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VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:28 pm
by darkgodakito
What are your thoughts and opinions on the current state of how the media and politicians of the world treat violent video games? Do you believe that they need to be better regulated to prevent them falling into the hands of underage kids, or do you believe that the entire thing is a waste of everyone's time? Let us know!!


Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:28 pm
by rampant_a_i
Oh, my, this is such a loaded subject, full of lots of considerations that shouldn't be taken lightly. And this only points out that the media and politicians' glaring predeliction to jump to conclusions and seek easy answers has become foolishness on display. It is too easy to seek knee-jerk solutions, such as banning guns, the NRA and video games, but those are more likely actions they were seeking justification for anyway — for their own ulterior motives.
Conflict is always going to be a part of the human condition, and violence is but one form of that (albeit extreme and usually undesirable). But I will say that games (or other medium) which may or may not have violence (as a natural part of any given scenario they portray) is a far cry from those individual examples of games that are solely comprised of pure violence, and yet I would not ban those either.
For myself, I take the worldview that we each have inalienable rights and certain freedoms to which no government has any rightful say. I would rather err on the side of giving the individual the right to decide on how they will exercise their rights, freedoms and privledges, rather than giving that power over to government to decide. But as a parent it is impingent upon me to make sure my kids are raised with a value system that upholds human life, while understanding the gravity of violence, when and where it might be necessary, even as a last resort, but also with the rational and cognitive judgement that civil discourse is the more optimal approach where possible.
So having said that, these dubious entities are proposing solutions involving banning and restricting our liberties in reaction to certain cherry-picked acts of public violence that have raised everyone's attention of late. But heinous as they are, these incidents are not the result of too much freedom, but rather are due to our modern culture as a whole and its absense of any objective moral values concerning human life. Video games, movies, handguns, rifles, knives, explosives — these are all tools and creations of Man, and in and of themselves are not inherently "evil". No, it is what we as humans do with these that leads to such trouble and misery, for ourselves and others. And they can take these inanimate things away, but people will always find a way to do harm if they're so set.
Rather, we need to change ourselves and our attitudes towards our neighbor and fellow man, and at the same time change how we raise our children. It is culture and society that needs to change. And no, Government is the least equipped to guide or dictate objective morality and the values we adopt. (Heck, Government rarely succeeds even at the jobs for which it is intended, let alone ones totally beyond its domain.) No, that is our job.

TL;DNR — We don't need anymore stinking laws or bans.

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:29 am
by YotaruVegeta
It's the same ol' crap. With the latest horrific school shooting, the same talking points pop up. Let's blame video games, because this killer played violent video games at some point.

Do I have to point out that tens of millions of people play games, and don't go on a psychotic rampage? Games are not the problem. There isn't just one thing or person to blame, either. There are many factors that go into a person leaping to the conclusion that killing innocent people makes sense.

OK, let me take a breath. Back to games. Even though I will support violent video games until I die, I do think it would be a good change of pace if the big developers started making less violent or family friendly games. I know it doesn't make a lot of money, but you could at least make games with bloodless fantasy violence.

Violent video games aren't driving everyone to kill, but they can give kids bad ideas at times.

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:37 pm
by VicMonado
This is a topic that seems to resurface pretty often despite the answer being indisputably simple.


Games are made with the express purpose of making murder simulators and everything you hear about video games in the media is 100% true #JusticeforJack. I know this because I once played Dead Space and felt an urge to leave earth and kill necromorphs for reals with that plasma cutter I keep in the shed.

To dumb parents: Kids are even dumber than you, so raise'em right by keeping them away from your adult material. Don't have governments and companies to do that for you and if you need them to you should go back in time and undo the existence of your child by undoing your own.

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:18 am
by vailreth
Other Media forms are Jealous of Video games market share... and i believe have a market interest in vilifying them in an attempt to get back some of that market share. also Games Make a convenient scapegoat for the ills of the world the governments do not actually want to address. instead they make big hollow shows of blaming video games so they look like they are doing something. but thats what broken governments do they distract the populace from real concerns by dangling small or even non problems over people with huge amounts of hype.
as far keeping Mature rated games out of children's hands, i may have a controversial opinion, i think that parents should be held accountable for proving them to their children, make it a misdemeanor and add a fine... I am not for further regulation (lootboxes aside) but actual legal enforcement on the Purchaser side. we cant Make parents be parents but we can hit them in the pocket book for not doing it in this instance. But that would require actually doing something which no one actually wants to do. there are so many sides to this question to approach it from and i need to get back to my original thought, the idea of demonizing the Video game industry in order to try to win easy money is what it boils down too in my opinion. keep the masses discussing things and eating out of the palms of News Media's hands doesnt matter if its true or just a good story

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:10 am
by xahldera
Oh ho ho! Time for some really angry ranting... :mrgreen:


Well...not really (As in not really an angry rant. The wall of text is still incoming so brace yourselves...)

I was originally going to rush into this debate, firing on all cylinders, rage flowing and just type over and over again "'Games do not affect people and the politicians and moral guardians are all idiots who only care about money and their own self-interests!' Move along nothing to see here! End of story!"

However, I had some time to stew over the subject and think about it, along with take in opinions from other podcasts, pundits and gamers. Some of them I don't agree with, some of them I do and others have made interesting points I haven't considered at all.

Ultimately, my personal belief is that violent Video Games are not the cause of societal ills. It could be argued they are a symptom of those ills but certainly in my humble opinion not a cause. Video Games are, however, still seen as a convenient scapegoat for certain people, many of them having their own self-interests and the incentive to force that agenda onto other people, be it for financial, political or personal gain. In many ways this is no different from the past when previous generations would be upset with contemporary youth and seek to blame said youths reluctance to accept their authority and the problems within society at large on something other than any deep seated issues. Often media consumed by the youth would be blamed. Books. Radio. Television. Rock and Roll music. Rap music. The World Wide Web. Even Trading Cards and Tamagochi's (Remember those? ;) ) were to some extent blamed for juvenile delinquency. However, Video Games seems to have this problem in that it is still held squarely to blame for negatively influencing children. I'm not sure if this is because there hasn't been some other significant form of media or hip trend or craze that is so popular that it has overtaken Video Games yet or if there is something inherently unique with computerised interactive entertainment that it may never be replaced as a bogeyman for angry pearl clutchers, incensed pitchfork bearers and Senators seeking re-election and a convenient distraction for their alleged harassment/bribery scandal to blame.

However, an interesting tangent we can take from here is "Why are so many Video Games designed with violence in mind?" "Why is it the main form of interaction with other computer controlled characters in games is to engage in combat with them, resulting in serious injury and death to them?" "Why is it I have to blast this random extraterrestrial/person/Eldritch abomination in the face?". As the crew on a recent PC Gamer show podcast (Can't remember which episode) mentioned, just because video games aren't proven as the reason Little Jonny suddenly decides to torture animals and try to kill everyone in his school class, that doesn't mean we can't call out video games for when they do questionable things or contain questionable stuff. And I don't mean shouting "Won't someone think of the children?!" calling out but actual calling out of things like when the violent content gets to gratuitous, beyond cartoonish levels and why it seems that in most cases, the only way to interact with that new species, monster or faction is to immediately unload heavy ordinance/swing blades/wallop them in their faces or equivalent thereof. Why is it, relatively speaking, so few games seem to allow for a non-combat resolution, or a diplomatic one? Is it inherent to the design limitations of how we interact with games? Is it lack of imagination? Is it a preconceived expectation that the only way to have "fun" in interactive entertainment is to destroy someone or something else virtually? I do not have those answers and would genuinely like to hear from anyone who can give their views on this (I'll admit that I probably enjoy computerised violence as a form of stress relief so it might have something to do with that in the general gaming populace).

On another side note, rampant_a_i covers some good points and probably in a better way than I can. They are, IMHO, right in that the media and politicians tend to favour knee-jerk reactions as opposed to more nuanced ones as soundbites and attention grabbing headlines tend to result in more positive attention for themselves than a more considered review of the issues facing society and effective measures in dealing with them. But why bother with that when it takes far less effort and makes a better return on your investment to scream bloody murder and lay the blame on one single thing without actually suggesting a solution. A lot of parents are to blame for using video games as the "virtual babysitter", thinking that their offspring won't take the wrong message from whatever media they consume, then when they see the results they get horrified and blame anyone but themselves.

On the other hand (Veering dangerously into false middle point fallacy here I know), I've never been a parent and don't intend to be for some time. I know they are under a lot of pressure to raise their children as best as they can, often on top of being the breadwinner for the family and ensuring bills are paid, food is on the table and they and their loved ones don't die because society still requires money to survive. Yes, you get parents that are deliberately malicious but a lot accidentally become a bad influence due to work circumstances. I speak from some personal experience. For a lot of my childhood, my father only had one day off in a typical working week and although he brought me up fairly strictly and gave me a good grounding in morality, I didn't see as much of him and didn't do much in the way of family activities with him for a large part of my childhood, simply because he literally couldn't afford it. We were by no means the poorest family in town, but the relatively low income meant the choice was either work long hours or end up on handouts hoping you didn't starve or freeze to death. Without that income, he probably wouldn't have been able to keep us in a home, let alone bankroll my later educational aspirations. However, there are times I do resent that my father worked those long shifts and didn't provide the kind of emotional support that other father's seem to be providing. As a result of this, I probably ended up playing more video games than I would like to admit to fill in a lot of that time when I wasn't doing homework or watching cartoons. So in essence, you could say that I am a bit of a hypocrite for throwing parents under the proverbial bus for using the "virtual babysitter" when I myself was one of the children that grew up with one. That is not to say that the virtual babysitter isn't a thing. There are parents out there who show a hideous level of neglect and really their fitness to look after children should be questioned. But we shouldn't blame all parents especially those who are simply unable to spend time with their kids even if they want to because some corporate overlord demands more "efficiency" from them and if they don't deliver they won't be able to keep their loved ones clothed and fed and via this, the kids end up absorbing things from gaming without a parental moral compass. But I digress.

To sum up, I will answer the forum as asked.
What are your thoughts and opinions on the current state of how the media and politicians of the world treat violent video games?
In short, not very well. As I said in my lengthy discourse, they are often used as a scapegoat for all manner of societal ills and Legislative election campaigns. There are many complex issues as to why this is, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story? :P

Do you believe that they need to be better regulated to prevent them falling into the hands of underage kids, or do you believe that the entire thing is a waste of everyone's time?
Yes. But with the caveat that there has to be enforcible sanctions to those who decide to break the law/regulations. Otherwise, what is the point? In the US, there is already the rating system from the ESRB. If it isn't already a State or Federal offence to sell Mature and Adult Only games to those who are underage, it should be with the threat of jail time or a hefty fine. This is already the case in the UK where I live where it is illegal to sell 18 rated (Our equivalent to the M rating) games to those under 18.

P.S. Apparently an attempt to restrict the sale of M rated video games to minors in the state of California was rejected by the Federal Supreme Court 7-2, as listed here.

P.P.S. Jim Sterling makes some very good points about video games and violence in his latest Jimquisition. He points out that part of the problem of the media blaming video games is to do with us. Yes. Us. You. Me. Even you, DGA and Millennium! :P You might deny it but even if you don't watch Fox News or MSNBC or C NN, you do still get your news from somewhere and it will be giving sensationalised coverage of any and all tragedies and the blame video games bandwagon in a massive circle jerk that goes round and round and never stops. We are part of the problem and we cannot avoid it! :P

P.P.P.S. There is a good quote from the movie Scarface about the nature of society trying to find scapegoats to take the fall for major problems. I will post it below with some censoring due to the strong language. Reader discretion is advised.
"You all a bunch of f***ing assholes. You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your f***ing fingers and say, 'That's the bad guy.' So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie..."

P.P.P.P.S. To steal VicMonado's idea, yes video games have a negative impact on you. Everytime I play Star Trek Online, I feel the need to get into a starship and blast Klingons with phasers and photon torpedoes. :P

tl:dr Politicians blame video games to avoid doing anything useful and for re-election. Video games sometimes bring the blame on themselves and we need to more strictly enforce age ratings. :P

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:15 pm
by GhoulShinobi
I think violent video games have an effect on same people that other forms of violent entertainment would. I think People seem to focus their attacks on violent video games purely because they haven’t been around as long as violent movies, books, etc. so they want to attack the one they don’t quite understand...after thinking about it i think its all EA's fault...they should ban EA.

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:51 am
by YotaruVegeta
Oh, here's a little update!

80 Percent of Mass Shooters Showed No Interest in Video Games, Researcher Says

Of course, this will be ignored the next time the media gets a viewership boost on the corpses of innocent people.

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:56 am
by Blackmagic4444
I think Jim Sterling said it best in his post this week. That this is just a political scapegoat made to get the masses to clam down over what happen. Nothing became of the round-table meeting, and no one even brought up the studies show that there is no correlation that violent video games rarely play a significant role in the lives of mass school-shooting murderers. It is a passing fad that will fade into the background, until it is needed again to be throw under the bus.
That being said I think games are regulated enough as is, as they are protected under the first amendment rights as ruled by the supreme court. I does fall down to personal accountability on the parents part. I can not tell you how many times I see kids want a M rated game only for there parent to question me about why they have to show ID just to purchase it. Then after I tell them they have a back and forth with there child about getting it, just to end up buying it anyway. If parents think video games are the cause of the major violent incidents you would think they would take more action in not letting their kids get their hands on them, But they won't.

Re: VGP 299 Discussion Topic: Violent Video Games

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:00 am
by Blackmagic4444
YotaruVegeta wrote: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:51 am Oh, here's a little update!

80 Percent of Mass Shooters Showed No Interest in Video Games, Researcher Says

Of course, this will be ignored the next time the media gets a viewership boost on the corpses of innocent people.
You would think this would be brought up but nothing not even a shred of info about this.