Jimquisition: Desensitized to Violence

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When I saw an age-gate before a Jim video I was hoping for a repeat of Space Wizards 3: A Gay Erotic Love Story.
I am displeased.

Perfect argument. This is why you can't make the claim violence is caused by desensitisation from video games. They simply do not have that effect. All video games desensitise you to is the violence contained within them, not anything IRL.

Rellik San:


I'll just roll through your points. Any time you have to draw a weapon is an extreme case. A home invasion and a riot are both so incredibly unlikely that I don't seriously worry about either. The other even more than the one, but, we're splitting hairs once we add that many zeroes to our percentage. Of course, consider it a corollary to Pascal's wager, if you never need that rifle, it only cost you a couple hundred dollars and maybe the respect of a couple of people, if you need it and don't have it, you're dead. However, I will concede that very few self defense situations happen beyond a couple of feet, let alone at 100 yds. In those situations, I'd rather have a handgun than a long barreled rifle. However, most gun crime in the States comes from handguns, so, I'm not sure why you'd ban the one and not the other.

Secondly, regarding you and others getting back up from a knife or a bat, but, not a gun. No. This is a bit of hearsay, but, then again, so is your point, so, we'll have to take the next bit with a grain of salt. Less than 5% of shootings are fatal. Unless you hit someone in the brain, the spinal cord, or the heart, they're not even going to keel over. Death from gunshot wounds tends to come from bleeding out, and, to a lesser extent, shock or septic issues. All of which is pretty easily dealt with if you get the victim to a modern hospital in time. It does a lot of damage, no matter what, but, shootings are surprisingly not as fatal as you'd imagine. Now, onto hearsay. The guys I know who are EMTs in Providence, RI (apparently, a rather dangerous city) tell me that knife wounds are much worse than gunshot wounds. They leave wide jagged wounds and there's usually a lot of them, so victims lose a lot more blood, a lot more is damaged and they're harder to stitch up. Regarding a bat, a single concussion can lead to irreparable mental damage, let alone being knocked unconscious. Of course, if you get shot in the head, it doesn't matter, but, the point is that there's much less of a range of lethality between these weapons than the common conception. Then why would we need guns at all? Because they're an equalizer. You don't have to be particularly strong or physically gifted to be proficient with a firearm. To effectively use a knife or blunt weapon, you need lots more practice with them, and criminals will always have more practice than you. Regarding running away, are you in better shape than a criminal? I'm in decent shape, but, I would rather not risk my life on it.

Regarding drawing on an assailant. You're assailant has already decided to assault you. Logically speaking, the alternative to defending yourself, is trusting to the mercy of someone who is willing to harm you for his/her own ends. Frankly, if someone's willing to abandon the rules of civil society, I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they only intend to hurt me a little. Of course, statistics regarding the success of self defense uses of gun are highly debated, but, it certainly seems to happen more than you hear about on the news. I direct you to these simplistic sites on the subject: http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html, http://gunssavelives.net/category/self-defense/. The implication given here is that criminals look for easy targets, like predators amongst a herd of prey, and usually, just producing a gun is enough to scare away an attacker. After all, they don't want to be shot either.

Regarding the murder/violent crime comparison, I really don't know what to say about a country that has much fewer murders but far more violent crime. I do know that much of the US' murder rate is localized in the inner cities of a couple cities and doesn't really affect most of the country, but, that's really not my area of expertise. Note that the solution to our murder rates is statistically tied up with gangs, much more so than mental health. I will concede that it's probably not a useful metric to compare murder rates and violent crime rates.


Finally, if there's a gun for every American, a number I've heard myself and believe to be about accurate, how would regulation help at all? Criminals don't register guns, and there's so many that if another was never produced in the country, we'd still be pretty well armed.


That was a very long and involved post. I'm not sure who you're trying to win over, but I applaud your persistence. I'm not coming to take your guns away. Relax, Francis.

This was one of the best videos I've ever seen, be it Oscar winning blockbusters or short editorials like yours, you have created an argument that really struck true.

For me, I was horrified, sickened, at the footage of Dwyer. I've never seen it before in my life and while I've seen dead family members bodies (and been with them when they passed on), I've never seen anything so violent in "real life" as this footage did. And I too play lots of video games with lots and lots of "gore." Yet after seeing that footage, I could barely hear your words as I was so enthralled at how simple, cartoonish, outrageous, and silly the "violence" in the video games you showcased were. That may have changed if you threw in a clip from Manhunt but it's understandable that you didn't.

This was excellent, Jim. I've loved your videos from the beginning, even if I don't always agree they make me think, and this one has been the best.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do. Best part about working at a university is you have an amazing wealth of knowledge regarding many subjects and I picked out an article just for the occasion: another peer-reviewed article on the lack of causality between real life violence and video game violence. When will people learn?

Great episode this one.
I've played relatively "violent" video-games since my early teen-age years, yet I'm utterly terrified whenever I pass by the site of a car crash because I fear I'll see something disturbing and gruesome.
Desensitised to violence my ass.



That was a very long and involved post. I'm not sure who you're trying to win over, but I applaud your persistence. I'm not coming to take your guns away. Relax, Francis.

Who's Francis? Also, I've had this conversation alot in the past few months, I've gotten quite a breadth of arguments. I appreciate the level of courtesy this one has had.

Yeah, this is it.

Good one.

This is the final word on the subject. Now let's move on.

Who's Francis?

Refers to this movie. You can look up "lighten up Francis" on YouTube.

i've seriously never seen someone die before, and to be honest, the video of the guy shooting himself in the head, the camera zooming in on his open eyed face with insane amounts of real blood pouring from his nose. i wasnt scarred at all, i didnt feel any emotion actually.

everyone knows the " just got Scarred" feeling, you stare blankly at whatever disturbed you, your're body goes numb and the question * wtf did i just watch?" is trembling in you're logical thoughts. the first time in my adult life that i felt " scarred " was when i was watching Dead Space and Isaac is being eaten by the end boss, the screams he makes when he's trying to climb out of the monsters mouth is disturbing to me. yet, watching a real life man blow his brains out....didnt phase me in the least. wtf is wrong with me? im actually slightly concerned about myself now.

"No way in HELL am I watching this."

So I Google Image'd it instead, because I'm an idiot.

Point completely, totally proven.

...That was disturbing/horrifying/terrifying. I hope that no other video shows the Dwyer suicide.

I often wondered if my years of gaming and watching horror movies has desensitized me. No, it has not. I was shocked for a good couple of minites with that finial image in my head. I am glad to know that

Vault Citizen:
I find the movie sad but it didn't shock or really disturb me...I'm wondering if I should be worried about that.

Same. Were I to have been there I would have shut off all emotional thoughts to prevent breaking down, but watching it on video doesn't have the same effect. Its happened, I had nothing to do with it, and it doesn't look that horrifying that I'll throw up. Its sad that it happened, but on video its not that big a deal, even if it actual footage of a man killing himself.
Put me into that situation in real life and for the immediate time after it happened I would be fine, but I probably wouldn't be able to sleep for at least a few night once my mind returned to normal.

Not the first time I saw that clip. The first time for me was when I learned it was the inspiration for Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot".

Jimothy, yet again, proves that he is, indeed, God. Violent games don't make me violent. It's moral guardian asshats who think they need to infringe on my rights that makes me violent.

I've read a lot of posts saying "I didnt feel bad/disturbed" by this video, and then questioning their own morals based on that reaction.

And even more reactions saying "it's not a big deal because it's a video I was not directly involved in nor had any recollection of."

But isn't that kind of what this video wants? You may not feel any emotion towards the video itself, but you also had mind enough to disconnect it from you in a real way.

to me the true subject of the suicide video is not to see if you are disturbed by it, but whether or not you see it and say "okay, that's a fine/normal/healthy thing to do."

to me, anyone who said "yes this is sad/wrong" whether or not they said they were emotionally affected by it or not, proves this video's point.

I really wish I didn't look at that suicide, It made me feel sick. What a poor guy.

That footage was very disturbing, but damn it you made your point Jim. Seeing as there is absolutely no proof that there is any link between games and violence, the media is always just reaching out and talking to whatever nutcase is shouting the loudest. It's amazing how many people fall for that. Critical thinking skills seem to be in short supply and in a crisis it's even worse than normal.

The NRA are a bunch of weasels that try to get people to buy into their ridiculous 1800's era fiction that guns are a defensive weapon. Let me tell you, if someone breaks into your house with a gun you're much better off getting out of there than fumbling around for your gun (or where I live, separately locked gun safe and ammo) and risking your life for quite possibly the most replaceable things in your house. You can always get another TV.

Who else decided to skip the clip?
When he said what it was, I was still prepared to see it but just before it started I scrolled down and turned off the sound and waited a few seconds before scrolling back up.

In terms of what you're saying beyond it, that video game violence is not real violence, well, yeah, I agree. I also strongly agree with your notes about the violent content many news media sources report on and cover, some times in more detail than many of us would like. Especially when they actually visually present you with some of the things they're reporting on.

When I hear people have done horrible things, real horrible things, I do have a reaction, I have an even stronger reaction when I see it. I didn't react to the suicide video because I was disturbed, I reacted with anger. Not violent anger. Anger because when you commit suicide . . . it is not you that gets hurt. It's the people around you. Friends. Family. The people, sometimes strangers, that end up witnessing it. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, true, but it's also a horrible thing to put other people - especially your friends and family - through.

I don't view suicide as violence, I view it as a torture you inflict upon those around you. It's a horrible thing, and I don't care how sad or depressed the people who do it, or 'use it as a cry for help' are. It's an ugly thing, and I've had to see far too many people affected by the suicide or attempted suicide of a loved one to be utterly disgusted with the people that attempt to commit suicide.

In terms of actual violence . . . too many like to forget that violence has been with us as far back as our history goes, and likely went on before even that. Take the most ancient of ancient civilizations and they were fully capable of violence, and often lived in conditions that any modern person would gawk at wide eyed, if they really had to experience them. People doing horrible, violent, things to one another . . . is not a new problem. It's not caused by your books. It's not caused by your music. It's not caused by your comics. It's not caused by your television. It's not caused by your movies. It's not caused by your games. It's not caused by your guns or knives. It's not caused by anything other than people.

People do violent things. The only person to blame in a violent situation, like one of those school shootings, is the person responsible - the person that committed the violent acts. No one else. The end. Go home.

Rellik San:


Why should I as a civilian be scared of guns? If ANY person is properly trained in the handling and use of a gun there is nothing to be scared of. The military isn't the only place to receive such training, you can sign up for a gun safety course through you local sheriff's department or at any store with a sporting goods department.

So don't tell me, a responsible gun owner, who has done no military service but did take a class that I should be scared of my legally obtained and responsibly handled guns.

As a responsible gun owner, perhaps you can tell me, for what purpose a civilian would need a military grade assault weapon?
And no hunting isn't one of them. I've argued before the point of gun control isn't to limit the civilians and collectors with legitimate interest, but to prevent the unsuitable candidates from getting them; a common misconception in the UK is that you can't get a gun, but the truth is, it's very easy to get one, there are plenty of shooting clubs and the licence and application cost is £50 for 5 years. So we have nothing stopping anyone from getting a gun, yet we have laws and restrictions in place, whatever you may say about our violent crime rate, the number of those crimes committed with firearms is low and low for a reason.

As a responsible gun owner I'll say this. The phrase "Military Grade Assault Rifle" is all too often used to confuse and scare people into believing that anyone can go down to the local gun shop and pick up a fully automatic weapon like an M-16 or AK-74 which both have legal civilian variants that are semi-automatic only which means the gun only fires once for every time you pull the trigger, but I'm sure you already know that. Legally in the US without a special license that is really hard to get you can own semi-automatic guns, be they rifles, pistols or shotguns.

This covers quite a large range of guns, everything from the Colt 1911 pistol and the M1 Garand to every model that Glock makes and the AR-15. Some responsible gun owners would choose to own some of these guns for their historical value. The Colt 1911 and M1 Garand were the workhorses of the US military for quite some time. This also applies to AK-47 variants that can be legally owned because they are only semi-automatic such as the SKS which itself has more variants than I can count. The AR-15 is a civilian variant of the M-16 that was actually created BEFORE the M-16 was pitched the military in the '60's and sold to civilians as a hunting rifle. So yes, one purpose of owning a semi-automatic rifle is hunting. It's not very good for hunting but people do use it. The question very quickly becomes "So where do you draw the line as far as what's legal and what isn't?"

Other responsible gun owners would say that they like to own their semi-automatic rifles for the reason that they are quite fun to take to a range, or other safe area to shoot them at targets, whatever that might be for them. In my state it's legal to safely shoot on your own property as long as you're outside of city limits(i.e. in the country).

I as a responsible gun owner would fall into the categories of wanting certain pieces in my collection for their historical value, and because well they are quite fun to shoot really. At targets of course, because as a responsible gun owner and generally sane human being I will not use any gun I ever own to harm another human being unless it is a necessary last resort to protect myself or my loved ones. As a responsible gun owner I do not leave my guns lying around where anyone can get to them I have a gun safe that only I have the key to which is kept locked except when I'm taking guns out or putting guns away. Again, responsible gun owners are responsible people that are sure to make sure their guns and ammunition are handled and stored safely.

That's really the best I can do to explain my opinion on the matter. I do have a question for you though as you're a UK resident and brought it up. If you get the gun license you mentioned are you allowed to keep your guns in your home or do you have to store them at an approved range in your area?

A couple of other things I'd like point out before they get brought up.

As a responsible gun owner I have absolutely zero use for the NRA, they're a bunch of fucking idiots that started off as nothing more than a club for gun enthusiasts and have since morphed into a lobbyist group that has gone from one extreme to the other in terms of their defense of gun rights and haven't ever done it right.

Also I don't mind concealed carry, but these fucking twats who exploit their right to open carry in municipalities that have are are just morons who want to show off their gun-penis to everyone and pretty much get any harassment from the police they get. If you feel the need to carry a gun in public please cover it up just like you do your willy, thank you.

One of the better episodes of the Jimquisition, greatly enjoyed it thank you.

I'm more than used to walking away impressed at the end of a Jimquisition video at this point, and yet I couldn't help but give a short round of applause to my computer screen at the close of this episode, something not even any of the others drove me to do. Truly, thank God for Jim.

I honesty didn't react that much to the suicide footage, but I spent time working in EMS so I guess I've been desensitized to some extent (not enough to want to continue working in EMS mind you).

Anyways good video, some excellent arguments. Although, with some obvious exceptions, the only civilians who are afraid of real guns are those who have never handled one. I would say many individuals who identify themselves as fearful of guns would change their position after a crisp fall afternoon at the range blowing up pumpkins...glorious.

A question for either Jim (if you read these) or for someone more familiar with his work:

Is there any place that you put all of your great analyses into a more "serious" form? While I absolutely enjoy the humour and relate to why you do it the way you do it, I'd like to share your commentary with people that may not. For some, the sarcastic/pastiche/ironic approach can work as immediate deterrent, yet I believe they would appreciate what you have to say.

That clip disturbed me the first time I saw it but this time it didn't bother me. And that disturbs me.

I really had to force myself to watch that bit, and now I just wish I could unsee that.
Here come the nightmares.

I think that that footage of the video game violence could have been portrayed much much better to be honest. Obviously it's not going to seem disturbing when it's mere short clips of explosions and people falling down layered into some wacky music in the background. If you used some gruesome Gears of War footage or God of War footage or Manhunt or other games of that nature with their accompanied sound then it wouldn't be clearly fake violence.

If you sped up the footage of the real suicide video and added some wacky music it wouldn't be nearly as disturbing as it was either.

I thought exactly this. Jim's point was still good but his bias was clearly seen because he added wacky music to the game violence!

I expect Jim to get a lot of negative comments from this, but I actually support this. I first saw that video when I was 17 and at first I thought it was fake. I think the contrast between real violence and game violence is well represented here. The NRA needs to just piss off.

Whelp I may not be convinced, but everyone has valid points, I guess I, personally don't see the need for fire arms, but as I've said before I'm not interested in taking them away from honest citizens either. Thanks for the points and opinions and even the little bit of fire arms classification education. More so, thanks for keeping it civil as these debates often descend into pettiness.

Thank you for giving plenty of warning. I only wish I would of listened to your warning and not of seen that at all though, that was quite disturbing.

I've been playing games since I was 2 or 3 years old, I've played "violent" video games since I was, i dunno, 13 or something, and i honest to God had to skip over the suicide video using his time stamp. When he was explaining what the video was, I actually knew I wouldn't be comfortable seeing it; seeing someone take their own life. And I think to me, that speaks volumes for how true this video is.

When I see a standard, cannon-fodder death in a video game, it's like destroying the ships in Galaga, it means nothing. Sure, video games can make a death feel sad, by building relatable characters with well-developed stories, but that's the thing, they can make them sad, but they'll never really make our stomachs turn, our make us physically uncomfortable like you would be with a real death.

I'm not even sure gamers themselves are "desensitized" to video game violence, I think anyone would be able to pick up a video game, shoot a bad guy, and be perfectly fine. Like Jim said, the brain can tell the difference. Even the most grounded and realistic game can't make death seem real, it's just impossible with pixels and lines of code, thankfully.


Also I don't mind concealed carry, but these fucking twats who exploit their right to open carry in municipalities that have are are just morons who want to show off their gun-penis to everyone and pretty much get any harassment from the police they get. If you feel the need to carry a gun in public please cover it up just like you do your willy, thank you.

I agree with most of your post except for this.

The general public doesn't even know that open carry is legal in a very large number of states, and I think that's because people don't open-carry often enough. It creates a "well I've never seen it, and my gut instinct says guns are icky, so it either is or should be illegal"-type attitude.

I would say to not do it in a city or in a crowded area, yes, because it does look like a flexing of the G-peen in those instances, but I wouldn't really apply that to your standard suburb, your low-to-moderately-crowded Walmart, or your otherwise low-populated area.

Hell, the fact that many COPS don't know the law concerning open carry for their own state is bad enough, a problem that I think could be remedied by open-carrying while not being a dick about it.

I recognize that many that open-carry on tape ARE dicks about it, but that's just an argument against being a dick, not against open-carry.

i was surprised they let you put that clip up, but ya, its no surprise that media outlets whore the hell out of a tragic story

thats why i never watch the news because they are full of crap and twist the meaning so that it makes them look good but everyone else look bad.
of course they complain about games (especially germany) because you are the one controlling a character that kills people wile in movies you just see it. but, no, politicians support the media and these so called experts that games are bad instead blaming them selfs and the person responsible who actually committed the crime.
and the news just shows big pictures of the shooter like he is an anti hero.

i am against violence as well unless its self defense. but i still think people who really have no hope like these idiots raping this poor woman on the bus in india, should be beaten to death in a most painful way possible. give them a taste of their own medicine. no jail sentence will make them change their minds. once out they will do it again.

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