Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Plea To Game Makers To Act Responsibly?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the eat-your-greens dept.

Education 136

Thanks to AVault for its editorial discussing the responsibility videogame makers have to use their powers for 'good'. The author expresses concern about games' influence on the young: "My love of digital maiming is tempered by the fact that, at this stage of my life, I can tell right from wrong. I have a fully developed set of ethics. I wouldn't say my nine-year-old nephew has quite had the time to develop these tools." The article ends with the exhortation: "Developers and publishers, hear my plea: start injecting a strong sense of right and wrong into your stories. I don't want you to pull back on the gibs, I don't want anything more than a stronger sense of ethics and perhaps a small dose of moral fiber. Take into account the fact that kids are playing, no matter that they shouldn't be."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nine-year-olds know (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247460)

I'm sorry, but unless the kid is retarded or something, he knows the difference between right and wrong, at least when it comes to blowing people up and stuff.

Re:Nine-year-olds know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247712)

Or the kid is a sociopath. Like most offspring of slashdot visitors, they've either got Asperger's or are hyper-violent sex-charged trolls.

Re:Nine-year-olds know (1, Insightful)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248948)

sure they know, but do they really care?

nothing's cooler to a kid than doing the wrong thing.

Re:Nine-year-olds know (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249014)

I'm sorry, but unless the kid is retarded or something, he knows the difference between right and wrong, at least when it comes to blowing people up and stuff.

True, at least partially. It may seem that smaller issues (things other than blowing people up) may have the appearance of being endorsed by the parent to the child if things are viewed without making a big deal about them or not letting them see it at all.

Example: I bought viewtiful Joe, it has a "kids" setting. Great! I can play it with my kids! uh oh, all the billboards have naked ladies on them, even in the kids setting. Looks like that's only for use after the kids go to bed.

Re:Nine-year-olds know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9250282)

Hey buddy, guess what, the world has naked ladies in it, even on kids settings. Grief you American prudes; I'm rapidly realising Ned Flanders is an almost accurate portrayl of how middle America thinks.

I Have A Solution (5, Insightful)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247472)

"I have a fully developed set of ethics. I wouldn't say my nine-year-old nephew has quite had the time to develop these tools."

Gee, maybe your 9 year old shouldn't be playing Grand Theft Auto. It's more the parent/guardian's responsiblity to ensure that their kids aren't playing violent games than it is the game makers.

Re:I Have A Solution (2, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248271)

> Take into account the fact that kids are playing, no matter that they shouldn't be."

> It's more the parent/guardian's responsiblity to ensure that their kids aren't playing violent games than it is the game makers.

Yes but your kid has a friend who has an older friend with this REALLY EXCITING game...

Parents, no matter how diligent, can not watch over their children every second of the day.

That said, I'd like to see a parental block code of some sort on games like Grand Theft Auto. Don't stop making those games and don't take away the amoral fun for us adults. Just include some sort of unique ID verifed code on the inside of each box. And since no one will sell these games to kids [cough cough] that would help prevent the young ones from playing it. They didn't buy it, and therefore don't have the box w/ unique passcode on it.

Oh and don't abuse my privacy, just give me a kid blocking code. Thanks.

Re:I Have A Solution (1)

eht (8912) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248300)

And how would said parental block affect "your kid has a friend who has an older friend with this REALLY EXCITING game..."

This older kid will either have the "code" or go onto the internet and find a keygen of some sort.

My biggest problem with the whole "morals" thing is, your morals or mine?

Re:I Have A Solution (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249556)

Not if it's done right. If Dad Gamer could intall it and set the code like parental lock on cable that would sure help. Initial code is in the box and unique like a WinXP registration so only the buyer can install. Then Gamer Dad changes the code to the name of the girl he lost his virginity to. Now the box is only useful for a full uninstall and reinstall. The kid would have to google a correct install code or find the box, then reinstall the game.

That's enough of a deterrent I think.

Re:I Have A Solution (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249713)

Initial code is in the box and unique like a WinXP registration so only the buyer can install.


That system is already in place, except that it is for DRM rather than parental control. Also, there isn't really a way to successfullt change an install code - usually, those things use a hard-coded algorithm and written on a piece of paper.

The best way to prevent children from installing and launching games without your knowledge or concent is to lock down your computer so that there is not enough quota space to install these games. (Most of which don't install unless you have admin privilages - good for some people but bad for others. )

Re:I Have A Solution (3, Funny)

CodeMonkey4Hire (773870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248333)

They could ask those weird questions like Leisure Suit Larry did to see if you are old enough. Thay was funny. IIRC, Spiro Agnew was a wrong choice for a question about a cough-causing germ.

I already know they can search for the answers on the internet. Maybe we could make 'em do an integral to log on! That would set an age+IQ requirement.

Of course, having been out of college long enough to forget all the math that I never use, I guess I could ask my son for help....

Re:I Have A Solution (4, Insightful)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248465)

Parents, no matter how diligent, can not watch over their children every second of the day.

No, but when the kid comes home from playing GTA at the friend's house and says "Parent, I really want to get this game": Parent says "No."

The author of the article presents this situation, with his nephew now wanting to get this game that he played at a friends house. However, rather than take it the final step (i.e., parent saying no), the author goes into "hey game makers, change your games" land. Obviously parents can't be there 100% of the time, but when they are there they have to be a parent. And being a parent means saying no, quite frequently. Why the author doesn't see this, I don't know.

Kids are exposed to all sorts of "bad" things and parents do their best to mitigate any real or supposed damage by setting barriers, guidelines, rules and having discussions with their children.

It this author wants a better target to go after, why not start with soda / junk food vending machines at our schools. Kids spend more time in school than they do anywhere else (including playing video games). And childhood obesity is, without any doubt, a bigger problem than violent video games.

Re:I Have A Solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9249416)

But the smart kid will keep his mouth shut and just continue to play at his friends.

Re:I Have A Solution (2, Insightful)

dewke (44893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250145)

Yes but your kid has a friend who has an older friend with this REALLY EXCITING game...

Parents, no matter how diligent, can not watch over their children every second of the day.


This is called being a responsible parent, or at least it was when I was growing up. My parents wanted to know where I was going, with who etc... Usually my parents had met my friends parents as well.

All that aside, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a lockout code as well. Not on the side of the box though. Give kids credit, if you hide it, they will find it.

Re:I Have A Solution (5, Insightful)

msuzio (3104) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250169)

Thinking that monitoring your child every second is the solution to anything is ridiculous in any case. I don't care if we're talking drugs, alcohol, violent video games, or Scientology. You can't always be there, and you shouldn't expect to be. You have to develop a parenting strategy that does not rely on monitoring for compliance and safety.

When I was growing up, my parents never even knew where I was most of the time. I went out to play on a typical summer day, and wandered around the neighborhood hanging out with friends. I wasn't expected back until dinner time.

Somehow, I managed to come out of it OK. Sure, I saw the porno mags Timmy Smith had stolen from his dad's stash. I smoked a couple cigarettes when I was 12. I saw my friend's brother smoke dope (never tried it myself until I was well past the age of majority). But my parents had done their job in educating me pretty well in their sense of what was right and wrong. Even when I did things I knew they wouldn't approve of, I was able to consider those things in the moral structure they thought I should be educated in. I could ask myself "Why is what I'm doing wrong? Should I not be doing this?". I developed the ability to make my own decisions, and I had enough common sense to not get in over my head.

This is, to me, the only way to go. Don't try to control your kids. Don't make other people responsible for that task either. Do the best you can, take advantage of all the times your kids are with you to point out the moral issues of life and provide your perspective. Accept that they will make mistakes; if you think it's appropriate, administer discipline when they go against "the rules", but understand that this is all part of the learning process too.

Please, people. Produce thinkers, not mindless drones who have to be saved from themselves constantly. Insist on personal moral responsibility and accountability. Anything else is a cop-out. Even a very young child is capable of understanding "right" vs. "wrong" and knowing when they are breaking "the rules".

Re:I Have A Solution (2, Informative)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9251433)

> Anything else is a cop-out. Even a very young child is capable of understanding "right" vs. "wrong" and knowing when they are breaking "the rules".

I'm going to need to know this in a few years: How do you explain to your child that it is "Right" for you to own a game that he sometimes sees you playing, but that it is "Wrong" for him to play it?

I agree with 99.9% of what you said. But aren't some areas gray? You don't leave the door wide open when you and your wife have sex and just tell him its wrong for him to look or listen.
That's all I'm saying, I'd like to be able to "close the door" on mature themed games in the same manner, but still abide by everything you said in your excellent post.

Re:I Have A Solution (2, Informative)

Grave (8234) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248388)

A parent came in to my store (GameStop) the other day to buy a PS2 and a couple of games, and mentioned wanting to buy GTA: Vice City for his 4 year old son when he had some more money. I told him that was a Mature rated game and not something I'd recommend for a kid of that age. Quite frankly, I don't think I could sell it to someone who had just told me they were going to let their 4-year-old play it. That's just plain wrong, and at that age, there can still be very permanent damage done to the child's sense of right and wrong, especially with a game such as Vice City.

Responsibility for the games played by anyone under 17 is up to the parents. Video game makers put ratings on their games, and if parents refuse to care about it (as so many do), then it's not fair to blame the makers.

Re:I Have A Solution (2, Insightful)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250057)

Mothers and fathers, hear my plea: start injecting a strong sense of right and wrong into your children, based on the current laws, not necessarily your own morals. I don?t want you to pull back on the fun, I don't want anything more than a stronger sense of ethics and perhaps a small dose of moral fiber. Take into account the fact that kids are playing all sorts of games, no matter that they shouldn't be.

Re:I Have A Solution (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250458)

I'm not really sure this responsibility should be carried by videogame makers alone. This idea has some other possible branches:

Pornography should stop having so much nudity, or any nudity at all, because, as we all know, even with age limits on buying the stuff, kids look at pornography.

News should stop having so much politics and real-world references (look at any news outlet available in the wonderful city of Los Angeles for some great examples) because I would not like my offspring to consider politics as their career or have their ambitions squashed by reality.

Re:I Have A Solution (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#9251448)

OTOH, porn with clothes on would be interesting to look at.

In Other News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247494)

... Gamer finds god

I don't think this is reasonable (4, Insightful)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247508)

"Take into account the fact that kids are playing, no matter that they shouldn't be."

So, should Quentin Tarantino take into account that kids are watching "Kill Bill", and Playboy similarly tailor itself to be kid-friendly? I don't think so.

There is a reasonable complaint in there (2, Informative)

*weasel (174362) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248361)

Personally, I'm with you:

I emphatically disagree with the editorial in question. I don't think content creators should care about 'acting responsibly'. I think they should tell their story, paint their picture, try to entertain. If they're so irresponsibly bad, the market will tell them so, and show them the door. Social responsibility for content is not something any creator in any media should be concerned with as a matter of course.

However, social responsibility for industry business practices is something that needs more attention and positive action.

The problem with your analogies are that the MPAA's rating system is well understood, and local legislation in the U.S. dictates that magazines like playboy be kept behind the counter. If a 9 year old asks his mother to see an R movie or buy him a magazine from behind the counter at 7-11, she knows (more or less) what to expect - regardless of how that 9 year old might want to convince her otherwise.

What gaming needs is precisely that same thing: an honest attempt at achieving consumer awareness of content rating. It needs a system that actually communicates the sort of content provided by the media, so parents can decide for themselves what they want their children to see and play.

Parents have no idea wtf an 'M' rating means, and the ESRB either can, or chooses to, do nothing against retailers who don't restrict the sales of 'M' titles to minors. Hell, the ESRB doesn't even require retailers to post an education poster that breaks down game ratings for consumers the way the MPAA still does.

If the ESRB is unwilling to even try to educate consumers, or enforce its policies upon retailers - at the very least they could lift the MPAA's system wholesale, replace 'M' with 'R', and let us move on with life.

What the ESRB should do, is take a nod from satellite and cable content ratings, and simply spell out all the themes in question.
If the game has cartoon violence, say so on the box.
If the game has graphic realistic violence, say so on the box.
If the game has brief nudity, say so on the box.
If the game has sexual themes, say so on the box.
If the game deals with substance abuse, say so on the box.

The problem is, game publishers don't want that. They don't want 'R', 'graphic violence', or 'sexual themes' slathered across video game shelves. But why not? Are they afraid that parents might actually parent? Are they intentionally leveraging ingorance to drive game sales? What logic can there be for intentionally obfuscating their rating scheme and doing nothing against those retailers who ignore it?

The longer the ESRB pussy-foots around the problem, the more they make such questionable policies and decisions, the more steam Senator Lieberman builds up - and the closer we come to legislative intervention. And no-one: not the industry, not the consumer, not Senator Lieberman himself - wants that.

All these pressures would evaporate overnight if the ESRB would be honest with its consumers.

Re:There is a reasonable complaint in there (3, Informative)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248671)

regarding ESRB and putting specifics on the box:

I think they already do. Or at least some game makers take the additional step to do so. Checking out the ESRB rating for Warcraft III [blizzard.com] (bottom of page), you'll note it got a T for blood and violence. Checking out the ESRB for Metroid Prime [nintendo.com] , and it's a T but no mention of specifics. So there are some thorough developers/publishers and some not so thorough developers/publishers. (To Nintendo's credit, when you try to access any game with T or higher rating on their website, a warning will pop letting you know the rating and asking if you want to continue.)

What will happen is Lieberman and other congress-types will hold more hearings and eventually the ESRB will cave and be forced to enforce their ratings both at the publisher side (i.e., more acting like Blizzard) and at the retail side (i.e., don't sell the M games to children). Hopefully, it won't make it fully into the realm of regulation. (both the music and movie industries averted that, no? I know the MPAA rating system is voluntary, and I presume the parental warning stickers on albums were a self-regulated thing, rather than a governmental mandate)

Re:There is a reasonable complaint in there (2, Informative)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249485)

Parents have no idea wtf an 'M' rating means, and the ESRB either can, or chooses to, do nothing against retailers who don't restrict the sales of 'M' titles to minors. Hell, the ESRB doesn't even require retailers to post an education poster that breaks down game ratings for consumers the way the MPAA still does.

I don't know why people still don't understand what "Mature" means. Game stores have posters, pamphlets, and employees who know exactly how the rating system works. The ESRB doesn't do anything against stores that sale games to minors because it can't. Though mostly, parents buy the game for their kids because they don't care enough about the ratings rather than the store clerk selling it to the kid.

If the ESRB is unwilling to even try to educate consumers, or enforce its policies upon retailers - at the very least they could lift the MPAA's system wholesale, replace 'M' with 'R', and let us move on with life.

They can't. The MPAA has a copyright on the ratings. Besides, the ESRB ratings are more elaborate and specific.

What the ESRB should do, is take a nod from satellite and cable content ratings, and simply spell out all the themes in question.
If the game has cartoon violence, say so on the box.
If the game has graphic realistic violence, say so on the box.
If the game has brief nudity, say so on the box.
If the game has sexual themes, say so on the box.
If the game deals with substance abuse, say so on the box


They do. Go in a video game store and look at the boxes. The labels are very easy to read.

Every post I ever see about game ratings tell the ESRB to either do what it's already doing, or do what it can't. Please, look at the game ratings before saying what game ratings should do.

Blah, parents, yawn (3, Insightful)

Leffe (686621) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247510)

The author expresses concern about games' influence on the young

What the hell are the parents doing?!

Re:Blah, parents, yawn (2, Funny)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 10 years ago | (#9248005)

What the hell are the parents doing?!

He's talking about his 9 year old nephew. You don't seriously suggest that he try to criticize the way his brother/sister is raising the kid, do you? After all, family is always right; it's the people you don't know who are always wrong.

Mod the post up (1)

Alpha27 (211269) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248267)

He makes an excellent point. Why not criticize the parent who let it happen.

Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (4, Insightful)

tprime (673835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247520)

Don't we get at least 2 of this type of article on this site per week? It seems like I am always reading the:

"It is the parents' job to teach their kids wrong and right, not the video games."

All these articles are good for is getting gamers upset. Call it Flamebait or a Troll or whatever, but these articles are getting Redundant.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247753)

Society has an impact on the raising of children. You can stick your head in the sand and pretend that parents can raise children in a vacuum but that isn't the case.

Yes parents are the primary interpreters of the world for their children but its pretty hard to justify why Joe Bob likes to run random people over in a stolen car.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248481)

" but its pretty hard to justify why Joe Bob likes to run random people over in a stolen car."

And there's an epidemic of this happening?

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

bluprint (557000) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249295)

Society has an impact on the raising of children.

Of course society impacts children, children are a part of society, and society affects us all. However, we as individuals should not be forced to act a certain way just so you can feel good about how you raised your children. If you don't want society to impact your children, then leave society, instead of trying to shape all man kind into your idea of a perfect child-bearing environment.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250428)

However, we as individuals should not be forced to act a certain way just so you can feel good about how you raised your children.

So to illustrate your extreme viewpoint, we should just acknowledge that laws against murder go against the way a person should behave, therefore we should just throw those laws away. Of course this is not what you meant... however what I would suggest is that we do need to create societal rules to govern our behaviours. Video games are a medium... we have allowed violence to become part of the medium's culture because it sells games. Don't get rid of the GTAs and the Dooms and the Postals because there is a mature market that understands the merits of this games. Do consider that the video game market should mature in such a way that it accomodates more of aspects of human behaviour, not just one of violence.

"If you don't want society to impact your children, then leave society,"

Leave society? Kind of a drastic measure don't you think? We are ALL raised within our social groups, and to leave the groups we grew up with is deny what makes us social creatures in the first place. Let's at least acknowledge that we as people have the right to influence society for the better of our children. Wouldn't you agree that women's lib or anti-segregation was a good thing? Society impacted all the children growing up from these movements, and now we all agree we have a better world. Instead of forsaking society to protect your children, let's influence society to make it a better place for our children to grow up in! Create more choices in videogames, don't take choices away!

Overall, I pretty much agree with what you said. No one has the perfect child-rearing plan for our society. There are too many variables. And who wants a mindless child-lamb who grew up strictly on Barney and Kraft Dinner...

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247851)

Although you are making a good point about the fact that we keep getting these articles every other day, the fact remains that this editorial position really speaks about something important. As an avid gamer and new parent, I believe it's important for parents to be involved with their children's educational/recreational activities. I do see a glimmer of a new line of thinking that I don't believe has been explored yet: Video games are now a medium unto themselves, and as a medium, there is room to grow.

For example, I think of TV as a great example of a medium that can help encourage the viewer to see and learn things on a regular basis. Sesame Street teachs often about the virtues of sharing and being kind to others. Maybe there's room for videogames to do something similar for children.

I really see an easy trend in the general population to condemn and judge things without actually looking at the layers. People are quick to judge (people think it's their right to judge everything), and videogames are easy prey to judge because they typically contain content that society deems less appropriate for society.

Instead of judging and criticizing the videogame industry, I think critics should encourage game developers to expand the capabilities of the medium. Introducing storylines suitable for children where acceptable society values and virtues are explored is a good thing for kids - don't brainwash the kids into mindless sheep. Stories like Rayman work really well for kids. They ecourage children to act for the good of others. They model the approach we usually feed to our kids when they grow up: be good to your neighbours, help people when they are in trouble, etc.

Maybe there might be a way of encouraging sharing or other sorts of "mushy" values without making everyone sick of the Barney epidemic...

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (2, Insightful)

spaeschke (774948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9248031)

Introducing storylines suitable for children where acceptable society values and virtues are explored is a good thing for kids


They already have those, they're called Nintendo games. I'm sorry, but I just don't care about your, or anyone elses kids. I treat people bitching about violent videogames like people that bring children into bars... I don't drink at the playground, please don't bring your kids into a bar. Likewise, don't let your kids play GTA and I won't try to dictate the content of the next Barney Teaches Reading. Deal?

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (4, Interesting)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248185)

It's amazing how people think that just because someone has a position that is "encourage people to consider additional ways to tell stories that are good for kids" that it means that people are advocating changing exisitng games to make them less violent. Come on, let's actually read what people write here, and not just jump to conclusions. I'm not advocating us changing what the industry produces now, I'm advocating looking underneath that penny and realizing there's another market. Let's keep the GTAs, the Dooms and the Postals... at the same time, game publishers may consider new opportunities for parents and children to enjoy in videogame storytelling. Everyone wins! Kapish?

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (3, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248252)

My problem is more the shortage of educational puzzle games. Remember Lemmings? The Incredible Machine? Humans? That one with the bouncing lasers? Those games are gone now. Now puzzle games are twitch games like Tetris and Chu Chu rocket, which, while teaching the kids new tricks, teach them subconsiously and don't actually teach true problem-solving.

When I was a kid, educational puzzle games were mainstream products. Everybody played Lemmings. Now they're kids games, and rare ones at that.

Instead, many kids games have become evercrack-style treadmill masturbation games like Pokemon. Nintendo's kids games are fun and exciting party games and I love them to death, but they have damn little educational value to a kid.

Bring back _real_ educational games. I want my Sim Earth back.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

CodeMonkey4Hire (773870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248482)

That one with the bouncing lasers?

My first reaction was, "Laser Chess?" But you may have been thinking of something else. But that reminds me of another game I used to love on the C64. It was kind of like chess, but when 2 pieces landed on the same spot, there was an arcade-style battle. Every piece had its own strengths and weaknesses. They were elementals and wizards and such. Can anyone give me a name and preferably a place to get a copy?

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

spaeschke (774948) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248579)

Archon. Either you're too young or too old to remember, so which is it? =P

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

CodeMonkey4Hire (773870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248793)

Archon. Man that was a great game. I'll search for it later. If nothing else, I'm sure that I can find a ROM for my C64 emulator. Any sequals?

I am a little on the young side for a C64 user. My older brother was probably right in the middle. It was his, but he "sold" it to my dad sometime during/after college. Basically, he wanted to get rid of it and my dad needed an excuse to give him some money ($300 for an old C64???) - yeah, he's cheap and we're independent.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

ronfar (52216) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249054)

Any sequals?
One, Archon II: Adept [mobygames.com]

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249817)

One, Archon II: Adept


FYI, there is something called "Archon III: Exeter" (sp) floaing around the internet. Even though it is an official sequel, it is really a lobotomized version of the first two games.

If you're still interested in how the game works, it's a simple circular board where you can move your only active piece to the opponent to engage in combat. Combat is simply moving your unit around to perform a melee attack (and by the design of the game, always favours one player over the other.) There is no computer opponent. I'm not sure how much it retailed for, but I only saw it by chance in a huge game collection library that was sorted haphazardly.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

Romeozulu (248240) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249247)

The ESRB can't enforce anything. They are not a government agency. They are a not-for-profit organization. That's it. Putting a rating on your box is completely voluntary. Some stores, like Walmart, won't buy your game if it does not have a rating, so in essence, it is required to get into stores.

The MPAA rating is also voluntary, the one difference is that the Unions make it a "defacto" requirement. The projectionist Union will not allow their members to show movies that are not rated. While there might be some local laws (I don't know of any off hand) about movie ratings, it is not a law.

If you owned a theater, you could not let kids under 17 into R rated movies, because your projectionist would quit and you could no longer rent films from distrubtors. It has nothing to do with the Law.

Also, to address a previous posters comment about whether a 9 year old tell right from wrong, I respectfully suggest that unless you have kids and see them day-to-day and how they react to violence on TV and in games, you are not qualified to answer that question. Being a parent gives you a whole new perceptive on that issue.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249907)

While there might be some local laws (I don't know of any off hand) about movie ratings, it is not a law.

I don't have time to find and cite the relavent law, but I believe that Utah (or maybe just Salt Lake City) has a law that says it's a crime to admit a sub-17-year-old into an R (or worse) movie. I remember some stink about it in the local press when either South Park or Showgirls was in theaters.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250335)

I worked as a projectionist for one of the major chains, in Florida for over a year. I was never a member of any union.

Re:Article: -1 Redundant/Flamebait (1)

dewke (44893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250243)

Don't we get at least 2 of this type of article on this site per week? It seems like I am always reading the:

"It is the parents' job to teach their kids wrong and right, not the video games."

All these articles are good for is getting gamers upset. Call it Flamebait or a Troll or whatever, but these articles are getting Redundant.


Once they reach critical mass we'll get watered down games. Doesn't matter if they're rated for mature audiences or not...

Plea with the parents.. (1, Redundant)

Niobium-41 (601054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247561)

Right and Wrong are abstract concepts.. leave the video game developers alone and plea with parents to control thier damn kids...

You don't let your 9 year old nephew watch porn.. and you shouldn't let him play Manhunt or GTA: Vice City..

EOF

It's always going to be there... (4, Interesting)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247650)

There's always going to be violent video games. The problem is not that there aren't video games that have morality...look at the Ultima games...or the Star Wars ones. The problem is that kids are naturally curious about the games that are BAD. It doesn't matter how many good video games there are out there....kids are always going to find the one game that's evil. Really, there are only three solutions:

1) Forbid all video games that do not impose "correct" morality
2) Raise your children in an isolated bubble, never exposing them to anything that espouses "bad" morality
3) Let your children experience what they want, within limits, so long as you teach them what is right and wrong

You can let a kid play all the violent video games he wants; so long as he has a caring mother and father, he'll turn out OK....and if he doesn't have caring parents, if it's not GTA teaching him how to be a criminal, it'll just be something else. In short, bad parenting creates bad kids who have independent, unrelated desires to play "bad" video games and do "bad" things. Good parenting creates "good" kids who have the same desire to play "bad" video games but less chance of a desire to do "bad" things.

To all of the parents who are always whining "the video games are controlling my childen" I say: you have a thousand times more influence than any video game ever will...if your kids are turning out poorly it's because you're a shitty parent....stop trying to blame everyone else.

I don't understand why the author's article is so upset at this kid playing GTA. If his mom is raising him correctly, he should be able to cap grandmas all day long and still be a well-adjusted kid. If she's not, well, then he's got bigger things to worry about than a video game. Everyone just wants to bitch about the video game to show that they are MORALLY OFFENDED! You know what offends my morals? Watching a mother just dump her kid off in day care for the first 6 years of his life so she can drive a nicer car. I'd rather raise my kid on GTA than put him through that.

Re:It's always going to be there... (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249096)

After living in two different cultures, I've noticed that shielding children by keeping them isolated from anything that could be harmful definitely has its downsides.

When I lived in Germany, I noticed that children had pretty much free access to alcohol, and underage drinking wasn't even a concern. Teenagers usually went on little drinking binges at about 14-16, still under the supervision of their parents. By the time they were out of school, going on to higher education, and ready to live on their own, they could handle alcohol responsibly, and weren't as interested in binge-drinking. So as a result, they handled life well and spent more time studying at the university.

In the United States, there were a lot of college students who had been completely shielded from alcohol and a number of other things by overprotective parents. Those students were irresponsible and simply couldn't handle suddenly being independent and having access to all this stuff. Many of them started binge-drinking, lost the discipline to study, and dropped out of school.

Someone in Germany mentioned to me they thought it strange that Americans are be allowed to drive before they learn to handle alcohol responsibly. It seemed like a recipe for disaster to them.

I'm of the opinion that parents should take it in moderation. You still need to parent and guide the kid, but at the same time you need to prepare them to deal responsibly with the real world! They're not going to be children forever, and they're going to need those skills when they become independent.

Re:It's always going to be there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9249840)

Watching a mother just dump her kid off in day care for the first 6 years of his life so she can drive a nicer car.

In risk of being modded off-topic:

I did agree with some points of your post. But this paragraph was just out of line. For this you should have been modded flamebait.

Maybe you were fortunate but I was raised in a single parent household (mom). And I can promise you: The last thing she was thinking about was driving a nice car.

She did teach morals to me. Even if it nearly killed her because she didn't have any time for herself.

Bad parents? Maybe my parents weren't the best. But do surprise me: Do go ahead and show me the "Pleasantville" parents.

Lets take it to the next level: Dad is dead. What now? Still think mom is worried about driving a nice car?

Anyway, asides from this rant I believe games are covered by free speech. The above was my gripe on the social system (and the above posters obvious ignorance to it). Being an ignorant to single moms (or dads for that matter) surely doesn't help them to teach morals to their kids.

Maybe a boot-up "warning" in games would be nice. Something proclaiming that the contents of this game are fiction. Sure, sounds silly. But i think some kids would register it. I know I would have (even if I'd have made fun about it). It's a small thing and might help a few kids.

Re:It's always going to be there... (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250099)

Grandparent: You know what offends my morals? Watching a mother just dump her kid off in day care for the first 6 years of his life so she can drive a nicer car.

Parent: Maybe you were fortunate but I was raised in a single parent household (mom). And I can promise you: The last thing she was thinking about was driving a nice car.

Good point, AC, and if your scenario is true then all props to your Mom for doing the Right Thing.

However, of all the kids being dropped off in daycare, what percent are there because of both parents working for more than just the necessities?

GTRacer
- Father of two gamerkids who *seem* to be well-balanced

Notice I didn't say... (1)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 9 years ago | (#9251149)

Notice I didn't say...watching a mother just dump her kid off in day care for the first 6 years of his life so she can afford to support him.

I was criticizing the parents who would rather forget about the kids and go after what makes them happy...and where I grew up, there were PLENTY of people like this, and you could tell from the way their kids came out. The point I'm making is that parents already have enormous influence over their children, and it's just plain stupid to watch people bitch and moan about the content of video games when they're not actually spending time with the kids.

I wasn't trying to criticize parents who are already under stress...the point is this: relying on television, daycare, and video games to do YOUR JOB as a parent is not going to produce healthy, well-adjusted kids, and no amount of censorship will ever change that.

Re:It's always going to be there... (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249870)

The problem is that kids are naturally curious about the games that are BAD. It doesn't matter how many good video games there are out there....kids are always going to find the one game that's evil.

And as a parent, it's your job to prevent your children from getting it, if you don't want them to have it. Just like there are plenty of good and bad magazines out there, if you don't want your child reading Stuff, or Maxim then you will actually have to be a parent and watch what your kids are doing. It's not the rest-of-the world's job to raise a parents child for them.

Really, there are only three solutions:

1) Forbid all video games that do not impose "correct" morality

I don't think it has to be avoid all games that don't teach morals, just try to keep your children away from ones that that display senseless violence without concequence, and the ones that are way too sexually explicit. Is it hard for parents to figure out that the latest Mario or Star Wars game is ok while a game named "Grand Theft Auto" is not?

2) Raise your children in an isolated bubble, never exposing them to anything that espouses "bad" morality

Again, I don't think it's a matter of putting your children in a bubble although pop culture may make it that way soon. It's a matter of sheltering your children from the worst ideas (men and women as purely sexual objects, violence, racism) until they are in their teenage years and can at least make somewhat reasonable decisions.

3) Let your children experience what they want, within limits, so long as you teach them what is right and wrong

This is kind of reasonable, but at what point? If I had children (and plenty of my friends do at this point) I would try to keep them away from some of the aspects I discussed, because it clearly effects children in a negative manner.

You can let a kid play all the violent video games he wants; so long as he has a caring mother and father, he'll turn out OK....

I disagree, Eric Harris didn't come from a horribly abusive background at home and look what he did? I don't think good parents alone can do it. If children see violence with no conequence they often will try to act it out in play form despite how much you tell them it's fake. It's not really a good thing at a young age.

It's more of a problem of society in general has become a lot less "kid/family friendly" in the past 20-30 years. The legalization of abortion, the growth of 1 parent families, birth control and the decline of relgion have led to less children. Therefor society as a whole has less tolerance for caring for them. I agree in a way, I'm over 18 and if I want GTA, I should be able to buy it. I don't want it censored just because some halfwit parent can't keep their child from playing it.

and if he doesn't have caring parents, if it's not GTA teaching him how to be a criminal, it'll just be something else.

This is a bit too broad of a brush, there have been many successful people who came from broken homes/people who were poor parents. It doesn't help, but it's not as simple as, if your parents don't love you, you will be a criminal when you grow up.

In short, bad parenting creates bad kids who have independent, unrelated desires to play "bad" video games and do "bad" things.

Agreed, having bad parents makes it easier for kids to play "bad" games. Good parenting creates "good" kids who have the same desire to play "bad" video games but less chance of a desire to do "bad" things.

Young children are still influenced by television and games and will act them out.

To all of the parents who are always whining "the video games are controlling my childen" I say: you have a thousand times more influence than any video game ever will...

Heh, I just say where the hell is your child getting the money for video games? And if you don't like them so much why don't you take them away? I know when I was young, I sure as hell wasn't allowed to see an R rated movie until I was in my teens.

if your kids are turning out poorly it's because you're a shitty parent....stop trying to blame everyone else.

The public school system, and mass media nowadays doesn't help but you are right in a way. A child is a parents responsibility and too many parents think otherwise.

You know what offends my morals? Watching a mother just dump her kid off in day care for the first 6 years of his life so she can drive a nicer car. I'd rather raise my kid on GTA than put him through that.

It's unfortunate that when people get around to having children nowadays they don't even want to raise them. It's really impossible for the middle class actually. Pay is so much lower that it used to be, relative to inflation. Companies used to pay a man a "living wage" that was ment to support a family. Thanks to feminism we don't have that anymore, we have a bunch of children being raised by strangers and then we wonder why stuff is so screwed up. GTA? I don't think so

Arrgh (3, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247685)

All right. I make games for all ages. I dislike violence, and I take pains to make my games no worse than a Road Runner cartoon. Violence in video games doesn't really do anything for me--there are a number of violent games I enjoy, but I enjoy them for gameplay reasons, not because you can disintegrate opponents with a mortar round.

That said, I really don't have a problem with developers and publishers making violent games. Similarly, I don't have a problem with publishers who distribute violent books. I don't shun museums for displaying various garish incarnations of St. Sebastian on their walls. I am one of the vast majority of people--young and old alike--who can distinguish fantasy from reality, and are able to appreciate that the character being crushed by a tank on the game screen is not a real person.

You'll find no lack of people here on Slashdot who played games like Smash TV, N.A.R.C., and Doom as a kid. Staggeringly enough, the vast majority of us are perfectly well aware of the fact that in the Real World, one does not drive a Ferrari at 100 mph on a bridge whilst mowing down junkies, firing rocket launchers, and gathering cash and drugs.

I'm tiring of those who advocate solving the problems of the few by restricting the options of the whole. Let us use our own judgement, for Pete's sake.

Re:Arrgh (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248926)

Ok, I couldn't resist:

I did a search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF -8&q=+dri ve+a+Ferrari+at+100+mph+on+a+bridge+whilst+mowing+ down+junkies%2C+firing+rocket+launchers%2C+and+gat hering+cash+and+drugs&btnG=Google+Search

And,the google ad that popped up was for a Ferrari rental place. Hmmm...

Start in the right place....... (3, Insightful)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247750)

......first the politicians should show a capability to use thier powers responsibily.

Then the international corporations.

Then we might start childing games manufacturers.

What's his problem? (1)

Nice2Cats (557310) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247766)

I don't really see what his problem is. Diablo II has a whole character who is basically a crusader, you kill demons in Quake, and Call to Power lets you build churces all over the place. What else could the Moral Majority want?

Maybe it's me, but every time somebody comes out and wants the entertainment industry to use their powers to do something "good", I get this cold, cold feeling. These people would have wanted to keep Doom off of our computers (violence, blood, gore) and "Buffy" off of our screens (redhead lesbian Jewish witches as main characters, sex with vampires, S&M jokes). In fact, some of the worst parts of "Buffy" were when they tried to transport conservative morals: Remember when Buffy was in high school, sex somehow always had bad consequences? And don't even get me started on "Beer bad"...

There has to be room for adults and adult pastimes in the world. In the end, it is up to parents (which includes myself) to take responsibility for their children. The problem is not that his nephew wants to play the game -- that's only natural -- but that somebody's parents are letting his friends play it. Great. Do his friends get to read Playboy, too?

Stick the blame where it belongs and stop thinking about ways how you can reduce my choices as an adult.

games - stories (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247819)

Games are where the traditional fairytale style very straightforward plots have excelled in for years(actually, that's an insult against most classic fairytales, most of them have more depth than your basic game plot about a guy in a combat suit rescuing his girl).

games aimed at adults.. well, most of them have very basic plot settings aboug good versus evil as well. sometimes it's just the evil that triumphs over the 'good', but that's just reversed roles of stereotypes(basically what it is most of the time is that it's just a matter of skinning, wether the guys trying to slow the player down are cops or mafia).

personally, I'd hope there to be more character in the characters in games and not always be so black and white, THE WORLD ISN'T JUST GOOD VS. BAD. most of the time the 'BAD' guys have solid motives for their actions as well as the good guys can and have 'bad' motives (imho best, or worst depending on if it's real life or not, tragedies stir from a setting like this. everyone is doing the 'right'/'necessary' thing from their viewpoint but the events lead to catastrophe anyways).

Ever read old fairytales in their original forms? the "bad" getting what's coming to it is usually chopping the head off or something similar(and heck, the 'good guys' play very, very dirty sometimes). public executions and all that jizz.

Asimov on "villans" (4, Interesting)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248471)

personally, I'd hope there to be more character in the characters in games and not always be so black and white, THE WORLD ISN'T JUST GOOD VS. BAD. most of the time the 'BAD' guys have solid motives for their actions as well as the good guys can and have 'bad' motives

I was rereading the Hugo Winners Vol II last night, and in the introduction to "Gonna Roll Dem Bones", Isaac Asimov related a coversation he had with Fritz Lieber... in short, Lieber pointed out to Asimov that his stories had people who opposed the hero, but that he never had any villans. Asimov reasoned that it was because he tended to write a more cerebral sort of stoy, more about the conflict of ideas than anything else; and in that case, the a good story demanded reasonable, intelligent villans who did not see themselves as bad/evil, and were capable of explaining themselves and their motives clearly. While they opposed the heros of the story, they had (at least, by their own thoughts) good reasons for doing so.

This reminded me a lot of the role that Magneto eventually grew into in the X-Men comic books - an intelligent opponent who had what he thought were very good reasons for his actions. IMHO, this leads to a much deeper, more satisfying type of story than things like Star Wars, where the villans are villans because... well, just because, you know, they're evil. You never get any background on why they're acting the way they are.

If Asimov had written the Star Wars scripts, he'd probably have set up a situation where Palpatine saw the existance of the Jedi leading to the eventual development of a hereditary ruling class, the destruction of the Trade Federation, and an interminable galaxy-wide dark age of stagnation. A few scenes, a little bit of exposition, and voila! - Palpatine goes from being evil to being a tragic figure, someone who initially desires good, but who finds himself seduced into thinking that the only way to save the Trade Federation from the Jedi is to forge an Empire strong enough to resist them if they were ever to rise again...

BOOOO! (1)

Metal_Demon (694989) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247861)

I'd be pissed if they started trying to encourage me to be ethical in my entertainment. Take Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) for example. It lets you be a totally evil jackwad, at first you get people saying oh you are naughty blah blah blah, but as the game goes on you can get evil partners who incourage you to be naughty. In fact if you keep the good guys around long enough they start turning evil with you. KOTOR would totally suck if they didn't let you enjoy being evil. How much fun would GTA be if everybody was calling you an asshole and sinner throughout the whole game.

Re:BOOOO! (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9248081)

hmmmm Grand Theft Auto: Vatican City... ;)

So you want the perks and not the downers? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249842)

Lets examine KOTOR. If you were really evil you would become a Darth Vader right? But who would come to Vader for help? So no more missions. Who would trade with Vader or for that matter why would Vader pay? No more saving up for that cool weapon (already a problem in kotor since the best weapon is a saber wich you get for free). You would also constantly have to worry about all those below you since the Sith have a rather promotional system. This could be fun but very hard to code. AI has a difficult enough time to walk a straight line. Let alone determine your weakest moment and strike. (in short if it worked anytime youre knocked out is end of game as one in your party will use that moment to promote him/herself)

Something like it exists in Star Wars Galaxies. There are perks for joining either side openly but the downside is you can now openly be attacked by the other side. So plenty of TKA (unarmed very though fighers) imperials and rebels but no doctors.

A good game with "evil" and "good" choices would not just make story choices but would make it really reflect in the game. A good character gets less money and loot (as he will ask for less or even wave a reward) but can sell it normal shops. An evil character gets more loot but has to sell it in places where he is not known or use a fence who as in real life offers far less.

A good character gets helped by the city militia, an evil character stands a good change of being arrested. A good character can't deal with shady characters (like buying stolen or illegal goods) an evil character can.

KOTOR did this really badly. It also didn't really reflect how hard it would be to be a true "good" jedi. One act of evil after all should be enough to make you a dark jedi. The most obvious was the trial of the murderer in the fish place. Very obvious dark and light choices yet no dark or light points awarded.

But your GTA comment tells it all, you want to act like a criminal without being treated like one. What next a formula 1 game without that whole nasty having to compete thing? A shooter where the enemy doesn't shoot back? A business simulation without money? A flightsim without crashes perhaps?

To me games like GTA would actually start to be fun if they included far more of the real effects of being a criminal. Where no one with an ounce of survival instinct would think of shooting at a cop. Dumb criminals do that. Smart ones know that 1 yr in the slammer is better then being known as a copkiller. You might not make it to jail.

The Viagra Vault (1)

bear pimp (695195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247865)

I really think Adrenaline Vault should change its name to Viagra Vault. It seems like all the staff lately have had children or some kind of mid life crisis, and seen the 'error of their ways' I'm way over 30, and have kids, but it hasn't turned me into the moral saviour of the planet. My kids know that if they misbehave I will take time off work to follow them around and publicly embarrass them in front of their friends - that has a greater influence than any game, and any law the government can pass.

Re:The Viagra Vault (1)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248425)

My kids know that if they misbehave I will take time off work to follow them around and publicly embarrass them in front of their friends

Hahaha... at first I thought you were going to say belt them, but God, that is great. I'm adding that to my list of things to do as a parent. It goes under: "When a child is whining, pretend like he is speaking a foreign language and that the only way to understand him is when he stops whining."

This crap again? (2, Interesting)

potus98 (741836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247888)


"Take into account the fact that kids are playing, no matter that they shouldn't be."

Take into account the fact that kids are playing, since their parents are not interested in parenting.

Mod parent up as it says it all (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249641)

Basically what the article is saying that Oh every game can be played by kids so every game should be suitable for kids. Scary stuff. Imagine they made the news that way (turns on dutch tv, oh never mind they already did)

Anyway. GTA has an age restriction. Anyone under that age playing it is a criminal. No need to worry if the game will influence them the mere fact of them playing it makes them criminals. Lock them up and throw away the key.

Really what more can be done apart from age restrictions. Parenting? Wahahaaah. That would involve making sure parents know what that is. But if you got kids having kids and them wanting to be best buddies with their kids then parenting (stopping the child from doing stuff that is harmfull to them) is not going to happen.

Personally I don't like games like GTA because they are so goddamn unrealistic. Real criminals would be spending most of their money bribing everyone else to keep quiet while facing the real risk of each and every day either being bumped off by someone who thinks you are a threat or being arrested and spending the rest of your live in jail.

here's my plea (2, Interesting)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248174)

Here's my plea. It goes out to all the parents, older siblings, guardians of any kind in America, and et cetera. Here it is:

If you are responsible for raising a child, please teach them that they will one day be entirely responsible for their actions and no one will be there to help them when they screw up. Also, let them know that, currently, you are responsible for their actions, and if their actions should cause you harm, they will be punished, punished so that they will wish they hadn't engaged in said actions. Ie. if they do something really stupid like kill or maim someone, they will regret it for the rest of their life.

Here's a couple more items to instill in their young minds:

  • Gangs aren't cool. People in gangs wind up dead or in jail.
  • Being intelligent is something to be proud of, not looked down upon.
  • Just because the other kids are doing it doesn't mean it's good. On the contrary, most people are absolutely fucking idiotic, be different, be yourself, and you will undoubtably be better for it.
  • TV isn't representative of reality, and neither are video-games, porn, comic books, et cetera.
  • If you are kind, sharing, helpful, people will love you. If you are considered "cool," you will one day find that you have no real friends to depend on when you need them.
  • Carrying a firearm around tucked in your pants doesn't make you tough or cool, on the contrary, you may shoot off your genitals.
  • Threatening younger / smaller people doesn't make you tough, standing up for younger / smaller people does.

That's a start. American youth have many more common mental/social deficiencies that need correcting, but those are some of the major ones off the top of my head.

Re:here's my plea (0, Redundant)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248383)

Amen brudder.

However, there is something more relevant to this thread - SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS. KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING. GET INVOLVED.

Raising kids with TV and video games instead of parenting is just wrong... and I don't care how busy you are as a family with both parents having full time jobs. Kids are a responsibility greater than trying to afford a new SUV (or for the low-income bracket, a DVD player or whatever).

Re:here's my plea (1)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248451)

Carrying a firearm around tucked in your pants doesn't make you tough or cool, on the contrary, you may shoot off your genitals.

I would actually support carrying weapons if we had 100% assurance it would happen. As my dad calls it: "self-limiting activity"

Plus, no offspring!

Re:here's my plea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9249623)

Tv is reality for many. People watch the news and believe everything it says. People watch "The Swan" and "Extreme Makeover" and decide that they're ugly as well and they go get plastic surgery. People see commercials and they think they need those products, and they buy them. Tv is a massive nexus for Western society, and as so it massively defines reality for all those who watch it. Ask guys who they think is the "hottest" girl, they'll mention some actress/model or porn star even though they've never actually seen these people. They think the precisely crafted image they see on tv, in movies and magazines with all its makeup, lighting, editing/touchups, precise camera angling, is actually representative of reality. Just as tv defines beauty in this way for people, it defines much everything else; conceptions of emotions, morality, world politics, etc.

Re:here's my plea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9249887)

http://www.csun.edu/~vceed002/health/docs/tv&healt h.html

II CHILDREN

Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000
Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
conversation with their children: 3.5
Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500


Look at those last three and the second one. Parents spend an average of 52x3.5/60=182/60=~3 hours talking to their kids "meaningfully" a year. And tv spends an average of 1500 hours a year talking to them. Tv is the reality of the mainstream, or more precisely, the screen in general is; video games, hollywood movies, and television.

I make games for a living. (1)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248251)

There's one sure-fire way to make game developers instill morals in video games: pay for games with morals. Demand games with morals.

Don't try to control developers. Make a market for us, and we'll be more than happy to fill it. Beg the Veggie Tales folks for a game if that floats your boat, or get a huge petition going for a game based on a movie, book, or whatever that you feel strongly parallels the values you'd like to teach.

Game companies exist in a fiercely competitive space. To keep people employed and to keep shareholders happy, there's not much room for skipping past whatever the most marketable material may be.

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

Colazar (707548) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250802)

This is the most intelligent thing anyone's said here. Content creators respond much better to carrots than to sticks.

A Plea to Parents and Game Retailers (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248264)

"Parents, my plea to you...get involved with your kids. Watch what they're playing, regulate what comes in and out of your household. Get to know your childrens' friends, see how they interact, notice if they will be good or bad influences on them. Don't buy MA games and then be amazed when it disgusts you.

Game retailers, my plea to you...don't sell MA games to minors, id them first. Most kids have licenses by 16 and can't buy those games until they're 18 anyways. If in doubt, don't sell it to them...you're not losing that much money. And nobody will mistake a 13 year old for someone who's of age, so cut the 'I thought he was old enough' crap."

Like it's THAT hard...

--trb

Right and wrong? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248302)

When you play GTA, and you kill people, the police mercilessly chase you down. When you play Crazy Taxi, pedestrians magically jump right out of the way of your car so you cannot ever hit them. At the end of the day, GTA teaches you to avoid hitting pedestrians, and Crazy Taxi teaches you to drive in a straight line anywhere you go. GTA isn't teaching you right and wrong?

Re:Right and wrong? (1)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248485)

I would agree IF there was some reaction to you running over pedestrians. Normally I've found that you can hit 10 and nothing will happen. I've even run over numerous in front of the police station and nothing happens. If you run over a cop, yes, you'll be hunted down. But running over a bunch of guys near the docks? Nothing. Running over a hooker? Nothing.

Re:Right and wrong? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248562)

" Normally I've found that you can hit 10 and nothing will happen. I've even run over numerous in front of the police station and nothing happens."

That's funny because I've had to restart missions before because I accidently hit a pedestrian and it snowballed into a demolition derby.

What GTA3 taught me. (3, Funny)

Demon-Xanth (100910) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248496)

Being in a gang, crew, or mafia can get you killed WAY too easily.

If you break the law, and the cops don't get you, and the FBI doesn't get you, the military will bring in tanks and run over you.

Never play with grenades in an enclosed space.

Molotov cocktails may be fun, but if you're not careful you can catch on fire.

Hookers take your money.

Doing a double backflip with a barrel roll off a cliff is cool... until the end.

25 rounds of ammunition seems like alot of ammo until you have 26 opponents.

Don't try to snipe people while standing on the sidewalk. You'll never see the billy club coming.

Busses are too slow to out run cop cars. Sports cars aren't heavy enough to run through cop cars.

You can't fly a plane without wings. At least not for very long.

Re:What GTA3 taught me. (1)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248971)

Being in a gang, crew, or mafia can get you killed WAY too easily.

But then you are magically resurrected a few seconds later.

If you break the law, and the cops don't get you, and the FBI doesn't get you, the military will bring in tanks and run over you.

And you'll wake up just fine outside of the hospital. Sure, you'll be missing some money, but you'll be there.

Never play with grenades in an enclosed space.

See above.

Molotov cocktails may be fun, but if you're not careful you can catch on fire.

And again.

Hookers take your money. ...And they make you healthier!

Doing a double backflip with a barrel roll off a cliff is cool... until the end.

Which is also cool, with all the explosions. Waking up outside the hospital is less so.

25 rounds of ammunition seems like alot of ammo until you have 26 opponents.

At which point jumping in a car and running them over is usually a viable option.

Don't try to snipe people while standing on the sidewalk. You'll never see the billy club coming.

I think "on the sidewalk" is the operative part of this lesson.

Busses are too slow to out run cop cars. Sports cars aren't heavy enough to run through cop cars.

Rhino tanks work wonderfully in both situations, and can be found by doing a magical dance.

You can't fly a plane without wings. At least not for very long.

Unless you're The One, in which case you can just plain fly.

Sigh! Death of our children, film at 11. (3, Insightful)

elp (45629) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248498)

Things I remember from growing up:

Superman comics were going to make children tie bed sheets around our necks and jump off the garage roof. The A-Team was going to make children turn violent. Rock music was going to turn us into Satanists. Sweet alcoholic drinks were going to turn the young into alcoholics. The ice-cream man was really a slipping LSD into their ice-cream to turn them into addicts, but only if the punch given to them at Halloween didn't do it instead, and don't forget about all the pedophiles that were just waiting for children in every chat room.

In other words everything that is even remotely popular is somehow going to absolutely destroy the lives of children everywhere.

Articles like this are good for quiet news weeks. In a year or 2 they will be about something new that is also going to end life as we know it. (The evils of golf or something)

I would also hazard a guess that people who came from homes way too poor for them to have ever been exposed to DOOM, GTA etc, commit most of the violent crime.

Re:Sigh! Death of our children, film at 11. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9248892)

I would also hazard a guess that people who came from homes way too poor for them to have ever been exposed to DOOM, GTA etc, commit most of the violent crime.

Agreed! Aside from the overpowering stench, poor people suck in a number of ways!

I don't think he wants censorship... (2, Interesting)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248692)

Have you looked around at the game market recently? The problem isn't just as simple as "Well, don't let your kid play violent video games". The problem is that there's little ALTERNATIVE CHOICE. There are lots more violent games than non-violent ones and if you want your child to play video games you're limited to girl games (Barbie gets dressed up) or educational ones (Putt-putt goes to the moon).

So it sorta makes it hard to find something for your kid to play.

Alternatively, he could just read a book or go outside and play. But do we really want to push this poor kid into sports? :)

Re:I don't think he wants censorship... (1)

KeeperS (728100) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250359)

Whaaaa? I can't say I agree. There's plenty of games that are kid-friendly.

Just look at the Gamecube. Off the top of my head, I can think of plenty of games that a child could play: Mario Sunshine, Animal Crossing, Pikmin, Mario Party (insert number here), Mario Golf, Super Monkey Ball, Mario Kart Double Dash, Harvest Moon. There's plenty more, but I thjnk I've made my point. Some of these have no violence at all or only stuff milder than most cartoons. Best of all, these are all pretty good games, and they're fun for adults too.

Anyone who says that there aren't options obviously hasn't looked very hard.

But Nintendo (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#9251167)

Is known for its "family friendly" system...

Now name the PS/2 kid games.
The XBox kid games.

There's alot less there.

Before that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9248696)

You'll have to make PEOPLE ethical first and only. The artifacts we create are not unethical, it is people who are. Think about it.

On a side note, ethics does not equal "conforms with religious doctrine."

Porn makers, hear my plea. (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 9 years ago | (#9248834)

Please clean up your porn films, and use your porn powers for 'good'!

Take into account the fact that children are watching your porn films, no matter that they shouldn't be!

Won't you please think of the children!

Think of kids instead of porn when whacking off? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250041)

Not sure if this is much better. Surely the right wing extremist might have a thing or two to say about it. Oh well in the mean time. Hmmmm Olsen Twins.

Dull reading that leads down the wrong path (1)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249049)

We have been down this road before. And, once again, I have to say the author is wrong in calling for the publishers to curb their work.

There is one specific place this has to happen, and that is with the parents. However, there is something the parents need, and that is EDUCATION. And I place that squarely on the shoulders of not just the publishers but also those of the retailers.

Let's pick on Best Buy: Why is Eternal Darkness right next to F-Zero? Both are clearly rated... why are they together? Why are the Playboy specials in the "Special Interest" section of the DVD area there? And why are things like Lesbo Lickin' Vampires in the "Horror/Sci-Fi" DVD section? And why are all of these discs, in many cases, easily reachable by a three- or four-year-old?

I'm not saying the retailers need to create a beaded curtained back room where the "adult stuff" is at, but maybe the top shelf could be reserved for such things? Maybe flyers next to the games? Or, maybe, the publishers have to require that a ratings flyer be handed out with each and every video game sold.

I don't know. I know my kids will have their father watching over what they play at my house... I just worry about their future friends' families.

And, as an aside, maybe Nintendo should start pushing itself as the "kiddie" console and heavily hype that. There might be more money there, and capitalizing on a title they already have, than trying to get between MS and Sony...

My tantamount holds true still! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9249066)

...that every problem can be solved by just not having kids.

Job has been outsourced? Don't pay for kids' food.
Oil costs too much? Don't drive kids around.
Terrorists? No kids to worry about.
Video games warping kids? Don't have them!

Shakespeare, Newton, Einstein, Hemingway, Baudelaire, Tolstoy, Kant, Hume, Rasputin, Mozart, Alexander the Great, Gandhi, von Neumann, Christ, Derrida, Foucault, Rembrandt, Michealangelo, Leibnez, Van Gogh, Picasso, Braques, Kirchner, Duchamp, Trotsky, Waterhouse, Chaucer, Baudrillard, Durkheim, Max Weber(both!), Eliot, Ginsberg, Whitman, Kerouac, Bukowski, Descartes, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Wagner, Varese, Stravinsky, Spinoza, Bach, Beethoven, Locke, Augustine, Turing, Pound, Feynmann, Bohm, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Corpernicus, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Epircurus, Plotinus, Zeno(both!), Bentham, J.S. Mill, Goethe, Dali, Bunuel, Deleuze, Seurat, Berkeley agree, kids waste you. Don't buy into the crock to make others rich, live your own life and keep the population at a reasonable level to boot.

If you already have kids: hahahahahahaha oh man, shitty deal.

Re:My tantamount holds true still! (1)

RobertRice (753575) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250278)

I agree with you completely! Do you happen to have references to quotes concerning children from all those people you listed?

Parents should do their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9249078)

Its up to the parents to do their job and there is nothing in the world that can resolve them of their responsibility. Frankly, I hate this "would someone please think of th children" crap we get to hear lately. Don't let your children play those games. Sue the vendors who sell them to your kids, but don't let every adult being in the country suffer by dumping down games to the "gooddoeers" vs "axis of evil" mentality.

It starts at the top (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249214)

Dear Mr President, hear my plea: start injecting a strong sense of right and wrong into your government.
I don't want anything less than the strongest sense of ethics and a massive dose of moral fiber.

Take into account the fact that kids are living here, no matter that they aren't making campaign contributions.

A plea to the porn industry (1)

nsideops (579890) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249824)

I'm making this plea to the porn industry to use their powers for good. Children are observing your product regardless if they should or not. You should include more examples of good and bad, right and wrong into your products. I would like to see a display of morals and use your products to teach our children. Does this example make it obvious enough how ignorant some of this stuff is getting? Some games are made for adults. Just because some get gets a hold of it, doesn't mean the creators should be "looking out for the children". It's not intended for their hands anyway. Blame the parents for not knowing what their children are doing or blame it on the fact that they are children and will do pretty much anything you tell them not to. It's not the game makers responsibility to censor their own creations because little Timmy might sneak off and play an M rated game.

I must have been sick that day (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249839)

I thought games were mostly clear on morality. Aliens invading earth are bad. Zombies eating my flesh is bad. Portals to hell are bad. Nazis are bad. Hitler is especially bad. Orc invasions are bad. Evil King Liches are evil and bad.

Almost all video games with a storyline are basic good vs. evil stories. A very small minority fit into the "being bad is good" catagory and those games are rated M by the ESRB and targeted for adults only. Why is a nine year-old being allowed to play such a game is the real question. And since when did Link defeating Gannon, the Avatar saving Britannia, Mario saving the Princess from Bowser and saving Black Mesa from an alien invasion become morally ambiguous?

Something Must Be Done (TM) (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 9 years ago | (#9249857)

Although many people are (quite rightly) pointing out that kids shouldn't be playing GTA3 and other mature-rated games, that doesn't mean that there isn't a problem.

It seems quite evident to me that many parents are still not aware of the age ratings in games, and that there is still a general perception that Games Are For Kids.

So taking that into account, I do think it's worth the industry as a whole doing a little more to ensure parents are better educated. Sure, it's not Rockstar/Take 2's fault that thousands of nine-year olds all over the world got GTA3 for their birthday, but they should be concerned, and they ought look at ways in which they can help, otherwise they'll end up with legislation forced onto them.

Please note that I am not suggesting that developers change their games, although that said I did wish that Rockstar had done a 12-certificate version of GTA - the basics of the game (nicking cars and driving about recklessly) were a lot of fun and generally suitable for children tens years and older. I don't think it would have lost a great deal if they'd toned down the violence just a little bit and taken out some of the more adult themes.

If they had made such a version, my kids wouldn't be barred from playing it...

Kids know? (2, Insightful)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250150)

A number of studies show that children understand the difference between fantasy and reality at a much younger age than most people seem to think. Sorry I don't have any handy, but they aren't that old. You can find it if you can wade through all the other ones that decry video game violence :)

But of course, it's the parent's job to teach the kid a sense of moral responsibility before they give them access to violent video games. I don't have kids but my brother has 4, and I know that before they get to the point of playing video games more controversial then "Reading with Froggy" or whatever, they have a strong understanding of right and wrong.

If this isn't the case, it's the parent's fault, not EA's.

Our Contribution To History... (2, Insightful)

bobej1977 (580278) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250224)

Mainly, I stand on the side of freedom of expression. I prefer to live in a world where ideas aren't hampered by what someone else determines is vulgar or devisive. But this is a compromise, not an end in-and-of itself. I'm compromising having to look at things that offend me with ensuring that I myself will never be censored.

That said, I defintely feel there is something wrong with the amount and vugarity of violence in games, especially when considering that this is an ongoing trend. Are we kidding ourselved that the same human instinct that drove the Romans to kill people for sport in an arena is not the same one which keeps me glued to the screen playing Far Cry?

Perhaps as a species we are cursed that whenever a society reaches a level where we no longer have to struggle, people turn to ugly and vicious pursuits.

Think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9250239)

Oh do piss off please.

It is not the job of EA Games etc., to bring up your nephew pal. It is the job of his parents and possibly yourself. A sense of personal responsibility all round please. Leave the rest of the world out of it.

Morality (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250433)

Often, people can tell right from wrong and just don't care. I don't think it's computer games' responsibility to address the secondary issue of people who do wrong knowing it's wrong. These same people have no problem doing something wrong as long as they are not punished. Games often attempt to convey the sense that an action was wrong, but in those cases, it's usually just the wrong way to go about something because it doesn't help you achieve the game goal, or else you "die." If you do something morally wrong and the game rewards you, then you've succeeded.

The debate over "whose version of morality" would be interesting if games were more nuanced. As it is, most of the moral choices you face while playing a game are pretty simple.

I have a theory that because Christianity forbids judgement in favor of consequences, people have an idea that the moral good is determined by what happens to you when you do it. If nothing bad happens to you, then everything's OK and you're still a good person. I'm from a Hindu background, where the emphasis is the other way. If you do enough bad things, then you're a bad person. Evil. No way around it. Thus it's important to protect who you are by taking only right actions.

Ravi

A different viewpoint (2, Insightful)

Hassman (320786) | more than 9 years ago | (#9250983)

First off let me say that in no way is it up to game developers to put this kind of content in their product if it doesn't call for it. The gaming industry isn't here to raise your child...that is the parents job.

Now then, I don't necessarily agree with the author, but his article has sparked my interest. Not so much in the way of what content should be acceptable in games or that games need to have a clear set of what is right and what is wrong and focus on the 'right'. But in the way that the majority of games out there already *do* have this present...it's just subtle. They don't come straight out and say "This is good! Do this!", "This is bad! Don't do that!", but the elements are all there.

Take GTA... there is no doubt that what you do in this game is bad. It is unethical, it is unmoral, it is just ... evil. But that is what makes it fun right? We can play this game and do things that we wouldn't dream of doing in real life. So, in a way this game clearly defines what *not* to do in real life. Isn't that educational in a slightly squewed sense? How hard is it to teach a child that that kind of thing is only ok in video games? It doesn't seem like that big of a leap to me. (not that I'm saying kids should play GTA...god no).

A better example might be Ninja Gaiden. You play Ryu, a *good* bad ass who is avenging the death of his family and putting a stop to evil in the world. Ultimately that is what is happening in the story. On some level does this not say: "Fight for what you believe in. Don't let bad things happen." Granted the way you carry this out in the game is purely fantasy...but can't the values be applied to life?

The trick is making the connection to what is already present in the games and applying it to real life situations. Let's think who would do this? The parent! If the parent is doing their job they will know the content of the games their child is playing. All it takes is sitting the kid down for 15 min to discuss what is being said / done in the game and why this is or is not acceptable in reality. Kids are smart, they'll understand.

With all that said, could game producers emphasise this more in their games? Absolutely. It would be wonderful to clearly define what is right and wrong. In an ideal world there would be no gray area.

Is it up to game producers to do this? Absolutely not! We don't see this in movies, or books, or TV...why should video games be different. It is the parents job to educate the child, not the rest of the world.

I apologize if my thoughts came out all broken, but I'm in a super hurry...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?