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Games cannot cause violence, but what if....


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#21 Osmo Suvisaari   Members   -  Reputation: 115

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 09:35 PM

All please rise, I speak:

I look in disgust when I see children denied from a great part of knoledge and fiction. "It is too violent" or "it deals with human reproduction" are common excuses for the prohibition. Luckily the means of control are too weak and people learn about these adult things:
Imagine if in near future the computer empowered control would truly succeed in this attempt of control. The new age children growing up would eventually (for example in age of 16, 18 or 21) learn about the real world. Having a strongly distorted view of the world their behavior would be very unpredictable.

And even with our less perfect method of denying material from children we have gone already too far. USA with their no sex-education at all is a most damning example. It is a naive idea that something would disappear if we did not see it and talk about it. (Nobody talks about daddy''s drinking and it will go away. Ok?)

I was encouraged to play violent games, shoot with my family''s firearms and do all these cool things when I was a child. When I went to school I was told that violence is an acceptable method of protection, but it is dishonorable to be violent for any other cause. I studied later Judo and Karate and learned about their philosophy and it did not change much my earlier attitude towards violence. I think that children should learn about good violence: protecting themselves and the ones they care for.

In many video games there is of course an evil approach to the use of violence, but seeing that this is evil it will not corrupt the player, but this is a matter of parents to tell the children.

... and this idea "little kids become de-sensitized to the violence"... I think that it is better to become de-sensitized than be unaware or shocked by violence... Because people de-sensitized will still now the right and wrong, but people who are unaware or shocked are just easy targets for robberies and bullying.

-Osmo Suvisaari

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#22 Tekumze   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 11:00 PM

Nice debate you have here. My Opinion is that in a way all of you are right.

You see people are different.... very different. You can have a 14 (or less) year old kid that plays violent games and watches violent movies yet knows what is right and what wrong so those games and movies don''t make an impression on him and he uses them only to do and see things that he can''t do or see in real life.

On the other side you can have an 35 year old "adult" that isn''t able to recognise right from wrong. The fact thast he got that far can only be tributed to his ability to hide those tendencies or to the fact that people don''t take the time to get to know him and find out his tendencies and deal with him. People like these are tempted to do things the see on TV/Games .... in fact they are VERY tempted and soner or later they will try things and "normal people" would not.

The fact that some people can be so unstable and can''t differ from right and wrong can be tributed to many things but the main couse is their brain. They can either have an unstable brain (mentaly unsable) to a degree that they will never understand what is right. They can only be easily influenced and in that case parents and teachers have thre job of teaching those people what is right and what is wrong before they get the wrong impressions that can ruin theirs and other peoples lives.

These border cases are really the problem in the world. It''s hard to recognize these tendencies and if they are not recognized fast enough and the handling is not proper a person like that will soner or later try to express those trendencies in real life. Movies and Games can provide them with ideas but it''s not the fault of these sources of enertainment since if they wouldn''t find something they like there they would find it in news or even in real life.

Unstable people that are tought to contain their violent thoughts can also be very valuable to the society. They think different... they can look on things from different perspectives so they can be very valuable in research. Since they are so different they get hated or avoided from "normal people". We all know that if somebody is hated for no other reason than for being diffeernt you can get hmmmm... well angry. That state in an unstable mind can get VERY dangerous.

To summarize all of this:
People that think differently help the world evolve yet they can also destroy it. "Normal people" should help them to stay within the confines of certain rules and try not to destroy their lives with making them feel unwanted as that can push already unstable people over the edge.

thanks for listening
Tekumze

"The reason people blame things on the previous generations is that there''s only one other choice."


#23 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 11:10 PM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

It''s everyone''s responsibility to be able to differentiate between fantasy/fiction and the real world. If you can''t handle that, get institutionalized.

$0.02


Well, no. It''s everyone''s responsibility to -teach- others how to do this. Right and wrong are not necessarily innate. Some people are harder to reach than others, but this is society''s problem. If society as a whole believes that it is wrong to kill others, it is society''s job to ensure that this doesn''t happen. To reward pro-social behaviour and discourage anti-social behaviour. And if everyone wants to shirk their own part of the collective responsibility, you hear the developer say "well, it got rated such that they shouldn''t have got the game" and the vendor says "they shouldn''t be able to get fake ID" and the parent says "I can''t watch them 24hrs/day", then it''s pretty obvious that the blame/responsibility is shared. You never know what effect a certain stimuli might have on a person. If you don''t want to accept some small degree of responsibility, you have less place to complain when someone you know is on the receiving end.

#24 Tha_HoodRat   Members   -  Reputation: 143

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Posted 12 April 2000 - 11:19 PM

I am by nature a very violent person. And I gotta say , violent games dont make me wanna go out and do something , as a matter of fact they allow me to indulge my impulses without getting myself into trouble , They act as some kinda release .(thank God for small favours)

#25 Mr K   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 07:10 AM

Gentlemen,

I doubt that a virtual massmurder every now and then in Quake or any other game will encurage me to leave my computer (God forbid that! ) and slaughter every person I''ll meet on the street.

However, things always happens, and there is always something/someone to blame. No one are responsible for other peoples actions, unless, someone else pushed them or made them do it. Anyway, I would think that computer games/movies (or films as I rather say)/TV/books/comics and whatever else has at some point caused someone to commit a crime.

Our society needs scapgoats. When films (movies for the US) become available for renting, and the VHS became popular, then that was to blame for the violent youth. Comics has been there, TV is always there, now it''s the computer games turn to be the one to blame.

Just wait and see until VR gets into every man''s home...

Take it easy...

#26 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 07:47 AM

Who says computer games affect kids, imagine if PacMan affected us as kids, we''d all sit around in a darkened room munching pills and listening to repetitive music....uh oh!

#27 Mr K   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 08:03 AM

Hhmm, flashback, someone posted the same thing as Anonymous somewhere before....

Anyway, violent games do effect kids in the same way the news effects us. We see endless of violence on the news every day and we get numb. We don''t react the same way anymore it''s just another day...children also get numb if they are exposed to violence every day and I''m not just talking about violence in games.

Ok, I''m not against violence in computer games, I''m one of those how enjoy it. However, I encurage age limits on games and parents to make sure that their children do not play games that are not suitable for them. This is not the most easiest thing to do, I know, but if you don''t try you already failed.

/Mr K

#28 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 11:38 AM

Bah! twice!

Violence in the media isn''t a recent development.

It wasn''t new in Homer''s day.
It wasn''t new in Shakespeare''s day.
It wasn''t new in Hemmingway''s day.

The only thing that''s changed is that there is now a global network of media that runs 24/7.

So they(the media) can spread panic faster and more effectively than ever before.

The only other thing that''s changed is that with modern medicine and social safety nets, people who would''ve gotten weeded out of the population in times past are surviving longer.

As long as NASCAR and the WWF are allowed to thrive, we have absolutely NOTHING to fear.

$0.02

#29 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 12:33 PM

Another Anonymous Poster

If a kid killed another kids, then is the kid the only person to be blamed? Even if the kid is the only person to have "legal" responsibility, the kid may not be the only person to be blamed in the ethical viewpoint.

All kids have the human right to be well educated. That means if our game affects kids badly, or if our game weakens their moral, then we are responsible. We violated kids'' right to be well educated.

Brazil, Australia prohibited violent TV games. Even in USA, many movie tape have a Laval for R-rate or X-rated.


#30 Doddler   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 01:19 PM

Hello Everyone!

This is my opinion on the subject. People always want what they can''t have. If you are denied something for a certain reason, you''ll begin to want it more and more. That''s the way I think it works with violence. Keeping childeren from violent TV shows, games, and other things will only agrivate the situation. You can''t stop a person forever, and if they do get there hands on it, and arn''t satisfied, they''ll want even more. If this keeps up, the outcome can be devistating.

I say that restricting violence, is what makes the problem worse.

Anyways, on to the real point to this post. What would I do if my game was accused of causing violence. To tell the truth, I don''t know what I would do. I would probably try to give good reasons why it isn''t the cause of violence, and if they felt the need to take me to court, I would do everything I could to defend myself.

Sorry if I mixed up some stuff about court, I''m really not familiar with the US Justice System... Also, I''m just 16..

Anyways, thanks for listening to my opinion. You''ve been a great audience.
-Doddler

#31 TheGecko   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 April 2000 - 01:47 PM

Hmmmm....to answer the original question of this post.

No,I would not feel responsible if I knew a kid bought my game and went off shooting all his classmates because of it.Simply because the ESRB rated my game to be sold for audiences of 18+ years old.Once this is in place and is clearly labeled on the box,then it becomes the retailer''s responsibility to see to it that this kid does not get this game.

Can I sleep well at night? Well...maybe not at the beggining but then I just realise what a cruel (and digital) world we live in.

I agree with all the posts here.It is the parent''s responsibility to see to it that their children don''t play such violent games CONSTANTLY (I myself would expose my son to violence on TV and game so he can learn and not be shocked at real life violence) untile the kid is aobut 18 years old.By law in the States you are responsible for your own actions at the age of 18 (or was it 21) in which case there is no one to blame but the kid himself.

#32 Mr K   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 15 April 2000 - 01:36 AM

My aims when designing a game is most often to entertain, sometimes it could also be some kind of educational reasons. The last thing I would have in mind is that my game would trigger some little kid to go out on somekind of killing spree. If this would happen though and my game would get accused as the main reson, then abviously I would feel very bad about the whole situation.

I most certainly would start thinking about this everytime I sat down and start designing a new game, how much violence will I/dare I put in my game. If a thing like that would happen I''m sure it would affect my thinking completly.

I would probably in a wierd way feel some kind of responsability. However, it would not be my resposability as the game should not have ended up on that kids computer in the first place.

Sleepless nights? Don''t know, now one is able to wake me up when I sleep


#33 *Angelfish*   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 15 April 2000 - 02:53 AM

Oh no, I thought, it''s again going in the wrong direction, but luckily the tide turned and 2 people answered the question.

Thanks.





"I Can''t change the world, but you''ll hear my voice!"

#34 ghowland   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 15 April 2000 - 12:26 PM

To answer the initial question, I wouldn't feel any more responsible than I do when they do it without video games being blamed.

I think something else that hasnt been brought up here, is that some people just like violence. Is it any surprise they will indulge themselves in violent media or games? Chicken and egg problem with that one. Assuming that no one prefers violence is ignorant, in the same one could assume that everyone likes chocolate better than vanilla but only changes through life experiences.

Violence is a very instinctual thing, we have glands that promote it as being a possibility (fight or flight). Since thats the case, obviously some people, on a chemical/physiological level, will be more prone to doing it. Thats before even getting into all the psychological factors, and behavioral ones.

So even if we make very violent entertainment: First, its not meant for children almost always. Second, even seeing it wont change them from a peace loving hippy to a satan worshiper (extremes...). And finally, they most likely sought it out because of something in themselves. For most people, theyre release of tension in those areas from what Ive seen...

-Geoff


Edited by - ghowland on 4/15/00 10:12:36 PM

#35 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 16 April 2000 - 03:12 AM

I don''t think computer games are any -more- responsibile for violence than any number of other activities or situations. I think growing up in a violent household or neighbourhood is far more likely to do it, for instance. But what I don''t accept is the attitude of "well, someone else rated my game, so it''s not my problem any more". The more people sit back and expect others to take care of the world for them, the more problems you''re gonna get.

Aside: there was a recent case where some kid who''d never used a gun before went on a shooting spree and fired 8 shots, hitting 8 people. At the hearing some military expert pointed out that this was an incredible achievement for someone with no combat training experience. In fact, the kid''s only ''combat training'' was extensive play on first-person shooters... so although the games didn''t necessarily make him more violent, they perhaps made him a more efficient killing machine... something to think about. (If anyone can find a link to the article I''m talking about, please post it.)

#36 ghowland   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 16 April 2000 - 03:30 PM

quote:
Original post by Kylotan

I don't think computer games are any -more- responsibile for violence than any number of other activities or situations. I think growing up in a violent household or neighbourhood is far more likely to do it, for instance. But what I don't accept is the attitude of "well, someone else rated my game, so it's not my problem any more". The more people sit back and expect others to take care of the world for them, the more problems you're gonna get.


What exactly can you do? Not make games that arent for children anymore?

Should the entire world operate on the lowest common denominator philosophy?

Burn all the copies of 1984 in case anyone gets an idea...

quote:
Aside: there was a recent case where some kid who'd never used a gun before went on a shooting spree and fired 8 shots, hitting 8 people. At the hearing some military expert pointed out that this was an incredible achievement for someone with no combat training experience. In fact, the kid's only 'combat training' was extensive play on first-person shooters... so although the games didn't necessarily make him more violent, they perhaps made him a more efficient killing machine... something to think about. (If anyone can find a link to the article I'm talking about, please post it.)


Some people have naturally good hand-eye coordination and are just natural shooters. I know plenty of people who played tons of video games and couldnt shoot to save their lives (figuratively )when they got into boot camp. I never played much with the arcade games that have guns, but I was a natural at it real life. Video games dont train for real gun firing though, in a number of ways they are significantly different (enough to make people who can shoot in the arcades miss with a real gun, not even including adrenaline rushes of a real dangerous situation changing respiration, control, reflexes and vision).

I heard those same statistics in the report on that kid, and they just sounded like BS to me. They didnt take into account if he hit who he was AIMING for, or if there were just so many people around it would be hard to miss. Or the fact that he could have gotten lucky, or they werent zig zagging, or a number of things that would affect that situation. (3 kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics.)

-Geoff




Edited by - ghowland on 4/16/00 9:45:13 PM

#37 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 17 April 2000 - 01:20 AM

quote:
Original post by ghowland

What exactly can you do? Not make games that arent for children anymore?


I am not against violent games, violent movies, loud music, or any other so-called corruptive influence. In fact, I like all of the above (and am involved in producing 2 of them). I am simply making the point that game developers are part of society too, and it''s not enough to just pass something along and say "someone else''s problem".

quote:
Should the entire world operate on the lowest common denominator philosophy?


I am not telling anyone what to do. However, I am perhaps suggesting that people think differently, if not act differently. If a general attitude of "well, it''s not my fault" prevails, then it''s no wonder there are so many killings. If people were as quick to accept or share responsibility as they were to pass it along, these problems would be much reduced.

quote:
Some people have naturally good hand-eye coordination and are just natural shooters. I know plenty of people who played tons of video games and couldnt shoot to save their lives (figuratively )when they got into boot camp. I never played much with the arcade games that have guns, but I was a natural at it real life.


If you''re making the argument that "Character Trait X happens naturally without video games, therefore video games cannot cause Character Trait X" then you are making a mistake. There can be numerous and differing causes for any given effect. Broadly speaking, you could group these into instinct and learning. Some people may be good shooters just by developing good hand-eye coordination elsewhere. And some may learn it from FPSes, for example. It''s a fact that numerous militaries across the world used Doom clones for training. They obviously found it to be useful and relevant. Chances are, some kid playing one of our games might too, whether they realise this or not.

quote:
Video games dont train for real gun firing though, in a number of ways they are significantly different (enough to make people who can shoot in the arcades miss with a real gun, not even including adrenaline rushes of a real dangerous situation changing respiration, control, reflexes and vision).

I don''t know about you, but playing Doom2 back when that was the most immersive game in existence sure taught me how to be able to react under the influence of adrenaline. So, I take my games seriously Of course there are differences. And significant ones at that. But that''s not to say you can''t learn some relevant skills from it. (Aside: the same can be said for many other activities besides games, I know. I am not saying this is morally right or wrong - just a fact that you can acquire these skills.)

quote:
I heard those same statistics in the report on that kid, and they just sounded like BS to me.

You''re biased, you''re a game developer.
quote:
They didnt take into account if he hit who he was AIMING for, or if there were just so many people around it would be hard to miss. Or the fact that he could have gotten lucky, or they werent zig zagging, or a number of things that would affect that situation. (3 kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics.)

I don''t have the link handy so I can''t check your facts, but that''s not how I remembered it - I was under the impression he selected 8 targets specifically. What are the chances that out of 8 victims, not one was zig-zagging? Of course he could have gotten lucky, but that goes for any situation. You can''t really use the chance of extreme luck as justification for anything when there is a much more likely cause-effect correlation evident. That''s like saying that, given enough luck, anyone can commit any crime, so why bother with police? When you can reduce the chances of such a thing happening, it has to be worth trying, especially when there are lives on the line.




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