Enjoy The Silence 4

It’s been a while but I’m back and ready to stir it up with the Media Rebellion guys yet again. I want to discuss something that I’m sure we all will have some opinion of, something that I’m positive everyone on these forums will have some memory or experience of which to speak of and that is VIDEO GAMES!

Ahhh, the countless hours, days and even weeks of my life I’ve lost to my digitized heros right from the days of Super Mario, to the present day of driving around Vice City as Tommy Vercetti popping a righteous cap in some random Haitian gangster!

How innocent it used to be when a 10-year-old could unboxed his/her SNES and be left to happily button bash over Street Fighter 2 for hours on end **SIGH!** however those days are seemingly all behind us. I hope by now you’ve not already concluded that I’m going to start ranting away about how much I love
Video Games because that is not what I’m attempting to discuss with Ye’ Faithful. I wish to discuss the impact that Video Games have on society, more
specifically games with violent content.

This is a debate that reveals it’s ugly face every few years, it has happened many times. Recently in the UK a teenager killed a schoolmate. It was vicious and unprovoked murder at it’s coldest, the victim was beaten to death with a baseball bat! Now I’m sure your thinking the same as I did when I first learnt
of this terrible incident, that the killer is surely deranged and is quite clearly a
complete psychopath for doing that to another human being.

If only we all thought that logically.

It was revealed not a day later that the killer had informed investigating officers
that he was simply re-inacting his favorite video game and that he had no realization that his actions were wrong. The Video Game in question was ‘Manhunt’. For those who have not played this (what I think is a superb game you star as the role of a convict sentenced to death by the Gas Chamber. However your execution is staged and you are abducted by a sick ‘snuff movie’ director who has elaborately set up a series of zones guarded by serial killers for you to avoid, or more to the point…. kill! All whilst on tape of course.

Yes, it’s kill or be killed but the director encourages you to kill in the most violently original ways possible, including beating people’s brains out with a baseball bat. Now whilst I can admit that the violent content of this game is totally overkill that does not make me want to go out onto the streets with glass shards and baseball bats and kill everyone in sight! However the UK media (oh how we love them!) were all over this like a fly on shit. Within days the game ‘Manhunt’ had been banned from most reputable UK game stores, the game’s creators ‘Rockstar Games’ were heavily blamed for influencing a generation of serial killers and the whole ugly debate that games are bad for you was back and bigger than ever before!

I’m doubtful that this story got outside of the UK simply for it’s impetual nonsense style of journalism however I am sure this kind of debate has occurred in the USA because people who don’t play games can never understand that playing a game does not become an obsession for most people. The only people who can be possibly influenced in this way by a video game are those who are mentally defective already, and the trigger for the killing spree could be anything from TV, a novel or just an argument with a pushy assistant at your local Wall-Mart.

The point of this debate is to determine 2 things. Are Video Games the
root of all evil? And are we letting the most criminally unintelligent
people write the news that our parents get up in the morning and digest along
with their fruit juice and cereal?

I leave the debate for you.

4 replies on “Enjoy The Silence 4”

I’m 18, and I was basically born with a nintendo controller in my hand, I can still remember waking up at 3 in the morning when I was about 6 or 7 and finding my dad playing good old Mario in my room. I was also born with severe eye problems, so I could never catch a football, or hit a baseball, etc. etc. so obviously thats hard on a little boy, I was always made fun up when I tried to play sports, so I did what most people in that sort of situation does. I became a recluse and a video game addict. For the first 15 years of my life I spent every dollar I ever made on video games, and I’m like any 18 year old video game junkie/movie geek/etc. I love gunning people down in Vice City, I love jumping off the turnbuckle and slamming my friends into the mat in Def Jam Vendetta, I love blasting people apart with my rocket launcher in UT2004, and I love jabbing a knife in an unsuspecting awper in CounterStrike. But the thought of ever taking another human life, no matter how dispicable, sickens me.

However we have to take into consideration the fact that there were people who would do utterly sickening things before video games or movies existed, Jack the Ripper for example. These sick minds _do_ exist, and no one knows exactly who to blame for such people, is it the parents fault? or is there simply a defective mind inside their head? The fact is they exist, and if one such mind was subjected to the overwhelming violence in our culture, they could easily become a bloodthirsty serial killer.

The constitution gives people the right to free speech, this we all know, video games are simply another form of entertainment, just more interactive than books or movies. It’s the interaction that has people worried, you can see someone slit someone’s throat in a movie, you can read all the gory details of someone slitting a throat in a book, the problem, in the minds of non-gamers is that you command your character to cut that throat. As John mentioned, the normal rational mind can distinguish the fact that cutting that character made of polygon’s throat is different than doing it to someone with a heart and a soul.

However, a young mind is unadjusted to reality, overwhelming violence in a young mind can definately warp their sense of reality.

I’m 18, so I’ve only recently been able to attend the R rated movies and buy the ‘Mature’ games. It always bugged the hell out of me because _I_ know I’m not going to go out and kill someone. The problem is, someone else might. These ratings and restrictions are placed by age for the safety of our psyche. A 9 year old child should not be disembowling people with a meat hook. However, I know the difference between reality and fiction, and when I get stressed out, I need to kill people who dont exist.

I saw a movie a while ago and there was one line that struck me as incredibly brilliant, I think it might have even been Keanu Reeves. “You need a license to drive a car, you need a license to go hunting, you even need a permit to CATCH A FISH… but anyone can be a parent…” Now I’m not saying everyone in the world should be required to raise their kids the same way, (also, I hope I dont sound like I’m repeating John too much) but it is a parent’s responsibility to make sure their child’s mind isnt becoming deluded, and I’m also not advocating totalitarianism over one’s child, a child is a person too, with their own mind and their own thoughts. This 10 year old had obviously been allowed to play anything he wanted if his parents bought him a game called “Manhunt” with something like this ( http://www.rockstargames.com/manhunt/ ) on the cover. People need to stop blaming video games and movies for things like this and place the blame where it fucking belongs, on the shitty parents who raised demented kids.


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