If You Want Two-Thirds Of Americans To Agree That Violent Video Games Are More Dangerous Than Guns, All You Have To Do Is Ask The Right Americans

from the two-thirds-of-a-foregone-conclusion dept

If you need some handy numbers to argue that violent video games are more dangerous than guns, Public Policy Polling has just delivered a gift-wrapped poll result especially for you. In the middle of a long poll attempting to suss out potential front runners for the 2016 elections, PPP decided to toss in a question comparing violent video games and guns.

There you have it. Violent video games are a "bigger safety threat" than guns, according to two out of three respondents. Seems pretty open and shut. Everyone cross out the word "gun" on your pet piece of legislation and replace it with "video game!" The nation is saved!

Many of you may be reaching for your guns/lower jaw/commenting implement. Before we start firing off mouths/angry wall o' text screeds/bullets, let's have a look at the methodology.

PPP surveyed 800 voters nationally from January 31st to February 3rd. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.5%. We oversampled 416 Democratic and 508 Republican primary voters with margins of error of +/-4.8% and +/-4.4% respectively. In Iowa between February 1st and 3rd we interviewed 313 Democratic and 326 Republican primary voters with margins of error of +/-5.5% and +/-5.4% respectively. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.
This certainly seems above board. So, why do the results seem so surprising? Well, maybe it's the prevailing demographics of those surveyed. As pointed out in the comments at Kotaku, there are two factors that skew the results.

1. 72% of the respondents are older than 45.

2. The "violent video games" question was only posed to Republican primary voters.

Now, this data pretty much agrees with the stereotypical view that older people and Republicans trust guns more than they trust violent video games. Sure, there are plenty of outliers along the way, but the Republican Party has generally fought gun control laws, and older people are generally more distrustful of recent technology. In fact, given a narrow enough demographic, you could probably get poll results that indicates that "most Americans" believe cellphones are a bigger safety threat than depleted uranium.

So, what PPP has actually done is gift-wrapped a set of numbers useful for preaching to the converted. All it does is add to noise that surrounds this heated topic. Considering there's nothing else resembling that question in the other several dozen pages, one wonders why the question appears at all. Truly bizarre.



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  1.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    As usual, a loaded question...

    Where is the option "Other"? I'm frankly more afraid of bought/emotional politicians screwing up this country than either of the options they presented. The world needs more politicians that think with wisdom and intelligence than with emotion and "for the children."

    If I was given this survey, I would have not answered the question, nor the question that followed it as both are so unbelievably loaded. If forced, I would have chosen not sure, not because I don't have an opinion, but because neither choice is correct. The favorable/unfavorable questions are a little vague, but at least they ask for an opinion not a "best of two evils and aren't really even evil" scenario.

    A gun is not a threat, even loaded with the hammer cocked back, ready to fire. So long as it is not touched, there is little if any danger that it will do anything other than just sit there. A person who wields a gun is a threat, regardless to the condition of the gun, but how much of a threat depends on their intentions and their training.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 8:48am

    The "violent video games" question was only posed to Republican primary voters.

    What? Were they at NRA clubhouses that also serve as polling stations as well?

     

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    velox (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Poll manipulation has become a high art form. Edward Bernays would be proud if he could see what is being accomplished these days.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Re: The "violent video games" question was only posed to Republican primary voters.

     

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    Jeff (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    I'm certain somewhere out there, Samuel Clemens is giving the world a giant /facepalm

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    i mentioned this very notion previously:
    during the recent fake-election season, i was bombarded by the usual 'vote for me, not that other scumbag...' calls, plus a *bunch* of 'surveys'...

    *some* of the 'surveys' were simply thinly-veiled 'vote for me...' calls, some were 'push polls' which -surprise!- gave false choices and 'funneled' you into answers along the lines of 'do you want to let moose-limb tourists gang rape your puppy, *OR* would you rather kongress burned the bill of rights on the whitehouse lawn ?'...
    um, there's no other choice ? ? ?
    (apparently not)

    also -i recounted this earlier- had a number of polls where after you were finished, they got 'basic info' on the respondent: age, race, etc... one question -which i heard from 2-3 different polls, was along the lines of 'How often do you go to church/worship?', and the answers you had to choose from, were 'several times a week'; 'once a week'; 'once a month'; and the LAST 'choice' was 'less than once a month', there was NO CHOICE for 'never'...

    in other words, EVERYONE who responded to that poll (including this agnostic/atheist) was COUNTED as going to church/worship AT LEAST SOME OF THE TIME...
    that makes THEM liars...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Mike, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Misunderstanding the poll...

    I think you've misunderstood this poll and the motivations behind it. PPP is a Democratic party-leaning polling organization, and they often throw in questions to show the bizarre beliefs of the current incarnation of the Republican party. In this case, the result is being used to show how crazy the Republican base is for believing that violent video games are more dangerous than firearms. As for the age breakdown, that's a pretty fair age range for modern Republicans.

     

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    atheno, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:06am

    small issue

    I enjoyed your post and think your website is a fantastic repository of stances on issues I agree with and feel strongly about. That being said, I have an issue with the point you make comparing cell phones to depleted uranium.

    Your post implies that cell phones are clearly more safe than depleted uranium. However, depleted uranium is solely uranium 238 without the fissile uranium 235. U238 is only dangerous as a radioactive substance if inhaled. Your skin blocks the radiation (alphas) emitted by U238 very well. I've heard some information about its use as bullets, which creates an inhalation hazard, but other than the inhalation hazard it is relatively harmless.

    Your post seems to use the misunderstanding of radiation as an "easy win" for your point.

     

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    Lord Binky, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    "In fact, given a narrow enough demographic, you could probably get poll results that indicates that "most Americans" believe cellphones are a bigger safety threat than depleted uranium"

    Someone please do this, because then we can either outlaw cellphones for peoples safety or allow widespread use of DU bullets, either result will be hilarious.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    "In fact, given a narrow enough demographic, you could probably get poll results that indicates that "most Americans" believe cellphones are a bigger safety threat than depleted uranium."

    Bad comparison. Unless someone has been hitting armored vehicles in your neighborhood with DU rounds, cellphones are FAR more dangerous. I don't remember the last time someone died because someone was driving while talking on their Depleted Uranium, but that happens all the time with people talking on their cellphones :)

    Depleted Uranium is really just a localized threat, and has killed far FAR fewer people than cellphones. It's more dangerous than cellphones in the same way that aircraft crashes are more dangerous than car crashes. You're less likely to survive a plane crash than a car crash, but you're far FAR FAR more likely to die in a car crash than plane crash.

    I'm sorry, but DU fears are overblown for people OUTSIDE of a warzone (or in the vicinity of a warzone and downwind.) Cellphones truly are more dangerous than DU.

     

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    velox (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Misunderstanding the poll...

    "they throw in questions to show the bizarre beliefs of the current incarnation of the Republican party"
    If the factors which explain a poll's results are obscured by those who are publishing them, then it still remains an attempt to manipulate opinion rather than explain opinion.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: The "violent video games" question was only posed to Republican primary voters.

    They're batshit crazy in philly ain't they, you check those comments?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Re: small issue

    so go inhale some and get back with me in a few years to tell me how that went for you

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    also -i recounted this earlier- had a number of polls where after you were finished, they got 'basic info' on the respondent: age, race, etc... one question -which i heard from 2-3 different polls, was along the lines of 'How often do you go to church/worship?', and the answers you had to choose from, were 'several times a week'; 'once a week'; 'once a month'; and the LAST 'choice' was 'less than once a month', there was NO CHOICE for 'never'...

    Heh... How about those who just go for the free food and don't actually believe the stuff? Or because if they don't, bad things (either real or imagined) will happen to them even if they don't believe the theology? Yup...a whole lot of lies/statistics.

    I pretty much ignore surveys and survey calls now. If I happen to pick up the phone when they call, I tell them nicely (and some times not so nicely, when they are particularly annoying) that I don't participate in surveys.

    They aren't really interested in what I think, so much as they are interested in using me as part of their constructed weapon to get the government to relent to their lobbying efforts. The few surveys that did get me to respond, usually I wait until they spring a loaded question on me and then ask them politely why they are so unsure of their position that they have to use loaded questions to get the results they want. Usually they hang up though I've had a few intelligent discussions and an interviewer that was honestly (or maybe not) unaware that their question was unloaded. Only got through one survey so far where I didn't have to ask the question, but that may have just been me not paying attention.

     

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    MRK, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    The authors comment went way above your head. But since everyone loves pedantry:

    The cellphone does not kill anyone. The distracted driver talking on the cellphone did.

     

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    mockingbird (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    biggest safety threat

    would like to see it more as an open text response, and do some word cloud analysis.
    personally, I think the biggest safety threat is unemployment.
    I think (but have no study to cite) that the more people working, the less crime there will be on the street.
    other likely things to pop up from the open text word cloud might be things like 'drugs' 'drunk drivers' 'politicians' etc.. :-P

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:33am

    of course video games are more dangerous, you can chaff your feet tripping over game boxes, the dvd's could have your eye out if you chuck it. Guns on the other hand far more safe...

     

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  18.  
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    DCX2, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: small issue

    U238 radiates ionizing radiation, as you readily admit. Cell phones do not radiate ionizing radiation. I don't see the problem with the author's point.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    What I don't get is how people continue to point their finger at violent video games, but at the same time fail to mention violence in movies, TV shows, and music.

    Oh wait, I do get it... MPAA and RIAA control those...

     

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  20.  
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    Lord Binky, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: small issue

    Just because there isn't any known method for non-ionizing radiation to cause cancer like ionizing radiation, doesn't mean non-ionizing radiation isn't doing something even worse that we don't know about, and we haven't noticed yet, and don't even know if it exists, which is way more scary.

     

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  21.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    I mostly agree with you so it's a shame I have this petty need to sound off on semantics all the time.

    If a gun poses "little danger" then it you can't say it's not a threat. It is a weapon and as such comes with a certain amount of danger, and I'd argue that a loaded gun sitting by itself is innately more dangerous than a video game sitting by itself.

    Of course without any human interaction nothing is dangerous (if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to get hurt, is it still dangerous?) so comparing just the items doesn't really get us anywhere. What we're really asking is if video games have a corrupting effect that makes a person more dangerous than a person with a gun. I'm sure there are many responsible and safe gun owners out there, but I'm going to assume the injury and death stats are heavily weighted towards the firearms side of the scale.

    This is, of course only assessing the dangers of each, not taking into account their benefits and ramifications. Which is why it's a stupid question. What's more dangerous bricks or canals? Children or cacti? Free speech or nationalism?

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: The "violent video games" question was only posed to Republican primary voters.

    I did, and we are. LOL.

     

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  23.  
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    DCX2, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Misunderstanding the poll...

    What is obscured? It says right at the bottom of the page with the question in question - "Survey of 508 Republican primary voters". It was clearly designed to show their frame of mind regarding a current and controversial issue, just like the following question about illegal immigration. And followed by a list of solely well-known Republican candidates.

    PPP never said "two-thirds of Americans". Anywhere.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    All guns come with a safety. Unless you intentionally disable the safety, then the gun is not in any way more dangerous than a baseball bat. Clearly we should mandate the inclusion of a safety mechanism on video games and then make the disabling of such a safety mechanism the felony.

     

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  25.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    l'il wolf-
    oh, absolutely, they are looking to use the 'push polls' to confirm the evil they already are intent on doing; HOWEVER, i *DO* like to put just a teeny little outlier in their data, and so answer the OPPOSITE (if possible within the constraints of the poll), *just* to skew their results a *little*...

    yes, poking my tiny febrile appendage in the eye of sauron is all that is left to me in order to express outrage at the system...

    (paraphrasing kennedy: when you eliminate all means of non-violent dissent, WTF do you think that leaves, mr politician...)

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  26.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: small issue

    But you'd also have to get someone else to inhale a similar amount of cellphone.

     

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  27.  
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    DCX2, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: small issue

    The only known mechanism which non-ionizing radiation in that frequency range has upon biological tissue is heating. Considering that we as a society have had things like radar for approximately an entire lifetime - Percy Spencer noticed his Mr. Goodbar melted while working on an active radar system in 1945, nearly 70 years ago - if there was any unknown mechanism by which thousands of watts of microwave radiation could cause cancer, we would be able to identify it by now.

    When the engineers who design radar systems or cell phone towers, or the contractors who build these things, start showing a statistically significant increase in cancer exposure from hanging around kW transmitters relative to individuals who did not spend time around these kW transmitters, I will entertain the idea that it's possible for mW transmitters to harm the body.

    This isn't like smoking. You can see a statistically significant increase in lung cancer among smokers. Being scared of cancer from cell phones is a lot like being scared of aliens. Sure, we can't *prove* 100% that cell phones can't cause cancer - but we can't prove 100% that there aren't aliens coming to kill us all, either.

     

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    mmrtnt (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Feeding the Beast

    I am more concerned with violent video games keeping Microsoft solvent.

     

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  29.  
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    Jesse (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Ask the wrong Americans more like.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    I recently polled 100 women on what shampoo they use in the shower, 98 of them asked how I got in there house. The point Polls are Redundant.

     

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  31.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    45 year-olds use movies, TV, and music; generally you don't scapegoat something you like.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:01am

    This just proves to me that the US is full of idiots.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Now you know why polls aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
    Nothing is dangerous until put in the hands of a psychotropic dis-inhibited adolescent/post adolescent young man.

     

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    Aztecian (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    We are SO well trained...

    First, the comment about poll manipulation as an art form is an understatement. Poll data has long passed from "probably useless" to "intentionally misdirecting" and it hasn't stopped heading in that direction.

    It is so bad, it is impossible to tell if the hidden purpose behind this one and its release is pro or anti gun control. I doubt it is pro or anti game control, but I suppose that's possible. We are such easy targets.


    If we weren't so well trained, we would recognize the question as manipulative as well as inane, but somehow we don't. We just fill in the blanks as though we were taking a No Child Left Behind test.

    Which would you prefer, Twinkies or tap-dance lessons?

    Or this: Would you vote for me if I presented this over simplified polar answer to a complex problem... or this other over simplified polar answer?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    It's still incorrect to presume that DU is more dangerous to the American Public than Cellphones. Cellphones indirectly kill thousands of people via stupid drivers. DU doesn't affect the American public. So a poll of AMERICAN'S that concluded with DU being more dangerous than cellphones shows that American's are stupid, not that DU is more dangerous. Now, go to a country where we blew the ever-living shit out of armored vehicles with DU rounds? Then DU is likely more dangerous than cellphones (likely something to do with the lack of cellphones since we probably blew apart their communications infrastructure.)

    As far as AMERICA is concerned, the only American's in danger from DU are those poor bastards that have to play with vehicles smacked with DU rounds. That's a far far smaller number than the number of American's negatively affected by Cellphones. Unless you're in a position to actually be affected by DU (Not likely at all), then it has no effect on your safety. Also, consider that DU is used for radiation SHIELDING as well, so it also protects you! (though if we're fair and consider the positive uses of cellphones, the phone will win hands down).

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    " poll results that indicates that "most Americans" believe cellphones are a bigger safety threat than depleted uranium."


    The uranium is depleted so it has to be safe.

    /smaartass

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    I'm gonna play devils advocate on this one... So what happens when you have some 5 year old that spends all of his time playing these shoot 'em up games and starts to think that it "OK" to shoot people or just wants to see what it's like to do so? I have a nephew that use to think he was Spiderman (hmmm, where'd he get that idea) and go around terrorizing people scratching them up. I know this is a minor thing but now throw "shoot 'em up" into the mix... See where I'm going? Some people/kids can handle the violence and some can't. I'm not saying ban video games but I bet that it does have an influence into what's happening in our society these days.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Fixed polls all too often either/or almost never neither/nor.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Bunch of fucking assholes will never take away my games !

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    If a gun poses "little danger" then it you can't say it's not a threat. It is a weapon and as such comes with a certain amount of danger

    Well, I guess the semantics weren't right on this one, good catch. I'd say that in 99.9% of the time, I'd be correct, but there is always the gun with a delicate trigger, that could go off with a change in air pressure or earth movement. However, as to whether that is a threat to me, or anyone else, depends on how close they are to the barrel of the gun.

    I'd argue that a loaded gun sitting by itself is innately more dangerous than a video game sitting by itself.

    And I'd agree. Though neither is a threat. Guns are dangerous, don't get me wrong. You should always treat guns as though they were loaded, and never point one at anything you don't want to shoot. I'd never say the same about a video game...though I'd probably not give Postal to a twelve year old boy, I don't see it as inherently dangerous (unlike a gun.)

    What we're really asking is if video games have a corrupting effect that makes a person more dangerous than a person with a gun.

    But that isn't what is asked. At no point did the question ask whether the corrupting influence of a person playing a video game was more dangerous than a person with a gun. I play a ton of video games, some of them violent, and often times (when you don't cheat,) those violent games depict real consequences of gun violence. If you asked me the question above, instead of what they asked, I'd answer yes...a person with a gun is more dangerous than the corrupting influence of a video game.

    The only reason I was comparing objects is because that is exactly what they did...when they said "What do you think is a bigger safety threat in America: guns or violent video games?" When asked that way, neither would be my answer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Holy Crap!

    I better call Cyberpower and tell them to put that new PC on hold until this gets sorted out. God forbid I would spend money on something I can't use.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:45am

    Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    A computer with a violent gam loaded can't physically harm a 3 year old, and they would probaly get bored with it quickly. A cocked and loaded gun can. Especially when it looks like a toy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Hate

    It's nothing but an expression of their hatred towards the gaming community, like things such as this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: The "violent video games" question was only posed to Republican primary voters.

    Voters in Republican primaries over 40? Pretty much yes.

     

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    Mike, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Misunderstanding the poll...

    I'm not sure what you're suggesting is being obscured -- the poll results were reported by PPP as showing what Republican party voters felt about certain issues. This presentation of data is fairly common in political polling -- it's used to show how far apart the parties are on certain issues.

     

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    Lord Binky, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    EXACTLY! It could be perfectly safe, or it could be doing something horrible that is totally unknown and unnoticeable right now, even if we have no reason to suspect it. They call you crazy for wearing a tinfoil suit that you have grounded, until you're right and then we will all see who is laughing last...

     

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    Simple Mind (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    I own a gun so that I can shoot anyone that tries to take away my games.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Only 2 choices? No "other," I wanted to pick movies, no music! No, I got a better one, left and right politics, yeah, that is the number one cause of violence.

     

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    Lord Binky, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    As for the correlation between close proximity work with kW+ transmitters and an increase in cancer, the distance in which there could be a risk is going to be on the order of nanometers when scaled down with the power transmitted in a cell phone. So short of slapping the bare antenna on your face you're not going to have the chance for anything to happen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    and why you as a parent allow a kid to play those video games >>,i remember a video i watched about this topic one parent said o i bought medal of honor for my children why because it should be about olimpycs i mean is called medal of honor nad was told why do you buy a mature videogame for a child and was later asked about other games he bought and repliyed as o i also bought god of war i mean it is about god isnt it, every time i heard about kid playing violent video games i tought of stupid parents if you ask me >>

     

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  51.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    I guess my version is an example of the metal gymnastics one would have to do to make the poll question make sense. Am I being blindly optimistic to hope a poll respondent would make a similar translation?

    [looks at poll results]

    Aw crappers.

     

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  52.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    The distracted driver talking on the cellphone did.

    Just for fun...

    The DU bullet does not kill anyone. The maniac with the gun shooting the DU bullets did.

    (Though seriously, are there actually DU bullets? I've only heard of it being used in shells fired from tanks - in which case it was the tank gunner.)

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Polls like this are more dangerous that a loaded gun, they lead politicians to make decisions that lead eventually to violent revolution.

     

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  54.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    A computer with a violent gam loaded can't physically harm a 3 year old, and they would probaly get bored with it quickly. A cocked and loaded gun can. Especially when it looks like a toy.

    I agree, but that isn't the question they asked, was it? I am arguing that this should have been the question they asked if they wanted a logical and well reasoned answer. They didn't. They chose the loaded question. What if the question asked the following: "What do you think is a bigger security threat in America: cameras or violent video games?" Would your answer change? Why?

    Anyone who leaves a cocked and loaded gun where a child of any age can access it, should be locked away and never allowed to have a gun or children ever again. Period. Nobody is arguing against that here.

     

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  55.  
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    John Doe, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Which is more dangerous?

    The answer to which is more dangerous, guns or games is neither. Guns/games don't kill people, people kill people.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    perhaps they should have asked 'what would enter the body easier and do the most damage, a bullet or a video game?'

     

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  57.  
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    John Doe, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Misunderstanding the poll...

    So Republican's are crazy for thinking guns are dangerous? Do you realize how dangerous your alcoholic drink is? It could grab the keys to your car and run over a pedestrian. Or how about your hammer? Your hammer kills more people than assault rifles, I sure hope your hammer is locked up. Yep, we sure are crazy for thinking inanimate objects aren't dangerous.

    BTW, I don't buy the video games are dangerous argument either.

     

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  58.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    I guess my version is an example of the metal gymnastics one would have to do to make the poll question make sense. Am I being blindly optimistic to hope a poll respondent would make a similar translation?

    Heh... I like your version far better and would have not even hesitated in answering it truthfully. Guns are dangerous. Far more so then video games will ever be whether or not they are violent. I don't think anyone with training in and understanding of firearms would honestly disagree.

    I wish there were more folks who would ask the question they wanted an answer on, not one that they can use to influence others. Art Guerrilla is dead on (as is Tim, though it was hard to see through the sarcasm)...the survey game is not about getting the answers, so much as influencing minds and determining illogical patterns based on bad input.

     

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  59.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re:

    (Though seriously, are there actually DU bullets? I've only heard of it being used in shells fired from tanks - in which case it was the tank gunner.)

    Vulcans spit out DU. However the rounds in those things are 20x102mm, which aren't necessarily what you'd find in a gun. They are usually mounted to helicopters and airplanes. I only know this because they talked about the use on Apache gunships. I am not aware of DU being used in personal weapons, and doubt they would because the rounds would be hazardous to the person using the weapon (you'd be amazed on how much gasses you breath in at a range with a normal weapon.) DU is also very heavy, and would add considerable weight to the weapon (more so then then lead that is currently used.)

     

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  60.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re: small issue

    Are you sure about that:
    http://gulfwarvets.com/du.htm

     

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  61.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    COL J. Edgar Wakayama OSD/DOT&E/CS:

    Heavy metal toxicity issues:
    Occupational exposure limit: 3 mg
    uranium/g kidney;
    Kidney failure/dysfunction with a few days
    if large intake of DU (>50 mg uranium/g
    kidney);
    The estimated DU intake for most soldiers
    on the battlefield: 0.1 mg uranium/g kidney
    No reported case of acute kidney failure
    among soldiers, but long-term effect is
    unknown (The Royal Society Report, March
    2002).

    " Being scared of cancer from cell phones is a lot like being scared of aliens." - Give us a break.

    "DU can be deposited in bone causing DNA damage
    by the effects of the alpha particles;"

    DU is radioactive and
    produces:
    Alpha particle,
    Beta particle,
    Gamma ray (small).

    The naturally occurring uranium
    consists primarily of three nuclides
    according to the following
    percentages (by weight):
    238U (99.283%),
    235U (0.711%),
    234U (0.005%).

    "This isn't like smoking." - Yeah Ill take smoking.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Misunderstanding the poll...

    To DCX2 and Mike above: If you go to PPP's web site where this Gaming versus Guns poll information was presented, there was initially no indication that this question was posed only to Republicans. That update was only added the next day after some readers called this to their attention.
    I would also add that you have to read the original report with a sharp eye and be paying attention in order to see the fact you are observing. There was no failure to disclose here, but the sections of the poll which were segregated by party were not identified in the title, or even the body of the summary pages which dealt with those poll segregates. It was only present in the fine print at the bottom of page 44. You would think that if a summary page was created for questions that were only asked of people from a certain party, that the party would appear prominently in the summary.
    The careful reader sees it; the casual reader does not. I consider that to be obscure.

     

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  63.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    DU is also very heavy, and would add considerable weight to the weapon

    Yeah, that was my thinking in asking. Uranium is around 15% denser than lead, so that would change the trajectory of the bullet in a gun designed to shoot standard rounds. I suppose if you've got them as rounds for a Vulcan cannon or similar, the gun is designed to handle them.

     

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  64.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    Re: small issue

    A better point would have been that you could get the public to agree that depleted Uranium is more dangerous than natural Uranium - when in fact the reverse is the case.

     

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  65.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: small issue

    U238 radiates ionizing radiation, as you readily admit. Cell phones do not radiate ionizing radiation. I don't see the problem with the author's point.

    Granite (like many rocks) emits ionising radiation. However it is not dangerous usually when used for worktops, floors or as a building material. You can make it dangerous by sealing the building up so tight that the radon it emits becomes dangerous.

    Similarly depleted uranium has a number of uses that are quite harmless. The odds are that you have flown in an airliner that used depleted uranium as ballast. It can also be used as a shield against stronger radiation sources - so it is, in practice, more likely to prevent radiation induced cancer than to cause it! You can make is dangerous by misusing it - but the same is true of water. More people drown every year than are killed by depleted uranium.

    Cellphones are also not particularly dangerous - but then if you drop one in the sea and jump in after it...

     

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  66.  
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    DCX2, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    Uhm, what? A kW+ transmitter needs to be nanometers away from you before it's equivalent to a mW transmitter in a cell phone beside your head?

    I must be misinterpreting you, because that just doesn't make sense. The transmitter with 1,000,000 times the power has to be closer to you for an equivalent effect?

     

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  67.  
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    DCX2, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    You'll take the smoking? Just want to make sure, because each cigarette contains about 70 microsieverts of ionizing radiation. That's about 70 microsieverts more than you get from cell phones. One cigarette is about the same as eating 700 bananas, in terms of radiation exposure.

    And cigarettes are causally linked to incidence of lung cancer. There isn't even a correlation, let alone a causal link, between cell phones - or any microwave radiation - and cancer. After decades of people working around transmitters pumping out one million times the power that your cell phone does, if there were any other negative effects besides heating, we would have seen them by now.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    DCX2, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: small issue

    According to this article http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Radiation/UnderstandingRadiation/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/DepletedUrani um/

    Granite has a specific activity of about 0.000050.0005 Bq per mg.

    Excluding decay products, natural uranium has a specific activity of 25.4 Bq per mg.

    Excluding decay products, depleted uranium has a specific activity of 15 Bq per mg. That's about five orders of magnitude more than granite and about 60% of natural uranium.

    Holding a lump of depleted uranium in your bare hand would give you about 2.5 mSv per hour. Holding this lump for a mere 2 hours would exceed the annual recommended dose limit in place by the NRC in the US (5 mSv)

    It's also not just about how many people it kills. You should ask the Iraqis how much they like our depleted uranium. Especially scary is the graph on Wikipedia showing a huge spike in birth defects within a decade of the Gulf War.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Sounds like they polled people protesting outside a gamestop.

     

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  70.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    A "danger" and a "threat" are two different things. Something can present a danger without presenting a threat.

     

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  71.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: As usual, a loaded question...

    A "danger" and a "threat" are two different things. Something can present a danger without presenting a threat.

    As usual, John, it takes me a bunch of paragraphs to say what you say in two sentences. I bow to your succinct articulation.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    And gravity might cause cancer, maybe we just haven't noticed yet.

    Look, if you want to be cautious and avoid cellphones that's your choice, but in an argument you'll have to provide proof that they cause cancer if you want to be taken seriously. "Maybe we just don't know", particularly after it's been studied so much, is not enough.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't know if there are DU BULLETS, in terms of making a bullet for a hand gun or rifle. But more than just tanks use DU. IIRC, the Avenger Cannon (Warthog gun) fires 20mm DU rounds. The Bushwacker cannon on a Bradley fires DU rounds as well. 20mm or 25mm? Don't remember which.

    Now, as far as a handgun or rifle round, there MIGHT be a use for DU in one of those massive anti-material rifles like the M2, but DU is a waste to use against personnel. It's not like he's going to be deader because of the bullet. Maybe to defeat body armor? But I'm not sure if you can get a heavier round up to a sufficient velocity to defeat armor, but at this point, I'm just guessing.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: small issue

    Exactly. The entire problem with DU vs Cellphones is we aren't given a clear definition of "dangerous". More Americans will die from Cellphones, directly or indirectly (Ok, probably only indirectly unless someone drops one off a building...) than will die from DU in probably the next century.

    It really is like comparing a car accident and a plane crash. If you're *IN* a plane crash(especially if the DU ballast starts burning...), you're far more likely to die than someone in a car crash. Overall however, you're more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash. So which is more dangerous, a car crash or plane crash? I don't know because I don't know the context you mean!

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    Yes, you mis-interpreted him. Using what we know of kW+ transmitters (They be dangerous, yo!), the "safe" distance from a cellphones transmitter is nanometers(his words, not mine. I declare that there is no "unsafe" distance on a cellphone). Really, slap that transmitter on your face, and the "danger" area on it won't even penetrate your skin. Ergo, no cellphone is dangerous in terms of RF radiation.

    When it comes to dealing with the really big transmitters, there's strong correlation that if you deal with RF regularly, you'll have 3 girls for every boy when you have kids. As someone who deals with RF regularly, that's the only effect of it that I know of, assuming you aren't an idiot and standing in front of a transmitter like an idiot. Then you get fun things like microwaved organs. Mmm...cooked liver :)

     

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  76.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Feb 12th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    The entire problem with DU vs Cellphones is we aren't given a clear definition of "dangerous".

    Much like the poll question itself.

     

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  77.  
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    wiredworx (profile), Feb 13th, 2013 @ 1:24am

    best pr submission service

    Its hip

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2013 @ 3:03am

    Re:

    "So what happens when you have some 5 year old that spends all of his time playing these shoot 'em up games and starts to think that it "OK" to shoot people or just wants to see what it's like to do so?"

    If he has no access to guns? Nothing much...

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2013 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: small issue

    You should ask the Iraqis how much they like our depleted uranium.
    More than they would if we had used natural Uranium.

    The point I am really trying to make here is that "depleted" uranium sounds scarier than natural uranium - whilst it is actually somewhat less scary.

    People who talk about it in the way the author of the post did are succumbing to this mistake. Therefore please do not use "depleted uranium" in rhetoric. That is probably the most dangerous way to use it!

     

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  80.  
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    Debbie Kearns, Feb 13th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    I wonder if these are the same yahoos polled that tried (and failed) to pull Brain Dead 13 off video game shelves in 1995-1996. For those of you who didn't know, Brain Dead 13 is an interactive movie game developed by ReadySoft and released for MS-DOS in late 1995. It is just like a modern version of Dragon's Lair, but loaded with extreme, graphic cartoon violence and without all the blood. There are many examples of graphic violence, such as Lance Galahad (the young computer technician and protagonist) getting pureed in a blender and drunk up by Fritz; getting his skin pulled apart from his skeleton through the eyeballs; getting his spine and pelvis ripped off by an atomic wedgie that also splits him in half; getting his face sliced in half by a ghost with a knife; getting his head incinerated by a flamethrower; getting trisected by Fritz's hooks; getting his skull knocked off of his head; getting his skeleton ripped off of his body by a vine; getting ripped into pieces by a chainsaw; getting his hand cut off in a manicure; etc. Oh, and it's not just the graphic violence: there's also overly sexual content involving Vivi, the vampiress who has big breasts, dresses up in a skimpy outfit, and makes flirtations and sexual puns while thinking up ways to kill Lance, such as pulling his barber cloth and his shirt and sucking his blood through the vital spot in his bare chest (and did I mention that his man nipples are hot?!).

    Yet in spite of all this graphic violence and sexual content, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board somehow overlooked all this and gave it a "Kids to Adults" rating (the 1990s' equivalent of the "Everyone" rating). I could imagine many children getting messed up by the violence and the sexual themes, and many parents trying to pull Brain Dead 13 off the shelves, or at least change its rating to "Teen"; yet somehow ReadySoft still got away with a "K-A" rating. It was just like: What was Dave Quesnelle thinking when he made this game?! In fact, WHAT WAS THE REST OF THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM AT READYSOFT THINKING?! However, as the years went on, and Brain Dead 13 would be revived for the iPhone and other iOS ports in October 2010, by then, the ReadySoft that is now Digital Leisure learned their lesson and started wising up, and they thankfully made the decision to give the game a 12+ rating, which can be the equivalent of a "Teen" or an "Everyone 10+" rating. Hopefully, Digital Leisure would try to bury the past and forget about the "K-A" incident. And besides, violent video games like Brain Dead 13 would NEVER make kids and/or teens more violent. People should learn a lesson from Nancy Pelosi and try not to jump to wrong conclusions. For me, they should have ReadySoft and Digital Leisure to thank for nearly 20 years ago.

     

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