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Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the handwringer's-symphony dept.

The Media 87

simoniker writes "Gamasutra has just posted an interview with author Gerard Jones, subtitled 'Sex, Violence, Tension and Comic Books,' in which the writer of 'Killing Monsters' talks about violence and games eloquently. When asked: 'What do you think it is in your work that resonates with the gaming community?', Jones comments: 'Video games have been so much under attack recently, that I think there's a certain nervousness. Most people in this business are very pleasant and non-confrontational and the fact that they are being reviled as the causes of crime, causes of violence, is disturbing. On the one hand, I think people want to know how to respond to those criticisms. But on the other hand, I think there's some genuine anxiety that maybe games have a bad side, maybe there is a problem, and how do we deal with any guilt or fear?' He goes on to suggest of attacks on gaming: "I would say now we're kind of at the tail end. If games continue to push boundaries, particular ones could come under attack. A lot of it's just the medium being around long enough that people have realized the world hasn't gone to hell.""

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87 comments

Same old same old (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370672)

The thing that always leaps to my mind, and they touched on it in tfa, is the persecution of comics in the late 40's early 50's. they were blamed for everything, from making kids more violent, to promoting homosexuality (all those guys in their tights with their little boy sidekicks), to promoting Communism...Not that everything wasn't accused of promoting Communism right then, but that's beside the point. They had congressional hearings, they came up with standards for "decency", the works.

Flash forward to the 80's when comics started going really adult in this country for the first time. Really dark, gory, and real. Congressional hearings? No. New standards? No.

And why not? Because they were just comic books. The same people who had read them as kids were running the country, and blew off the concerns of the few as unwarranted. Comics had been around forever, and nobody'd seen any ill effects, so what was the big deal? Not worth getting in a flap over.

The biggest thing against games right now is how new they are. You get these hugely violent movies, above and beyond the pale, and no one cares. Why? Because people grew up with movies. You understand whats going on there, there is no mystery...You can flash back to all the risque crap you watched in your youth, and know that it didn't warp you forever.

In ten, twenty, thirty years at the outside, video games will be completely accepted, and no one will give a damn when the new super realistic holographic blood & guts game comes out...Till then though, we're just going to have to suck it up, because the old fogies are still running things and they lack clue.

Bans kill something else instead (5, Interesting)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370758)


We've seen it with every ban in existance. It is either impossible or inhuman to exercise orrectly, and it never kills what it intends to ban. Instead the world evolves and the ban is ridiculed, along with those supporting it. Why? Because it is an artificial attempt to lead people into streets they want to break out of. And eventually they do.

This is of course no argument for/against the reasoning behind the ban. I'm all for more educational and more natural games that do not involve sex and gore, but I also want to give sex and gore it's rightfull place in our human existance. I think sex is educational, as it tells something about the boundaries of our perversities. I think gore is eductional, as it tells something about the boundaries of our fears. I think young people are looking for those boundaries and eventually, with our without help of their parents, will discover those in some way. Trying to hold these things back from them is keeping them from maturity in those fields. Declaring a ban is probably more distubing than anything else.

Re:Bans kill something else instead (4, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371038)

"Sex and gore" have been the predominant features of nature for hundreds of millions of years. You may want to re-think that phrase.

Re:Bans kill something else instead (1)

Flendon (857337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17375218)

"Sex and gore" have been the predominant features of nature for hundreds of millions of years.
Your statement is correct as you use the past tense. For the last few centuries, and in ever increasing amounts, children are sheltered from both until they become adults. When they finally do encounter these matters years after they should have it comes as a shock to their world views. It is emotionally destabling to them when they discover just how much of the world revolves around "sex and gore". So what the grandparent seems to be trying to say is that the kids should receive, in moderation, the exposure that has been unnaturally stripped from them.

Re:Same old same old (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370790)

The biggest thing against games right now is how new they are. You get these hugely violent movies, above and beyond the pale, and no one cares.

What do you mean? There have been vocal opponents of violence in movies for decades. Same goes for TV, and I'm guessing they were successful because TV today is a lot less violent than it was in the 80's. Video games are not, and have never been, the sole targets for the anti-violence crowd.

Re:Same old same old (1)

ruffnsc (895839) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370812)

Thats right because who will think of the children!

Re:Same old same old (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370850)

When was the last time you saw a law passed in the states that made selling a violent movie to a minor against the law?

Parent's groups decry violence in movies, but it's not to the degree that they get outraged toward games...A movie that was exactly the same as GTA San Andreas would barely show up as a blip on their radar.

Re:Same old same old (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370912)

Not relevant to my point. I was simply pointing out that the statement "no one cares" about violent movies is demonstrably false.

Re:Same old same old (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371400)

Let me make a disclaimer first. I don't think government has any business getting involved in this at all. Having said that, how can you compare someone watching a 90 minute movie a couple times to the hundreds of hours that a lot of these kids spend playing a video game...

Re:Same old same old (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371508)

No, states don't make violent movies illegal, though there are some places that have tried to ban people under 17 from R-rated movies.
The people who decry violence in video games have given up on films. That's why most of the high-grossing films in the last few years are PG. Admittedly, even PG films tend to have some violence; parental action groups in America tend to worry more about sex, and about violence in films that look "innocent."
As for movies just like GTA San Andreas: I think that, if they exist, they would probably be called "urban action thrillers." Parental groups deal with them by delegating them to theaters in (bad) neighborhoods where the parental groups have relatively little presence.

Re:Same old same old (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371684)

As for movies just like GTA San Andreas: I think that, if they exist, they would probably be called "urban action thrillers." Parental groups deal with them by delegating them to theaters in (bad) neighborhoods where the parental groups have relatively little presence.

Just as Vice City was inspired by the crime dramas of the 80s, GTA:SA was inspired by the urban movies [ugo.com] of the 90's. Those movies were widely screened, and generally well received.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373768)

Of the seven films in that linked article, I had heard of and remembered four.
Also, most of those films were all but restricted to inner-city theaters when they came out. Trust me, I heard the controversies about Boyz in the Hood and Menace II Society. The only one that I don't think got ghettoized in its time was Casino, and that is because it was by Scorcese.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Flendon (857337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17375300)

Out of the seven movies listed I had seen six of them by the time I was 16, half of them in the theater. These movies were the popular ones in my school since I was bused across town to be one of the token white guys in the ghetto so that no one could complain about the schools racial divide. However, I watched movies near my house, or rented them in a local video store, in what was considered a "good" (i.e. mostly white) neighborhood. The only one I didn't see in my non-ghetto neighborhood you ask? Casino.

Huh? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373070)

"parental action groups in America tend to worry more about sex, and about violence in films that look "innocent."

They are obviously not doing very well, as I haven't seen a movie aimed at kids in the theaters that did not have what most would consider inappropriate material in a very long time. Heck, in Shrek 2, they had a guy giving himself a hummer in the castle courtyard. Now, I'm all for blowjobs in movies, and I am pretty liberal about what I would allow my kid to watch, but many of the "kids" movies today are only a step below Porky's. My only problem with this is that they are slipping it in. If a kid sees sexual content in an movie aimed at adults, their parents are aware of it, and then choose how to address it. Either by talking, or not letting the kid watch those movies. In kids movies, most of the populous seems to think that for some reason kids do "get it" so just about anything goes.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373714)

Understood. I've seen and cringed at that sort of thing myself, many times. (Well, among the things I actually got.)
Actually, I think that the theory behind including multiple-entendres in children's films is that it'll whiz above the heads of the young and innocent; after all, many of those films move quickly enough that it's hard to dwell on any one such thing. The filmmakers bother because they seem to think the hidden-in-plain-sight ref. will add "pleasure" for older viewers who do get it. They don't seem to consider audience members asking "what did that mean?" at all.
Also, some filmmakers actively try to avoid G ratings on theory that no one over 13 would voluntarily watch a G film. If the material is naturally G, the main way to force it up is through gratuitous dirty stuff.
This is esp. painful when the material being shifted is a cartoon. Since the MPAA rating board doesn't take American-style cartoons seriously, such a cartoon rated G can get away with far more than a live-action movie rated G, or even one rated PG. Now imagine someone trying to get a cartoon rated PG--and succeeding... No, wait, you have seen the results of such things.
You already know the upshot: most films aimed at "family" audiences are unsuitable for younger viewers. And since the practices are nearly universal, as you also noticed...[sigh]

Re:Same old same old (1)

SpiritGod21 (884402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372040)

We probably haven't because the law's already in place. I know, here in Missouri, they card you if you're trying to buy a movie that's rated higher than your age permits.

Admittedly, though, they do the same for games. So why can't we leave well-enough alone and hope parents pay attention?

Re:Same old same old (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372688)

Not not enforced by law, but your point stands: most places voluntarily enforce the suggested age restrictions of the MPAA movie ratings. The same is not true for the ESRB's game ratings. Or maybe those ratings are just not as well known or as well accepted.

Re:Same old same old (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372118)

Cause kids play games and adults watch movies... unless they're animated... hmm strike that... kids mostly play video games now and only want to watch a movie if it is a feature length film about their favorite video game star....

Re:Same old same old (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373878)

A movie that was exactly the same as GTA San Andreas would barely show up as a blip on their radar.

There is a fundamental distinction between watching a movie for two hours and role-playing it's central character for days or weeks on end. You might want to read Gene Wolfe's cautionary tale "When I Was Ming the Merciless."

Re:Same old same old (3, Informative)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371690)

Same goes for TV, and I'm guessing they were successful because TV today is a lot less violent than it was in the 80's.

I just have to know, who is your cable or satellite provider on your planet? Because on my planet I see shows like the CSIs, Prison Break, 24, Supernatural, Buffy/Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica. (Not, of course, counting stuff like Deadwood, Rome, Sleeper Cell, etc etc on the premium channels)

These shows generally don't have the same bullets/hour ratio that shows like the ATeam or Miami Vice did back in the 80s, but they all feature far more violence.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17377006)

I'm as jaded as any Internet user, but there are a couple of TV shows that have had such vomit-inducing violence that I refuse to watch them anymore. But shit, that's just television, nobody watches that. Clearly we should be more worried about violent videogames, where you're almost always the good guy, and usually just shoot people.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Anonymous Curmudgeon (146746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17379602)

The A-Team show had plenty of bullets flying, but how often were people actually hit? Generally, the violence was limited to people being knocked out or thrown from a vehicle by an explosion. I suspect the blood and gore were limited to help the show appeal to a larger family-oriented audience, though I suppose it is possible censorship was involved.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17381064)

I'll trust you there. But that was 20 years ago! Have you seen a CSI? House? Grey's Anatomy? (Which is a nice soap until you get to the OR...) Or that trailer for Heroes that includes a shot of one lead sitting on an autopsy table--after her chest was cut open? That trailer wasn't as disgusting as it could've been, but it kinda shocked me...

Re:Same old same old (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17383462)

I see that I answered the wrong question. Sorry...
The relative lack of blood and gore in shows like The A-Team was to make the show suitable for a large family-oriented audience. (This is not the same as "appeals to": if it were, TV would not be as bloody as it is.)
Back in the '70s through much of the '80s, there was a convention of "family hour"--from 8 pm eastern/7 pm central to 9 pm eastern/8 pm central. There was also a strong push to minimze violence on TV, or at least the explicitness of that violence, because it was believed that watching violence made kids violent. In fact, I think it was an FCC mandate. For these reasons, and to allow room for schedule shifts, there was relatively little blood & gore on TV from those eras.
Family hour ceased to be mandated some time ago--probably some free-speech-related thing. If it had been continued, I doubt the FOX network would have been successful as it is. When the networks no longer had to worry about protecting the values of their younger viewers, they could focus on the apparent attractions of their primary demographix. This included graphic violence: the FCC wouldn't have needed to ban violence if there wasn't a demand for it, right? The rest is natural escalation.
It's a pity, really. I hate seeing gore on TV; I prefer that it happen offscreen...

Re:Same old same old (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17371988)

TV is less violent than back in the 80's? Are you serious? That's funny. 80's TV shows were campy. The main show I can remember that comes close to what we watch today is Miami Vice. It's pretty muck like today's cop shows like the different flavors of CSI. If anything today's TV is pretty boring with "Relaity TV's" take over of the major networks. Sorry but masturbation won't make you go blind, sitting too close to the TV won't make you go blind, and violent entertainment (games/movies) won't turn you in to the next legendary serial killer. Violent games are an outlet for agression. Have you noticed that many schools aren't even letting kids be kids? They can't play normal age old playground games for fear they will fall down and skin their knees. It's a joke. We make up things to complain about.

Re:Same old same old (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17372192)

Wow, you're blind.

TV is less violent because the market wishes it so. Advertisers want less violence because the people they want to sell their wares to want it. It's got nothing to do with government censorship, which is what TFA was about, and everything to do about What The Market Wants, which is what Slashdot seems to advocate, unless the market wants something else.

Not to mention that it's becoming more violent, lately. Anyone notice the violence in Heroes?

Re:Same old same old (4, Interesting)

MollyB (162595) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371088)

Flash forward to the 80's when comics started going really adult in this country for the first time. Really dark, gory, and real.
As a proud fogie (can't help when you were born...), I must point out that you left out the comics of the late sixties, Zap, Yellow Dog, etc., featuring R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson and many others. 'Twas psychedelia mixed with sex and "kozmic trooths" in the comic medium that deserves mention, too. These were "underground" items and were generally purchased at City Lights Bookstore, SF, or one of the zillions of head shops around back then.

Violence yes, sex no. (2, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371210)

In California, we have our governor, the Terminator, coming out against violent video games. Arnold does have his amusing moments.

But to really push the critic's buttons in the US, you have to have sex. No game publisher in the US would publish the stuff Illusion [google.com] in Japan sells. "Battle Raper", "Sexy Beach", and "Artificial Girl".

Typical bugfix report: "Breast slider 1.5 download: With Ver1.0 was not possible, "it rubs", the chest and the nipple "it picks", "you play with the both hands", and so on colorful action was added. With adding these, expression conduct voice of the girl substantially power rise! The skill which thinks the girl and the breast you are shy please do freely. In addition, with Ver1.5 as been able to look at the girl to every nook and cranny, it reached the point where polygon of rear side of [bichimatsuto] [bichichiea] goes out."

Illusion apologizes for the delay in shipping the "Sexy Santa" module, which slipped to January 9, 2007. They're also having a contest - best sexy screenshot wins a microwave oven.

It's all so normal over there.

Re:Violence yes, sex no. (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372564)

You mean the same way Arnold's been speaking out against steroid abuse [msn.com] and promising to help lead the way in green energy with his personal fleet of 8 humvees [slashdot.org] ?

In California, we have our governor, the Terminator, coming out against violent video games. Arnold does have his amusing moments.

Not quite. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17371408)

50 years ago when I was a kid, we had cap guns and air riffles. My brother, Mike, I and two American Indians, Danny and Harry, used to play cowboys and Indians. We had a one square block area with lots of building, trees and brush to hunt each other in. Anyone shot had to stay dead for a fifty count. Our parents bought us the quite realistic-looking toy guns (much better than what you find today). No one thought twice about this; it was just clean, wholesome fun. However, in most places today, if kids were to try this there would be a SWAT team dispatched and the parents would wind up in forced counsilling. And it is my generation doing this. Sad, but true.

I also like to point out that in the late 60's, when I was in High School, the rules regarding weapons were as follows: (1) All guns were to be checked in at the office before school and picked up after school except during hunting season when you were allowed to keep an unloaded rifle in your school locker. (2) Students were not allowed to carry switch blades longer than six inches or fixed-blade knives longer than twelve inches. There were no rules regarding pocket knives. In fact, you were more likey to get detention for carrying a squirt gun than a real one (but only if you squirted the Vice Principal after he squirted you).

How did we ever get into this sorry state?

Re:Same old same old (1)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373026)

Flash forward to the 80's when comics started going really adult in this country for the first time. Really dark, gory, and real. Congressional hearings? No. New standards? No.
Perhaps some of us prefer to Batman forward to the 80's, or Guy Gardner forward to the 90's, or Spider-man forward into the year 2000. Don't force us into your Flash-centric world view.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382108)

Well, the Flash has travelled through time using the cosmic treadmill [wikipedia.org] more often than Batman, Guy, or Spider-man have travelled through time, so it's reasonable to use his name in reference to time travel.

Re:Same old same old (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373816)

The thing that always leaps to my mind, and they touched on it in tfa, is the persecution of comics in the late 40's early 50's.

Comics in the late forties and fifties saw a massive decline in sales.

Content was stagnant. The kids began watching TV.

Adults were drawn to the raw pulp fiction paperback novels of Mickey Spillane and others.

The solution for some publishers was the horror comic. Sold for its shock value.

Sold off the same racks as Pogo, Casper and Scrooge McDuck.

You bought comics at the neighborhood drugstore or you bought them at the tobacco shop which sold True Detective bondage openly and hard-core porn under the table. There was nothing in between.

Flash forward to the 80's when comics started going really adult in this country for the first time. Really dark, gory, and real

Sold and priced for distribution to adults through independent bookstores outside the red light district.

Because they were just comic books

They were not comic books. They were "graphic novels." The distinction is more than a marketing gimmick when the artist is Frank Miller and the title "The Dark Knight Returns."

Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17370674)

These are a few of my favorite things.

Re:Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17370760)

Why not call the thing Homosutra, for what it is?!

Re:Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17370936)

And when combined they are even better! I like to stalk, rape, and murder young girls and then steal their PlayStations.

Re:Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17375220)

I can see the next slashdot article "Sony fanboy + PS3 = Rapist"

Nethack (3, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370858)

I am quite certain that the depths of my imagination are far more disturbing than anything these graphic video games can portray.

Chopping, bludgeouning, burning, crushing, eating corpses, seducing/being seduced by succubi and nymphs, looting shops and killing shopkeepers and soldiers, summoning demons in hell, you name it.

Very little of this kind of stuff actually goes on in these graphic video games, and when it does, it is *never* anywhere near as violent as what goes on in my imagination when I am playing a game like Nethack. Video cannot even begin to represent this level of madness.

Re:Nethack (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17371172)

Lucky you, you deranged sociopathic freak.

Ordinarily your kind don't so proudly and loudly profess your derangement , but I guess, since this is Slashdot, you suppose we'll be impressed (queue the one or two freaks that really are...).

You sick fucking lunatic...

Re:Nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17371506)

Thanks for your kindly worded input, I am sure that it will prevent the deranged sociophathic nethacker from becoming a depressed serial killer.

Re:Nethack (3, Funny)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371706)

Thanks for your kindly worded input, I am sure that it will prevent the deranged sociophathic nethacker from becoming a depressed serial killer.
Let's hope he gets eaten by a grue

Re:Nethack (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17380392)

> Let's hope he gets eaten by a grue

A grue? You been quaffing too many potions of hallucination?? I'm far more worried about getting eaten by those damned a's and q's ... :]

Re:Nethack (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395980)

>I'm far more worried about getting eaten by those damned a's and q's ... :]

Learning to get early Poison Resistance and Speed will make you laugh at yourself for ever being worried about them.

L's and R's still bother me, if I let them. Most players make the mistake of using Genocide. I consider that to be
a net balance at best, and I suspect it may be a net liability. You read that right -- I consider that going genoless
may indeed not be so much a challenge as a benefit. I've written on the subject many times on r.g.r.n. and elsewhere,
and I let the success of my characters stand in evidence.

Re:Nethack (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17396764)

You say that like I don't try to :] I suppose I do straddle the boarders of letting myself get too weighed down by crap, but I get poison ASAP... if I don't die trying. The bigger problem is running out of HP, though I guess that's why you said speed helps.

As for genocide, well, I grant that it's about a half step above cheating, but after polypiling I have abcghmqrtvLMNPRTUVYZ; genocided with that unfinished wizard of mine. I have to think that geno is still a net gain for survivability if you take it far enough :]

The only annoying things about genociding too much are that H & D are great for items (provided you at least have disintegration resist... which isn't too hard for me since I usually have reflection by then with MR from the spare quest artifacts... what? after what I geno'd you can't be surprised to know that I have all the good neutral artifacts courtesy of the castle wand). Having a spare b?genocide isn't a bad escape method, either, in some cases. An uncursed one too, for that matter.

The biggest problem I can see is a somewhat increased chance to meet the nasty &s when there's little else to generate. But that mses of polypiling usually leaves me with inedible corpses and such. Given that I know ID as a wizard, it's not so bad to ID eggs until you find some cockatrice eggs and those damned &s become trivial. Stone + striking and they vanish. Only the three riders remain a challenge at that point... but not so much that I'd wade through 80,000 messages of "The snake misses you." just to avoid genociding a and S by then :]

Re:Nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17372116)

UD Warlock i assume.

Till Death Quote (not verbatum) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17370906)

"People have killed each other. People are killing eath other. People will continue to kill each other. Class dismissed."

A good history lesson indeed. Not sure if video games cause violence as much as humans simply being violent... like many carnivorous mammals. But maybe video games make people less violent. Perhaps I don't need to beat people up because I get my kicks watching red pixels. It's hard to tell which way things go, but none the less society needs something specific to blame when problems arise.

I am a bit different in that I don't like finding different scape goats for unproven problem sources. Instead I just blame president Bush for everything. Divorce? Bush. Migrains? Bush. Obese? Bush. Wow, this is much easier then speculating on who/what is the real culprit... since most people don't guess the usual correct answer - oneself.

Not much more after this holiday season (5, Insightful)

Oddster (628633) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370954)

Right now, the Nintendo Wii is wooing the very people who have for so long opposed video games, on whatever grounds. Soccer moms around the country are picking up Wii-motes, playing the games, and having incredible amounts of fun. Along with dad, grandpa, and grandma.

I have a friend whose retirement-age parents, who have never touched a video game before, were introduced to the Wii - and four hours later, it was my friend who had to call it quits because they tired him out. Soon the video game market will reach far beyond the young-single-male demographic and into the general population, at which point people will figure out that video games are no more or less harmful than movies, or even books. People may just finally realize that perhaps if they won't take 6 year old Johnny to see Silence of the Lambs, they probably shouldn't let him play Resident Evil either.

It won't be very long before the anti-video game nuts fade into oblivion.

Re:Not much more after this holiday season (1)

angrycrip (1029476) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371516)

The Wii may prove there is more to gaming than the teenage male gamer market (and the similar recently-a-teenage-male market), and then we'll see more diversity in games- one result would be more non-violent choices that are still fun and popular. And more choices for gamers like me who can take or leave shooters!

Here we go again... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370956)

When I was the lead tester for Backyard Baseball GameCube at Atari in 2003, I was accused by my roommate's mother of ruining the lives of kids who sit indoors to play a baseball video game instead of going outside to play the real thing. When I pointed out that my parents kicked my ass out the door even though I had an Atari 2600 and a baseball video game, and that it's the parents responsibility to raise their kids instead of the government or video games, she got mad. The next day she plucked all the petals off of my petunias in the front yard to make potpourri. Go figure.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#17370982)

The next day she plucked all the petals off of my petunias in the front yard to make potpourri. Go figure.

      Had she done that in England you could have had her arrested for that. Go figure...

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17371222)

He probably could've done it in America too, where they like property rights even more than we do. He just realised that meeting reactionary assholes with reactionary assholery isn't the right approach.

Re:Here we go again... (4, Funny)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371428)

Yeah. Damn potpourri. Evil stuff. Should be outlawed everywhere.

people have realized the world hasn't gone to hell (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 6 years ago | (#17371444)

HAHAHAHA, thanks for that.

Re:people have realized the world hasn't gone to h (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17371574)

Why?

No problem with games (2, Informative)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372166)

From what I see, the media makes claims that games such as Bully and Grand Theft Auto are causing problems with society. Granted, the GTA is designed to promote immoral behaviour within the game, as most players expect it necessary to do some crimes to advance through the game (while at the same time, trying not to get five stars).

However, in most of the cases displayed by the media, the situation is usually:
- Overblown, such as the infamous "beating the hooker" in GTA - where such behaviour adds stars and very rarely is of use.
- An advertisement - 25 to Life was designed to parasitically exploit the media controversy.
- Moot, because the games in question are already rated for adults - no developer should have to tone their game designed to be rated 'M' just so that it can be played by teenagers.
- Inconsistant - people decry games at random for being violent, but none are as serious as Solder of Fortune which implements dismemberments, and various death animations (including hits to the neather region.) Likewise, 'R' rated films are given more leinant treatement.
- and/or Incorrect - Arlene wasn't named after a character in Doom.

If it weren't for the last two points, I would say something about Red-Pixel Syndrome.

The result is whenever I see an US state trying to pass a violent-video-game law, I immediatly treat it as a joke (especially when they know full well it won't survive the First.) This is in contrast to laws that were passed in Canada, which I agreed with since they brought video games on-par with other media.

Re:No problem with games (1)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372694)

I just wasted like 5 minutes trying to figure out what your acronym spelled...

We are living in the same society (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17375148)

that allows kids 18 years old to be sent to areas they never heard of (Iraq) to fight and die and get mangled/permanently disabled for a cause that has little to do with self-defense (or anything rational, really).

But god forbid that they have any alcohol before they are 21. Or see a violent movie or play a violent game before they are 18 (and get a taste of the hell that is war/violence. Even if they think it is fun at the time).

I sometimes think our culture and priorities are schizophrenic. Sometimes I know it is.

No real point, just a rant, asides the fact that maybe we oughta see video games as the advanced pretend violence it replaces - playing cowboys and indians with replica guns, and later GI Joes or comics. Maybe it is bad, but don't make a medium the culprit with something that has been ingrained in us for a long time. I have to laugh when the crappy 11 o-clock news reporter with his/her seriousness put on the for the camera earnestly "reports" about the dreaded violence in these games, just after the same channel showed blood/guts/gore on CSI or some cops show.

I don't get why these anti-video_game forces get the powerful voice they do, other than the TV channels themselves hating videogames since it is conditioning a generation of kids to prefer active entertainment over passive entertainment, or so my theory goes.

But then, internet > games in this arena (as far as time consumed per average person), and maybe that is why there are the number of TV news scares about the internet is far higher than on games lately.

Re:No problem with games (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17375798)

I always wondered about the infamous beating the hooker thing. I mean maybe it actually is a benefit to our society. I figure if you suddenly have all of these video game players deciding they should beat hookers (lets go ahead and assume, that all of those geek and average teens will be magically transformed into the thug teens that troll the streets looking for gangs to fight and hookers to beat) maybe just maybe it would discourage young american girls from being hookers. I mean really...as a hooker if your chances of being beaten to death are significantly increased by the release of a video game, I imagine it would discourage more girls from being hookers wouldn't it?

I propose the most violent video game ever "Street Cleaner" where the goal of the game is to dump as much cheap ammo into as many low lifes, thugs, hookers, criminals and other such things. We can really see if there is a real effect. Do more kids go out on vigilante runs? Are more kids discouraged from doing criminal things for fear of the increased vigilantes?

Re:No problem with games (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17379842)

Note: not all of us aggregate hookers into the same class of people as "low lifes, thugs, ..., criminals, and other such things". For that matter, we may not even put drug dealers and murderers in the same category. I just don't want to hear whining about how slashdotters are only concerned with their own little fights over games and movies, yet unconcerned with the larger political fight over freedoms for all people and whatever supposedly benign vice they may have.

Hear, hear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17381610)

Agreed.

Re:No problem with games (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17382954)

1. Humor. Please look it up.
2. Given that in most places prostitution is illegal hookers and criminals are one in the same. So don't go bitching at me about aggregating anything
3. Your "supposedly benign" vice comment cracks me up as piss poor justification for getting your jollies of however you like at the expense of others while throwing up the blinders on anything that would potentially make your little vice look bad. So by all means...please ignore what the drug trade does...or even better...go look up trafficing in persons or the sex trade...I mean kidnapping girls and the like is totally ok as long as you can spend $10 to stick it in one right? Keeps costs down.
Some guy growing pot in his basement isn't even in the same league as a drug dealer. Quite frankly I see no problem in locking up meth dealers with the murderers, but putting pot smokers in jail is just dumb. So hookers and drugs aren't about political fights and freedoms, its about sick and twisted justifications of the abuse and exploitation of others for your own pleasures.

Re:No problem with games (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17384704)

1. When the crowd doesn't laugh, do you blame the crowd or the comedian?
2. True; your aggregation with "low lifes", however, indicated not a legal definition of "criminal", but a moral one -- which I find myself disagreeing with.
3. Are farmers not exploited too, on some level? Should we ban the sale of vegetables because someone, somewhere, was the victim of violence? Or only if most farmers are? Or all? I draw a rather trenchant line between drugs and prostitution themselves and the background of murder, theft, kidnapping, rape, etc. that you describe. I'm not saying those are not present, and I'm not saying they're acceptable; I simply mean what I say. You should consider your argument in light of the prohibition period: your argument would have been tantamount to saying that because the alcohol trade went "underground" as a result of the prohibition, and became intimately associated with gang violence, the trade of alcohol itself was morally reprehensible thus justifying the prohibition. Yet lifting the ban, rather than making things worse, actually improved the situation -- though there's no denying it left an indelible mark on us. I propose that the two aspects are in fact quite separate, and should be treated as such.

Similarly, the debate on violent videogames should be split at least into two debates: on whether or not, factually, they have an effect on actual physical violence, and secondly whether or not it is the government's place to restrict them even if they do have some role to play in our non-virtual world. One does not flow from the other.

Re:No problem with games (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386060)

1. You took something that was obviously nonsensical and chose to take offense to hookers being called criminals and how you should be able to enjoy whatever vice you want and how its hypocritical to talk about video game violence bans when you cant legally do the drugs you want and pick up hookers. There is no parallel and that is just a stupid point to make. 2. You keep insisting I am aggregating anything, again presumably to take as much offense to a nonsense comment as humanly possible and once again try to establish some strange moral highground when arguging about how your inability to do drugs and hookers is some terrible breech of your freedom. Just in case you aren't aware GTA is about thugs, low lifes, drug dealers, hookers, etc etc etc. Given that I was talking about a nonsense game that would parallel GTA it would only make sense to list the character types involved in GTA don't you think? 3. You have surely lost your mind. You are going to try to draw a moral equivalent between a girl selling her body and farmers growing produce? This again just shows a selfish goal of "I wanna do drugs and hookers regardless of consequence". You also try and drag prohibition into this using strange tangents. Prohibition is only related in that disallowed the sale of booze, given that the act of buying a bottle of your favorite stuff doesn't really have a psychological or physiological effect its pretty different then selling your body. With the exception of a select few, the vast majority of street drugs have a huge negative impact on society, and actually are closely related to prostitution, as it is one of the key factors involved in keeping the women in the business. Hooked on drugs? Can't get a job cuz your too strung out, here, take your pants off and Johnny here will give you your next hit. This is nothing new, this is how that has been run since the dawn of civilization. I don't view drugs or prostitution as some great moral thing, I view it simply as things that have large negative effects on society.

It is fairly difficult to show how violent video games have had a negative impact on society. Drugs and prostitution are terribly easy to show the negative impacts. So it blows my mind that in a discussion about video games you attempt to find some strange moral high ground and relate drugs and prostitution to video games, and then further to growing produce. So please do come back to reality.

Re:No problem with games (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388644)

To be clear: it is possible to desire a freedom and not desire the use of it. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I use no drugs, and I have no use for hookers. It is improper to attribute my position simply to carnal desires, and is no real counter-argument in the first place. I may be in a better position than some in arguing for these freedoms, but your argument would strip the condemned man from his right to appeal on the basis of his personal involvement. It would be equally improper to reject my position on the assumption that those "not involved" have no say. The two are simply unrelated.
You suggested that it could be beneficial to create a game in which players are encouraged to beat/kill prostitutes (among others), as it could push players to do this in real life, which in turn would make the job less desirable, thus changing society. I'm merely questioning your belief that this would, in turn, be "beneficial for society" in some absolute sense (reasserted outside the 'joke') -- this is where you aggregate and I do not.
I'm confused by your assertion that alcohol has no deleterious effects (loss of control? addiction? liver damage? death?), while prostitution and drugs do (though upon whom is unspecified), with the exception at least of pot. You seem to still fail to draw a distinction between the drug trade, as it is today, and drug trade itself, or in general between an item and its environment, between the abuser and the abused.
If a prostitute is hooked on drugs and can't get out of the trade, is the problem prostitution, or drug addiction? Is the problem the availability of drugs, or their use, their abuse? If drug dealers feel the need to thieve and murder, is the problem the drug trade, or the underground (illegal) nature of their dealings and their lack of recourse to legal means such as the court system? (This is where prohibition comes back in: the mafia became a power in the US principally because of prohibition, and the end of prohibition brought back onto the market alcohol that was not stained by a history of bribes, murder, etc. It's entirely possible the same would happen with a legal drug trade.) If prostitutes could more easily make use of the police and the courts in their own defense, would we still see the same rate of kidnapping and rape? Is there not a difference between a sex worker (by choice) and a sex slave (by force)?
I point out these subtleties not to insult you or the mock you, nor trivially, but to engage you in a more precise discussion of harm and cause/effect. Even if this is, to your mind, "just video games", unworthy of deep discussion, the problems are the same, the arguments are the same, as they are for drugs, prostitution, child pornography, or the trade of vegetables. Do we prohibit the ends because we want to prevent the means? Do we prohibit the cause, because of a possible outcome? Do we treat citizens as predictable machines, or with the assumption of free will? (Not a discussion of free will itself, mind you.) Do we know what's best for our citizens, do we protect them from themselves? It's all the same, if you step back just a bit.

Re:No problem with games (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17389662)

Again I think you took my cynical view of this video game nonsense and my proposed solution too seriously. The "just a video game" thing is in an entirely different world from drugs and prostitution. If I want to protect my children from the influence of sex, violence, whatever in a video game, as a parent all I have to do is push the button on the TV labled power. Its an insult to have legislators involved in this at all since I already have absolute control just by being a parent who actually parents. Drugs and prostitution is a much different problem and there is no "off" button that I can push to keep it out of my life.

I never said alcohol didn't have negative effects, but the same goes with something like marijuana. The effects are relatively minimal and easily mitigated through responsible use. However, I don't really believe there is a 'responsible use' scenario for crack or meth or any number of other drugs. I also never said that simply making it criminal is the best solution, in fact many other places have proven there are better ways of handling removing such elements from society. Beyond the obvious problems of spread of disease, and the psychological issues that go along with prostitution, the whole "sex worker" thing amuses the hell out of me. What value does "sex worker" add to society? I love how they parade around at these little conventions, form their little trade groups, and pretend like its a legitimate occupation and isn't just the epitome of laziness or that their industry has any upstanding virtues. I have a friend that spent a year or so working at a porn store... That industry is sick, and degrading in more ways that can be described. I am certainly not puritanical about sex, but as soon as you add money to the mix, it without a doubt goes south. Some think the military is bad about promising an education, but the numbers are FAR better there, something like 1-5% of the girls who planned on using it to get through school ever do. The hooker with a heart of gold thing is pretty much restricted to hollywood.

Yeah it doesn't matter what kids see or hear... (2, Interesting)

b.burl (1034274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17372750)

...so lets legalize smoking ads aimed at kids. Afterall, if behaviour and personality aren't affected by what people see and hear, then who cares about advertising laws.

To the people who think video violence doesn't matter: how do you know this? I am not a psych expert, so I cannot say anything with authority, but intuitively it seems a steady diet of narcissitic, solitary, violence oriented activity might affect child personality development.

Re:Yeah it doesn't matter what kids see or hear... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17373442)

Oh yeah, like there aren't any under-age smokers already.

Is a 15 year old smoker less morally correct in your mind than a 20 year old smoker?

Stop trying to protect people from themselves. Taboo == attractive to the younger crowd. I'm convinced that if smoking were completely legal at any age (like alcohol is in some non-USA countries), and people didn't piss their pants about how evil it is, then there wouldn't be nearly as many smokers as there currently are.

As with all bans, it ultimately does not have the intended effect, and it builds a powerful black-market around the banned items. Which is great if you wanted more criminals and less tax income.

Re:Yeah it doesn't matter what kids see or hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17373896)

I'm convinced that if smoking were completely legal at any age (like alcohol is in some non-USA countries), and people didn't piss their pants about how evil it is, then there wouldn't be nearly as many smokers as there currently are.
Have you been to other countries? Most countries are as bad or worse than the US when it comes to tobacco use.

Re:Yeah it doesn't matter what kids see or hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17375394)

but intuitively it seems a steady diet of narcissitic, solitary, violence oriented activity might affect child personality development
Hmmm....so what you are advocating isn't a totla BAN on violent video games, but maybe that PARENTS should be proactive in what they allow their children to watch/play, and LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY CAN WATCH/PLAY IT

Re:Yeah it doesn't matter what kids see or hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17384692)

Your straw man is very lifelike. I laugh at it, to prove it false.

Some of the most - no, the most important lessons we learn in life come from watching others around us respond to certain stimuli. Children laugh at a violent cartoon because their parents laugh, and they respond to real violence with shock because their parents respond with shock. We humans don't learn how to deal with violence by consuming violent media. We learn how to deal with violence by watching the reactions of people around us. Over time, we learn the difference between reality and fiction, and in more time, that distinction transforms into the difference between lies and the truth.

Children who deal with violent content in the right context - surrounded by adults who deal with the contents appropriately - actually learn. What we should worry about are the cases where the child has no real people to cue for him. In the absence of a real person to take cues from, the child will invariably turn to the next most authoritative source for behavior; the illusionary people in the media itself. This can be detrimental because, as the child would learn if an adult were with them, these characters are not meant to be taken seriously. They may be flawed, they may be overwrought, they may even be villainous. This is why the advent of childrens' television saw the rise of melodramatic hero tales for children. If the parents were going to leave their kids alone with the TV, the least the writers could do was make it clear who the good guys were!

My point is, most of the people you see saying things like, "I played tons of violent video games, and I'm fine!" aren't saying that they think the effects of media violence are negligent. They're saying that experience balances things out. 2 cents.

Violence in games (1)

dw604 (900995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373104)

If there is not the fear of being "killed" or "busted" then there is no rush. I agree violence can be more or less explicit, based upon the amount of graphic material, blood & guts, etc. but what we do we see on TV, in movies and in real life? How can we censor games when we don't censor the porno shop in the middle of town, suggestive late-night TV "phone sex line" ads or put all explicit magazines on lockdown? UFC, "50 best beat downs", "Top killing machines" etc. are shown on TV all the time. There are pictures of mass graves in our high-school text books. Games are just (generally) light-hearted, good-spirited fantasy and sport based on real life.

Re:Violence in games (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17383668)

We do censor the late-night phone sex-line ads--or rather, the TV stations do. That's why you only see them late at night.
Some communities try to censor their porno shops. They set up rules mandating that XX% of all the content in there can't be any racier than in normal shops. They try to zone their city so that those shops can't be "in the middle of town." Of course, current law in Kansas is that you can't write zoning laws whose sole purpose is to prevent porn shops from setting up shop...
They don't put all explicit 'zines on lockdown, but the ones with the most dirty pix--or is that the dirtiest dirty pix?--can only be sold in porn shops.
Which channel was "Top Killing Machines" on? If it's Animal Planet...
I've a feeling some school boards would just as soon leave out the pix of mass graves in the history books, even. How many of those pix are in color?

tired of the deep denial rampant in computer biz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17373184)

"Most people in this business are very pleasant and non-confrontational "

talk to the people who got bought out by EA. or the people who work for vid card mfgrs. or people who work for gaming 'journals'. the industry is a very tough one, and people get treated badly all the time. this statement is nuts.

secondly, though, im quite tired of people crying abut the 'attack on games'. games are a huge industry. they are not oppressed. gamers have enough disposable income to throw down hundreds of bucks a year on entertainment - they are also not oppressed.

subjecting young children to hours and hours of simulated violence and/or sex is to be questioned by rational people. do studies on it. dont just dump it in kids laps and say everyone who questions it is a control freak nutjob.

if games didnt change the way we think, the military would not be using them to recruit people.

and i dont understand why its so 'controversial' to claim that your mental model of the world might be influenced by the models introduced in fiction, whether it is books, stories, movies, comic books, or video games.

the model of the world in most video games is that violence is a good way to solve problems. this doesnt mean youre gonna pick up a gun and go kill someone. but it might have something to do with penny arcade being pro-iraq-invasion and pro-bush. i dont know. someone should study it.

another thing i notice about intense gamers is they get really, really, really angry about anyone who even asks these sorts of questions. as if someone has ever even come close to 'taking away' their games. it hasnt happened, and its not going to happen. as time goes on, games get more and more violent, culminating with the simulated murder of prostitutes for money in GTA3. i mean, where is this mythical 'war on games' having won so many battles?

all people are asking for is a little research, asking a few questions, getting some honest answers from science. the only countries that ban certain games are australia and nazi germany .... like those kids dont just download the games off the internet anyways.

the whole 'persecution complex' of these upper middle class white people really scares me. you arent persecuted, and you arent under attack. you own and rule most of the wealth on this planet.

and yet anytime anyone wants to ask some basic questions about something like violence, video games, and children, you go off on some spittle filled rant about freedom and your rights.

its really nonsense. it makes you look like a bunch of nuts and extremists.

it makes me wonder if violent video games destroy a persons ability to consider alternate points of view to their own, and to step back and take perspective and apply reason and logic to problems instead of blunt instruments of mockery, screaming, and claiming oppression.

Back in my day... (2, Funny)

Guinness Pig (1042288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17373212)

My parents wouldn't let me watch the "A-Team" or "Dukes of Hazzard" because they thought they were too violent and sexy. To this day, I have not turned out violent. Or particularly sexy, dammit.

One of the best TV shows ever... (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17376148)

I'd highly recommend Bring Back the A-Team [imdb.com] . Here's the first part [youtube.com] .

b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17373334)

b

YEs! 7p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17373606)

A post I made on a forum previously (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17375692)

Hello all, I decided to finally write this down in response to some people asking me why I enjoy immeasurably violent video games and movies. This explanation is written using the game "Manhunt" as it's primary example, mainly because of it's subject matter (which can best be described as a "snuff video game"). PLEASE read it in it's entirety before responding, it's easy to think i'm making an uninformed point without reading the whole thing; I explain EVERY viewpoint I express.

Think about this, folks.

This "game" is not about sneakin' around, trying to see what the biggest mess you can make is. It's about much more than that. This game is in direct relation to the JTHM (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez, for the uninitiated...) in all of us, the little black beast that we keep to ourselves.

Ever say "I wish he were dead", or "he makes me so angry I want to kill him"? Of course you have. Everyone has. This game is the digital manifestation of those thoughts. It's not about suffocating some guy, or creating the pink mist... This game does one thing and one thing only: it asks you a question. A very simple question to state, and frankly a very simple question to answer:

Is your black beast fictional or real?

Do you have a little playground for the demon inside of you, someplace it can go and harmlessly let out it's frustrations and rage? Or are you so jaded and blind that you cannot discern the difference between reality and fantasy?

Frankly, if you enjoy this game (along with ANY violent video game or movie, regardless of it's subject or presentation) you are not sick. You are normal. You are provided an outlet for the most primal emotions that you, as a human, have. Your most carnal instincts. If you don't like this game because the graphics suck, or the control is wonky, fine. BUT. If you despise this game because you say it's "too violent" and "unneccessary", and "too realistic", and whatever else, guess what: YOU are the sick one. That's not to say that you can't see it as being gross, or that you don't like it because you supposidly don't like violence (then why do you slow down to look at car accidents, hmm?) What it means is that if you say that violent things such as this push sane and "normal" people into being murderers in real life...well, I'm sorry, but you are wrong.

The first step anyone takes to becomming a murderer in real life is not being able to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Manhunt is fantasy. Does that mean something similar has not happend/could not happen? No. But your experience and memories of it happening are. It's a video game. It is designed to be a playground for your little black beast.

If you take it as being anything more serious than that...well, turn yourself in now.

You have to allow the little monster to come out every now and then and release it's frustrations. If you don't, you risk becomming a quivering mass of nervous and dangerous flesh. What better place to do this than in a simulated environment with simulated violence where the only things harmed are your eyes for staring at the screen?

Re:A post I made on a forum previously (1)

Caffeinate (1031648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17379710)

I'm not religious, but I think my feelings on this post can best be summed up by saying, "Amen!"

Sex, Violence, AND Tension? (1)

SupaYoda (531436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17376542)

From my experience, sex and violence RELIEVES tension.

People need to blame themselves (2, Insightful)

Carldian (1044056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17376636)

This whole games are too violent thing is absurd. Parents who demonize games like this need to work on their parenting skills instead of wasting their time trying to censor things. Im a product of divorced parents, grew up playing all sorts of violent video games and watching movies like full metal jacket, colors, basic instinct etc. and i turned out ok, i got my education and now have a great job and working on a family of my own. i not a thief, or a murderer or any sort of psycho / felon. Why? Easy my parents did their job. My father may have been a little nuts taking me to see "Colors" when i was 10 years old but he did teach me that those are bad things that happen in real life. What difference does it make to play GTA and steal some cars and do horrible things in the game when in the news you hear of people killing kids just to steal their video game console, or of how many people died in some war? If you dont want kids to play violent video games then thats your decision, nobody is making you buy your kids anything. Besides it will be a loooooooooong time before video games can produce the type of violence us humans can make in real life. Should 8 year olds be playing GTA? Probably not, but its the parents responsibility, after all its your kid. And think of this, what do you prefer; for some stressed out guy to go shoot it out in some online session of halo so he can vent? or should he bring his rifle to the post office and vent there...?

Video Games (1)

JerryLs (587277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17377208)

A game is supposed to be fun, and yes, an escape from reality, but I see no need to portray sex or out and out murder, even in a game. This is not pushing the limits, it is trying to see how stupid a game maker can be. Keep it up, and the day will come when none of us can play.

An objective opinion (1)

Socguy (933973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17377940)

Reading the posts it seems that most every one here is in favor of sex and graphic violence in video games. Personally I don't really have a problem with this content being in games. As a sociology graduate, I am familiar with the research on this topic and it basically says that sex and violence on TV has no discernable impact on one's behaviour. (I'm not aware of any good research on video games, or violence of an interactive nature, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.) That being said, I don't play games with overly graphic depictions of violence or gore, nor do I often play games where the sole object is indiscriminate violence like FPS. The only exception I make is when my friends set up a LAN game. Even then I don't get invited too often because then we generally end up playing Starcraft (hopefully CIV4 one day). I guess you could say that I have a personal philosophical objection to overly graphic or violent games. Frankly, I feel that if you wouldn't play the game without it, you're getting something from it and I just don't like the idea of getting something from violence. S.

How Much is TOO Much? (1)

writerjosh (862522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17379662)

The common argument for video games is that they do no harm in the long term; that "sex and violence" are nothing new, and looking back, they haven'' really warped our minds. Perhaps, but is there a line that goes too far? For instance, in the article, Gerard Jones brings up the analogy of porn, claiming that it is a safe release of tension. But then people get squirmy when bondage is introduced. Can the same be said of video games? If sex and gore are "harmless," then in theory, game developers could develop games detailing the most horrific and disturbing acts ever conjured by the mind, and in turn, gamers would be 100% "unaffected" by the most extreme violent one could conjure up. Would gamers still defend this extreme violence as "innocent" or is there truly a line which should not be crossed?

I tend to agree that most games out there are for the most part harmless and don't create psychopaths, but I don't think that's the real concern of anti-gamers. I think the real concern is the shaping of the mind on an imperceptible level that intern will affect society negatively. I don't think that anti-gamers are worried about creating a society of blood-thirsty killers, I just think that they are concerned about creating a society that is more and more prone to accept "normal" violence in reality if they can accept "extreme" violence in their games? If fantasy violence is tolerated and accepted, would street violence, domestic violence, or war violence be more accepted because it's accepted in games?

So, my question to gamers is, is there a line that goes too far? Can games be TOO violent? If so, where is that line, and would you defend government action to protect society/kids/us from such extremes?

Re:How Much is TOO Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391772)

Can games be TOO violent

No, more voilence makes a game less realistic and won't pass to reality. Less voilent stuff like a game about setting stuff on fire, breaking windows, might actually give some retards ideas that they can use in real life.

Oops, forgot my subject (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17379850)

You know what it comes down to? Kids just want to win. Hell, grown ups just want to win. And most video games now, the only way to win is to destroy your opponent.

I've suffered a couple GMs that couldn't escape this philosophy in pen & paper D&D. Our party would come up with an ingenious way around some npc/encounter/boss, and the GM would basically "cheat" so that we'd have to fight it anyways. So in the end, you had to combat the big gahuna to win. This mentality causes the underdeveloped mind to associate the euphoria of winning with killing, violence, and destruction, because it's the only way to win.

Make a game like zuma as deeply involving and fun as something like world of warcraft, and you'll see video games receive a different light. But most just jump on the bandwagon. Sword + shield + evil troll = $$. Add a couple trees and publish.

Re:Oops, forgot my subject (1)

Koriani (869587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17380728)

Make a game like zuma as deeply involving and fun as something like world of warcraft, and you'll see video games receive a different light.

They did.
http://www.puzzlepirates.com/ [puzzlepirates.com]

But it was created by a (then) no name company, so its release didn't get the frenzy that some games get. Still, the player base is growing.....

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