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Hillary, GTA, and High School Football

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the worth-your-time dept.

Politics 1169

The LA Times is running a really worthwhile story discussing the recent attack on video games in congress. It talks about GTA, the decline in youth violence, and mentions that football actually encourages real aggression, causes real injuries, and is treated totally differently. It's worth a read. Unfortunately I'm fairly certain that very few U.S. Senators are listening over the sound of hype.

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Do-gooder (5, Insightful)

HyperChicken (794660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177309)

Hillary is doing what do-gooders always do. She's saying: "I'm smart enough to handle this and you're not." (Paraphrase of Penn Jillette)

Re:Do-gooder (4, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177378)

I see it as more "think of the children!" hysteria. Politicians pander to the socially conservative, pretend to have "family values". What else is new?

Re:Do-gooder (5, Insightful)

SharkJumper (651652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177400)

Hillary is doing what Presidential candidate hopefuls always do. She's getting some media time.

Re:Do-gooder (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177466)

That's essentially what Hillary says every time she opens her mouth. Her greatest talent is her ability to say it in so many different ways.

Very Nice Article (5, Insightful)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177313)

Many juvenile crimes -- such as the carjacking that is so central to "Grand Theft Auto" -- are conventionally described as "thrill-seeking" crimes. Isn't it possible that kids no longer need real-world environments to get those thrills, now that the games simulate them so vividly? The national carjacking rate has dropped substantially since "Grand Theft Auto" came out. Isn't it conceivable that the would-be carjackers are now getting their thrills on the screen instead of the street?


I was wondering this same thing. Could this be a conceivable conclusion? Could it be possible that kids these days are actually getting their adrenaline fix from these games instead of causing real-life crimes (or vandalism)?

When I was a kid the games were much mellower, and less realistic, and I was a hoodlum. I could speculate that if I had these games I would have caused much less trouble when I was a kid.

Re:Very Nice Article (4, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177364)

I know for a fact that when I was younger playing Doom I, II and Heretic that it kept me from actually living out my desire to kill demons on Mars and fight the undead. I know for a fact that Mars Demons and the Accursed are living better lives today because of those games.

Foo you on Senator Clinton.

Re:Very Nice Article (1)

aklix (801048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177504)

Well I say video games like resident evil have better prepared my race for a zombie invasion. We also have better squad strategies, per-troop tactics, and team skills from multiplayer games. These can be applied in real life, like in paintball.

Re:Very Nice Article (2, Interesting)

follower_of_christ (626504) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177399)

The military used to have a problem at war. Soldiers whose lives were threatened were hesitating to pull the trigger due to the consequences. Since the advent of the video game they've seen this apprehension dissipate, which undermines the argument that somehow behavior exhibited in the virtual world remains in the virtual world when the switch is flipped off. The military encourages enlistees to play video games during R&R, because they know it has real world consequences.

Re:Very Nice Article (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177448)

So, the net result of videogames is that when threatened, you respond faster? Sounds like standard issue eye-hand-coordination boosting to me. Instead, let us address the real issue of how the population of Nazis have been utterly decimated due to kids playing Wolfenstein 3D and being trained to go out and shoot mutant Nazi soldiers 20 times in the face with a shotgun. And don't even get me started on the population of demons since the release of Doom. When was the last time you've heard a demon mating call? I thought not. Clearly these murder simulators are decimating our endangered species!

Won't someone think of the Nazis?!

Re:Very Nice Article (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177487)

Yeah, but they were all bad!

Re:Very Nice Article (4, Insightful)

wolfemi1 (765089) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177491)

Soldiers whose lives were threatened were hesitating to pull the trigger due to the consequences. Since the advent of the video game they've seen this apprehension dissipate...

Not true. The study you're referring to was about World War II, and in response the military changed their training tactics in subtle ways to reinforce the kill instinct, i.e. changing rifle targets from bullseyes to human shapes, using bayonets on stuffed humanoid dummies, etc.

The upshot of this is that this new training worked too well, and was partly blamed for Vietnam-era war crimes like the My Lai Massacre.

The kill instinct in war has nothing to do with video games, and everything to do with military psychological conditioning.

Re:Very Nice Article (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177497)

Since the advent of the video game they've seen this apprehension dissipate, which undermines the argument that somehow behavior exhibited in the virtual world remains in the virtual world when the switch is flipped off.

Not to mention the original argument is a prime example of a post hoc ergo propter hoc [datanation.com] fallacy. It might be true, but temporal proximity doesn't prove anything. What you really need is a study of likely carjackers: sit them in front of GTA for a few hours a day and see if they do it less.

Re:Very Nice Article (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177535)

Hand eye coordnation could simply be improved. Also, by playing out combat scenarios the soldier is building confidence in his/her ability to make immediate decisions in those scenarios. They're teaching themselves how to assess the situation, what to look for, and what to do. There are several explanations for why someone who has played video games, military or first-person-shooter games in particular, will have a quicker response time.

Re:Very Nice Article (4, Insightful)

wolfemi1 (765089) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177442)

When I was a kid the games were much mellower, and less realistic, and I was a hoodlum. I could speculate that if I had these games I would have caused much less trouble when I was a kid.

Could be. However, look at it this way: Video game consoles are cheap and abundant these days (when adjusted for inflation, they might be the cheapest they've ever been). If more and more kids are staying inside to play, instead of roaming the streets, wouldn't that lead to less juvenile crime?

I know that, when I behaved like a hoodlum (rarely), it was more due to boredom than any other factor.

Re:Very Nice Article (2, Insightful)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177471)

I know this for a fact to be true for me. Why? When I was pissed as a kid, I'd go beat on my little brother or other such childhood nonsense.

What do I do now? I go vent in a video game. Load up some cheats and mow down pixels in GTA or Halo. After 10-20 minutes of such "mindless violence" my stress levels drop significantly and I'm ready to go about my business.

I believe as long as the child is taught about the line between virtual and actual reality, then there are benefits to video gaming. The ones that can't learn the difference usually have behavior problems anyway and must be cared for differently to begin with.

Re:Very Nice Article (2, Interesting)

SysKoll (48967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177473)

You're right, "games as a safety valve for thrill-crime" is very possibly a factor,at least for this category of petty "for fun" crime. But other factors have been mentioned for the crime rate dip. One is harsher prosecution. Another is the sad fact that a lot of violent criminals were crack addicts who just died off.

It remains to be seen how the current wave of methadone addiction sweeping the Midwest will affect future crime rate. Especially considering all the "meth orphans", kids effectively abandoned by their parents who will probably grow up with quite a negative attitude. Specialists are saying that we'll miss the good old days of crack heads.

Re:Very Nice Article (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177542)

There is a rather controversial theory behind the crime-rate drop as well:

Abortion causes less crime.

The jist of the theory is that those more likely to commit violent crime are also more likely to be aborted before birth if abortion is legal.

Re:Very Nice Article (1)

gunnk (463227) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177493)

This reminds me of a situation I read about in Europe where one country (Denmark? The Netherlands?) legalized most forms of pornography including very graphic violent material. They began to see an immediate and dramatic DECREASE in crimes against women. The widely floated explanation for this was that people likely to comment those times of crimes were finding an outlet for their fantasies through porn.

I'm sorry I don't remember which country did this, but I suspect one of our many European Slashdotters will enlighten us.

Re:Very Nice Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177508)

Having been involved in both deathmatch Doom and Quake games as well as armed robbery, drug dealing, and aggravated assault I can honestly say the only correlation between the two is that the fund from the latter enabled me to by better equipment to play the prior.

I'm a criminal and thug because of where and how I grew up. Computer games had nothing to do with it.

Heh. Football... (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177320)

If the allegations of football and videogames as stated above are true, that would explain a lot about my high school football team. The spoiled brats had all of the video game systems that their parents could buy them, and a 0-10 record on the field...

Hillary (1, Flamebait)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177324)

Hillary is finally standing for something? Has hell frozen over?

Seriously, when politicians get involved, be afraid. The issues will become more clouded. I believe Hillary is just using this to make her seem more mainstream.

Re:Hillary (2, Insightful)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177374)

What are you talking about? Hillary, like her or not, certainly cannot be accused of never taking a stand on something.

Re:Hillary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177435)

Hahahahaha. Point me to something BIG that she is either for or against.

Re:Hillary (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177532)

She's like John Kerry. "I voted for the 80 Billion dollars, before I voted against it". Politicians are low, and Hillary is at the bottom there.

As nasty as they want to be. (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177522)

She's stealing a play from Tipper Gore's book.

Too bad that dirty hippy Frank Zappa is dead. He sure put those senators to shame last time around.

Re:Hillary (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177526)

Um.... violent crime has been steadily decreasing in the US over the past decade, except for a few choice places like DC. More kids are playing these games, yet violent crime is going down... sort of odd for congress to draw a link.
Any regardless of your politics- how strange is it that the wife of the man who made it normal to discuss fellatio (translation:playing the skin flute) and semen stains (translation: love juice, monkey spanking sauce) on dresses okay to discuss on the 6 oclock news and the front page of newspapers, is upset about some simulated sex accesible only be searching for it and downloading some code... The gov't needs to get out of our lives and pocket books.
It would be funny to design a game called oval office and have simulated intern fellatio, and see if Hillary is upset by the real thing....
Another case of do as I say, not as I do...

High School Footbal = Evil (0, Troll)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177325)

For more info:

http://maddox.xmission.com/dumbassjocks.html/ [xmission.com]

Re:High School Footbal = Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177390)

Haha, sounds like someone got his head dunked in a toilet a few times. Poor Maddox.

football (4, Funny)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177327)

football actually encourages real aggression

well, duh

Re:football (1)

Mahou (873114) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177379)

it also desensitizes very strong people to pain, which is always a good idea right?

Re:football (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177394)

you didn't even think about reading the article did you?

Re:football (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177461)

Think about it? Yep.

Read it when I made that comment? Nope.

Reading it right now? Yep.

I was just replying to the submitter's summary.

Re:football (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177515)

You have a problem with football you little dweeb! I swear to god I'll pound your face in! I'll pound you face in!!!11!!

Re:football (0, Offtopic)

vortigern00 (443602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177531)

s'matter taco? did the football guys stuff you in a locker in high school?

Let's make really important issues moral ones! (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177329)

Of course, I admit that there's one charge against video games that is a slam dunk. Kids don't get physical exercise when they play a video game, and indeed the rise in obesity among younger people is a serious issue. But, of course, you don't get exercise from doing homework either.

heh, sure, those kids are really spending all that time doing homework and not nearly as much as becoming more aggressive playing after-school sports or killing, fucking, and carjacking!

Down with homework and more carjacking! Oh wait.

The most amazing thing about this is that Hillary can get so many people up-in-arms and pissed off about a stupid fucking video game and no one else can mobilize parents to "protect their children" from real harms that go virtually unnoticed in the political arena.

Someone really needs to link serious environmental issues to religion-based morality. Maybe then people will get mobilized. Afterall, it seems to be quite the rage recently...

Re:Let's make really important issues moral ones! (3, Insightful)

canfirman (697952) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177383)

The most amazing thing about this is that Hillary can get so many people up-in-arms and pissed off about a stupid fucking video game and no one else can mobilize parents to "protect their children" from real harms that go virtually unnoticed in the political arena.

Not to mention that most of the people who will support such action from the government is the same parents who want the government to raise their kids. I guess the fact that "GTA:SA" comes with an "M" rating on it (well, now "AO") didn't deter mommy and daddy from buying the game. Then they're "shocked, SHOCKED!" (to quote "Casablanca") that there's sex and violence in video games. Too bad responsible parenting has gone out the window.

Re:Let's make really important issues moral ones! (1)

Vile Slime (638816) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177392)

> The most amazing thing ... is ... Hillary can get so many people up-in-arms ... about a stupid ... game

I totally agree!

Why isn't Hillary fighting for something that really matters?

The f'd up logic of it all. (5, Insightful)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177472)

heh, sure, those kids are really spending all that time doing homework and not nearly as much as becoming more aggressive playing after-school sports or killing, fucking, and carjacking!

To be fair, there was a backlash for the violence in the game. And honestly, I don't think kids should be playing it. I am by no means conservative, but I think the game is just in bad taste for impressionable youth. But whatever. The game was given a rating, I don't think it should be outlawed.

What pisses me off is that all the recent uproar is because there was sex in there. You can beat a cop to death, but for Jebus' sake don't show animated boobs! Oh the humanity! Violence is OK, but sex, something natural and essential to our very existence of the human race, is taboo. Superbowl? OK. Boob at the Superbowl? Congressional hearings. Unjustified War? Hmm, OK. The F word is uttered in public? the decline of our moral civilization.

Action (5, Insightful)

creeront (890604) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177332)

I've read so many stories on the (unjustified) outcry over GTA:SA. What I haven't read are any stories asking the readers to Write their public officials in an effort to stop this political witch-hunt.

Need to re-think the video game market (4, Insightful)

Ohmster (843198) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177338)

The GTA brouhaha to me is about video games coming of age. They're no longer just about kids and teenagers, but for adults of all ages...it's a $25 billion business, and bigger than the movie industry...and it's just beginning. Sure, more grown-up ratings might shrink the market a bit, but the industry needs to be more creative about expanding the market. Besides figuring how to handle Easter Eggs, and adult content within games, the industry also needs to figure out how to meet the time constraints that adults have in playing games. Yet, most games are in a time warp, with limited ability to save, locked levels (you gotta earn it mentality!). It takes 2-3 hours to see a movie on a DVD and at least 20 hours to play a game. As a decades long gamer, I know it's there's fundamental difference between the two forms, and a totally different experience, but... If I'm springing close to $50 for a game (vs. say $20-25 for a movie DVD), and I don't feel like investing the 50 plus hours to play/replay segments to earn the right to see all the levels, and understand the story, I should be able to have an "auto-play" or "fast-forward to the next level" feature. This could significantly expand the market for games of all types, as more grown-ups can fit a game into their lives in terms of time. More here: http://mp.blogs.com/mp/2005/05/on_playing_pcco.htm l [blogs.com]

Re:Need to re-think the video game market (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177502)

They're no longer just about kids and teenagers, but for adults of all ages..

Do "all ages" include 13yo? Just wondering...

What's next? (2, Insightful)

JustinKSU (517405) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177339)

What's next? No Boxing!? No martial arts!? Anything can be positive in a controlled environment. I think the problem is parents aren't taking the responsibility to control their children's gaming habits.

Re:What's next? (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177414)

To tell you the truth I think "no boxing" would be good, but that might just be because I hold the brain to be so important. Something like 90% of boxers are brain damaged.

Clinton's Real Agenda (5, Insightful)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177342)

Mrs. Clinton is attempting to put herself in a position to be the democratic candidate for the 2008 Presidential election. This has nothing to do with GTA and everything to do with her attempting to strengthen how she is percieved with respect to traditional family values. I am not a fan of Bush and consider much of what he does to be fascist, but Hilary makes Bush look like a libertarian.

Ahhh fun times!

Re:Clinton's Real Agenda (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177410)

Maybe so, but Bush can't serve again (Thank God!!!), so I hope we are presented with a better Republican candidate...

Re:Clinton's Real Agenda (0, Flamebait)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177474)

Bush can't serve again

Don't be so sure. The gubment doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about the Constitution these days.

Re:Clinton's Real Agenda (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177432)

Hilary makes Bush look like a libertarian.

Ha. They're both very authoritarian, just in different ways. For example, Bush is the one who supports putting a ban on gay marriage in the freaking Constitution.

If Hillary is a candidate in 2008, the Democrats are truly dead. And stupid, but we already knew that.

And another thing (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177344)

Here's a nice article, [sfgate.com] neatly summarised by its headline -- "There's Sex In My Violence!
What's this lame soft-core porn doing in my ultraviolent "Grand Theft Auto"?".

This reminds me of one of my first experience of US TV. I was watching "The Godfather" on TBS, in the middle of the day. When Santino beat the living Bejeesus out of his sister's husband on the street, they showed every frame of the violence. 5 minutes later, they pixelated the 3.5 seconds of nude breast (the only nudity in the entire film) in Michael's wedding night scene.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Re:And another thing (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177447)

Sonny: You touch my sister again, I'll kill you

Real reason (2, Interesting)

00RUSS (549125) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177345)

She is just trying to get the conservative religious vote.

Nothing really "new" in this article (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177353)

But it is a nice summary of most of the sensible points made against this whole "video games are the devil's tools" phase legislators seem to be going through once more.

Their(the legislators) arguments didn't work against Mortal Kombat, what's so different about today's games that they would somehow fundamentally warp childrens' minds?

VideoGames and violence (1)

sameerdesai (654894) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177359)

It's absurd to say that playing a violent video game is the cause of violence in the society. The problem is more deeper and lies in how the person was raised and how he interacts with other people in his neighborhood. I have played plenty of violent games in my childhood and I am just fine and I have no urges of killing people on the streets. I have increasingly seen laws in US tacking baseless things than the root problems. One of the reasons might that on doing so might come and bite them in their behinds one day. I wonder when will someone realise this.

Keep going further left, Hillary... (3, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177361)

The more she does stupid things like this, the easier it will be to defeat her when she runs for President. It's funny how the most leftist of politicians do exactly the sorts of things that they accuse the right of.

Hillary specifically, and Democrats in general, have a long history of blaiming _things_ for the actions of people. I think it's a case of them not wanting to offend someone who might vote for them someday. "Oh, we can't blame the criminal for doing that, we should blame society/the gun/the judicial system/anybody but the bad guy". Just like this case - let's blame the game manufacturer/reviewing organization, instead of the kid who goes out, downloads a program that adds this functionality to an existing product, and chooses to install it. The kid is making this happen, but she's blaming anyone but the kid.

Yes, I'm sure I'll be modded into oblivion for this, but this is politics.slashdot.org. Before you mod this down as "flamebait" or something, consider that disagreeing with someone doesn't mean they're posting flamebait, or off topic, or whatever.

Re:Keep going further left, Hillary... (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177388)

Yes, I'm sure I'll be modded into oblivion for this, but this is politics.slashdot.org. Before you mod this down as "flamebait" or something, consider that disagreeing with someone doesn't mean they're posting flamebait, or off topic, or whatever.

On the contray, I'm sure you'll get modded insightful or similar. Maybe that paragraph will help, which may have been your intention anyway ;)

Re:Keep going further left, Hillary... (5, Insightful)

Aix (218662) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177478)

To tell you the truth, I really see this as moving to the right, in order to set herself up better for the presidential run. The Democrat/Republican divide these days has less to do with legislative intervention and more to do with "family values," whatever that means.

If you're Karl Rove, planning the 2008 election, you want to go after Hillary on her ethics and her family values. You want to neutralize her female base by making her appear to not care about family and good parenting. This is a calculated move by Hillary to move to the *right* on this issue, not the left. It doesn't matter who she blames, it matters that she's in the papers sticking up for some kind of "family value."

(I blogged about this here [nonperiodic.net] .)

forget the attack on video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177381)

we're under an attack of the 503's service unavailable... time to kick start the server again.

true, sort of (5, Insightful)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177397)

and mentions that football actually encourages real aggression, causes real injuries, and is treated totally differently

I think Taco failed to read into the author's sarcasm regarding football, but that's ok.

The author of the article seems to have taken some of their ideas from the recent Discover Magazine article titled Your Brain on Video Games [discover.com] . A very interesting read, a lot of which I agree with.

I'm a parent, a geek, and a former athelete (yes, it's possible). Our children (ages 8-15 now) have their homework time and we (they?) split their entertainment up between going outside to play, video games, nonsensical tv, and educational tv (of course, with a few random things thrown in to boot). On top of that, we ask that they play one sport of their choosing, and one instrument of their choosing. The mention of football in the description is a bit misleading. Some of the good things football teaches are
  1. How to work with other people
  2. How to get along with people you may not like
  3. Discipline and focus, with regard to achieving a goal
  4. Planning and stragety
  5. Competitiveness, which certainly can help later in life if applied correctly
Other things are learned by playing instruments such as math (in different bases), appreciation for different cultures, etc... but that's a bit off topic here.

Video games can actually teach children as well. However, when they start to focus all of their freetime on video games, rather than other forms of entertainment, I think they're mission out on quite a bit. Everything in moderation.

Re:true, sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177479)

I'm a parent, a geek, and a former athelete (yes, it's possible). ....

4. Planning and stragety .....

  I think they're mission out on quite a bit


Really? You were a jock? No way!

Re:true, sort of (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177510)

And a programmer... have you never tried to lay your thoughts out quickly and typed the wrong word?

Re:true, sort of (3, Informative)

Shky (703024) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177518)

The author of the article seems to have taken some of their ideas from the recent Discover Magazine article titled Your Brain on Video Games [discover.com]. A very interesting read, a lot of which I agree with.

Steve Johnson wrote both of those, and the book Everything Bad is Good for You. He's been in the news quite a bit lately.

Re:true, sort of (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177547)

Nice... I looked for the author of the LA Times article, but didn't see it.

Politicians and the Hype (5, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177398)

Unfortunately I'm fairly certain that very few US Senators are listening over the sound of hype.


The bigger problem is, I believe, that they don't hear anything but the hype. Most politicians don't troll Slashdot or gaming sites. They have enough to do with meetings, looking at bills, more meetings, campaigning, photo ops, and the rest.

I wrote a small piece on this not too long ago [advancedmn.com] that talked about this issue. It's not just that Senator Clinton is believing the hype - that's all she's probably hearing! Who in the gaming community is really going to her and the other politicians who discuss the issue?

Where's the Hollywood style lobbyists from the gaming industry? Isn't this what the ESRB and other gaming organizations should be doing - going to politicians and explaining how an R rating is the same as an M rating, how they're working with stores to keep M rated games out of the hands of minors (and if they aren't, then they damn well better be before Washington does it for them), why the "Hot Coffee" mod was never meant to be played and discovered by people voluntarily choosing to play the nude scene (and if they are minors, do you really think they can't get nude people easier than installing a mod in a $50 PC game?).

Yeah, I'm pissed at Ms. Clinton and Thomson and all of the ilk who "don't get it" - but I don't entirely blame them, because odds are there are few people who have really taken the time to explain it to all of them. (Well, except for Thomson - in my opinion, he's just a money grubbing lawyer now using nudity-in-games claims to line his pocket). [theapprenticepaladin.com]

Of course, this is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

What story? (0, Troll)

drxenos (573895) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177412)

Story? This isn't a new article. It is an opinion piece. Can't the submitter read, or is he just trying to generate more controversy?

Nice to see another side to this.. (1)

bsquizzato (413710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177413)

But okay, look at the following sentence:

Many juvenile crimes -- such as the carjacking that is so central to "Grand Theft Auto" -- are conventionally described as "thrill-seeking" crimes. Isn't it possible that kids no longer need real-world environments to get those thrills, now that the games simulate them so vividly?

That's almost as stupid as the idea that children who play realistic FPS games are more likely to use guns with violent intent in real life because they are disconnected with reality. In fact, wait, that's saying pretty much the same thing. It was a pretty well written article, but don't fight fire with fire.

Physical activity? (3, Interesting)

mendaliv (898932) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177417)

Of course, I admit that there's one charge against video games that is a slam dunk. Kids don't get physical exercise when they play a video game

What of Dance Dance Revolution and its various clones?

Speaking as an obese man, if that isn't physical exercise, I don't know what is.

Footbal does not encourage real aggression... (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177418)

This is so stupid. All sports encourage competition. Many of them (basketball, hockey, wrestling, martial arts, etc...) have varying levels of direct physical contact. Sports are not the problem. What is the problem is that young athletes are not being taught to properly handle their feelings and deal with the game. They're taking a lot of their negative emotions onto the field, and taking their aggression off of the field. This is not the fault of sports, any more than it's the fault of video games. The point is that individuals are responsible for their own actions, and parents are responsible for supervising their children (teenagers included) to ensure that the are capable of emotionally handling the games or sports that they play.

Article is juvenile at best (1)

stanleypane (729903) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177419)

I found the article to be a bit juvenile. The sort of article that is easily overlooked due to it's abrasiveness. It's a shame that something like this didn't make it into a more popular publication:

http://illspirit.com/press_release.html [illspirit.com]

Why is this bad? (2, Insightful)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177420)

Hillary isn't calling for a ban on certain video games. What is wrong with just researching the effects of violent video games on children? If it comes out that there is no major problem, then great. If it turns out there is, then parents will be able to better understand what effects such things will have on their kids. Do I personally think it causes a problem? No way. Getting picked on in school and having your head slammed into lockers is a lot more likely to drive you mad than playing GTA. Hell, most parents incite more anger and violence in their kids than video games ever could. (You can tell where I'm coming from here.) That said, the study can't hurt, and it may provide more useful information; You could end up being surprised.

*goes back to playing Resident Evil 4*

Stupid analogy (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177425)

First of all, not all violence is bad. Violence against unwilling, innocent victims is one thing. Teams lining up on a football field to play each other is totally different, since they voluntarily participate. There are many reasons to rag on the politicians who are using GTA for a convenient whipping-boy, but this analogy gets the whole article off to a bad start...

Re:Stupid analogy (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177470)

Are you saying video game characters should consent to the player's harm? What about games like Quake 3: Arena? Every other participant is willing. Your argument is also off to a bad start.

Starts of fine, but then... (2, Insightful)

MBoffin (259181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177426)

The letter starts off making some good points and pointed analogies. But, but the end it just sounds ridiculous. I mean, read this snippet from the end...

"Math SAT scores have never been higher; verbal scores have been climbing steadily for the last five years; nearly every indicator in the Department of Education study known as the Nation's Report Card is higher now than when the study was implemented in 1971.

"By almost every measure, the kids are all right."


Is he joking? I mean, does he seriously believe what he wrote there? For one thing, if scores have gone up at all it's because the standard has been lowered over the years. For another, kids in the US, as a whole, are far from "all right" these days. If you don't see that, you're not taking an honest look at the state of today's younger generation.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177430)

They should just link videogames to terrorists and then patriotact'em to hell.

Real world violence from football (2, Interesting)

mcb (5109) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177434)

In my high school town (Doylestown PA), a group of several football players from CB West High School were attacked by a much larger group of football players from North Penn high school (next school district west). Basically the fight was rooted in the bitter football rivarly between the two schools. Four kids got seriously injured in the fight. One kid got kicked repeatedly in the stomach while he was on the ground.

Here's a story about it from the Philly ABC station.
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/101504_nw_footbra wl-update.html [go.com]

Re:Real world violence from football (1)

donleyp (745680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177499)

When I was going to a boarding school in Steamboat Spring, CO. there was a good amount of friction between us and the local public high school, but the only ones that got violent were the football team. It was like these kids were in an incoherent rage and we were the only acceptable target for it. Looking back I am quite certain there was steroid abuse going on at that school.

This is the heart of the piece... (2, Interesting)

donleyp (745680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177441)

Kids have always played games. A hundred years ago they were playing stickball and kick the can; now they're playing "World of Warcraft," "Halo 2" and "Madden 2005." And parents have to drag their kids away from the games to get them to do their algebra homework, but parents have been dragging kids away from whatever the kids were into since the dawn of civilization.

I think it is important to point out that we are dealing with the same problems that every generation has dealt with. Crime statistics fluctuate, and IMO they really can't be attributed to just one factor, but as the article correctly points out, we cannot rule out the idea that these violent games give kids an outlet for natrual aggression.

On sexual content, I am more concerned with violence than sex here. I don't really understand why our society is so prudish. Violence on TV (murder, rape, child molestation), is a "concern", but bearing a breast during primetime is an "outrage"!

The bottom line, this is yet another ploy by the Hildabeast to try to portray herself as a conservative Democrat in preparation for 2008.

RE: Billary is an idiot. (1)

shotgunefx (239460) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177445)

The last few years for myself have been a pulverizer. Couple deaths in the immediate family, illnesses and many other stresses. Feels like Job.

I own two games for PS2. GTA: Vice City & San Andreas. If I didn't have that to direct some of that rage, I would have exploded. Real violence.

Whenever I feel like I'm going to snap, I go take it out on the ("virtual") world.

Healthy? Maybe, maybe not, but no worse than chemically numbing things.

Good article... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177451)

..but funny. The author makes good points, but I especially liked this part:

The national carjacking rate has dropped substantially since "Grand Theft Auto" came out. Isn't it conceivable that the would-be carjackers are now getting their thrills on the screen instead of the street?

A spin worthy of a senator. While I don't discount the possibility outright, I do question it.

Yeah, but has he actually played GTA? (4, Informative)

DingerX (847589) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177453)

from TFA:
The great secret of today's video games that has been lost in the moral panic over "Grand Theft Auto" is how difficult the games have become. That difficulty is not merely a question of hand-eye coordination; most of today's games force kids to learn complex rule systems, master challenging new interfaces, follow dozens of shifting variables in real time and prioritize between multiple objectives.
I haven't seen SA, but from what I've encountered in GTA (a noble series that it may be), there are no "complex rule systems": just a big sandbox and some simple rules. "New interfaces" are nothing that a bog-standard game controller can do and has done for the last fifteen years, and "multiple objectives" are pretty much ruled out by the straightforward mission structure.

Worse if the game actually were as characterized, it wouldn't sell as many copies: way too difficult, not entertaining enough.

But the description sounds really good. "Training the wage slaves of the information age"

Don't Hate da Playa', Hate da Game (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177455)

Football teaches real aggression, while teaching that real aggression hurts. It hurts the aggressor, and it hurts the target. It also teaches in-person teamwork, and all the social checks and balances on appropriate/inappropriate aggression. It's the ultimate high-bandwidth feedback training for group aggression.

Of course, football produces lots of jocks who tape nerd buttocks together, then trap the nerds in a closet. So even football's feedback training produces lots of aggressively dysfunctional people. Football fans, without the pain feedback the players get, are arguably psychotic aggression freaks. But it does produce cheerleaders, another psychotic American human product that we know and love.

Videogames don't hurt anyone physically. But the realistic representation without physical risk can encourage physical aggression. I know it did with me: after playing GTA for a few days, I almost got drawn into two fights, one in a bar, another on the street, that previously never would have engaged me. I expect that children, who haven't learned the benefits of nonviolent (verbal) confrontation vs. the risks of kicking someone's ass, are even more succeptible. Combine that with the AMA's documentation of increased aggression disorders among children who watch TV unsupervised while infants and grade-schoolers, the extreme version of feedback-free violence "training". The picture of young people learning about violence, without its consequences, is certainly a warning.

So videogame makers should pay to "clear their name". They make billions in profits (including toy/movie/TV spinoffs), which are threatened by adverse publicity and possible liability. They should fund a reliable study, performed by a certified research institute (with the funding contract explicitly guaranteeing no strings attached to the results), of the actual developmental effects of their product on their market. Then they'd be able to take measured steps to ensure their product is safe. If it in fact is as safe as they've claimed for generations, they'll have invested a small amount in a study that protects their trillions in future profits. If there is actual health risk, they'll have quantified it, and be able to ensure their market survives to consume their products. Without getting some surprise lawsuit, backed by an "independent" study without their participation, that brings all those chickens home to roost like a FPS adaptation of Hitchcock's _The Birds_.

Obligatory pac-man quote... (2, Funny)

MirrororriM (801308) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177459)

If video games influenced us, the Pacman generation will be running in dark rooms, eating pills and listening to repetitive music.

Oh wait...

Football vs video games (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177469)

I have played both and there is a difference.
In football there is physical pain. It hurts. You know that if you get hit or hit someone that it will hurt. I do not like to watch pro football because I have played in High School. It does bother me that people are paid vast amounts of money to get hurt for our entertainment. Don't even ask me about boxing.
All the same why is it bad to not let kids buy mature games? What is wrong with making the parents decide that their kid can play GTASA?

GTA/Football/Foam Bats (1)

Hachey (809077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177477)

Many people compare GTA and football to the 'catharsis' model of aggression. This states that if you're really pissed off, you have to vent some of that anger. Maybe it's playing GTA and mentally killing Bill Smith for stealing your lunch money. Maybe it's tackling the opposing team extra hard to get all that emotional energy out. Or, the most popular example, maybe it's hitting each other with foam bats in a therapy session.

The problem is this model is incorrect, even if it is widely popular and thought to be true. Lets look at football. If playing hard was cathartic and made you more calm, then football players would be as calm as buddist monks. Yet on average football players are more likely to commit violent crime. You can look at video game studies, they do in fact convey a rise in violent behavior if the video game is violent. Especially if you get caught at a younger age.


--
Check out the Uncyclopedia.org [uncyclopedia.org] :
The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [uncyclopedia.org] and Pong! the Movie [uncyclopedia.org] !

The whole "hot coffee" issue is amazing (1)

eyegor (148503) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177481)

I'm frankly perplexed about the whole issue.

GTA:SA and the whole series have to be one of the most violent set of games out there and people are wound up about a tiny bit of sim sex rather than than killing cops and innocent bystanders.

But hack the game so you can see a little sim titty, and out come the feds and the nannys.

Sheesh.

I'd much rather see a game that glorifies sex than violence any day.

People need to get a sense of perspective.

What could be worse than GTA? (2, Interesting)

Ossus_10 (844890) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177484)

Well according to your favorite and mine, Jack Thompson, the Sims is the new bad guy http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/07/22/news_61296 09.html [gamespot.com]
Wow, now that EA peddles porn, you would think that matel and all the other makers of dolls would jump on that bandwagon. Who needs real nudity when you have a barbie.

Re:What could be worse than GTA? (2, Funny)

eyegor (148503) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177517)

If they're worried about the sims, then they'll REALLY hate Single 2: Triple Trouble. Lots of nasty, sim sex out of the box. WooHoo!!! :)

Correlation != Causation (2, Interesting)

cyclist1200 (513080) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177486)

Before people start flaming over whether video games cause or reduce violence, I'd like to remind everyone cum hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy.

Oppurtunism and lack of knowledge (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177492)

I always cringe when politicians make a big deal out of such things as it almost always reeks of political opportunism. It's easy, perhaps cowardly, to try to present one's point of any moral quality by attacking an "evil" without a real lobby.

The effort is better spent by not treating people as though they are stupid (even though many indeed are), but educating them in real world practicalities. I'm quite certain that most people are aware that they're not really "killing" anyone or anything in games. Anything killed spawns back or can be replaced. Many would not be that enthusiastic about playing in a game in which they can expect to actually be killed or inflict real damage to real people... and that's perhaps the reason they're playing games and not shooting guns.

Now when politicians start campaigning against actual guns and the actual NRA lobby... that's when they'll be showing guts.

Devil's Advocate (2, Interesting)

Enonu (129798) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177496)

Football is a very personal sport. There are consequences for your actions. If you hurt or get hurt by somebody on the playing field, you have to deal with it. At the same time, sportsmanship is encouraged. You tackle the person, but at the same time you don't try to maim the other player.

On the other hand, you have GTA which shows characters do everything we've already heard about blah blah blah, no consequences just restart, blah blah blah, and minors might get the impression that blah blah blah, etc.

I'm not trying to justify either side of the argument, but just saying that comparing football to GTA is fundamentally flawed. Oranges and apples.

Why would they inore hype? (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177505)

The politicians are the source of of much of the hype, and will contribute to and encourage the rest. US politicians on both sides now live and die by the amount of moral outrage they can stir.

"We can't let Terry Schiavo be murdered!"
"We must keep our children safe from these sick perverted video games!"

The whole point, as far as I can tell, is to keep everyone in a state of hysteria, and make sure that you pick one side or the other (because the other side is surely the way or complete moral degenracy and the downfall of civilization) so you won't notice that really, for the most part, both parties do exactly the same thing: enrih themselves and their wealthy contributors.

Seriously - for all the bluster and noise about these "hugely important" moral issues over the last 10 years, how much has actually been done by the politicians in power? I mean, if they really do care that much, surely it wouldn't be that hard to get some legislation through? How come the DMCA went through easily, and broadcast flags, copyright extensions, etc. keep recurring, but apparently these horribly important moral issues manage to simply keep getting batted back and forth with no real tangible action taken?

The politicians live on the hype. If they didn't you migt actually notice what they're actually doing (as opposed to what they are saying).

Jedidiah.

Proper Child Rearing (2, Insightful)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177506)

Whatever happened to parents taking an active role in raising their kids? How about the parents take responsibility of their kids being little terrors. The behavior starts at a young age people. Instead of blaming your kid's bad behavior on video games, football, TV, etc...take a good look in the mirror and go "did I raise Junior in a way to respect other people?" Is this THAT hard of a concept to grasp? Have we become THAT lazy as a society?

No it doesn't... (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177512)

It talks about GTA, the decline in youth violence, and mentions that football actually encourages real aggression, causes real injuries, and is treated totally differently

The article makes a passing reference to real football encouraging real aggression, but the second two things you mention are fabricated. Here is the only reference to real football from the article:

I'd like to draw your attention to another game whose nonstop violence and hostility has captured the attention of millions of kids -- a game that instills aggressive thoughts in the minds of its players, some of whom have gone on to commit real-world acts of violence and sexual assault after playing.

The bulk of the article is actually about there really not being a problem with kids playing video games and that in many ways, modern, difficult games actually stimulate learning (at least more than watching professional sports). The author then cites many games such as Halo 2 and the Sims and Madden 2005 as proof of how beneficial these games can be. I happen to agree with him, however that is somewhat of a bait and switch,... weren't we talking about games like GTA? How do the benefits of Madden 2005 justify the perceived issues with GTA:SA?

wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177514)

Car jacking is now a " thrill seeking" thing? B.S.!! car jacking is a violent crime, in case you haven't noticed. I can't believe nonsense like this is coming out.

Sex with hookers and shooting cops is not a good thing, and just because something is in a video game doesn't mean it's ok.

I hope GTA gets banned here in the US just like the Aussies had the sense to do so.

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177520)

This analogy is absurd. Both are games, and that is about where the similarities end.

  In GTA, killing people is the GOAL. Gang warfare is the goal. Killing cops, stealing, etc, is the objective of the game!

  Um, football, not quite. Football is physical, so injuiries happen, etc. But hell, if you want to use football players who get caught for drugs, assualt, etc, as an "example"; why not use actors, scientists, etc, who do the same kinds of things when they are at home! I can see the headlines: "Rocket Science bad sets example for children: NASA engineer found beating her husband."

  Btw, I like both GTA and Football, my point is simply that they are totally different!

It's all about the money (2, Insightful)

Dhrakar (32366) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177527)

As long as the big 'headline' sports like football, basketball (and hockey here in Alaska) continue to bring in the money they will always be coddled by politicians. I mean, it may be obvious, but I think that many folks are interested in watching these sports specifically _for_ the violence in them. For example, how many times have you heard "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out"?
Isn't this also a big reason why so many (way spoiled and overpaid) pro atheletes behave so badly off the field?
I'm no fan of GTA, but I see it as just a small part of the overall hyper-violent diet that we are fed here in the US.

Obesity mentioned... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177528)

Of course, I admit that there's one charge against video games that is a slam dunk. Kids don't get physical exercise when they play a video game, and indeed the rise in obesity among younger people is a serious issue. But, of course, you don't get exercise from doing homework either.

Well, to make a silly point (pointing out the uselessness of this final statement in TFA) sitting in a classroom isn't helping kids get any exercise, either. How about we try new and interesting ways to educate while mentally and physically stimulating them as well?

Reminds me of this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177530)

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/games/halo2.ht ml [pointlesswasteoftime.com] Oddly enough, now they have real research to back up their conclusion.

Football ? (1)

G0dzzilla (600833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177533)

Are you talking about the game you play with the feet or the one you play with the hand ?

Misfire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177538)

Absolutely, this is just Hillary jockeying for a better political position for a presidential run.

But I think it will misfire. This will not bring any right wing supporter over to her camp; and while it will probably not drive any of her supporters over to the Republican party, I forsee a lot of nominally Democratic voters suddenly becoming a good deal less enthuisiastic about her.

It should benefit the Libertarians, but it *won't*. Sigh.

Mob rule democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13177541)

When some bad outcome is attributed to religion or team sports, there is a large contingent of people that vote, who respond that the actions of an individual do not reflect upon the Bible or team sports. Your assertions are assumed to be false. Make the same ridiculous assertions against video games, drugs, or even cigarettes, you will find yourself in a voting minority that can be exploited. This is the essence of America's mob rule democracy. The mob of the day gets its freedom and the individual gets the shaft unless you have the numbers or the money to defend yourself against the mob.

No sexy (3, Funny)

Tachikoma (878191) | more than 9 years ago | (#13177544)

Violence? Aggression?
PEOPLE!
This is about naughty SEX!

You crush heads and break bones, even allow fights on the field or have the loosing team executed after the game. SO LONG AS they don't have sex or are encouraged to engage in sex.

If we keep sexuality out of games and media, our precious, perfectly innocent children wont learn of it until they are a proper age, like 30.

Its important to remember that raising your children should in no way take time away from YOUR all important life, and anything that goes wrong is the sole responsibility of something else that is sue-able.

REMEMBER! Children are perfect, until they are corrupted by someone else and its their fault. You are not responsible for your children, and should not have to educate, protect, or raise them yourself. That is the job of the Government. Now go back to paying attention to yourself.
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