California Lawmaker Wants Gaming Ban For Kids

from the evidence?-what-evidence? dept

A California lawmaker has decided that because there's violence in some video games kids should be banned from buying them. The article at Broadband Reports does a good job explaining why this is overreacting as usual. When there's violence among kids, people are always looking for someone to blame, but the blame never seems to fall on the kids themselves who almost definitely know the difference between virtual and real - and between right and wrong. Instead, people blame the video game and assume that somehow kids will suddenly stop being violent.


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  1.  
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    Rick Gutleber (profile), Dec 4th, 2003 @ 10:51am

    Virginia citizen

    Here's the headline to my story:


    Virginia citizen calls for ban on stupidity in legislators.


    I know this is less likely to happen, even though more people want it. Isn't it a shame that most of the people drawn towards politics are the worst kind to be in politics?

     

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  2.  
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    New York Citizen, Dec 4th, 2003 @ 10:55am

    Re: Virginia citizen

    Yeah, I think that's a combination of rich kids being the only ones who can afford to run, and all the people who should be in office being too smart to WANT to be in office.

     

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    dorpus, Dec 4th, 2003 @ 4:37pm

    Knee-jerk posturing

    This is a topic for which techies will reflexively voice their opposition, claiming that violent video games couldn't possibly influence anyone. What they don't want to talk about is the self-regulation that does occur behind the scenes, in which we don't see games like "Domestic Violence" or "Child Abductor Pro". It could be that video game makers know exactly what level of violence/unacceptable social behavior does lead to negative consequences, so they carefully tweak it -- enough so there is no strong evidence, and techies can continue to believe in their libertarian fantasies.


     

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    LittleW0lf, Dec 4th, 2003 @ 5:22pm

    I claim myself as an anti-poster child....

    First of all....Vote Rick Gutleber for President!!!

    Then again, since I am Californian, I'll vote just about anyone into office... (Although, I like the Governator, he isn't nearly as bad as Davis was, at the moment.)

    Second, I am really glad to find out that my pacifist nature wasn't instilled in me by my mother and father (both members of the military,) at an early age, but the fact that I apparently didn't play enough first-person-shooters. Though truth be told, I had a legal copy of Castle Wolfenstein (the first one...) when it first came out, and have had and played copies of every first-person-shooter that has come out since (Doom, Hexen, Heretic, Tribes, etc.,) and still regularly play first-person-shooter games (as well as other games, such as Neverwinter Nights, Warcraft, Starcraft, etc.)

    Yet I have very personal and very deep opinions against the last two wars (tell me again why we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq?,) and I while I'd give my life to protect the rights we are given by the Constitution if I had to, I am not a member of the military and have no desire to fight in a war (though I do appreciate the fact that others are willing to do so to protect my freedom from foreign invaders.) I do not own a gun, and could not see myself wanting to own one for the purposes of taking another person's life.

    Yet I don't see Video games ever having an impact on this, either for or against. To me, a game is an escape, a way to allow my mind to think about things which I am not normally faced with, the same way that movies, music, or a good book do. If I read a really violent book (such as _Night Chills_ by Dean Koonz,) does that mean I am equally likely to be violent? What is the difference, one is in the form of words while the other is in the form of lights on a computer screen?

    I agree with Mike, if someone commits a violent act, it isn't because they had a problem determining fantasy from reality (except in the most extreme cases of schizophrenia, and in this case the danger is to the person with schizophrenia who usually takes their own life,) but because of something else, a genetic defect (unlikely,) or bad upbringing (much more common.)

    We are so quick to find a scapegoat and so slow to realize the problem instead of the symptoms...

     

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    LittleW0lf, Dec 4th, 2003 @ 5:34pm

    Re: I claim myself as an anti-poster child....

    I am really glad to find out that my pacifist nature wasn't instilled in me by my mother and father (both members of the military,)

    Hitting submit before reviewing...

    Geesh, that sounds sarcastic (it isn't supposed to be...) My parents were both in the military during the Vietnam War. They both saw what war does to people, and set out to raise their children to abhor war and seek peaceful solutions unless it is impossible to do so. And even though I occasionally got into fights in Elementry School and Junior High, I never started the fight, but usually did enough to defend myself against an aggressor (my father did teach us how to fight,) and every other option had been tried. Of course, I was playing video games at the time (as I have since my first Atari Game System at 5 years old.)

     

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    dorpus, Dec 4th, 2003 @ 6:23pm

    Re: I claim myself as an anti-poster child....

    >I agree with Mike, if someone commits a violent act, it isn't because they had a problem determining fantasy from reality (except in the most extreme cases of schizophrenia, and in this case the danger is to the person with schizophrenia who usually takes their own life,) but because of something else, a genetic defect (unlikely,) or bad upbringing (much more common.)

    That's the pedestrian view of people who think they have a firm grasp of reality. However, psychology does offer an abundance of evidence that so-called normal people do live in realities colored by their thoughts, their biases.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2003 @ 7:18am

    outlaw video games

    and only outlaws will have video games

     

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    eeyore, Dec 5th, 2003 @ 7:40am

    Re: I claim myself as an anti-poster child....

    Dorpus, of course has a firmer grasp on reality than the rest of us. Why else would he hate music so vehemently?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2003 @ 12:15pm

    Re: I claim myself as an anti-poster child....

    Am I so strange to dislike wearing electronic machines that manipulate our emotions? Or could it be that billions of people worldwide don't like music either? Could it be that music lovers live in their fantasy world, in which everyone else has to like music just because they do?

    It could be that techies are more brainwashed than they realize -- they are brainwashed to believe they should like music, travelling, and star trek. Perhaps they are just passive products of their environment.


     

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    LittleW0lf, Dec 5th, 2003 @ 6:20pm

    Re: I claim myself as an anti-poster child....

    That's the pedestrian view of people who think they have a firm grasp of reality. However, psychology does offer an abundance of evidence that so-called normal people do live in realities colored by their thoughts, their biases.

    Oh, I am sorry Dorpus. I guess it is my reality colored by my thoughts and biases that causes me to not understand a single word you are trying to express here...Maybe you can help me out a little?

    I think what you are trying to say is that we (or at least what baggage we carry with us, such as biases or memories,) make up our own reality. If this is what you are trying to say, I could agree a little with you, we do make up our own perception of reality based on senses, memory, and biases. It is those "rose-colored glasses" my psychology professor once talked about (ok, so I took a few classes in psychology too....)

    But if you mean that we can actually live in realities colored by our thoughts, why can't I stop the movement of time or modify the actions of others? If I am truely living in a reality of my creation, then I should be able to do these things, but cannot.

    An individual's perception on reality is what makes them unique, and what makes their opinions different from others. It certainly doesn't make their perceptions right or wrong, nor does it prevent them from changing their perceptions. However, what any of this has to do with kids playing first-person-shooters is beyond me, because games don't alter a perception of reality, they create a new "reality" which we can escape to for a while, and what nobody has even covered as to why banning video games is wrong is the fact that people may learn good things from playing bad video-games, just like people may learn good things from everything else someone might find to be evil, whether it be music, Dungeons & Dragons, Steven King books, banned movies, or whatever someone might try to ban.

     

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