Jul 14, 2006

What? Video Games DON'T Cause Real-World Violence?!?

Just wanted to post a link to a great article debunking Big Media's "video games = violence" crapathon. Great Stuff. One amateur video game writer, using government-published statistics, easily and intelligently squashes all the combined blustering of the Far Right and the media. Precious! :)

Grand Theft Auto - embrace it, my children!

Fine print: Ditlog does not condone parents allowing their young children to play GTA. Lots and lots of soccer moms read Ditlog daily and I need to be careful to qualify this stuff...


Ken Newquist said...

To be fair, and to piss everyone off, the Left is just as guilty as the Right on this one (and geez, don't you just get nervous when they start agreeing with one another?)

In 2002, California Democrat Joe Baca introduced legislation to ban the sale of violent video games to minors ... on health grounds:


Which worried me then and worries me now. As you say, parents have to be aware of what their kids are playing, but if you decide that your kid is mature enough to play Halo 2, who is the government to second guess you? And what happens if they decide that your "endangering your child" by exposing him or her to such "health dangers". Ugh.

Lance said...

Well, to tell you the truth, I don't really have a problem with legislation that enforces ratings. Same deal with movies - I have no problem with theaters carding at the ticket counter of a Rated R movie.

I don't feel that content ratings are true censorship, but rather a guideline or tool for parents. If I make an informed decision that Halo 2 is benign enough for my 10-yr-old to play (which I have), then that is my right and I can always buy it for him.

If I haven't yet played or thoroughly researched Mobster Slaughter IX, though, I don't want him to be able to plunk down his birthday cash and walk out of the store with it.

That said, I still sometimes worry about a domino theory escalation. At the point where someone tries to legislate that adult consumers can no longer purchase Mature-rated game title X or Y, there will be serious trouble.

I do have a problem, however, with knuckleheads like this Baca who make unsubstantiated, sweeping comments such as his "video games' constant, addictive nature also plays a role in aggressive behavior". He also implies that video games are "where they are learning their behavior from". These statements have no proven basis in fact, but countless American citizens read this drivel and buy into it.

I've said it a hundred times - disturbed people can be set off by anything. If the Columbine kids weren't playing Doom, then they probably would haev seen something on a Cocoa Puffs box that pushed them over the edge.

No one seems to ever mention that (from what I understand from some of the more thoughtful investigative pieces) those two poor kids practically never saw their parents and virtually had free reign through their teen years.

Playing video games isn't a crime. Millions of us Gen-X'ers were avid gaming hobbyists and turned out to be well-balanced, productive citizens. What should be a crime is being a shitty parent...