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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted: There will be a few references to things that are UK specific. Bare with me.

A few days ago they had an entirely bias "discussion" on Richard and Judy about violent video games. One of the guests was Tony Banks MP (as far as I can tell, the type of person that writes into the Daily Mail and begins with "I'm shocked and appalled by...") and he likened these games to child pornography. He also used phrases like 'What sort of sick society are we creating?' and "BAN THIS FILTH! BAN IT NOW!" Judging by the conversation they had going they appeared to have very little knowledge of games in general and seemed to think that most games were like this. One of the few valid points raised was that the mothers involved seemed to have very little idea about (or didn't orginally care about) the graphic violence involved.

Very few of the games released each year have 18 certificates. These ones did. They have 18 certificates for a reason.The same mothers that either allowed their child to buy one of these games or bought them on the childs behalf wouldn't allow their child to watch an 18 certificated movie. It's also worth pointing out that Britain has the harshest game certificating system in Europe (without resorting to heavy censership like they do in Germany - where blood has to be green or the game will be banned.)

There are bigger issues here. Whether these games cause people to be more violent is still unknown as much of the research is concradictory. One study showed that children who were shown an ambiguous picture after playing a violent game for half an hour were more likely to have a negative, violent impression of the picture than children that had played non violent games or children that had not been playing games. Another study showed that playing violent video games makes a person less violent as they get all their violence and frustration out in a controled situation. The reason I say that there are bigger issues here is that violent video games might make people more violent. Surely it is better to concentrate on something that definately makes people more violent like binge drinking?


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

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Posted:Are you to blame if you have a mental illness now? Are you to blame for your upbringing?

Please, if someone is psychopathic or sociopathic then they have a problem just like any other. I do not say that they are innocent if they kill or harm people, but they are not the ones upon whom the majority of blame should be shouldered.

Blame should be placed upon whoever's duty it is to ward over them, and look after them. Whether this is family, friends or psychiatrists, it's their duty to make sure that the person is not a risk and not *at* risk.

I agree that age ratings are sensible, but why does anyone come up with an idea of simulating a school where violence is justified and encouraged? Where the focus is on the victimisation of pupils *by teachers* when it is so often the other way round. Rarely is it that children are threatened with knives, and have chairs thrown at them. Villainising Zombies and Aliens I understand. But teachers and other children?


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Igirisujin
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Igirisujin

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Posted:Frankly the boy is deranged...end of, depending on his exact condition he may be to blame for his actions, who's to say the illness he has dosent make him know whats right or wrong?. If your ill and kill someone and you know and understand why its wrong your to blame like any other person who is perfectly sane.

The only time your not to blame is if you dont understand if its right or wrong and the illness affects you o much that you dont know.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:Domino, there have been instances of school shootings in the U.S. where the killers have claimed that this or that violent video game inspired them.

I say it's hogwash.

A violent video game might incite feelings of violence, but I doubt that it really has so much effect. After all, it's a 2-D screen and the player knows that he's "killing" a computer character, nothing more. I've never killed anyone before, but I'd imagine doing the real thing would feel a bit different.

Frankly, anyone who kills on account of a computer game would have killed anyway. Killing others is generally a sign of a serious psychopathology and not a sign of having played video games. It might be possible to show that more violent people play such video games...but you'd expect that.

As it happens THE ECONOMIST just ran an article on this pointing out that crime has been dropping in the U.S. and that there appears to be no correlation to crime rates and the release of these video games. There are a few well-publicised incidents like the aforementioned school shootings that the killers attribute to the games, but if there was a real effect it would be measurable, not just isolated anecdotes.

I think that it would go a long way to solving many of the world's problems if every single person was required to take a basic statistics course before graduating high school.


-Mike )'(
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Villet13


member
Location: London

Total posts: 47
Posted:Apprently they think the sims should be changed because the blurred images (when the sims take a dump or bath EA games blurr out their bits..even tho they have none) Because it provokes peodofilia.

i think its a little over the top.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

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Posted:The ECONOMIST also pointed out that over 70% of game players are under 40...and that the vast majority of critics are over 40.

Interesting.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Loewan
BRONZE Member since Aug 2005

Loewan

and behold!
Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom

Total posts: 464
Posted:Written by: flid


does it?



Surely if computer games had affected us as kids then we'd all be into stomping around in darkened rooms chomping pills and listening to repetitive music?





Erm... I guess videogame has affected me then... biggrin

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Akashla
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

Akashla

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Total posts: 72
Posted:If a game is realistically violent then the children should not be playing it. Its as simple as that. I understand that it may be difficult to keep kids entertained, but there is absolutely no need to buy an 18 cert game for a kid.

I loved San Andreas, ive loved all the of the GTA titles. But it has never inspired me to go out and beat a policeman to death with a purple dildo, i dont kill drug dealers for money, i've never even stolen a car. In fact i spend a lot of my time playing video games. But im an adult. I know the diference between the real world and fantasy land.

My ex-boyfriends niece loves watching him play video games (shes about six) and she caused a bit of a stir while sitting in the back of her Mum and Dads car. She was sitting in the back making driving noises, much to the amusement of her parents.
She then makes screechy brake noises and mimes getting out of the car. When they ask her what she was doing, she says she is getting a better car, which again they find very funny. Laughter fades though, when she then proceeds to pretend to stamp on the head of the poor woman she has just pulled out of her new car, and nonplussed, gets in and pretends to drive away, completely oblivious to her parents horror. Needless to say, she is no longer allowed in the same room as the more violent games.

But thats the right thing to do in my opinion. It may be almost impossible to ensure that your child never experiences 18 cert games, but it is possible to TRY and regulate these things, as a parent.
Kids should not be able to afford games like that.
There are plugins available for games consoles that allow limited access to children.

The problem lies with the childs environment, not the games themselves. Maybe the games dont help, but they should never be close enough to be able to influence a child in any serious way. The parents who complain about it should wake up and face up to their own responsibility and quit blaming everyone else.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:Written by: NYC

I know for a fact that playing violent video games makes me more violent.




Yes, NYC, but that's because you have psychopathology. wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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VampyricAcid
SILVER Member since Jun 2005

VampyricAcid

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Location: My House, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1286
Posted:argh, i hate it when people say violent games make you violent, its so not true, im sorry but to get a hammer and smash your best mates head in cos you saw it on a game, you gotta be pretty *censored* in the head in the first place (yes this actually happened) the world is always looking for people to blame for violence, and ts normally the entertainment industry, if you dont want your kids to beat the *censored* out of the other kids, then do a better job at parenting, i know its a hard job, but most parents these days make me sick (yes im only 19) they dont offer any sort of punishment or rule, im not saying i'll be a perfect parent, but it astonishes me how little disapline there is these days, they dont even really get it from school anymore, im far from saying bring back the cane, but something needs to be done apart from being told to sit in the corner.

So stop blaming videogames and take a look in the mirror parents!!!!


(yes i am typing all these censored's cos well i dont like to swear at people and yet i play video games full of swearing, hmm, maybe they dont encourage violence!!!)


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Sporky


Sporky

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Posted:How many times have you gone home after a stressful day and shot up thousands of computer generated characters. Now count the number of times you have actually shot someone... I'm not gonna count myself because I airsoft but in some ways the 'violent' video games are a way of controlling aggression.

I think people should just (in the best impersonation of Michael Winner) "Calm down dear. Its just a game"


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

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Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

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Posted:violent games are cathartic, we pummel a digitised image rather than the people who annoy us...simple
like rugby when i played I battered whoever was in front of me and very rarely ever lost my temper. these things help us remove negative emotions without the interaction of a human 'target' which is to be applauded

also i love the blood, noise, death and destructionand if anyone says different I'll kill 'em wink ubblol


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:As a parent of a 10 year old I see him play the games and that he is actually *not* more violent or edgy after playing. He is disappointed when it is time to get off the computer.
However, he has limits. He is not allowed to play those where he slits the throat of a prostitute. I simply don't like it. Mostly he plays men vs. alien type shoot 'em ups or WWII based games, and he only plays them for a set amount of time and then he *must* go outside to play or play with his cars, legos and games.

It's the same way we treat movies.

Many contemporary parents attempt to use video games and tv as sitters, without having conversation about that it isn't real, etc. I think that conversation is so important.

I also want to say that to blame the parents for the childs (or psychopaths) actions expressly is unfair and removes from them free will. How many of you on here have been told not to do something from your parents, and you did it anyway? Or been told to do something that you just didn't do? By your own statements, your parents should be held accountable for that.

I don't think anyone is to blame for genetics. That is just silly as we really can't control that.

But in the end, the only one to blame is the person who commited the act. I see all the finger pointing being nothing more than excuses for a lack of responsibility. And yes, those with psychological problems should still be held accountable for their actions. I have worked with autistic and down's and even know a couple schizo/bi-polars and they all know right from wrong and have no resorted to violence. To say it is their "keepers" fault is simply another excuse.

Violence in people comes from multiple sources, not just the parents (though I admit they can be a factor).
I am simply not sure that video games are one of the more important ones.


Pele
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Akashla
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

Akashla

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Total posts: 72
Posted:I stand by what i said, but i didnt mean to cause you offense. From your post, and the posts of the other parents on this board so far, my comments should not have applied to you.

You say yourself that you impose limits on what your son watches, and on what he plays. Obviously, this is a far more responsible attitude to the ones to which i was refering. Your ability to see that videogames can be as influential as movies should be congratulated, as unfortunately some parent dont seem to notice. Everything in moderation and all that jazz.

By blaming it on the parents, i dont intend to remove the appearance of a childs free will, but as i am sure you are aware, a young child is not aware of many of the consequences their free will invokes. A childs free will should be tempered by their parents, who are to guide and advise, and admonish them where necessary. It really does depend on the individual child though. Sad as it is, I have seen children of seven act more conscientiosly than their parents.

I worked in toy shops and some parents are oblivious, uncaring and downright stupid. I have been yelled at by a dad for refusing to sell an 18 cert game to a 7 year old. I have been yelled at because other people have sold an 11 year old an 18 cert game.


As for psychopaths, i dont think you can call a young child a psychopath, i think that that term can only be applied to someone who is aware that their actions have consequences. I also couldnt blame psychopathic behaviour on parents, and in that area, i would agree with your points.


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Sniper
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Sniper

Snoochie-boochie-noochies!
Location: United Kingdom

Total posts: 663
Posted:anyone else equating the statement "grand theft auto makes you think you can do anything without consequence" to "gran turismo and need for speed makes you think you can crash your car til the cows come home and never get so much as a scratch on it"?

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Groovy_Dream
SILVER Member since May 2005

Groovy_Dream

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Location: Australia

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Posted:Written by: Tao Star

it's a running theme in our society that instead of trying to get to the root of the problem and working out why people behave in that way and teach them to love and respect eachother they blame the nearest thing. i guess it just seems easier.




Hear hear!

Violent video games aren't really a problem, but one game that should definitely be banned is the Sims biggrin:D. That game really messed with my head. For months after playing that, my whole life and the people in it just seemed like a little sims game, with clickable actions, relationship matrices and moveable furniture.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: PsyRush

Hear hear!

Violent video games aren't really a problem, but one game that should definitely be banned is the Sims biggrin:D. That game really messed with my head. For months after playing that, my whole life and the people in it just seemed like a little sims game, with clickable actions, relationship matrices and moveable furniture.



The mention of The Sims made me think...
Actually, I don't think games, movies...even music (which is also accused of inciting violence) are nearly as accountable for violent behaviour as they are for addictive behaviours now that I think about it.

It *is* about moderation.
I have seen several people (and children) lose themselves to video games/rpg games. Yes it takes an addictive personality to start out with, but this is where I think self-control or parental intervention comes in. I find this to be far more detrimental to people than the violence of it. Just a thought.


Pele
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"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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tainted


tainted

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Location: London

Total posts: 422
Posted:I was addicted to the sims and was devestated when my computer screen went bust....then i realised that i had spent wayyyy to much time infront of the computer playing rather than doing assignments, I even found cheats...i mean come on cheats for the sims....thats when you know your addicted. wink

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PyroMonkey
GOLD Member since Jan 2005

PyroMonkey

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Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney, Aust...

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Posted:I'm completely against the idea that games, movies and music cause violent children. sure there are the nuts who beleive that wat a rapper sings if real life, but those people, in my opinion are idiots.



Anther point that i dont think anyone has brought up is the footage and propaganda that are everywhere, more so i think in the US (any americans feel free to correct me on this), but with bias news and falsified stories everywhere, we're in a constant state of fear. When the london bombings happened (my deepest simpathy to people affected by it) i noticed that everywhere around the world (or at least over here) i noticed that "terror alerts" rose, security was hightened, there were guards on trains, police everywhere. I can see some point by this, but there a few things that bug me about it;

1. What happened on the other side of the world means that something is going to happen here the next day?

2. With the increase in terrorist attacks shouldnt the security be hightened all the time, not just AFTER people are killed?

3. (probably gonna get slapped for this one) If you look at the "collateral damage" done by america and other powers not just in iraq, but ever war they've been in, and all the under the radar operations that we dont hear about, The countries that these terroists come from have acutally had alot more innocents killed and alot worse things happen to them.



sorry got a bit off topic there.



Its not just the music games and movies. If anything its by the examples of the government.


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Igirisujin
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Igirisujin

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Location: Preston, United Kingdom

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Posted:I used to love the simes, just got back into it actualy. I used to marrie mrs goth (before killing of the kid and mr goth) then once I have married mrs goth and taken all her money i move into a nicer house and kill her and do it all over again! HAHA Its like a scene from an american soap operah. Except my psycopathic twin brother who has been dead 10 years (and whos girlfriend I married possing as him so I could get hold of her farthers mulit million dollar buisness) dosnt come back to life after leaving a message on my answering machine the night I happen to be home alone!



Yet Ive no desire to do this in real life....strange ubbrollsmile


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tainted


tainted

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Location: London

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Posted:I bought sims 2 and my computer isnt string enough to run it frown

There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers...

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VampyricAcid
SILVER Member since Jun 2005

VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1286
Posted:Written by:

It *is* about moderation.
I have seen several people (and children) lose themselves to video games/rpg games. Yes it takes an addictive personality to start out with, but this is where I think self-control or parental intervention comes in. I find this to be far more detrimental to people than the violence of it. Just a thought.



i know what you mean, one person i know got so addicted to FF7, he didnt leave his room for 4 days, ate meals up there, slept in the same room (fair enough it was his bedroom, and he told me when he did get some sleep he dreamed of the game), and didnt even leave his room to go to the toilet, he filled a 2litre coke bottle back up, if ya get what i mean!


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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

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Location: on the wrong planet, United Ki...

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Posted:I play a lot of games that fit into the 18+ category, so I'll try and sum up what's in some of the most extreme to give people an idea of what the fuss is about.

Postal 2: Basically a game made to stick two fingers up to all the senators and governors in the US who want to ban volent games. You wander a rather odd town getting annoyed by various things (until you go postal). You kill beople by smacking them round the head with a shovel, throwing scissors at them, urinating on them (while you have a nasty infection in part of the game), spraying them with napalm from a weed roaster, or setting your dog on people. Quite simply sick, but more cartoony and not as visually realistic as other games of the time. It ends up literally raining cats and dogs at the end, as armageddon is about to happen.

F.E.A.R.: The latest and most advanced First Person Shooter released to date. Shooting enemies sprays blood up the walls around them, and limbs can be shot off bodies. Enemies are however alive and intact or dead, sometimes missing a limb. Walking wounded doesn't happen in many computer games including this one. With the more powerful weapons bodies end up as little more than a big blood stained area, or a charred skeleton. There is never anything else as it's considered too much to have parts of people left after they've been killed. This game is also very scary, as it uses a lot of tricks from Japanese horror films, like The Ring and Dark Water. The music constantly has you on edge, and there are disturbing flashbacks throughout the game. The biggest scares come from suspense, as you spend almost the whole game alone, walking through large empty areas with poor lighting, and lots of shadows. There are infrequent sudden scares of a supernatural nature while walking through the levels, which may or may not tie in with the music, so you're constantly jumpy, and will often start shooting out of fright when something happens unexpectedly.


The vast majority of computer games aren't intended for children, and consoles like Playstations and X-Boxes are marketed at 18 and over. The Nintendo game cube is more suited to younger gamers, and has more suitable games. The kind of games system needed to play PC games is usually well out of the price range of the average family, so PC games can be far more violent than console games.

The problem comes from parents not taking an interest in what their kids are doing, and blaming anything but their parenting when things go wrong. If parents sat down and played games with their kids, like they'd watch films together, they'd learn what kind of games are suitable, and be able to put the violence into context properly. The violence in games isn't mindless - it's usually in self defense, while working towards some noble cause - and you very rarely play the bad guys.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Dunno - I watched "Tom and Jerry" when I was a kid and (even though I consider it as one of THE most violent cartoons of all) I didn't get much violent after.

Some PC-games can release tension and aggression - which certainly is a good thing. Except for sociopaths, nobody is walking down the road, smacking people off their motorcycles or dragging them out of their cars (as seen in GTA). Also nobody (except those few) are walking down the road, eagerly looking for that flame-thrower to "clean up the classroom".

Age restriction is perfectly allright, but the "blame" is as much on the parents who do not care much what their youngsters play, but also the "big brothers and teen friends" who pass on the slaughter games to their little ones.

What is concerning for sure, is that violence degrades from a phenomenon to an everydays thing that kids "have to face" in PC/ Console-games and on TV. Along with frustration and lack of supervision/ guidance, aggression finds its vent in RL, i.e. the schoolyard/ kindergarden.

How many children do I see, who are looking for a "meaningful" way of sparetime and can't find anything suitable, but have the chioce between boring "learning games" or violent ego shooters.

@ Parents: buy your kids a set of Poi from Malcolm and make not only your children happy! wink biggrin


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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted:Nice to see this topic come back up.

Incidently, the site www.askaboutgames.com has popped up recently. Yes, it's in cahoots with the games industry but seems fairly balanced and informative. There's no information on specific games but a fair bit on gaming in general. Just hope some of these "concerned parents" actually take the time to read through it (particularly the bit about age ratings) before buying Little Jonny something like Postal 2.

Oh yeah, and this bit's nice....

Written by:
Research undertaken by ULTRALAB at the Anglia Polytechnic has shown that children can very clearly distinguish the difference between violence in computer games and the types of violence they hear about on the news. Computer games have been in the home for over 20 years, and there has not been one proven case of them causing children to become violent.



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Ewokki
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

Member
Location: United Kingdom

Total posts: 30
Posted:Games don't make people violent, lag does. rolleyes

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:I've been playing Shawow of the Collossus lately. Every enemy is a boss. And large ones at that.

Personally it's taught me not to be violent toward 60 foot tall club wielding avatars.

Dave...

Yeah, Jeff?

I'm fighting a
BIG one now...

Yup. That's pretty big...

He's swinging his club...but he couldn't possibly reach me this ra...


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

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Posted:Written by: Ewokki

Games don't make people violent, lag does. rolleyes



ubblol ubblol

Lag kills more people than the opposing team ever did.

And while I agree with Domino, research that's undertaken by a company that is specifically trying to prove a point or another should always be considered suspect, even if it is something I happen to agree with rolleyes

Yay for computer games teaching me how to kill people!

(With a freaking huge gun of course... how else? wink)


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

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Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

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Posted:i mainly agree with this:

Written by: NYC

It's an interesting and hot topic right now. I think that GTA: San Andreas has taken violence in video games to a whole new level of realism and intensity. And it has sold millions of copies. I'm usually very liberal with my stance on this. Not because I enjoy playing it (which I do) but because I think it is a specific type of artistic freedom.

I do however, strongly support any aide or warning for parents. And I do think that, just as rated X movies are kept out of little one's hands, so should extremely violent video games. Even if that means I need to go into the separate dark room in the back of the store to buy it. wink

I'm glad though, that I wasn't exposed to such violence at a young age. It wasn't readily available and my parents did a good job of keeping me in legoland and other positive toys rather than focusing on violent ones.

As liberal as I want to see myself, I do worry about growing up in a world where 9 year olds are pretending to slice the throats of prostitutes for money and respect.

As with any new technology, we (as a society) should find a way to make it available without being misused by children.




i don't worry so much though.

as a kid i played 'cops and robbers' all the time and the cops didn't nearly always win.

cartoons were based on violence (albeit less graphic) as are many cartoons and computer games for kids nowdays (pokemon, samaurai jack, beyblade).

these games in discussion are for adults and the fact that they are presented from the anti-hero angle does not mean that they are detrimental to the moral state of society.

the same debate raged in film less than ten years ago - reservoir dogs anyone...?

i agree wholeheartedly with the last line in nyc's post above.


what does worry me is the trend in games with highly questionable moral content.

you don't see many movies with scenes of child abuse and it is rare to see even a short rape scene in a film, which makes something like the scene in 'irreversible' much more hard-hitting.

when we do see them, the scenes tend to be in a very well-defined copntext and are extremely unpleasent to watch.

where my opinion is ill-defined is when a whole video game (that takes many, many more hours to complete than the length of an entire feature film and can be played over and over) is based *solely* around concepts like these.

these type of products confuse my opinion on the issue of censorship and do slightly worry me (in terms of who would buy them and worse, who would enjoy playing them...):

do not click at work
nor if you are under 18
nor if you do not want to be apalled
:(

but i guess these games are from a culture totally alien to ours - are these just the gta's of the japanese market and is their subject matter really any worse?


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:hmmmmmmm well, i've not read all the posts in this thread.......


anyone remember the outcry over hitman2? what i'm refering to is the game level where you infiltrate a temple in india where a massacre happened. if it was not for this game i would be none the wiser about this event.

i've played violent games for as long as i can remember but the fact is i can differentiate between a bloody game and reality. all this bad press about someone harming another just because he played a certain game or listened to a certain band then go's postal in his school is typical of the media today. the need to pin the blame when there may be no one to blame..............have they ever heard of mental illness?


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Cole's Link

If you're finding this all a bit unsavoury that's a GOOD sign. It means you're quite normal.



ubblol ubblol


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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