Two More Politicians Claim Video Games Are The Real 'Problem'

from the who-needs-research-when-you've-got-baseless-conjecture dept

It's only been slightly over a week since the administration announced its plan to have the Center for Disease Control conduct a study on the link between video games and so-called "gun violence" and it's already looking as though the study won't be necessary. This isn't because anyone has taken a look at the evidence compiled already and decided that another look will likely be more of the same. Rather, it's looking like a thorough study would be ruled extraneous because many politicians have already decided the link between violence and video games is an unarguable fact.

Just last week, Connecticut senator Chris Murphy gave a speech in support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's new gun control bill in which he dropped this somewhat mystifying statement:
"I think there’s a question as to whether he would have driven in his mother’s car in the first place if he didn’t have access to a weapon that he saw in video games that gave him a false sense of courage about what he could do that day."

Beyond the confusing wording is a statement that Murphy inelegantly tries to frame as a "question:" Video games gave Lanza "the courage" to kill small children. The clumsy wording is Murphy's attempt to tie in the legislation he's supporting with his preconceived notion of the power violent video games supposedly have. Note the painful stretch that occurs in this phrase: "if he didn't have access to a weapon that he saw in a video game that gave him a false sense of courage." These stated-as-fact thats are heavily reliant on a leading if, turning the whole sentence into a triumph of suggestive conjecture.

Taking it apart further, you get this phrase: "if he didn't have access to a weapon he saw in a video game." That's the truly amazing section of the sentence. Murphy wants to ban "assault rifles" because they appear in video games? I seriously doubt that. He wants to ban them because he thinks the ban will prevent further violence. He very badly needs a second scapegoat because he knows his first scapegoat (assault rifles) might prove immune to his efforts. So, we get this tortured bit of logic that most certainly makes sense to Murphy, but falls apart under the slightest bit of examination.

Should the next step be to ban any weapons that appear in video games? Or should we put the cart before the horse (or perhaps behind the horse again?) and ban violent video games to prevent future would-be killers from somehow drawing the courage to pick up a matching, real-life weapon? Which should go first: the "access" or the video game? I think Murphy wants both, but since this is Feinstein's party, he has to settle for grafting on his gaming views with all the grace of an inept surgeon reattaching someone's severed limb... to someone else's chest.

Then there's Sen. Lamar Alexander. Rather than answer a direct question about gun control, he sidesteps it with an attack on video games:

Chuck Todd: "Can you envision a way of supporting the universal background checks bill?"

Lamar Alexander: "Chuck, I'm going to wait and see on all these bills. You know, I think video games is a bigger problems than guns because video game affect people, but the First Amendment limits what we can do about video games. The Second Amendment of the Constitution limits what we can do about guns."
Alexander is correct about the what's protected by what amendment, but it's clear that he'd rather go after the First. It's nothing more than Alexander swapping out the topic he'd rather bury with one he'd rather push. Not a surprising move, but it's another politician who's already made up his mind on the link between crime and video games and who is going to advance this viewpoint whenever given the opportunity.

Politicians have long distrusted electronic entertainment, dating back to the 1940's, when New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia ordered the destruction of several hundred pinball games, claiming they were "tainted with criminality" and "robbing" schoolkids of lunch money. As video games have grown in popularity and ubiquity, the moral panics and political scapegoating have kept pace, blaming this form of entertainment for everything from delinquency to lower grades to childhood obesity to murder.

While Obama's call for a study of the link between "violent media" and "gun violence" was very definitely a product of the current political climate, it was far more reasoned than the arguments being advanced by these politicians. Their minds are already made up and any information uncovered by the CDC study that fails to agree with their preconceptions will be disputed, distorted and ultimately ignored in order to tackle an opponent they think they can handle. These two don't appear to be confident they can push stricter gun control laws without suffering political damage, so they've brought along their own personal punching bag. Murphy's is a Plan B, should Feinstein's bill fail to make it through. Alexander's is a dodge, a soft underbelly to attack, far away from the more politically dangerous territory of gun control, but close enough to seem relevant.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Mark Harrill (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Problem Solved:

    Based on Senator Murphy's "logic", I propose that we dictate that all video game makers replace all instances of any weapons with fruits and vegetables (banana rocket launcher anyone?). Once the video game weapons are fruits and vegetable people will find the courage to obtain said fruits and vegetables, thus increasing their health and helping to solve America's obesity problem and boosting sales to farmers (especially the local farmers' market which is an unregulated marketplace). Look, three problems solved with one small piece of legislation!

     

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      Machin Shin (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:41am

      Re: Problem Solved:

      Of course the most dangerous flaw in your logic is that they will not just go crazy an ban all fruit at that point. I mean, it is used in a video game and must be evil right?

       

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      Cixelsid (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:39am

      Re: Problem Solved:

      I think you might have just come up with an actual winning game concept.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 5:11pm

      Re: Problem Solved:

      ok so videogame are NOT to blame for mass shootings, but a criminal charge for hacking IS responsible for Arron Shrwatz's suicide?

       

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        PaulT (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 1:29am

        Re: Re: Problem Solved:

        Not sure if serious, but just in case - you don't see the difference between a work of fiction and a man being personally threatened with prosecution and imprisonment in reality?

         

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 7:27am

    Fiction meets reality. Cervantes certainly thought it was funny at the time...

    Can we PLEASE make fact/evidence based assumptions here? I'm sure airplane crashes kill shitloads (200+ for a single crash!) so why aren't we banning airplanes to help reduce deaths? Because, well, they are just a small portion and statistically irrelevant.

    Rant: Maybe if they ban guns on video games we'll stop having that many rehashes of 1st person shooters and get the much needed diversity?

     

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      LetumComplexo, Mar 25th, 2013 @ 5:31am

      Response to: Ninja on Jan 31st, 2013 @ 7:27am

      Actually, airplanes (the ones that carry 200+ people) very rarely go down. In fact, it's an estimated 200 people in North America a year that die in a plane crash. Conversely it's over 40,000 a year that die in automobile accidents. Look around for yourself and you'll get some conflicting numbers, but it's a generally accepted fact that it's safer to fly than to drive.

       

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 8:56am

    So more uninformed people talking about thing they don't know anything about.

    I really think that this is a simple case again of 2 things colliding. One political pandering and another of political blame shifting.

    The first,Connecticut senator Chris Murphy trying to play to his political base with I am sure some push by the Obama administration for him to be a front man. Not going to jump in to the reasons that Democrats want to control guns but this is about pandering plain and simple.

    The second, Sen. Lamar Alexander is trying to not come out and say he is pandering to his base by trying to blame shift. "Guns are not the problem, Violent Video Games are"

    Either way it does not address the real issues in this country and instead just shows the pols in Washington have lost their ability to talk with facts and instead default to spin every time.

     

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    Aria Company (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 8:56am

    If there are any game developers who frequent this forum:

    In the next iteration of "First Person Shooter [number]", please make the "enemy" politicians of the United States.

    Please and thank you.


    tee hee hee

     

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      Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 8:58am

      Re:

      Aria, that game would be banned in about 2 seconds. The secret service would claim that helps terrorists or some other reason.

      Good idea, reality will not allow it.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re:

        I do believe it'd be a blockbuster. I'd buy 5 copies just to help it fly.

         

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          Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would too just to vent some frustration!!!!

          It could be called Political Revenge.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In this game you should play the role of the 'Governator', which would resemble Arnold...

            I'm sure they could work in lots of his great one-liners from over the years (parody is protected, right...).

            "I'll be back."

            "I let him go."

            ...

            I would buy copies for all my friends. It could be just like the sports games that change rosters and lineups as new players show up and teams are re-arranged.

            Marketing dweeb: "And now the new lineup of Political Targets.."
            Legal Division: "You can't call them targets, that's not appropriate."
            Marketing dweeb: "And now the new lineup of Political Distributed Ammunition Models who will look great wearing this years ammunition lineup..."

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:06am

      Re:

      Someone needs to start a Kickstarter for this project.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:45am

      Re:

      I can picture it now ...

      For weapons they could carry a copy of the 10 pound health care act. The really evil ones would carry a copy of the federal budget which they would throw at you. The RIAA and MPAA funded ones would throw razor edged CD's at you. The NRA ones would all carry rifles. The ones wanting to make abortion illegal could throw unwanted babies at you. You could even do a cameo of the mayor of New York throwing 2 liter exploding soda bottles at you.

       

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    David Muir (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:05am

    We can only imagine the horrific fallout if people suddenly had access to the BFG from Doom.

    After all, the ghastly result of people going on mass killing sprees with easily-accessible chainsaws (also depicted in Doom), is already unspeakable. Clearly there is a direct causal link between the two. No need for a study.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      The video game/chainsaw harmony used to be a casual link, but now its a catastrophically casual link. The Doom kids are playing these days isn't the same Doom you played in the 90's. Today they have *touch interfaces and these kids are literally getting their fingers on BFG's. These touch games are making kids think that chainsaws and rpg gatlings are 'smooth and cool'. That's right, Joe Camel makes video games now. Think about it...

       

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:23am

      Re:

      Pffft... Give them the nuclear blast from Shadow Warrior (old 1st person shooter).

       

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      OMG, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      China bans video games for this very reason. They don't want their prisoners (I mean citizens) from chopping other people up with knives and hatchets or smashing them with hammers... Oh wait, it still does happen.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      Oh and Nine Inch Nails did the soundtrack for Quake I and the Nail Gun ammo in the game that gave you 100 more rounds had the NIN logo on it so along with our bans on high capacity magazines, I guess we need to ban Trent Reznor's music and merchandise too as this is obviously driving our people to attack others with high capacity fully automatic nail guns on murderous shooting sprees.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      You're just saying that to deflect the conversation away from the crowbars. Science nerds with crowbars are the real threat here, anyone can see that.

       

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    Graham J (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Follow the money

    What I like about this argument is how easy it makes it to see who's in the NRA's back pocket.

     

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      John Doe, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:22am

      Re: Follow the money

      You do realize the NRA has 4.5 million members right? So it isn't just your normal corporate front, it has tons of joe citizen members. So just maybe they realize that NRA members vote?

       

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        jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: Follow the money

        Lamar Alexander is one of the top recipients of NRA donations.

         

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          John Doe, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

          So you would say he is listening to his constituency?

           

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            jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

            He's not listening at all. Just repeating what they tell him.

             

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              John Doe, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

              So he listened to them in order to repeat what they told him? You are confusing me.

               

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                jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

                For starters his constituency isn't NRA members unless they're living in Tennessee, and I'm sure many of them play video games and are fine with it. I doubt many are writing him telling him to legislate video games. The NRA's poorly chosen scapegoat right now is video games, and this guy is parroting the scapegoat and obviously doesn't know what he's talking about.

                 

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                jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

                4.5 million NRA members / 50 states = 90,000 per state.

                90,000 is just 1.4% of the population of Tennessee.

                Naturally, membership will vary by state. Tennessee is fairly populated, so it might be 2-3%.

                That's not much of a constituency.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re: Follow the money

        You do realize that Tens of Millions, probably more like over 100 million people in the US play video games some during their spare time right?

        Unless I'm incorrect here, 10's of millions > 4.5 million.

         

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          John Doe, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

          Do they have a lobby?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

            Do they have a lobby?

            Yes but there isn't a bellhop and it smells like a combination of rotting hotpockets, fresh thermal contact and dirty socks. (rimshot)

             

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        JMT (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re: Follow the money

        "You do realize the NRA has 4.5 million members right?"

        You do realize the USA has 315 million members right?

        Why should the NRA have such a disproportionate amount of influence?

         

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Let me guess, they are part of the gun lobby?

     

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    John Doe, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Red Herrings galore

    The universal background check and banning assault rifles are both red herrings along with any curb on video game violence. The Columbine kids didn't buy their guns or use assault rifles, the Va Tech shooter passed a background check (one he would fail now due to a change in the law) and didn't use an assault rifle, the Newtown shooter killed a gun owner and didn't use an assault rifle. So in none of these 3 cases would an assault rifle ban done any good. In 2 of the 3, background checks wouldn't have worked and there is no way to say the 3rd wouldn't have gotten a gun elsewhere.

    The attack on video games is just as pointless.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:31am

      Re: Red Herrings galore

      A guy went in a killing spree in the subway of Săo Paulo (Brazil) and killed and injured a dozen people or so. With a knife. It is said the psycho gave preference to those wearing red clothing.

      We should ban Assassin's Creed because they use small knives to kill. He certainly had the idea while playing those games. Please ignore the fact that he might be mentally ill or something and focus on a non-issue (the games that he probably never played). Also, please note we should ban all knives since they can be used for killing.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:21am

    The truth is...

    They both (media and guns) are scapegoats in this debate. We have had an armed populace as well as violence depicted in media for quite some time and up until just recently these sorts of incidents were a relatively rare occurrence. If these were the cause, could someone please explain the delay in their escalation? Correlation may not be enough to prove causation but a lack of correlation certainly can DISPROVE it.

     

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      Argonel (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:28am

      Re: The truth is...

      I would like to see some actual numbers showing that there is a real uptick in incidents. From where I am sitting these look like incredibly rare occurances and becasue if it is both rare and bloody it makes great news. Last I heard violent crime has been trending downward for the last 2-3 decades.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:01am

      Re: The truth is...

      Why take a "false sense of courage" from video games when you can get a "real sense of courage" by watching the news on just about any day.

       

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      LetumComplexo, Mar 25th, 2013 @ 5:40am

      Re: The truth is...

      Not quite true. In actuality this instance of violence (in general) and gun violence (specifically) is nothing all that new. The school massacres aren't even that new. There was a school shooting back in 1902, and I'm sure there were school shootings before that (although there was a much fewer number of people in school back then). The main thing that's changed is that communication has sped it. It used to be that communication between cities would take days or sometimes weeks, therefore when one paper got the information about a school shooting in another city or county it was no longer relevant news. Now a days information is almost instantaneous, so we the people know about pretty muh every instance of senseless violence. It's an ongoing problem, the only new thing is that we know about it.

       

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        Cheenou, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 11:22am

        Re: Re: The truth is...

        Speaking of school massacres, one of the deadliest ones was back in the 1890's. The people in there were Native Americans, and about 200 of them were women and children.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Why do we have to keep blaming inanimate objects? Psychos do crazy shit. Sometimes it's violent. Always have, always will. If you ban guns and video games tomorrow, guess what? There will still be psychos doing crazy shit. Sometimes it will be violent. And when it's all said and done, the number of people dying year-to-year might drop by fifty.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Your bias is showing

    so-called "gun violence"


    I have to wonder, what else should it be called? It's violence. It uses guns. Sounds like an appropriate name to me...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:46am

      Re: Your bias is showing

      You said it yourself. "It's violence. "
      Qualifying it with the gun prefix only serves to distract from the underlying social problem and lead to these red herring 'solutions'.

       

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        Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re: Your bias is showing

        The underlying social problem, singular?

        Do you really think that all violence stems from the same single underlying social problem? Does gun violence have the same cause as domestic violence, which has the same cause as sexual assault, which has the same cause as road rage, which has the same cause as bullying?

         

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Hypocrisy

    I've been enjoying the statements being made on these issues because they lay bare the hypocrisy surrounding the whole thing.

    People who argue that gun ownership is such an inviolable right that there can be no reasonable restrictions on it tend to be the same people who have no problems whatsoever opposing equally protected rights such as free speech.

    Also the exact arguments they use for why gun ownership should be essentially unrestricted for non-criminals apply to other things they tend to strongly oppose, such as possession and use of recreational drugs.

    It's hypocrisy at its most blatant. What they're really arguing is that the things they like should be legal and the things they dislike should not -- which is they very worst way to determine what our laws should be.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:35am

      Re: Hypocrisy

      I, for the record, support both the first and second amendments. I also support privacy rights and the freedom to do with your own body what you want - ie. recreational drug use if you so desire.

      In other words, "The freedom of my fist, stops at your face" however that freedom should be guaranteed in the first place.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:38am

      Re: Hypocrisy


      People who argue that gun ownership is such an inviolable right that there can be no reasonable restrictions on it tend to be the same people who have no problems whatsoever opposing equally protected rights such as free speech.


      I do not wish to restrict either, especially if it's going to be arbitrary "reasonable restrictions" that aren't going to make a lick of difference and just leave the door open for more "reasonable restrictions" down the road.


      Also the exact arguments they use for why gun ownership should be essentially unrestricted for non-criminals apply to other things they tend to strongly oppose, such as possession and use of recreational drugs.


      I certainly don't oppose possession or use of recreational drugs. If you're not going 60 mph down a residential street on PCP, it's really none of my business. I don't like my tax dollars going to lock people up for stupid shit.


      What they're really arguing is that the things they like should be legal and the things they dislike should not -- which is they very worst way to determine what our laws should be.


      What's sad is that that is what our political landscape has become. Politicians can't be seen doing nothing, and doing something effective is hard, so vote for me if you like X and hate Y, and constitutional and ethical or not, I'm gonna do my darndest to make it happen.

      Elections, at this point, more or less amount to "in what order do you want to lose your rights?"

       

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      shane (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:45am

      Re: Hypocrisy

      "People who argue that gun ownership is such an inviolable right that there can be no reasonable restrictions on it tend to be the same people who have no problems whatsoever opposing equally protected rights such as free speech."

      I could just as easily say that people who want to do away with gun rights are the ones who always want to promote smut and violence in entertainment. And I would have just about as much accuracy in the statement.

      John, the only reason these issues split along such lines is because our politics are dominated by two parties. If Democrats decided to oppose gun control tomorrow, the Republicans would suddenly find a reason to support it.

      You can verify my position by watching which party supports "nation building" at specific points over the last three decades.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy

        This is an excellent point, at the party leadership level, anyway.

        Most of the democrats I know are not in favor of abolishing guns. Most of the republicans I know are in favor of at least some amount of gun regulation.

        The parties themselves are more extreme than their membership, from my experience.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:18am

          Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy

          Furthermore, in our sound byte driven modern media, having a nuanced discussion of the issue is virtually impossible for politicians and pundits, and any attempt to do so is political suicide once the opposing side cuts up your interview to present it against you. So instead they scapegoat the easiest targets they can, this is why the NRA has shamelessly scapegoated violence in the media while the others continue to scapegoat the guns. It's sad but true.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:29am

    The problem is he played a videogame really? That's like saying watching TV made someone a mass murderer.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Politicians through the ages: "Whatever the kids are doing in their free time is the source of all evils in the world. We must put a stop to it and force kids to do whatever it was I did when I was a youngster."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:36am

    these statements are only coming out because they dont want the grief involved with trying to introduce some sort of more strict gun laws. there will always be people that take fantasy and apply it to reality. banning games or restricting the release to certain ages wont help. there will always be people that use guns for nefarious purposes. banning them is the only way to ensure that wont happen.

     

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    shane (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Well, once again

    The issue here (touched on in the article with its mention of the demonization of pinball) is that people are tired of the entertainment industry in general being such an engine of filth. (The entertainment industry being filthy goes even further back...) People used to say, "Well, if you don't like it, don't watch it," but it is now more than clear that people will watch things specifically BECAUSE they do not like it, and in any event it's beside the point.

    The point is that there are a metric f-ton of positive things that video games COULD do, but all they ever seem to do is make more smutty and violent simulations.

    You're not going to talk away people objecting to making something horrific into the theme of your entertainment choices. Some people are always going to find that repulsive. Some certain percentage of them will even be able to act accordingly.

    I'm still waiting for someone to point me to the video game based on teaching calculus.

     

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      maclypse (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:06am

      Re: Well, once again

      Try "Kerbal Space Program". In development but very playable, very popular, teaching you all kinds of interesting things about the laws of physics. It's fascinating to see people discuss whether or not "the Oberth effect" is big enough to make a gravitational slingshot viable around a small celestial body such as the moon.

      Just because the big studios focus on "action blockbusters" doesn't mean everything is like that. There's a lot of really good, and very ususual games out there, but most studios cater to the lowest common denominator and make shooters "because that's what people want" and to a large extent they are right. This isn't much different from the movie industry in that respect.

      Now and then, an independent developer makes everyone go "Huh!?" by doing something completely outside the box and being massively successful. Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program are good examples of games that don't involve guntoting massacres. Sometimes even the big shooter-studios do that: remember "Portal"?

       

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      ChrisB (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:13am

      Re: Well, once again

      > I'm still waiting for someone to point me to the video game based on teaching calculus.

      Portal teaches physics.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 3:27pm

      Re: Well, once again

      This is a joke right? 20 seconds of goolging later: http://www.intmath.com/integration/millionaire-calculus-game.php

       

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:38am

    For decades there have been practically no resources and pressures on the other side of the issue. Senate and house members know that opposition to gun control brings political rewards (the support of the NRA) while support of gun control brings only political liabilities (the opposition of the NRA). Without a group on the other side, the calculus for members is clear, and explains why the United States has among the most permissive gun ownership laws in the world. (from the Sunlight Foundation

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:38am

    ..he has to settle for grafting on his gaming views with all the grace of an inept surgeon reattaching someone's severed limb... to someone else's chest.


    You owe me a new cup of coffee and some screen cleaner.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:43am

    I've been a gamer since I got my hands on a sinclair spectrum 16k (with rubber keys, yay.) I was even bullied at school, by other students as well as one teacher. By all accounts, I should be a guntoting madman, with at least one massacre behind me.

    In spite of "fact" I'm a pacifist, considering physical violence primitive and barbaric behavior by sad and pathetic people. Given a choice, I walk away rather than even raise my voice at someone.

    Something is wrong with their equations.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      Something is wrong with their equations.

      I appreciate where you're coming from, and thanks for trying to be pro-community like so many of us. However, I should caution, since you were using a sinclair 16k, that trying to put a reasonable moral test to anything coming out of DC always results in either NULL or a divide by zero error. When I was forced into this situation, my own hardware wasn't up to the task... hard crash.

      If only my expectations had been lower....

       

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    anon, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:47am

    The 2nd amendment is ultimately there to protect the 1st. The 2nd amendment was not put it to signify a free person's undeniable right of self-defense. This was understood as being an unalienable right of life. The 2nd amendment, as so eloquently put by Ice-T, 'It's to protect yourself from the police.'

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:49am

    I really don't get the connection being drawn between violent media and violent crimes. One predates the other by a long, long, long time; if there's not a progressively increasing amount of violent crime among younger ages coinciding with the increase in video games, how does this get anywhere?

    If there's not even a moderate upward trend in youth violence, how do we make this claim?

     

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      maclypse (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:12am

      Re:

      Think of it like this:

      Option a: Games are the problem! Movies are the problem! Whatever is the problem! This is about blaming things, and it's EASY.

      Option b: People, society and politics are the problem. This requires critical self-reflection. This requires politicians and indeed the population to shoulder the blame. This requires you to accept that maybe, just maybe, YOU are a part of the problem. This is HARD, and for politicians it's probably also career suicide.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:56am

    So if we need to ban all weapons that appear in video games then does that mean that we're going to ban the following objects/body parts?

    -Balls (balls can be thrown to hurt people, and lots of bullets look like a small ball!)

    -Hands & Fists (how many games allow you get into fist fights?)

    -Legs and feet (a lot of games let you kick people to death to)

    -All kinds of knives (even kitchen knives, games encourage people to stab other people to death!)

    -Cars & Motorcycles (I can't tell you how much fun I used to have running over innocent pedestrians in old Sega Genesis games, even if the point of the game was to win a race! Motor vehicles can be a dangerous weapon if you want them to be)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Assault rifles are already banned in the U.S. Feinstein's bill would ban "assault weapons." These are not the same thing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      They've been purposely blurring that line for three decades now. They invented the phrase "assault weapon" for the sole purpose of blurring that line.

       

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    Terry, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Its funny how the government keeps blaming the Video Games as the problem. Well how about the parents letting the kids play these violent games??? Also how about the parents that are actually having anything to do in their kids lives, they will do anything to appease so the kid will get out there hair so the parent can do what they want. So there is no consequence anymore when a kid does a bad thing. I will tell you I still remember the paddle quite clear and when I got the paddle I was asked if I understood why I was being paddle and if I said no there was an explanation. So instead of blaming everyone else people should start looking to there own life's and taking responsibility.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:17am

    I don't live in CT or TN, so I hope Senators Alexander and Murphy run for President in 2016 so I can vote against them and write in my Dad or something.

    Wow this country is broken.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Technology has just gotten better.

    If they want to take us back to the good ol' days of the 50's or 60's, when the kiddies were huddled around b/w tv's or the family radio. There were some plenty of violent shows on the air at the time. Gangster shows, westerns, super heroes and the like were being marketed to kids. All the while characters were dropping like flies, now they weren't interactive but I know for a fact kids were reenacting their favorite scenes. Pretending to kill the bad guy who was played by a friend or sibling and was left as a game.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Technology has just gotten better.

      The 50s is where the problem started, with that infernal devil's music. Rock 'n' roll has got to go!

       

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    zegota (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:33am

    What's with the weird quotation marks?

    Are you trying to argue that 'gun violence' doesn't exist, or that it's not a 'problem?' I get and agree with the idea that banning violent video games won't solve the issue, but there's obviously an issue.

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:03pm

      Re: What's with the weird quotation marks?

      It's mainly because it's someone else's term. There's a lot of emphasis on that term now, most of it political. I don't see why it isn't simply termed "violence." Yes, violence using guns exists, but it's not my term, hence the quotation marks.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Makes me wonder what video games the Capone gang was playing to lure them into hitting the North Side Gang (St. Valentine's Day Massacre). Or perhaps Jack the Ripper, was hooked on some single-player rpg.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      Or perhaps Jack the Ripper, was hooked on some single-player rpg.

      I believe JtR was actually an mmorpg player who preferred solo gameplay, like myself.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:18am

    As someone who's lived with a mentally disabled person, I can state that we had to take his violent video games away because he became very violent and destructive. It didn't solve the problem completely, but it's been a hell of a lot better.

    I think it's affecting more kids than anyone realizes, but very few go to the extremes of mass violence.

    I'm not saying ban violent video games, but parents who have special needs children should definitely be paying more attention to what they're absorbing themselves into, be it violent video games, tv, movies, music or friends. But that's hard to do with 2 working parents who aren't home right after school.


    I just don't know how you can legislate this problem away. It's not a legal issue but a parental one, in my eyes.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      I have to pretty much agree, as its only the people "on the scene" who can do a damn thing about a situation getting out of hand. Pre-emptive nannying does nothing to diffuse a live grenade. For people with issues, many kinds of input can be aggravating, from violent games and movies to the stresses of driving a car. There's no way to remove all potential 'triggers' for a person in crisis.

      It would probably help most if we could de-stygmatize and encourage people to accept and confront issues rather than being compelled by the pack to pretend they don't exist.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:07pm

      Re:

      As a mentally "disabled" person myself (Aspergers and ADHD), I find the above-mentioned statement preposterous. Videogames in general were what got me through the hell that was Middle and High School WITHOUT going ballistic on my peers. Now, I would like to point out that most of the games were NOT Call of Duty games, but one of the ones that got me through was Armed Assault (a brutally realistic Mil-sim), along with various other simulation games (Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000, Quake 3, DOOM 1, etc)

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re:

        *various other videogames.

        Additionally, I would like to point out that bullying by peers causes far more thoughts of violence than videogames ever have.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:39pm

        Re: Re:

        I'll see your Aspergers and ADHD, and raise you a 20 year uphill battle with PTSD. Do I get to collect disability now? (jk, never would want to, though its still a battle leaving the house most days)

        I got the impression this OP was saying everyone's different, and you really have to deal with issues on a case by case basis. Some people with serious issues can get aggravated by violent media or violent people. For me, the trouble is with carrots and flash mobs.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Interesting you bring up PTSD (not a fun thing to have, but highly relevant to the "videogames & violence" discussion):

          I remember reading in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, June 2011 issue about video games (virtual reality) being used to help soldiers suffering from PTSD. Why is THIS research not being brought up when people are discussing video games and violence?

          (Article: Virtual Reality Goes to War: A Brief Review of the Future of Military Behavioral Healthcare)
          (DOI: 10.1007/s10880-011-9247-2)

          From the Article:

          "[T]he University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) created an immersive VRET system for combat-related PTSD. The treatment environment was initially based on recycling virtual assets that were built for the commercially successful X-Box game and tactical training simulation scenario, Full Spectrum Warrior. Over the years other existing and newly created assets developed at the ICT have been integrated into this continually evolving application. The Virtual Iraq application (and the new Virtual Afghanistan scenario) consists of a series of virtual scenarios designed to represent relevant contexts for VR exposure therapy, including middle-eastern themed city and desert road environments. In addition to the visual stimuli presented in the VR HMD, directional 3D audio, vibrotactile and olfactory stimuli of relevance can be delivered. The presentation of additive, combat-relevant stimuli in the VR scenarios can be controlled by a therapist via a separate ‘‘Wizard of Oz’’ Clinical Interface, while in full audio contact with the patient. The clinical interface is a key feature in that it provides a clinician with the capacity to customize the therapy experience to the individual needs of the patient. The clinician can place the patient in VR scenario locations that resemble the setting in which the traumatic events initially occurred and can gradually introduce and control real time ‘‘trigger’’ stimuli (visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile) as is required to foster the anxiety modulation needed for therapeutic processing and habituation."

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      Thank you for your perspective and the fact that you recognize that the answer is not freaking out and calling on the government to pass a bunch of Draconian laws which will not solve the problem.

       

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    Jake, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:20am

    I think a study needs to be done to see if there's a causal connection between people who speed and racing games.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:25am

    We need a video game about bad legislation where you're a corrupted politician who rampages through congress shooting up the constitution with bad laws and bills and accepting bribes...I mean lobby money for power-ups.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:50am

    One thing I wonder is why the senators are not going after violent movies and TV shows.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      Simple enough, while the gaming industry isn't making enough 'donations' to the politicians, the tv and movie industry more than make up the slack, and as the saying goes 'it doesn't pay to bite the hand that feeds you'.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    We all know that regular fat American kids are OK playing violent video games and watching violent movies.
    But to my knowledge we have no studies of kids like the last few shooters that are serotonin uptake inhibited medication users.
    I think there needs to be a closer look at the psychopharmacological nexus in relation to violence.
    Drug violence is already mildly established for illegal drugs, what casual effects might be found with legal ones?
    Some drugs enhance suicide idealization and can lead to suicide. Are other forms of violence possible?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    It's simple. We, uh, kill the Video Game.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    It's simple. We, uh, kill the Video Game.

     

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    Bengie, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:22pm

    I see his point

    I can understand where he's coming from. Murder is a recent thing. The concept of murdering someone has only been around since video games came out.

    Look how peace loving everyone in the Old Testiment is. I think we should go back to the old ways of doing things.

    IT'S A STONING!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    We Must Ban Frying Pans with Eggs In Them!

    I saw it as a quest reward in WoW.

    http://www.wowhead.com/item=62178#screenshots:id=190306

    Quick. Ban All The Frying Pans!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    I don't see people using swords to kill children even if theyre in a lot of video games

     

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    Anonymous Numbskull (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    Well, I was going to comment on this post, but I have a sudden compulsion to become a surgeon. I guess that's what playing Trauma Center will do to you.

     

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    matt C, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    false sense of accomplishment

    Translated from politician parlance: The gun lobby is too powerful so instead we'll go after video games to make it look like we did something useful on the issue.

     

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    DCX2, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 2:15pm

    False sense of courage

    I think there’s a question as to whether he would have driven in his mother’s car in the first place if he didn’t have access to a weapon that he saw in video games that gave him a false sense of courage about what he could do that day.


    You know what else gave him a false sense of courage? Being taken to the shooting range to practice shooting the guns.

    I bring this up because I'm a gamer who has never shot a firearm (well, I've shot BB guns before, does that count?) If you were to hand me a real gun, I wouldn't know what to do with it. There is no B button in real life that reloads the gun for me. There is no HUD telling me how many bullets are left.

     

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    Chris Brand, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Fascinating

    "video games is a bigger problems than guns because video game affect people" - so guns *don't* affect people ?

    What he said is obviously complete nonsense, but I can't even figure out what he was trying to say here...

     

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    YAR, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    You don't mess with the Zorlon Cannon. You'll see my mean streak, so stay off it!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:44pm

    I havent ever recalled hearing a video game, litterally killing someone.
    This is whats going through his mindd
    "If i can make it sound bad, they will think its bad, if i make it sound good, they will think its good'

     

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    Finn, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 9:37pm

    Crasy is Crasy

    This is insane. Yes, violent video games can effect people who have mental problems, but only them. For people who do not have the mental problems, they are cathartic. When they get angry they go take out their aggression on some pixels instead of a person or animal. If we are going to start banning everything that triggers crasy people to enact homicide, we need to ban dogs and blonde hair since that's what set off Son of Sam back in the '70s.

     

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