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Lieberman Weighs In On Grand Theft Auto

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the begin-again dept.

Censorship 225

Thanks to Yahoo/Reuters for its article discussing Senator Joseph Lieberman's comments regarding Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto at a recent women's forum at Dartmouth College. Interestingly, Lieberman, a Democratic presidential hopeful and long-time proponent of views on this subject, comments: "Video games have gotten better over time", but continues: "There's a couple out there that are horrendous... You ought to see one called Grand Theft Auto. The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again." Although this isn't the specific goal of the game, he continues: "I call on the entertainment companies - they've got a right to do that, but they have a responsibility not to do it if we want to raise the next generation of our sons to treat women with respect."

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225 comments

So long as he isn't making it illegal... (3, Insightful)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088704)

I have to agree with him. I've played Grand theft auto, and I belive people should be horified about the kind of guy they are playing. Horified that they can find in themselves the type of person who would do that, even in a game. Never mind that it is a game and they can recignise the difference between a game and real life, they can do that in a game.

It isn't right to make that type of game illegal (unless someone proves byond all doupt that it really does lead everyone to bad behaviour...), but that doesn't mean it is right to enjoy the game.

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088902)

Don't be stupid. The guy in the game is amoral. He does only what you make him do. You make him hit a woman, and kick her until she bleeds to death, that's your affair.

What you have to worry about is the fact that people choose to make him do those things, over and over again. And then cry about how nasty the programmers are.

All the programmers have done is made a realistic environment in which a variety of things can be done.

What scares me is how many of the self-appointed moralists in the world have clearly picked this game up and immediately gone around slaughtering women instead of following the game's plot.

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (-1, Offtopic)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089034)

If I had mod points, I'd mod this one up. Too bad I don't...

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (4, Insightful)

smoondog (85133) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089154)

Don't be stupid. The guy in the game is amoral. He does only what you make him do. You make him hit a woman, and kick her until she bleeds to death, that's your affair.

What you have to worry about is the fact that people choose to make him do those things, over and over again. And then cry about how nasty the programmers are.


Yes, but can you give her flowers?

-Sean

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089794)

As I said elsewhere, you are rewarded for stopping muggers.

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (2, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090363)

>Yes, but can you give her flowers?

No, but you can give her money.

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (2, Insightful)

cbirdsong64 (410584) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089080)

I'm also glad that he doesn't simply cry "BAN ALL THE GAMES," but I think that it's not that game companies responsibility to raise children. Parents should decide if a game is appropriate for their children, leaving those of us who are older than 18 to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to play violent games like Manhunt or GTA.

NO (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089262)

I dont want censorship of anything. Guidelines and laws pertaining to its usage, sure, but those are already in place. Technicaly no person under the age of 18 is allowed to buy a M rated game, and is that way for a reason. GTA is rated M, so what are we worried about. Enforce the laws we have now before you make new ones.

Re:NO (2, Interesting)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090030)

The ESRB is not mandated by law. Mein Lieberman raised a stink about this back in the early 90's over Night Trap and Mortal Kombat. To get the Fuhrer to calm down, a voluntary board was created to place ratings on games. A salesman at EB who sells a child an M-rated game is in no more trouble with the law than a clerk who sells tickets to R-rated movies to kids. These are not laws - they are guidelines.

And that's the appropriate way to handle things. That way, the community can pressure stores to enforce the ratings and we're not stuck with a government board that will rate games with political ideas that run counter to the government's with a AO rating.

Re:So long as he isn't making it illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089302)

Never mind that it is a game and they can recignise the difference between a game and real life, they can do that in a game.

Umm, it's people with this kind of attitude that can't distinguish between real life and games. Why on earth do you think that people should be horrified that they can make a bunch of pixels move around on screen in a certain way?

Mirrors the player. (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089622)

Uh the game doesn't require mass murder to "complete". When you're killing lots of people it's usually a "war" - they aren't really civilians - they're armed, they'd shoot you if you don't shoot them. Sure there are the optional kill gang member missions, but they actually make the game _harder_ to complete - since they'll always shoot at you after that (which makes it harder to do some missions).

There's plenty else to do with GTA3. You could be doing stunts with cars or planes. You could be an ambulance driver. Or a cab driver. Or a fireman. Or a cop. One of the hardest missions was the optional ambulance mission. Complete it for infinite run.

In the first GTAIII you could fly the dodo, do loop the loops, fly behind the mountains. You could get on the lighthouse with a boat too, if you know how :). In vice city there are motorbikes, helicopters and other stuff to play with.

If Senator Lieberman actually played GTA3 and the only thing he found out about GTA3 is attacking random women on the street for the few bucks they have, then it reflects poorly on him or the company he keeps.

Just because you can rip heads off dolls/action figures don't make em bad toys.

Think of GTA3 as cops and robbers. And you do get to play both (but mainly the robber - hey it's called GTA for a reason ;) ).

I'm not saying GTA3 is suitable for all kids or people. But I know a few kids and many adults who'd be fine playing it.

But some Senators may need parental guidance.

rewarded? (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088744)

wtf?

sure you CAN do that but there's a good chance the cops will lock you up if you do, wasting the mission you were currently on - PUNISHING the player rather than rewarding. and there's no distinction between a woman or a regular other character walking on the roads in gta in this aspect either.

maybe it's just HIM that enjoys beating up women in gta(thus getting a 'reward' from beating them up).

shouldn't it be illeagal for them to lie about such things? soon he has a memo 'full of names of people who enjoy watching women beaten up'?

Re:rewarded? (1)

TalMaximus (681873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089449)

Yes the cops will come after you, but evading them is quite simple. Also seeing as how evading the police is also an aspect of the game many enjoy, that's another promotion of something which is 'realistically' dangerous and illegal as being fun. Yes there is some minor punishment for killing a woman on the streets. However, it is still quite minor and if the person is playing the game to avoid police and break the law anyway then it just plays right into the part of the game they enjoy. Better punishment would be immediate placement of the character in prison or making them restart altogether. That would be ideal but considering the entire atmosphere of GTA that wouldn't be the only thing that needed to be tweaked.

Re:rewarded? (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089903)

I dunno, I've never slaughtered 10's of people walking the streets of my town, but I'm relatively sure I could cap 1 person, leaving everyone else screaming and frantic, jump in my car and drive without being immediately caught by the police and thrown in jail.

Remember...the main character of GTAIII is an escaped felon who is already 'on the run' from the police. He is hiding in warehouses and back alleys with no permanent address or identification. He also doesn't need to eat, present paperwork anywhere or otherwise associate with society. The game hints at the fact that not only is crime rampant in Liberty City, but the police force is corrupt (hence the easily accessible 'bribes' found throughout the game).

The police are ridiculously easy to get away from, but that is due to Rockstar following the first rule of game making...'Anything that makes the game less fun rather than more fun to play is bad'. If the police instantly caught you, or continued looking for you after you escaped, the game would suck. If you want real life, go live it. This is an escape from the real world.

As to attacking women on the street...nothing makes attacking a woman easier than attacking a guy. There are equal numbers of women/men walking around the streets. In fact, I can't think of a single mission off the top of my head where you're instructed to go kill a women (I'm about 2/3 of the way through the game). All the missions I've come upon you are supposed to kill men.

--trb

Re:rewarded? (1)

{8_8} (31689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089591)

I hate to speak out on the other side of the debate, but you won't get put in jail for beating someone to death. Oh sure, your wanted level increases by one star if you're seen beating her, but it's incredibly easy to evade the cops with a one, two or even three star rating. If you get caught, it's because you got unlucky or you wanted to be caught.

IMO, the rewards for random violence in-game are almost nil. The cash you get doesn't even approach pocket change, and if you've been hunting down those packages you probably have all the weapons you need. The only real reward for random violence is the "thrill" of killing a random person. I don't know about anyone else, but I derive little pleasure from GTA3 random violence aside from the occasional "wow, I can't believe they implemented that" hooker beating or "how high can I get my wanted level" killing spree. A person that constantly goes around killing people in-game for real-life enjoyment has some issues that probably extend beyond gaming.

This guy is totally right (3, Funny)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088752)

You have no idea how much I hate men because of what I've learned in GTA! I'm able to gun them down with an Uzi, run them over with a car, or even take out a chainsaw and cut them to pieces! In fact, I think I'm going to go take out a few masculine vagina oppressors RIGHT NOW!

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089013)

Oh, if I only had mod points...that's the best post I've read all day. :)

"How to raise children without TV and Video Games" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088759)

...I think that would be a good title for a best-selling book.

Re:"How to raise children without TV and Video Gam (2, Insightful)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089168)

Yeah, except that it would be pure fiction. Many people will agree it is a good idea, but few or none will actually live it.

What he's missing: (4, Interesting)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088762)

Grand Theft Auto has always made any type of killing rewarding given the person has some cash on them. But killing people always comes with risk and doesn't make enough money to make it a viable way of going through the game. In fact, it becomes boring. Most of the time you'll really want to drive through town without even denting your car or attracting the police. The most reward comes from role playing your part as a bad guy and killing other bad guys! Imagine that...

Re:What he's missing: (2, Informative)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089251)

Expcting a US Senator that reads the paper and watches the news, but does not play video games (in my own haven't RTFA estimation), to intelligently comment on the content and intent of a specific game, is a bit ludicrous.

Re:What he's missing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089351)

Grand Theft Auto has always made any type of killing rewarding given the person has some cash on them. But killing people always comes with risk and doesn't make enough money to make it a viable way of going through the game.

Exactly. In essence, it represents the real world fairly accurately.

I wonder what he has to say about the fact that if you see somebody getting mugged, and you stop the mugger as he's running away, you get a $50 reward?

Perils of Pauline (5, Insightful)

StocDred (691816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088780)

So since gamers of the 80s grew up with games where you're constantly saving princesses, does that mean that generation is respectful, helpful and courteous towards women? Absolutely not. These bullshit arguments are always easy to deflate when you invert them.

Lieberman is schitzo... (4, Insightful)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088786)

Here's probably the biggest right-leaning Democrat to come around in a long time and has a major history of criticizing the entertainment industry. So when he goes to write a book, what's the first title he thinks of? Joe and Hadassah's Excellent Adventure. Granted a staffer/lawyer/publisher convinced him to change it to Amazing Adventure, but still. One side of his mouth he's criticizing games for teaching our youth to denegrate women, on the other side he's parodying (and giving tacit approval) of a movie that glorifies being stupid. I just wonder about this guy.

And then, since he was sorta surging in one of the NH polls yesterday, he claims he's doing well, because... he's "got joe-mentum". that sounds like something Jon Stewart and co-horts at the Daily Show would come up with.

Re:Lieberman is schitzo... (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088875)

If he's gaining in the polls, on a longer trend, it's because a lot of conservatives (think Reagan Democrat types, not Kudlow types) are mad at Bush over his illegal alien amnesty plan and the budget deficits. That and the front runner's implosion last week have caused a lot of voters to at a minimum think about the other candidates running.

Re:Lieberman is schitzo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088963)

What's wrong with glorifying being stupid?

Stupid people don't choose to be stupid.

Re:Lieberman is schitzo... (1)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089097)

speaking of the Daily Show and Lieberman (mind you, I'm a liberal, just liked the comment)

"And then there's Lieberman, for those of you us who wanted to vote for Bush, but didn't feel he was Jewish enough."
- Jon Stewart

In the end, Lieberman, Tipper and the whole slew of Republicrats need to stop the censorship drive and work to promote parental awareness. You can't blame an R rated movie when it's viewed by minors, you blame the asshat parents who let them see it. This goes for every type of media, period, the end.

Re:Lieberman is schitzo... (1)

xTown (94562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089391)

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure doesn't glorify being stupid. The main thrust of the story is that yes, they start out stupid, but if they don't get smart, fast, the whole world is doomed. How does that glorify being stupid? They just needed a push in the right direction--Rufus just gave them the time machine. He didn't tell them what to do with it.

Oh COME now, (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088802)

Doesn't the senator from CT know that you can do the same thing to men of all different ethnicities in GTA3?

There's no discrimination here. GTA3 is a utopia of equality, where all cultures and genders can be run down with cars, thrown the ground, beaten, and shot at point blank range with a shotgun.

He should really have played the game before making such careless comments.

Really.

Re:Oh COME now, (1)

philthedrill (690129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089451)

You're absolutely right. He may have known that, and I don't think he was being careless. I think he was spinning it for the audience:

... Lieberman said during a women's forum at Dartmouth College sponsored by Lifetime Television.

Re:Oh COME now, (1)

devilsadvoc8 (548238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090206)

And you know that some pissant staffer told him to mention it or maybe it was his speech writer. Doesn't matter. The point is these guys (national politicians regardless of party) don't know specifics or details, they only care about sound bites and themes, sad really, and they make the policies which impact specifics. This lack of knowledge of specifics are what screws up national imperitives. But hell it makes for a good 20seconds at 6pm doesn't it?

Respect has to be earned... (2, Insightful)

AndrewHowe (60826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088817)

... and sometimes dem virtual hoes need bitchslappin' to the floor.
This is bullshit. You can ice guys in GTA too, so it's an equal opportunity slap-em-up.

Re:Respect has to be earned... (2, Insightful)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088935)

Yes, that's an important point, and one that many people seem to miss. It's horrible behaviour in general, not horrible behaviour against women exclusively.

Sure, it's probably not good to have a role model who's like that, but this idea that people can't think for themselves is starting to get ridiculous.

Re:Respect has to be earned... (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090465)

>Respect has to be earned...
hehe...quoting GTA2:
"Remeber, respect is everything!"

Today's Horoscope - Scorpio (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088823)

Today's Date: Jan. 26

Scorpio 10/24 - 11/21
You have always been interested in the arts, and now you find yourself wanting to explore that interest on a deeper level. A visit to your local museum is not likely to do the trick, dear Scorpio. Instead, why not look into enrolling in a class or lecture series? A few artists, in particular, capture your interest. Why not make a point of concentrating on studying them first?

i've got a comprimise (3, Insightful)

IRNI (5906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088828)

When you hit a woman in a game, you get jumped by a ton of other guys and beat down. We want reality in games right? :)

Re:i've got a comprimise (2, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090116)

Played GTA3? This can already happen.

The unrealistic aspect is that your guy has 100 HP to the standard-man-on-the-street's 15 or so, so your guy can do a lot of things most people wouldn't, and survive the resulting beatings. But that's because it's a game; game chars are often overpowered that way because frankly, playing a real human being sucks.

(Some day perhaps it will be viable; but many has been the time I jump off of something only to discover that it was farther to the ground then I thought, because the depth cues aren't sufficient in current 3D games to really know how far away something is. Playing an accurate human in most genres, excepting sports, isn't viable with current graphics technology. We need real depth, for one thing.)

thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088831)

that Lieberman is not against speeding cars and Dukes-of-Hazzard-type stunts.

how could I then be expected to not be late at work if I could not ramp-jump over gridlocked traffic???

Gates to receive honorary knighthood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8088886)

Gates to receive honorary knighthood [msn.com]

Microsoft chairman recognized for 'contribution to enterprise'

Updated: 7:01 p.m. ET Jan. 25, 2004

LONDON - Britain will give an honorary knighthood to Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates in recognition of his contribution to enterprise in Britain, the government said Monday.

Gates, 48, who is the richest man in the world, will receive the honor at an unspecified later date that is "mutually convenient," the Foreign Office said.

Because he is not a British citizen, Gates cannot use "Sir" in front of his name, but he can put the letters KBE after his name. The initials stand for Knight Commander of the British Empire.

"The honorary KBE is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom," the Foreign Office said.

"He has also made significant contributions to poverty reduction in parts of the Commonwealth and elsewhere in the developing world."

No one was immediately available for comment at Microsoft U.K. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

Honorary awards to foreign nationals are conferred by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Straw said he was "delighted" that Gates, an American, had been honored.

"He is one of the most important global business leaders of this age," Straw said. "Microsoft technology has transformed business practices, and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy, employing 2,000 people and contributing to the development of the (information technology) sector."

In 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $210 million donation to Cambridge University to create a scholarship program for graduate students from outside Britain.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Hmm. Where's Linus' knighthood?

Yeah, I thought so.

Re:Gates to receive honorary knighthood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089857)

"Hmm. Where's Linus' knighthood?"

Isnt Sweeden a monarchy? Maybe he could send his knightship application to the Sweedish King...

Know what would be more disturbing? (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088897)

"You ought to see one called Grand Theft Auto. The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again."

There's a game out there, it's a very popular game, it's called Crazy Taxi. You are a taxi driver trying to get people from point A to point B. Wanna know what happens if you run over somebody? Nothing! People magically jump out of the way! If you bang into another car, *bang*, nothing really happens. So, in playing this game, you develop reflexes that cause you to drive in a straight line, and not care about pedestrians as they don't cause you any problems.

In GTA3, yeah you can kill some little old lady, but you're not being rewarded for it, you're being rewarded for making the game significantly harder for yourself. If you go driving through the streets in GTA just like you are in Crazy Taxi, and you drive towards a pedestrian, they don't magically get out of your way. They get squished, just like in real life. And when you drive over them, you start having to worry about police, just like real life. Run over somebody in viewing range of a police officer, and he will try to arrest you, and if he succeeds you lose a lot of things that you have acquired so far. Just like in real life. If you try to get away and wreck your car during the chase, you can cause devastation of vehicles and people's lives, just like real life. The result? Reflexively, you avoid running over pedestrians like mad. In a split second, if somebody darts out in front of your car, you're going to swerve. (That happens to be the right thing to do.)

So I have to ask you, Joey, what is really better? Avoiding showing adults realistic consequences to the choices they make, or sanitizing the game of all 'disturbing' violence and instead using video game influence to teach you that nobody can be hurt?

Heh (3, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088906)

He just needs better researchers.

He should have referred to the mission "Waste the Wife", an assination mission where a guy wants the wife dead, and hires you to kill her.

I hereby volunteer to be a researcher for his propaganda department. It'll be hard work, playing those games all day looking for things that can be spun for a specific demographic, but I'll suffer by somehow. :)

Re:Heh (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089490)

He should have referred to the mission "Waste the Wife", an assination mission where a guy wants the wife dead, and hires you to kill her.
Yeah...that one actually sticks out in my mind, because the wife seems more or less innocent (I don't remember if they mention why she's wanted dead) and genuinely horrified that this maniac keeps bashing into her car...I don't think she begs for mercy, but does say "Oh my god!!!" a few times. (Plus, it's not an easy mission, usually you have to swap cars halfway through and keep at it, no "whoops, sorry, you're dead, easy come easy go")

It does make me wonder...all the pedestrians in GTA are pretty clearly very low level AIs. But if games start cranking up the AI to the point where they're, say, about as smart as a dog or cat...will it ever be morally questionable to kill them, not because of their resemblance to real humans, but just because of what they are in and of themselves.

Re:Heh (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090180)

but just because of what they are in and of themselves.

Lines of code? :)

We're a hell of a long way before we start talking about the morality of deleting a computer program.

Re:Heh (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090531)

We're a hell of a long way before we start talking about the morality of deleting a computer program.

Probably. At least with the typical AI in a typical game...we should no more worry about those guys than, say, taking penicillin. They "act much smarter than they are", incredibly brittle, situation-specific intelligence.

But it's not outside the realm of possibility that in 10-20 we'll see a more general intelligence in the labs, and shortly thereafter something similar will be ported into games. What then? Will we be biased, that intelligences worth "caring" about can only be based on squishy stuff? Will there be caps on how intelligent you can make an artifical construct w/o getting special permission to "turn it off"?

Sure, this is still science fiction talk, and "real AI" has been "just around the corner" for decades. But as our AIs get better...and our understanding of the transitory and heuristic nature of our own intelligences gets stronger... there may well be issues that raise serious moral dilemnas, if we don't sweep them under the rug.

Well... (4, Insightful)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8088995)

It's about playing to the audience. I'm sure these women would not have cared if Lieberman went on about the whole "kill the haitians" remark in the game. He knew what would get them on his side.

I hear next week he'll be speaking at a pedestrians meeting. :)

Thank God (2, Redundant)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089017)

Finally, someone has admitted (and I would say emphasized) that they have the right to do such things. Huzzah to Lieberman for at least leaving censorship and "stricter video game laws" out of it and merely decrying the video game itself. Rare to see such politics these days.

--Stephen

God has nothing to do with it. (2, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089544)

Finally, someone has admitted (and I would say emphasized) that they have the right to do such things.

Meanwhile, I worry about repercussions of a statement like that. Maybe it's because I read Slashdot.

So here's a politician who says someone has the right to do something, but in practically the same breath says that the thing is wrong. How long will it be before some politician (I wouldn't put it past Lieberman himslf) says that the rights themselves should be eliminated? And this is an election year, too, so any slippery slope that may exist has been lathered down with extra suck-up grease by pinwheels who want to sound like they're responding to issues (even invented ones).

There are still charges that need to be responded to. One concession does not mean the pressure's off. This could simply be the start of a new attack.

Re:God has nothing to do with it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089713)

Politicians have been saying "someone has the right to do something, but in practically the same breath says that the thing is wrong" since Thomas Jefferson.

Parents responsible ... Yes ... but how ? (4, Insightful)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089038)

I've recently discovered the joys of GTA Vice City. Its taken me a while because initially I was put of by the gratuity of violence. That kind of thing is not really my bag. However I do find the game highly entertaining and enjoyable due to the whole atmosphere of the game. I still get a personal feeling of guilt when I "accidentally" run someone over. There is a "lot" more to the game than just killing innocent passers by, and treating women badly.

Violence has been around forever, we all know this. For years people have complained that certain movies and videos have made people go out and do things they shouldnt. The usual argument is, to suggest that it should be the parents who control the exposure of children to these things. I agree very much with this standpoint, but the problem is there are a lot of parents out their who do not follow this logic. And quite often children find ways around their parents rules.

What can realistically be done to ensure that parents take the responsibility for exposure of unsuitable material to minors?

It's all GTAs fault! (5, Insightful)

SyncNine (532248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089125)

Don't forget kids, GTA killed your wife, shot your dog, repossessed your house, shattered your septic tank, stole $2 billion from Metallica, stole your girlfriend, and is the single cause of all the evils in society. Honestly. I'm not kidding.

On the serious side though, this game is rated M, that means your children, the kids that Lieberman is so sure are being desecrated by this game, are the same children that should NOT be playing the game. That's what the M rating is for.

So before you allow the government to control your children for you, why don't you try to raise them yourselves. How about you take an active interest in their life? Maybe keep tabs on what they're doing and what games they're playing. If your kid likes to sacrifice woodland animals, don't buy him GTA, and if you notice he's got it, find out how he got it and take it away from him. There is no substitution for good parenting, and allowing the government to parent for you is a surefire way to end up in a 1984-esque society.

GTA doesn't kill people. GTA doesn't teach people to kill. America's Army (the game) is just as efficient a society demoralizer as any other violent game, except it's sanctioned by the US. You'll note you never hear people complain that AA is too violent. It's ok to be violent when you're killing commies and nazis, but it's not ok to be violent when you have the ability (note, have the ability - there is much more to GTA than killing women and cops) to do things society frowns on.

In AA, you could kill your team-mates. That is just as demoralizing.

--- What preceeds is nothing more than opinion. If you take it for more than that, it is your own fault.

Re:It's all GTAs fault! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089292)

Don't forget kids, GTA killed your wife, shot your dog, repossessed your house, shattered your septic tank, stole $2 billion from Metallica, stole your girlfriend, and is the single cause of all the evils in society. Honestly. I'm not kidding
/me puts this to a country tune.
p.s. that bastard has a wife and a girlfriend. serves him right for getting it all taken away

Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/Rape (2, Insightful)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089176)

Ok, to contextualize: I am no fan of Lieberman, nor of censorship.

Yet, I'm surprised that gamers, from fanboy populated forums to print media, generally have this completely defensive attitude to any kind of censorship or even discussion of violence in video games. It's as if we've been "Pavlovically" trained to automatically shriek "First Amendment" whenever we hear someone talking about excessive violence in games. I really have yet to see some intelligent discourse on why violence in games is acceptable. Why is that we can simulate purposeless murder on mass scale like exhibited in GTA and its ilk, but most of us would consider it abhorrent for a game to have a player able to enact even one simulated rape or pedophilic sexual encounter? What makes the simulated shooting down of 30 innocent people in a video game more socially acceptable?

Basically, what we haven't done is build up an apologetics of sorts for video games. We have no choice but to shallowly cite the First Amendment and quickly blame parents when people like Lieberman challenge us because we have yet to collectively think of anything better to say. Instead of developing a system of apologetics, our response is to release crap like Manhunt. What kind of piss-poor answer is that? It's not answering the cultural call to explain the violence, it's pushing back, but harder. That won't ever work and does nothing but to reinforce the idea that video games have "made" us violent. Sure, Lieberman and likeminded politicians would be saying the same thing even if we had an intelligent system of apologetics for video games (they are, after all, politicians), but I think it would, in general society, rob Lieberman of credibility nonetheless.

So, who's up for the challenge? Why is GTA's mass murder "better" than simulated rape?

Because sex is still relatively taboo in America. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089286)

You can play sim-sex-conquest all you want in some European countries and Asia (esp. Japan).

Re:Because sex is still relatively taboo in Americ (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089522)

You can play sim-sex-conquest all you want in some European countries and Asia (esp. Japan).

Can you think of any specific examples? I've heard about a few Japanese games, but those seem mostly bathroom fetish oriented.

Honestly, it is mostly intellectual curiosity at this point, it's interesting seeing what cultures will allow. If it runs on a console (as opposed to a PC) I'm sure it has to be semi-illegal or at least unauthorized, I get the feeling the console makers won't license anything along those lines...

Re:Because sex is still relatively taboo in Americ (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090153)

http://www.jastusa.com/ has a bunch of translations.

some of the games are actually quite good and not that simple to finish through all possibilities.

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089558)

There is a lot of "we and us" in your post, addressing, I'm assuming, video game players and developers. So to start:

"We" didn't release Manhunt. Rockstar did, and I think they did it to make money, not to prove some point about not censoring games.

"We" haven't built up "apologetics" for games because "we" tend to dislike censorship in all forms. There's the First Amendment, and it doesn't need to go any further than that.

Amoral politicians looking for attention will always blame video games, TV, movies etc for perceived societal ills. No amount of argumentation will change that.

Why is GTA's "mass murder" better? IT SELLS. Rape and pedophilia don't.

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (1)

AndrewHowe (60826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089655)

To address just one part of your post, it's not violence. No-one gets hurt. Remember Magritte's "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" [uwrf.edu] ? It's not real, it is a depiction of violence.
Games have long used ideas from films, but films have done darker stuff than any game to date.
The explanation for the violence has to come from elsewhere, I'm afraid.
Do yourself a favour and watch a Tom & Jerry cartoon some time. Then repeat after me, "Cartoon violence is not real."
What worries me are the people who cannot seem to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Senator Lieberman appears to fall into that camp.

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (1)

SyncNine (532248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089662)

superultra:

I agree that shouting "First Amendment" is not the end-all defense, and also agree that Manhunt crosses the line for violence in a video game, and you do bring up an interesting point about simulated rape or other socially inacceptable behavior, but it all returns to the fact of choice.

People choose to play games like this for a multitude of reasons. I, personally, play UT2003 (graphically violent) with my boss, as a way to alleviate tension. We'll chat on the phone while we frag each other a few times, then team up and frag some others. It is entertaining. I don't believe it has 'desensitized' or made the act of killing someone more 'acceptable' to me. Anyone who argues that point has no ground to stand on. I find it entertaining to digitally attack and kill digital representations of people. That does not mean I could or would ever enjoy the same act in real life. As an example. People watch violent / gory movies all the time. For this example, let's use the movie 'The Cell'. While not a particularly great movie, the graphic violence and gore in it make it a prime example. There is a scene where a character has disemboweled another character and is pulling their intestines out by wrapping it around a spiked spit. I did not vomit when I saw that on the television. As a matter of fact, while it was shocking to see, it wasn't as though I was actually seeing it. Had I seen the exact same thing in real life, it would have had a completely different effect.

Now-- why am I bringing this up? What relevance does this have? I'll tell ya. It's all about choice. Graphic violence is shocking, whether it be in video games or in movies or in television. It's shocking. Shock sells. Shock gets hype. Shock gets notice. People who are shocked (whether good or bad) will tell their friends about being shocked, whether good or bad. It's how it works. A long time ago, people were shocked by violence in video games, some people hated it, some people liked it. Games cater to the masses, not to everyone. Someone is always going to have a problem with something. For better or for worse, games have a right to be violent because gamers have a right to choice. If I want to play a game like Manhunt that has extreme graphic violence, it is my choice. There is no crime in playing a game like that. However, enacting a scene like one in Manhunt in real life, that's a different story. It's not taboo to kill people on a screen because anyone with a moral and ethical grounding will NOT re-create the same situation in real life. Game producers take for granted the fact that the people playing their games have a head on their shoulders.

Take for example, Mortal Kombat. That game had people up in arms when it came out because it was bloody, it was violent, it was gory. You didn't see an immediate increase in people uppercutting others heads off. I will say that violence in video games does lead to more violence. But only in video games. I like UT2003, when UT2004 comes out, with its updated graphics and better physics engine, I'll buy it too. And I'll play it. And I'll like it. But I won't go out with a gun and shoot someone just because I did it in a video game.

Now. As for why killing people in games is socially acceptable, and other things aren't, I'll bring you back to the movies point. People have been killing people in movies for years. Long before there were violent video games. There are parallels between gaming and movies, as the censors ban similar things and rate based on similar things. Rape and pedophelia are not mainstream. They are not in (many) movies. They are not a topic that is regarded with high stature. People don't talk about that great movie they just saw where the 14 year old got raped. But they DO talk about that great movie they just saw with that awesome explosion, or that great bullet-time effect, or what about when Neo beat up Agent Smith, or how about when John Wayne killed the indians. The point is, killing was socially accepted into movies long before it was into video games, and I think this acceptance is one of the main reasons there is so much violence in video games. As gamers and people, we are exposed to this type of violence on a day to day basis.

Does this make it OK? Not really. I imagine if rape and pedophilia were as widespread as killing was, society WOULD be substantially demoralized. However, that would be our choice, then, wouldn't it?

--- This is only opinion. My opinion. It could be wrong. Take it for more than it is, and it's your fault.

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (3, Insightful)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090041)

What makes the simulated shooting down of 30 innocent people in a video game more socially acceptable?

Basically, we as a society are desensitized to seeing acted out death; that is to say, watching someone die but they don't really die. Movies, tv shows, games, etc, all show people dying in front of us, but we know they aren't really dead...it's just a virtual world or the person is acting.

Sexual crimes, on the other hand, we have not been desensitized to. American society is becoming less sensitive to sex (see Britney, Christina and half the women falling out of their dresses on the Golden Globes), but we aren't comfortable with sex to the point that we'll expose people to it and say "That's alright, it's just fake".

In addition, rape and pedophilia are most definitely considered 'icky'. We don't like seeing, hearing or talking about them. Death is more okay, mostly because it happens in legitimate forms all the time ("Grandpa died of old age yesterday"..."Fluffy died from being hit by that car"). Sexual assault doesn't have to happen, death does, so it doesn't take the same toll on our psyches.

--trb

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8090385)

I'm somewhat desensitized to rape, because I've heard so many stories about women calling sex rape after the fact. IE they feel bad about their decision for some reason, and then claim that they were raped, instead of just accepting their choices. It's disgusting, but it works, men go to jail for it.

Pedophilia still disgusts me, as does child porn. I doubt I'll be playing a game that incorporates either.

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090562)

I'll agree, we hear a bit about rape, but you can find examples of death on nearly every television channel, any day of the week. Rape is still a taboo subject in our society, though I agree with you that both the act and the lie are disgusting acts.

--trb

Re:Simulated Mass Murder v. Simulated Pedophilia/R (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8090628)

Why is GTA's mass murder "better" than simulated rape?


Don't expect any anwers to this question. A lot of the perverts who play GTA are secretly hoping there will be a rape option soon.

Why I'm on the Fence (1)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089216)

One reason I voted for Nader in 2000 is I feared what would become of free expression with Joe Lieberman and Tipper Gore in positions of leadership and Frank Zappa not around to help in the fight.

This year, my vote is there for the Democrats to lose, but if Lieberman is the nominee they'll need to do a lot of work to win it.

Re:Why I'm on the Fence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8090330)

Nader????? {snicker}
Wasted Vote: Noun; see Flwyd's 2000 presidential vote

It's so true! (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089255)

We can't have the corrupting influence of video games infiltrating our society.. What happens when a violent video gamer makes it into public office.. Why we could have WAR as a form of making profit or something... absolutely horrendous!!!

Re:It's so true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8090172)

Why you America hating liberal. Why you probably hate apple pie, ford trucks, fluffy bunnies, beautry contests, the flag, the fourth of july, mcDonalds, summer days and everything about this great land. Move to France cheese eater.

The venue and words are not coincidence (2, Insightful)

quantax (12175) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089285)

Thanks to Yahoo/Reuters for its article discussing Senator Joseph Lieberman's comments regarding Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto at a recent women's forum at Dartmouth College.

It should come as no surprise that hes making these comments at a women's forum, and making a particular point of how this game 'promotes' abusing women; this always pisses people off. He negelects to mention you can get 'rewarded' (if getting a couple points and cops chasing after you is a reward) for assaulting anyone/thing in the game. By Lieberman's logic, any of us who've play GTA should be beating the shit out of each other right about now since we never learned respect for other men/women. Honestly, this strikes me less as an honest swipe at GTA rather than a thinly veiled attempt to win over women voters by appearing to oppose an 'misogynist' video game, and so portraying the game in a rather singularly unpleasant light that it promotes abuse of women. Same old 'anti-misogynist' rhetoric we've been hearing for years in this PC world.

Easy target (1)

imperator_mundi (527413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089331)

OK I'm not american and I don't live in America, so all this election circus it's just entertainement for me;
well maybe it's just because I don't know enough about US politics, but I could even think that sen. Lieberman is doing his crusade against violence in videogames (he started yelling against Mortal Kombat AFAIK) just because 1) to be against violence always sells, 2) people who play videogames are usually young and they can't vote (I know there are plenty of grown up videogamers around, myself for instance, but videogaming still considered as something childish).

Re:Easy target (1)

Derkec (463377) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090551)

Not only can't people under 18 vote, but a key demographic for this game 18-25 yr olds don't vote very much.

Lieberman isn't saying anything unreasonable (2, Interesting)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089355)

With rights come responsibility.

The classic example is that screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre and inciting a panic is not protected speech. Everyone agrees with that.

Asking videogame producers to use due judgement and produce products that are socially responsible is not censorship and is not wrong. The videogame industry is moving towards the same inane and worthless content that network television and cable is moving towards -- taking Liberman's advice may be helpful in the long run.

Re:Lieberman isn't saying anything unreasonable (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090416)

"The classic example is that screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre and inciting a panic is not protected speech. Everyone agrees with that."

Your example is flawed when comparing to video games. Screaming Fire in a crowded theatre will more than likely cause a panic and get people injured.

Making a violent video doesn't cause people to get injured nor has it been proven to cause people to start blowing people away. Your analogy makes the assuption that yes violent video games make people more violent.

Just don't get it. (0, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089360)

Kill baby: Good
Video game: Bad

Sorry, but they have their priorities all fucked up.

Re:Just don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089803)

Apperently, you just don't get it. Both abortions and video games come down to a single point: choice. Someone chooses to do something that you may find abhorrent (like have an abortion, or kill a virtual hooker for cash), but which doesn't affect you. Government shouldn't intervene, then. That person is making a choice about their own behavior. A choice that should be respected.

Re:Just don't get it. (4, Insightful)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090257)

Apperently, you just don't get it. Both abortions and video games come down to a single point: choice. Someone chooses to do something that you may find abhorrent (like have an abortion, or kill a virtual hooker for cash), but which doesn't affect you. Government shouldn't intervene, then. That person is making a choice about their own behavior. A choice that should be respected.

Normally I wouldn't get sucked into a debate like this, but your statement makes no sense. If someone neglects to feed their infant and it dies, I will ask the Government to criminalize that behavior even though it "doesn't affect me". Furthermore, Lieberman was not calling for legislation (at least in this article) to ban games, and in fact explictly mentions that these companies have to right to produce them. He is simply asking game developers to be more responsible - which is a perfectly legitimate opinion to have. You don't need to be a Puritan to find the content of that game objectionable.

actually... (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089378)

Lieberman is now part of the advertising engine. GTA can't buy that kind of advertising. I mean h said that I should see the game, which now I just might buy it.

We aren't kids anymore (2, Insightful)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089393)

Its funny when you realize that these people think that videogames is for kids/young adults. A medium that was once targetted primarily to youths has now grown just like the orignal target audience has. We are pong generation all grown up we have jobs we have families and dammit we want our f'nin video games.

Are we going to let our 5 year old play Manhunt.. probably not, but should we have the government decide what we can play and what we should not. Hell no.

If Lieberman has a problem with violent video games then get the retailers to be more strict in enforcing the ratings. Video games should be classified like movies are classified, get rid of the game specific ratings and adopt the movie rating system. So then parents will have a better clue what there kids should play..

"Hmmm rated Teen.. what the hell does that mean.. rated R, well that means my kid isn't going to watch this."

oh, the humanity! (2, Interesting)

TurtlesAllTheWayDown (688108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089508)

I've heard this one before; almost word-for-word. When Joe came to visit $MYSCHOOL several months ago, he gave us a little talk about the wonders of modern technology. Sadly though, he didn't seem to have a very firm grasp on the essentials of the processes occurring- he threw out a lot of vague buzzwords (including, repeatedly, the dreaded innovation.

Of course, not all technology is benevolent, so eventally Joe started up with his harangue about the resplendent evils of video games.

"You ought to see one called Grand Theft Auto."
at that moment I turned around to glance at the hordes of assembled students filling the auditorium- all of them slack jawed in horror and amazement, surely. What struck me most resoundingly, was just how poorly Mr. Lieberman knew the folks he was speaking to; I'd reckon that most of the audience that day were familiar with the game, perhaps half had actually played it, and doubtless had a higher opinion than he'd have expected.

There was a minor security "incident" toward the tail end of the talk that left me even more troubled; not because of any threat to our Senator [very little], but for his response to it, which

a) showed him truly frightened
and
b) did nothing to mitigate the threat
He may be an adequate or even competent legislator, but didn't earn much of my confidence. I'm grateful that he's representing someone else's state.

It's a release... (1)

OneFix at Work (684397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089535)

It's not going to encourage ANY behaviour except what the player WANTS to do (except maybe those related to the plot)....but then again, if you didn't like doing this, you would have never bought the game...it's not like the name of the game could be any give away...

What this guy doesn't understand is that games like GTA and specifically violent games are GOOD for society. It is a way of escape...it's not going to encourage violence in the real world...

In reality, these games allow mature adults to release their tensions...I'ld much rather see a guy spend a night of playing GTA than to shoot someone who cuts in front of his car on his morning commute...

A call to all politicians (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089542)

I come to you today, not just as a Sociologist, or a Video Game developer, but as a citizen, a future father, and a voter.

Stop making videogames out to be worse than they are.

There is no excuse for this rampant inflammatory rhetoric. The sky is not falling, Iraq is not full of loose nukes, and Mario is not teaching your children to abuse prostitutes. Night Trap featured significantly less violence than a child would see watching U.S.A.'s up all night, Mortal Kombat's fatalities were no more realistic than what one would see on the Itchy and Scratchy show, Doom did not teach children to field strip a Desert Eagle, and Grand Theft Auto does not advocate the genocide of Hatians.

GTA is a game about criminal misconduct. That doesn't mean that wanton violence is rewarded, it is simply possible. It was possible to cause a nuclear explosion in Sim City, but it came with a price. Arbitrary murder in GTA is punished by a rather unsympathetic police force, and is detrimental to your overall goals.

Selecting one possible scenario out of millions of combinations is misleading. It is true that the player can find a woman, beat them up, and shoot them. It is also true that they can do the same to a man, a child, a police officer, or anyone else in the game. They can find an unfriendly looking cabbie, pull them out of their cab, run them over with their cab, kick the body, shoot the body, and run the body over again. They can also just look for the best cars, and race around the city trying to hit as few people as possible. The player can decide to run everyone over, or try to do tricks on the games many ramps. They can sleep with a prostitute, or they can hang out and listen to the game's extensive radio stations. They can even attack other criminals, making the city a safer place for its citizens. That's not to say that GTA 3 is appropriate for all ages, but to single out one possibility and claim that GTA will cause men to brutalize women is misleading, inflammatory, and irresponsible.

Beyond GTA 3, this disparity between rhetoric and reality causes a mistrust of politicians by the 10-35 year olds of America. It means they're out of touch, in some cases completely. Players feel a strong association with the games that they play. This is partly because of the interactive component of the game, partly because of the secret fantasy escapism, and partly because they require such a large time investment. Making remarks about a title that are fundamentally flawed will in no way endear you to those people who know the game and who play it. Saying that GTA is a game breeding violent cheuvanists is no more likely to be well received than saying that golf is a game for rich white racists. Either way it shows broad, inaccurate generalizations passing as fact, from the mouth of a presidential candidate we are supposed to be able to trust

I disagree with Liberman's assertion that videogames are getting better about violence. Perhaps after a rather odd obsession with red pixels that spawned Time Killers, it may seem that the number of games that feature ONLY violence has gone down. And that I would agree with. But singling out individual games should be done with care, as mistaken assertions about particular titles are incredibly common and detrimental to the cause of less violent games.

Stop making videogames out to be worse than they are. It only makes you look ignorant.

Just ignore him (3, Interesting)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089644)

Lieberman is clutching at anything he can to try and get votes right now. Now he's pandering to women's groups that he typically would avoid like the plague.

Whenever he wants to complain, he pulls the GTA card and claims that it's anti-women. Funny how my wife doesn't see that when she watches me playing the GTA games...

Here's the key: keep the rating system and educate parents so they get off their asses and pay attention to the ratings. The next time I see a parent buying Vice City for their 10-year-old, I swear I'm going to start flinging other games at them until they pay attention...

I'm still undecided on which Democrat I'm going to support for President, but I know damn well it will never be Lieberman. Media whore bastard...

Re:Just ignore him (1)

devilsadvoc8 (548238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090409)

I don't mean to disappoint you but they will all do the same thing based on their audience.

Re:Just ignore him (1)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090462)

Speaking as someone who has run campaigns, that's not true.

Pay attention to the candidates and you will find people out there who have some integrity when it comes to their positions.

And, no, it isn't Dean. ;)

raising sons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089650)

Maybe a more important factor to raising sons who are "responsible and respectful toward women" would be having FATHERS who are responsible and respectful toward women. In a society where the men are typically uninvolved (or often not even in the picture whatsoever) in a boy's life, what do you expect? Young boys are raised by a mother at home, usually taught by a woman at school. Their whole life is constructed by women and they don't have the example and influence of a strong, masculine, caring, reliable, duty-bound father.

Often the burden is put on women, by pundits, here. That women are raising a generation full of pansy men (who as a result have a hard time in relationships because they don't really understand what women want - only what they SAY they want). The truth is, if men were more responsible and hung around, then the job would be done.

Another complaint often made is "well, women have kids and don't want a father around or they are floozies that get laid, have a kid and then move on and raise the kid alone". The same answer still applies - the man should have had his head on straight and known the woman he was fucking before having a child with her. And afterward, he should be in the child's life and raise him to be a true man.

So no, I don't think it is hollywood's job (or anyone else's) to restrict the type of videogames or movies or music they put out. I think having responsible, present, consistant, quality parents in a child's life outweight the rest of society's input a thousand to one.

But, of course, pointing the finger at parents for bad parenting doesn't when you their votes. So politicians continue to pander.

Hold on a minute... (2, Informative)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089751)

Okay, I'm currently playing through GTAIII for the first time, and I can (as most of us can) that you kill, maim and pillage many, many more guys than chicks. I don't think I've come across a single mission, as a matter of fact, where you were supposed to kill a chick. Yeah, you can grab a hooker, go somewhere private, watch the car bounce (while you two sit in the front seats, not moving), and afterwards beat the hell out of her, but that's the limit so far for violence towards women. Every OTHER missions is "go kill this guy that's been following/dealing/stealing/snitching on me". In all fairness, this game is much more geared towards killing men.

--trb

Re:Hold on a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8089842)

I think there are technically two missions where you are supposed to kill women (excluding rampages or vigilante missions). In Vice City, there are a few more women enemies (usually in vigilante, but there is mission or two...)

Societal responsibilities (2, Interesting)

pudge_lightyear (313465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089772)

Ok... I hear you. It's M rated, you should take an active interest in your kids, etc. etc. etc. This is a very shallow arguement that does not take the rest of America and the world in mind, only your little corner. I'm all for personal responsibility, but let's call it like it is, not like we view it to be.

Here are the facts:

1. Half of all marriages end in divorce.
Many, many of these have kids. One parent tries to woo the kid by giving them what they want. The other does the same. Pretty soon the kid has GTA... (this is not remote, it's common)

2. The number of children born outside of marriage is approaching (or overtaking) the number born within marriage.
There are millions of kids out there with no dads. Mom works... or doesn't. Leaves the kids at home... to do??? Get's GTA.

3. Many parents are idiots. The buy into all of this stuff that you guys are saying. Like... it's not real... or it's only in a video game... any healthy person can tell the difference...
They buy their kids GTA.

Don't take this post for what it's not... it's a simple statement of fact. Half or more of the kids in the country right now do not have responsible parents that are capable keeping this game out of their kids hands for whatever reason... and yes... it's their fault. But, your answer, to ignore it, won't work forever. Sure, Lieberman is a moron, but at least somebody is not naive enough to ignore this fact.

Someone, somewhere needs to wake up and realize that the dream world we live in, where everyone has two parents and a dog and goes to church on Sunday is not America anymore. Someone has to start encouraging society to at least set some sort of standards for itself. I'm one of the last people to want this to happen, but I see the wisdom in at least approaching the subject.

Re:Societal responsibilities (1)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089905)

Let's do a quick search and replace to see if your argument of forced-irresponsibility can hold water

1. Half of all marriages end in divorce.
Many, many of these have kids. One parent tries to woo the kid by giving them what they want. The other does the same. Pretty soon the kid has PORN... (this is not remote, it's common)

2. The number of children born outside of marriage is approaching (or overtaking) the number born within marriage.
There are millions of kids out there with no dads. Mom works... or doesn't. Leaves the kids at home... to do??? Get's PORN.

3. Many parents are idiots. The buy into all of this stuff that you guys are saying. Like... it's not real... or it's only in a movie... any healthy person can tell the difference...
They buy their kids PORN.


How often do the above happen? Just this side of never. So, basically, parents can be responsible, they just choose not to in the case of games

Re:Societal responsibilities (0, Flamebait)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089952)

So what's your solution exactly? In your ranting about how you were right and the reader had to wake up and realize how right you are, I failed to see where you presented a solution. Alright, I'll accept that a good portion of today's youth are not being properly parented. What do you want to do about it?

Is your solution government mandated "standards"? The government's stance on abortion is that it is a woman's right to choose. What if you want to raise a child and impart on it values that are counter to this? By the solution I assume you are trying to get at, this is outlawed. As soon as you impose standards to target the lowest common denominator, you bring down everyone else - you normally do not raise up the underachievers. That's why integrated classrooms where the dumb kids [that's right, dumb - not "slow"] who can't read are mixed in with the kids who are reading above grade level do not work. Next time you decide to rant and rave about a problem, spend less time trying to prove that there is a problem and instead devote your time to outlining a solution. Vague hand-waving doesn't get little Johnny to respect women.

"I swear to protect and defend the Consitution..." (2, Funny)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089850)

"...except for that inconvenient 'free speech' part of the First Amendment."

Um, sorry, he won't be getting MY vote.

Responsibility (2, Interesting)

Tanlis (304135) | more than 10 years ago | (#8089881)

What happened to the days when parents took responsibility for what their children played or watched? Or even teaching them that things you see in a game aren't real and that the actions shouldn't be reproduced?

Perhaps if parents spent more time with their children explaining why these things aren't things you practice instead of working so hard to afford that shiny new Lexus SUV than maybe we wouldn't have as many concerns.

I don't ever remember my parents sitting down with me and telling me that I played D&D or that any of the games I played on the Commodore or NES that I shouldn't reenact what I saw or read. Maybe kids were just smarter back then, but I doubt that.

What I find interesting is that you get these people that criticize the games, but yet they never say anything about other forms of entertainment. What about movies? I can think of several movies that glorified violence. Heat, The Godfather, Scarface, Braveheart are just a few. Or books? I don't know of any off hand as I read mostly fantasy, but I'm sure there are plenty out there.

About the only reason I can think they never consider it is cause games are interactive.

Maybe I am the only one that feels this way... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090006)

but I really don't agree with everyone making such a big deal over GTA. I have a lot of respect for Lieberman, but I really don't like how he skews things. He makes it a point to focus on women (like men's lives are worth less somehow?) being beaten for a reward. But, as others have mentioned, other than the small amount of money on the woman, there is also a risk of being caught by police. So there are drawbacks to doing that action.

I have a respectable job and a Masters in CS. I am (hopefully most would say) an intelligent person who enjoys gaming in my free time. I am a moral person who does my best to do unto others as I would have done to myself. That being said, I have no guilt at all in doing horrible things in the game. Heck, my girl friend is worse. When I play, she tells me to go beat up that person, or try to pick up that hooker. Why? Because it is interesting to see the game and what it allows you to do. I agree with the rating, it is a game for adults. And being an adult, I want to be able to choose how I spend my free time. If GTA is what I choose, it is absolutely none of the government's business to tell me what is appropriate. Their job is to 1) educate parents on game ratings 2) enforce laws on vendors who sell these games to minors. The fact that the game is violent has no effect on my external life....at all. And anyone who claims that they were influenced by the game to do bad things and sues the company should probably not be allowed to have children, they are that stupid. I agree kids can be influenced more by this, that is why parents and the government should do a better job to keep it out of their hands. Seriously though, the kids shooting at cars driving by who claim that they were acting out GTA are liars and morons. No one is claiming GTA encouraged their careers as an ambulance driver or pizza delivery boy. The problem with that situation was bad parenting. Why were the kids allowed to play that game, and even more, why did they have access to guns, and why weren't they taught proper gun safety. The kids and the parents should both serve time for that.

I hope I made some sense. I just want to be able to play good games that have adult content. It isn't because GTA is violent that I enjoy the game. It is because GTA is a great game that allows you to do more than any other gaming engine out there ever has. The violence is appropriate to the plot (you are a criminal) and there is plenty of freedom to be as bad as you want to be. Stick all the violence you want in a new game, make it 10 times worse than GTA, I am not going to buy it because it has violence. All that matters is that it is a good game (i.e. it is fun). So please, politicians, rather than neutering adult content in games, educate and enforce. Other than that, try not to screw up the economy and piss off all our allies.

Here we go again..... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8090069)

Once again, it's wrong to virtually beat a virtual woman, yet no one's saying anything about beating up the males.......

Equal beatings for equal pay.

Idea! (2, Funny)

Jukashi (240273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090264)

I want a GTA mod where the player is rewarded for attacking Joe Lieberman, pushing him to the ground, kicking him repeatedly and then ultimately killing him, shooting him over and over again.

God, this disinformation cheeses me off... (2, Insightful)

Captain Beefheart (628365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8090669)

I don't know if Lieberman's statements are outright disingenuous or merely the result of yet more incompetent research about this game, but he grossly mischaracterizes this element of the game. No, GTA3 won't be mistaken for Barbie Horse Adventure anytime soon, but you don't get "rewarded" for brutally murdering a woman and mutilating her dead body. If you kill a pedestrian, which requires no more amount of violence than it would in real life, then they drop whatever money they had on them, the amount of which is a tinkle in the bucket compared to what you can earn even by driving people around in (violence-free) taxi missions.

You can choose to kill them with a bat or sword instead of a gun, and the result is appropriately gruesome enough for most normal people to either opt for a cleaner way to do it, or to just not do it altogether. You can be brutal, but there isn't a significant benefit, and it often gets you in trouble with the police--a fact that these people always fail to mention whenever this subject comes up.

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