Violence in video games.

sgtmac_46

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MACaver said:
If you had a 12 year old child and you came across a grisly murder scene of violent death and dismemberment, would you allow your 12 year old child to view that scene if you could prevent it? Why or why not?
If I can prevent it of course I would do my best to avert their eyes, turn them away, send them out of the room ... whatever! In a scene from Star Trek TNG The mother of Worf's child was brutally murdered. Worf and his son walk in the room and see the body. Instead of turning the child away he told his son to take a good look. Well, that's Klingon culture for you. But we're human and while we (seem to be) a very war-like species we still would not (and should not) allow children to see such things. For me it's not civilized and it's not moral. Kids know there's a war going on in Iraq, they know that people are being killed everyday by suicide bombers. They know this information.... surely they don't need to see it (the images available on the internet) do they?
Good point about Star Trek TNG. Of course keep this in mind. Why did they tell their son to take a good look? Because they are a warrior society, and he wanted to prepare the boys for a violent existence. The same reason Samurai boys were exposed to violent death from an early age, to desensitize them to it and prepare them for a life where violent death was normal. Not sure we want to teach our children this lesson.

MACaver said:
Still, the ultimate problem is parents not parenting. Of course, that's fine for me, I parent. I have no control over how the morons down the block raise their children.
MACaver said:
No, you don't... but you DO have control of who's kids your kids play with, don't you? Mebbe you cannot prevent them from associating with them while at school. But you can forbid and hopefully they'll obey. You can deny them sleep-overs and visits. You still retain the right of who your kids play/associate with.
Oh and remember this... the "morons down the block"... they might think the same of you. :wink1:
Not quite the point. I'm not concerned with my children playing with the kids down the block, because they are not going to. It's what the children down the block begin doing at 12 or 14 whenever the parents that have never controlled their behavior let them run free, namely steal my property, burglarize my house, rob the liquor store on the corner. Them playing with my children isn't even on the list. What they think of me is pretty clear. My real moronic neighbors don't think of me as a moron, they think of me as an ******* for my lack of "tolerance" of their state of being.

Tulisan said:
Absolutely....boy, talk about pointing out the big pink elephant in the room...

I'd like to add that given my fairly libertarian viewpoint, I am not for outlawing violent games. Just let parents do the parenting, propigate the warning labels that are in place, and don't let kids under 18 buy games with certian labels. All this is mostly to make parents aware. I feel that a major problem is that parents aren't aware of the effects that these games might have on the developement of their kids, so they pretty much let their kids own whatever games they want.

But to seriously argue that games like these don't play a role in desensitization to violence is silly and irresponsable in my opinion. Why not just simply tell the truth, and say something like, "Violent video games could play a role in desensitizing people to violence, which is why that even though I like to play them for a variety of reasons outside of the violent nature of the games, I don't recommend them for kids or teens." That, to me, would be much more of a responsable arguement.

Paul
That's exactly my point. Just as I feel it should not be illegal for adults to purchase adult pornography, I believe that violent video games should be treated as what they are....adult games. Children should be shielded from those games until they are adults.

arnisador said:
We let my son get Halo and Halo2 this weekend. But, I might've drawn the line at Grand Theft Auto. No theory, just a parent's intuition about the effects of such influences.
And there is a fine line between the two. Violence is not just simply violence. I've played Halo and Halo2. You kill aliens who are invading your planet. That's violence on one level. Then in Grand Theft Auto you play a criminal who shoots police, has sex with hookers and kills people for enjoyment and personal gain. There is a qualitative difference between types of violence. I tried playing GTA. On a personal level I don't enjoy "role playing" the kind of character glamorized in the game. It's kind of morally repulsive, even as just a game. If I find the actions being role played morally repugnant, and I find myself morally resisting the actions of controlling that character, what are the effects on a 12 year old boy who learns to view those actions as enjoyable?

arnisador said:
I suppose so...but, my wife and I hear them saying Kill This, Kill That for hours on end. It's bothersome. They generalize it--they talk about killing in Pokemon, where of course they merely 'faint' (to keep it PG), or killing robots.

We speak to them about their choice of language, but it's hard to fight it.
Sure, we as parents become concerned when our children enjoy role-playing the idea of killing even obviously evil enemy characters in a game, such as Halo. How much more disconcerting is it to hear them enjoying the death of a police officer or a hooker in a game like GTA. There seems to be an invisible line there somewhere that we have crossed well over.
 

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Flatlander said:
Besides which, I think that, as human parents, we have a responsibility to encourage our children to kill aliens.
Heh. Sometimes it bothers me listening to the kids sit there saying "Kill it! Kill it!" or "It killed me!" or what have you. But, I don't really think they're thinking that it's OK to kill. It's cartoonish.
 

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Tulisan said:
That is actually a lot better then many of the games, because you aren't killing and being violent to human beings (and images of such).
I suppose so...but, my wife and I hear them saying Kill This, Kill That for hours on end. It's bothersome. They generalize it--they talk about killing in Pokemon, where of course they merely 'faint' (to keep it PG), or killing robots.

We speak to them about their choice of language, but it's hard to fight it.
 

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Andrew Green said:
But what is more violent, football or Grand Theft Auto? One is real people hurting each other, the other is just computer generated people in a make believe world...

football is a sport. if you're gonna throw in football, how about ALL semi-violent activities.

there's no way you can compare an organized sport to a video game about gang-banging, rape, murder, dope, etc. football is a sport comprised of athleticism, just like olympic TKD, boxing, wrestling, whatever. how in the world could you possibly relate the two...? :idunno:

i'd much rather have my kids playing a "semi-violent" contact sport then have them playing a video game that presents rewards for raping and killing a hooker.

wierd things breed wierd people.

the kid that wrote the article merely presenting reasons why it should be OK for kids to play these kinds of games. that's fine. kinda sounds like an idiot throughout most of the article thought but whatever. my kids won't. my kids will be hitting the studio training for the day they might come into "unpleasureable" contact with some freak that might have been influenced by such games to do the stupid ****.

on the other hand, being a music fan, i can remember when they blamed the school shootings on devil music and marilyn manson. whatever. like say, wierd things breed wierd people.
 
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Andrew Green

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You don't get rewarded for killing in GTA, you get the cops after you. More of a punishment really...

Violent play has always been a part of being a kid. Cops & robbers / Cowboys & indians (guess teaching racism was ok...?)

But, if you read the articles no one claims that young kids should be playing these games. In fact he says that the problem lies with parents not paying attention, the 12-year old potty mouth for example. What he says is that violent video games don't make people violent.

There are strawmen on both sides, and that is all that ever seems to come up. There is a rating system on games, the fact that many parents ignore it is not the fault of the games. And that the violence is not as bad as the media makes it out to be, it CAN be, because that option is there, but generally that is not the point of the game.

Mario can be made to jump into the abyss intentionally and repeatidly, but no one argues that motivates people to jump off buildings.

Violent people take the potential violence that can come out of anything and magnify it, whether it is melting green army men, popping heads off dolls or killing sprees in video games. The options for violence are a part of many things, but most often that is not the point of the game, just an potential option within it.

And for the record my favorite GTA game was Simpsons: Hit and Run :D Only one I played for long...
 

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Andrew Green said:
Violent play has always been a part of being a kid. Cops & robbers / Cowboys & indians
Yes, this is a good point.

But, I'm still saying no to Grand Theft Auto!
 
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arnisador said:
Yes, this is a good point.

But, I'm still saying no to Grand Theft Auto!
It's not a game meant for kids, not many would claim that kids should be able to access it. But for teenagers / adults, there is nothing wrong with it, it's not going to make them violent. If they already are violent maybe it will provide a release...
 

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Andrew Green said:
You don't get rewarded for killing in GTA, you get the cops after you. More of a punishment really...

Whatever dude. You can choose to ignore the facts all you want, but it won't change them. Many of these games create an alternate reality where there is positive reward for violent acts. Furthermore, there is no comparison to the digital realism created by games today and kids in the 70's playing army. Not to mention, there is a repetitiveness that happends when one plays these games so you get to replay and retry violent acts over and over again for hours of desensitization; another thing you can't compare to kids playing cops and robbers.

Violent simulations through video games and other media desensitizes people to violence; and although this is more impacting on teens and kids, adults are not immune to the process.

Hey...I think that games now a days are neat too, and fun to play. But that isn't going to make me create an irresponsable arguement with no evidence to support it. To actually try to make the arguement that these games which simulate violent acts with positive reward is not going to desensitize the players to violence (and possibly psychologically harm them) not only defies modern research, but it defies common sense.

Paul
 
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Tulisan said:
Hey...I think that games now a days are neat too, and fun to play. But that isn't going to make me create an irresponsable arguement with no evidence to support it.
Can you provide a reference to studies from different sources that show a causal connection between playing violent games and commiting violent acts?
 

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Andrew Green said:
Can you provide a reference to studies from different sources that show a causal connection between playing violent games and commiting violent acts?
Is it your assertion that there is no such link? I grew up in a media culture where we watched repetative acts of the "good guy" killing "the bad guy". The effect on me? My moral compass swings to the belief system that I really have no empathy when a so-called "bad guy" dies. I really don't.

As a student of psychology, I have examined my own attitudes and tried to determine where many of them come from. I partially attribute that lack of empathy to repetative viewing of this kind of media and partially to the culture I grew up in. I thought it was cool, when I was younger, to fantasize about "killing the badguy" much as many of my predecessors did, whether it was "fighting the germans" or playing "cops and robbers", generations of boys before me had the same fantasy. But there was a moral compass to it. We had a clear of view, in our violent imagery, of what constitute "good" and "bad". We wanted to be the good guys. You got stuck playing the bad guy, and it was understood that the good guys won.

Fast forward a few years. Now we no longer show just repetative media where it's good to kill "the bad guy", we show repetative media where it's good to kill anyone who gets in your way or offends you. We glorify shooting the cop who is trying to arrest you, we think it's funny to kill the hooker to get your money back or shoot random innocent by-standers. Lets couple that with a culture that believes that authority of all types is bad, and that women are a sex object, and that the only goal in life is to get paid by any means necessary.

What's good now? It's irrelavent. It is now merely violence for violence sake. It's not violence for a real purpose, it's simply violence for power. Violence for personal gain. The morality has flipped completely around. Now we glorify the "bad guy" (remember, the guy nobody used to want to be...the guy that the rule was died at the end of our old role playing scenarios). Now it's the cops who are the enemy, or the public, or the teller who doesn't hand over the money fast enough, or the girl who won't "give it up".

That's the image many kids are taking as role-models. It isn't just video games, either. It's no coincidence that these ultra violent video games and other media are backed by modern rap and hip-hop soundtracks giving the same messages. It's a multi-media phenomenon.

What do you think the effect is going to be? Well adjusted adults? I ask you again, do you truly believe that there is no direct link between this kind of extreme violence (lets not be coy, the simulated murder of innocent people for entertainment) and real world aggression?

Why is it that those who don't wish to see the link try to obfuscate the point by lumping all violence together, as if there is no difference between playing football and fantasizing about rape and murder? It's a lousy argument. The fact is, what we fantasize about sometimes has a way of becoming real. I'm not concerned with some football playing accidentally losing it at tackling a whole bunch of people.

The fact is numerous studies exist showing a direct link between media violence and real world violence. That link is even clearer the more violent the media, and the more the themes are mixed with sexual content. Of course if you look you can cite studies that attempt to refute those studies, for verious reasons and motives.
 

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Tulisan said:
....When kids are running around the yard and playing cops and robbers, there is both positive and negative consequence to that game. If one kid tackles the other too hard, or play's to ruff and hurts another, the kid cry's and goes home; and most kids without mental problems don't actually like to make another kid cry so this is a negative consequence. If that kid tells his mom, and that mom calls yours; negative consequence. When kids play, they see the positive and negative consequence to their physical action.

You don't get this in video games. In games today, you mostly get positive reward for doing violent acts. ....
Paul


I get the point. thanks for the enlightment.

/Yari
 

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"Back in the Day" they said that the Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin I was listening to would incline me toward violence and immorality. We only had Pong and Atari back then, so video games didn't come into play. To use a RMCRobertson term, it's a shibboleth.

We feel comfort in thinking that there's some external influence that causes horrible incidents like Columbine. It makes us feel like there's a reason. There's not. In the end, it was just a couple of very well armed kids with a highly developed grudge and egomania. Should their parents have recognized the signs? Absolutely. Should we blame the incident on GTA and Marilyn Manson? No. Plenty of people listen to Marilyn Manson, play GTA, and don't kill people. Myself included.
 

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psi_radar said:
"Back in the Day" they said that the Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin I was listening to would incline me toward violence and immorality. We only had Pong and Atari back then, so video games didn't come into play. To use a RMCRobertson term, it's a shibboleth.

We feel comfort in thinking that there's some external influence that causes horrible incidents like Columbine. It makes us feel like there's a reason. There's not. In the end, it was just a couple of very well armed kids with a highly developed grudge and egomania. Should their parents have recognized the signs? Absolutely. Should we blame the incident on GTA and Marilyn Manson? No. Plenty of people listen to Marilyn Manson, play GTA, and don't kill people. Myself included.
So it is your assertion that there is no link between extremely violent imagery and aggression? You feel absolutely comfortable making that absolute pronouncement?

If it is your assertion that violent imagery does not equal real world actions, let me give you this scenario. Should convicted child molestors on parole be allowed access to vivid images of simultated violent child pornography? If it has nothing to do with someone's actions, should this be material that we allow everyone access to? Is it your assertion that it's all the same, and that there really isn't a line there?
 

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sgtmac_46 said:
The fact is numerous studies exist showing a direct link between media violence and real world violence.
I'd like to see a citation of those studies. And the backgrounds of the subjects. There are so many variables there. And if a teen is plugged into video games all day long, there is a more serious parenting issue there.

The media tends to mislead us. If it bleeds, it leads. The facts are that America is a much less violent place than it used to be. You wouldn't know it from the news, but it is. As an LEO, you might be on the *** end of the tiger. And as an LEO, you might try to rationalize why people are so ******. Well, we've always been that way. History is a *****.
 

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sgtmac_46 said:
So it is your assertion that there is no link between extremely violent imagery and aggression? You feel absolutely comfortable making that absolute pronouncement?

If it is your assertion that violent imagery does not equal real world actions, let me give you this scenario. Should convicted child molestors on parole be allowed access to vivid images of simultated violent child pornography? If it has nothing to do with someone's actions, should this be material that we allow everyone access to? Is it your assertion that it's all the same, and that there really isn't a line there?
Damn, you must be on the night shift, since I was just off to bed, but I'm enjoying the conversation.

Yes, I'm saying that simulated actions in the virtual world do not equate to a will to do the same in real life. I played dungeons and dragons way back when, and I still haven't cut someone down with a vorpal sword. I've also read Clockwork Orange and didn't get the temptation to bust into someone's home and gang-rape the occupants. And I've listened to Beethoven's Ninth symphony and been overcome with passions and...wait, yes I was. But get my point? Every generation has its edge, its scapegoat for the young or deranged.

Your example. I say let the child molester stare at the wall of their cell, and then when they're let out into the yard, announce over the PA "XXXX is coming out. He's a molester."

Of course, they may not be guilty. The world's full of black and whites, and when mixed together they're a very bland gray. It's very comfortable in the land of black and white.
 

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All of the violent games are rated M. This means that they should not be being played by kids under 18. So the theory goes anyway.

Its not the gaming companies fault that parents and retailers don't follow the guidelines that are set forth.

Once parents start realizing that games are like movies, the debate will die down I think. Unless the oppenents start going after all media, and I doubt that will go any farther than it already has.

Seems rediculous to me that often times parents would never let their 12 yo see a rated R movie, but will buy him whatever game he wants.

I would like to here some suggested courses of action from those of you that are convinced there is a link between violence in games and violence in real life. What do we do about it? Should the government get to tell us what is allowed in games and what isn't?
 
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sgtmac_46 said:
The fact is numerous studies exist showing a direct link between media violence and real world violence. That link is even clearer the more violent the media, and the more the themes are mixed with sexual content. Of course if you look you can cite studies that attempt to refute those studies, for verious reasons and motives.
And I would like to see them and how they determined video games as a causal factor.

Even showing a connection between them does not show video games causes an increase in violence. Maybe its the attitudes that cause an increase in video game violence? With Guns everywhere and the news telling everyone how scary things are, maybe that is more related and the connection to video games is just coincidental?

Until some good studies are done there is nothing to support the argument that video games make people violent, and any attempt to do so has come up short.

Video games are just an easy scape goat, but there are far bigger problems with society then video games...

Besides every generation for 1000's of years has been taught violence through play, been taught there are certain groups that it is "ok" to kill. Jews, Blacks, Communists, Barbarians, French, British, Nazi's, Japanese, North Koreans, etc. The list goes on, all people that it has been taught as "ok" to kill. Nothing has really changed...
 
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And then there's Japan. Most violent television programing in the world and the least actual violent crimes.
 

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Well.I guess we dont need to stop polluting our environment because the research isnt extensive enough for us. I guess we dont need to worry about the unemployed, the poor, our healthcare system, or pick any related political topic, because, well, the research isnt extensive enough for us to really justify doing anything about it. We could go on, but we wont.

The point is that is a cop-out argument. Instead of actually looking into the studies that have been done in an objective fashion, it is much easier to put it on someone else to find it for you.to make someone else work for research that you arent going to accept as credible anyways regardless of how well done it is because it doesnt fit your world view. Cause, ya know, if worse comes to worse one can always just claim that there isnt enough research available or that what has been brought to the table lacks credibility (with no real proof to the claim other then contrarian ideals of course).

Well, that is a bunch of crap, and deep down you all know it. If you dont want to see things from a particular viewpoint, then it wont matter what research has been done, or what is right in front of your face.

However, for those who would like to be informed a little, you can start with this article where studies have been done specifically on video games, and where this is discussed:

http://www.killology.com/gitarticle.htm

Here is a highlight

The development of the brain when you play the violent video games and the impact on the wiring of the brain when you play the violent video games is stunning," he said. "It's totally different from any other medium. Instead of being the passive receiver of human death and suffering, now you actively inflict it upon another human being.

.and another highlight

For five-thousand years of recorded history, we've hit each other with wooden swords, but now when I play violent video games in a virtual reality--a hyper-reality--I blow my playmate's head off with explosions and blood countless thousands of times. Do I get in trouble? No--I get points," Grossman said. "This is truly pathological play. Adults can do it--adults can have pornography, tobacco, alcohol, guns, sex, cars, but this is another of those products that to put in hands of children represents a stunning abuse of that child and of our responsibility to protect children.

Or this article: http://www.killology.com/article_teachkid.htm

Highlights:

Michael Carneal, the 14-year-old killer in the Paducah, Kentucky school shootings, had never fired a real pistol in his life. He stole a .22 pistol, fired a few practice shots, and took it to school. He fired eight shots at a high school prayer group, hitting eight kids, five of them head shots and the other three upper torso (Grossman & DeGaetana, 1999).
I train numerous elite military and law enforcement organizations around the world. When I tell them of this achievement they are stunned. Nowhere in the annals of military or law enforcement history can we find an equivalent "achievement."
Where does a 14-year-old boy who never fired a gun before get the skill and the will to kill? Video games and media violence.


For books, Grossmans On Killing and Stop teaching our kids to kill are good titles.

You could also do a search on Killology Research Group to learn more about the research and studies that this group has done on the subject of media (and specifically video games) and the effects on human psychology.

If you have some strange bias against Grossman, you could look up stuff by Dr. Whitney Grove Vanderwerff who is nationally recognized for his studies on media violence, and runs the NANP.

Or you could do a search on The Stanford Study in the archives of Pediatrics and Adolecent Medicine: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/

Or you could look into The Center for Successful Parenting and some of the stats there: http://www.sosparents.org/The Facts.htm

Or you couldwell.just do some research for yourself.

That is as far as Ill go.YOU need to be responsible for YOUR own research instead of putting it on everyone else. The stuff is out there, and the studies have been very extensive.

And, for the 2nd or 3rd time I will say this for the benefit of those who cant get past their judgments: I am in no way advocating that violent media be outlawed. I am just advocating awareness. If one is aware of what the violent games they are playing is doing to there psyche, then one can adjust their outlook on these games to shield themselves from psychological harm, one can make different choices instead of vegging in front of violent media for hours on end, and one can actively do things to prevent those who are very psychologically susceptible to harm (like kids and teens) from playing these games.

Oryou can choose to ignore the research and facts that are out there and continue to make irresponsible choices. I guess that one is up to YOU.

Paul
 

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I don't think the problem is the games themeselves, or adults playing them.

The problem is irresponsible adults letting thier 12yo kid play a game that has a warning lable saying that it has mature content and is not inteneded for anyone under 17 (of 18, whatever is actually is, I'm not sure)


The big problem is the vast majority of the people in charge, (those of about 40 and older) who neer played video games and still fail to realize that video games are not all made for kids.

These are the same people that see games like Grand Theft Auto and go crazy because of what the games are "doing to our children". Well, sorry buddy, but that game was never meant to be played by little kids.

Just like your 12 yo was never meant to watch Natural Born Killers or Basic Instinct.

Nobody gets mad when 200 people are killed over the course of an action movie, but they go nuts when they see a video game with comparable violence.

Horrible.
 
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