Violence in Video Games

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by jeremiah.l.burns, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    VIOLENCE IN VIDEO GAMES

    What do you think? There's a big push these days to get games like Grand Theft Auto, Manhunter and Carmageddon banned/sensored all to hell.

    I for one think it's a damn shame. It's about time these damned parents with an agenda quit blaming the video game producers and start looking at themselves...wondering why they aren't doing a better job of parenting.

    I could go on. But first, what are your thoughts?
     
  2. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Parental concerns about video games is nothing new, there has always been concern; in my day it was concern over children being affected by Dungeons and Dragons, and kids getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from playing Atari.

    I don't think that games should be censored (ie. made to change) or banned, but in my own personal opinion I do feel that there is too much unneeded violence and gore in games, it's pushing the limits further and further.

    I do agree with the Rating system, and I do believe that if a game has an R rating then it should be restricted for sale to minors. To me that's not censorship, that's social responsibility. If your parents feel that you should have the game, then they can buy it for you. I think you'll find that if a video game company's profits are being limited by the ratings, they'll design games that aren't as gory.
     
  3. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Okay, that's just plain funny. :)

    It's very true that games nowadays are pushing that envelope. But on the other hand, they are gearing themselves towards a more mature crowd. They're aiming their game directly at people of my generation and yours...the ones that grew up on the old classics (Most kids in my generation grew up on Nintendo, not Atari...but I personally have 2 Atari 2600's in my collection of classic consoles)like Space Invaders and Super Mario Bros. Just as there are movies that are geared to a more adult audience, such is the case with video games. I feel it's a good thing, in a sense, because it shows the growth of the industry.

    I completely agree with the rating system. However the responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of the parent. Like you said, "If your parents feel that you should have the game, then they can buy it for you." But make no mistake...the companies that make the games aren't having any trouble with the sales. The average age of a video game player is believe it or not, 28. Is it so narrow-sighted, then, to design more and more adult-themed games? I say...nah.
     
  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Are there any statistics on the influence of violence in videogames to violence in real life? If so, i'd like to see them. Personally, I don't think videogames have a major influence on real life, I think the increasing violence has other sources, too powerfull to delete from society.

    24/7 gaming, certainly on a young age has more impact on social development, independent of the degree of violence. Social skills aren't learnt behind a computer screen, they are developed by interaction with other kids (multi-player gaming is not the same, to my opinion).
     
  5. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Funny, but absolutely true, too. It's funny how perspectives change, when I was a teen I was admonished for being a "nerd" for reading LOTR and was sent away from the dinner table for wearing an "offensive" Ozzy Osbourne jersey. Imagine my amusement when that same father of mine 21 years later wanting to borrow my FOTR DVD and wanting to know the next time The Osbournes are on....
    I have no issue with companies making money, nor them making adult-themed games -- AS LONG as they restrict innappropriate games from minors and they market them in a way (ie rating system) so that parents can make an informed decision. Personally, a perfect example is Britney Spear's "In the Zone" (I know it's not a game, but follow with me...). Since there is no "Caution, Explicit Lyrics" label (because there isn't any swearing), it should have been ok for my 11 year old daughter. But much to my chagrin, although the lyrics do not contain swearing, the content is not appropriate.
    I don't think it would be easy to prove that video games make people more violent, but I think that we could agree that vg's desensitize people to violent acts, as much as TV or movies. But it is true that there are plenty of other factors in life that have negative influences, but does that mean we should cave in altogether?
    I agree 100%
     
  6. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    I agree. I've been playing "violent" video games since the days of Mortal Kombat...no, since Wolfenstien 3D. And I think I turned out fine. The parents just need to know what their kids can handle...what's appropriate for their own kids.

    I agree. Having your kids interact with other children one on one...not through a machine...is important and completely different. Good call.

    I agree 100%, sir. It makes just as much sense as ratings in movies. It's a useful tool to give a quick glance into the content of a product. Sometimes, it's not informative enough, but that's when the parenting takes over.
    You're absolutely correct. Music CD's don't have enough of a rating system. The only thing we have to go by is "explicit lyrics" or not. The only thing I can suggest for future purchases would be go to your local CD retailer...some of them have "sample stations", and you can listen to a good portion of each and every track. It isn't a cure all, and I think a better rating system is called for...but it's a start.
     
  7. NateDogg2

    NateDogg2 New Member

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    A rating system makes total sense and is needed for all of the parents who don't have a clue. I think that censoring a game is garbage. And the government telling what a game developer can and can not put into a game is crap too. It should just be whatever the game developer wants to make, and then let the rating system decide for everyone what they are capable of handling.

    I played video games my whole life. Everything from Atari and Kalekovision to X-Box and 128 bit PC games. I think that kids now a days don't play outside nearly as much as we did though. I played outside every day. Now kids are glued to the TV or computer screen. That is what is sad.
     
  8. AcrobaticHippo

    AcrobaticHippo Determined

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    I agree.Kids are spoiling their eyesight and not using time for constructive purposes by being glued to the TV screen.

    I think that these days the rating system is not doing much good as some parents still buy gory games for their kids.The violence intrigues the kids who are not matured and they try it on their peers at school,leading to drastic consequences.

    As for the TV,you're right.Some of my friends watch NC-16 movies WITH THEIR PARENTS,so you can see that some parents are not doing their part at all
     
  9. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    I think the rating system for games is even a bit more in-depth than that of motion pictures.
    You see a rating for many video games before their commercial actually starts on TV. They make a point of saying what their rating is, I.E., M; it tells what that rating means, I.E. Mature, 17+; it also tells why it has that rating, I.E., mature sexual themes, more intense violence and/or strong language.

    Companies shouldn't have to hold the public's hand all the way to the check out line, questioning the parents' motives the whole way. They've provided the information in a clear, consise, easy to access manner...and the next step is the parents.

    I agree with you, Jnanee, that if the parents aren't going to use the tools provided, then the system isn't doing much good.
     
  10. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    It's all about sales. Stores would be held accountable if they sell Adult movies to a minor, but a game with the same rating (Mature is 18+ just like an Adult movie) can be sold without any consequences.

    Many people feel, as I do, that violent video games (a well as aggressive sports like football and boxing and paintball) provide an outlet for violent tendencies as opposed to creating them.
     
  11. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    I won't swear to it, but I think stores are held accountable for games these days too...for example, if you buy an M rated game from Meijer or Babbages/Software Etc./Game Stop, they card you. I bought Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love For Sail! back when I was 18 and got carded at Babbages. First time I got carded for a game...I was blown away.

    There's also notices in stores now about needing to be 18+...so there must be something to it.
     
  12. Khamul

    Khamul Roaming

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    One thing that I think would help is if they would classify violent games and sexual games. Now of days, almost any game with a gun will be considered Mature. If a few of the milder ones are acceptable, then children are more likely to stretch those limits and pick up games that would be more strictly classified. Just my opinion
     
  13. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    That's subject to opinion as well though. Most games have weapons of some kind, yet many are generally suited to kids. Ratchet & Clank is a perfect example. The game is kid friendly(my opinion) but boasts an arsenal of weaponry that rivals most FPS's(first-person shooters). Yet Grand Theft Auto, which has about half the weaponry is in no way what I'd consider proper for young children to play. But I personally enjoy the game.

    It's all in how the material is presented, which the ratings do a good job of warning about. Check them out:

    >>>>http://www.esrb.com/esrbratings_guide.asp<<<<

    They mention everything from "Comic Mischief" to "Mature Violence" "Excessive Blood And Gore", etc.

    Like I said, the tools are there if the parents want to use them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2004
  14. LadyoftheGoldenWood

    LadyoftheGoldenWood Well-Known Member

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    I think violence is ok to a pont you get some games whare the whole pont is to kille some one and rape and thing's like that. I dont like those games but like LOTR and game like that are fine for most kids but not all.
     
  15. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Well, yeah. These type of games ("kill someone and rape and things like that") are certainly inappropriate for kids. But that doesn't mean that they should be banned.
     
  16. curunir's bane

    curunir's bane Kwisatch Haderach

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    Ok i have to say this whole thing is a load of crap. in video games does not cause in real life, it is mearly a scapegoat created by people who wouldn't accept the fact that maybe their own kids made another kids life miserable and thats why they shot up the school. I don't mean to be harsh, and if i offend anyone, i apologise right off. But this issue has come up so heavily in the past few years because of the s at columbine. And let me tell you, if anyone was driven by a video game to kill someone else, then they were all ready messed up in the first place. I don't see how in any way a video game has made me, or anyone else i know for that matter, more violent. Again i think that % in video games causes in real life" is just an excuse for someone to point the finger at something rather than someone. That's all i have to say.
     
  17. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    ^^^amen. I agree entirly.

    Unless a kid has problems already, and they are over 10 or 11, violence is fine.
    the problems only begin when they cannot tell the difference between reality, and the video game world.

    But can we blame that on the game developers? I think not.
     
  18. Arijah

    Arijah The Firstborn

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    Yes, and No. Yes, we can blame the game developers, but only for what they are responsible for, and that is developing a game that depicts unrealistic violence thus attributing to the problems of a young person not being able to decipher what is real.

    No, we shouldn't solely blame game developers because the parents haven't been parents and withheld the things their young kids shouldn't be seeing at such an impressionable age...think of it....it's mostly the parents who are purchasing these things. So basically, I believe the parents and game industry play a vital role in the influence of young person's life and mind when it comes to issues such as this.

    Violence, whether it be in video games or movies, does affect the young person's mind. Problems like that just don't exist by accident, they are fed, nurtured and otherwise a learned problem by what they were surrounded with growing up when their minds soaked up everything they saw.

    Young boys who grow up abused are more likely to be abusive...that's not a problem that pre-existed in the little boy, it was a problem brought about by a life-trauma that he otherwise knows of no other way to handle but than to do it the way he SAW it done growing up.

    I've noticed it in myself just from the past two releases of GTA my de-sensitization of the violence. When GTA3 came out, I remember not wanting to kill innocents, but rather go after bad guys, gang members, or people who tried to beat me up. Now, you'll see me killing everything just so I can get the National Guard after me, so I can steal a tank and wreak more havoc in the city.

    Sure, I'm old enough to realize how unrealistic all this is, but still the fact remains...where I used to be conservative and otherwise decent, I'm now crazy go kill everything for those dang stars so I can have...

    fun.

    I'm not dogging anybody or trying to preach, but just to face a personal reality...if I sit back and think about it, despite it not being real, I'm not the most respectable of people when I'm in game mode. That right there is a bit scary when I think of young people with impressionable minds develop that mentality...especially during early high school when all the crap starts to hit the fan and life becomes a little more complicated.
     
  19. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Is it possible that what's happening is your mind is mature enough to wrap itself around the concept that what you are doing isn't reality? Therefore, it doesn't care about the innocents in the virtual reality known as the game?

    Consider this: you say you now have no problem blowing innocents away just so you can get the national guard coming after you...get a tank...wreak havoc on the city...right? But your really focusing on the attention you're getting from the opposition of the game.

    In this case, it happens to be the law. But if they programmed the game different...say, you were an undercover cop in the criminal underworld, and you end up blowing away criminals, stealing their vehicles, and having them chase you around the city...I bet you'd get the same amount of fun. I know I would.

    It's not the blowing away of a virtual innocent that keeps me coming back, it's the chase. If the only way to get the chase going is to kill an innocent blob of pixels, I'm okay with that. But the last thing I want to do is act on this kind of lifestyle in real life.

    Just a thought. I don't mean to tell you how you feel...just throwing it out as a possibility.
     
  20. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    I agree with this statement as well.
    very good point, JLB.
     
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