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Forums > Social Discussion > Violent computer games. Bad?

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UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
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?

Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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