Stephen King Slams Attempt To Ban Violent Videogames

from the where-are-the-parents? dept

After yet another court recently tossed out yet another law that would ban the sale of certain video games to children, it appears that the state of Massachusetts is next up in the lengthy list of states wasting taxpayer money in order to appease some grandstanding politicians who want to "protect the children." However, the video game industry has an interesting ally this time around. Writer Stephen King spoke out harshly against the proposed ban while stating plenty of common sense:
"What makes me crazy is when politicians take it upon themselves to play surrogate parents. The results of that are usually disastrous.... What really makes me insane is how eager politicians are to use the pop culture as a whipping boy. It's easy for them, even sort of fun, because the pop-cult always hollers nice and loud. Also, it allows legislators to ignore the elephants in the living room."
While perhaps not quite as eloquent as some others, it's nice to see the press picking up on King's feelings, rather than simply parroting the politicians' dubious claims concerning the need for such laws.


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  1.  
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    James, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    How about..

    ..a law telling parents to PARENT THEIR OWN F***ING CHILDREN?!? Gee.. what a concept.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    its sorta cool though thhat stephen king is on the games side. or maybe his jst on the side against the politicians. good for us either way.

     

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    Rob, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    Look Behind the Curtain

    Hmmm do you think that the release of HIS video game has anything to do with him speaking up on the issue?

     

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    Kevin, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Video Games

    I am the last person who wants the government get their nasty hands into anything. But when is someone going to begin to reign in these out of control kids. Yes, there is a correlation between being desensitized to violence and the growing crime statistics in this country. Just look at the latest video taping of teens purposely beating another to post on You Tube. If the private industry and or parents are not going to do it, then who will other than the government. I assure you, you do not want it in their hands.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    This is a pretty consistent statement by King, and it's nice to hear it again. He's often spoken of his childhood, growing up reading horror comics and listening to rock 'n roll while the adults panicked and blamed them for everything "wrong" with his generation. It's great to hear him continue to speak out now that he's well on the other side of the fence.

    The words spoken by these "for the children" idiots have probably not changed. Replace the words "video games" with "horror comics" and they're the same speeches being given in the 1950s. I hope more people of King's generation realise this.

     

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    Paul, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    Re: Look Behind the Curtain

    Logically, his intentions have nothing to do with the veracity of his argument. Arguments have nothing to do with intention. If someone without a game on the horizon (and i wasn't even aware he had one) made the exact same argument, it'd hold just as well. Just because someone may gain from something doesn't automatically make it evil or deceitful.

     

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    Paul, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    Re: Video Games

    The private industry should *never* do it. The government should *never* do it. If the parents don't do it, *no one* will. And that's the sad truth of it. There is *no* correlation between video games and any sort of growing statistics in this country. People like to say there is, but there have always been studies that disprove that (and in fact, some that hint at the opposite possibly being true). Playing a violent video game has nothing to do with reigning in these kids. You ban violent video game sales, you *won't* stop teens posting stupid stuff on youtube. Those are completely unrelated. Stop trying to find a scapegoat. Go after the parents, not video games.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Americans don't raise their kids; instead they tell other parents what to do.

     

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    UNKN, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:11am

    Re: Look Behind the Curtain

    What game would that be?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:12am

    #
    How about.. by James on Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    ..a law telling parents to PARENT THEIR OWN F***ING CHILDREN?!? Gee.. what a concept.

    (reply to this comment) (link to this comment)


    A -F'kng- MEN

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    - I say take the unruly kids and their parents, take them out back and shoot them. Solve 2 problems, Rid our race of the losers and also trim the population. Then maybe parents will learn to raise their own kids. >^..^

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    11: Dude! Isn't that abit harsh? Anyway.... I agree, our tax money can be much better spent than this bull. And they wonder why we are in a recession, DUH! Going back to the stoneage soon anyway at our present rate.

     

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    Boost, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Re: Video Games

    Read your history books, dude. Do you honestly think that this is the first generation to face the problem of youth violence and desensitization of the people to violence? If your answer is yes, then you have not paid any attention in history classes or done anything educate yourself on this history of America or the World. Please, don't spread your ignroance any further.

     

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    Anony, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Self preservation

    Being a man who writes some pretty violent books (Desperation had a few scenes that almost made me gag and I was unaffected by 2girls1cup), I think he knows he'll be next on the list. Imagine getting carded to buy a book!

     

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    Joe, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Re: How about..

    James you didn't read the article, and you have no idea what you are talking about...I'm proud of you for having the first comment but next time it might make more sense to know what you are saying before jumping on.

    The law is trying to ban violent games from being sold to kids. Most stores already check ID for those purchasing games based on a rating system that is already in place. Some stores don't...now regardless of the fact that some stores don't this law would effectively do nothing positive to the industry, and it wouldn't be any more enforceable then the preexisting industry imposed system.

    The law doesn't tell parents to parent their kids, it takes options away from parents on how they can raise their kids. Parent's actually parenting their kids should be common sense but it isn't, that is it's own topic though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Video Games

    With out violent video games those youtube posting teens will have more time to beat the crap out of each other

     

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    David, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Re: Video Games

    You really think that real life violence is caused by video games. You are probably a person that puts blame on everything except the actual person. Those teens were girls, I am willing to bet that those girls don't play video games. Kids are out of control because the parents don't care anymore, they say they can't control their kids, but that's because they don't try.

    Freedom of speech should cover artistic expression, which video games are under, the same as movies, or artwork.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    Re: Video Games

    Sorry, but that's a load of crap. Kids beat the hell out of each other before YouTube, violent crime existed well before videogames and has actually decreased overall since the early 90s.

    "But when is someone going to begin to reign in these out of control kids."

    Good question. When I was growing up in the 80s (while - shock, horror - playing violent videogames, watching violent movies, etc.), those people were called parents. Where are they now?

    Stop scapegoating and actually concentrate on the things that *really* cause problems - poverty, unemployment, lack of education, unstable family lives, violent and sexual abuse - and leave the rest of us to enjoy harmless entertainment. OK?

     

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    Joe, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:25am

    Re: Video Games

    From my experience those who aren't exposed to any violence as a kid tend to be much more invigorated by the violence they witness as an adult. I can casually play GTA and do the objectives to play the game. I have cousins who can't do anything at home but when they came over they went to every grandma they could find in the game with a bat screaming explatives at the screen as they beat grandmas to a pulp.

    Thats pretty scary to witness. I'm pretty relaxed, I was watched Beverly Hills cop often with my father starting when I was 4 years old. I saw ghostbusters at 4 years old, both movies are violent in their own right and do have adult content but based on how relaxed my dad was viewing those movies I think i picked some of that up as I view media today.

    On the other hand my cousins previously discussed where acting like they were on an endorphin high, a lot of that probably has to do with how their mother acts about them being exposed to that type of content.

    That isn't to say that i have any scientific facts here but it's not the media to blame, it's the parenting and the kids who perform violence. Video games are a scapegoat for bad people.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Video Games

    Kevin is just falling into the semantics trap that the news likes to leave out to get viewers.

    Correlation means the numbers just happen to rise or fall at the same time.

    Causation means one rises and falls because of another.

    There may be a correlation between violence and video games (I've seen the opposite of what Kevin is seeing(video games going up, violence going down)) but there is no causation between the two.

     

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    Liquid, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Video Games

    That would be mostly because most of us who grew up watching some form of violence (i.e. movies, video games, etc...) are what I would like to call numb to a certain degree. We are not surprised when the jason vorhes cuts the head off one of his victims becasue we've seen it, and there is no rush of being scared of it like in the case of your little cousin(s). Since they don't get to witness these types of acts on a daily basis because of the sheltered nature of their home life they bassically as you described it "Drunk of the vision, and feeling of doing said acts"... Whether it be in game or real life...

    Like with me granted this probably a poor example but watching movies such as 300, 30 days of night, etc... where you see alot of stuff going on like limbs getting cut off, heads being lopped from the body, etc... I am usually going that was friggin sweet you can hear the squishy sound of the ax hitting the neck, or you can see the meat and bones inside that leg as it flies across the screen...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    Mr. King is right to speak up about protections from censorship because his novels might be next on the chopping block. His stories are often frightening and/or gruesome, and isn't that what the "well-intentioned" government types are trying to "protect us" from?

    The argument might be made that more people who commit violent crimes have read Stephen King's violent novels. That is absurd as the logic that tells us violent criminals play violent video games. While it may be true that violent types both read the novels and play the games, is there any research to whether or not the violent tendencies came first or the "little faultless victims" were "innocent and innocuous" until the "evil, dirty thoughts" planted in their heads by games and books? By that logic, if you ban GTA, you must ban the bible (plagues, beheadings, crucifixions, stonings, etc., ad nauseum)

    Clearly "save the children from their surroundings" is an issue of grotesque grandstanding in defiance of common sense.

     

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    tubes, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:46am

    Re: Video Games

    I really despise people like you & the politicians trying to push this through. I think if this were ever to happen, I think we should ban the most violent story in history "The Bible", "The Koran", "The Tanakh", or whatever your religion may call it. It is the reason for almost every war & almost every conflict in the world.
    Also I think we should try pushing a law that will ban kids from going to church until they are legal age of 18. If we really want to keep violence out of their lives!!!!

     

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    Alex, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:54am

    Video Games

    History is one thing..but the violence that has been occuring the last 10 years is SHOCKING and has not occurred in this country in many many years. Has there been violence in our country in history, of course it has...but it's not to say that video games don't have ANY bearing. I never thought i would agree with that mindset, but now I do. The kinds of shootings that these kids have gone on are way too similar to the first person shooters that are sold today. The random acts of violence that can occur in games such as Grand THeft Auto...I mean, you can knife an innocent woman and children for christ's sake. Now, are you going to make a normal, balanced child commit a crime? NO...but a kid that's on the edge psychologically? I don't see how you could argue it has no effect. I'm not saying to ban culture, but I am saying there is nothing wrong with ID checks, age limits, etc. If parents WONT do it, we can't just let kids contiune to gun us down.

     

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    incognito, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:55am

    Re: Video Games

    the big picture: censorship rights. if the government gains power to reign the rights of individuals, be it children or adults, imagine the other possibilities they can gain control over.

    why give more power to the government than needed?

    ha! if anything, the government should be FOR violent video games. its like preparing for combat training since they keep shipping more kids over to iraq.

     

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    moe, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Re: Self preservation

    It's not self-preservation, and he's not on the game developers' side or against politicians.

    It's common sense.

     

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    moe, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    Re: Video Games

    Jack? Jack Abramoff (sp?), is that you?

    How about some support for this correlation you speak of?

     

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    James, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: How about..

    Actually it is you who really misses the point. We continually see politicians (and basically anyone who can get some air time) making points that business and individuals should be-holden to philosiphies that are tantamount to parenting YOUR kids.

    You want laws that say a business must check ID/block the sale of xyz for this game, or that movie, or whatever... I would simply argue that a parent should be involved in their kids upbringing so that they KNOW if their child is watching an R-rated movie, watching pornography on their computer or buying a video game of which they do not approve. No you can't be with them 100% of the time but you can instill in them principes in which to subscribe.

    Take your hypocrisy back to the stone age.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Re: Self preservation

    Unnaffected by 2girls1cup?!? You're inhuman!

     

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    Genda, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Correlation != Causation

    "...when is someone going to begin to reign in these out of control kids. Yes, there is a correlation between being desensitized to violence and the growing crime statistics in this country. Just look at the latest video taping of teens purposely beating another to post on You Tube..."

    There is a movement afoot that allows people to believe that correlation equals causation. I could just as easily argue that High-Definition televisions cause increased violence, as their onset parallels an increase in some crime statistic. There is no more a relationship between video games and some idiots in Florida that want to beat a girl and put it on YouTube than there is between broken down vehicles and people living in trailers. Having a broken down vehicle in your front yard didn't put the trailer there, it's a correlated event, not a causal event. Junk science, whether traditional or in human behavior, is bad science.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Re: Video Games

    Well done, you've fallen into the media's hype trap.

    Violence is far more *reported* upon that at any time in history. That doesn't mean there's any more of it - in fact reliable stats show a decrease in violent crime over the last couple of decades.

    As for the violence itself? School shootings have been recorded since at least the 1960s. Gang violence, especially where drugs are involved, is the biggest problem in many areas and that's not going to go away by restricting a few games.

    "a kid that's on the edge psychologically"

    That's the problem. If a kid's got a psychological problem, banning games won't help. The Virginia Tech killer didn't play games at all, he wrote stories and fantasised. Does that mean we should ban pen and paper just in case? there are reliable studies that show that copycat school shootings are much more likely to happen at times when media coverage of a previous such crime is at its highest. Does that mean we should ban news?

    No. There's absolutely no reliable evidence of a causal relationship between games and real-life violence. The solutions are to understand kids, parent them and take care of the real problems.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    Re: Video Games

    " If parents WONT do it,"

    We already have a group to take care of that situation. They're called child services. If parents refuse to parent their children or they insist on having the government do it for them than those are the people to call.

     

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    nipseyrussell, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:18am

    kevin "Yes, there is a correlation between being desensitized to violence and the growing crime statistics in this country"
    or, maybe not. interestingly TEEN violence is down at the same time that teen exposure to violent video games increased. if you are so desperately looking for cause and effect, please increase the access to violent videogames.

     

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    Paul, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:36am

    Re: Video Games

    *ALL* shootings would look way too familiar to first-person shooters. They simulate being behind the gun whilst shooting things. To blame the shooting rampages on FP shooters is ridiculous. The STAGGERING majority of people who play them do not go shooting people. Its possible that those who want to shoot people would just so happen be attracted to the game as well. Moreover, how many shootings have not taken place because those who would do them have instead found themselves content doing it virtually in a video game?

     

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    B, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Except, Not

    "Yes, there is a correlation between being desensitized to violence and the growing crime statistics in this country."

    I sure hope you realize that crime is actually on the decline. The majority of people however believe the very opposite thanks to the media. They blow up horrific events and downplay the reality.
    The only crime that has been (significantly) going up in the last 20 years has been drugs. But these statistics could be going up because of the large crackdown on drugs in the last decade which leads to more arrests which makes the statistics go up.

     

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    linlu, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    A parent who does stop this sort of nonsense

    I won't buy our kids first person shooters - although my son has friends who own collections of those types of games. I also don't care for the human character hand-to-hand combat, but we have one or two of those games. He plays those every once in a while, but not often.

    I think the choices a kid makes with respect to what games they pick is due to their inherent nature (not the other way around) [just an observation of mine]. There are ways to modify that inherent nature, in my son's case I sat down and talked to him why shooting at innocent people in a video game was bad. He understood and no longer seeks out those games at home. I also know that he can go to his friends house and play the shooters that we don't have, but I suspect they just aren't as fun for him.

    Note, this isn't a one or two time thing, it's a constant process of reinforcing what is acceptable and what is not and most importantly WHY. Being a kid, he won't always get it right as new situations arise, but he is learning so that when the time comes he can make important decisions on his own in a manner that is not harmful to himself or others.

    Being told "No", is one thing, explaining why "NO is the answer" is what might be lacking for some 'parents' out there.

     

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    Kevin, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Video Games

    Kevin is just falling into the semantics trap that the news likes to leave out to get viewers.

    Correlation means the numbers just happen to rise or fall at the same time.

    Causation means one rises and falls because of another.

    There may be a correlation between violence and video games (I've seen the opposite of what Kevin is seeing(video games going up, violence going down)) but there is no causation between the two.


    You are absolutely correct. And I don't know who the Kevin was that posted that crap, but I assure you that it isn't me. I'm the Kevin that usually posts interesting and insightful comments.

     

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    lmr2020, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    PARENTS, DO YOUR JOB!

    Some of us took the responsibility seriously and parented (and continue parenting) our children. It is not up to the government to tell me what my sons should and should not be watching/listening to/thinking. That job falls solely to my husband and I and we don't want the government EVER trying to take over that position. Just for the record, my oldest son doesn't care for video games in general, while the youngest son adores them to the point that he has designed several. At the time of this writing, neither of my sons are ax murderers.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    Re: A parent who does stop this sort of nonsense

    Nice to hear some intelligent comments from a parent on this issue. But, I have to ask a couple of small questions:

    You say you don't buy your kid FPS games. that's fine, but how do you get to that decision? Do you go by the rating or just the genre of game? I ask because there's such a thing as an adult, violent, non-FPS just as there are FPS style games that are suitable for kids (though few of them, admittedly).

    You also say you've talked with him about the wrong nature of shooting "innocent people" in FPS games. Yet most of them involve fighting opposing armies, zombies and the like - i.e. not innocents. Did you discuss the differences or just assume that all targets in FPS games are "innocents".

    I would also ask why you seem to be happy with him playing those games outside of your home (with the assumption that he doesn't like them as much). Are you sure that teaching him that doing something forbidden in your home is OK at a friend's house is a good thing to do? What about later in life when alcohol, drugs, etc. come into the picture - is that a good grounding?

    I don't mean to criticise or be snarky with this post. I'm very curious as to how you'd answer these points.

     

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    Matt (profile), Apr 9th, 2008 @ 10:21am

    Desensitized to violence

    I'd say I'm pretty desensitized to violence, but it doesn't make me any more prone to commit it. I did a tour in Iraq with the Army and I wasn't bothered in the least by seeing Iraqis blow themselves up right in front of me. Well...not RIGHT in front of me, but close enough to see the body parts fly and feel the shock wave.

    I've been playing violent video games for as long as I can remember. I've also watched horror movies for as long as I can remember. If anything, they actually help negate my aggressive tendencies. Video games and media are just a convenient scapegoat for crappy parents. You always hear about "kids" that say they committed a crime because they were "influenced" by GTA or some other equally violent game, but you never hear about the positive aspects of video games.

    You never hear about how video games drastically improve hand-eye coordination and IQ. You never hear how violent video games are a great method of stress relief and that they can actually curb aggressive tendencies. Online first person shooters and other multiplayer games (violent or otherwise) even improve otherwise poor social skills. The parents of the kids that commit crimes and blame video games don't WANT to hear about those things because then where would the blame fall? Right where it belongs, on them. I've also found it funny how those parents talk about how bad GTA is since you can beat up old ladies and hookers and kill cops etc..., but they never mention that when you do so you get a wanted level that can get so high the military comes after you and they shoot to kill.

    When I play GTA, Call of Duty, Manhunt, Soul Calibur, or any other bloody/violent video game I don't go out and feel the need to recreate those acts because of one simple fact. THEY TOOK PLACE IN A VIDEO GAME. If you were to do such things in real life you face real life consequences. You die in a game you can start over. You can always hit reset, or load a saved game, or a checkpoint. You screw up in real life and that's it. You don't get 1-ups in the real world.

    I've always liked Steven King's works and now I have yet another reason to respect him as a person.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 10:33am

    Re: Video Games

    @ Kevin:

    You sir are a retard. DO SOME RESEARCH!

    According to the Department of Justice for the United States Federal Government, crime rates of youths have been DROPPING and in 2007 were at A 40 YEAR LOW.

    The only crimes increasing were adult crimes.

    You've been HEARING more about youth crimes because the media is interested in nothing more than their ratings now, and people instantly have to know what the hell is wrong with some messed up kids because most are paranoid it could happen with their kids.

    Welcome to the United States of Fear, where the News is Free but more interested in lining their own pockets than telling you shit you need to know.


    Oh and don't believe me? The information is LITERALLY less than 5 clicks to find on the DOJ's website!

    One of the many reasons I'm not voting Hilary. She, like most other politicians, ignores the facts when its convenient for her motives.

     

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    kipster, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 10:51am

    Re: Video Games

    so your solution to the growing problem of alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and suicide would be what, more 'Seinfeld'?

    if violent shows are causing violence, then why arent comedies prescribed to mental patients, prisoners, and kids in therapy? last i looked, humor was all over the entertainment industry, but i dont think 'The Office' is preventing murders.

    TV and games are a mirror. they dont cause anything, they reflect whats there.

     

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    jenn, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 10:51am

    Re: Desensitized to violence

    Matt,

    I just wanted to agree with your comments. Also, thank you for your service in the Army. Vets can never get thanked enough.

     

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  44.  
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    chuwii, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 10:52am

    Re: Video Games

    In fact, you're wrong there is are no studies to show any correlation between violent videos games, movies, etc. and real world actual violence. To quote the comic David Cross, "I'm sorry, I can't remember, what were the video movies that Hitler played...and what were the videos games that the German people played? The fact is that if you only put on shit like touched by an angel...I'll fucking start shooting people..."

     

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  45.  
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    Well Known Hero, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 11:02am

    Do these politicians not know about the ESRB ratings?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous EA Programmer, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    It is in the works to create a video game using a Grand Theft Auto-like engine where you can gun down ignorant politicians and political figures, as well as lobbyists who want to ban video games due to their violent nature.

     

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  47.  
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    Well Known Hero, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Video Games

    No one cares who you're voting for. Leave the retarded political talk for another forum. Get a job, and stop posting your unimportant views that no one wants to hear on every single Techdirt article.

     

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  48.  
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    fed up, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 11:54am

    the real problem

    I completely agree with the "parents need to be parents" comments here, but what most of you are forgetting is that our government has turned most parents into what they now are.

    When I was growing up in the 80s if I did something bad my dad smacked the crap out of me. Usually, I wouldn't do whatever that was again, because I didn't like getting smacked.

    Can we smack our kids today? NO, because spanking your child in a grocery store will have CPS knocking on your door, taking your kids away, and putting you in jail. I still spank my kids in public however, because I'm not going to raise assholes and all the liberal pussies in the world can go straight to hell.

    I play Grand Theft Auto, and my 4 year old son loves to play "the car game" as he calls it. When I'm playing it with him he just likes to drive the cars, and sometimes he runs people over. He thinks it's funny, but every time he does it he says "it's ok on the puter cause it's not real right Daddy? In real life we don't hurt people." And that's fine with me because he knows the difference between real and make believe.

    I grew up reading my mother's complete collection of Stephen King books and I turned out just fine.

    I say, let the kids have the games, but teach them the difference between real and make believe, right and wrong, and when they do something wrong punish them.
    Swat their butt and make them sit in a corner. Take away their TV or skate board or something they love so they suffer a little, etc, etc. It's not abuse, it's parenting, you bunch of liberal hippies!!!!

    And while we're on the subject of parenting, how about all you hippies out there start teaching your kids some manners, hold doors for strangers, say excuse me, and help little old ladies across the street.

     

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  49.  
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    BTR1701, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Video Games

    > are you going to make a normal, balanced child
    > commit a crime? NO...but a kid that's on the
    > edge psychologically? I don't see how you
    > could argue it has no effect.

    So once again we're using the lowest common denominator in society to define the rights and freedoms for everyone.

    I'm so sick of the government telling me I can't do something because even though I might not be affected by it, someone with a weak mind might not be able to resist.

    It's the same argument the government uses to ban gambling--because a very small percentage of the overall gambling population have a problem knowing when to stop and end up betting the family home, they want to ban gambling for everyone.

    It's a ridiculous, small-minded, stupid and lazy approach to governance. It also seems to be turning into the status quo.

     

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  50.  
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    BTR1701, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Video Games

    > That's the problem. If a kid's got a psychological
    > problem, banning games won't help.

    No kidding. Back in the 80's a girl murdered her mother by stabbing her and pinning her to the wall with kitchen knives, just like in the movie "Carrie". When the news asked Stephen King whether he felt some measure of responsible for "inspiring such a horrible crime", he responded that he felt no responsibility at all because the girl was obviously mentally disturbed and it was just chance that her psychosis fixated on his book.** He said if his book hadn't existed, she would have just picked some other book or movie or play.

    And he was exactly right about that.

    **King also pointed out that in the actual book, Carrie killed her mother not with knives but by psychically stopping her mother's heart from beating and that if the news media really wanted to play "gotcha" and lay the blame for this incident at the door of the popular culture, they should do a little research first, then go harass Brian DePalma instead of him with their silly questions.

     

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  51.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Umm... Kids beat each pther up before YouTube.

    I had AOL when I was in school and kids 'getting jumped' was a daily event. YouTube had nothing to do with it.

    What kills me is that the same people who want to save the children by taking away adult entertainment are the same people who are horrified by corporal punishment, lectures, or any kind of negative consequence to a child's actions. Um, I'd say that's a large part of why kids have gone down the toilet. And I have three very well-behaved children so I must be doing something right.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Video games are for wussy killers. Real killers listen to Led Zeppelin backwards for inspiration.

     

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  53.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Umm... Kids beat each pther up before YouTube.

    The AOL reference was supposed to indicate how long ago this was, rofl. Sorry about that.

     

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  54.  
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    BTR1701, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Banned

    > Mr. King is right to speak up about protections
    > from censorship because his novels might be
    > next on the chopping block.

    They already are. "Carrie" is on the list of Top 10 Most Banned Books in American high schools-- ironically not for the violence but because of the few sex scenes and the opening tableau where Carrie is harassed and ridiculed by the other girls when she gets her first period in the school shower and doesn't know what's happening to her.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 2:21pm

    W00t Stephen King!!!!

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 3:12pm

    Some stats...

    Murder rate in the US peaked in 1980. Rape peaked in 1992. Assault peaked in 1993. It's been going down ever since.

    I think the videogames are working!!! Give the kids more of them.

    This is per http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

     

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  57.  
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    John, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 5:36pm

    Hmm

    To expand on what poster #4 said:

    If Stephen King grew up reading the "bad" horror comics and become a famous horror writer, what will happen to our kids who play violent videos games?

    That's right, they'll become famous software developers making their own video games... and some of whom will make six-figure incomes.

    Please, stop these games! For the sake of our children! We don't want these impressionable kids to learn they can make $125,000 a year making video games! That's more money than their parents make! That might be more money than the politicians make (well, not counting any lobbyist "favors").

     

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  58.  
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    Celes, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Video Games

    I'm not sure whether the exposure to violence is numbing. Couldn't it be that children who are taught (oops, the whole parenting thing again) that violence is a part of life, but an unacceptable way to act in most real-world circumstances, will find it easier to deal with the distinctions between real-world and fantasy violence?

    I wasn't shielded from violent books or (most) movies when I was young, and I enjoy playing violent video games even now, but I still squirm a little when something horrifying comes on the news, or even sometimes in a movie if it's graphic enough. There's a difference between reality and fantasy, and it's a shame that some kids just aren't taught that. I think it has much more to do with the raising of the child than purely with the exposure - the solution is not to prevent them from seeing but to discuss what they've seen.

     

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  59.  
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    Sal, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Re: Video Games #23

    I'd like to disagree with you tubes. Most conflicts have to do with the economy and/or greed. Religion is just used for public support and justification. Some examples are: The American Revolution, The Civil War, WW1, WW2, The Spanish American War, hell even the Crusades were after the initial rape and pillage of the Byzantine Empire and the call to arms by Pope Urban. In most of those examples religion was used as an after thought.

     

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  60.  
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    R.H., Apr 10th, 2008 @ 2:02am

    Re: Self preservation

    Surprisingly enough, I've been carded buying a (non-pornographic) book before. It was at a Borders store IIRC and it was an 'adult' joke book. None of the jokes were to the point that I'd limit their access to only people over 18 but I guess that's a store policy that I just hadn't run across before.

     

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  61.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Apr 10th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    Re: Self preservation & Borders

    Desperation might have made you gag, but it didn't make me blink. 2Girls1Cup looked fake. But alot of things that seems tame to others really get to me, esp. if they involve children. So all we've managed to say here is that everyone's gag/scare/horror buttons are different.

    @ R.H. - I worked at a Borders stores for years. If it's supposed to be 'adult' we're supposed to card. Like the Kama Sutra books and the skin mags and (believe it or not) the yearly Swimsuit Calendar because that thing is just full of nipple. (Rofl.) A joke book seems to go far, but the bookseller probably just saw 'adult' and the ID reflex kicked in.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: How about..

    Yeah the carding thing doesn't work, i used to cashier at best buy and i'd have parents buying stacks of video games for their kids, mostly m rated and a couple times i asked the parents if they knew what they were buying(especially when the kids seemed really young) and they were just like "yeah, whatever he wants, or i don't care". So the whole thing comes back to the parents, they are the ones that need to take responsibility for their children and their actions instead of blaming movies and games, and being "allowed" to shift the blame from themselves. Like the girl who got raped after meeting a guy on myspace. Myspace should counter sue her for being stupid and her mom for being a lousy parent.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 10:23am

    Re: Video Games

    Make the parents do it. I bet your kids have GTA, and you bought it for them?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 10:29am

    Re: A parent who does stop this sort of nonsense

    Holy $%*#! Look real parents do exist!!

     

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  65.  
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    Overcast, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 2:06pm

    Murder rate in the US peaked in 1980. Rape peaked in 1992. Assault peaked in 1993. It's been going down ever since.

    ummm, don't buy that BS - look deep into it... when the numbers start to 'go down' - it's because the government changed the way they were counting - and that's 100% true.

    But... I still don't think video games have a dang thing to do with it.

     

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  66.  
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    VIDEO GAME Freak, May 1st, 2008 @ 5:58am

    RE:Murder rate in the US peaked in 1980. Rape peaked in 1992. Assault peaked in 1993. It's been going down ever since.

    Your right, video games are decreasing the crime level monthly, look at the police reports!

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Jamison., Jun 9th, 2008 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Video Games

    What's funny about this is that right now I'm doing a term paper on violence in video games. And I can bring up around eleven different sources from people ranging from professors at colleges to scientists with their phd's who conducted the experiments that there IS NO DIRECT CORRELATION between violence in video games causing people to be more violent. If seeing violence desensitized people, then would CNN be a much more pernicious peddler? I see people cite video games as the cause for shootings, when even the news would be much more likely, if at all. As for the growing crime statistics, maybe you really haven't looked at them much but at the current time, they are at something like a thirty year low.

     

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  68.  
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    shigh davis, Oct 14th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    its not fair

    all video games should be buyable im 14;D

     

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  69.  
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    shigh tavis, Oct 14th, 2008 @ 1:44pm

    f#%& u

     

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  70.  
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    Jackson the man, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 5:47am

    wow do you think that

    maybe someone should hurry up and point out that if people werent violent to begin with then they wouldnt be playing violent games. violent games dont make people violent, violent people make violent games for all the violent people out there who like violence already. supply and demand.

     

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  71.  
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    Viva La Maverick, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    A Rational Look at Stephen's Words

    Funny how there has been so much opposition in the past to statements like Stephen King's words presented here.
    I think it is logical for somebody to express concern of the content of video games. I think it is only natural for those in positions of authority to assume that the younger citizens which fall in beneath their republic would be so vulnerable to the violence in interactive entertainment. Video games, such as Call of Duty, Gears of War, and other games as such, obviously do not support laws and other principles in society. However, we have all seen the results of neglecting to face the truth. For years, the economy has been on the downfall, stocks going up and down with little concern until today, our new President Obama has to institute a revival plan to essentially save and restore the working class. I can assure you that if the problem had been faced and adressed by everyone earlier on, we would not be in this predicament.
    As to how this applies to what King said, exposure to violent games is almost a necessity for those who wish to do so. Bearing in mind that those exist who do not care to play them and that teen and adult violence is not fully atributed to violence in those games, those who do play often use it as justification to substitute for the real thing. You might be re-enacting D-day in World at War, but the likelihood of one of those players getting drafted into the military simply to do it in person is unlikely, almost irrational.
    So yes, say what you will about violent video games, but without the censoring of doing it in simulation, those who do play would be more inclined to do it in person. Therefore, why not keep them around?

     

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  72.  
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    Declare Th@!, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    It's a Law...?

    Um, pretty sure the constitution and something called the bill of rights gives all people a right to persue happiness. I feel that if I want to play something a little rough because it amuses me, I should have the right to do so. And therefore, if I'm content with a game here, it's a little crazy to assume I'd kill somebody out there.

     

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  73.  
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    Hey TAX-E, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 6:16pm

    About those Dollars...

    The only thing I have against video games at all is that they can sometimes be limiting on somebody's necessities. For example, an XBOX 360 used to cost somewhere around the $500 range just to get the system. With that money, somebody could be paying for rent, food, taxes, and other things. Sure some people actually save up and plan for carrying on after buying a new system, but my only objection is the price, every now and then.
    Otherwise, I don't see a link in the violences, so hell, let's play.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Kenneth, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    Re: PARENTS WHO THINK ITS OK TO CENSOR THINGS

    You are all idiots if you think kids should not be able to play violent games. IT IS JUST A GAME! AND IF ANYONE EVERY TELLS ME, BESIDES MY PARENTS, WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T DO, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THEM. JUST BECAUSE ONE PARENT DOESN'T WANT THEIR CHILD PLAYING A VIDEO GAME, DOESN'T MEAN ALL KIDS CAN'T PLAY IT. SO IF YOUR A PARENT THAT THINGS THEY HAVE TO RIGHT TO TAKE THINGS AWAY FROM OTHER CHILDREN AS WELL BY CENSORING, YOU ARE STUPID AND ANNOYING AND I HATE YOU. PARENT YOUR OWN KIDS, NOT SOMEONE ELSES.

     

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