Shocked into Silence: The Debate over Violence in Games

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Shocked into Silence: The Debate over Violence in Games

In researching this article I found a disturbing trend that seems to bear itself out across most of the media: Game developers are so uncomfortable with the current situation that they aren't even able to discuss how concerns over violence in video games affects their design philosophies.

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That, was a good article.

Too true.

I do have to fully agree that there is just to much "hyping-up" about how games are evil and kids that play them have "problems" therefore leading to violence, school-shootings and other immoral or crude acts. I personally don't think that a game would have an effect on a normal person or children that play them, however if you get people that have problems before the games and they can't deal with the problem, then its when it becomes a bad situiation. I think it is because of this small percentage of kids that do have a bad background, find the game and can't distinguish between whats in the game and whats not that gives the entire gaming industry and all its associates a bad name.

However to the side of the parents, in my opinion if its a 18+ rating and their kid is 12 years old and has nothing else to do with his/her free time and all they do is play the games they will have problems because the parent is either supporting them to "stay inside and not have a social life" or they just don't care and want their child to leave them alone. I will say again it is just my opinion but we do have rating systems, I.D. checks and other forms of utilities that try and stop people who shouldn't buy or play games from buying or playing games.

-Shade

P.S. I know I use "in my opinion" a lot but just as the companies don't want to touch the subject I don't want people to think I'm siding with anyone. >.< It's truly how I think it is and why its like that...

Sorry somehow this got in the wrong forum

The thing is, the way the entire industry LOOKS now casts it in a bad light. Even the facts shown don't exactly counter the impressions people get seeing someone's head stomped off in Gears of War. Nevertheless, I do wish there would be some INCREDIBLY revealing thing that causes all people who support Thompson to hang their heads a bit.

"Violence in video games is necessary.
Otherwise, I swear, I'm going to kill someone. For real.
Please. Stop me."

At worst, they could argue that the violent games summon our darkest instincts, reveal them, and alter the perceptions and values of temporarily weak minded people.

Which would equally apply to anything, like music, films and books.

They're quicker to blame the medias rathern than blame the education and social environment, and get it wrong.

I would have hoped that with millions upon millions of people playing violent games, and not running down the street shooting people while doing circle straffes, the point would be clear that the problem is with the people.

Now, have you tried to probe devs and publishers from outside the US? Not every country in the world has you married twice: to your spouse or husband and your lawyer.

It's irritating that videogames being the latest scapegoat for everything that's wrong with the world is having such an effect on the developers themselves. I still can't quite understand the people who want to blame 18-rated videogames for the behaviour of unbalanced sixteen-year-olds.

I know, it's unbelievable.

how much crap did rockstar take for making GTA? realistically, the game is no worse than many 18 movies. Many parents would never let their 12 year old children watch these movies, however since GTA is "just" a video game, many parents didn't hesitate to buy them a game that allows them to go on killing sprees, chainsawing the paramedics that come to help these people.

Now the parents are responsible from with-holding games with this sort of content, not the manufacturer, and while I personally find the concept of the GTA games garish, they do have a great big 18 plastered on their cases. and no parents, this does not mean that if 18 of your kids friends play the game, they should too. It means that you should be 18 to play the game. I find it infuriating that parents who bought GTA for their under 18 children would even consider complaining about the content of the game.

games don't ruin kids, parents do, the only reason people argue that violent games make kids violent is because they are going along with today's society's soft "it's not your fault, it's everyone else" attitude, stupid parents and stupid kids are the reason behind any violence by kids that so happen to play games, i mean i play wolfenstein, when your fireteam runs into artillery there, you have bloddy skulls and remains chucked everywhere, i call it good solid realism. and yet.... i am a better person than 95% of humans out there and i do not feel any urges to kill others, even though some are really just asking for it.... great article.

Ratings were designed for a reason. That there would suffice as a counter to anyone that complains about levels of violence in a video game. I however am going to expand on that. One could argue that the GTA franchise relies on excessive, mindless violence as the whole basis for the game, but its simple. If you don't like it, don't fecking buy it! If a movie contains gratituous violence, then people that don't want to watch it just stay away. Why must games be any different? Because they are more accessible to kids? Strictly speaking, there is no reason why they should be. Games get ratings too. As mentioned before, if a parent is willing to buy a game for their underage (in terms of the games rating) child then complain that the content is unsuitable for children that young, well...I suppose disgusting is the only word that comes to mind at the moment.

And as for violence in video games causing violence in young people, well, that is just as ridiculous. Movies, music, hec even some books contain just as much "motivation" for a child to become a homocidal gun-toting maniac. If Manhunt was a movie, it may still recieve an "R" rating, but wold it be banned? Probably not. Heck, take Matthew Reilley's books here. Whilst I enjoy these books as a quick, easy read, one does notice that not 5 pages will go by without at least one person being shot dead, eaten by some form of animal or killed in some other horrifically gorey way. But does anyone complain about those? No. And as for music, well there are countless bands whose lyrics contain references to violence, most notably suicide here however, and yes, this does get some media attention.

If I were to sit down for any length of time and actually think about this post, I'm sure I could come up with a host of other reasons as to why video games should not be considered the primary cause for this violence. I'm tired now but its an area I feel strongly about, and I don't want to see gaming ostracised and blamed for the worlds problems. It seems that the media must instantly jump to conclusions whenever something bad crops up. it also seems that I've rambled on a bit here, so I'll leave it there shall I. For now at least.

firemonk3y:
I know, it's unbelievable.

how much crap did rockstar take for making GTA? realistically, the game is no worse than many 18 movies. Many parents would never let their 12 year old children watch these movies, however since GTA is "just" a video game, many parents didn't hesitate to buy them a game that allows them to go on killing sprees, chainsawing the paramedics that come to help these people.

Now the parents are responsible from with-holding games with this sort of content, not the manufacturer, and while I personally find the concept of the GTA games garish, they do have a great big 18 plastered on their cases. and no parents, this does not mean that if 18 of your kids friends play the game, they should too. It means that you should be 18 to play the game. I find it infuriating that parents who bought GTA for their under 18 children would even consider complaining about the content of the game.

Besides, if the ratings had been applied correctly, if the consumers, and parents, had been guided properly and sufficiently warned, GTA might not have made so many sales.
There's simply not enough information.
There's no TV campaign to inform consumers on the reality of the rating system, and its purpose, and how parents should treat games seriously, in that regard.
If the industry isn't mature enough to understand that there is a severe need to educate the consumers, it won't change.
The image most biased people have about games won't bulge.

I'm not talking about some BS ad campaign which is supposed to be humourous, with catchy phrases and oneliners.
I'm talking about something dead serious. The ads need to present a mature and self aware view of the industry.

Video Games are certainly not always for kids.

Oh shit. That's a catchy phrase.

"games don't ruin kids, parents do"

As the author of this article, and a parent I can assure you that that statement is every bit as unrefined and simplistic as saying that games ruin kids. My point is that the discussion needs to be held on a level not reduced to anything like sound-bites and quick quotes. I agree that parents have a far more significant effect than any game ever could, but there are limitless factors that influence child-development.

What I would agree with is that bad, or worse lazy parenting is destructive.

well yeah... i was just playing words on the old saying "guns don't kill people, people do", to make a point that parents have a bigger effect on kids than games ever could, also... nobody cares what ratings say, most of my friends have been playing M rated games since sixth grade... i started at 10th grade... i just played T before that... since elementary school (Warcraft II times), but i see no adverse effects on any of us.

this is and has been a reigning issue for years, and will most likely remain so for further years as well. while i tend to have several anger induced words of hate to fire at Thompson and his followers, i like to think these days that i have more professionalism than that, so i will stay my rage and rationally discuss the issue, cause thats what gamers and games need to survive.
i will mostly say that the responsibility of who plays games and what is in them falls unto two groups: the parents, and the gamers themselves. now some might not understand why i put responsibility on the gamers; but it does fall on us as well. and its not just to be responsible about how we percieve reality after playing games. Our responsibility also resides in challenging the developers.
now some might still not get what i mean. what i mean is that we need to start demanding games that have more substance to them. the reason that GTA games make so much money it should be a crime is because there are too many people who will buy such low-brow, violence driven games that have no plot to them. there is enough demand for games that get bad reputations like GTA and Manhunt that create a negative image for video games. if there wasn't alot of people who would buy games like these, then naive or idiotic parents wouldn't get them for their kids who aren't ready for them, who then go shoot their classmates cause they can't discern fantasy from reality. so we as the hardcore gamers need to stop buying such shallow and cheaply produced games so that the industry as a whole can evolve beyond this controversy.
games can retain their violence as long as there is a reason, motive, or philosophy behind it. if it's violence for the sake of violence, then its teaching young kids that this sort of behavior is okay. now if there is a message or lesson that goes with the morality, then the game is at least trying to let them know how or why this is acceptable in the context of the game. this will still be under the control of the existing game rating sysem as well.

now the other half of course falls onto the parents. if your kid is 10, don't get him a game that has a mature rating, or even a teen rating, cause he isn't that old yet. you wouldn't take him to see an R rated movie like Hostel or some other horror movie with tons of graphic violence, would you? if the answer is yes though, you shouldn't be a parent. there is a pretty accurate maturity curve that pertains to the mental development of children. a kid who is 10 shouldn't be watching late night tv with the parents. it is your responsibility to make sure that your child is growing and maturing in an appropriate fashion and at a good pace. this is not the task for actors or tv writers to do this, its your job as a parent. too many parents are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don't know how to communicate with their kid, let alone how to manage them or what they are up to.
the average parent has no idea what they are letting their kid be exposed to through the media these days, and this has resulted in what some refer to as an epidemic of violence among our youth. and who do they blame? the media: tv, movies, the news, and of course video games. this is standard human reaction though, because we always first blame others for our own faults. parents are sacred people, they are the teachers of morality for future generations; so how can we blame them? simple. we just can. look at the world we live in and tell me with a straight face there isn't something fucked up with the general sense of right and wrong.
but there are other factors and others with fault as well. the game developers for not making violent games with some depth to them(not referring to all violent games, just the really violent ones). the kids themselves for not being able to tell the difference between normal and acceptable behavior, and criminal insanity. the media for hyping up all publicity, whether it be good or bad. and the politicians for readily pointing fingers without doing any kind of research on the subject whatsoever. and politicians also see change in society and technology alot as some sort of evil entity, one that will eventually consume our very souls until we are in a matrix or terminator type future. while i'm not totally disagreeing with that, i don't think there will be such a thing as self aware AI like they depict until i hear of a computer or robot killing itself becuase it thinks its fat.

but in the end, games do not demean our society and corrupt our moral values. they are more than anything else, a reflection of our already corrupt moral values. games represent some people's views of the world and how it has gone wrong. now maybe if the world wasn't screwed up to where most of us wish to take a chainsaw to our community, then perhaps there won't be games that let us do just that. there are appropriate outlets for mature enough people to let out some aggression and frustration that comes from our day to day lives instead of drinking heavily or doing cocaine.

a relatively quick follow up: the media does have a big role in this too. and i'm not referring to their slander on the gaming industry. i mean the representation of violence through television and movies. these mediums tend to depict violence as some sort of heroism. you always see in action movies the main character fighting throngs of villians and many of whom die, and there is no comment on how this violence effects those in the plot. the good guys never seem remorsefull of this senseless violence and murdering. there is no one teaching the viewers any morality. its just violence without consequence or emotional reaction. this is why kids who are thrown into an ocean of destruction who don't have enough mental stability loose a sense of rationality and end up killing their peers.

I'd like it if people didn't ignore that post for being too long; he makes some good points. Don't put EVERYTHING in the situation up to the parents...no one likes the blame game.

"...so we as the hardcore gamers need to stop buying such shallow and cheaply produced games so that the industry as a whole can evolve beyond this controversy."

Sorry, I'm very fine buying shallow games. GTA is far from being "cheaply produced", btw.
Neither is Manhunt 2.

I don't blame only parents, moronic kids that let themselves be influenced are also greatly to blame

thank you Katana314 for supporting me despite my long-windedness. i don't think that is a proper word, but i'm using it anyway. and no, its not all on the parents, such narrow-minded thinking is the same thing that Thompson and his followers are doing.

Franz is correct too. Kids who are ignorant enough to think that you can do these things in the real world and its good are idiots, but alot of them aren't mentally stable enough to realize its wrong. its part stupidity, part mental illness. and while i'm the first to say that psychology and psychiatrists tend to over-diagnois most things, there is still merit in saying that a 10 year old who pulls the wings off of insects has some underlying issues.

as to Arbre's comment. Your only half right on the GTA games not being cheaply produced. while the environment's look changes as do the vehicles, its still all the same game engine. they didn't have to do much of anything new after GTA 3, they just changed the sprites and the environment slightly, but its mostly the same game from GTA 3 to Vice City to San Andreas. that is still relatively cheaply produced. and thats fine if you are okay with buy shallow games. i occassionally like violence without reason as well from time to time. but when a game like the GTA games are some of the top selling games of all time, then there is a problem with the industry and, more importantly, with us consumers. but thats only my opinion and its up to u to agree or not.

but in the end, we need to take a side here, and not try to act like there isn't a fence to even sit on. if we as a group are going to continue to let violence-dominated games without much depth be the flagships of the industry, then we are going to have to accept that our image as an industry is going to be crappy; and we all will look like mentally unstable crazies who want to kill our peers and co-workers. and the developers will look like satan who is trying to steal the innocence and hearts of our youth. if we don't want this image to perpetuate, then we need to have games that contain a philosophy with the violence. there should be some consequences on the character's psyche or morale or some deducter of sorts for everyone he kills or maimes horribly. otherwise kids will think that bludgeoning some one with a tire iron is an acceptable way to deal with bullying or injustice.

Parents can only do so much, I can agree with that. You give your kids a road in which to try to follow and the morals in which to deal with dilemmas, but you can't do everything.

Unfortunately, there are parents out there who would rather society raise their children, then bitch about it later. These are the parents who actually buy the game for their kids when they are 14 and not even realize they have bought a game their are complaining about at the office later in the day because it made the news.

This goes back to something I feel very strongly about: some people should not be allowed to reproduce. They are only making MORE rude, unethical, backstabbing kids that are dumb as bricks (i.e. Britney and Kevin should have both been neutered way before they even met, now they've released 2 of their gene pool into society). God help us...and those two little ones.

Have a nice day :)

I suppose you could blame video games for real-world violence. Or movies. Or TV. Or comic books, radio dramas, dime novels, playing cards, billiards, dancing, or reading the Bible in English instead of Latin.

[insert rousing rendition of "Blame Canada", from the South Park movies.]

It'd be the same thing all over again... scapegoating. We're good at that, as a species; we're not so good at actually looking at what drives us. I oppose the fatuities thrown about. I abhor the trivialities that get spouted under the cover of "science", when the studies in question are questionable and often slanted.

It's all crap. Now, back to my job-which-pays-for-my-Halo-addiction.

-- Steve

Spinwhiz:
Unfortunately, there are parents out there who would rather society raise their children, then bitch about it later. These are the parents who actually buy the game for their kids when they are 14 and not even realize they have bought a game their are complaining about at the office later in the day because it made the news.

True. Society in general is corrupt and immoral, so why parents trust it to raise their kids is beyond me. They must be about as messed up as the kids that look up to gangbanger game characters as role models. The point is that they just don't care. It's this sort selfish disrespect that is deteriorating our society and until we as people change our self-destructive attitudes, it's only going to get worse.

As for the article, it really says something when developers are uncomfortable with openly discussing their own games! It makes you wonder why are they making games that they are not comfortable with in the first place. Unfortunately, most popular games are published by a handfull of mega-corporations, and mega-corporations are obsessed with making obscene amounts of wealth above all else. Even though their games tend to be knock-offs with trite plots, they still sell by the truck load, and as long as that continues, nothing will change. I'm sure that developers would love to make more games with depth and substance, but until publishers are willing to give the extra time to do so, all of their dreams are left in notebooks or the cutting floor.

At lunch today I saw a sign for kids help phone that said "Does violence in videogames promote violence in young people?" and two collection cups, one that said "Yes", and one that said "No". I put five dollars in the "No" cup but prior to that they were tied. And this was in a HIGHSCHOOL, so that gives a indication of what most people think.
We cant find something to blame for violence because its in our nature.

wow, your high school must be weird, if you did that at mine it'd be no like 85%... or maybe my school is weird O_o... i completely agree with Spinwhiz's comment, some people in our society are just too dumb to be allowed to live, much less reproduce. sadly for all of us it is highly likely that the majority of parents fit the description he posted but kids are no better for requesting such games(some of you may think they don't know better, but when i was a kid i recognized some games were just not appropiate at the time, and WCII and SC i could always differentiate between life and game, as anyone with a better IQ than a rock should)

Meh GTA's whole draw is just doing whatever the hell you want. I personally don't consider GTA "any brow" because it has nothing to do with intellectuality and does not even try to pretend to be anything but. It's actually no wonder GTA sells so well its good at what it actually ttries to do unlike MMO rpg's which are not even really rpg's because they don't have any story at all which basically precludes them from being rpg's in the first place.

I do agree that we need to demand more games with a half decent story and so forth, however I think the first thing we need to do is get rid of all of the PC game developers since they are quite clearly the most uncreative people doing games right now. You think GTA is bad take a look at FPS'....The whole damn genre is effectively a zombie right now I swear....

eh, i can see some merit in your opinions Shadow Skill, but in my opinion, even if a game like GTA doesn't try to be anything it isn't, that is still no excuse for being mindless and in my opinion, boring after the first two hours. there isn't much fun in just offing citizens by the truck load for very long at all. some say there is huge replay value in the GTA games, but i've yet to personally meet some one who actually finished one since GTA 3. so while they can get entertainment from murdering everyone in the town multiple times, it just looses its flavor for me faster than a piece of really cheap gum.

and yes, FPS's seem to be in a horrible rut, except of course for Halo 3, which i think is subpar from what it could and should have been, but still very very fun. but an FPS is the same as every other FPS ever in simplicity. you shoot things or people, or both. thats it. but at least some developers attempt to bring something new to the table, even though the genre itself is vastly limited by its very nature. Gears of War is different, even though it was rather dissappointing. but at least they tried, though appearedly only a half-hearted effort.

and MMO's i generally don't understand what the big deal is with them. they are boring and tedious and monotonous, at best. but people without social agendas seem to find sactuary and acceptance in them, so let's leave them alone, cause otherwise they will come back and annoy the rest of us. this doesn't mean all MMO players have no life, just alot. and that isn't a direct insult, though i guess it is. its meant more to be constructive criticism. i just don't have time to spend on an MMO; the outside world interferes with things like school, work, friends, family, girlfriend, and so forth. i think we could all benefit from seeing alittle more sun.

The whole direct equation of 'video game violence = youth violence' is immature at best and is not even the real issue. What we need to be concerned about is not the one kid who plays [enter any one of a gazzilion violent video games here] and goes to school and opens fire on his classmates. What we should be concerned about is how the majority of the game developers/publishers out there seeks to profit by tapping into human kinds most primitive, destructive, anti-social traits. What we should be concerned about is that most game developers and publisher think profit first and moral responsibility as something not even worth considering unless it effects profits. Manhunt 2 is just the tip of the iceberg as to the kind of crap some in the gaming industry would put out if there were no restraints put upon them.

I'm not against all violent video games, I've played violent video games from time to time. But too much of the gaming industry on a whole is like bathing in blood. Surely there is more to being human than an insatiable lust for death and destruction.

danimal1384:
thank you Katana314 for supporting me despite my long-windedness. i don't think that is a proper word, but i'm using it anyway. and no, its not all on the parents, such narrow-minded thinking is the same thing that Thompson and his followers are doing.

Franz is correct too. Kids who are ignorant enough to think that you can do these things in the real world and its good are idiots, but alot of them aren't mentally stable enough to realize its wrong. its part stupidity, part mental illness. and while i'm the first to say that psychology and psychiatrists tend to over-diagnois most things, there is still merit in saying that a 10 year old who pulls the wings off of insects has some underlying issues.

as to Arbre's comment. Your only half right on the GTA games not being cheaply produced. while the environment's look changes as do the vehicles, its still all the same game engine. they didn't have to do much of anything new after GTA 3, they just changed the sprites and the environment slightly, but its mostly the same game from GTA 3 to Vice City to San Andreas. that is still relatively cheaply produced. and thats fine if you are okay with buy shallow games. i occassionally like violence without reason as well from time to time. but when a game like the GTA games are some of the top selling games of all time, then there is a problem with the industry and, more importantly, with us consumers. but thats only my opinion and its up to u to agree or not.

but in the end, we need to take a side here, and not try to act like there isn't a fence to even sit on. if we as a group are going to continue to let violence-dominated games without much depth be the flagships of the industry, then we are going to have to accept that our image as an industry is going to be crappy; and we all will look like mentally unstable crazies who want to kill our peers and co-workers. and the developers will look like satan who is trying to steal the innocence and hearts of our youth. if we don't want this image to perpetuate, then we need to have games that contain a philosophy with the violence. there should be some consequences on the character's psyche or morale or some deducter of sorts for everyone he kills or maimes horribly. otherwise kids will think that bludgeoning some one with a tire iron is an acceptable way to deal with bullying or injustice.

I agree with you. I would rather take the Gamers' side. There are greater threats in the world, rather than saying that "It's the video games' fault!". The greater threats, for example, are terrorists, dictators, etc. Plus, people like Jack Thompson calls us gamers, "heartless monsters" and "Satanists". I do not think that we are "heartless monsters" nor "Satanists". I believe in God and Jesus Christ.

Great my fcking post got ate....lets try this again

The problem with this is the elite(well to do,rich,moralists,ect) have always tried to not understand the masses, look at the bible and reading and well literacy for the masses it scared thos in power at the time, look at the elite blocking theater something they enjoyed for years once the masses started to like it they made a fuss about it, its a "they just don't understand" issue, they always seem to know better and their morals are better than everyone elses, by using free time and near inf sums of money they can impact on the populace more than anything else..look at the great crusades on all form of media over the years from words to dancing to to music its all been blamed before.(anyone with a better brain want to run with this thought? and I do mean in a non sarcastic/humor way :P)

I am not anti elite/rich but it seems that they always try and gang up on the masses either trying to protect them half heartily from the dangers of life or rape them of what lil money they have.

Anyone see the Glenn Beck ep where he talked to D.L Hulgy? His reaction during the the "walmart can sell guns but not songs about guns" part is what I mean he(I can't tell if he was play acting or not) tossed his head back and scoffed at the idea that stupid people are stupid regardless of the media they consume, this reaction that media brainwashes the masses is the reaction the elite have to "X" media since they do not understand its really no different than the media they consume they use it to pile on societies woes and try and ban it, the naivety is astounding.

Life is hard,people can break, people are indavenauls that tend to heard easily however media makes a killer/abuser as much as a word dose,as much as a gun dose, as much as a game dose, as much as life dose.

There are a few main factors that do mental stability, heathly child hood, drugs(not bashing drugs but the right mix of some can lead to mental insabilty,I think they should be legalized and the war on drugs refocused 180 degrees) 1 of these 3 factors will always be relevant in cases of humans killing them selfs(to kill another is to kill thyself bit by bit) , BTW if one is stupid enough one can be mental,also mental stress to protect ones self can lead to short term instability.

I'll stop now before I contradict myself more LOL

first, MorkFromOrk, of course they tap into our primal violent tendencies, its what makes the industry successful. when was the last time you watched the news where they didn't talk about some one being raped or attacked or killed? happiness doesn't sell well, especially in our country. we enslaved africans, stole everything from the native-americans, but how dare the british crown put an extra cent tax on my stamps or tea!! americans are full of violence and always have been. pain sells people, bottom line.

as for ZippyDSMlee, your right as well. the rich elitists in the world are the ones who control our sphere too. they are afraid of loosing their hold on the populace and that we will see through their lies. so when something that challenges their power shows itself, they do all they can to destroy it. too bad for them they allowed too much freedom of information exchange and now they have lost their ability to control and filter what we are exposed to. and this might have something to do with the growing percentage of mentally ill people, including youth, in the world. long did they cover up what really goes on. and now that we are starting to see for ourselves the cold harshness of the world, many just aren't capable of accepting or dealing with it. so they get a bad case of the crazies and go ape shit. its the way the world is evolving, and i'd wager that it will get worse for another 30 or so years, then start to taper off, eventually receeding into memory.

danimal1384
the mentality to control the populace you do not understand is on factor, another is we have near instant infermation flowing 24/7 that with more dense centered populaces you'll just have more instadents of sht happening just because more people=more problems.

I don't mean to sound like a anti elite conspirisist but any group of well to do humans = elite so when they join forces for any cause (organized religion,goverment,corporations) the likely hood of the the views of the fee being expressed and enacted upon are high, the trouble with the few leading the many, the few live hidden lives and tend not to understand the many thus you get fcked up nuances in morals,regulation and fleecing the public.

Sure I believe in "limited regulation" (de regulation,ban lobbying,legalize drugs, funny thing prostitution is legal its just most states don't want nothing to do with it, why can't we effect more things at the state level?) anyway I am trying not to sound like a loon, but alas I fails :P

Bascily the elite or thos in the power have always tried to nanny the adult populace in one shape or another, its never been the "media" itself but thos around it seeking to use it for their own gain.

i disagree with that, the market from both consumer and production side runs on self interest, companies don't give a damn what they do, if you got enough people(population-wise) behind the stupidest game idea out there, they'd make it, AND WE are all just asking for this stuff(which.. i really do, besides violence, what other game type could you have besides sports and keep it exiting) and most people that matter -to industries- do not mind or seek the violence, therefore what we have.

Of course a company can create a demand for a product as well as increase the demand for more. Not that much different from porn where 20-30 years ago you could show very little and produce the same result as you can today by showing everything and the kitchen sink with nothing left to the imagination. It's like "Hey, if you liked that well this year we're giving you 5 X more!!!"

Gamers tend to eat up whatever is being fed to them insatiably. How did gamers get to be this way? You can say we're all no better than savage apes and always will be, or you can see how people have been manipulated into desiring a certain product.

Furthermore, for the conspiracy theorists (realists?), I can't help but wonder if there is some grand design to program people to accept violence, view it as necessary, enjoy it, for some larger agenda. Like the fact you see so many pro US military games out every year. Not to mention the fact that while so many people are preoccupied playing video games those who would rule the world for their own selfish ends are out in the real world executing their agenda without resistance.

mork's final paragraph kinda nailed what i was getting at. and while i'm not some crazy who thinks that everything is a cover-up or some deeper plot, it does seem at times that there is a reason and rhyme to the madness, doesn't it? and not all conspiracies are intentional from the word go either, sometimes they might just stumble onto something that works. so maybe there is a plot to desensitize and program us for the future, but who knows for sure. humans have statistically been getting more violent over the last hundred years or so. maybe thats just the way we are though.

and i'm not trying to simplify whats happening into one thing. there are lots of probable reasons for this growing trend, and maybe this is just one factor. but in any case, we love our blood and guts, so we will keep being delivered that.

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