Friday, December 9, 2011

Video gamers do not ruin our society! (by anon)

At this point I am frustrated to hell with people trying to tell me that video games are the reason for violence.  I am also sick to death of people looking down on me simply because I prefer to play games rather than watch football or partake of some other past time.  There are millions of people who play video games and we do so simply as a form of enjoyment.  Believing these people are lesser simply because of their hobby is a very irrational way of thinking.

Take the violence aspect.  Violence existed long before video games and in greater quantities.  The ancient Roman gladiator games were insanely violent and yet this was condoned by society at this time.  Violence eventually became less acceptable and the games began their slow death.  Or did they?  This vulgar past time became one of the heavy contributors to what we now know as sports.  Football and hockey are pretty violent sports yet it was far less common to hear that they were sources of violence.  This is true even before video games came about.  I want to note that I AM NOT attacking sports.  I am actually trying to say that if you condemn video games then it is only rational that one must consider all other sources that use violence.  Truthfully, it is irrational to believe either of these is the sole contributor that makes our children violent.  The blame also lies more with the parents than most will admit.  Yes, I said it.  Video games, sports, or even television are often used merely as scapegoats for parents who cannot live up to their own short-comings.  Everybody is different and, as a result, it is important for a parent to learn what is mature enough to partake in.  Trying to lump these individuals into categories (in this case age) is the best media companies can do, but it is not logically sound to assume that these categories are all it takes.  The parents need to know each individual child and understand what they can or cannot handle.

I do not considered myself to be less of a person because I play video games.  This is what I do and it is not dumb.  It is no different from going shopping or playing sports.  Some of you might be thinking that my particular past time contributes nothing to society.  This is an incorrect assumption as they are now using a game called "Minecraft" to help teach younger kids in schools.  They are also using games such as "Dance Dance Revolution" in gym classes to provide people with exercise.  Not only that, but games help us to become analytical thinkers, inspire creativity, allow for stress relief (which one could argue actually helps to reduce violence).

Another common misconception is that people think that video games make children 'socially awkward.'  This, again, is not the case.  First off, I will define 'socially awkward' as social behavior that is deemed unacceptable by our government and/or society.  I know plenty of people who play video games that are very 'socially grounded.'  We still make friends and can blend very well into social situations if we are allowed to.  Therein lies the issue.  We need to be 'allowed' to and not turned away or looked down upon.

In conclusion, video gamers should not be regarded as more or less of a threat to our society than any other past time.  I respect everyone who is fair, reasonable, and a positive influence on our society, and I expect the same in return.  There is nothing more irrational than trying to put most of the blame on any one contributor to issues in our society.  We are no more slackers or violent people than people with different hobbies.  Thanks and have a nice day.


  1. Does anyone else notice the irony of this blog entry? This person seems seriously upset and angry. Could it be because of all the video games the person is playing????

  2. Anon 2:27 - As the writer of the entry of this blog I have to say that you need to present a basis for your argument. In what ways do video games induce anger? In what way is this ironic? Here is a link to an article that discusses a study that helps that says video games actually help to REDUCE anger. I am merely sick of people, like you, trying to make claims that are unjustified in their presentation. If you have an argument in the future, I strongly suggest you explain your side rather than unjustly making erroneous claims.

  3. Alright I'll play. What do you think would generally be better for a person's psyche? Door #1: a video game where your goal is to kill people. Or Door #2: anything else that doesn't make you the player killing others (like sports, reading, chats over coffee, painting, drawing, singing, cooking, studying, other video games that are not violent). Hmm, well, this is a hard one...I'll say Door #2 is better.

    How about for a child's mental growth? Yep, I still go with Door #2.

    I mean unless you think that the possibility of instilling violent thoughts in people is a good thing, I don't know why you arguing so much for violent video games. Just play Super Mario Cart or something. Or do you have to have that thrill of killing someone else?

    didn't think so.

  4. Anon 3:43 - You make a tough argument. I am not saying that you should not police your children and what they watch, play, or do. As a matter of fact, I said the exact opposite. That being said, there are video games that are not violent and still good for mental growth. As stated, what about schools now using video games to teach classes? (See link at the bottom)

    Second, I am of the firm belief that, like movies and other adult entertainment, violent video games should be policed by the parents. A child SHOULD NOT be allowed to play said games if the parent believes they cannot handle them.

    To verify, my argument was not specifically for violent video games, I just merely address the animosity toward that type. The argument was about respecting the fact that some people might do this for a pass time and that video games are not the sole contributor to violent behavior. As a side note, I do play things like Mario Kart with my wife all the time.

    I do not get a thrill from killing people in the slightest, I think it is vulgar and disgusting to even discuss. What you are failing to realize is that these "people" you are "killing" in video games are not people. A likeness of, yes, but they are lines of code represented by graphical images that people use to pass the time. I was taught right from wrong as a child and as such I can handle recognizing our perceived reality from that of a video game.

    What are your thoughts on violent television/movies? In wrestling we watch people clobber each other in effort to put on a show. In football we watch people break each others bones over a ball. While these do not directly promote the violent act of killing someone, they do promote violent behavior. Therefore, you must consider that as instilling violent thoughts as well. (Violent books, paintings, and songs could also be considered in that list)

    In conclusion, I respect your opinion. If you think violent video games are bad for your kids then keep them away from them. You need to consider that there is a violent side to pretty much everything. If a child is raised correctly they should be able to differentiate right from wrong, but in case you cannot instill that principle to them then you might just want to keep door #1 closed.

    Perhaps, more appropriately, door number 1 should just be labeled "violent" in your case?

    I thought so.

  5. Anon 4:52 PM Hits it right on the head.

    I believe that video games are a form on entertainment and if you have a problem with any certain kind of game simply don't buy them. If your a parent then take a good look at a games rating before you buy them, look at reviews of the game, learn about it. If little Timmy plays Grand Theft Auto 4 at his friends house might be a good idea to talk to him about some of things he saw and real world vs game world.

    As for us adults we can see the difference between fantasy and reality and can make a choice about what kinds of entertainment we find amusing and what we find grotesque. The cool thing about video games is that there are all kinds. If you don't like violence go pick up a Wii and some rhythm games or some less violent games like Mario Kart. If you choose games like DOOM, Call of Duty, GTA, or others well that's your business. It's all just a matter of perspective and thankfully the ultra-censers haven't had their way yet.

    Now if you excuse me those Dark Brotherhood assassination targets in Skyrim won't kill themselves.


  6. Interesting how you posted an article from a video game website that defends playing video games. I'm afraid your argument is contrary to the vast majority of research conducted by medical doctors, psychologists, and sociologists.,2933,147986,00.html

  7. Anon 6:41 - You too have missed the point of the argument. I am aware that there ARE studies that claim this (Thanks for the links). I make no effort to deny that it could affect aggression levels in children. My point is that it is NO MORE at fault than anything else.

    My link was put there to point out that anon 2:27 did nothing to defend his/her point. In no way was this a great example, but I was mostly poking and prodding for a legitimate argument from them.

  8. There's a lot of self-policing talk going on around here.

    "I am of the firm belief that, like movies and other adult entertainment, violent video games should be policed by the parents." "I believe that video games are a form on entertainment and if you have a problem with any certain kind of game simply don't buy them." "As for us adults we can see the difference between fantasy and reality and can make a choice about what kinds of entertainment we find amusing and what we find grotesque."

    The problem is that Americans suck at self-policing. Look at all the shit people put into their heads. They watch Jersey Shore, FoxNews, and shit-for-brains movies. They play video games where you have to kill other people! They fight for gun rights so that they can carry concealed weapons anywhere. They fight stricter drinking-and-driving laws and they fight to not have to wear helmets on motorcycles. They eat McDonalds and Taco Bell because they don't want to think about being healthy. The message is clear. Americans are generally stupid. They don't care about what's in their best interest. They become dumber, fatter, and much more likely to be harmed in this society, the very society they are fashioning from their neglect.

    You can take your self-policing crap and stick it. People don't know how to do it well. I'd personally like to start to take back America and make it a much better nation than it has become. We've become dumb and we don't even care. You argue for your precious right to play video games and you ignore the larger problems that are sinking us.

  9. This is priceless! I just found this little tidbit about a Christian video game---

    "Don't mock Left Behind: Eternal Forces because it's a Christian game. Mock it because it's a very bad game," GameSpot's Brett Todd wrote. Todd says the game, which forces users to accept Jesus as their savior in order to rise against the forces of the Anti-Christ, has an unusual premise, but that "games are typically based on outlandish ideas, so it's unfair to dismiss this one based on religious grounds."

    Still, another gaming commentator argues that the game glorifies violence and goes against Christ's teachings.

    "It's faith-based killing that teaches God wants people dead if they don't see Christ as you do," the Rev. Tim Simpson, head of Christian Alliance for Progress, told USA Today. "Jesus would turn the other cheek."

  10. In reply to the post above this one - people suck at self-policing, this is true. But the essence of freedom is allowing them to suck at self-policing. Or be great at it. Or be only okay.

  11. 8:59 What country are you from?

  12. Anon 1:25 AM has it right. We have the freedom to choose what we want.

    To Anon 8:59 : I want no part of your take back America program. I like being able to choose my own route and take responsibility for my choices. Fascism doesn't suit me. If you want to start some task force that goes around and tells people what to do then I wish you good luck with that.

    Prof. Chaos

  13. If the essence of freedom is to allow people to suck at self-policing, then why have any laws at all? We have laws *because* people are stupid and cannot police themselves appropriately for life in society. Did you ever think about that? Freedom isn't actually what people value most. Law and order are what people value. Whatever view of freedom you have is then within that order. But freedom is not primary.

    Prof Chaos here is the prime example of knee-jerk ignorance. This prof seems to want some kind of anarchy, though he or she doesn't even realize that. "Don't put your laws on me because I want to be free!! No one can tell *me* what to do! I'm an American!!!!!" The only reason you can enjoy things like going to the school of your choice, eating what you like, practicing your own religion, and choosing your own form of entertainment is because there are laws that restrict our choices on some fronts so that we can make choices on other fronts. Quite a bit of our freedom has to be taken away for us to have some kinds of other freedoms. If Prof Chaos doesn't like what I say here, he or she must not like anything about America since there are many many people telling us about the limits of our choices. The prof's head must be stuck pretty far up his or her ass not to see that.

  14. Anon 8:59 - (I am the writer of the post)

    First off, I will drop you one little tidbit of agreement here. Our country is a mess.

    Second, you are making one heck of a gross generalization. For starters, my hobby does not define me. I have values outside my hobby just like anyone else and I am not blind to the world. To actually attack my personal character is the lowest form of hate. For all you know, I am actually rather intelligent. I could be a straight A student. I could be for stronger gun control. I could actively participate in groups against drunk driving. Just because I have a hobby that I value does not mean that I am ignorant to the world around me. So, instead, I turn this around on to you.

    Ignorance is the actually term I am going to use to describe you. Correct me if I am wrong, but to think that someone is dumb, stupid, or irresponsible due to their hobby is just ignorant. This is how hate crimes are formed. You have the crooked ideology that you are correct, which I can respect, but you have the nerve to try and tell me that I am dumb because I was merely arguing for a single, minuscule, aspect of my life? Are you going to find an argument for gay rights and flame that too? You going to tell them it is not worth their time? That there are more "pressing" issues they need to confront? That is the kind of ignorance that you are actively displaying here. To them it is important but I am guessing that more than just that is important to them as well. I respect your opinion, but your attitude could use some work.

  15. 3:43, I can see that you are well intentioned, so I'll back off of you. You come off as genuine and sincere, which is to be commended. But you shouldn't be taking what I'm saying too personally. My larger point is about the state of America and the plethora of stink-bags who cry out for freedom so that they can live the life of a glutton. If you don't happen to fall into that category, then ignore me. Yet, if you are one of those people, and prof Chaos appears to be one of those, you are ruining America.

  16. Ummmm this is in response to the 3:21 and 10:39 commenter(s).. I just walked in on this conversation here, and after reading the posts I have to say this:

    You (both?) sound.. scary to me. It sounds like you disagree with the OP, and would maybe advocate some kind of law that bans certain violent video games because they are too violent for the American people to handle.

    So, for one, you consider yourself some kind of judge who claims to *know* what is best for society in the first place. Furthermore, you believe that laws are necessary to keep society "in shape", let's say.

    So, why not ban almost everything in the media and every fast food restaurant around and everything else that American idiots who can't govern themselves indulge in and ruin their lives with? I'll tell you why. Because American people must govern themselves and their children. There is nothing arrogant or stupid about an American person wanting to govern themselves and decide what they are going to do to their own bodies and minds, as well as those of their children. Laws should be made for the purpose of protection of one's privacy and personal property (including one's body). Law should not tell people what they can and cannot expose themselves to physically and mentally. Parents/guardians of some sort must take responsibility to govern their children, and eventually children will grow to govern themselves, and if they were raised properly, they won't inflict violence or harm on another person, regardless of what nasty, violent, gory video games they play.

    Of course, children's minds are susceptible and psychologically, it is a possibility that some or all could grow up to be more violent than they would have if they didn't play violent video games, but everyone should be aware of this. Unfortunately, not enough people are *educated* on the subject of psychology and whatever else, like you might be. But rather than govern people, should we not just educate them and give them the *knowledge* required for them to understand the risk involved in allowing their children to play violent video games, and then let them decide what to do for themselves and their kids? Government should not force us to raise our kids in a certain way through censorship laws. Is choosing for oneself not freedom? You see, the more and more we don't educate, and the more laws we create, the less and less free we become. The less we will have minds of our own.

    If what you personally believe about violent video games is rational, why not just inform society of the *reasons* why you think some violent video games are unacceptable, given the information you have been exposed to, and let them choose for themselves? If parents don't listen and choose to let their kids be raised with violent video games and their kids become menaces to society because of it, then oh well! There will always be menaces to society. Video games or not. This isn't paradise yet and you don't have the right to attempt to make one by advocating bullshit laws that restrict our freedom. And by the way, anarchy is actually a pretty good form of society when you think about it. We're not all ferocious and violent killers by nature, I don't think anyway.

  17. 3:38, yes I think I know what is better for society than what is going on right now. Don't you? How could anyone think that everything is great great great?! Some guy recently ran his car into a town parade hitting a float with lots of children. He was arrested with his *seventh* drunk driving violation! I think our laws should be stricter on drunk driving, don't you? If you say yes, you are not that much different than me.

    Actually, I take that back. You are far more scarier, ignorant, and dangerous than I. In order, you want anarchy (I can't believe you actually said that! Are you really that naive to think that we wouldn't kill each other pretty damn quick?). You think that people will change their bad habits because of good reasons? People do what makes them feel good. Period. It doesn't matter what argument or explanation you throw at them. Lastly, you say, "If parents don't listen and choose to let their kids be raised with violent video games and their kids become menaces to society because of it, then oh well!" I'd like to hear you say, "Oh well," when one of those kids actually harms someone. Even you! You don't seem to care whether some things in our society are producing menaces. You must not mind that there might be terrorist training here either. You'd probably say, "Hey! Wait! Don't put laws forbidding terrorist training, because people have the freedom to what what they like. You've got to let them choose, man. If they happen to become menaces to society, then you know. Oh well!"

  18. I actually think you're kind of neat because you're awesome at putting up your own straw men and then frightening yourself with them.

    Okay. Since you seem incapable of having this debate without resorting to extreme hyperbole about the downfall of society, a question to you: what's your plan? Surely posting anonymously on a community oriented blog about things only loosely related to the topic isn't it? Let's say you "won" (inasmuch as fighting on the internet can be won) and society said "PLEASE, WE NEED YOUR WISDOM. TOO MUCH MEGAMAN. FREEDOM HAS FAILED. HELP." What's next? Kill the gluttonous? The stupid? Enact some societal scale based on [factor]?

    What I'm getting at is that the endgame of a viewpoint like yours is a. impossible and b. poorly thought out and c. probably morally iffy if not outright reprehensible.

  19. Something about the distance through the room.

    I cannot think. I cannot think.

  20. You think we're fighting? I thought we were making beautiful melodies together.

    You've pegged me sister. I'm one big strawman and I run from mirrors. I haven't seen myself in years. I think I've become faceless like the many drones of our society. I digress.

    My plan? I could turn that request right back to you since you should have given me your plan first. I'm dying to find out how your anarchy would work! But I'll bite since everyone loves teeth marks. You do know that society is already so much more in my direction than yours, don't you? We already have the FDA regulating drugs, the EPA regulating our environmental impact, the FCC regulating all kinds of media, and watchdogs of all sort regulating everything else. So my bites are more like nibbles. [I'm curious, why do you think this was going to be hard?] Here's a smattering

    1. Increase taxes on junk food. The FDA will come up with the guidelines. We tax alcohol and cigarettes. Why not junk food? This would apply to fast food chains that sell junk food too.

    2. Do a major crack down on drinking and driving. Wisconsin just blows in this regard. If you think I'm wrong, go walk around a bar sometime soon and wait to get hit.

    3. Increase taxes on video games that have the player killing other people.

    4. Require everyone to have health insurance.

    Did you want more? This covers what we've been talking about by and large. Do you find that I've been inconsistent at all?

    Now let me take a stab at your anarchy...ready............

    1. No laws regulating what kids in public schools can eat. Let sliders and fried cheese rule.

    2. No restrictions on the internet. Bring porn back into the libraries!

    3. Make "Faces of Death" a regular show on PBS.

    4. Remove all taxes from everything, including income. That stupid government shouldn't get any of our money!

    5. Make pot, LSD, heroine, crack, and all other drugs legal! We can police ourselves. We won't abuse them. We promise.

    6. Don't require anyone to have any insurance whatsoever! Neither health, nor home, nor car. We're responsible people and will always help out those whom we hurt. Again, we promise.

    How am I doing? Or is that not what you meant by ANARCHY!?

  21. Anon 8:28 -
    Here's what I think:
    People should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't impede others' constitutional rights.
    It is the responsibility of parents, guardians, community caretakers, etc. to keep children from being exposed to certain harmful materials. It is not the responsibility of the government to put universal laws on everyone to "guide" them by telling them what they can and cannot be exposed to or what they should do with their lives, because every person is unique, and every person's situation is unique.

    Furthermore, people are going to fuck up in society, regardless of the laws. Maybe the punishments should be harsher so that when someone does fuck up, like the drunk driver you mentioned, they're punishment will set an example for the rest of society.

    Unfortunately, we can't save everyone. People are going to get killed and accidents are going to happen. Look at our own government. They love war. We'll never stop fighting and killing, but we can do our best to deter people from making mistakes, and I don't mean doing this by cloaking the nation with a protective blanket of radical universal laws with minimal punishment for fucking up. I think we should have extreme punishment for fucking up with minimal laws governing us everyday.

    As far as your little list goes, I actually agree with you on points 1 and 2. However, why you think violent video games should be taxed still baffles me. The logic you use in point 1 about taxing junk food is simple - everyone who eats a lot of junk food is bound to experience some kind of negative consequences health-wise, mentally and physically. Not everyone who plays a lot of violent first person shooter video games is bound to experience negative consequences mentally or physically. See the difference?

    And to comment on the drunk driving thing - I agree that there should be much harsher penalties for drunkenness while driving. If everyone knew that being caught driving drunk just once could result in say, a $2,000 fine, revoked license for 3 years, and 6 months in jail, I think people would do a lot more to avoid driving drunk, as in, they would either not drink so much, arrange for a DD, or just plan ahead in general whenever they go to drink. I also think the fines should increase as BA level increases in drivers. So, for someone who blows a .08, the fine should be much lighter than for someone who blows say, a .30.

  22. Continuation..
    As far as your list goes for anarchy - well, I hate to say it but, I don't really find anything wrong with any of those points, except for number 4.

    1) Kids at public schools already eat shit for food. Luckily though, electronic spending for kids' lunches allows for parental monitoring of what their kids can and cannot purchase. Of course, kids are smart and might be able to get around that sort of thing for a little while probably, but still, the parents should be responsible for educating their children about why they better eat healthy and enforcing it (assuming the parents have been educated themselves).
    2) I think if a school wants to allow porn in their libraries, the school should be able to. I don't have a clue why a school would do that though, assuming those who make the rules at the school are educated enough to know that showing porn to children is harmful.
    3) Sure, do it. Hopefully there are parents around to make sure the young ones aren't subjected to it. Again, parental responsibility and control is a must.
    4) I think we should still have some taxes, as long as they actually go to the social programs we all want, like education and healthcare. And just so you know, the income tax is actually unconstitutional, and there is no law that states we have to pay an income tax. Furthermore, our income taxes are going to things that we don't necessarily support, like foreign wars and debt that is not ours.
    5) YES! If heroine were legalized tomorrow, I'd be the first in line for it... I've just been DYING to know what it does, despite the fact that I've seen people get horribly sick and even die from it. If that's what people want to do, people should be able to do it (as though they don't already) as long as they are only harming themselves, but, just like with drunk driving, if people seriously threaten the well being of others or others' property, they get a really harsh punishment. And again, everyone needs to be educated, parents need to supervise, you get the picture.
    6) Yeah, fuck insurance. People pay a shitload over the years, and when it finally comes time to cash in, the financial help is minimal. Insurance is a complete scam because so much money goes to it, and so little comes out of it. If people don't want to get fucked by insurance companies, they shouldn't have to. And if someone doesn't have insurance but are indebted to someone else due to an accident, that someone should be taken to court and held responsible for any and all damages. (Maybe there could be a free, tax-funded, public court system for that? So instead of people paying hundreds a year for insurance, they pay a little a year to support a public court instead of shady insurance companies (unless they really want to support the latter instead)? I don't know).
    So yeah. Obviously you and I have much different ideas of what would be a happy society. I say less laws, stricter punishments for fucking up, more personal options, more tax-funded social programs (taxes that are only required to be paid by those who intend to benefit from such programs).

  23. hey 1:32, you say you want "more tax-funded social programs (taxes that are only required to be paid by those who intend to benefit from such programs)." if the programs are for the poor and needy, are you expecting them to pay too?

  24. "Still, another gaming commentator argues that the game glorifies violence"

    That person is wrong. Several neutral game reviewers -- IGN, X-Play, GameSpot, GameSpy and Ars Technica -- as well as the Anti-Defamation League all agreed that the game does not promote violence.

  25. Oh come on Jinx. You don't find it strange that part of the GAME is to accept Jesus as savior and that you have to destroy opposition? What would Jesus think, seriously? He'd probably call it corruption and throw it out of the temple for its blood-thirsty, money-filthy perversion.