Are the Games at Fault?

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by ScreaminRaider, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. ScreaminRaider

    ScreaminRaider Piano User

    Apr 22, 2004
    San Antonio, Tx
    Today, I saw a piece on the news talking about a teenager that murdered a police officer because of the game, Grand Theft Auto. The family of the officer is suing Wal-Mart, GameStop, Sony and the company who designed the game. I have several views on this. First, I understand their anger towards these companies. The company that made the game was very irresponsible. This game condones shooting people, Stealing cars, and has sex scenes that can be unlocked by a cheat code, not to mention the vulgar language that would make a Marine blush. I'm sorry to those gamers out there that are addicted to this crap, but It should not be allowed on the shelves of stores. However, there is one more area that people forget. The Parents. The designers, and the stores that sell the game may be irresponsible, but It is the parents responsibility to say "hey, this game has a big 'M' on the front of it, maybe you shouldn't play this game." Too many parents today sit there kids in front of the TV and let it do the parenting for them. For example, I was in a game store one day, and a kid about the age of 6 was asking his mom for the newest GTA. I'm was thinking that she was going to flat out say no, but she said YES!!! I was shocked. So was the store clerk. He told her that the game was too mature for her kids, and she told him not to tell her how to raise her kids. Something is wrong with this picture. What happens when this kid goes out and shoots up his local playground at the age of 8? She'll say something like "I didn't know," or "It's the stores fault for selling me the game." Some parents will say "My child is smart enough to know the difference between the game and reality." There have been too many incidents where a kid kills another kid by pointing a gun at them and pulling the trigger. They'll say later that they thought it was unloaded. This happened to a guy my brother and I grew up with, named Matt. He was standing outside of a party, and his friend 'jokingly' pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger assuming that it was unloaded. Matt died on that front porch. Matt was a very smart young man that had a promising future ahead of him, but he was taken from this world too soon. Do you want to know what the kid who shot him had in his Xbox? Yes, you guessed it, GTA. How many times does something like this happen before we all figure out that this crap is damaging to our society? The companies that sell the games like this are not going to take it off the shelf by simply writing about it in our blogs. We need to stop buying it. If nobody buys it, then they won't sell it. But, I know that won't happen. There will always be some irresponsible parent buying games like this for their six year old, until one day, their six year old is taken away from them.

  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    No, the games are not at fault - there is a clear distinction (unless you are mentally unstable) between video game fantasy and reality and suffice it to say that if you pick up a gun to shoot someone, unless you are in a militarized combat zone, you probably aren't dealing with a full deck.

    2 or 3 bricks short of a load
    1 or 2 cans short of a six pack
    have a screw or two loose
    the lights are on but no one is home

    You get the idea.

    While this is certainly an interesting news story, why not discuss an even bigger issue that is more or less ignored these days and is sure to take far more lives than will be taken due to the side influence of the game GTA.

    Alcohol abuse.

    Far more people will die this year (and probably this month) as a result of alcohol related auto accidents, domestic violence, alcohol poisoning, and just plain alcohol induced poor judgement, than will ever die due to some obscure and unmeasurable influence of a mature, violent video game.

    Just because the news media sensationalizes a story, it doesn't mean that there is a widespread problem related to it. We are talking about a handful (less than 10?) incidents nation wide in a nation of millions. That's a miniscule percentage - I think I'll take my chances.

    More people will die as a result of falling off of a ladder. Maybe we should ban ladders and their use. :roll:

    Many, MANY more people will die as a result of medical malpractice. SHUT DOWN THE MEDICAL SCHOOLS!!!!! :shock:

    More interesting statistics regard the number of people who die every year as a result of bee stings as opposed to the number that die as a result of shark attack - but bee stings aren't really newsworthy - a shark attack is. Heck, I would be willing to bet that more kids die every year due to an allergic reaction to peanuts than will die from shark attacks or GTA influenced violence combined. STOP THE PEANUT FARMERS!!!!!! :D

    Heck, I would be willing to bet that more old farts die every year from heart attacks while shoveling snow or mowing the lawn! Oh, the attocity of it all! :roll: But again, that sort of story just isn't news worthy, and you don't hear of anyone trying to sue the shovel/lawnmower companies or the hardware stores that distribute them.

    Regarding old farts and things that bring about their untimely demise, there is actually a statistic somewhere regarding old farts who die as a result of complications caused from straining while sitting on the can! :oops:

    Here's another one for you. More people are killed or seriously injured annually by coconuts than by sharks. That's right, coconuts. Say you are on the beach, lounging under a coconut tree, enjoying the balmy day and the soft breeze.....a breeze that causes the coconut to fall from the tree and onto your noggin!

    While I agree that my son won't be getting his copy of GTA anytime in the near or distant future, he's only 11 after all and unlike some parents, I do pay attention to the maturity ratings, but I just don't see the game itself as being the problem.
  3. ScreaminRaider

    ScreaminRaider Piano User

    Apr 22, 2004
    San Antonio, Tx
    Now, I am not trying to totally blame the game, even though, It looked like that in my origional post....I sometimes look back and say did I write that? If you are a reasonable adult, then yeah, you can discern from violence on the game, and reality. In the case of my friend, It wasn't the fault of the game, but a lack of education, and monitoring by the parents. Also, his parents need to be flogged for having a loaded gun in reach of children. This really isn't something that I am stark-raving mad about, I really just thought it would be a good discussion piece. Yeah, the media definatly throws the situation out of proportion. That is what they do best. So, let's discuss, people....
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I blame the family( parents) that let a kid play such a game....and i also blame the kid.
  5. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    Screw it...I had this LONG response typed up but decided it was just not relevant. Bottom line is this:

    1) Video games are no excuse for bad behavior. The kid was simply evil, and his parents should be ashamed of him.
    2) Censorship is a dangerous path, and certainly these manufacturers and distributors have every right to develop their product. BUT, there should be some degree of controll over whom these products are marketed to and how easily they can be gotten for children or young teens.
    3) Regardless of the first two points, there is simply no excuse for allowing a child to participate in such entertainment. This stuff is VERY insidious. Exposure to such things DO have an effect on the moral and emotional state of an individual.

    Remember what coffee or beer tasted like the first time? Okay, I don't drink, but I DO remember the taste of beer thanks to a few can-switching pranks my cousins used to play on me. I remember that coffee tasted bitter and the beer just ... well ... ick. Both are clearly an acquired taste.

    Remember the first time someone gave you a hot pepper or other spicy food and what your reaction was? This is also acquired. My father thinks black pepper is too hot. My mother and I snack on Jalapenos and make regular use of Habanero peppers in our cooking. In fact, not only do I LOVE spicy foods now, I keep wanting my foods hotter and hotter.

    Porn, violence, fould language, and other forms of bad behavior are similar. They are learned, and they become acquired. If we satiate a curiosity or desire one time, that curiosity or desire does not lessen, it grows. IT's the same way alchoholism and drug abuse start -- someone begins perfectly in controll of their actions and desires. But the more they consume, the more they desire or crave the substance. This desire feeds upon itself, until one day you look back and realize that innocent, casual drinker has become a darkened alchoholic.

    These games are no different. They cater to an animalistic side of us. And once exposed, you begin to want more. And because it's the freshness, the uniqueness of the act that intrigues the mind, each subsequent exposure has less emotional value to us. In other words, each time we partake of something like this, we need MORE. We need something more violent, more foul, more outrageous than the last time just to elicit the same emotional response. It's never enough because the more we expose ourselves, the less sensitive we become and the stronger each new experience must be to satisfy us.

    Stop adding any form of salt to your foods for one month, you'd be shocked at how much salt you can already taste in foods when you've been off it for a while. Add some back into your diet and it suddenly tastes twice as strong. You had become desensitized to it.

    I went on one of those no-carb diets a few years ago, didn't eat any form of sugar for months. Eventually, I could SMELL the sugar in the air, taste it even, just by walking into a room that had a cookie or cake sitting in it.

    Stop eating any and all forms of fast food for three months. Then go out and order yourself a whopper. Suddenly you feel like vomiting from the grease. That same whopper you could have eaten easily months before, is now makig you sick -- and if you went back to a regular diet of fast food, you'd start to find that whopper barely covers your hunger after a while.

    This is the effect of these video games. Someone is curious and decides to try it out. It arouses some primal urges (kill or be killed, use the "cool" foul language, sexual innuendo, violence, theft, etc.), and that makes you wnat to keep playing. But the next day that's old hat, so you play until you receive the same thrill, but this takes longer. Eventually, you find the game just isn't stimulating enough, and the question of "what's it REALL like??" pops up. A young mind may not draw the line here where a more mature mind would. The logical progression is that eventually, the person either gives up the game or beging to experiment with more realistic forms, and thus they ae well on their way down the spiral.

    This is the same reason sex offendors are such chronic repeat offendors.

    I don't know the answers -- censorhip is a dangerous slope itself. But clearly there are some steps we can take. And as for the parents, well, I guess I just don't understand such foolishness. If you're going to present to your six-year old child a product that condones violence, law breaking, murder, sex, and fould language, then damnit, yes I WILL tell you how to raise your kids. This is not a question of how to discipline them, how to teach them, how to socialize with them, or even how to care for them. This is an issue that CLEARLY will corrupt their minds.

    Keep in mind we're talking about young children here. They are not as able to clearly draw a distinction between fantasy and reality. There are even many adults who cannot. And as I've stated before, that line become fuzzier and fuzzier the more we indulge in such fare.

    I would not sue the game company becuase it is not their FAULT the kid committed such crimes. It's the kid's fault. But these products Do contribute to the delinquent behavior that follows their use.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    And if the kid is under 18, his parents are responsible for his actions. They needed to do a better job of monitoring him.

    You cannot blame the video game. But these games are there because of the demand. If you take away that demand, those violent games would not be around.
  7. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    The video game companies are very clear about having a great labeling system to make sure parents know what they're buying their children, I have all three GTAs for XBOX and they all have a huge white label on the bottom left corner that says"M-Mature Audience Only 17+." There's no reason to blame the video game companies for that when it's clearly labeled on the game itself, one of the most popular games for XBOX Halo 2 is clearly labeled the same way, but I have yet to meet a 12 year old that hasn't played it.

    ROGERIO Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2004
    I don't know guys... I'm kind of in the middle of the road on this...

    To begin with, I can't see how someone would NOT be affected by playing these games... it's like any other type of over exposure... eventually something (maybe small amounts) will leak into your subconscious.

    Now, on the flip side... there is so much wrong with our society today that is a direct result of the demise of the family structure... and greed. I say greed because in most cases, (disclaimer here: most cases) both parents DO NOT need to work. They work because they WANT a big house, with a bedroom for each kid, 2+ cars, and many other LUXURIES our grandparents would never consider necessities...
    Sooo, in short... parents could do a much better job... if they had time... and if there was always a parent home... my 2 cents... off soap box. :-)
  9. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    Okay, I'm going to lather up that soap box a bit...

    HEAR HEAR, Rogerio!!! It's so refreshing to hear someone finally admit what I've felt all along. Those are very controversial words you mutter, but also so true.

    My wife and I made the very conscious decision that we would have one parent home with the kids whil they were young. It's been VERY tight financially for us, and it gets frustrating sometimes not being able to get the fancy new BMW my coworkers have, or not being able to get into a bigger house, go on the fancy vacations, etc., etc.,...but I think it is very important that one of us stay home.

    Greed is a large part of it. Everyone wants more money and more things, which is fine, but that desire has usurped the desire to nurture and raise kids. Look at the average home in the US compared to the 50s: We have typically 2 or 3 televisions, cable TV, microwaves, dishwashers, two cars, a two-car garage, air conditioning, cd players, Personal computers, PDAs, cell phones, powered garage-door-openers, etc. How many of these even existed in the 50s?

    Now, of that list above, I cannot think of one thing that I would be unable to live without. It would be annoying and tough to do without the AC, the Microwave, the dishwasher, the garage door opener, etc., but not impossible. How much of what we have do we really need?

    How much are we willing to sacrifice so we can stay home with our kids?

    The statistics on the demise of the family are frightening. And I think it's no coincidence that society becomes more and more accepting of violence and sexuality each year. I believe the latest survey showed that married couples are now only 50% of the adult population, and those with children are now under 30%, down from numbers near 75% and 50% just a few years ago. Those numbers may be off, but the meaning was clear: The family is dying.

    I make well below the industry average for my type of work, I got a measly 1% raise this year, I would give my front teeth to be able to relocate to Tucson, and I haven't been able to take the family on a nice vacation in years. We have only one car, and few amenities, but we have a happy family. I could quit my job and find better work, but it's a stable job. And my kids are going to a great school next year. Why move now? Why give up a stable job just for higher pay? Why send the wife to work when she is the best mother for out kids I can think of? She wants to stay home and raise them, who am I to stop her? Yeah, the money is tight, but so is the family. And really, for me, that's all that matters.
  10. Mr. Semman

    Mr. Semman Pianissimo User

    Jan 5, 2005
    West Brookfield, MA
    It is so refreshing to read the sentiments of TMers. Patrick and rjzeller are spot on! For example, during the ten or so years of the Viet Nam War more than 65,000 service personal lost their lives and more each day from old war wounds. During the dame time period, America lost about 50, 000 lives on the highway - each year! That is not to mention the 10, 000 or so that lost their lives to cancer each year!

    I guess that being an old cop has calloused my feelings somewhat. What we see and read in the news is our modern culture. Husbands and wives are usually both working just to make ends meet. Day care businesses are booming. Real estate prices are up, which makes the dream of owning a home less realistic. Credit card debt, yadahyadahyadah...

    My point is that if we, as individuals do whatever we can to bring peace and goodness to this world, one situation at a time, then together we can make a difference. As for the news, it will have slow days and sensationalize whatever there is out there. Good God there's kitten stuck in a tree. HEADLINE: PREDATORY FELINE TRAPPED!!


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