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Thompson Vs. Jenkins On VG Violence

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the go-blue-team dept.

Games 103

1up.com has a feature up including side-by-side interviews with Anti-Gaming Muckraker Jack Thompson and Prof. Henry Jenkins. The site manages to ask both proponents some tough questions, and they get some realistic answers in response. From the article's Jenkins interview: "Education is the key, not legislation. If you heavily regulate the industry it will narrow what games are in the market, and retailers will only carry content that is suitable for the youngest of players. Retailers won't carry a Mature-rated game if you move to an enforceable system. We saw this with the comic industry in the '50s. The other way to approach this problem is to put the burden on the consumer. We have to educate."

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My experience... (4, Insightful)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732042)

Is that videogames don't make you any more prone to violence or less empathetic. I've been playing violent video games since I was four years old. Last week, after killing some mice that had infested our shed, especially the baby ones, I felt genuine distress at having just ended something's life that didn't deserve to have it ended. It was something on my mind for quite a while. I was playing Mortal Kombat at 5 years old, and I have always known the difference between fantasy and reality. Legislation is definatly not the key to solving this kind of violence - it seems to me that violent videogames are an excuse rather than the real reason. Remember comic book violence of yesteryear, or how videos were ruining society? I will say though, videogames make you more paranoid. By far - I always have the need to scan rooftops for snipers.

Re:My experience... (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732306)

Not only is it not the solution it's unfair. There is no government regulation on which movies you can watch. It is an industry (and society) dictated rating system with no government involvement. How many of our freedoms do we have to give away before people realize what our nation is becoming?

Re:My experience... (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732359)

Why do I have a sinking feeling that most people would rather just go along with whatever they're told, no matter how much freedom is lost?

Re:My experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732536)

There is no government regulation on which movies you can watch.

Why I can't get hardcore porn (offline) without going to a sex shop? There are some things which even X-rated videos can't show. Likewise there are quite a few horror nasties that I can't get uncensored copies of.
That doesn't seem like an industry dictated system to me - making movies and not selling them isn't good business. As for porn, the huge amounts of it online shows that there's a big demand for it coming from society... It's only the governments "obscenity" laws that prevent me seeing what I want.

Re:My experience... (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732618)

That's a little different than what these people want and what I was talking about. Everything NC-17 and under is industry regulated in the movie industry... Hardcore Porn and gratuitus footage of actual death is no where near what we've seen in games. I don't really agree they should be gov't regulated either. Children should be taught right from wrong and then be allowed to make their own decisions...

Re:My experience... (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732476)

Cleary, videogames make children violent.

Abusive parents, negligant parents, abusive students at school, being teased, beat up, shoved into lockers, having problems ignored by teachers (basically making it a breeding ground for you to get beat up), competition for girls, attention, drinking, drugs, grades, religious ideaologies that teach you to hate anyone different than you, etc... clearly those things don't combine to make a poor little kid violent. And that's why you only see popular, beefy, successful, town-beloved jocks going on shooting sprees and never neglected outcasts from violent/dangerous/abusive homes.

Re:My experience... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733318)

You got a huge chip on your shoulder or something?
Wouldn't be surprising at all if it were.

Re:My experience... (3, Interesting)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732627)

Huh? They did not have the types of games when I was growing up that they have now. So I can't really weigh in and say "I played violent games, and I'm ok."

About the most violent thing I can think of that I played was Doom. Which is comically cartoony compared to stuff like Manhunt or the newer GTAs. Or hell, any modern FPS. Mortal Kombat is also NOTHING compared to what we have now. Go back and play it. Not only are the situations found within ridiculous, but the graphics are downright tame. I've seen better gore effects in foreign low-budget horror flicks(which I also watched growing up, and apart from a sick sense of humor, I'm pretty well-adjusted). There's also looney tunes. None of this is in the same league as some modern games!

We just didn't have the tech to produce violent situations with as much realism as we can now. We don't have as much now as we will next year, and we won't have as much then as we will 5-6 years from now. Now, does this matter? Maybe, maybe not. We know that exposure to violence during certain stages of development effects people(and even later in life, PTSD and the like). The extent to which simulated or indirectly viewed violence(IE: via the news) does is still up in the air(with current data pointing to it not being statistically significant[but hey, neither is 2nd hand smoke!]) because psych is such a voodoo art soft science(and the professor quoted here isn't a developmental psychologist). Now, as the line blurs between reality and gameplay due to improved physics, graphics, AI and a miscellany of immersion techniques, this could very well change. That's tangenital however.

Now, believe it or not, that was just a big tangent on the "I played violent games growing up and I'm FINE" argument I keep seeing. No you didn't, at least not compared to what's out right now.

Anyway, I certainly can't think of a valid argument AGAINST enforcing game ratings when it comes to sales to minors. So you can't buy an M rated game if you aren't 18 by law rather than by inconsistent policy. Oh no. You can't buy cigarettes or alcohol either(I mean, after all, shouldn't parents, you know PARENT? Keep their kids off smokes and booze! Why should Uncle Sam be involved?).

It shuts up the social conservatives, shifting the blame onto the parents who buy their kids these violent forms of media. The big demographic for these games is the 18-30yo set anyway, so any fears about retailers discontinuing stocking them is just downright paranoid. I mean, you can buy adult adult content at any DVD store. What makes you think Gamestop is going to stop carrying GTA? Because both they and the clerk will get fined if they sell to your underaged ass?

Re:My experience... (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732699)

There were violent movies, books and comics. I was born in a violent part of my city, and I'm not violent.

The problem is not with enforcing game ratings. The problem is believing that violent games cause violent tendencies.

Alcohol, in excessive amounts, has been known to cause violence and reckless behavior in individuals. Smoking causes second-hand pollutants which endanger other people. How does playing Metal Gear Solid 3 on my PS2 harm anyone directly?

Why should there be any blame with respect to games at all? There are a lot of social factors that lead towards violence. Remember that the Japanese and Europeans, amongst others, play the same games, but have lower rates of violence.

Re:My experience... (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733027)

There were violent movies, books and comics. I was born in a violent part of my city, and I'm not violent.

Well, I could run to a local college library and pull up a slew of case studies that say actual exposure to violence during various stages of development produces a variety or reactions, one of the possible ones being an increased propensity towards violence. Exposure in this case being domestic abuse, growing up in a war zone, going to war, witnessing gangland violence first hand and the like with various levels of intervention and interaction. There's a metric assload of them. Hell, I think it's so accepted that violent experiences during childhood have traumatic effects it's covered in Psych 101.

The problem is not with enforcing game ratings. The problem is believing that violent games cause violent tendencies.

The article "pro-gaming expert" actually came out against game ratings with two contradictory reasons:
1. Retailers would stop stocking mature titles because ratings were enforced. (I presume they would do so only because of a massive demand decline.)
2. 85% of all mature titles get into children's hands because an adult purchases them for them so enforcing ratings isn't necessary.

Secondly, I never said violent games cause violent tendancies, in fact I even parenthetically pointed out that there is no statistically relevant link available atm between the violent behavior and media violence exposure(via interactive or passive media).

Alcohol, in excessive amounts, has been known to cause violence and reckless behavior in individuals. Smoking causes second-hand pollutants which endanger other people. How does playing Metal Gear Solid 3 on my PS2 harm anyone directly?

Alcohol leads to a lowering of inhibitions which can lead to violence(in vino veritas). It doesn't always do so. In fact, most of the time it doesn't. Smoking however, only harms the individual partaking of that habit(no, sorry anti-smoking people, it does nothing to you, unless of course we do junk science small sample sizes unadjusted for those small sizes with no control or toss in a discredited report from the EPA... but hey, Doom had something to do with columbine, so I guess we can swing it both ways if you want!).

Why should there be any blame with respect to games at all? There are a lot of social factors that lead towards violence. Remember that the Japanese and Europeans, amongst others, play the same games, but have lower rates of violence.

Oh I don't know. Maybe because some people insist on assigning blame to games when it could easily be shifted to the parents who buy the games. They're "bad parents" much like the ones that buy kegs for their kids on weekends.

I don't feel like getting into a social context argument. So I'll just ignore that. But anyway, out of curiousity, did you not read the comment before you replied to it? Because it looks like you just skimmed it and tried to be a karma whoring slashbot from over here.

Re:My experience... (4, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733317)

Guess what leads to a greater propensity towards violence? Poverty, injustice and indifference. All I'm saying is that there are far more causes of violence, and keeping 'violent' games out of the hands of children is pretty low on the list.

Violent experiences are real. Violent images on a TV screen generated by the latest from Carmack is fake. I think most 10 year olds can tell the difference (even with the improvements in graphics).

The pro-gaming expert has nothing to do with my opinion. I was stating what the problem was as I saw it, not as he saw it.

You may not have said it explicitly, but you did so implicitly. By saying that the blame should be put on parents for buying those games, you are implicitly saying that buying those games for kids is wrong. That is to say, you agree that violent games cause violent tendencies. Unless you have something against Valve, I can't see why else you would think so.

Let's see. Smoking causes lung cancer. Exhaled pollutants from smokers includes part of those carcinogens. Anyone near a smoker could be taking that in those pollutants. What am I missing?

I don't see how parents buying their kids kegs on the weekends are doing anything wrong. If they believe that their kids can handle it and are old enough, why not? We're all not the same. People don't grow alcohol-resistant organs from 17yrs 364days to 18yrs 0days. It's a rule of thumb that's been extended too far. The good thing about parents who buy kegs for their kids is that they can control the intake. Better in their house than somewhere outside with no one who can assume responsibility.

I read the comments just fine thank you. Just because I disagree does not make me a karma-whoring slashbot. The word you're looking for is dissenter [reference.com] .

Re:My experience... (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733534)

Guess what leads to a greater propensity towards violence? Poverty, injustice and indifference. All I'm saying is that there are far more causes of violence, and keeping 'violent' games out of the hands of children is pretty low on the list.

Yup. Poverty is another risk factor. Indifference and injustice, now you're just trying to turn a phrase. If you can point out where I said violent video games caused an increase in risk, I'll eat my hat. You can't, because I never said that. I didn't even imply it. I explicitely stated that there was no statistically relevant study that pointed out any such correlation without ever revealing my opinion on the matter in one way or another. The only question I raised was whether or not anecdotes from the 20-something set, and studies done primarily on us would continue to hold relevance to this perenial debate. Now... what do you not understand about these statements?

Violent experiences are real. Violent images on a TV screen generated by the latest from Carmack is fake. I think most 10 year olds can tell the difference (even with the improvements in graphics).

Way to go captain obvious. Now, point out where I contradicted you just now. Raising a question is different than contradiction btw. FYI. It's a hypothetical, say in 6 years we have full immersive "sim-sense" and there's no difference between a game and an actual experience. That's the kind of shit I was questioning, and the gap between that and the current/next generations of games, which IS closing btw(just look at what I grew up with versus THIS generation).

The pro-gaming expert has nothing to do with my opinion. I was stating what the problem was as I saw it, not as he saw it.

Ahh... So you didn't want to be on topic. You just wanted an argument... or Karma.

You may not have said it explicitly, but you did so implicitly. By saying that the blame should be put on parents for buying those games, you are implicitly saying that buying those games for kids is wrong. That is to say, you agree that violent games cause violent tendencies. Unless you have something against Valve, I can't see why else you would think so.

Ahh, implicitly. What a wonderful word for making shit up. I stated, and I quote myself here, "It shuts up the social conservatives, shifting the blame onto the parents who buy their kids these violent forms of media." I think the implication there is that enforced age restrictions would shut up the social conservatives by allowing them to shift the blame onto the parents who bought the games.

Let's see. Smoking causes lung cancer. Exhaled pollutants from smokers includes part of those carcinogens. Anyone near a smoker could be taking that in those pollutants. What am I missing?

Apparently, you're missing any form of science education, because that's precisely the logic the media violence folks use. In the case of both passive smoking(2nd hand smoke) and media violence(gaming and stallone movies[although I think they might be onto something in the case of crap like 'Stop or My Mom will Shoot']), there is NO evidence that either causes a statistically significant increased risk for anything(apart from smelly clothing in the case of 2nd hand smoke). That's what smoking does by the way, it increases your risk(significantly) of various cancers(lung and throat) and other diseases, but it doesn't cause them(you live long enough w/o something else failing, and you're getting cancer). You're not going to smoke one cigarette and catch cancer.

I don't see how parents buying their kids kegs on the weekends are doing anything wrong. If they believe that their kids can handle it and are old enough, why not? We're all not the same. People don't grow alcohol-resistant organs from 17yrs 364days to 18yrs 0days. It's a rule of thumb that's been extended too far. The good thing about parents who buy kegs for their kids is that they can control the intake. Better in their house than somewhere outside with no one who can assume responsibility.

Look up contributing the delinquency of a minor in your local law books. Some states allow parents to have private parties for their children when they are 18, where alcohol is served. Others will yank custody away in a heartbeat(or fine parents of over 18 under 21 yo kids). I made no assertion as to which was right, or which was wrong(ok, I implied that I disagreed with it via scare quotes around bad parents if you want to go there).

I read the comments just fine thank you. Just because I disagree does not make me a karma-whoring slashbot. The word you're looking for is dissenter.

No you didn't. You didn't reply to anything I actually wrote, you skimmed it and then replied, getting whatever you wanted out of what was actually said, AND you toed the party line. Now you're trying to cover up for that fact. I'm done. This ceases to amuse me.

Re:My experience... (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739136)

The whole poverty thing was in response to your volunteering to going down to your local library and getting case studies.

Like I said later on, you implied it. By saying that there was blame to be put on parents, you are saying that there is blame to begin with, i.e. that violent games for kids is wrong, at least in part.

There is a difference between "It shuts up the social conservatives who can then shift the blame onto..." and "It shuts up the social conservatives, shifting the blame onto...". The former implies that the social conservatives shift the blame, while the latter implies you're shifting the blame.

But here's a better idea. Instead of shifting blame, real or fake, perhaps discourse and debate with proof that games don't cause violence is more in order. Getting social conservatives to shift their focus doesn't solve anything.

As for the second-hand smoke, the American Lung Association [lungusa.org] , the American Heart Association [americanheart.org] and the Canadian Cancer Society [cancer.ca] , amongst others, agree with me. I may not have any education in science, so I can't tell you what carcinogens and what chemicals are involved, but I can tell you what makes sense.

Large parts of what you said were conditionals, to which there is no reply. So I skimmed over those parts. And which party line did I toe again?

Re:My experience... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12744094)

Look up contributing the delinquency of a minor in your local law books.

Why do federal highway regulators believe that people grow alcohol-resistant organs from 20yrs 364days to 21yrs 0days? (This question is to all, not just to you.)

Re:My experience... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755042)

The same reason people think minors grow nicotine-resistant organs and the ability to think critically about politics on the eve of their 18th birthday, and they magically obtain driving ability on the eve of their 16th birthday (except in some states, where something in the groundwater makes them incapable of driving at *night* until a couple years later)...

Which is that they're too lazy to stop and think about what it is they're trying to measure. They think "Gee, you really should be mature before you start drinking alcohol... 25? No, that seems too high. Let's call it 21." But they never ask themselves how to objectively measure whether someone is "mature" enough for drinking, smoking, voting, driving, or any of these other age-restricted activities. They may not even have a good idea of what maturity means in this context, just a vague idea that some people have it, some don't, and the ones who do are usually older than the ones who don't. They pick an arbitrary number and forget about anyone who might be unfairly excluded, because after all, they'll never have to be 15 or 17 or 20 years old again.

Re:My experience... (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12762635)

I don't see how parents buying their kids kegs on the weekends are doing anything wrong.

Any parent that does such a thing is simply afraid of being hypocrtical. They are more than likly alcoholics. The "do as I say, not as I do" mentality has been lost from such a home. Obviously such "parents" never have and never will know the first thing about parenting.

If you're gonna tell me the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality doesnt work, and that parents should "set an example" then you simply have an arrogent personality, possibly inherited from your parents...

Correlation is not causation (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734481)

FTA:

EGM: So, what's next on the agenda for you?

JT: [A lawsuit regarding] a multiple loss of life by a teenager who played Vice City.


This is a typical argument against games. Suppose it could be proved that the same teenager ate hamburgers. Are they going to sue McDonald's and Burger King?

There's no evidence, either experimental or logical, to imply that the violent game caused a violent behavior. The causation could well go in the other direction. Probably people who have a tendency to violent behavior for any reason prefer playing violent games.

There's a very different situation in the cigarette smoking relation to cancer that's often cited. Even before there was conclusive evidence that cigarette smoke causes cancer, there already existed a logical reason to believe the cause went from smoking to cancer. Smoking causes chemical alterations in the body, cancer is a result from chemical alterations in the body. It would be very unlikely that cancer in some way caused people to take up smoking.

To assume that playing violent games causes violent behavior, if based on correlation alone without further proof, is like assuming that beach towel sales in Argentina cause people in Norway to buy blankets. If you look at monthly sales figures you'll notice a strong correlation there.

Re:My experience... (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732904)

The claim is that there's some correlation, not that all people who go through this process no longer have any empathy, ever. It could be that 15% of people are 40% less empathetic, or something like that.

While the experience of one person is not totally without merit, it's very close to that when working with a correlational claim.

Re:My experience... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12743954)

Man, you are thinking too hard. Just interview Osama Bin Laden or any other famous terrorist what their favorite video game is. I guarantee you none of them play video games at all. They just got bottled up anger for society.

Re:My experience... (2, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733049)

So let me get this straight. You've been playing Mortal Kombat since the age of five, and you feel remorse _after_ killing baby mice? And this is supposed to prove that Mortal Kombat doesn't deaden your empathy?

Sorry, man. It may be that in fact Mortal Kombat doesn't deaden your empathy, but if you want to prove it you need to bring out the big guns and switch to humane traps that don't kill the mice.

Personally, I'm pretty amazed at how many chances to make games that don't *require* killing to play are passed up. I just got a copy of Matrix Online because I heard there were some real opportunities for ethical play.

What did I learn? In order to even get into the Matrix to play, you have to first complete a training sequence where you kill defenseless "simulations." The only way to get in without completing this training simulation is to suicide - then you get thrust into the Matrix, where you can play until you're killed, and then you're back in the training sim again. Defensive fighting can injure and kill the attacker. What's up with that?

There really is something off here. I don't mean that playing Mortal Kombat turns you into a serial killer - it doesn't. But killing is all there is to most of the new games I've seen. What a waste of potential! And what a clever way to play into the hands of people who want to believe that it's video games that are making our society more dangerous (it's not more dangerous - violence just gets better coverage now than it did 50 years ago, because the press is less responsible).

Re:My experience... (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12736226)

Actually, I should have been a little more concise with my story. My father and the cat killed most of the mice. However, there was one baby one left, still writhing and trying to be alive. I thought for a moment wether or not to simply put it out of it's misery. The baby mouse was going to die anyways. So, I took my foot and quickly jammed it down to crush it's head and end it's life quickly. I figured that to be a much less painful death than the cat playing with it for a while before it died, but it still distressed me nonetheless that I had actually, physically killed something. It was something I had never experienced or thought about before. Perhaps playing violent videogames has deadened my empathy. That doesn't mean that I didn't feel anything when that situation happened. The emotional pain and distress I felt for a couple days was real. Perhaps I would have felt more if I hadn't ever played MK (or, recently, GTA3/VC - it says in the article teenagers can still be affected). Perhaps I would have done something else more humane at that moment. But, according to the anti-videogame movement, I should have enjoyed killing the mouse and said something along the lines of "Cool, it's guts are on the ground."

Re:My experience... (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12738707)

Yeah, what you said makes more sense now. :')

I don't think you should worry too much. From my side, I find all the simulated blood and gore disturbing, and when I was playing Matrix and got shot in the back, it was really disturbing. I used to really enjoy adventure games back in the day, and even D&D (which is pretty bloody - you just go around killing things to amass experience points, very much like the Matrix). So anyway I'm not terribly surprised that someone else takes it the way I do, and then draws a more extreme conclusion.

What I do wonder is why that person isn't working to stop *real* violence on the streets. To address the roots of violence. To the extent that there's anything wrong with the videogame industry right now, it feels more like a symptom than a cause to me.

Re:My experience... (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12738763)

Er, one thing my Buddhist background compels me to mention is that although I don't think you should worry that you're lacking in compassion, I think you should pay attention to your instincts. You reacted negatively to the whole killing thing. In my traditions, we would say that that's a very fortunate reaction to have, and one worth developing.

Re:My experience... (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12738942)

It was the physical killing. Still, videogame killing doesn't really bother me, because nothing is actually being hurt - no life was ended. People in videogames respawn. It takes away all the emotion from it, really.

That guy, cracking down on video game violence, probably thinks he actually is cracking down on the root of violence.

Now, I do understand that there are some very mentally disturbed kids out there that should not be playing video games, especially violent ones. And I don't think any kid/teen needs to be playing a game where the object is to kill yourself in the most interesting way (I don't know if there actually is a game out there like that.)

And I think myself sora buddhist myself. At times.

Re:My experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12741390)

playing a game where the object is to kill yourself in the most interesting way

When I was a kid I drew diagrams of how I'd kill myself in dramatic ways just to "show everyone". I had even worked out the physics and pulley system required to hang myself from the front of the city hall (it was a very small and ugly town, this would have been quite public) in such a way that a ladder could not be put up to cut me down, someone would have to climb up on the roof. That was before I was in 6th grade, and before I even owned a computer or console to play games on.

No game would have put me into that situation, and no game would have gotten me out of it. It took the intervention of my parents by pulling me out of that shithole of a school to save me.

I think that latter part is most important... It's one thing to make the claim "violent games make normal people violent", but I want to see someone seriously make the claim that "peaceful games make violent people normal". If you're going to make the claim games cause changes in mood, you're going to have to show that it works in more than one way, or nobody's going to believe you, and rightly so. Go take Tetris or some other peaceful game to a state prison and let the prisoners play it for hours on end and see whether you can turn a hardened criminal into a happy, peaceful and friendly person. If you can't make a psychopathic axe murderer into someone acceptable by normal society, how can you possibly claim that videogames are turning acceptable people into psychopathic murderers?

Re:My experience... (2, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12741853)

School: the root of violence? News at 10:00. :'}

BTW, what makes you say Tetris is a peaceful game? It's a control-freakitude game. A peaceful game would be one where you score more experience points by protecting the characters you see in the game than you do by killing them - that is, where you have a choice, and the nonviolent choice is preferred. Oh, and it has to be fun, too. Not impossible, by any means, but not something I see a lot of.

Re:My experience... (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 9 years ago | (#12775265)

"A peaceful game would be one where you score more experience points by protecting the characters you see in the game than you do by killing them"

They have games like this.. is this a point everyone is missing? There is a wide variety of games out there... not all of them are about killing or destruction...

My kid loves Zoo Tycoon, and roller coaster tycoon, but she also enjoys playing WC3 with me and her brother...

I thought I had a point... where did that point go? *looks at feet*

Re:My experience... (2, Interesting)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12736486)

But killing is all there is to most of the new games I've seen.

This shows just how much our society salivates for violence. There are plenty of non-violent games out there, but it seems like all the popular games always involve blowing the crap out of your enemy. Look at the biggest selling games in the U.S. (GTA:san andreas, Halo2, Half-life 2, Doom 3). Nintendo is big on making games that involve very little violence. You would think people might welcome this, but instead, Nintendo is slammed as the "Kiddie game" company.

If there is a problem with video game violence, it's not the video games. It's much deeper than that. "Bowling for Columbine" comes to mind. The U.S. has lower gun ownership per capita then Canada. Yet U.S. gun crime rate is much higher. In the local news, it seems like 90% of the time is devoted to who got shot and where. American movies and TV shows seem to be filled with violence too. Why doesn't that guy go after the film industry too?

What should be done about this? I don't know. But looking at video games as the lone problem won't do a damned thing.

Re:My experience... (1)

Jacius (701825) | more than 9 years ago | (#12740935)

Nintendo is big on making games that involve very little violence. You would think people might welcome this, but instead, Nintendo is slammed as the "Kiddie game" company.

Example: the most violent thing you could do in Animal Crossing was hit the animals on the head with your bug-catching net. After you did it a couple times, though, they'd start crying and run away.

Still, that'll teach that froggy bastard not to send me stupid stuff in the mail anymore. "I hope you like it, ribbit," indeed...

Re:My experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12742392)

Our society? Someone needs a history lesson.

Re:My experience... (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12751947)

Oh?? Teach me.

Re:My experience... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733088)

"Is that videogames don't make you any more prone to violence or less empathetic. I've been playing violent video games since I was four years old. Last week, after killing some mice that had infested our shed, especially the baby ones, I felt genuine distress at having just ended something's life that didn't deserve to have it ended."

I can tell you a similar story. Most of us probably could. It seems to me that most video game players can relate to this mentality. Which begs the question: Have the people who have made these claims about games causing desensitization actually played them?

Re:My experience... (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733209)

Oh I can relate to it.

The only question I have is, is it relevant to the argument?

I grew up on the 8-bit and atari generation. By the time the SNES and things like doom hit, I was in my teens. Now, I'm in my 20s. The games have grown more and more realistic, in fact they strive for realism. I see no current indications of this trend reversing.

So, are our experiences... are the current studies which can't show any statistically significant relationship between violent video game play and later violent behavior relevant to an argument that basically boils down to the effects of current games? No one can ultimately say one way or the other how it's going to pan out until it's no longer relevant to the then-future situation... so it keeps being rehashed over and over and over again.

Seriously, this has come up more times than I can count anymore.

I'm tired of it. Just enforce the damn ratings by law, all of us adults will still be able to hit the local gaming shop and pickup GTA4. If you're underage and your parents approve, you can still play it. If you shoot up a school or something, you had bad parents. End of story.

Re:My experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733222)

Are you certain that video games aren't responsible for your bad taste in music?

Jack Thompson... (2, Funny)

OSX1337 (789865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732053)

Every time I see something written by this guy I get the excruciating need to land a neat headshot on him. I call that his plan backfiring.

Oh Bullshit. (2, Interesting)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732137)

Jack Thompson pisses me off.
In fact, it's a counterproductive sales tool because millions of kids want the Mature-rated games.
Why do kids want M rated games? I can think back to being a kid. "This game looks fun, I think I'll play this." First off, it wasn't specifically that the game was rated M that I wanted to play the game. However, I got told by my mom "No, you can't play that - it's for older kids." When you're not allowed to have something that you want, then you want it even more - that's how the human mind works, especially in children. I don't think he gets this.

Re:Oh Bullshit. (1)

Mithrandir86 (884190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734128)

The best system I've experienced is here in the UK.

Games are treated as an artistic medium and tied to the same ratings board as movies. Games with 18+ labels require a proof of age to be sold if you look under 21.

Today, video games are just what PnP RPGs were twenty years ago. A significant portion of society thought that it led to otherwise normal teenagers committing suicide. Lectures were given, with enlightened defenders arguing against ignorant moral activists looking for the next product of societal change to oppose. Not unlike the 'debate' that is going on right now. The worst it got was when the 'activists released a biased TV movie called Mazes and Monsters [imdb.com] (starring a young Tom Hanks).

Of course, all this ended when a few "inspired" reporters tried sitting down to actual D&D session. It must have pretty disappointing to only find a bunch of nerdy teenagers sitting around a table rolling dice and drinking Mountain Dew.

Inevitably, a significant lack of knowledge leads to disingenuous accusations of moral decay. Just like every generation believes that they invented sex, they believe that their progeny is iniquitous.

more crap from this guy's mouth (5, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732156)

EGM: Your attempts to compensate victims of alleged game-related deaths have been unsuccessful so far. Why do you think this is?

JT: Lawyers tend to be to the left of normal people, and judges tend to be the left of the lawyers. Federal judges tend to be the left of them. So you have a bunch of First Amendment absolutists who block these kinds of lawsuits. State courts, however, are far more responsive to parents. I suppose federal judges by and large don't have a problem with mental molestation of children with murder simulators.

Playing the Left/Right game? Give me a fuckin' break. This guy is probably just saying these things to try to make money, but in the process he is really trying my restraint. I suppose he might throw in extra insult by trying to say that such a feeling demonstrates his point.

Re:more crap from this guy's mouth (4, Interesting)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732200)

See, I don't know if you've noticed, but a big secret of the liberals for a long time has been that we all like molesting people. Mentally, physically - doesn't matter. We like it and encourage it.

But what the hell is mental molestation? I think this guy's just going for an emotional kick.

Also, I don't know if this guy's noticed, but the Communist party - which preaches about the violent overthrow of the US government - is protected under the first amendment. So videogames should be as well. But, just because the speech is free does not mean you have to listen. Parents can still stop their kids from playing these games if they're really that worried. By this guy's standards, I should be shooting my mouth off while killing my teachers with a glock. It's all BS.

Re:more crap from this guy's mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12737182)

if you believe that the communist party supports the violent overthrow of the US govt, well i feel truely sad for you. and i hope you are a nonvoter because you have no clue about the poltical system of any other party than those "two big ones"

I agree... (3, Insightful)

OSX1337 (789865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732180)

Both government and home have shared responsibilities here. Parents are negligent in letting kids play these games for hours at a time, but even if we do everything right to keep a kid away from these games, his classmates are playing them. He could just play somewhere else. We have an aggressive industry taking advantage of derelict parents. The whole youth culture is immersed in this stuff. So go on a negligent parent power trip and leave my games alone. I am an informed gamer with no misconceptions about the violence in GTA:SA and with parents that know I can deal with spurting red polygons and (gasp) swearwords. Get off my cloud.

Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732212)

The anti-gaming guy is represented by the English flag of Saint George and the three lions coat of arms of England. Because he's a 'crusader' apparently. Please leave our national symbols out of something as trivial as a debate about video game violence. I don't find that acceptable, perhaps they'd like to change the logo for the pro-gaming guy to a blood spattered stars and stripes or perhaps a burning copy of the Koran?

Re:Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733714)

So what you're saying is that non-Americans should be free to criticize / make fun of other cultures / countries, yet Americans can't? That's the biggest bunch of bullshit ever. You do realize that your precious England committed countless horrible crimes to millions upon millions of people over the centuries don't you?

Re:Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733818)

No, I didn't say that. What the hell is wrong with you?

FYI I'm just back from Operation Telic. Having worked alongside Americans under very dangerous conditions the notion of defaming or insulting them is very far from my mind. I know how they feel about Old Glory though so I was just putting it in context for you. We all have symbols and so on that are meangingfull and perhaps sometimes sacred to us.

Joking or even insulting I wouldn't mind so much (people can have their say, you have every right not to like my country if you choose, and sure, take the piss so long as you can take it as robustly as you give it) as the very casual use of our flag and coat of arms as a piece of fucking clip-art that upsets me.

Admitedly given I would have ended up draped in a flag of which the cross of St George would have been part had things gone badly for me, perhaps I am a bit oversensitive in that direction, and certainly I would be naive if I didn't note that love of country is a big thing in building military morale.

I don't expect you to buy into how I feel about it from a position of empathy, but I don't think a bit of mutual respect is too much to ask.

hrm... educate or legislate (2, Insightful)

boxie (199960) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732218)

tough decision for the yanky government on this one - if they educate they risk having a public that will start asking questions (and we can't have THAT now can we!) </sarcasm>

I really hope that people get the right to choose rather than being told what they can and cannot do... that is not freedom, it is slavery!

Just from an outsiders PoV it seems that the american people are more and more putting the burden of things onto someone elses shoulders... eg - manufactures of drills warning not to put the drill in your mouth... etc etc

Re:hrm... educate or legislate (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733386)

As an American, I agree. It's really fascinating too. The "American Dream" is all about working hard and making your own way, and creating opportunity and executing until you earn your fortune. There's no greater symbol of what America is supposed to be about than the "self made man".

But at the same time, so many americans are quick to complain about how they're being victimized, there are so many people eager to try get rich quick schemes, and there are so many people who don't want to take any responsibility.

I think this partially has to do with the fact that many of us have had life too easy. Having easy access to all the necessities of life, while at the same time having a good amount of freedom, and lots of easy entertainment...well, it's made a lot of our citizens into pansies.

But there's another cause, applicable to other people. And that's basically the fact that the American dream is a whole lot harder to accomplish now. It's not impossible, if you work hard, you can still do well. It just requires even more effort, and maybe at least a little bit of luck. But with our economy and industries as big as they are, with all the legal and red tape nonsense it takes to get anything done, plus the ridiculous costs of things like education and health care, getting started from nothing is quite a task. And it may be impossible for some people. And so they feel cheated.

Not every American is getting a fair shot at the american dream. Those who are given more than enough to succeed are often time over-babied sissies. It's a weird mix.

Re:hrm... educate or legislate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12739820)

Thanks to the Lawyers the USA has become lawsuit happy. Thats one of the reasons for the warnings on everything. My grandmother was called in for jury duty on a case where a guy lost some toes cause he was using his lawnmower as a hedge trimmer. (He was wearing sandals too) He was suing the lawnmower manufacturer because the instructions didn't say to not use it as a hedge trimmer. The judge threw it out of court on the first day, but the company still needed to higher a lawyer (or have one on retainer) and that costs money. I think we need a law like Canada does where in a frivilous lawsuit, the plantifs lawyer pays the courthouse operating expenses for the day.

Columbine, my case in point. (4, Insightful)

nitrogensixteen (812667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732388)

Thompson states that if the industry does not change, there will be a Columbine to the factor of 10. Does this not sound more ridiculous than Fallujah x2?
It should.
Thompsons statement regarding terrorist training through videogames such as Full-Spectrum Warrior is, I hope, hyperbolic prima facae to most of you. Much, much, more training and planning goes into acts of terrorism than Thompson seems to give them credit for (it's a little bit more than shoot the enemy when you see him pop up on the screen).
Saying that restricting the export of tactical videogames to foreign countries under say, the EAR or ITAR, would obviously not stem the tide of violence in Iraq and around the world just as restricting violence in videogames will not stop these children, who are under severe emotional strain or experiencing deep depression, or even beginining to show signs of a personality disorder, from acting out violently. Columbine was perpetrated by children who had severe social and emotional problems, and who were left alone to create pipe bombs and amass weapons in their basement. This was partly a failure of supervision by the parents and, OC partly beyond their control. Columbine had nothing to do with videogames.
Shame on Mr. Thompson for invoking terrorism as a reason for restricting videogame sales.
Don't cheapen their sacrifice, ambulance chaser.

Re:Columbine, my case in point. (1)

kc32 (879357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732437)

Actually, Columbine was somewhat related to video games. A documentary on the History Channel read from their journal "It will be like (some other stuff I can't remember) Duke (Nukem) and Doom all mixed together."

Which resulted in my screaming at two dead people and throwing a PS2 controller at the TV, pissed that those two idiots ruined video gemas for the rest of us.

Re:Columbine, my case in point. (1)

nitrogensixteen (812667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732510)

Granted. Let me instead say, "Columbine was in no way caused by violent videogames."

Re:Columbine, my case in point. (1)

kc32 (879357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732856)

Yeah. People need to keep that shit on the game server, if you know what I mean.

Re:Columbine, my case in point. (1)

nitrogensixteen (812667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12735141)

Think of the additional fatalities that could have been inflicted by skilled bunny-hoppers (and thank god neither had AWP+deagle).

Re:Columbine, my case in point. (1)

mZam (789803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739001)

Spottswoode: From what I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.N.C.E has gathered, it would be 9/11 times 100.
Gary Johnston: 9/11 times a hundred? Jesus, that's...
Spottswoode: Yes, 91,100.
Chris: Basically, all the worst parts of the bible.

what are you doing to solve this? (5, Insightful)

teksno (838560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732396)

murder simulators

that has got to be the biggest spin of all time...

look, jack even said education was part of the solution, and henry made a very good point... Unlike the previous generation, at least many young parents today have grown up playing games, so they will know that not all games are appropriate for young kids.

i know my mom was very interested in what games i was playing while i was growing up and even more interested in what i was watching on TV...

my father was in the coin op business since the 70's. ive grown up around video games, hunting, guns, and the military...if any one should be ready to snap and go on a personal black ops mission...its me. and frankly, i think i "normal".

i can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. and i dont take joy in seeing others suffer.

this burden lies with the parents. if they would take a proactive role in their childs life alot of stuff like teen violence and teen pregancy would be on the decline instead of the rise.

but now since both parents are typically working, who is doing the parenting...britney spears and tommy lee...tommy verciti and lara croft...Jenna Jameson and ron jeremy...

people need to look at what they are doing within their own family units to solve the problem. do your kids play violent video games...are the games you child plays approiate for his age...this just takes some good old fashioned parenting. thats it thats all.

Re:what are you doing to solve this? (1)

SPY_jmr1 (768281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733000)

but now since both parents are typically working, who is doing the parenting...britney spears and tommy lee...tommy verciti and lara croft...Jenna Jameson and ron jeremy... I wish I had parents like that... Maybe not the first two...

DISCLAIMER: IANALC (Little Kid)

Re:what are you doing to solve this? (2, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733045)

I think it's definitely important on the "murder simulation" point to bring to bear America's Army and Full Spectrum Warrior, and particularly their use by the military.

The army's looked at the usefullness of video games as training simulations, we've seen it on slashdot time and again. Overall, however, they've found that they don't work. At least not games in the way we get them as consumers. They have more immersive simulations that involve functional firearms with projections of targets, which are basically an advanced shooting gallery where the targets move, hide, and even return fire.

There was a special show on Tech TV (it still shows up on G4 occasionally) about AA, FSW, and a couple other games that were developed in partership with the army, which even had interviews with the army consultants who worked on them. AA is purely a recruitment and public relations tool, not a "testing ground" or training system. "Playing a game, no matter how real we try to make it, isn't going to make you any better when we actually put a gun in your hands."

Game's teach the entirely wrong reflexes to make people better killers. Just about everybody who uses a computer is familiar with the "Undo" effect. You make a mistake, you immediately reach for the mouse to hit undo. After a while, that reflex can get to the point that you try to hit undo in programs that don't have it, and even when you're not at the computer (I once spilled a glass of water, and it hadn't even fallen over and I caught myself thinking, "Damnit, undo."). You're not going to be any better at shooting people when all of your gun reflexes are centered on the analog thumbsticks.

Re:what are you doing to solve this? (1)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733562)


Game's teach the entirely wrong reflexes to make people better killers. Just about everybody who uses a computer is familiar with the "Undo" effect. You make a mistake, you immediately reach for the mouse to hit undo. After a while, that reflex can get to the point that you try to hit undo in programs that don't have it, and even when you're not at the computer (I once spilled a glass of water, and it hadn't even fallen over and I caught myself thinking, "Damnit, undo."). You're not going to be any better at shooting people when all of your gun reflexes are centered on the analog thumbsticks.


You are definitely right about that. After a few hours of playing an FPS like HL2 with quicksave where I, trying to really get through the game better, often quickload whenever I take a hit so I can try that part again and see if I can come out of it with no damage, I sometime find myself knocking something over and thinking why can't I quickload or getting my work done with time to spare and thinking its a good time to quicksave.

Re:what are you doing to solve this? (1)

lupinstel (792700) | more than 9 years ago | (#12736541)

I think "Ctrl+F" (find) when searching for something in books, but alas it doesn't work, and I feel dumb for thinking it.

Stupid. (1)

KingHippo2600 (877977) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732655)

I grew up on Mortal Kombat. Most of the kids I knew grew up on Mortal Kombat. I have yet to shoot a single person. The only reason kids and parents blame real-life violence on videogames is because they don't want the blame.

No one thought of this? (1)

drewmca (611245) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732725)

Why can't we just fine the parents of kids who do crap like this? Send them to jail? How's that for incentive to make sure your kid doesn't end up a mess? Your kid goes on a spree and kills a bunch of people, then himself, you do time.

Why are we so interested in this country in telling people they can't do something just because someone else did something wrong? Why can't we have some sort of incentive for parents not to ignore or abuse their kids? We're dealing with symptoms instead of causes, which hurts people who don't deserve to be hurt and leaves the cause alone to fester.

[rambling rant over]

Same old crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732857)

First off, this is old news considering that it was in EGM last month.

So, the other Wacko Jacko wants Columbine x10, which means everyday he wishes for 120 dead students and 10 dead teachers by an army of 20 gunmen. Talk about sick right there. But that must be OK with Jack considering that he had already graduated from ambulance chasing to hearse chasing and he goes from funeral to funeral to hit on the corpse.

Jack's 12-year-old son probably wishes he had been given up for adoption or that he was adopted(no offense to people that were adopted) since he probably gets beat up at school every day because of who his father is.

And if Jack has played GTA:San Andreas, shouldn't he have turned into a violent killer by now? Congratulations, Jack, you just defeated your own argument! And he also admitted to illegally copying the game, so that also makes him the world's dumbest son of a bitch by admitting he committed a crime!

== BearDogg-X ==

GNAA PR: Debian 3.1 Sarge (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732872)

GNAA Congratulates the Debian Project on the Release of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "Sarge"

BATON ROUGE, LA - June 6, 2005 - The Gay Nigger Association of America extended today its congratulations to the Debian Project regarding its 8th consecutive release of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. The latest incarnation of Debian, codenamed "Sarge", had been eagerly anticipated for approximately 6,000 years by both unwashed GNU/Hippies and fizzlebearded Open Source aficionados alike. So far the reception of "Sarge" has ranged from indifferent to uninterested, but the release has managed to draw the attention of many fundamentalist Christians, who have long seen the release of a new version of Debian as one of the major signs of the apocalypse.

"Sarge" is notable for greatly expanding upon the Debian policy of creating distributions that are obsolete before they are even released - a practice which, while not particularly desirable, has been enthusiastically received by nostalgic collectors of outdated open source software, as well as the National Association for Marketing Buggy Linux Applications, or NAMBLA. Debian project leader Branden Robinson defended the policy, however, in an impromptu GNAA interview which was conducted at his home. When asked to comment on Debian's slow adoption of new software, he was quoted as saying, "Look, the fact is that the open source development model is so ineffective that just as many new bugs are probably created in each release as old ones are fixed, so it all evens out. Right? Um - please stop touching my leg. No I'm not homophobic, I just - hey, I said cut it out! No, stop! I'm saving myself for Bruce Perens! HELP!"

About Debian:

The Debian project was started in 1993 by Ian Murdock, who was unsatisfied with the level of political bickering and useless hand-wringing found in other projects at the time. The Debian Project has grown steadily over the years and currently consists of over 1,000 developers and maintainers, yet contains more bugs and is more out of date than the older Slackware distribution, which is produced by a single maintainer with a chronic bacterial infection. Debian's use has been on the decline due to users being fed up with its sluggish release process and political drama, but it has nevertheless received the accolade of those Linux users who had not yet discovered the existence of superior and more modern distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora Core, and Windows Server 2003.

i'm certainly not a fan of Jack-o. (4, Insightful)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732876)

These interviews are awesome examples for anyone who's studied logic.
I suppose federal judges by and large don't have a problem with mental molestation of children with murder simulators.
Dirty trick, Jack, you should write speeches. Presupposition works; most notably when logic doesn't.
If this is true, why is the military using them to create killing simulators?
More with the loaded questions? Ass. I'd like to see someone prove that the military uses video games to increase soldier bloodlust.
A cyberterrorism expert has found that games such as [THQ's] Full Spectrum Warrior, or Full Spectrum Command as it's known in the military, is being used by al Qaeda to train their troops. These games don't just teach skills--they break down the inhibition to kill. [..] the way you break [the inhibition] down is to put a soldier in a VR setting, which will be far more effective in the long run.
I guess he's trying to prove it then. I love a good poke at our God-fearing patriotic American emotions by using the "a" word. Well, Jenkins says it best:
If you read what the media researchers have found, none of them believes games can turn a normal kid into an antisocial menace. [..] The contributing factors are mental illness, kids going off mood-altering meds, domestic violence, broken families, poverty
Ugh. Thompson is taking the "we know for certain" attitude copped by millions just before they make a dumb decision. Jenkins seems to be holding on to the scientific argument: "we don't know but we so far haven't been disproven"

Why is it always the It's-not-our-fault's vs. the libertarians?

Statistics are screwed too. (4, Insightful)

gilzreid (95884) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733512)

Did anybody else notice how strange Thompson's comments on statistics are? e.g.

"...a Gallop poll found 71 percent of all U.S teenage boys who played Vice City were twice as likely to have been engaged in an act of violence."

What? 71 percent were twice as likely? Is this some kind of maths problem?

And:

"Well, let's look at deaths in and around schools. In 2004, there were 48 in number. In 2003, there were 16. In 2002, there were 17. Yes, the death rate in which murderous actions have taken place has gone down, but there are other factors such as the shortening of ambulance response time, better medical techniques, and so forth."

I really don't think 3 years of statistics where the first two years are the same gives much of an idea of the trend. Look at say 20 years, so that we could at least compare the statistics for times before violent games were common. Violent games existed way before 2002.

Giles

Re:Statistics are screwed too. (1)

SystemR (787935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733659)

After all, it was just a poll, not a research or a study conducted to find the relation between video games and aggressiveness.

I have no idea how they arrived with that figure by just conducting a survey/poll. A survey alone wouldn't answer that violent games are the cause for teenage violence. How can they be so sure with the reliability of the answers? After all, maybe aggressive teenagers just like to play violent games. That doesn't mean that violent games are the one who causes them to become aggressive in the first place.

Statistics would never answer it. There are just too many factors that could cause aggressiveness in teenagers.

Re:Statistics are screwed too. (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733905)

Did anybody else notice how strange Thompson's comments on statistics are? e.g.

"...a Gallop poll found 71 percent of all U.S teenage boys who played Vice City were twice as likely to have been engaged in an act of violence."

What? 71 percent were twice as likely? Is this some kind of maths problem?


I don't agree with it, but the wording is correct. He's saying that out of a control group, 71% that played vice city were twice as likely to commit crimes than people who did not.

Think of it like this. You want to find out how many people wash their hands. You poll 100,000 random people and find that about 10% wash their hands.

You then run an ad campaign, like say, "wash your hands or die of salmonella!". Then after a six month run, you run the same poll again. You also include a question saying "Did you see the wash your hands ad?". You find that about half (50,000) people did. And of those people, 60% wash their hands.

You now have a statistic that says 50% of the people who saw the ad are six times more likely to wash their hands than the people who did not see it.

Re:Statistics are screwed too. (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734141)

I don't agree with it, but the wording is correct. He's saying that out of a control group, 71% that played vice city were twice as likely to commit crimes than people who did not.

He's saying nothing about "violent crimes", it's probably a loaded survey in which raising your voice or swearing at somebody is considered "violent".

Personally, I think a much more interesting study would look into how watching soap-operas & reading romance novels fucks up young women, leading them to become petty, backstabbing whores that continually make unhealthy relationship decisons.

Re:Statistics are screwed too. (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734152)

"Well, let's look at deaths in and around schools. In 2004, there were 48 in number. In 2003, there were 16. In 2002, there were 17. Yes, the death rate in which murderous actions have taken place has gone down, but there are other factors such as the shortening of ambulance response time, better medical techniques, and so forth."


Holy crap, I didn't even see that. Why doesn't he say something like "the number of people shot in and around schools" rather than the number of deaths? Methinks he's doing it because one of those can be explained away while the other one can't.

Violent crime overall has been going down and I'm willing to bet violent crime at schools has similarly been going down, despite the hopes and dreams of the people who want to ban these games (apparently).

Yeah, like I said, this guy is a toy box for a logic student.

Re:i'm certainly not a fan of Jack-o. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12736254)

Dirty trick, Jack, you should write speeches. Presupposition works; most notably when logic doesn't.

If this is true, why is the military using them to create killing simulators?

More with the loaded questions? Ass. I'd like to see someone prove that the military uses video games to increase soldier bloodlust.


I don't think he's saying that it necessarily increases bloodlist, just decreases inhibition. I.e., someone used to killing virtually would have less of a problem with killing in real life.

It's well known that the armed forces uses simulators for combat training. I seem to recall reading an article that said that soldiers that hadn't been in actual combat were much better prepared for real combat using modern simulators than previous generations without simulators.

Re:i'm certainly not a fan of Jack-o. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739310)

What bothers me even more is that we let people who were in the military, who have no inhibition to kill (after all they're not only playing "murder simulators", they're being pushed around by their instructors so they REALLY don't hesistate) and maybe even a few kills under their belts roam the streets. I mean, those people are dangerous! They could snap any moment and they are trained for actual warfare! We can't let those people walk on the same streets as our kids! They are a menace, we have to stop them, all of them!

Not On Slashdot Homepage??? (1)

Viper_Viper (881780) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733160)

Luckly I went to the game section to read this becasue it was not on the Slashdot homepage.

The Basic Facts (2, Insightful)

SpiritMaster (869780) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733217)

The basic facts are, that for all intensive purposes Jack Thompson is a zealot. If you read the interview it is clear the further along you read, that in his view "controlling the sale of games to minors" quickly degrades into "Violence of any type on games is bad and terrorists will use it against us!".

The notion that the console/game/rating system ect... are all in 'chaoots' seems to make me think that perhaps he working under a conspiracy theory. While I grant you that all the companies have a vested interest in selling more games, this whole 'dark shadowy underworld' of which he speaks is more a product of loose laws than the 'dark side of the force' infecting our youths.

I also love the way in which he casually assaults the ethics of the federal judges as a whole. While I realize this is most likely on purpose and an attempt for JT to show he isn't afraid, insulting the judges as a whole, becuase you don't like what they ruled, rather than reyling on hard evidence is not a wise move. Essentially the further I went down the interview I saw less and less quoting of facts and details, and more and more of evil plots filled with terrorism and brainwashing.

Re:The Basic Facts (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12735093)

There's a reason he's working with a conspiracy theory: They're invincible. Notice how he throws the terrorism card in the deck as well.

When you're operating under a conspiracy theory, all opposition from any quarter is a part of the conspiracy, or controlled by the conspiracy. If the judge rules against him, he's in cahoots. If the jury doesn't give him a verdict, they were paid off.

With most reasonable theories, counter evidence is counter evidence. With conspiracy theories, counter evidence, in fact, becomes proof only of the coverup to hide the supporting facts.

Fuck Thompson (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733625)

A couple of years ago, when he was on Mike Reagan's radio program, I called in and ate his lunch on the air. His arguments consist of a series of one-liners. If he's giving a speech, it doesn't sound half bad. If his arguments are challenged, he can't support them.

He's a media whore, he's in it for the money; nothing more.

Whenever you see him on TV, whenever you hear him on the radio, whenever he's making a public appearance confront him. Expose him for what he is.

LK

Re:Fuck Thompson (1)

boot1973 (809692) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734367)

What did you say

Re:Fuck Thompson (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12736477)

He was talking about one of the school shootings, I think it was columbine. He went on to say how Doom conditioned the shooters to be ready to kill other people. I rebutted that there are only Demons and Zombies in Doom and that's what you shoot.

His response was that they modified Doom so that the demons and zombies looked like some of their classmates.

My response was that if they were playing a modified game, then you can't blame iD software because it's no longer the product that they released.

His response was that they used tools created and provided by iD to modify the game and that the only use for such tools was to insert images of human beings into the game for use as targets.

My response was that he can't draw such conclusions about iDs motives. The tools could just as easily be used to change a red monster into a blue one, or to insert a monster from a movie.

He returned to the his argument that they used iD's tool to modify Doom so that they could shoot things that looked like their classmates.

Before Mike had to go to commercial I reminded him that they were playing a modified game that was NOT produced by iD.

He stammered for a few moments and Mike thanked me for my call and went to commercial.

LK

An Immodest Proposal (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733934)

I don't personally believe that playing violent videogames leads to violence. I've never seen any compelling evidence for it, and frankly think it would be hard to empirically demonstrate one way or the other. Nonetheless, I admit that one could make a well-reasoned argument against videogame violence, even though I wouldn't agree with it. After all, there are differences in opinion among rational people.

But Thompson makes no such rational arguments. He doesn't even make arguments that can be evaluated at all--he just spouts of bunch of hyperbole and polemics. If I were to attempt to create a fictional character to lampoon people with a mindset like Helen Lovejoy, I could not think of anything more ridiculous than Thompson. The man is literally a walking parody of himself. I am certain that he will do more to hurt the causes he advocates than anything else.

Re:An Immodest Proposal (1)

Badfysh (761833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734605)

>I don't personally believe that playing violent videogames leads to violence

Like somebody else once said about cartoons, not once have I ever had the urge to hit someone with an anvil..

Inaccurate simulators (3, Insightful)

wyoung76 (764124) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734021)

Calling the VGs "murder simulators" is at best somewhat true, and at worst downright inaccurate.

In the vast majority of cases of murder or maiming or other violent acts, the victim is usually known to be screaming out in pain, or anguish, or some other sort of emotion which is not portrayed in these types of games.

This stark contrast to reality is being ignored, and in the process we will see plenty of extra curbs to the choices that we make for ourselves.

In other jurisdictions, video games all fall under the corresponding censorship legislation, and as such is treated in just the same way as books, movies, magazines, etc. We have different classifications of movies, and we don't see the movie studios getting sued because of parents purchasing/hiring adult movies for their children. The same similar practise should be in place for video games.

I agree that there is some level of responsibility placed on the retailers to ensure compliance, but beyond that anyone can create/sell anything so long as it is legal. The burden of responsibility of consumption of the product still largely lies with the people making purchases.

Let's Do This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12734199)

HEEENNRRYYYYYYYYYY JENKINS!

they should.... (1)

LewieP (883971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734203)

...just settle it with a nice friendly game of soul calibre 2 ;p

Is this Irony? (2, Insightful)

boot1973 (809692) | more than 9 years ago | (#12734440)

JT: ...even if we do everything right to keep a kid away from these games, his classmates are playing them. He could just play somewhere else..

EGM: Does your 12-year-old son play videogames?

JT: Not anything above an E

So by his logic his own son is playing violent video games somewhere else.
Perhaps he'll turn into a homicidal maniac and kill his dad?

Re:Is this Irony? (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 9 years ago | (#12735676)

Perhaps he'll turn into a homicidal maniac and kill his dad?

We can only hope.

What a great article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12736129)

Very balanced, great interviewer/interviewees, great questions, great answers.

In the end, I think I'm going to have to side with Jack Thompson, though. Not on the lawsuits, but on the limiting of sales to minors.

Comparing video game censorship to comic book censorship really hooked me into reading and got my blood all stirred up. I still see the negative effects of the Comics Code today, but at the end of the day, this isn't the comic book industry. With all the studios out there, I'd say it's more like the movie industry. As kids aren't allowed to see rated R/NC17 movies (nevermind that they do anyway), they shouldn't be allowed to play rated M titles (at the parents' discretion).

I'm no comics expert, but I think the reason the comics code was so detrimental to that industry was because the like, what, 2-3 major players decided to publish ONLY comics code approved stories? Yeah, that's going to stifle innovation in a hurry.

But unlike the comics industry, and more like the film industry, production isn't limited to 2-3 major players. The video games market has also grown to encompass a large portion of people that are over 18.

The sale of mature titles should be a burden carried by retailers. The raising of children, and their actions, should be the responsibility of their parents. Forcing retailers to check IDs for mature titles only aids parents in their duty.

Please! No more anecdotal evidence (2, Interesting)

dmauro (742353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12736377)

This entire discussion is full of people telling how sane they are, and that they are sad when they kill animals, and so on and so forth.

We understand that you don't have violent tendencies, and that you played Mortal Kombat when you were a teenager. That has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ARGUMENT.

People generally agree that young children should not be exposed to violent media. The question that is being put to you is not, are video games making people kill, but rather, do we really want young children to be exposed to this violent media. Whether we feel it desensitizes youths, causes disturbed childred who have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality to kill, or simply because we don't want our kids swearing, how will we keep material meant for adults in the hands of adults.

So answer the question at hand:
Will we use legislation, education, or some other method to make sure children are not exposed to video games which are inappropriate for them?

Re:Please! No more anecdotal evidence (1)

Starsmore (788910) | more than 9 years ago | (#12742794)

So answer the question at hand:

Will we use legislation, education, or some other method to make sure children are not exposed to video games which are inappropriate for them?

I'll take 'some other method'. I'd like to call it parenting. It's a radical concept: you actually watch what your child does, monitor what they watch, read, etc, and when they try to get something you do not feel is appropriate for them, you tell them no, and take it away.

At no point in this process does the government, the industry, or anyone aside from myself responsible for how my child grows up. Just me.

Just FRIGHTENING, isn't it?

I'd like to argue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12736426)

...that games prevent vioence by providing a sandbox to act out any violent tendencies. I'll use myself as an example - when I was younger and didn't have access to videogames - I used to beat the everloving snot out of my classmates. I was a violent child and got into fistfights almost every other day. I was good at it too.

This continued until probably about sixth grade. What happened in sixth grade? I got a gameboy. Instead of pummeling other students, I played tetris. I still got into the occasional fight but it wasn't as bad. Then something else happened - I started playing Mortal Kombat at a video store near my dad's apartment. I havent gotten into a fist fight in years.

Lets do this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12737251)

leeerrrrrrrooooooyyyyy jenkinnnnnnnnsss!!!!!!!!!111

he's not all wrong... (1, Insightful)

dogles (518286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12737465)

Does anyone here really believe that GTA can have no negative impact on a 13yo? Sorry, I just can't buy that. He may not go out on a killing spree, but the game certainly equates violence with humor, rewards mysoginistic behavior, and enforces racial stereotyping. Is it that hard to imagine an impressionable mind getting the wrong ideas from this game?

I don't think Jack Thompson is approaching the issue in the right way, and I don't think he'll be successful. But I do think enforcing ratings at stores is important, and that it is not done properly right now. Additionally, some inappropriate games are marketed to kids. This should stop. If it doesn't, people like Jack Thompson will succeed.

FWIW, I find it embarrassing as a game developer that one of the most innovative game designs in the past few years was wrapped in content matter that is frankly offensive to most people.

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739505)

I used to play Leisure Suit Larry back when I was 12. And I have no trouble getting women. Oh wait...

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755079)

Does anyone here really believe that GTA can have no negative impact on a 13yo? Sorry, I just can't buy that. He may not go out on a killing spree, but the game certainly equates violence with humor...

So did the Three Stooges, Wile E. Coyote, and every other slapstick movie or cartoon ever made.

I find it interesting that the kind of violence people are most opposed to is the most realistic kind, the kind that actually shows the consequences. If Bugs Bunny drops an anvil on Elmer Fudd, and Elmer Fudd grows a big lump on top of his head, that's a harmless sight gag... but if Tommy Vercetti punches someone until they die, that's evil and must be kept away from the kiddies.

Which lesson would you rather have your kids learning? (1) Attacking someone can hurt them, make them bleed, send them to the hospital or morgue, and send you to jail, or (2) dropping heavy objects on someone else's head is funny but won't cause any serious injury?

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

dogles (518286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755466)

Which lesson would you rather have your kids learning? (1) Attacking someone can hurt them, make them bleed, send them to the hospital or morgue, and send you to jail, or (2) dropping heavy objects on someone else's head is funny but won't cause any serious injury?
GTA hardly shows the true consequence of a life of crime. If it were, it would not be much fun. In real life, jail or death does not mean "lose $2000 and all your weapons". When you shoot someone in the head, you wouldn't expect an ambulance to show up 30 seconds later to revive them to full health. Your analogy is misleading.

Where do you draw the line? Do you think it's ok for kids to play Solider of Fortune, where you can shoot off individual body parts, and kill people begging for their lives? Or "The Punisher", which allows you to torture people? Cartoons can help clearly distinguish reality from fantasy. Realistic depictions are more at risk of being interpreted literally. In particular, a child learns pretty early that hitting someone causes them harm, which can be serious. The "bump on the head" in cartoons is a way of sidestepping the moral dilemma of hurting someone else, by showing an outcome not plausible to even young children, reinforcing the fantasy. Whereas the pool of blood when you dash a stranger's brains out on the curb in GTA attempts to emulate reality more closely, and rewards players for this behavior.

One's sense of morality is not naturally ocurring - it's a product of society. It isn't like babies are born knowing that killing people is wrong. That is something taught by society. By exposing individuals to violent/racist/etc media, you're mixing the signals. A mature person can weigh this information in their mind appropriately, but what about the child who does not have enough information to weigh it against?

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755666)

GTA hardly shows the true consequence of a life of crime. If it were, it would not be much fun. In real life, jail or death does not mean "lose $2000 and all your weapons". When you shoot someone in the head, you wouldn't expect an ambulance to show up 30 seconds later to revive them to full health. Your analogy is misleading.

It's true that no video game, including GTA, is entirely realistic in its portrayal of violence. But my point stands: just about every video game has some element of violence, but it's the more realistic ones like GTA and Mortal Kombat that draw anger. Even something as simple as showing blood when a character gets hurt can incite angry letters from parents - witness the substitution of sweat for blood in Mortal Kombat SNES, and more recently, the excision of blood from the version of GTA sold in France and Germany. Meanwhile, no one seems to worry about whether Mario jumping on turtles is going to make kids think it's OK to kill animals, or whether Super Smash Brothers will lead to fistfights.

Cartoons can help clearly distinguish reality from fantasy. Realistic depictions are more at risk of being interpreted literally.

Any child who knows cartoons and slapstick movies aren't real also knows video games aren't real.

Whereas the pool of blood when you dash a stranger's brains out on the curb in GTA attempts to emulate reality more closely, and rewards players for this behavior.

You haven't played GTA, have you? There is no reward for killing strangers; in fact, it attracts police attention. The pool of blood is simply depicting a natural consequence, and anyone who considers it a reward in itself is twisted to begin with.

It isn't like babies are born knowing that killing people is wrong. That is something taught by society. By exposing individuals to violent/racist/etc media, you're mixing the signals. A mature person can weigh this information in their mind appropriately, but what about the child who does not have enough information to weigh it against?

I disagree - certain elements of morality are inborn. That's why certain things have been outlawed by every government ever to come into power, because there's a universal sense that they're wrong.

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

dogles (518286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12758443)

Any child who knows cartoons and slapstick movies aren't real also knows video games aren't real.
I'm not arguing that. I'm saying that violent media makes a bad moral argument, one more at risk of being applied in the real world. GTA is about playing as an antisocial psycopath. That's what makes it fun. Children's cartoons generally make simplistic (positive) moral arguments. GTA's morals, defined in terms of what is rewarding behavior within the game, are hardly something you'd want a kid to adopt. Tell me how a 12yo playing GTA couldn't possibly get the idea that being a gangster is cool.

You haven't played GTA, have you? There is no reward for killing strangers; in fact, it attracts police attention. The pool of blood is simply depicting a natural consequence, and anyone who considers it a reward in itself is twisted to begin with.
Actually, killing random people can be rewarding in game terms, because they tend to drop money and occasionally weapons on the ground. (I think it's less common in GTA:SA, but still there.) This is what I was referring to. Yes, if you do it for long enough, you may attract easily avoidable police attention. I've played the series since GTA 1, when it was a 2D top-down shooter. I actually enjoy the games quite a bit. That doesn't mean I'd let a child play.
I disagree - certain elements of morality are inborn. That's why certain things have been outlawed by every government ever to come into power, because there's a universal sense that they're wrong.
What elements of morality are these? I think you'd find ancient Aztecs had a very different idea of morality than we do today... and it isn't because their brains were wired differently.

Heck, think of the suicide bombers in the Middle East. No, there isn't necessarily a larger portion of mentally ill people; children there are actually taught that they will be rewarded in the afterlife. It's a very different set of morals over there.

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12762519)

GTA is about playing as an antisocial psycopath. That's what makes it fun.

GTA is about completing missions that usually involve committing crimes. Anything more antisocial or psychopathic than that is up to the player.

GTA's morals, defined in terms of what is rewarding behavior within the game, are hardly something you'd want a kid to adopt.

The same can be said of Super Mario Bros. You wouldn't want a kid learning to eat magic mushrooms and stomp on turtles, would you? Yet that isn't a side effect of playing SMB, because everyone knows it's a game, not real life, and the same is true of GTA.

Tell me how a 12yo playing GTA couldn't possibly get the idea that being a gangster is cool.

He could realize that things don't work the same way in real life as they do in video games, like any 12 year old is capable of doing. It's no more likely than a kid watching Pirates of the Caribbean and deciding to become a pirate.

Actually, killing random people can be rewarding in game terms, because they tend to drop money and occasionally weapons on the ground.

And again, this is a natural consequence of the simulation. When someone is dead, he can no longer protect his possessions. This shouldn't come as a revelation to anyone old enough to turn on the PS2.

What elements of morality are these? I think you'd find ancient Aztecs had a very different idea of morality than we do today [...] Heck, think of the suicide bombers in the Middle East. [...] It's a very different set of morals over there.

Murder and rape are pretty much universally deprecated. Even in warrior cultures or among terrorists, there's a distinction drawn between killing "us" and killing "them". That distinction occurs in our own culture too; we just have a different definition of "them".

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

dogles (518286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12764848)

GTA is about completing missions that usually involve committing crimes. Anything more antisocial or psychopathic than that is up to the player.
Uh, if you don't think commiting violent crimes is antisocial and psychopathic, you might want to look up the definition of antisocial [reference.com] and psychopathic [reference.com] .

It's no more likely than a kid watching Pirates of the Caribbean and deciding to become a pirate.
Like a kid watching "Like Mike" and deciding to become a basketball player? I find it interesting that you cite themes like Super Mario Brothers and Pirates to prove your point, while avoiding realistic settings. That is, settings that *blur fantasy and reality*.

Even adults probably have the wrong idea of what being an NYPD Officer is like from watching too much "Law and Order", for example. I'm sure more than a few car accidents have been caused from adults getting too cocky behind the wheel after doing well in Gran Turismo. People can be mislead by media. It's an unavoidable consequence.

That's why it's important to teach children the proper framework of reality and morality early. Shielding children from mixed messages is important during this time.

When a child is ready to take in adult media should be a parent's responsibility. All I'm saying is that stores shouldn't sell mature rated media to minors without parental approval.
Even in warrior cultures or among terrorists, there's a distinction drawn between killing "us" and killing "them". That distinction occurs in our own culture too; we just have a different definition of "them".
Yeah, hence my point. If you are led to believe it is rewarding behavior to hurt or kill anyone who gets in your way, then that's what you'll do. There is a lot of media that protrays this in our society currently.

Do you really think there is no danger of an immature mind drawing the wrong conclusions from an onslaught of such media?

Re:he's not all wrong... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12765593)

Do you really think there is no danger of an immature mind drawing the wrong conclusions from an onslaught of such media?

Not as long as that media is controlled with an analog stick or directional pad. Maybe someday we'll have the technology to put someone in a fully immersive video game without them ever knowing they're playing a game - then I'll be worried about people learning the wrong things from video games.

No 18+ rating for Australia (2, Insightful)

Matt_Joyce (816842) | more than 9 years ago | (#12743113)


It makes me so angry when govenments censor games.

At 35 I can marry, have weird sex (if I choose), have kids, get into debt, take mind altering alcohol, pay taxes, watch contact sport (if i choose), watch horror films, read books and look at all manner of art.

I can make decisions, and am held resposible for my actions, it is assumed I know right from wrong.

Yet, the Australian government thinks I need my computer games censored.

The classification guidelines are supposed to allow me to make an informed choice, not to remove choice.

The situation sucks, I just hope it gets better as gamers get older.

Some links to explore.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/06/06/11179102 43491.html [smh.com.au]

http://www.oflc.gov.au/content.html?n=166&p=119 [oflc.gov.au]

How to lie with statistics (3, Informative)

one-egg (67570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745144)

This guy is a master at using statistics to lie. For example, he cites an alarming rise in violent deaths "in and around" schools: 17, 16, 48 in three successive years.

A quick Google [google.com] search leads us to the widely reported data: this is actually "school-related deaths", and it includes suicides. First problem. But the second and biggest problem, highlighted prominently in "How to Lie with Statistics", is what happened in the two [schoolsecurity.org] years [schoolsecurity.org] before those three: 33 and 31 deaths, respectively.

So instead of the alarming trend of 17, 16, 48, we have the highly varying trend of 33, 31, 17, 16, 49 (the Web site I'm quoting gives a different number). That last number is certainly worrisome, but hardly proof by itself. Especially when you look at this year's [schoolsecurity.org] count of 37. So what we have is a dip and a blip, not a trend. Of course, Thompson will probably take credit for the latest drop.

...and of course there's the question of whether those school-related deaths were related to video games at all. But it wouldn't suit Thompson's agenda to investigate that possibility.

The unfair contrast - or shoddy journalism? (1)

myrosia (890313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753561)

The most striking feature of the article, IMHO, is a contrast between fairly reasonable (though still flawed) statements from Jenkins and obviously bogus statistics, personal attacks and broken logic from Thompson.

I support enforceable game ratings, and there are valid reasons for them - for example, while parenting matters the most, there needs to be responsibility from businesses providing content, whether it is movie theatres or game sellers, etc. But I disagree with almost everything that Thompson says. Whoever had set it up had to know that this won't be an unbiased discussion, because it is not a reasonable debate when there is an extremist on one side. Makes one wonder who benefits from this one - hard to find a better ad for game industry supporters ;-)
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