Videogame censorship

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Should certain videogames be censored/banned? Games that feature child murder for example? Or offensive games?

Recently, a lot of people died in riots surrounding the burning of a quran. Imagine a game where mosques can be destroyed, qurans can be burned, and loads of Muslims can be killed. Now imagine that huge riots erupt. Should it be possible to ban/censor this game?

Games are are now...yay.

On a side note you mentioned Korans or whatever spelling you want to use being burned. I understand they are STILL killing people in Afghanistan over that...what the actual hell? And now the UN wants the soldiers involved to be punished (while meanwhile wagging its finger uselessly at Syria)? Ok if it were some soldiers goofing off and burning Korans for the hell of it yeah they should be punished. However that isnt what this was, this was a few Korans (which by the way had already been defaced by Muslims who had been writing messages in them) that got mixed in with some trash that was being burned and they got tossed in by mistake. People are being KILLED because of this, what the hell.

When we leave Afghanistan I want the last US soldier to leave the country to turn around and give the country the middle finger.

(Just needed to get that little rant out of my system, thank you).

Um... No? Why do you even need to ask this question? Why does this question need to be asked? :/

Really depends on wether the game is Grand Theft Auto with more religions included or a more realistic FPS set in Iraq/Afghanistan or just "Muslem Murder Mayhem: 3"......

im guessing you never played postal 2 which has mission were you go into a Muslim base to try and get something, well you end up killing all of them then going jail were you have to light your Muslim inmate on fire to get out, then you proceed to kill members of the US military to escape. the game wasn't censored at all.

a video game like that would be rated AO and would only be available through 3rd party sources or if you ask for it specifically by name. it would probably be like the game ethnic cleansing which was only available through a national socialist store or from skin heads. but i never have heard of games being banned, in the US in other countries sure, but thats cause some European governments feel that their citizens cant handle graphic content. so chances are the game would be banned in Muslim countries and countries with nanny state governments.

Well that kind of thing's usually a pretty easy question.

No, video-games should not be censored.

Err... unless it shows child porn. I think that's probably a censor I'd keep in place.

Pretty simple rule of thumb for creative media: if it doesn't violate international "common sense" law (for example, child porn), don't censor it. Really not that hard to figure out. Just apply the same measure to magazines, movies, or whatever. If people think it pisses off their invisible friend to the extent that they need to burn buildings, that's because they're whackjobs, not because the game is bad. "Offensive" is never a good criteria to ban something.

Hm. After all the sympathy for the Zombie-Muhammad-molester and the Offended-Afghanis, I had expected more sympathy for Muslims if a game was launched where innocent Muslim children died while they were reading the Quran in a mosque that is burned down by you, the player.

(Haven't actually played such a game. But I did play Minecraft, where zombies eat villager-children, and Arma II: Reinforcements, where you can bomb mosques, innocent Pa Takistanis and women in burqa.)

Stagnant:
Pretty simple rule of thumb for creative media: if it doesn't violate international "common sense" law (for example, child porn), don't censor it.

Lol. Common sense law? Never heard of that :P And how do you know that common sense law bans child porn but tolerates the virtual destruction of qurans, mosques and innocent Muslim children?

No censorship of any kind should ever befall anything fictional. Also what this guy said.

...unless it's indistinguishable from illegal depictions of reality, and its legality hurts the fight against the real deal; Generally not a problem for video games.

Does the game step by step teach you how to make a nail bomb and plant it on your nearest bus?
Yes? Ban it.
Else. Allow...

OK I really don't like censorship of much at all...

If its not dangerous... allow it.

Are video games dangerous and can form dangerous habits like shooting class mates in mass killings? If so then why are any games allowed at all...? If not then everything should be allowed short of a how-to-guide to build a bomb. A how-to-guide on how to pick up a gun and shoot a child... isn't select knowlage most don't have... how to make a bomb is...

Danyal:
Hm. After all the sympathy for the Zombie-Muhammad-molester and the Offended-Afghanis, I had expected more sympathy for Muslims if a game was launched where innocent Muslim children died while they were reading the Quran in a mosque that is burned down by you, the player.

(Haven't actually played such a game. But I did play Minecraft, where zombies eat villager-children, and Arma II: Reinforcements, where you can bomb mosques, innocent Pa Takistanis and women in burqa.)

Stagnant:
Pretty simple rule of thumb for creative media: if it doesn't violate international "common sense" law (for example, child porn), don't censor it.

Lol. Common sense law? Never heard of that :P And how do you know that common sense law bans child porn but tolerates the virtual destruction of qurans, mosques and innocent Muslim children?

the problem with you're game is no one but you would by it, or people who hate the shit out of Muslims. chances of even getting a budget to even make the game wouldn't happen anyways. so you're example is unrealistic. also nice of you to get mad that many of us ignored the poor video that showed no assualt, the fact that police officer didn't report it as assault and that the only evidence was the word of the victim against the word of the accused. personally i think you'll enjoy a nice sitting of playing ethnic cleansing and postal 2 if you want to kill Muslims and Jews.

Danyal:
Games that feature child murder for example?

Deus Ex allows that so: No. My answer is no.

But I don't really favor censorship unless taken under strict scrutiny. Which almost all censoship fails.

Most places already have a ratings system in place anyway.

The problem is, youy absolutely need to censor certain things, and once you've decided on that, drawing the line becomes awkward.

The problem with giving people rights like free speech is that they turn around and use them in ways you don't like. Just about any freedom can be "abused". Does someone have the right to give an opinion that they know will cause deaths, such as attacking the Koran while serving in a military?

Danyal:
Hm. After all the sympathy for the Zombie-Muhammad-molester and the Offended-Afghanis, I had expected more sympathy for Muslims if a game was launched where innocent Muslim children died while they were reading the Quran in a mosque that is burned down by you, the player.

Like all videogame content, it depends on context. The recent furore over the Skyrim "child-killing" mod is an example of this - does making killing children possible change the dynamic of the game in an unpleasant ad gratuitious way, or does it just iron-out the arbitrary inconsistency of immortal sprogs?

Same goes for your Mosque-burning scenario. Are you required by the game to take these actions? Or is it one of many possible interactions that are open to you, the player?

Anyway, all but the most backward fool realises that games aren't reality; quite the opposite, they're escapism, and escapism often manifests itself in the trying-on of different roles and different moralities. That's why pacifists can sit down and happily kill virtual enemies in Modern Warfare, and law-abiding citizens can have great fun being a criminal in GTA. It's rarely of any genuine value to censor ANYTHING in videogames. Rate the game accordingly, splash big content warnings all over the box, but give adults the choice of what multimedia they interact with.

thaluikhain:
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The problem with giving people rights like free speech is that they turn around and use them in ways you don't like.
...

No one is "giving" you the right to Free Speech. You could originally speak whatever you wished without any legal restraints, and then the state put legal restrictions on that freedom. So all it did was "take away".

Imperator_DK:

thaluikhain:
...
The problem with giving people rights like free speech is that they turn around and use them in ways you don't like.
...

No one is "giving" you the right to Free Speech. You could originally speak whatever you wished without any legal restraints, and then the state put legal restrictions on that freedom. So all it did was "take away".

What do you mean by "originally"? For example, saying things against your king or chieftain has been a crime more or less since crimes have been written down, haven't they?

Imperator_DK:

No one is "giving" you the right to Free Speech. You could originally speak whatever you wished without any legal restraints, and then the state put legal restrictions on that freedom. So all it did was "take away".

You could originally kill people without legal restraints too, then the state came and put legal restrictions on that freedom.

thaluikhain:
...
What do you mean by "originally"? For example, saying things against your king or chieftain has been a crime more or less since crimes have been written down, haven't they?

Before you entered into a society with a strong centralized power that had democratic legitimacy.

Even ignoring the criteria that in the civilized parts of the world laws nowadays need to be passed democratically - and respect civil/human rights - in order to have legitimacy, the king/chieftain "took away" too, compared to the pre-legal stage.

Agema:
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You could originally kill people without legal restraints too, then the state came and put legal restrictions on that freedom.

Indeed; with the quite reasonable justification that doing so would cause direct and discernible physical harm to the other person, which it is one of the most basic functions of any state to prevent.

Any "speech" which directly cause the same effect - such as shouting "fire!" in a crowded theatre, inciting violence against a person, lying in court to cause miscarriage of justice, or creating/maintaining a demand for real rape pornography by viewing it - can quite reasonably be outlawed too.

Stuff like depicting Mohammed doesn't cause any harm in itself though; The backwards fanatics who choose to respond to it by killing people do. Hence the law should focus on exterminating those, the actual source of the harm, rather than limit the rights of the innocent to do things that - while perhaps none too clever or tasteful - are harmless, in concession to such worthless criminal filth.

Imperator_DK:

Any "speech" which directly cause the same effect - such as shouting "fire!" in a crowded theatre, inciting violence against a person, lying in court to cause miscarriage of justice, or creating/maintaining a demand for real rape pornography by viewing it - can quite reasonably be outlawed too.

Wait, so in that case, it should be reasonable to hold people criminally accountable for insulting Mohammad, because it directly causes physical harm to others.

You're arguing it should be legally acceptable to drive someone to lose control such that they harm others because they're offended, but should not be legally acceptable to drive someone to lose control such that they harm others for other reasons. Not exactly consistent, is it?

Agema:
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Wait, so in that case, it should be reasonable to hold people criminally accountable for insulting Mohammad, because it directly causes physical harm to others.

Not, it happens to statistically be a causal factor in fanatical Muslims choosing to commit terrorism, which it what directly causes physical harm to others.

Just as somebody leaving a suicidal girlfriend is not murder even if they knew she'd kill herself because of it, depicting Mohammed is not accessory to terrorism. Neither is for the law to regulate, for the culpability lies entirely with the one(s) who made the actual choice in the end.

You're arguing it should be legally acceptable to drive someone to lose control such that they harm others because they're offended, but should not be legally acceptable to drive someone to lose control such that they harm others for other reasons. Not exactly consistent, is it?

There's nothing like "lose control", unless you're actually medically insane: You answer for your own actions in full. Muslim fanatics choose to commit crimes, and that choice is what caused the crime.

What then caused that choice of theirs is irrelevant, unless it was caused by an accessory who actively intended to incite it. But people who portray Mohammed don't intend to support and spur on terrorism, on the contrary they wish to defy it and spit in its face. Hence they are not responsible for it in any way, as little as a woman who runs from a rapist who screams at her "I'll go rape a child if you don't stay here" am in any way responsible for such a subsequent rape.

It is not society's job to protect terrorists from being offended. It is its job to hunt them down, stop them, and then prosecute them. That's the appropriate and justifiable way to deal with them, not grovel before their feet.

Imperator_DK:

There's nothing like "lose control", unless you're actually medically insane: You answer for your own actions in full. Muslim fanatics choose to commit crimes, and that choice is what caused the crime.

What then caused that choice of theirs is irrelevant, unless it was caused by an accessory who actively intended to incite it. But people who portray Mohammed don't intend to support and spur on terrorism, on the contrary they wish to defy it and spit in its face. Hence they are not responsible for it in any way, as little as a woman who runs from a rapist who screams at her "I'll go rape a child if you don't stay here" am in any way responsible for such a subsequent rape.

It is not society's job to protect terrorists from being offended. It is its job to hunt them down, stop them, and then prosecute them. That's the appropriate and justifiable way to deal with them, not grovel before their feet.

Bob, Ahmed and Jim are talking.

Bob says "Mohammad was a paedophile and Muslims follow him by example, they should be dealt with". Then one of two things happen:
1) Ahmed, a Muslim, is offended and punches Bob.
2) Jim, a non-Muslim, is outraged and punches Ahmed.

In either case, the aggressor (1. Ahmed; 2. Jim) is held responsible and gets arrested. However, in case (2), however, Bob is also deemed responsible and arrested.

Why?

Agema:
...
Bob, Ahmed and Jim are talking.

Bob says "Mohammad was a paedophile and Muslims follow him by example, they should be dealt with". Then one of two things happen:
1) Ahmed, a Muslim, is offended and punches Bob.
2) Jim, a non-Muslim, is outraged and punches Ahmed.

In either case, the aggressor (1. Ahmed; 2. Jim) is held responsible and gets arrested. However, in case (2), however, Bob is also deemed responsible and arrested.

Why?

Because if "...should be dealt with" is taken to constitute "incitement of violence" against Muslims, then Bob meant for that violence to befall Ahmed as a Muslim. In case 2, that intent succeeded, and Bob was arrested as an accessory to the violence he willfully incited.

...as he also was in case 1, for attempted accessory to violence against Ahmed, or just for "incitement of violence" against Muslims, as a separate crime of its own. Though "...should be dealt with" doesn't really seem specific enough to constitute such.

Imperator_DK:

Because if "...should be dealt with" is taken to constitute "incitement of violence" against Muslims, then Bob meant for that violence to befall Ahmed as a Muslim. In case 2, that intent succeeded, and Bob was arrested as an accessory to the violence he willfully incited.

...as he also was in case 1, for attempted accessory to violence against Ahmed, or just for "incitement of violence" against Muslims, as a separate crime of its own. Though "...should be dealt with" doesn't really seem specific enough to constitute such.

So, you mean, the law should be that way because that's what the law is.

Er... right.

Agema:
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So, you mean, the law should be that way because that's what the law is.

Er... right.

Well, yes, I believe the law should continue to assign relevance to the intent of a statement. If it was not meant to incite harm, and didn't cause any harm in and of itself, then there's no justification for outlawing it.

Nope, no matter how you look at it, video games should not be censored and neither should movies, books, theater or scholarly writings no matter what they say, portray and or do.

Hmm well yeah I am against video game censorship sure but what if we are talking about a game that contains child pornography or something that would be censored on its own?

True story: Football Manager 2005 was banned in China. Why? Because it included Tibet as an independent country. Just thought I'd throw that out there for the lulz.

You'd think child porn would be a clear cut thing to ban. I remember seeing this photographer who was apparently all big and famous in the art community, and his portfolio contained (amongst other things of course) pictures of naked children. This, apparently, caused much controversy over what counted as child pornography. I'd have thought, and maybe I'm being too simplistic about this, that pictures of naked children were the definition of child porn, and should be auto-banned. But no, this guys an artist so it's ok. Beats me anyway.

Personally, I don't think that video games should be censored, because if they should, then so should every other form of media.

Danyal:

You'd think child porn would be a clear cut thing to ban. I remember seeing this photographer who was apparently all big and famous in the art community, and his portfolio contained (amongst other things of course) pictures of naked children. This, apparently, caused much controversy over what counted as child pornography. I'd have thought, and maybe I'm being too simplistic about this, that pictures of naked children were the definition of child porn, and should be auto-banned. But no, this guys an artist so it's ok. Beats me anyway.

nudity alone =/= porn. In spite of what some people think, a simple non erotic picture does not necessarily need to be condemned, for the same reason the multiple incidents of a nude child wandering through a news video feed in some third world country don't spark outrage.

WoW Killer:
I'd have thought, and maybe I'm being too simplistic about this, that pictures of naked children were the definition of child porn, and should be auto-banned. But no, this guys an artist so it's ok. Beats me anyway.

A picture of a naked person doesn't necessarily equate to pornography, and equally, an image of a naked child isn't child pornography UNLESS the content, context and so on have been deliberately selected to sexualise the child.

Are you telling me your parents never took photos of you as a baby wandering around butt-naked, or playing in the bath, or whatever? By your definition parents who do this are child pornographers, which is clearly wrong.

The Western world - or to be more precise, the Anglosphere - has a very immature and insecure relationship with nudity. It's just skin.

Batou667:

Are you telling me your parents never took photos of you as a baby wandering around butt-naked, or playing in the bath, or whatever? By your definition parents who do this are child pornographers, which is clearly wrong.

Fair point, but what if your parents started selling those pictures? Artists don't work for free so I'm guessing there was at some point money changing hands over that particular photo. Not saying I'm one way or the other on this by the way, just I remember hearing this case and thinking it was weird. Can't remember the specifics of the picture, but it was quite blatantly a naked girl, and the nudity was clearly a focus of the piece. Sexual? Well I'm not sure how you define that. It's not like it turned me on.

WoW Killer:
Sexual? Well I'm not sure how you define that. It's not like it turned me on.

It probably wasn't trying to be porn then. You're right that money changing hands does muddy the iddue a bit (although if some pedo wanted to get his hands on kiddie-porn, I'm willing to bet he wouldnt have to resort to the mainstream art world to get his fix - there are some pretty murky websites out there), but then again the (naked) human form has been the focus of art for millenia now, and nobody would call Michaelangelo's David or the Venus De Milo pornographic.

Danyal:
Should certain videogames be censored/banned? Games that feature child murder for example? Or offensive games?

Recently, a lot of people died in riots surrounding the burning of a quran. Imagine a game where mosques can be destroyed, qurans can be burned, and loads of Muslims can be killed. Now imagine that huge riots erupt. Should it be possible to ban/censor this game?

Not in my country! Freedom of Expression. By all means age-restrict games in the same way as films; 14 year olds playing Manhunt isn't ideal (plus I got bored with it, Morrowind was where it was at that year!).

But you can't stop adults from playing whatever they damn well please. Same way we don't ban* particular types of music, or certain books, or certain films. We didn't stop selling 'The Satanic Verses' because it annoyed the Ayatollah Khomeini, we didn't ban 'Jerry Springer: The Opera; because it annoyed Christian Voice. We didn't ban Rammstein because they pissed off... well, everyone really!

Now I'm not from Afghanistan, so I can't really comment on the riots there, but if you got that kind of rioting where I live, the perpetrators would be prosecuted. Not liking a person's freedom to publish is no excuse to engage in violence.

----

* I know there are exceptions when it comes to inciting hatred etc, but these are very limited in scope.

Danyal:
Should certain videogames be censored/banned? Games that feature child murder for example?

Unless they feature a video of a real child being murdered, and it's not just some old war footage but a video made specifically for the game, then no.

Danyal:

Or offensive games?

Offensive is entirely subjective, look at all the things fundamentalist Muslims get offended by, and fundamentalist Christians too. Nobody is being forced to play those games.

Danyal:

Recently, a lot of people died in riots surrounding the burning of a quran. Imagine a game where mosques can be destroyed, qurans can be burned, and loads of Muslims can be killed. Now imagine that huge riots erupt. Should it be possible to ban/censor this game?

Hell no. Those hypothetical rioting assholes still had free will, they still decided to riot/murder.

You really want to set the precedent.

"You deeply offended me, I'm going to shoot someone, and it'll be your fault"

Corporal Yakob:
Really depends on wether the game is Grand Theft Auto with more religions included or a more realistic FPS set in Iraq/Afghanistan or just "Muslem Murder Mayhem: 3"......

Why would Muslim Murder Mayhem need to be banned but not GTA?

Zekksta:
Well that kind of thing's usually a pretty easy question.

No, video-games should not be censored.

Err... unless it shows child porn. I think that's probably a censor I'd keep in place.

You mean actual child porn or the virtual equivalent?

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