids involved said they had been playing 'Doom' there was a backlash against such video games. Now the studies say it didn't matter. Well I have to believe that those kids were screwed up to begin with and the video games had nothing to do with it. They also claimed that playing doom sharpened their killing skills. Since when does a keyboard, mouse, or joystick handle like a shotgun?

Double edged sword - need to be careful (1)

MrMeanie (145643) | about 12 years ago | (#4339796)

We all need a way to vent anger, and computer games provide a good way of doing it. However, you wouldn't want to allow young children to play 18 rated games (e.g. 8 year old playing Soldier of Fortune 2), that wouldn't be good at all (That game is seriously fucked up).
Theres nothing wrong with a bit of cartoon violence, or the old shoot em ups you see in arcades, though. These things were part of my staple diet when I had an Atari ST in the early 90s. [nostalgia] I miss those games. [/nostalgia]

I've been saying this for years. (3, Interesting)

TellarHK (159748) | about 12 years ago | (#4339797)

I grew up with condemned shows like the A-Team, and Airwolf. Shows that people said were too violent for kids. Were kids in the 80's as violent as ones now? Hell no, and it's because the kids growing up just after I did had crap like Captain Planet and other spoon-fed pablum created to make everyone love and respect eachother.

I've got -nothing- wrong with love and respect, great things to have. But those aren't taught by TV, they're taught be experience. When I watched action-oriented TV, I got the adrenaline rush -and- the easy comedown before the credits rolled. Great way to get rid of tension.

Hell, consider those old shows the violence version of masturbation. Probably fits.

Re:I've been saying this for years. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 12 years ago | (#4339871)

I grew up with condemned shows like the A-Team, and Airwolf. Shows that people said were too violent for kids.. ..I did had crap like Captain Planet and other spoon-fed pablum created to make everyone love and respect eachother.

And A-Team wasn't crap? I mean, when did you ever see anyone get shot? It was just waving toy guns around and sound effects and the Team doing good things to help people out, etc., etc. just like Capt Planet, et al. Sorry, man, but you had to watch movies to see real hurt and bleeding. Thank goodness I grew up watching the Duke, among others. :)

Anger Processor-o-Matic (2)

jukal (523582) | about 12 years ago | (#4339801)

- Slicing a troll in Ultima online [] , score 3:
- Driving over an innocent in GTA III [] , score: 30, extra 15 for ending the victim's pain with shotgun.
- Creating you own game to plan and execute the murder of your teacher, score 99, extra 1 for doing it with a chainsaw.

Is that what they wanted say?

I have to admit... (2)

silvaran (214334) | about 12 years ago | (#4339813)

I find GTA3 an excellent vent for agression... you can beat people up, fire a rocket launcher at them, etc. But I know the difference from right and wrong (at least I should). I wonder if younger kids still might get the wrong idea. In any case, I wouldn't let my 6-year-old play a game like Grand Theft Auto 3.

In general, the longer kids spend playing video games inside, the less they're out getting into fights and robbing stores (I met a 17-year-old on the bus who just got out of juvenile detention for attempted robbery of a gas station). Why go out and beat someone up when you just did it for the past four hours with your favorite fighting game? Just don't set the skill level too high...

Please... (3, Informative)

dh003i (203189) | about 12 years ago | (#4339832)

Such general statements as "violent games" good/bad for people are absurd.

It depends on the person.

Some people will use it as a stress reliever. Its good for those people.

Others will get too into it and become hyper-competitive; it'll make them stressed, and they'll get up tight. Probably bad for those people.

Point is, it depends on the person.

One person derives please from that which causes pain in another. For example, while some people may love cottage cheese and it brings them pleasure, it makes me sick.

DDR meets Quake = Happy Healthy Kids! (1)

Genjurosan (601032) | about 12 years ago | (#4339839)

This will make everyone happy. Dancing rocket toting virtual killers. Good for the heart, good for the brain, good for the kids, good for the USofA! I'm all for it.

Perhaps, but look at the bigger picture (2, Interesting)

geiss (587862) | about 12 years ago | (#4339841)

Perhaps that's a valid positive aspect of violence in video games. But what about the negatives: that it desensitizes us to violence, and we even grow to enjoy it? Take television as an example. When I look around in the U.S., I see a nation of television addicts, whose priorities, interests, and cultural views are largely influenced by what they absorb watching television. One inevitable aspect of watching a lot of TV is witnessing violence. This might provide a cathartic outlet for some of us, but I think it also trains us to accept, expect, and even enjoy such violence... after all, if people didn't enjoy it, it wouldn't sell, so it wouldn't be on TV. Now, maybe adults can separate reality from fantasy (I personally don't believe this, but it is arguable), but can kids? From my experience, they are *drastically* less adept at this than adults, and I think adults forget this (until they have kids of their own, and then begin to take a conservative viewpoint on it - for a reason). Video games are in the same boat. Violent video games also desensitize people to what real-life acts of violence - such as murder and war - mean. Violence becomes glorified; it gets associated with fun, recreation, pleasure, endorfins. I'm not saying that what this study says is wrong; I'm sure that video-game violence is a cathartic outlet and can sometimes play a positive role. But that's only one aspect of it; we have to look at the big picture. Now, I know a lot of you slashdotters love video games, and I expect to get ripped for this one... but please, you don't have to dismember me - let's keep the discussion fair and mature, ok? Ryan Geiss

Aggression is our ONLY advantage (4, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | about 12 years ago | (#4339843)

People ARE violent. Games are not going to mitigate or ameliorate that. You know why we are violent? Because for 2 million years we've killed, eaten and dominated all comers.

Our ONLY evolutionary advantage is not big brains or stereoscopic vision or opposable thumbs. It's aggression. It's our unquenchable lust to be the last one standing, dripping with someone else's blood.

Where's the study about parental responsibility? (2, Insightful)

marian (127443) | about 12 years ago | (#4339847)

This is a pretty classic example of people trying to pass the buck on who is responsible for their children and what they do. Regardless of whether violent images in video games harm, help or do nothing at all to children, the responsibility for deciding what is appropriate for each child and the consequences of that choice lies with the parents. If your kid has no friends and spends 12 hours a day in front of the tv, IT IS YOUR FAULT not the broadcasters who provide the shows. YOU should be monitoring what your child watches, just like YOU should be monitoring what your child does online. Passing the buck by enacting more useless and unenforceable legislation merely provides additional opportunity for lawsuits and does nothing at all for the children who are so easily used as examples of what is "wrong" with each industry. Those kids need involved parents, not more laws that regulate what they can do/see/say/think.

Computer games has no effects on people !!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4339862)

Computer games don't affect kids.
If Pac Man affected us as kids, we would all be running around in
darkened rooms, munching pills, and listening to repetitive music.
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