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Why We Fight

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the human-nature dept.

Games 135

AsiNisiMasa writes "The Contrarian in this week's The Escapist is a brutally honest and exceptionally disturbing piece entitled 'Why We Fight.' It examines the underlying mentality behind our affinity for violent behavior in games, citing the desire for efficiency at all costs. From the article: 'Your people face famine, plague, poverty and unrest. What policies would you enact to solve these problems? (Fans of Tropico, you know how this works.) My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them.'"

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Interesting (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195306)

There is an appealing simplicity in it all. In Age of Empires II, I usually just park my trebuchets outside the city and clear out their entire range before moving on, even if the mission doesn't require it.

Re:Interesting (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197891)

> My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up
> the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant,
> the useless, the unproductive and execute them.

This works. It's just not nice, which is why civilized societies don't do it.

Free Punch Card (5, Insightful)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195348)

I have come up with an idea years ago that I think would solve many of these issues. A free punch card.

Here's how it works:

Each citizen gets a "free punch" once a year. You can punch someone and as long as you have your free punch still there can be no lawsuits or jailtime.

See right now there is no accountability in America. People can act like assholes and hide behind suing you if you hit them, and they know it. but, if you had to wonder if the person still had their free punch card, you might not be so quick to be an asshole.

While it is not really feasable to implement in any way, I am dead serious, and it would end a lot of stupid shit that goes unpunished these days. What it boils down to is accountability and punishment, there is none anymore, and this needs to be dealt with.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195425)

There's an easily implementable solution, repeal the murder laws. Murder is no longer a crime.

If you really want to have some fun mandate that everybody must carry a serviceable firearm at all times.

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195472)

Killing is a little strong, but knowing when some schmuck pisses you off that you get to connect full on with his eye with no repercussions... that's a beautiful thing.

Hell, even a free "poking with a pointy stick" card would be nice.. then even the elderly and handicapped could partake.

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196029)

...knowing when some schmuck pisses you off that you get to connect full on with his eye with no repercussions... that's a beautiful thing.

Beautiful until he retaliates with his punch card...

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Funny)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196093)

Exactly, and therein lies the beauty of the system. Has it's own built in checks and balances.

Re:Free Punch Card (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14196194)

Exactly, and therein lies the beauty of the system. Has it's own built in checks and balances.

What about the situation where a strong and health, but complete jerk does something like tipping over wheel chairs in the park. None of his victums can use their free poke at him for fear at least on of them suffering his full wrath as retaliation. How exactly is it really balanced if the weak and crippled are frightened by those who aren't?

Situations like this make the system at best meaningless, and at worst exploitable by the exact same people you wish to curtail!

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196544)

Remember, he only gets one. If he's used it up, or if the victims gang up on him...

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196073)

Theft has to remain a crime for society to function in any reasonable sense. If I murder you I have stolen you from your family as they will be out your income. Sure insurance will help, but life insurance companies would disapear if murder was legal.
How bought a murder responsibility act, you can murder or maim someone if they tick you off, but you become responsible for the upkeep of their family untill you can find a suitable replacement! Ahh the good ol days.

Ask and GTA:SA (PC) cheat codes provide (3, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196192)

There's an easily implementable solution, repeal the murder laws.

AJLOJYQY (or BGLUAWML).

Murder is no longer a crime.

AEZAKMI

If you really want to have some fun mandate that everybody must carry a serviceable firearm at all times.

FOOOXFT

Have fun playing out your scenario.

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195522)

The problem is that most public figures would get quickly pounded into pulp.

Re:Free Punch Card (5, Funny)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195539)

Your definition of "problem" and mine are apparently different...

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195670)

This is exactly why I started carrying around a small powerful xray emitter with me. When some person is a jerk to me in a way that I feel is sufficiently over the top ... wham: powerful xray to the groin == no more children for him. If he has the kids with him, I zap them too to do what I can to stop those genes from getting passed on. And of course the great thing about this is that it looks like i'm just pointing a bullhorn at you. Can't get pissed off at a guy for pointing a bullhorn at you like you can if he punches you.

Re:Free Punch Card (1, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195794)

I hope your just kidding, if not - you're an ass.

Messing with reproductive rights as if you're a fucking authority on anything is not only criminal, its sociopathic.

And if I caught anyone pointing anything at my kids, they would be a stain in 10 seconds.

Re:Free Punch Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14196014)

survival of the fittest

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196307)

I don't really have a problem with "criminal" or "sociopathic" (since I break laws sometimes and have friends with antisocial personality disorder), but eugenics scares me, and random dipshit eugenics scares me even more. This sort of artificial selection will only yeild an agoraphobic population.

binarydeathtrap.com is looking for educated, cynic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14197425)

LOL thanks thats twice I have snorted milk out of my nose!

Do you have any idea how big a machine has to be to make x-rays intense enough, and focused enough to cause reproductive harm?

Obviously your not educated or cynical....

Re:binarydeathtrap.com is looking for educated, cy (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197516)

To be honest, I know absolutely nothing of X-Ray tech. SO no, I have no idea if it is plausable or not. I guess I could have googled it, but I'm really too lazy.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196107)

http://ptth.net/squish/ [ptth.net] WTF is that? Sorry but I'm not going to run any unsigned java code. Can anyone vounch for this?

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

djSpinMonkey (816614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196699)

http://ptth.net/squish/ WTF is that? Sorry but I'm not going to run any unsigned java code. Can anyone vounch for this?

...but you're going to take the word of some random slashdotter that it's ok?

Uh, sure, man. That code is awesome. What is it?

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196707)

Yeah I'm sorry about that. If you're sufficiently interested give me a week, I'm going to remove the feature that requires a signed jar (in particular, I let you load and save games to your local disk which violates the basic security policy).

Also, you can (or should be able to: i can do it on win32/firefox) visit the game without agreeing to the security. It will just inform you that it fails if you try to load/save games.

Thank YOU! (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197362)

You just made me laugh so hard, I snorted milk out my nose.

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195766)

This reminds me of my Brick Idea. It would revolutionize customer service. Every month, you get one non-transferrable, non-carry-overable brick. You cannot throw that brick at people or animals but you can throw it at anywhere else you want and not be held liable for the damages.

Car dealership work you over? They get a brick through one of their shiny new showroom models.

Phone company giving you lousy customer service? Take a brick to their equipment out on the roadside. Granted, one brick might not break the equipment but if they make enough people angry, they could get together and all brick it into oblivion. (I'd do it in somone else's neighborhood.)

Did a car shoot in front of you to take a spot you were turning into? I'll bet a brick through the windshield will make them think twice about doing that again.

There would just be a mountain of bricks where mortgage companies once stood.

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Insightful)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196053)

Do the customer service reps get bricks too? I can think of a few customers that I was forced to be courteous to who could really use a brick through something they value.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196152)

Sure, but it's an uphill battle because the rep would only get one like everybody else. Would you really want to use your brick on something you have to deal with at work?

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (2, Interesting)

Salis (52373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195965)

Suddenly, a new market for Punch Cards opens up. Sellers and buyers haggle over price and everyone who owns one can sell it!

Rich people could own dozens of punch cards and personally punch the living daylights out of anyone they choose.

Or, better yet, they could hire professional boxers and lend them their punch cards with a contractually signed designated target. Think Mike Tyson as Hit (er Punch) Man. Talk about getting your money's worth. ;)

Also, punch cards could be considered sexism since (on average!) women can not punch as hard as men.

Old programmers like me could be gods! :-) (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196095)

Heck, I have BOXES of punch cards somewhere. :-) :-)

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196205)

thats a pretty sexist remark, to be sure, but for sake of women getting a "kick to the nads" card, I'll agree with you. but when I actually get my card, you may want to be a bit more careful about dismissing the abilities of women. :-p

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196437)

Aha, again the beauty of my system at work. See, if I ruled the world I'd enact systems like these that balance themselves out without any beuracracy involved.

I'm sure many women could put quite a hurting on a number of slimeballs. Oh, and nothing said you had to notify the person you were about to cash in your card... so women could always use surprise and the good ole sucker punch FTW!

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

Salis (52373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196460)

Oh, I know there's plenty of women who could beat me up with or without a Punch Card. ;) But they've seriously trained for it, whether in martial arts or extensive weight training. Otherwise, men do have an inherent advantage in strength. As long as they're generally fit.

And, honestly, if people get into serious fights they usually don't just punch and kick. A crowbar is a great equalizer. ;)

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196534)

And, honestly, if people get into serious fights they usually don't just punch and kick. A crowbar is a great equalizer. ;)

As is my patented "bite a chunk out of your face" move.

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196612)

A funny aside on this topic... one time in a fight I clocked a guy so hard he went unconsious from the first hit. I had so much built up hatred and anger that I didn't want the fight to be over yet, I hadn't gotten my fill of ass kicking... so I bent over and grabbed ahold of his hand and snapped his index finger, just for good measure.

It was the single sickest thing I ever freakin felt. It was like breaking apart a buffalo wing at the joint. Instead of the satisfying "snap" I had hoped for it was a grissely wierd "pop" that felt disgusting. That feeling stuck with me to this day and still makes me shiver.

I can imagine biting a chunk of face would have the same outcome... great idea in theory, but disgusting to actually do.

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196823)

Only to be used when outsized and out classed.

The reality of the matter is that most "fights" aren't really fights at all. Thy consist of one person sucker punching another and then pounding on them while they're down.

A "real" fight is rare and dangerous. Two combatants squared up with no rules is not pretty. It goes VERY fast and tactics tend to be gruesome.

Re:Free Punch Card -- Then Capitalism Takes Over (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196998)

Well as someone who has "starred" in more "real" fights than I care to say... I can say you are completely correct. I have gouged eyes almost to the point of out, I have broken arms, and partially ripped off an ear... real fights are not pretty and generally last about 30-45 seconds. They are primal affairs.

I think spider robinson wrote a story like this. (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196280)

I may have the wrong author. Might be james p hogan too. Basicly, everyone in the world had a chip implanted in their head that would kill them if too many people reported them as being an asshole, no one knew the exact number it took. So as a consequence, poeple were extrodinary polite for the most part, and there were very few assholes left. However, in the story, one of the characters discovers the world has been lied to, its actually the reporter, not the reportee who can be killed. That inssuferable grumpy neighbor who calls up to report his whole neighborhood eventualy trips over the magic number and dies, televenagelst and other insufferable bastards who just cant leave other people alone are actually the ones killing themselves off. I kinda like the idea.

Re:I think spider robinson wrote a story like this (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196533)

I'll have to look into this book... as with all my great ideas, someone always beats me to it. I like this idea based on the same principle, just in reverse.

If my system did come to fruition, I would love to see the assholes that are just a constant bruise day in and day out. It would be sweet justice just to see that dick from your office that you've always wanted to smash walk in every day with a new welt or bruise.

Re:I think spider robinson wrote a story like this (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197083)

Wasnt a book, was just a short story. Sorry i cant remeber the name or the author for you.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

neo (4625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196291)

Better yet, give everyone guns. There's accountability for you.

Re:Free Punch Card (2, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196401)

I defer to one of the most profound statements ever made... and by none other than Chris Rock amazingly. When he did his bit on making guns accessible to everyone but make bullets cost $5000 dollars... that way when someone got shot, everyone would say DAMN, he really must have pissed someone off. And accidental shootings would become non-existant.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196390)

New Year's Eve would be punchtastic!

Re:Free Punch Card (1, Insightful)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197010)

but, if you had to wonder if the person still had their free punch card, you might not be so quick to be an asshole.

I'm reminded of the occasional defense of concealed weapons: you're alot more polite. What?! You're really suggesting that I should watch my mouth because I might get punched? Hell, to a certain extent being able to be an asshole is part of being an American. "It's a free country" has never strictly been legally true, but for a long time it was a true representation of being an American. It has it's down sides (assholes), but I like the upsides (other people don't get to meddle in my life). There are plenty of reasons to be polite, but fear of injury seems like a bad one.

Your punching plan in tempting (oh, so many people who deserve a good punch in the face), but doomed to failing. The reality is that lots of shortsighted people will punch someone early in the year for no good reason. First guy to suggest that the Iraq war as a [good|bad] idea? Pow! Right in the kisser! People will be afraid of stating reasonably held opinions because some unreasonable person might take a swing at them. You might cut down on assholes to a certain extent, but you're going to silence a lot more innocent people.

Ultimately we don't craft laws for the 90% of good people. We craft them for the bad 10%. We have to assume that the bad 10% will be pushing the law to its limits. I'm not prepared to hand that 10% the ability to punch me just because I have a [pro|anti] abortion bumper sticker.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

Alcilbiades (859596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197268)

You make some good points but you miss part of it. Americans used to be more polite due to both fear of injury and (this is a guess for the second) less people to deal with. Honestly tho if you knew everyone around you could pop you one right in the face would you act like an ass to some stranger. Cause although that stranger might not have his card the 40 other people might take exception to what you are doing and pop you right in the face. As you say one of the great things about being an American is stating your opinion w/o fear of being silenced and your thought that fear of getting punched in the face would hinder this. I think it would help in this regard. How might it help you ask? Simple, you just couldn't act like an ass while you presented your opinion neither would it be a good idea to use violence when supporting a cause because the other side might just have parity in size and card stacks.

Anyway I like the suggestion.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197354)

Why thank you. I have presented this idea in numerous different settings over the past three years and at first everyone has a laugh, then a few point out negative effects like the parent of this sidethread.. but after a little discussion almost everyone ends up agreeing that it would work and not really affect most people in any detrimental way.

As far as free speech, no one is going to waste their card just because you state your opinion on something, but if you do it in a certain manner you may get popped. People who are pushy and try to *force* their view on others are sure to get a good number of cards cashed in on them. This is a good thing and actually HELPS with freedom.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197204)

Each citizen gets a "free punch" once a year. You can punch someone and as long as you have your free punch still there can be no lawsuits or jailtime.

I think this plan is in testing(called Jr. High). Unfortunately everybody punches the geeks, since their punch back would hardly result in any damage.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197312)

Well, I thought of an Amendment allowing the elderly/handicapped/weak to use a stick of no more than 2" diameter (thus allowing canes). But you would have to apply for a special card allowing the stick use and prove your physical limitation.

Re:Free Punch Card (1)

c0bw3b (530842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197505)

That reminds me of something... I think it was George Carlin, though I hesitate to say that since so much stuff gets attributed to him.. anyway his idea was that all cars should come equipped with a suction dart shooter, and all the darts would have a little "Asshole" flag. So if someone cuts you off in traffic, or otherwise drives like an asshole, you shoot them with your dart, so everyone knows about it. Then if anyone accumulates 3 or more darts, it's open season on them: you're free to run them off the road, ram them, shoot at them, whatever. Anyway, I was amused.

Sounds like a classic Star Trek episode (3, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195350)

The story in the summary reminds me of "Conscience of the King" -- a ruthless dictator killed half a colony's population during a famine so there would be enough food for the other half. (The story took place years later, after the ex-dictator had gone into hiding. Kirk and another Enterprise crewman had grown up on that colony, and recognized him in -- of all places -- an acting troupe.)

Why we fight? (4, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195359)

Where I live, whiskey is usually the cause.

Re:Why we fight? (1)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195568)

You're Irish aren't you. Come on you can admit it. God created whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world.

Don't forget the jews... (-1, Troll)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195374)

...boy I hate those worthless jews.

Re:Don't forget the jews... (0, Flamebait)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196598)

I was making fun of the article submitter's friend you stupid fucktards.

Is your friend Hitler? (2, Funny)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195381)

"My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them." Hmm?

Re:Is your friend Hitler? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14196153)

I think that was the point of the article.

Re:Is your friend Hitler? (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196911)

Typed a nice reply to this, but somehow replied to posts down instead...

Anyway, when it comes down to it, even when games are designed to reward the "right" thing and punish the "wrong" thing, sometimes just the way the system works opens the a for solutions that we would abhor in real life, or even completely counterintuitive solutions.

Take the death camp solution: Your city is being wiped out by a highly virulent disease. Why would it not be considered acceptable to save a real city by sacrificing the sick population? Because you're killing people, plain and simple. You can't do that for any number of reasons.

In the game, though, the terms are different, depending on your exact goal. Let's say for the sake of simplicity that the situation is a war between neighboring cities, and your goal is simply to win. You have different options: One one hand, you can divert forces away from the war effort and dedicate significant effort and attention to stop t he spread of the disease and cure those who have it, or at least keep them isolated while they live out their final days, which still requires the resources to keep them alive with no payoff, as well as the resources for your doctors, who are spending their effort to care for people who will probably die later. This is the "good guy" way out, and it would be the one that I would advocate in a real life epidemic.

However, this is a game. Nobody's actually dying, just numbers are going up and down based on my inputs. So, instead of the monumental investment in hopes of saving my population, I just isolate or eliminate the diseased population as rapidly as possible and with a minimum investment of time and resources. After that, I'm back to the war effort with a healthy population. Better yet, I throw them at the other city and let HIM deal with the mess it makes.

Re:Is your friend Hitler? (1)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197225)

WTF? You're not allowed to reply to posts accusing someone of being Hitler. Didn't you read the rules of the Internet?

Burning Rome is popular... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195399)

When I was playing Caesar II for the PC, I had one mission to develop and then defend a city in the desert from an attacking army. I totally messed up the mission by letting the city sprawl out of control when the enemy showed up. So I loaded up the earliest saved file that I had and proceeded to systematically destroy the city. By the time the enemy showed up, I was wildly popular with the people and successfully defended the city. Go figure.

C'mon, wrong answer (2, Interesting)

freality (324306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195429)

When resources are scarce, we usually don't attack our own societies, we attack those next to us. Don't look for cover for your fascist ideals in "human" nature. It's just your nature. The rest of us *do* weed people out who assert it, whether it takes a censure or a war.

Re:C'mon, wrong answer (1)

fujiman (912957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195588)

I contend that our "fascist" behavior (I wouldn't call it "ideal") *is* our human nature. I don't believe people are inherently "good". Without getting into philosophy or morals too deeply, I look at life as a constant struggle to overcome our nature.
Whether or how we overcome it is the subject of lengthy debate ;)

Re:C'mon, wrong answer (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195985)

When resources are scarce, we usually don't attack our own societies, we attack those next to us.

I take it you've never studied the Soviet Purges in the 1930's? Or the French Revolution or Germany after 1933 for that matter... Societies tend to attack themselves first and after they run out of enemies from within then attack other nations.

Re:C'mon, wrong answer (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196565)

The issue decribed mentions plague. In Dungeon keeper, I'd usually hollow out a nice room out on my front lines and lock the door into it. In some of the later levels, disease becomes a bitch to deal with, and it's very expensive to build a large enough temple to try to cure everybody.

My solution when it got out of hand was to round up diseased minions and throw them in the locked room to keep them from spreading, then using imps to whip up a fight and throwing my sick units onto the enemy lines and locking the doors behind them. This would solve multiple problems: it would stall enemy aggression into my dungeon, it would get diseased minions away from my healthy ones, and it will spread the disease into the enemy dungeon, and the AI isn't nearly as creative at dealing with it.

Video games don't always work like real life. No matter how good they get, there's always some bit that means it's better to do something that makes no sense than to do what you would expect. Few examples:

Starcraft: There's an early mission where you need to survive for 20 minutes. Realistically, it would be best to dig in and try to repel the zerg assaults. However, because the zerg start out with a relatively small force and build up throughout the mission, I always faired best by waiting until after the first wave was over (when the enemy would have relatively few units on hand) and then going all out offensive and wiping out the zerg, then going to get lunch while the last 15 minutes count down.

How about the sandbag trick in Command and Conquer? You'd never think that sandbags were the most powerful weapon of any war effort, would you?

The Advance Wars series has a bunch of defensive "survive for n days" missions. Realistically, you'd again hunker down and blast incomming forces. But, advance wars gives the attacking unit an advantage, so to win, you have to be on the offensive.

Theme Hospital had a great one. Realistically, you'd never think that barricading the health inspector in a room somewhere would be a good idea, or just surrounding him on four sides with benches and vending machines, but you can do that in the game and then proceed to get away with the most greivous violations imaginable and he'll never be any the wiser. As long as he can't reach the front desk, he can't begin his inspection.

It's just the way games work. Every system has its flaws or exploits or whatever you want to call them, and they often make it so that doing things the "wrong" way is much more time and resource efficient than doing them the right way.

I used to play Civ II a lot, back before Civ III came out. Realistically? Democracy is great, I love Democracy, not a big fan of Fundamentalism. Playing Civ II, though... at the first sign of impending war, Democracy went out the window and in comes Fundamentalism. If I was having problems with civil disorder, why try to appease the people when it's often faster and chaper to have a revolution to Communism and institute martial law until the root problem can be corrected?

Re:oops, wrong reply (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196727)

Sorry about that, I know it has little to do with the grandparent post, replied to the wrong thread somehow

Education decaying into retold legends of glory... (1)

Znord (610696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195534)

Isn't it clear from TFA that we do have an innately creative slice of our society that now perceives an absolute fantasy .... (not unlike retelling war-stories generations later) to be real? Not only that... but they perceive themselves (as kings of every game they've played) as morally pure and wise??

It's logical, as he saw it! Not a single game *I've* ever seen has declared its sim-king to be morally skilled by a moral maze of moral obstacles... maximizing the goodness of all at the sacrifice of the fewest violations of principles. Such a game would even notice that those principles are later enacted by every single sim-citizen left alive as they learn of what is done in seats of power. [Hint: Death camps hardly qualify as good morality.]

All I'm saying is that every society suffers from shallow, mindless, compassionless culture that is often defended (here) as harmless. Now the fruits are falling off the tree in larger numbers (Columbine). The game industry needs to find a book somewhere (SOMEWHERE) and realize what exists outside a gun's barrel... what the consequences are for asking everyone to enjoy being a Barbarian for an hour. Rome falls.

Don't give me the bullshit that "Everyone Knows Its A Game". The evidence is mounting high right in that article that more than a few take the metaphor very seriously... and our current political shift... blowing off debt and lives without care... show it is growing indeed. Shallow, mindless politics from shallow mindless ethics.

The game industry (oh how direly important compared to, say, vaccines)... has apparently added to the numbness flowing from Hollywood and yet it doesn't even have depth in its plots! All the games referred to are huge, complex body count simulation systems to tell a story. Even wasting your life watching live sports has some credit toward seeing someone obey the rules properly or not.

So we are now back to a society with mutated glory-stories around a camp fire. Stories have always been told with many many many bodies forgotten because of one half-accurate hero who almost did something amazing (by luck). In old times, though, that lead to dreaming of thousands of Tutsis dead, thousands of Jews dead, thousands of Arabs. Legends built-to-order are dangerous things to rely on.... because they are too fun to listen to.

Everyone calls the stuff "crack", and walks away from the joystick without a real chemical addiction, but the question is what foundation of education is cracking? Aren't we experimenting with very old and very addictive illusions and lies that every history book admits (even after rewriting) always fails? Every society that experimented with fascism explodes into blazing ego and suffering that is retold for generations and generations of people.

Oh.. I forgot.. 10 years is a generation in computer years. I guess we need a fascist dictator every 30 years now to keep remembering?

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195711)

All I'm saying is that every society suffers from shallow, mindless, compassionless culture that is often defended (here) as harmless. Now the fruits are falling off the tree in larger numbers (Columbine). The game industry needs to find a book somewhere (SOMEWHERE) and realize what exists outside a gun's barrel... what the consequences are for asking everyone to enjoy being a Barbarian for an hour. Rome falls

In truth or rather reality (because truth is a big gray area), given the choice of dictator or emperor or feuer or supreme chancellor or what have you is that you will decide your own morality rather than what other people believe in.

The more powerful you become the less morality comes into play. You could simply kill a hundred thousand persons with your signature as simply as you could squash a bug.

God won't come down and tell you that you are wrong, so the only persons that can tell an all powerful person he is wrong is himself or someone else at the barrel of a gun.

Chances are he won't up and change his mind about his wrong doings. Either an assassin or a nation with an opposing army will have to wrest that away from him.

I don't care who you are and what your moral upbringing has molded you into. If you pick a person off the street and hand him absolute power, he will be corrupted absolutely because it the easier route than trying to hold on to morals.

People don't want restrictions because if you restrict someone with morals then in affect you limit their free will. What is life without free will? Inability to choose from right or wrong. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, it is easier to choose the wrong choice because it is easier to deal with. On the bright side, if you are all powerful then you get to dictate history and you get to decide what is right and wrong.

Moral relativity and cultural relativism is alive and well in the 21st century where the winners decide what history is and who is evil and who is saintly. If you deny it, then you might as well gouge your own eyes out and be blind for the rest of your life.

Don't discount Nietzsche, he was right about a lot of things that people are afraid of to know as the truth. And god agrees with him...

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14195827)

Uh, what? Short lunch break so I'll pick the one that stuck out the most to me:

The evidence is mounting high right in that article that more than a few take the metaphor very seriously

If you would, please give me a count of every person tried for murder, and attempted murder, that has been directly attributed to a video game. Feel free to narrow it down to your country (or state / province even) Now please compare that to the number of SOLD copies of every game with violence in it during the same period, same location. IANAS (I Am Not A Statician) but to me this clearly shows that it can't be video games causing violence, as there should be hundreds of thousands of additional murders every year caused by video games. Have you ever considered the fact that maybe those of us that played GTA, that haven't even had a speeding ticket in 5 years, are annoyed at being labelled dangerous citizens?

And something that has nothing to do with arguing for or against, just a line I think is a keeper:

morally skilled by a moral maze of moral obstacles...

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (2, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196370)

Not a single game *I've* ever seen has declared its sim-king to be morally skilled by a moral maze of moral obstacles... maximizing the goodness of all at the sacrifice of the fewest violations of principles

You have no clue what your talking about do you? The reason games don't attempt to score things on a moral basis is because the media would have a shit fit if games took that trend. What moral set are you using? Who decides the weight of those moral choices? What's immoral? These are matters that to this day have not been agreed upon, and you want a scoring system based on it? Ridiculous. The media will latch onto any angle they can get to sell advertising. If that means they will crucify video games one minute for being to violent and teaching our children to kill, and they will crucify them the next for attempting to force a moral ruleset on them. You cannot win that fight. And companies looking for a profit don't want to pick it.

Now the fruits are falling off the tree in larger numbers (Columbine). The game industry needs to find a book somewhere (SOMEWHERE) and realize what exists outside a gun's barrel... what the consequences are for asking everyone to enjoy being a Barbarian for an hour. Rome falls.

Quit getting your numbers from the media, they are over sensationalizing things to sell advertising - that's it. Check out the numbers [usdoj.gov] , especially chart 1.1 where you can clearly see the amount of fatal violence going down. The real problem lie in those children, and their parents. If you are susceptable to being turned into a killing machine from a video game, you are one weak willed fool. If your parents didn't teach you the difference between pretend and reality, then they suck as a whole.

Don't give me the bullshit that "Everyone Knows Its A Game". The evidence is mounting high right in that article that more than a few take the metaphor very seriously... and our current political shift... blowing off debt and lives without care... show it is growing indeed. Shallow, mindless politics from shallow mindless ethics.

Everyone does know it's a game. Just becuase someone takes the metaphor seriously doesn't mean that they will actually go out and kill everyone who disagrees with them. Rational people don't do that. They realize that in order to make the world as they see fit, that would probably be the most efficient and quickest way, but probably not the BEST way. Even you are exhibiting behavior, unilaterally deciding what politics are shallow and what ethics are mindless. In a free society if somebody wants to watch football all day, ruin their credit, and vote the way they want - they can. You seem to abhor that behavior, and allude to anyone who behaves in this manner as inferior. Am I to assume that if given the chance to change things you wouldn't? And how would you realistically do that without becoming a facist?

All the games referred to are huge, complex body count simulation systems to tell a story.

That's the point, they are cathartic. I love my tactical stealth games and squad shooters because I NEVER WANT TO ACTUALLY DO THAT SHIT! I would like a decent simulation though where the only person who gets hurt is a non-existent internet man. A bunch of ones and zeros fabricated from someones mimagination and brought to life through a console conduit. To say that this type of material in the hands of an adult is going to be the downfall of our rome is assanine. Rome didn't fall because the actors were putting on violent or Facist plays. It fell because a small handful of power weilders tried to manipulate the whole for thier own gain - and that mentality did not come from any media they ingested.

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196635)

what the consequences are for asking everyone to enjoy being a Barbarian for an hour. Rome falls.
I wonder if the ghosts of the 6,600 Sparticani that were crucified along the side of the Via Appia after their slave revolt during the time of the Roman Republic thought it was a great tragedy that Rome fell? (Rome didn't fall for years after this, the Ceasar's came first. And Rome was notoriously brutal in it's suppression of it's enemies, "the barbarians," long before this. Barbarians mostly get a bad rap. [nationalgeographic.com] )

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197305)

"The reason games don't attempt to score things on a moral basis is because the media would have a shit fit if games took that trend. What moral set are you using? Who decides the weight of those moral choices? What's immoral?"

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, was a game that revolved around you becoming the paragon of morality in the land. There was no evil magician at the end. There was just the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. Only accessible by one who was pure in all the eight virtues of the land. Who's morality? Why Lord British (Richard Garriott) the creator of the game of course.
In more modern games the common moral element is one of given a choice (although usually a black and white, either or choice) to the player - such as in Knights of the Old Republic. Be bad, be good either way you can win. Perhaps the odd thing is that often times in games being "bad" is easier or more straightforward than being "good". Someone comes up and pleads to you for help with some annoying problem, do you help him hoping for a reward? Do you butcher him, rob his corpse, go butcher those he spoke to you about and rob them too? Do you build a benevolent nation in Civilization aiming to win through piece and diplomacy? Or do you systematically exterminate every other nation in the game?
Hell, I wouldn't mind something like Ultima 4 again. Just because it was different and interesting.

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197587)

yeah, but the thing about those games is that the "morality" is deciding who you are going to kill. That's pretty much it.

I do agree that Ultima did attempt to make a game where "moral" behavior was rewarded, but you still went around and killed stuff - you didn't exactly try to form a commitee to discuss why the antagonist was so antagonizing.

I have never played a Civ game, but in those empire building games I would think that having a diplomatic route is neccesary to flesh out the concept. Beyond that, I can't really comment due to lack of experience with the titles.

Re:Education decaying into retold legends of glory (1)

manno (848709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197284)

What a load of BS. Only a few negligent whiners don't realise it's a game.

You are totaly blowing these things out of proportion. The sky is not falling, and the deterioration of family values isn't the medias fault, it's the families.

I watched He-Man, Superman, GI-Joe. All these shows had one thing in common all problembs were resolved through violence. Something bad is happening quick get my gun/sword/kneck-punch-fist, that's what I learned by watching these shows. Hey you know what my mom did when I broke my brother's arm playing "WWF" steal cage match in our backyard? She grounded me. Funny I got the blame, I had to take responsibility for my actions. I wonder what would of happened if she sewed the "WWF" instead?

Raise your kids teach them to take responsibility fo their actions. The truth is most parrents do a great/good job of this. Unfortunatly only the ones that are bad at it make the news.

-matt

Satire (2, Interesting)

neostorm (462848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195577)

I think this is a work of satire. Especially if you read through the entire article to the closing statements. As I read through I couldn't believe he could think so highly of such a single-minded enterprise, and I heavily disagreed with his statement that hardcore gamers only wanted to games that allowed them to kill. Maybe the definition of hardcore has shifted in the years, but my pile of strategy titles would argue with that initial claim.
Whether it's intentional or not, this article is pointing out how shallow and narrow our options for interactivity are. Technically we have a wider spectrum of options available to us in our games today, but it's really just a wider spectrum of violence. Solutions to problems that don't involve gunning down waves of enemies seem novel in action titles now-a-days. Half-Life was a memorable action title because you could actually *talk* to characters, the first 30 minutes of the game didn't even present you with a weapon.
I hope what the author is trying to say, is that we really need to look at other ways to interact in these worlds. I like the occasional action title as much as the next guy, but by *nothing but* killing waves of mindless enemies we're not only dumbing ourselves, but making the gamer demographic look more unappealing and less intelligent from the outside as well.
This is supposed to be a new artform. Play some Katamari, people!

Re:Satire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14195823)

"Damn that mindless violence. I'm going to go roll some innocent people up in a giant ball of glue, then hurl them into space. That'll show them what nonviolent gaming is."

btw- I love Katamari Damacy 1 and 2. It just seems silly to use a game that uses the satire of rolling up people that ask for your help into a ball, and hurtling them into space, as a "nonviolent" game. Granted, you're not running around gunning people, but you're sure as hell murdering them.

Re:Satire (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196086)

This is supposed to be a new artform.

It is what it is. (in you perception)

I.e. What do you think it is? Then it is so.

Re:Satire (1)

Alcilbiades (859596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197497)

You missed the point of the article. It was about optimization. A true hardcore gamer optimizes everything they can. Be it killing, population growth, disease, etc. Upon that basis he builds to the point that the morality of an all powerfull being is not what it is to a lesser person. He is 100% correct that the way you could deal with his made up problems most efficiently were as he presented.

I am sure even in Katamari that you have found optimized ways to make your stars or whatever. Part of the fun in Katamari is the gentle destruction you are causing.

human nature versus animal instinct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14195633)

The article is mainly a gamer's justification of how he reacts to games that appeal to animal instincts instead of human compassion. Well, DUH.
Being a wanna-be buddhist, I shake my head at the people who think this kind of tripe is insightful. Sure, in the short term, violence always seems like the best solution. But that's only if you're not thinking with your human mind, but rather solely with your animal instincts.
Civilization has a connotation of non-violence (among many other connotations, obviously)... the human mind can be civilized, but only at the expense of surpressing animal instinct.
It's all in the way you choose to live. "Nasty, brutish, and short" is a choice. "Live and let live" is a different choice.

Round up! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14195644)

"Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them."

You say that like it's a bad thing.

In Tropico 2... (1)

-pms-mistletoe (894503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195803)

Don't you give the citizens enough prostitutes and they get happy again?

Hey Tynes, get a clue (5, Insightful)

identity0 (77976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195841)

Wow, that was the stupidest political rant I've read recently, which is pretty bad considering how many we see on Slashdot.

I especially love this part: "A friend of mine studied political science at Yale. In one class, the professor posted a game scenario: You are the newly empowered dictator of a third-world country. Your people face famine, plague, poverty and unrest. What policies would you enact to solve these problems? (Fans of Tropico, you know how this works.) My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them.
---
The professor was overjoyed. Finally, a student saw the point of the exercise: making comprehensible what looks incomprehensible when viewed through the media, understanding how Papa Doc and Pol Pot and all their ilk come to power and why they make the decisions they do.
---
My friend figured it out. He played the scenario and won. He saved the Kobayashi Maru. It should come as no surprise that he was a hardcore gamer."


That's the most retarded economic/political idea I've read in a long, long, time. It would devastate that country and put it *back* several decades, as your state destroys the people who create your nation's wealth. One of the few things that Adam Smith and Marx would agree on is that a nation's wealth comes from the productivity of its workers - and no, having the government kill off the 'unproductive' would not help at all. High unemployment is a sign of poor utilization of labor, not of defects in the population.

How well off would the U.S. have been in WWII if they had 'liquidated' all the unemployed during the depression? And did you notice how many great scientists came to the U.S. fleeing death camps like his friend proposed, to avoid being labeled as 'unproductive to society'? Some of them helped build the A-bomb, I'm sure you've heard of that? Point is, governments who make judgements about who is 'useful' to society and tries to destory those who aren't usually harm their society itself.

Notice the examples he cites - Papa Doc and Pol Pot - are not known to have improved their countries at all. Even cursory knowledge of history would clue you in to that. This is why Poli Sci people should never be trusted with anything more important than a Sim city or civilization.

Congratulations, John "Dumbass" Tynes, you've managed to give gamers an even worse reputation than before - now we're not just mindless killers, we're closet fascists waiting to have our putsch, too.

Re:Hey Tynes, get a clue (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196081)

Once Master Huang and his students watched a debate in which one of the contestants claimed that women really wanted was strong, dominant men. Afterwards his students asked him what he thought of this idea.

"The more a problem outstrips a man's intelligence," said the Mater epigrammatically, "the greater fascination a simplistic answer holds for him."

"But what if," asked one of the students, "the man is a teacher, and he spends seven years thinking about the problem? Will he come nearer to the Truth?"

"On the contrary. The more he wrestles with the problem the further from the Truth he will be. The answer he arrives at after seven years is certain to be not only simplistic, but utterly wrong," replied the Master.

"But suppose," continued another, "the man is a Minister, and the problem is of such vital importance that no error is permissiable?"

"In that case," said Master Huang, "the answer he arrives will be simplistic, wrong and violent."

Re:Hey Tynes, get a clue (1)

xtieburn (906792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196222)

At first I couldnt agree with your post more and believed he was making a flawed point as well.

That said reading on more it becomes clear that he isnt mentioning that death camps and such are a good idea. Its just that it becomes an understandable idea. As the line about Papa Doc and Pol Pot describes it shows why people can allow monsters in to power and why they make there decisions because on the surface it looks great. Cull the useless and the brilliant survive to make a better world. In reality it doesnt work like that.

Thats the point of games and the point of the article. The reason why we like games for there violence is because of those times when your looking at a situation like Iraq and for just a second you think 'Screw it. Nuke them all. Nuke every last sodding one of them.' Only the sickest people actually want to do that but everyone has those moments and its that mentality that games allow us to act out. A release from logical indepth thinking to the simpler idea of kill kill kill.

I think the conclusion is that games are just a healthy way of releasing our frustrations at the world.

Re:Hey Tynes, get a clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14196263)

You missed the point. The professor was trying to demonstrate the motivation behind why these leaders acted as they did, not that their policies were beneficial. The author selected Papa Doc and Pol Pot for that reason.

Re:Hey Tynes, get a clue (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196518)

I definately agree that the author makes several leaps to bad conclusions. I suspect "his friend" was merely himself in the example given. The professor was likely mostly excited that someone brought up an alternative solution, based on the events of the Pol Pot and Papa Doc, even if it was an attempt at trolling the exercise (death camps a good idea? you've pretty much nailed the problems with it) . The exercise is but one example of that. Near the end, he makes the statement "I believe humans have a deep longing for authority, to possess it or to obey it." Yet his entire paper focuses on the possession of power, not the deeply rooted instinct to obey authority. Probably because it doesn't exist. Violence isn't how the fascist state solves fundamentally unresolved conflicts; its how every state resolves conflict. The process for approving or denying the use of force may be different in a fascist state than a democratic one, but we can come up with examples of all sorts of states applying violence to completely resolve a conflict.

In fact, the best games available today are team based games. Counterstrike, day of defeat, UT2k4 (the better variants, anyways), CTF, Battlefield. Here in the multiplayer conflict space, we can observe human nature in action. Of course at a fundamental level these games are still not perfect; if one team "wins" the other "loses." But here, in the team based combat world, you have a common goal, and different ideas of how to accomplish them. To take battlefield 2, you've got lone wolf snipers, squads following together, commanders of all sorts. Which are the most popular servers? Those that are highly policed by a few authortarian admins, or those that employ democratic administrative methods? I believe people will gravitate towards servers whose policies best suit their interests. Of course this ease of immigration is found nowhere else in reality, but it still serves to highlight the human nature of voting with your feet.

Essentially, this man is overreaching both his own talents and reality. Which is why I hardly ever read fan 'zines. If you've got a great idea about games, I'd much rather see you implement it than write about it.

Missing the point. (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197128)

You're missing the exact point the professor was trying to make. The goal was to understand Pol Pot's position, not to endorse it. It's much easier to fight ones enemies if you understand them. It's easier to notice that a country is heading down a road to death camps if you understand the (faulty) logic that led there. The next real world facism probably won't look like WWII Germany or Italy. But the reasoning that leads there will likely be the same.

Tynes's bigger point isn't that deep down all gamers want to run death camps. His point is that in games we tend to be as efficient and ruthless as possible. Games don't reward doing things for the right reasons. Games encourage gaming the system. We change our game play to optimize for what the game rewards. That sort of thinking, combined with some faulty input data or logic can lead to facism.

Pretty site... (-1, Offtopic)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195986)

Pretty site, but also annoying. I had to maximize the browser window because some of the content was inaccessible off the left side of the window. I suspect it is this rule that is the cause:
#content { position: absolute; top: 50%; left: 50%; height: 585px; width: 1000px; margin: -293px 0px 0px -500px; }
It positions at the center, then adjusts margins to be half the fixed content dimensions, effecting centered content with a disregard for windows smaller than the content. 1000px wide is not good for XGA or WXGA tablet PCs in portrait orientation.

There's another way sites center their content in a way that puts content off-left that can be fixed by setting borders on divs in mozilla (some apple.com pages) but I haven't investigated it yet.

The Managed Utopia (0, Troll)

Kismet (13199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196082)

We need the ignorant, the useless, AND the unproductive people for our economy to work properly.

If we had intelligent, productive people, they wouldn't buy things they didn't need. They wouldn't tolerate useless sinecures, bureaucracies, or government jobs. They wouldn't be satisfied working for somebody else, or taking charity from the State. Useful, productive people don't need mass-produced goods made identically by machines, because smart useful people won't work in mindless jobs operating and managing the machines of mass production (whether they be hardware machines or social machines which are comprised of humans, yet lack humanity).

Intelligent, productive people have art and culture in their blood, and they release it by creating things with their own hands by the virtue of their particular genius. Intelligent, productive people are energized by other intelligent productive people, and as individuals and communities, they can take care of themselves.

Intelligent, productive people aren't born, but are made. America was once a land of such people, but now you look at yourselves and see what you have become, and you hate it. That is why you fight.

And you know what? Your manner of fighting is completely useless. It's only a way of hiding from the problem. We treat our symptoms and ignore our problems. But that's what the Managed Utopia is all about: leveling the masses and robbing them of real courage to stand up and make changes.

Do you think if America had stayed faithful to her original Dream that her armies would now span the globe? That her Senate would echo the politics of George III's parliament? That places like Wal-Mart would even be possible? I walk the isles of Wal-Mart and see full-grown men playing games on the demo XBox console. This is what America has become.

Intelligent, useful, productive people don't have time for video games.

Re:The Managed Utopia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14196671)

Intelligent, useful, productive people don't have time for video games

Yeah, they build model ships. Idiot. Some people want to control the story, not have it dictated to them.

Re:The Managed Utopia (1)

Kismet (13199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197775)

Yeah, they build model ships. Idiot. Some people want to control the story, not have it dictated to them.

At least I have something to leave behind when I die. If I please myself while I'm at it, that's just a bonus.

Want to control the story? That's what real lives are for. Why do great things in a game, when you can do great things in the real world?

I take some time out for games too. I'm not a professional anti-videogames-troll, just a guy with some insight that maybe you hard-core gamers would like to think about without getting too offended.

Re:The Managed Utopia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14197145)

"Intelligent, useful, productive people don't have time for video games."

But I'm guessing you'd say they spend a lot of time posting on slashdot...

Re:The Managed Utopia (1)

Kismet (13199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197816)

But I'm guessing you'd say they spend a lot of time posting on slashdot

I wouldn't say that. I'm lucky to get one good discussion out of Slashdot in three or four month's time. The rest of the time I read the headlines. I like to know what people in my area of interest think is interesting and important. Sometimes I have comments too.

I even fire up my ps2 for the occasional video game. I have my favorites.

Re:The Managed Utopia (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197612)

If we had intelligent, productive people, they wouldn't buy things they didn't need. They wouldn't tolerate useless sinecures, bureaucracies, or government jobs. They wouldn't be satisfied working for somebody else, or taking charity from the State. Useful, productive people don't need mass-produced goods made identically by machines, because smart useful people won't work in mindless jobs operating and managing the machines of mass production (whether they be hardware machines or social machines which are comprised of humans, yet lack humanity).

Thank god, then, that we're not all intelligent, productive, pretentious divas with our heads in the clouds. Who'd farm, run cable, or build things? You know, the things that grease the wheels of everyday life enough that people can think about lofty topics (or, perhaps just play some Doom) rather than worry about whether this year's crop will sustain. Without labor and materials, intelligence is near nil worthless.

Re:The Managed Utopia (1)

Kismet (13199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197734)

The funny thing is, I had in my mind the exact sort of people you mention when I say Intelligent and productive people: Farmers, plumbers, craftsmen, contractors, shoemakers, tailors, grocers, artisans, cooks. People who make things. I'm not talking about intellectuals at all. Everyone should be an intellectual.

The problem, as I see it, is that Americans now work so that they can play. Play is the reward for a hard day's work, because they don't really like what they do. It used to be that we loved our work because we had independent livelihoods. It's the psychology of "positive" and "negative" reinforcement that is needed to sustain a Utopia. Now our focus is recreation; in the past it was self improvement.

An awful forum to express these opinions, as you can see. :) Now I'm a troll because I suggested that grown-up gamers might be wasting their time. I wonder what I'm trolling for...

Khmer Rouge (1)

MasterLock (581630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196171)

Yeah, because killing everyone off works so well. It was tried by the Khmer Rouge [wikipedia.org] in Cambodia and just look how well it went for them.

Actually, pick pretty much any nation-state through human history and something of the sort inevitably pops up. In the end, nothing is gained from it except a ton of hurt and pain.

Re:Khmer Rouge (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196296)

It worked great for the Japanese. How do you think they got such a homogeneous society?

I'm not so sure about this... (1)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196340)

This is why fascism is inextricably linked with violence: When the individual and the fascist state come in conflict, violence is how the state achieves its aims.

When I played the original Castle Wolfenstein, or for that matter any of the games in his list, I wasn't enjoying it because I thought my political ideals were more righteous than the ideals of the pixel-people I was shooting.

I'll admit I've only played about half the games he lists in his (very cheesy) bit at the beginning, but to be honest my political standpoint comes into a game of Day of Defeat just as much as it does into a game of Counterstrike or Unreal Tournament; not very much at all. I do not play these games to silence my compentition, or win political arguments.

I play these games for the same reason I play Nanaca Crash [geocities.jp] for hours until I get a 10,000 meter score, and then email the link around to all my friends with a "Beat my 10,000 meter score!". It's fun to compete, either against humans or a computer opponent. It's the same reason I enjoy a good round of ultimate frisbee.

There are certainly games with political themes, such as Half-Life 2 where you're fighting an oppresive government, trying to "save the world - by force", as the author puts it, but this is really just window dressing. The story is interesting, but it isn't what makes the game fun.

Re:I'm not so sure about this... (1)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197345)

"The story is interesting, but it isn't what makes the game fun."

I disagree. Often, half or more of the fun of many of the single-player games I've played, and a couple of the multiplayer ones, is the story/flavor. Counterstrike and Unreal not so much... Half-Life and Half-Life 2, definitely storyline. World of Warcraft, definitely flavor (although supplemented by community[same with Guild Wars, only with community/storyline{yay, nested parenthesis things!}]). System Shock 2, that was most of the point of the game... same with Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. Pretty much every RPG ever.

A very limited perspective of "gamers" (1)

tigris (192178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196378)

Hardcore gamers don't buy games where the goal is to compromise. They buy games where the goal is to save the world - by force.

I'm reading this article more as satirical commentary, rather than as a serious analysis of gamer problem solving skills. Are FPSs more popular in comparison to RPGs and MMOs, I wonder? I sort of doubt whether fascist approaches to problem solving would appeal to people who play these types of games. Did he even consider the possiblity that people who like and play FPSs are doing so for the escapism the games provide, rather than because they're trying to express their internal Hitlers? The reason I like to play Half-Life is because of the story and the physics. And blowing stuff up is fun. People (even if they're Combine) - not so much.

Paddy Tanninger, the Caddy Manager. (0, Offtopic)

elchanman (895443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197148)

Yeah it rhymes, big whoop wanna fight about it?

Legal violence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14197431)

If you think about how much legal violence can be put on you, you would realize the whole system isnt working.

First you remove rights from the people by the way of "Felony", then you increase the "Felony"'s to non-violent crimes, and soon you have over 1/2 of your population that cant vote or have standard rights.

A 2nd class citizen.

Then you put these people into prison, make them work for 20 cents an hour, while the prison owners make 2-3 dollars an hour. The prison system makes money, its now important to have more criminals.

Now that you will make criminals, you should make money off them by taking their cars, houses, and everything they own without due process. If they where not criminals, they wouldnt loose anything, see perfect circle logic.

Now that you have so many "Criminals", maybe they start to think about how injust they are in the courts, and in daily lives they might even "Riot" or start a revolution.

Lets take a man, pays his taxes, raises his family, loves his wife. The wife can now fall in love with another man, take 1/2 his pay, his house, and put the man on the street. The man is not a criminal, but you tell him if it doesnt do what hes told, you take everything from him, call him a criminal. So he feels violent against an unjust system and either kills himself or kills other people. Look the system just made another criminal.

The whole system we live in is more violent than you wish to believe, the "Peace Officers" already think they have to shoot first or crush a person that doesnt agree with them.

If you have a gun pointed at your head, do you have the right to fight back? American society says not, you must do it legally, which is insane. The legal system is to protect the powers that be.

If you are being beaten by a cop, dont you have the right to defend yourself?

People who crave power often become police, so you now you have gun welding luntics that can kill. What a system.

Machiavellic? (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197518)

In case you havent noticed, what they are talking about is the concept of machiavelli "the prince" which is basically "The goal justifies the means" meaning that often the ones in power may occlude ethics in order to "achieve a greater good" killing the ill is a perfect example of it (a technique that was sadly used by the nazis) of course in practice this has never worked (at least not lately I hope) since most people do have strong ethics and will eventually rebel (by themselves or aided by their governor enemies) to stop such practices and take revenge. Which is more or less what happened in WW2 (I think, Im uneducated in the subject) , the horror stories of the nazis fueled the allied forces to destroy their growing empire and "free" mankind of their evil.

However in games: pfft! most gamers are pretty unethical about gaming since is an scape to their actual real life ethics, just look at what people have done in games like fable, b&w, tropico, kotor and even GTA (in which you are already a criminal to begin with) not only most gamers choosen to be truly evil if they had the choice, they even went beyond the developers expectations in their machiavellic thinking.

A perfect example: Peter Mollineux in an interview confessed he was stunned when certain gamers found out a way to kill an entire population of a village in Fable (an event thats not supposed to happen since towns are heavily guarded) and then manage to sell it back to new coming NPC's building by building amassing a virtual fortune in the process. (And of course the new NPCs would eventually get killed too) virtual genocide for fun and profit!

More horror histories can be found in B&W (like the world record of killing 1000 peasents in a single thunder strike) or GTA.

I think the point was missed (1)

da_Den_man (466270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14198048)

After reading the responses, I felt compelled to actually RTFA and I see that most replies are way off the mark as to what the subject / purpose of the article was : "But these games begin at the point where politics has failed, where the will of the state to survive can only be expressed through violence. "

You can say all you want as to how horrid it is and how we as a people should learn to 'get along". The games would be pretty boring if thats the case.

Sorry, the most exciting/terrifying/exhilirating time of my life was when I was in the midst of a firefight. No right, no wrong. My squad against the others. No politics. If by chance some one stood up and said "Can't we all just get along" I would have personally shot them. The nature is that nothing said will stop the enemy. Regardless of who that enemy may be. Thats the nature of human instinct (perfect example is that you might disagree and post a reply) . In a situation like he was describing, the quickest way to bring order is to control everything. The best way to maintain order is to allow others a say and a community be formed. That would not work in a short period of time. Someone has to be in charge, and someone has to make the tough choices. Thats what I think the Article was about anyhow. For the "instant gratification" we play war games. We shoot to kill. We take satifaction in the fact we survived 'the onslaught" and ones who did not shoot or shoot in time failed. That part of the game. A game that solely based itself on politics would, in my opinion, not sell well at all.

Because it would take too much time.

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