Video Games As Simulators

from the the-good-and-the-bad dept

With politicians again freaking out about the impact of video games on kids, there are two interesting stories today about how video games may be helping kids. The first is a middle school where an English teacher is using video games to keep kids interested, while teaching them about concepts like setting, plot and story line. He recognizes that they may relate better to video games, and can then take those lessons and apply them to books. The second story is about a teenager who has become a very young NASCAR driver. He credits all the hours he put in playing racing video games over the years, as he grew up. They taught him the basics, and even helped him get familiar with the various courses. Of course, stories like this aren’t particularly new. Years ago, we wrote about pilots who picked up flying miraculously quickly thanks to their use of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. Then there are stories like former Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana preparing for games by facing his real-life opponents in video game format first.

However, with all of these stories about games acting as “simulators” some might point out that we still scoff at anti-video game lawyer Jack Thompson when he refers to games like Grand Theft Auto as “murder simulators.” Of course, there’s a huge difference between what Thompson and the politicians are describing, and what these other stories describe. In the other “training” stories, it’s all about people using the video games to purposely learn certain skills that can then be applied to the real world. If a kid is purposely using GTA to learn how to kill or steal cars, then that kid has serious problems that have little to do with the video game. Instead, what Thompson and the politicians seem to be so concerned about is that these games somehow have subliminal powers to influence people into thinking that what they do in a virtual world is then okay in the real world. Of course, that assumes that most people can’t actually separate reality from fiction — which doesn’t seem to be true. If it were, then shouldn’t we be seeing a lot more professional NASCAR drivers coming out of the suburban homes with video game machines? After all, if we follow the logic, then all of those kids are being brainwashed into becoming competitive NASCAR drivers. And, of course, we’re still searching for the great epidemic of kids running through the streets because they learned it from playing Frogger. Instead, it seems like most people know the difference between reality and a video game, and know that while it can be useful for training, it’s not brainwashing people into no longer understanding the difference between right and wrong. Perhaps that’s why as violent video games have gotten increasingly popular, youth violence has continued to drop. Somehow, in all of the grandstanding, politicians like to ignore that fact.

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Comments on “Video Games As Simulators”

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meatsheild says:

same story at in the 80s

this is the same rehashed story we hear over and over. I played AD&D in the 80s and heard the same kind of “kids acting it out and killing themselves to get to the next level” stuff. I went to a Catholic high school and as a project for human studies had 3 teachers learn to play, 2 were nuns. Funny thing was none of the nuns wanted to be clerics, oh and they didn’t kill themselves or each other to get to the next level.

I guess and any media can be addictive for the right personality but that doent make it evil.

dorpus says:

Conditioned Upon

We note that the video game industry does refrain from making games like “Grand Serial Rapist”, which may in fact have a harmful effect on kids.

Given that the video industry produces less harmful games, they make the claim that their products cannot be harmful. Less educated techies swallow the propaganda whole.

Marcos says:

Re: Conditioned Upon

Wait a minute what about Violent Movies? Or Even Books?

What about the news? The news is responsible for more violence than any other media source.

People see stuff on TV that upsets them and go nuts. Rodney King riots anyone?

Before they invented TV there was a case where 2 youngsters read a murder story and thought they could get away with the perfect crime. They killed their younger cousin and were both caught.

But what about crime pre-dating books. When most people didn’t know how to read and write? Did people watch animals kill each other and try to copy them?

Another interesting thing to note, countries that are less censored than the US are no more violent (in fact, the US with all its censorship is one of the most violent modernised countries).

Politicians need to start looking at real reasons for youth problems in the states. Have they not learned anything from Columbine? Doesn’t look like it.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Conditioned Upon

Wait a minute what about Violent Movies?

We have “R” ratings, last I heard.

Or Even Books?

X-rated novels are illegal to sell to minors, last I heard.

What about the news? The news is responsible for more violence than any other media source.

Do you have evidence to back this notion?

Another interesting thing to note, countries that are less censored than the US are no more violent (in fact, the US with all its censorship is one of the most violent modernised countries).

Again, do you have evidence to back this notion? African countries, Afghanistan, some Latin American countries have no censorship rules, because they have no rule of law. They are far more violent places than the USA.

Ben says:

Re: Re: Re: Conditioned Upon

Ever heard about the ESRB? I’ve worked in a Video game retailer and we helped to educate parents about the content of games. Most games are adiquitly rated, some rated alittle to harshly. But games like GTA are rated Mature, so not apropriate for kids under 17. What the problem is, is that most parents don’t enforce the sudgested age range, just cause there lil 12 year old might throw a fit.

Most parents are sensible enough that when they learn that content in games might be offensive to them they go for games more gear towards their kids.

Welcome back dorpus, you’ve been a little absent as of late. Have the Mike, or Carlos, or even Joe not pissed you off lately? What are you doing up at 4:41 AM? Do you start drinking that early?

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Conditioned Upon

Most games are adiquitly rated, some rated alittle to harshly.

Did you mean “adequately”?

What the problem is, is that most parents don’t enforce the sudgested age range,

Did you mean “suggested”?

just cause there lil 12 year old might throw a fit.

Did you mean “their”?

Welcome back dorpus, you’ve been a little absent as of late. Have the Mike, or Carlos, or even Joe not pissed you off lately?

Why worry about these losers? They believe what they want to believe, and don’t listen to other perspectives.

What are you doing up at 4:41 AM?

You’re assuming I live on Pacific Daylight Time?

Abar22 says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Conditioned Upon

While I agree that most people who can’t spell or construct a sentence properly, usually, can’t be taken seriously, he made some good points.

The games are rated for certain age groups and those ratings should be enforced by the parents.

To point out all the grammatical errors in someone’s post is: 1. pretentious and 2. a good way to cover the fact that you have no counter-point to the post.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Conditioned Upon

The games are rated for certain age groups and those ratings should be enforced by the parents.

When the ratings have the force of law, then it allows punishment of negligent parents. If there were no laws against bad parenting, then people would complain that there are no laws against bad parenting.

To point out all the grammatical errors in someone’s post is: 1. pretentious and 2. a good way to cover the fact that you have no counter-point to the post.

I was raising the level of discourse here. But would you rather fit the stereotype of the illiterate techie who throws hissy fits when his illiteracy is pointed out to him?

Adam says:

Re: Re: Re: Conditioned Upon

“X-rated novels are illegal to sell to minors, last I heard.”

So novels that aren’t x-rated obviously don’t ever involve violence? Nothing by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler? How about more obviously fiction novels, by Robert Jordan, R.A. Salvatore, Stephen King? Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse describes torture. Is that ok for minors because they won’t have access to a hyperbaric chamber?

There are a lot of good arguments against further censorship, but none of them are ones you brought up.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Conditioned Upon

So novels that aren’t x-rated obviously don’t ever involve violence? Nothing by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler? How about more obviously fiction novels, by Robert Jordan, R.A. Salvatore, Stephen King? Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse describes torture. Is that ok for minors because they won’t have access to a hyperbaric chamber?

Reading a book is not the same as gory imagery on a video screen, though.

How many kids have maimed themselves or got into big trouble from reading anarchist or revenge tactic books? Is there a reason why mainstream bookstores usually don’t carry it?

DayLateFriend says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Conditioned Upon

I agree with Adam. When I was in 6th grade or so, I can remember being in the school library and randomly picking up a book about pilots or something, where every other word was “Fuck”, and it was quite violent. I wouldnt really call that good sensorship, the putting of violent and bad-language materials in a middle school library…

deter1ii (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Conditioned Upon

How many R rated movies did you see when you were a kid? Well today it takes nothing to pull one off of moms shelf and pop it into a dvd player or pull a movie off of the net. What about the books, I had playboys when I was 8, the 14 year old down the street gave them to me. And the news…ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME….I hate to watch the news because all you hear about are murders or bombings or rapist or kids being mauled by dogs or left in the car when its 100 degrees, come on man have you ever seen the news????? And there are no wars going on in our homeland except for some mostly peaceful arguments.

Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Conditioned Upon

Wait a minute what about Violent Movies?

We have “R” ratings, last I heard. (Yes they do, but how effective is the rating system? Are you aware the video game industry has a similar rating system? MA = 18+ only)

Or Even Books?

X-rated novels are illegal to sell to minors, last I heard. (X-Rated books are the ones that include nudity not violence, you can buy comic books anywhere anytime.)

What about the news? The news is responsible for more violence than any other media source. (Ever hear of copy cat killers? Yeah it happens.)

Do you have evidence to back this notion? (We are much more violent then countries than almost all the European nations and we have much more censorship, using Afghanistan & Iraq where you have Extremist without law is definitely not an “Apples to Apples” comparison)

Another interesting thing to note, countries that are less censored than the US are no more violent

Again, do you have evidence to back this notion? African countries, Afghanistan, some Latin American countries have no censorship rules, because they have no rule of law. They are far more violent places than the USA. (in fact, the US with all its censorship is one of the most violent modernised countries; Keyword in previous arguement “Modernized” not third world countries that have no law or rights for citizens).

Dosquatch says:

Re: Re: Re: Conditioned Upon

Oh. You’re back. What the heck, I’ll take a shot:

Wait a minute what about Violent Movies?We have “R” ratings, last I heard.

And? A great many kids still see these movies and their heads, surprisingly enough, do not explode. One of the points made, though, was not simple exposure, but the “acting out” aspect. What of the actors in violent movies? If acting out the role of violence in make-believe has a causal relationship to real life violence, where then is the evidence of our hollywood actors going on killing sprees? (I would also point out here that a great many children have also appeared in such movies just to head off the “more mature minds” arguments) Why isn’t Drew Barrymore a pyro? Come on, where’s the evidence to back up this notion? Any evidence at all.

I mean, you’re the Dorpus! You know all. Help us out here.

Spartacus says:

Reality and fiction

Before anyone starts assuming I’m some right wing fanatic I just want to ask you to put aside the whole “right wing bigot” pigeon hole I might get stuffed in for saying this.

Mike, be careful in saying that most people can separate reality from fiction. I know this is not a main point of this article but it is worth noting that most people cannot separate fact from fiction if it is packaged like it is fact. Case in point “The Da Vinci Code”. How many people read this painfully boring book simply because it “uncovers the truth the Christian church has been hiding for years”? “The Da Vinci Code” has been proven time and again to be purely fictional yet people insist in believing the scandals that the book presents as being real. Again, I know this is not a main point of your article Mike, but it is a foundational one. I would have to say I disagree that this statement “…most people can’t actually separate reality from fiction — which doesn’t seem to be true.” There are many other cases where people simply assume that a fiction is reality because of the packaging and the place they are buying it from.

discojohnson says:

Re: Reality and fiction

Of course, that assumes that most people can’t actually separate reality from fiction — which doesn’t seem to be true. [Mike]

i’m following what Spartacus is saying, but there should be a little more added. mike, a lot of people can differentiate; i don’t argue that. however, society as a whole is more worn down with violence, hence making it more OK. i firmly believe that the parents are responsible here (for allowing content they feel questionable to be bought with their own money). personal fxcking responsibility. i don’t think it’s a matter of fact from fiction, but eventually we will be running around with a banana hammock in public because that’s normal (people wouldn’t dare wear a halter top or bikini in public just 50 years ago—times DO change). eventually ultraviolence and all the things you say won’t happen..will.

so should the government dictate it to us? yes and no. it has a responsibility to prevent society from going down the tubes, but also a responsibility to live and let be. IMHO, the gov’t needs to let this one go, but i can see their point.

A says:

what ths diffrence between video games and books one is just on a tv the other on a peice of paper and books influence thought more than video games and are more accurate to life so should we ban all books about muder and theft. or what about little kids that play cops and robbers, heck that is real life should we aresst them too. how bout we stick to covincting people after they have committed a crime

Archimagus says:

Conditioned Upon

We have “R” ratings, last I heard.

We have “MA” and “AO” ratings as well.

…most people cannot separate fact from fiction if it is packaged like it is fact.

“packaged like it is fact.” That is the key phrase. There is a big difference from “The DaVinci Code” and “GTA”. May be people can’t tell if “The DaVinci Code” is real but “MOST” people can tell the difference between killing someone in a video game and killing someone in real life.

eeyore says:

symptom not the disease

Whenever a violent teenager crime happens people immediately blame violent video games or movies. People who are not predispositioned to violence will not become violent by watching a movie or playing a game, but people already predispositioned to violence might enjoy playing violent games and watching violent movies. The games are the symptom, not the disease, but they’re not the only symptom. Nobody ever became a serial killer after playing games. And why does the media always bring up “Doom” when they talk about violent games. Has anybody played “Doom” in the last ten years? Don’t mistake the symptom for the disease. The Columbine killers had way more obvious signs that they were moving towards violence than video games.

Andy says:


The whole thing is such hype. Video games are not going to be banned, there’s too much money in the industry and money is what makes politicians decisions, period. Regardless, every generation has some sort entertainment that is considered immoral, is going to brainwash our youth into mindless killers, and the whole country is going to fall apart. History notes, there were always books and magazines that were to risque. Then came the radio, jazz and blues music, then rock & roll ( rock and roll, is actually slang for having sex, it’s actually pretty funny that we now have ‘Christian Rock & Roll’ those hipsters are over taking the church!!!) and other cultural phenomenons, now we have video games.

Oh I’m sure society is going to fall apart over this, teens are going to run wild in the streets stealing cars, smoking The Pot, killing grandmas, and stealing our daughters away from church into a cesspool of drugs and violence, just like rock & roll was going to do, the radio, and hip-hop. Bla, bla, bla…

Kras says:

Parents faullt

I have heard this argument time and time again. “Video games cause violence!!” I have a 13 year old son, he would be more than happy to play GTA if I let him, “if I let him” being the point. You don’t hear in the news about some 19 or 20 year old following in the foot steps of a violent video game, it’s teens, the ones who are not supposed to have access to them. Assuming the stores and vendors are following the law, then it falls to the parents to not buy the games that are not rated for their children. Case in point my son went to a birthday party for one of his friends over the past weekend, (he was turning 13) as a gift from one of the other parents he received a CD by “50 cent” that has a “parental advisory” label right on it. What were they thinking? They weren’t and that’s the point. If parents paid attention to what they were letting an impressionable kid listen to, watch or play maybe, just maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

/2 cents

Rational Beaver says:

Microsoft Flight Simulator and certain racing games were made with the intent to be as realistic as possible. That’s why people who play them can learn to do what’s done in the game. They really are simulators in the true sense of the word and are sold as such.

Games like GTA are not at all realistic – a fact that is obvious to anyone who might play them. No human can jog around a city carrying 10 guns and a rocket launcher and, last I checked, stealing cars is not as easy as pressing one key on your keyboard (so many people are locking their doors and wearing seatbelts these days…).

Anonymous Coward says:

Here here Andy.

A comment on another article about piracy or something like that said that the government seems to try to cure the symptoms and not the disease, which is correct. I think it’s partly the parent’s fault and partly the government’s fault. Parent’s should pay more attention to their kids and buy only what they think would not affect their child negatively. Nowadays parent’s don’t seem to care and say “kids will be kids” while they give them their 5+ dollars weekly allowance…or just buy whatever their kid wants without even looking at what their buying.

The government was made to protect the people like the immune system protects the body. The immune system doesn’t keep away the heat of a fever.

There are fewer teens who play video games than adults, and adults have total access to adult rated games. And adults do more crimes than teens. My god, teens should take control of th country! Just kidding.

I think teen violence is linked to negative parental behavior, unable to differentiate fact from fiction from some other disease or LACK OF KNOWLEDGE(one of the causes of too many STDs in Africa), or depression and mental disorders where the child can still do things like shoot people. On a side note, drugs and other neural chemicals are a cause of depression and other mental disorders.

I talk too much so I’ll stop here while I can still control myself.

J.R. says:

Actually, video games do induce violent behavior. Usually towards the video game. I remember slamming controllers into the floor, stabbing an SNES cartridge with a screwdriver and I’ve stomped to pieces numerous game discs all because the game was so poorly programmed that I couldn’t believe I’d wasted good money or time on it. I’ve even fought with my friends for exploiting a cheat in a game or a very cheap move. I’ve gotten angry over video games, but I’ve never once thought the games somehow allowed me to do the things I saw in real life (though I do admit to trying Ryu’s Shoryuken just to see if anyone could do a full 360 before landing — I fell over a lot). The key here is moderation: don’t spend your every waking hour gaming. Do other stuff. It took me about five years to learn that, but when I did I found that I could game casually. The people that are at the most risk for having gaming related problems are people who already have emotional problems. And any violence they commited may be sparked by the game, but it was not intially seeded by the game. Without severe dellusion, it’s impossible to mistake the violence of a video game for real life. And if you’re dellusional enough to mistake video game violence for real, you’re dellusional enough to mistake television, book and movie violence as well. And to censor everything for a few people is like asking a grown man to drink bottle formula because baby can’t handle steak.

Jeff says:

Murder Simulators - bad thing?

The phrase “murder simulators” is obviously meant to trigger a hysterical reaction in whoever hears such propoganda.

However, I think it is a far more interesting proposition to tentatively accept such a shocking evaluation of games for a moment and consider.

Say perhaps violent video games ARE in fact “Murder Simulators”.

Has anyone proved conclusively whether or not Murder Simulators lead to more real-life murder, or whether or not they provide a “safe” outlet for behavior that would be dangerous in real life?

Say perhaps a youth in my city is moved by “REALLY VIOLENT GAME ” to go and kill someone after playing the game. Say perhaps a psychologist in court conclusively proves it beyond anyone’s doubt.


But no one’s gone around and talked to all the other people who bought the video game. How many of those people were already violent types? How many of them had aggressive tendencies and regularly act on them in real life? How many of those violent folks stayed in and killed electronic people rather than going out and murdering someone else? Is it possible that four or five other kids were able to vent their anger in a “safe” way through the video game? How many people would have died if this “safe” outlet was not available?

If no one would have died without the video game “outlet”, it seems easy to say the game was all bad (one died) and no good (no one would have been spared). If three would have died without the game, it seems easy to say the game had some good (more lives were saved than lost). But what if it were just one life spared? (One person died as a result of the game, and one was saved?) Then we are pushed away from the numbers and metrics of life and death and are pushed closer to the real question — what kind of person died — what kind of person lived. Without the game, person A lived, but person B died; with the game, person A dies, but person B lives. Even though the numbers are the same, it is possible that we are still changing our society by killing one type of person and sparing another… and that these people are different people than if the games did not exist…. ACCORDING TO THIS HYPOTHESIS.

However, I believe it’s nearly impossible for a game alone to dramatically affect such life and death situations. At most, games and other media can be aggrevating or mitigating factors which influence the actions of individuals. The individual responsible is always more complex than the hypothetical questions posed by considering the effect of violent video games on society.

I believe there is much more to gain by analyzing the intervening human interaction of individuals and their thought processes than by trying to protect society with additional restrictions, the effects of which are largely unproven and unreliable.

Halo Master Chief says:

I agree

First things first, dorpus, spelling isn’t that important here. If I could fire everybody that works for me that can’t spell, I’d be working alone. Second, he’s got it right. Parents need to be made aware of the ratings on the games. I won’t even buy GTA due to it’s portrayal of crimes. I am not against violence as the Halo games are my favorites. However you will never see my kids playing it until they are old enough. The poor underpaid guys/girls working at video stores need help, not criticism.

FTL900 says:

Reality vs. Video games

Anyone that thinks video games are practice for reality and provoke a similar behavior should play a Tony Hawk game for a few hours, and then go outside and try out your newly acquired skills. Or any Motocross game, or MotoGP for the Xbox, for that matter.

Keep in mind while kids are stealing cars and shooting up the streets in their favorite video games, they’re also getting caught (or killed) a few times along the way as well.

And that’s a real bummer, dude.

EverydayBS says:

Same ole' story

It’s same thing every time. Something bad happens because of some kid, usually in the middle of the “Bible Belt”, does some horrible crime. Who is the first to blame? Not the parents. No it is not there responsibility to teach their kids right from wrong. Not his/her teachers. No they aren’t responsible to supervise interaction with one’s peers. It’s gotta be ______ (insert current media child is caught up in at the moment). In the 50’s it was jazz music. 60’s blamed free love. 70’s equaled disco and motown. 80’s was all Heavy Metal, Rap and Punk Rocks fault. 90’s, Grunge, Hip Hop, Heavy Metal still. Today it’s Video Games, UFC, Professional Wrestling, and Movies. Not once during any of these times did the parents come into question. Just because a kid is interacting with something that was unavailable or non-existent when the parent was a child it had to be that things fault. It’s the only possibility. That’s a load of bull. It is the parents responsibilty to educate themselves on what their kids are doing. I don’t

want my tax dollars going to raising someone elses child because mom/dad is too caught up in their own lives to talk with their children. I spent too much time indulging myself with these so called “Bad for Kids” activities. Except UFC and Pro Wrestling (don’t see why anyone would watch that crap). As a 13 yr old I would sneak into the attic and watch my step father porn. At 14 I would play erotic video games at a friends house on his Commodore 64. My entire life in High School was devoted to Punk and Heavy Metal. I watched Bugs Bunny. I did all the things that supposedly contribute to a bad child. Not once have I been in a physical fight. I have yet to flee from police. Still haven’t killed anyone. Haven’t raped anybody either. I’ve done nothing that these things are supposed to lead teenagers, too. Do you know why? Because my parents had the guts and forsight to talk to me. Show me right from wrong. Not just through words but through example. Do you think some kid is going to listen to his dad’s virtues if he knows dad is ripping off the office in yet another fraud case. No. To blame the media, no matter what form it comes in is a joke. These media hungry moms and politicians only want you to believe them long enough to succeed in their own agendas. Don’t buy into the hype. Think for yourself. Research it if need be. But always, I mean always, question what those in power tell you. The line between fact and fiction is blurred everywhere, not just in video games.

steven m. rosenow says:

Re: Same ole' story

dear everyday i just wanted to answer your question why would anybody want to watch that crap[ufc,pro-wrestling]? ive been a fan of pro-wrestling for 43 years,and have made a reputation from that. as to why i watch it, 1. ive always liked violent shows. i outgrew looney toons and found superhero cartoons more to ,my liking. 2. since i cant stand ball games i love all the action pro-wrestling brings me 4 times or more a week. after all they are the greatest athletes and entertainers on this planet. 3. you see things on pro-wrestling you cant find anywhere else. 4. i caught the wrestling bug from my grandmother and great grandmother, but they werent the fan i am, very few people are. as for ufc ive watched it but it doesnt do for me what pro-wrestling does. the only thing i can tell you if you dont like it dont watch it!

AIR says:

Give me a break

Thanks to Halo I now know future warfare tactics.

Thanks to Sonic I can now summersault real fast.

Metroid, there is that summersault thing again.

Mario is training me how to break brick with my head and shoot fireballs from my mouth.

Leisure Lary…if I ever go to the Play Boy mansion I know exactly how to score

Grand Tourismo is training me…ok this one has some validity to it, but there is slim chance I will get the chance to drive the F1 but if I do…

And best of all, because of GTA I can now pick up hookers just by honking the horn, and it is worth it because my life bar will go up.

AIR says:

In 1979, Death Race was banned, the first video game to be banned. It was based on the movie “Death Race 2000”. It seems that GTA is referred to as being the pinnacle of violent video games, but what movie was GTA based on, “Scar Face” ring a bell to anyone? Rock Star was not able to secure the rights so created a look alike.

This notion that video games are only for kids has gone out the window a long time ago. ESA stated that the average player is 33 years old, therefore; it makes since that the video game industry would market its product accordingly. The average age of an “R” rated movie go’er is probably similar to that 33 range, should “R” rated movies be banned.

Oh yah, and thanks to Dance Dance Revolution people line up all around me in the club just to watch.

Aaron says:

I think it is very interesting how the military has to do less desinitizing since video games have come out. Granted I am totally against banning video games, I just thought it was interesting.

On the note of who’s fault it is. I believe 100% it is the parents. They need to be involved in their childs life. They need to listen. They need to be…well…parents.

Ntlgnce (profile) says:

When I was young.

Yes I acted out what I saw on Tv. As does my child now, watching “Barney” or “Power Rangers”. It was “fun” for me to shoot flaming arrows in the basement of my home, as seen on “the Dukes”. Was it the Dukes that made me do it? NO!, The show only gave me the idea to do it, However I had also seen “Children of the Corn” and “Friday the 13th”, See there has to be, #1, access to the tools, #2, A motive for doing it. #3, lack of parental guidance. #4, unsupervised time, all of which the parent needs to control. Parents need to realize that when the kids, get a “FUN” idea they WILL try to act it out, (Taking the game away is not going to solve the problem, as they will hear about it from the kid down the street). Parents need to address the kids about the issues, and the best way to do this is to expose them to it, and COMMUNICATE with them, as to the fact that its only a video game or movie, And to think about what would happen if that happened to your brother, or your mother, from both sides of the story, meaning, what if that was your father, shooting all those cops? what if your father was one of those cops.. Force the child to see both sides of the reality and of the virtual worlds.

Parents should always expect there kids to do the worst, and keep harmful things locked up, or “out of reach”.. In today’s violent world, Communication and education is the key to a healthy normal Childs development

DayLateFriend says:

And another thing, this is about whoever was talking about the bible belt, whatever. Have you ever talked to somebody who is a fundamentalist, or anything like that? Those parents are very strict, and are keeping their children from even looking out the windows (exaggeration). But my point still rests. If you suppress anyone’s freedom, anyway, they are going to rise up eventually. I cant even count the number or stories I have read about christian fundamentalist daughters who get pregnant at 16, drop out of highschool and turn to prostitution…

EverydayBS says:

Re: DayLateFriend

My “Bible Belt” comment was meant to poke at the fundamentalists. Albeit very subtle. Most of the “Concerned” citizens you see in the news (ie. the ones blaming the industry) are fundamentalist Christians. I only have to spend 5 minutes listneing to them rattle on about the collapse of society before they piss me off at how backward and ignorant they are to reality. And they say kids have no conept of the difference. Not to mention they only care about our personal freedoms as long as it goes along with their own narrow minded values.

Abar22 says:

This is a stupid arguement

When I was younger I didn’t strap a rocket to my back to chase birds around the yard just because Wile E. Coyote did. Those kids at Columbine, or anywhere else where video games have been blamed for violent behavior, were already messed up.

I believe stores that are caught selling mature games to immature customers are fined. So there is a system at work to prevent premature exposure of this violent content to minors. Parents just need to parent better, plain and simple.

There is no medium that causes people to be violent. It may give people who are already violent new ideas on how to act out said violence but it is in no way the cause of the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yea, at first is was movies…

Violent Movies are going to end society as we know it

Then it was Cartoons.. VIOLENT ones

Then it was Rock and Roll

Then it was D&D

Then it was Heavy Metal

Then it was Rap

Now it’s video games *yawn*

No riddle me this batman…

What Has done MORE damage to society? Video Games or Ambulance Chasing Lawyers suing every doctor in site?

Ask yourself this question again when you look at your health insurance premiums. I, for one, am a contractor and I CANT EVEN AFFORD HEALTCARE, I’d be better off on welfare, then it would be free.

So again – which is doing more damage to society?

Video Games or Lawyers?

Robert Johnson says:

Causing vs Encouraging

I’ve got to agree that it seems untenable that a video game would convince an otherwise sane kid that murder might be ok. But is it really a stretch to say that someone who is screwed up enough to be using a “murder simulator” to deliberately practice violence is being encourged and supported in their dementia?

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's a story...

The “In” crowd singles out and picks on a loner.

The loner tries to get help but noone believes him (mainly due to the qualities that made a loner to start with).

The loner gets a gun and shoots up the school.

All of a sudden the parents of the “In” crowd are like, “What did my kid do to deserve this?”

It’s later discovered that the loner liked a certain type of music, violent games, or picked up on some extreme philosophy from the internet.

So somehow it is concluded that the reason that the loner shot up the school wasnt becuase he was bullied into a corner by the “In” crowd and went to the extreme to protect himself, it was becuase of his taste in music, video games, or his way of thinking.

Now I’m not saying that the “In” crowd in this story deserved to be hurt or killed but at the same time they are not only victims here. Perhaps if they hadn’t bullied him he wouldn’t have gone off the deep end.

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe a stiff penalty...

Abar22 mentions that stores are fined for selling M and AO rated games to minors. Why not go after like stores that sell cigs to minors? Undercover buyers. And if a store is caught selling a game before its official release date arent they fined heavily AND punished by not getting shipments of future games til weeks after every else gets it? Do that to stores that sell games to minors.

Marcos says:


I’m 27 years old. I was watching violent movies from about 8 years old. I’ve been playing all types of video games since the age of 10 and still play too many video games (mostly violent).

I am not a violent person, nor do I condone real life violence, in fact, I am completely against any kind of real violence and hate to see people hurt. Even damaged property saddens me.

Now, one thing I am completely against is censorship. I firmly believe that parents who limit their children by not allowing them to play certain games or watch certain movies are not doing the kids any favours. Based on my own upbringing, and that of anyone I know who also grew up avidly playing video games I have never ever seen any real violence induced by any of this. I have seen however, seen a lot of violence, none of which was related to games, movies or music*.

The problem? The illusion that any of this is responsible for violence. It deterrs from the real underlying issues at hand. Segregated cultures, racism, and the “rub it in your face” wealth that occurs most noticeably in the USA.

What do I mean by “rub itin your face” wealth? Simple, you’re at a traffic light, you’re in an avg car, someone pulls up next to you in a fancy car and blurts out something to make you feel worse about yourself. These kinds of things makes youths pursue violence.

I remember growing up in Miami, gangs were rampant. What did those ultra violent kids want? Power, respect and money.

I think if you asked any gang member whether he thought playing violent videogames or listening to certain music made them act the way they did they would probably laugh at you.

*I have to agree on one thing though, certain music might hype you up for a certain situation, playing a certain game or watching a movie might give you ideas about how to do a certain deed.

Certain things in society are far more destructive than media. Alcohol, drugs, racism, and abuse of power.

If we remove violence from all sports and media (games, movies, music) and then perhaps the youths will be left with only 2 thing to do, fight and fornicate each other to death.

As parents what do I suggest you do? Unfortunately I have no idea. You don’t raise your kids. As soon as your kids start to spend more time outside of the house, they are no longer being educated by you. They are brought up by their peers and heavily influenced by the world (the real world, not the fictional one that just simulates the real world) around them.

masterofnight2003 (user link) says:

video games banning

i have gone though almost all or your posts. I have though about it and talked with my wife about it, and we both agree. The government shouldn’t be able to ban a video game due to its contents. They have ratings on all the games for a reason. It’s up to the parnets to keep track of what the kids play and watch. As well as to teach their kids the differ between right and wrong, fact or fiction. I’ll amit games can give young kids ideal’s, but so does movies, books, news, and even their own mom’s and dad’s. So does that mean that everything should be banned. My point is where is it going to stop. There was the song “cop kill” that was banned, do to couple of fools who went out and kill some cops after hearing the song. Now they want to band video games due to couple of fools who try to make their life into a big game. Whats next the “R” rated movies, or books, since some fool see’s or read’s it n decide he wants to try it in real life. Well this is my opinion. Have a good day and keep safe, never know when the neighbor might go nuts with a ak47 after playing a war game. 🙂

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