Videogame Violence?

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Unread postby Axel1917 » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:35 pm

Wild-Eyes wrote:Well, it's not always a matter of knowing what sex and violence are; it's often having a mature understanding of the context that these things are used in.

Take GTA: San Andreas. That game is definitely mature for sex, language, drugs, and violence. Of course a 15 year old knows about these things; I don't deny that. But does a 15 year old have the education and maturity to understand the social and historical context of the game? Do they understand the culture of the area? Do they understand the culture of gangs? Do they have a broader knowledge of things to understand that the game isn't all about committing crime, cussing, and getting laid?


There are adults who do not understand the culture of gangs and such. Should they be banned from it as well? I have seen adults that are much more immature than the average eight-year old.

Some do, certainly. But this is why I think the maturity label is a good thing to have in place. Parents need to be aware of these issues present in the game; likewise, there should be a prevention of children who don't understand these issues to keep away from them. Ultimately, it should be a discussion between parent and child to determine whether the child's ready to play such a game or not. Had GTA: San Andreas come out when I was 15, my father would have discussed it with me a bit, and then I probably would have been allowed to play; this isn't because I was "specially mature for my age"; it was because I was born and raised near Los Angeles and understood the issues involved in San Andreas pretty intimately. Watching Andy play the game now is pretty close to home for me; overexaggerated in violence, yes, but still close to home.


The maturity label is a good idea, but they cannot break things down to a specific age. I feel that the discussionary idea you put forth is the best option. Many people base their knowledge on LA, gang culture, etc. on mere stereotypes.

That, of course, is where videogames can possibly cause violence too of their own right, though I think that those children affected in such a way are of a miniscule minority. Not having a clear understanding of a game (ie, not being able to seperate reality from fiction, and understanding the fiction from the point of view of reality) can cause one to imitate the game, in play or seriously, because one doesn't understand the reasons behind the violence.


Those who can't separate fiction from reality tend to be either very young or to have some type of mental disorder, I feel.
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:03 pm

The Anti-Stalin wrote:There are adults who do not understand the culture of gangs and such. Should they be banned from it as well? I have seen adults that are much more immature than the average eight-year old.


I certainly recognize this, being an adult myself. I don't think anyone should play the game without understanding the context around it, myself. From a legal standpoint, it merely gives adults the choice to make their own decision about their ability to mentally handle such a game.

Admittedly, most don't think about anything other than "Omg, this game is so cool!".

The Anti-Stalin wrote:Those who can't separate fiction from reality tend to be either very young or to have some type of mental disorder, I feel.


Usually, yes. Most mental disorders also tend to go undiagnosed, or mistreated/misunderstood by parents.

I once knew kids that could seperate reality from fiction, but at that time, I could have guarenteed you that they would have tried stunts from videogames like GTA had we had that level of gaming available to us (and not our dear old Mario hopping into pipes). They were kids who loved to do dangerous things because they looked fun, but they were innocent in their reasonings why (they didn't understand they could hurt people). Then the elder of them commited suicide.

To illustrate; they were two brothers. The elder said he was going to commit suicide by hanging himsef. The younger (who did very well seperate reality from fiction, and often mocked us girls for playing pretend as well) thought it was so cool, that his brother was going to try to do this, so ran down the street to grab his friends. When he came back, he found his brother hanging dead, and went into shock.

It's the same kind of kid who takes a gun to school, for fun and for show, only to end up killing his best friend or teacher and regretting it for the rest of his life, because he didn't truly understand the implications and consequences. I've seen several cases of teens ages 13-17 in California that had that happen to them; they truly did not understand that a gun might really cause someone to die. It was sad to hear them talk about their experiences. And yes, their psychological exams came out as being normal. It was simply a lack of association with reality from fiction.
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Unread postby Axel1917 » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:34 pm

Wild-Eyes wrote:
I certainly recognize this, being an adult myself. I don't think anyone should play the game without understanding the context around it, myself. From a legal standpoint, it merely gives adults the choice to make their own decision about their ability to mentally handle such a game.


Perhaps legally, but I don't agree with all of the laws.

Admittedly, most don't think about anything other than "Omg, this game is so cool!".


Sad, but true.

Usually, yes. Most mental disorders also tend to go undiagnosed, or mistreated/misunderstood by parents.

I once knew kids that could seperate reality from fiction, but at that time, I could have guarenteed you that they would have tried stunts from videogames like GTA had we had that level of gaming available to us (and not our dear old Mario hopping into pipes). They were kids who loved to do dangerous things because they looked fun, but they were innocent in their reasonings why (they didn't understand they could hurt people). Then the elder of them commited suicide.

To illustrate; they were two brothers. The elder said he was going to commit suicide by hanging himsef. The younger (who did very well seperate reality from fiction, and often mocked us girls for playing pretend as well) thought it was so cool, that his brother was going to try to do this, so ran down the street to grab his friends. When he came back, he found his brother hanging dead, and went into shock.

It's the same kind of kid who takes a gun to school, for fun and for show, only to end up killing his best friend or teacher and regretting it for the rest of his life, because he didn't truly understand the implications and consequences. I've seen several cases of teens ages 13-17 in California that had that happen to them; they truly did not understand that a gun might really cause someone to die. It was sad to hear them talk about their experiences. And yes, their psychological exams came out as being normal. It was simply a lack of association with reality from fiction.


I would not call trying these stunts a wise thing, and that would not be comletely differentiating reality from fiction, for they would not know how easily they could get hurt. Also, if someone ages 13-17 can't differentiate reality from fiction, and it is not a disorder, it is probably from bad parenting. Someone around such ages in a normal state of mind should know that something bad could happen. I knew that weapons were harmful sometime since I was a young child. Those people should have known as such as well.
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Unread postby Kongming's Prodigy » Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:40 am

Some parents are just too protective of their children, shielding them from all sinful realities as much as possible. Video games are violent because man is a violent being, and our society forbids public or private violence. Therefore games like DW and GTA allow us to release our violent urges without actually causing harm to society. In no way do these games cause violence, or distort reality, in the common gamer. If someone can't tell the difference between freedom in a game and freedom in reality, then he/she is seriously disturbed and does not deserve to play videogames.
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Unread postby EVERYTHING » Sat Jun 11, 2005 2:06 am

Kongming's Prodigy wrote:Some parents are just too protective of their children, shielding them from all sinful realities as much as possible. Video games are violent because man is a violent being, and our society forbids public or private violence. Therefore games like DW and GTA allow us to release our violent urges without actually causing harm to society. In no way do these games cause violence, or distort reality, in the common gamer. If someone can't tell the difference between freedom in a game and freedom in reality, then he/she is seriously disturbed and does not deserve to play videogames.

I'd say the problem with that is the 6-7 year old may start to have those lines cross. They're young enough to see the violence in GTA to be normal and good. Now this doesn't apply to anyone older (let's say 13+) but doesn't change the fact that at a tender age kids should be protected from violent video games.

Axel1917 wrote:Also, if someone ages 13-17 can't differentiate reality from fiction, and it is not a disorder, it is probably from bad parenting. Someone around such ages in a normal state of mind should know that something bad could happen.

I wouldn't totally blame the parents (even though they <i>should</i> know that their kids are doing...) I can't think of many games that have a "violence is wrong" warning/disclaimer so how would that impressionable kid know that something in a game is a bad idea? ... not saying that such a warning would do any good ... besides those facts a kid shouldn't be playing violence games anyways and therefore it shouldn't be an issue.
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Unread postby Kongming's Prodigy » Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:10 am

I'd say the problem with that is the 6-7 year old may start to have those lines cross. They're young enough to see the violence in GTA to be normal and good. Now this doesn't apply to anyone older (let's say 13+) but doesn't change the fact that at a tender age kids should be protected from violent video games.

Then the parents of those children should be watching the ESRB ratings more closely. Besides, my sister played a little DW when she was 6 or 7; I don't see her perception of reality distorted. :wink:
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Unread postby Mistelten » Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:17 am

Obviously the ratings systems are inaccurate (I think any Koei fan knows this), but any parent who uses that as the ONLY way to measure a game's content is as stupid as the parent who has an unfiltered internet.
Video games should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Every good parent I know does this. It isn't so hard to use common sense.
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Unread postby EVERYTHING » Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:55 am

crashman wrote:Obviously the ratings systems are inaccurate (I think any Koei fan knows this), but any parent who uses that as the ONLY way to measure a game's content is as stupid as the parent who has an unfiltered internet.
Video games should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Every good parent I know does this. It isn't so hard to use common sense.

Agreed, but for the most part in store the ERSB can easily say what a game has in it that may be inapprorate. Although I find a DW game properly rated, yes you get KO's but wouldn't those be Knock out's :P Seriously though, teen means a teen 13+ and at that point i think they should know what is right and what is wrong.

Kongming's Prodigy wrote:Then the parents of those children should be watching the ESRB ratings more closely. Besides, my sister played a little DW when she was 6 or 7; I don't see her perception of reality distorted. :wink:

It's not a little it's a lot more importantly, and was she alone? The way I see it, it's mostly screwing up that single child that plays alone cause their parents aren't there and they have no siblings to be with them to tell the different between the world of the game and the real world.
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Unread postby Kongming's Prodigy » Sat Jun 11, 2005 7:19 am

EVERYTHING wrote:It's not a little it's a lot more importantly, and was she alone?

She was there to help me look after my second player in the two player trick. Now we occasionally play for fun. She knows not to go around with a spear trying to kill 1000 ppl, even though she was exposed to it at an early age.

EVERYTHING wrote:The way I see it, it's mostly screwing up that single child that plays alone cause their parents aren't there and they have no siblings to be with them to tell the different between the world of the game and the real world.

Then those children shouldn't be playing those games in the first place. All I'm saying is that videogamers of the right ages will generally not get influenced to cause harm to society.
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Unread postby malthaussen » Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:46 pm

This is nothing more than old wine in new bottles. The same allegations were made against "The Three Stooges," violence in cartoons, and Dungeons and Dragons.

In much the same way, saxaphone music and rock and roll were accused of implanting lust in the hearts of our poor, innocent children, and now pornography is the beast bearing this burden.

We seem to have a compulsion to blame society for an individual's acts, and then wonder why so few people take responsibility for themselves.

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