Grand Theft Auto IV Didn't Drive an 8 Year-Old to Murder

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Robert Rath:
Grand Theft Auto IV Didn't Drive an 8 Year-Old to Murder

This was a tragedy, from start to finish, but the association with GTA was a product of the media - not of reality. Here's what happened.

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Sorry to grammar nazi on this, but...

Normally in the games press, our instinct during a time like this is to bunker down, not fight back, comment on the story and wait until it blows over.

Term should have been hunker, not bunker. While bunker almost makes sense in context, its still out of place for the phrase in question.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hunker

Psychobabble:
1) There have been countless studies showing the exact opposite as well. Oddly enough they've been universally lambasted as ignorant anti-game propaganda by the games industry and gamers alike. But of course when a study says games aren't at fault those studies are trumpeted from the heavens as the gospel, without one iota of skepticism. Media bias is still media bias regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

I don't deny that SOME studies have come out suggesting the opposite, but there's no question that the bulk of studies suggest that violent video games have nothing to do with violence. It's patent ignorance to state otherwise.

2) Please explain to me why if these games cannot in any way provoke violent behavior in children, why a ratings system for these games is necessary at all. And before you say language and other adult themes, such as scenes of a sexual nature, why would they have any aberrant impact on child behavior if violence does not. It seems odd that one aspect can be totally harmless yet others dangerous.

You are presuming a correlation where relatively little actual evidence suggests it even exists. As a prior poster pointed out, the idea behind rating systems in all forms of media is to limit the amount of information presented to a child. It has little to do with the violence in those items and more to do with "gating" things off from children until parents have been able to introduce these concepts to them gradually.

The fact that the parents ignored the rating system is not the fault of the company, it's the fault of the parents.

The rest, nothing but strawman arguments to cement your position in the exact same manner as you blame the media for skewing this particular news story. I.E. "Its true because 'I' say it is true, because I so badly wish it to be true.

It's relatively obvious that you have no clue what a strawman is, because none of my other points were strawmen under the standard definition (that being an attack on a false weak point in someone's argument).

The fact that a loaded firearm was entirely within the child's reach is a strawman? No, I'm sorry, it's very much a valid point and relevant to the discussion here. You just want it to be a strawman so you can ignore the fact that the entire incident would never have occurred in the first place if the parents had taken enough care to properly lock up their weapons.

The fact that male children are essentially drilled on a regular basis by gun advertisements (combined with the increasingly gun-happy nature of our society) is a strawman? Again, no, it's very much something that should be pointed out here. When we've got parents taking their underaged kids out to hunt and shoot, and TV commercials advertise toy guns to them and what not, I think that's sort of establishing that guns = fun at a rather young age for those children. If you as a parent haven't properly taught them how dangerous guns can be, they're liable to assume ALL guns are just for fun.

The fact that comic books, movies, and television have all been blamed for violent crimes is a strawman? A third time I say no, as it's 100% relevant here as it establishes that this is the continuation of a trend long ago established in this country. This country is far too obsessed with finding other people to blame and is content to ignore the parents' obvious failings to focus on what they perceive as creating "evil" and "corruption" in society.

Learn what a strawman is before trying to call someone's debate points "strawmen" simply because you don't actually have good counterarguments to any of them.

Frankly, you are the perfect example of what's REALLY wrong with this picture.

A child was able to obtain access to things that his parents should have kept beyond his reach, and instead of blaming the parents for that failure, you want to punish the people who MADE those products? While we're blaming people at random, you wanna go after the gun manufacturer too, for not including free biometric scanners for all their guns? That seems to be where you'll have to go next....once you get all of your restrictions slapped onto video games and people strangely keep killing each other, that is.

Learn some damn responsibility and stop blaming others for YOUR failings. If you can't keep a gun locked up in a house with children, you shouldn't have kids. Period.

OP, if you can't blame games for the murder, who is to blame? The adults for leaving a gun in the child's reach? The gun manufacturers for encouraging gun use? No, we'd blame ourselves for being ignorant, unsafe idiots and supporting a dangerous industry. We can't have that can we. It's easier to deny all plausibility that we can change gun deaths.

That was sarcastic obviously.

DoveAlexa:
There is nothing we can do about this, or anything like this. We have no power, and as long as most people are completely ignorant of what a video game actually is, and actual does - not to mention until they even try to care about the god damned RATING on the thing - NOTHING has even a remote chance of changing.

We, as in humanity as a whole, never truly progress or become more informed. We just shift in what we care about, what we know about and what we are completely ignorant of. Maybe in 50 more years the majority of us will be informed enough about games that this BS no longer happens, but we have zero control over that shifting process.

"We, as in humanity as a whole, never truly progress or become more informed."

Care to provide evidence to support this? That's a rather absurd claim to make without any evidence to show. I'd be curious to hear how we as a species are no more informed than we were in, say, the tenth century.

Kids touch, punch, kick, lick, headbutt, scream at, everything. It's the human learning process, don't let them learn guns until they're ready to do something other than lick them.

Considering the staggering amount of violent games sold every year you think, if it existed, we'd have conclusive evidence of video games causing murders by now.

The next generation of parents have a huge advantage in that we understand games, no amount of explanation or show and tell would get my parents to understand any of it.

Eve Charm:

Monster_user:

Little old ladies, like the one in the article, often have difficulty unlocking those boxes. It would take you, or a child, mere seconds to unlock the box. It could take the grandmother 15 minutes. Then there is the additional time of trying to figure out which way to turn the ammo casing, and how to insert it. Finally there is the near impossible task of cocking the weapon.

These little old ladies may be no taller than a 10 to 14 year old child. So in order to get the weapon out of reach, they have to put it out of their own reach.

These little old ladies want their guns because they are afraid of having thieves break into their homes, or worse. Thieves often target them, because they are easy targets.

Ok if were going to play the weak and feeble card, guns are heavy, and they have a lot of kick to them to so they probably might break something shooting a gun if they are that weak and feeble.

My point is that there was a reason why this little old lady kept the gun loaded and within reach.

It may not be a good reason, but she had a reason.

Eve Charm:
Last there is no prove this little old lady had a gun cause " she feared from getting robbed " She had kids in the house and at least from some articles the neighbors knew them well. She wasn't living in newark.

It is elementary deductive reasoning Mr. Watson. Why else would she keep the gun loaded?

Why do people own guns?

1. For uses in tournaments / hunting.
2. Family heirlooms / Art value
3. Protection.
4. ???

1. Those who use guns in tournaments (or for hunting) fully know all of the rules of handling weapons. They know how to properly secure a weapon, and practice doing so regularly. They respect the weapon for what it is, and would take the best care of it. A person who is interested in gun tournaments would likely pass their knowledge and respect for the weapon to their offspring, thus the child would respect the weapon. Given this information this is the least likely scenario.

2. Family heirlooms / Historical artifacts are typically kept secured, and have no reason to be loaded. GTA IV does not teach a child how to load a weapon, IIRC, so the child would have to learn how to load the weapon through other means. Also, such items are typically within the "do not touch" category, which would make it clear to the child that it is not a toy.

3. Weapons that are purchased for protection are usually placed with the intent discharge the weapon on a moments notice. These weapons need to be easily accessible, and easily loaded and/or armed. Sometimes bigger, more menacing weapons are desired, though the weapon must still be small enough to manage. The weapon in this instance appears to meet all of the criteria for a defensive weapon. If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is probably not a poodle.

4. If you can come up with a valid alternative, feel free to do so.

cikame:
The next generation of parents have a huge advantage in that we understand games, no amount of explanation or show and tell would get my parents to understand any of it.

An excellent statement. However, what are the odds that we will find something about our descendants interests that we fear because we do not understand it? Will we judge them as poorly as our predecessors have judged us?

Also, I agree with frobalt, and Owyn_Merrilin, education saves lives.

frobalt:
As insensitive as this sounds:

The gun was a .38 caliber pistol she owned.

The fact that it was her gun makes her eligible for a darwin award.

After all, if you leave a loaded gun in a place where a child can reach it and a child kills you with it, then you're an idiot.

You can say that, because of her age she might have forgotten about it or something like that, but if that's the case, then she probably shouldn't even own a gun as she clearly isn't fit to use it. After all, when someone gets old and is unable to drive anymore, you take their licence off them. Surely that should work for guns as well.

I can't help but wonder: Where did she even store this gun? I mean, this kid was able to get the gun and play around with it and shoot her in the back of the head without her noticing. To me, this shows that it wasn't hidden very well.

Another thing I can't help but wonder: In a country where guns are readily accessible, why are kids not taught about firearm safety from an early age? Either from their parents or at school. A kid being ignorant about this topic shouldn't be an excuse. The solution to this problem is to educate kids from an early age. I know it's grim, but if it stops stuff like this happening, surely it's worth it.

While I've sounded harsh in this post, I do sympathise for the family. I especially sympathise with the kid, for whom this will scar for the rest of his life. But I have absolutely no sympathy for the old woman. As far as I'm concerned, her death was her own fault.

I'll first assume that you are not from the US, so Ill start with this.

Firearm safety, believe it or not, is a regional culture. In states that have what people consider "lax" firearms laws, firearm safety is taught about the same time the person can actually hold a gun.

For instance, my first firearm was a Marlin Model 60 .22 rifle I got for my birthday one year. Of course this was during the 90's where school shootings were shocking the nation and such, so before I even was allowed to hold it, let alone touch the ammo, I had to learn proper safety with it.

I guess because of how young I was, and how much it was drilled into my head that even though it was a .22 it could and would kill someone, that I take firearm safety very seriously.

Then again, I live in Texas which evidently makes me 150% more Freedom that other Americans. Now take states where firearm laws are extremely strict and there is almost no firearm safety culture. After all, why learn to be safe with something if it's illegal to have anyway?

Second, I'm thinking she had stored it in a shoebox or something similar, after all a .38 pistol is really small. She probably thought it was put up in a place that the kid wouldn't ever find it also. One thing I have learned in life, if there is a small child in your house, s/he will find exactly what you dont want them to.

On top of that, anyone worth their weight in safety will tell you that you never store a loaded firearm, if it accepts magazines, keep those in a separate safe along with the ammo. The only time a weapon should be loaded with live ammo is when you are planning on using it, not for "just in case" situations.

This is just yet another sad example of a tragedy that could of been avoided if someone hadn't been lazy and actually secured their weapon.

I really find news culture quite disgusting, I'd rather just not have opinions on matters unless they're editorials or something. But now facts are getting cloudy.

CriticKitten:
The fact that the parents ignored the rating system is not the fault of the company, it's the fault of the parents.

A ratings system that is completely unnecessary if violent games can have no ill effect upon children.

CriticKitten:
The fact that a loaded firearm was entirely within the child's reach is a strawman? No, I'm sorry, it's very much a valid point and relevant to the discussion here. You just want it to be a strawman so you can ignore the fact that the entire incident would never have occurred in the first place if the parents had taken enough care to properly lock up their weapons.

If you had bothered to actually read any of my previous posts before yours, you would have noticed I stated the biggest reason for this tragedy was a child being allowed access to a lethal weapon. However I feel a realistic look at how much if any effect a violent video game had on this situation is also needed instead of the gaming community just saying "this has nothing to do with me" once again and pretending their chosen form of entertainment could in no way have any negative side effects.

Of course it seems you skipped over that part in your hasty effort to post your livid and ill-informed rebuttals. A sad constant behavior in those who have no wish for actual discourse, but only the censorship of ideas they do not care to hear.

If you cannot be bothered to actually read and digest my ideas before criticizing them, I feel safe to ignore any future ill-informed criticisms you may offer.

Bara_no_Hime:
Wow. That was just... sad. On so many levels.

This, ladies and gents, is why I do not and will never own a gun, as much as I like them.

Right, because it's guns that kill people. I guess knives kill people too. And baseball bats. And bare hands. Water can suffocate people, and make them drown. Damnable, evil water. I guess we shouldn't own any of those either. So, so very dangerous.

slash2x:

Does a crowbar open a box on its own? NOPE! In that line of thought there has never been a time where a gun killed someone on its own either. Someone loaded it, someone pointed it at the target, and someone did something to make it fire. But what would I know my keyboard did all the typing here it is the source of all these letters and must be to blame for my post on it own.....

There has never been a time where an atomic bomb killed it someone on it's own. Someone armed it, loaded it on a plane or in a missile, pointed it/dropped it on a target and boom.
By your logic everyone should be allowed to have atomic bombs as long as they can defend themselves with it.
You know, like Iran.
Oh and cluster bombs! You know they're banned right? Cause they end up like mines, lying around waiting for people to step on them and blow up. I guess those bombs didn't kill those people either, just like mines don't kill people that step on them.

And before you think I'm against guns and all that, I don't care, let people do whatever they want; but I'm sick of people saying guns don't kill people, so we shouldn't take it away.
Removing a dangerous item from a person will make it harder for that person to do any harm, as easy as that.

OT:Great article! Bloody sick of idiots going on burn the videogames crusades without actually having anything to back up their so called ''facts''.

Ravage:

Bara_no_Hime:
Wow. That was just... sad. On so many levels.

This, ladies and gents, is why I do not and will never own a gun, as much as I like them.

Right, because it's guns that kill people. I guess knives kill people too. And baseball bats. And bare hands. Water can suffocate people, and make them drown. Damnable, evil water. I guess we shouldn't own any of those either. So, so very dangerous.

Wow, way to miss the point.

Guns can be mistaken for toys and can kill people accidentally.

The whole point of the article is that the kid didn't know it was a real gun and didn't mean to hurt anyone. Sometimes people accidentally cut themselves with a knife, but it is very, very rare to accidentally kill someone with a knife. Everything else you mentioned pretty much either requires someone to actively try to murder someone (it is very difficult to kill someone bare-handed - it takes a lot of effort), a massive accident (like falling into a river), or a natural disaster (ie, a hurricane or flood).

Yes, many things can be used to kill. But very few things can kill by accident that fast. Guns make killing very, very easy. So easy it's easy to make a mistake. And not just failing to realize the gun is real. You can kill yourself or another while cleaning a gun, by dropping a gun, or by failing to remove a chambered round.

Guns DO kill people.

slash2x:
Does a crowbar open a box on its own? NOPE! In that line of thought there has never been a time where a gun killed someone on its own either. Someone loaded it, someone pointed it at the target, and someone did something to make it fire. But what would I know my keyboard did all the typing here it is the source of all these letters and must be to blame for my post on it own.....

Does a crowbar accidentally open a box? No.

Do guns accidentally kill people every day? Yes.

Your analogy is therefore fallacious. You fail at debating and should feel bad.

To re-use a point, a baseball bat can be used to kill someone, but it cannot accidentally kill someone. You have to very intentionally beat someone with a bat to kill them.

A gun - particularly a cheap ass .33 - can kill you totally by accident. It can kill you while you're loading it if you failed to clear the chamber. It can be picked up by someone who isn't properly trained and they can kill someone accidentally.

Guns are much more dangerous than other potential weapons. They make killing so easy, you can do it without meaning to. That makes any comparison to other tools fallacious because other tools don't do their job by accident - but guns can kill you by accident.

Psychobabble:
A ratings system that is completely unnecessary if violent games can have no ill effect upon children.

Drinking and cigarette laws have no reason to exist either, by your logic. Let's just let the kids decide if they want to have some beer with their Happy Meals, eh?

You must realize that you have absolutely NO argument here. So I can only assume you're just trying to annoy people in this thread, that's really the only reasonable explanation for someone who is seriously trying to maintain this stance. Either that or you're running for US political office. Feel free to inform us which is correct.

If you had bothered to actually read any of my previous posts before yours, you would have noticed I stated the biggest reason for this tragedy was a child being allowed access to a lethal weapon. However I feel a realistic look at how much if any effect a violent video game had on this situation is also needed instead of the gaming community just saying "this has nothing to do with me" once again and pretending their chosen form of entertainment could in no way have any negative side effects.

Except that, as we've established, there is NO conclusive evidence to suggest that the video game had anything to do with the murder.

But you want to assess blame on it anyways. Which is putting the cart before the horse. Find some conclusive evidence that the game contributed to the murder and MAYBE then you can start complaining. Until then, we should assess blame based on the things we KNOW contributed to the murder, that being negligent parents who left loaded firearms in their child's reach.

If you cannot be bothered to actually read and digest my ideas before criticizing them, I feel safe to ignore any future ill-informed criticisms you may offer.

Your "ideas" are stupid and backwards, and perhaps the single greatest contributing factor to the general decline of society. They don't deserve any more "digestion" than I've given them, as they're likely to make anyone sick if they chew on it for too long.

So, fine. Feel free to ignore my posts, as I'll certainly be ignoring yours from now on. I can't say I'm going to "miss" replying to you, either. You have to be pretty darn ignorant to be attributing even a minor degree of blame on the video game here. >_>

Mick P.:
PS: The same can probably be said for GTA. Never played one of those games in my life and never will. It should probably be a crime to glorify criminality.

Mick P.:
But to be clear, GTA definitely is glorification

Maybe you could try actually playing the games before making a statement like that? Because let's be honest, you're full of crap. If anything the message of the GTA series has been "don't be a criminal, because it's a fucking nightmare and will ruin your life"

CriticKitten:
You have to be pretty darn ignorant to be attributing even a minor degree of blame on the video game here. >_>

I reckon the best way to phrase it is as follows:

The videogame itself bears no blame, because a videogame no more drives people to violent acts than watching sports turns them into pro athletes. However;
The videogame is not appropriate for a child, not because a child might ape the behaviour but because the child might find the subject matter disturbing. Therefore;
If someone wishes to argue that a child has been negatively impacted by a video game, they must logically place blame on the person who allowed to child to play the game, not the game itself. Anyhting else is dishonest.

What people who blame videogames tend to miss out is that final step. If a child is found wandering around drunk, the media narrative is not laying blame on alcohol, it's to lay blame on whichever fucknut gave alcohol to a child. Alcohol, like games, has a rating system and it has been socially decided (to a degree) at what age it is appropriate for a person to drink it. When games are in the spotlight that part will be ignored, because the media misses out the logical step and goes straight to blaming the videogame itself rather than whoever let the kid play a clearly innappropriate game
.

CriticKitten:

Psychobabble:
If you cannot be bothered to actually read and digest my ideas before criticizing them, I feel safe to ignore any future ill-informed criticisms you may offer.

Your "ideas" are stupid and backwards, and perhaps the single greatest contributing factor to the general decline of society. They don't deserve any more "digestion" than I've given them, as they're likely to make anyone sick if they chew on it for too long.

So, fine. Feel free to ignore my posts, as I'll certainly be ignoring yours from now on. I can't say I'm going to "miss" replying to you, either. You have to be pretty darn ignorant to be attributing even a minor degree of blame on the video game here. >_>

I wouldn't call him ignorant, just stubborn. Otherwise I do agree with your harshly worded, but accurate statements about the ideas presented. The idea that "either the game is partially at fault, or the ratings system is pointless" is indeed backwards, and would indeed likely make anyone sick if they chewed on it for too long.

As to why, SonicWaffle waffle just explained it better than I have thus far.

Correlation =/= Causation.

In the absense of any real evidence, or verifiable history of "video games causing violence", or verifiable "item causes violence", we cannot assume that the correlation had any bearing on this incident.

Video games are a popular form of entertainment for children, and [currently] games primarily use violence to entertain, so the odds are extremely high that a child will have played a violent game shortly before engaging in violent behavior.

Assuming that there are approximately 8 million children playing violent video games such as Halo, or Call of Duty, based on fuzzy maths, why do we have so few cases of games causing violent behavior.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games#Xbox_360

http://www.slideshare.net/PewInternet/cheats-for-marketers-fresh-demographics-on-teen-and-adult-game-play-how-games-may-teach-kids-to-be-good-citizens

SonicWaffle:

Mick P.:
PS: The same can probably be said for GTA. Never played one of those games in my life and never will. It should probably be a crime to glorify criminality.

Mick P.:
But to be clear, GTA definitely is glorification

Maybe you could try actually playing the games before making a statement like that? Because let's be honest, you're full of crap. If anything the message of the GTA series has been "don't be a criminal, because it's a fucking nightmare and will ruin your life"

And then some corrupt individual with a lot of money will reanimate your corpse, pay all your fines to keep you out of prison, and release you back on the street.

I know people who actually think things like "games are meth" and "games are murder simulators". Fine by me. I won't have to deal with their boring asses when playing.

Monster_user:

SonicWaffle:

Mick P.:
PS: The same can probably be said for GTA. Never played one of those games in my life and never will. It should probably be a crime to glorify criminality.

Mick P.:
But to be clear, GTA definitely is glorification

Maybe you could try actually playing the games before making a statement like that? Because let's be honest, you're full of crap. If anything the message of the GTA series has been "don't be a criminal, because it's a fucking nightmare and will ruin your life"

And then some corrupt individual with a lot of money will reanimate your corpse, pay all your fines to keep you out of prison, and release you back on the street.

I meant more interms of the narrative - how many of the GTA protagonists have ever come out of their respective games well? After all the hard work they'll be left with dead loved ones and friends, they'll have been betrayed by allies, and despite having a huge pile of money and drugs their life seems to be empty and pointless. They might be kingpins of a criminal empire, but the obvious aesop seems to be that it wasn't worth it.

That's hardly what I'd call "glorification" of criminality.

Excellent article. I'm glad to see you shining the light on the large networks practices.

On the point about GTA awarding points, while it certainly circulated around talk shows, unless I'm mistaken, it actually originated in one of Jack Thompson's arguments to a jury. Make of that what you will.

SonicWaffle:

Monster_user:

SonicWaffle:

Maybe you could try actually playing the games before making a statement like that? Because let's be honest, you're full of crap. If anything the message of the GTA series has been "don't be a criminal, because it's a fucking nightmare and will ruin your life"

And then some corrupt individual with a lot of money will reanimate your corpse, pay all your fines to keep you out of prison, and release you back on the street.

I meant more interms of the narrative - how many of the GTA protagonists have ever come out of their respective games well? After all the hard work they'll be left with dead loved ones and friends, they'll have been betrayed by allies, and despite having a huge pile of money and drugs their life seems to be empty and pointless. They might be kingpins of a criminal empire, but the obvious aesop seems to be that it wasn't worth it.

That's hardly what I'd call "glorification" of criminality.

That is obligatory. You'll never find a case where that is not the case. It's a fig leaf. And despite the fact, the point is GTA presents itself as normative behavior, it is incredibly popular along with all kinds of crime drama, that is why in our culture violent crime is woven into the very fabric. It isn't abhorrent it is simultaneously reality and fantasy. You may think you are not affected, but you don't notice the minor ways in which you are affected. Criminality in our government, and business, well boy will be boys, you don't see the cultural fallout that comes from a cultural obsession with criminality.

PS: My original aside was just to be sure that these games, while wildly popular, are beneath me, and can be beneath you too. I've lived with people playing through Bully, Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver, GTA, in the background. I am keenly aware of how video games and exploitative narrative works. You don't have to experience a bad fall to know that it can be dangerous, and is probably not a good thing. Especially when your culture says you should be falling 8/10 times, because 8/10 programs on the television are about all the different ways you can possibly fall in exciting new ways. If that isn't glorification then what is?

PPS: And again, I am more concerned with how derivative our programming has become than the effects of violence. I arrive at this conclusion mainly because I am tired of so many resources being spent on dramatizing crime. It's not compelling material. And it's 10x more played out than vampires and zombies combined.

EDIT: It's early in the morning, and this post came off more confrontational thatn I'd like. Apologies for that. I won't edit it to try and hide my mistakes, I'll just admit I shouldn't have gotten so in-your face. Sorry.

Mick P.:
That is obligatory. You'll never find a case where that is not the case. It's a fig leaf.

These examples would like a word with you. It's a story. Sometimes the villain will win, where more often they will lose and/or come to ruin. I am genuinely struggling to see how you can brush this off so easily when it runs completely counter to your argument.

Mick P.:
And despite the fact, the point is GTA presents itself as normative behavior, it is incredibly popular along with all kinds of crime drama, that is why in our culture violent crime is woven into the very fabric.

You really should start playing these games before making your high-handed judgements. Crime in GTA is presented as the aberrant behaviour of a minority; while the lens of the world is cynical, and most characters whom you meet will be devious and scheming, that's because your character is involved in the criminal underworld. There are thousands of average, normal people on the streets, running hot dog carts and wandering around, who aren't up to anything illegal.

As for violent crime being woven into the fabric of our society, what's your explanation for the fact that at the same time games like GTA are gaining broader, more mainstream appeal real-life violent crime rates are dropping? If GTA is the devil you claim it is, then shouldn't its rise be marked by an increase rather than a lessening of violence?

Mick P.:
You may think you are not affected, but you don't notice the minor ways in which you are affected.

I'm not claiming that I'm not affected by GTA. I certainly have been. For one thing, I'm not planning on becoming a gangster any time soon, because - as with all the other media portrayals - the series, despite being a comedy, has demonstrated ably that so-called "thug" life is more likely to end horribly for those who undertake it.

Mick P.:
Criminality in our government, and business, well boy will be boys, you don't see the cultural fallout that comes from a cultural obsession with criminality

Well, can you point me to this cultural fallout? And I mean some kind of proof rather than the wild and baseless speculation you've been throwing around. I'd be quite interested in seeing how government corruption is derived from a cultural obsession with our own darker nature. What is it about all those stories, games, TV shows and movies which almost exclusively show corrupt politicians and their actions in an atrocious light that makes politicians decide to emulate the behaviour? It's not like the fictional portrayals are based on existing real-world issues or anything...

Mick P.:
PS: My original aside was just to be sure that these games, while wildly popular, are beneath me, and can be beneath you too.

Well, it's nice that you feel superior. How's the view from up there in that ivory tower?

Mick P.:
I've lived with people playing through Bully, Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver, GTA, in the background. I am keenly aware of how video games and exploitative narrative works.

Are you? Because you've selected an extremely disparate group of titles there to make whatever point it is you're failing to make. Mechanical similarity aside, only half of those titles are explicitly criminal, and in none of them is the player character a "bad guy" in the traditional sense of a pure-evil character. Rather they explore ideas of shades of grey. Perhaps if you'd paid more attention to whoever was playing them rather than forming snap judgements off the back of scant information, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Mick P.:
You don't have to experience a bad fall to know that it can be dangerous, and is probably not a good thing. Especially when your culture says you should be falling 8/10 times, because 8/10 programs on the television are about all the different ways you can possibly fall in exciting new ways. If that isn't glorification then what is?

....wow. Perhaps the problem is just that you're using the word "glorification" wrong? Ignoring for the moment that the vast majority of what you've called "crime shows" are about characters attempting to stop crime (your CSI and other police procedurals, your superhero shows, COPS and similar reality shows) even the remainder hardly show criminal activity to be more glorious or excellent than is actually the case.

What's weird is that if you didn't have this apparent crusade and need to prove yourself right, there are some interesting things to dicuss about our portrayal of criminality and our fascination with humanity's darker nature. Why do so many of our myths, legends and modern heroes often skirt the borders of the law? Vigilantes and petty thieves, Robin Hood and Malcolm Reynolds. For a supposedly civilized and ordered society we appear to have an odd regard for those who step outside the law to do what they think is right, so long as we agree with their overall goal. Is it just that we clearly delineate real life and fiction, and will accept in fiction the kind of semi-criminal behaviour that we won't from a real-life hero? We apply a shades-of-grey filter, perhaps because we're savvy enough to know that while our laws are far from perfect they're better than anarchy, but in our fiction we like to see them disregarded in situations where we see a moral imperative to do so. On this very forum, and in other places, the most common complaint levelled (incorrectly) against Superman is that he's "boring" due to his upstanding moral code and adherence to the law, and people apparently desire more internal conflict from their heroes. It's very interesting to me, at least; the civilised but discontented, unwilling to take risks themselves and push boundaries but more than happy to see it in their fictionalised escapism. It's much more interesting that "criminal behaviour in games has a negative effect because it just does!", at least.

Mick P.:
PPS: And again, I am more concerned with how derivative our programming has become than the effects of violence. I arrive at this conclusion mainly because I am tired of so many resources being spent on dramatizing crime. It's not compelling material. And it's 10x more played out than vampires and zombies combined.

Perhaps not compelling to you, but as the sales and viewing figures show, it's still enormously compelling to most of the rest of society.

Bara_no_Hime:

slash2x:
Does a crowbar open a box on its own? NOPE! In that line of thought there has never been a time where a gun killed someone on its own either. Someone loaded it, someone pointed it at the target, and someone did something to make it fire. But what would I know my keyboard did all the typing here it is the source of all these letters and must be to blame for my post on it own.....

Does a crowbar accidentally open a box? No.

Do guns accidentally kill people every day? Yes.

Your analogy is therefore fallacious. You fail at debating and should feel bad.

To re-use a point, a baseball bat can be used to kill someone, but it cannot accidentally kill someone. You have to very intentionally beat someone with a bat to kill them.

HAHAHA!!! You are right my gun walked into the room the other day and told me it was going to go off on its own if I did not get better quality ammo. Oh wait no it did not because it is an inanimate object incapable of moving on its own....... PEOPLE kill PEOPLE on accident. NOT objects. Your argument assigns mobility and sentience to an object, and therefore is invalidated by facts and physics. If you had read the rest of my post instead of telling me I failed you might have noticed that.

Also on your whole bat thing 10 seconds on google to prove you wrong, but it was still a person who did it they just did it on accident..... with a bat...... http://www.grahamstar.com/articles/2012/08/02/news/doc50081e7d020db277645375.txt

Magefeanor:

slash2x:

Does a crowbar open a box on its own? NOPE! In that line of thought there has never been a time where a gun killed someone on its own either. Someone loaded it, someone pointed it at the target, and someone did something to make it fire. But what would I know my keyboard did all the typing here it is the source of all these letters and must be to blame for my post on it own.....

There has never been a time where an atomic bomb killed it someone on it's own. Someone armed it, loaded it on a plane or in a missile, pointed it/dropped it on a target and boom.
By your logic everyone should be allowed to have atomic bombs as long as they can defend themselves with it.
You know, like Iran.
Oh and cluster bombs! You know they're banned right? Cause they end up like mines, lying around waiting for people to step on them and blow up. I guess those bombs didn't kill those people either, just like mines don't kill people that step on them.

And before you think I'm against guns and all that, I don't care, let people do whatever they want; but I'm sick of people saying guns don't kill people, so we shouldn't take it away.
Removing a dangerous item from a person will make it harder for that person to do any harm, as easy as that.

OT:Great article! Bloody sick of idiots going on burn the videogames crusades without actually having anything to back up their so called ''facts''.

*Reads my post again*.... Yeah not finding anything about ban or banning in my post..... Might want to read before you assign an argument to me..... I am talking about blaming people not objects for our actions. Guns are used to kill people, guns are used to kill a FUCKLOAD of people. But they are USED to kill people. I think it is dumb that we blame an object for the actions of a person. And someone planted or dropped those mines, so I blame that person not the object for any subsequent deaths.

slash2x:

Magefeanor:

slash2x:

Does a crowbar open a box on its own? NOPE! In that line of thought there has never been a time where a gun killed someone on its own either. Someone loaded it, someone pointed it at the target, and someone did something to make it fire. But what would I know my keyboard did all the typing here it is the source of all these letters and must be to blame for my post on it own.....

There has never been a time where an atomic bomb killed it someone on it's own. Someone armed it, loaded it on a plane or in a missile, pointed it/dropped it on a target and boom.
By your logic everyone should be allowed to have atomic bombs as long as they can defend themselves with it.
You know, like Iran.
Oh and cluster bombs! You know they're banned right? Cause they end up like mines, lying around waiting for people to step on them and blow up. I guess those bombs didn't kill those people either, just like mines don't kill people that step on them.

And before you think I'm against guns and all that, I don't care, let people do whatever they want; but I'm sick of people saying guns don't kill people, so we shouldn't take it away.
Removing a dangerous item from a person will make it harder for that person to do any harm, as easy as that.

OT:Great article! Bloody sick of idiots going on burn the videogames crusades without actually having anything to back up their so called ''facts''.

*Reads my post again*.... Yeah not finding anything about ban or banning in my post..... Might want to read before you assign an argument to me..... I am talking about blaming people not objects for our actions. Guns are used to kill people, guns are used to kill a FUCKLOAD of people. But they are USED to kill people. I think it is dumb that we blame an object for the actions of a person. And someone planted or dropped those mines, so I blame that person not the object for any subsequent deaths.

I did read what you wrote. 5 times actually, but I still apparently misread it, disregard everything I said.

SonicWaffle:
EDIT: It's early in the morning, and this post came off more confrontational thatn I'd like. Apologies for that. I won't edit it to try and hide my mistakes, I'll just admit I shouldn't have gotten so in-your face. Sorry.

Mick P.:
That is obligatory. You'll never find a case where that is not the case. It's a fig leaf.

These examples would like a word with you. It's a story. Sometimes the villain will win, where more often they will lose and/or come to ruin. I am genuinely struggling to see how you can brush this off so easily when it runs completely counter to your argument.

SonicWaffle:
EDIT: It's early in the morning, and this post came off more confrontational thatn I'd like. Apologies for that. I won't edit it to try and hide my mistakes, I'll just admit I shouldn't have gotten so in-your face. Sorry.

Mick P.:
That is obligatory. You'll never find a case where that is not the case. It's a fig leaf.

These examples would like a word with you. It's a story. Sometimes the villain will win, where more often they will lose and/or come to ruin. I am genuinely struggling to see how you can brush this off so easily when it runs completely counter to your argument.

Mick P.:
And despite the fact, the point is GTA presents itself as normative behavior, it is incredibly popular along with all kinds of crime drama, that is why in our culture violent crime is woven into the very fabric.

You really should start playing these games before making your high-handed judgements. Crime in GTA is presented as the aberrant behaviour of a minority; while the lens of the world is cynical, and most characters whom you meet will be devious and scheming, that's because your character is involved in the criminal underworld. There are thousands of average, normal people on the streets, running hot dog carts and wandering around, who aren't up to anything illegal.

As for violent crime being woven into the fabric of our society, what's your explanation for the fact that at the same time games like GTA are gaining broader, more mainstream appeal real-life violent crime rates are dropping? If GTA is the devil you claim it is, then shouldn't its rise be marked by an increase rather than a lessening of violence?

Mick P.:
You may think you are not affected, but you don't notice the minor ways in which you are affected.

I'm not claiming that I'm not affected by GTA. I certainly have been. For one thing, I'm not planning on becoming a gangster any time soon, because - as with all the other media portrayals - the series, despite being a comedy, has demonstrated ably that so-called "thug" life is more likely to end horribly for those who undertake it.

Mick P.:
Criminality in our government, and business, well boy will be boys, you don't see the cultural fallout that comes from a cultural obsession with criminality

Well, can you point me to this cultural fallout? And I mean some kind of proof rather than the wild and baseless speculation you've been throwing around. I'd be quite interested in seeing how government corruption is derived from a cultural obsession with our own darker nature. What is it about all those stories, games, TV shows and movies which almost exclusively show corrupt politicians and their actions in an atrocious light that makes politicians decide to emulate the behaviour? It's not like the fictional portrayals are based on existing real-world issues or anything...

Mick P.:
PS: My original aside was just to be sure that these games, while wildly popular, are beneath me, and can be beneath you too.

Well, it's nice that you feel superior. How's the view from up there in that ivory tower?

Mick P.:
I've lived with people playing through Bully, Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver, GTA, in the background. I am keenly aware of how video games and exploitative narrative works.

Are you? Because you've selected an extremely disparate group of titles there to make whatever point it is you're failing to make. Mechanical similarity aside, only half of those titles are explicitly criminal, and in none of them is the player character a "bad guy" in the traditional sense of a pure-evil character. Rather they explore ideas of shades of grey. Perhaps if you'd paid more attention to whoever was playing them rather than forming snap judgements off the back of scant information, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Mick P.:
You don't have to experience a bad fall to know that it can be dangerous, and is probably not a good thing. Especially when your culture says you should be falling 8/10 times, because 8/10 programs on the television are about all the different ways you can possibly fall in exciting new ways. If that isn't glorification then what is?

....wow. Perhaps the problem is just that you're using the word "glorification" wrong? Ignoring for the moment that the vast majority of what you've called "crime shows" are about characters attempting to stop crime (your CSI and other police procedurals, your superhero shows, COPS and similar reality shows) even the remainder hardly show criminal activity to be more glorious or excellent than is actually the case.

What's weird is that if you didn't have this apparent crusade and need to prove yourself right, there are some interesting things to dicuss about our portrayal of criminality and our fascination with humanity's darker nature. Why do so many of our myths, legends and modern heroes often skirt the borders of the law? Vigilantes and petty thieves, Robin Hood and Malcolm Reynolds. For a supposedly civilized and ordered society we appear to have an odd regard for those who step outside the law to do what they think is right, so long as we agree with their overall goal. Is it just that we clearly delineate real life and fiction, and will accept in fiction the kind of semi-criminal behaviour that we won't from a real-life hero? We apply a shades-of-grey filter, perhaps because we're savvy enough to know that while our laws are far from perfect they're better than anarchy, but in our fiction we like to see them disregarded in situations where we see a moral imperative to do so. On this very forum, and in other places, the most common complaint levelled (incorrectly) against Superman is that he's "boring" due to his upstanding moral code and adherence to the law, and people apparently desire more internal conflict from their heroes. It's very interesting to me, at least; the civilised but discontented, unwilling to take risks themselves and push boundaries but more than happy to see it in their fictionalised escapism. It's much more interesting that "criminal behaviour in games has a negative effect because it just does!", at least.

Mick P.:
PPS: And again, I am more concerned with how derivative our programming has become than the effects of violence. I arrive at this conclusion mainly because I am tired of so many resources being spent on dramatizing crime. It's not compelling material. And it's 10x more played out than vampires and zombies combined.

Perhaps not compelling to you, but as the sales and viewing figures show, it's still enormously compelling to most of the rest of society.

Not having read this anymore than I've played GTA. The first sentence, there is a difference between a "bad guy" and a criminal. You won't find many instances where a fictional violent crime with unsympathetic characters succeeds without repercussions and none of the characters were portrayed as not bat shit insane larger than life monsters. Also GTA is a sandbox.

Last sentence. The reason it is compelling is because people want action, and there isn't much of a venue for that in the contemporary setting. Still it's too easy. And epidemic when it becomes just about the only thing on the airwaves. Especially where you are talking derivative exploitative schlock. But what would the space aliens think? We are a race of whack jobs to be obliterated most likely.

Mick P.:
And despite the fact, the point is GTA presents itself as normative behavior, it is incredibly popular along with all kinds of crime drama, that is why in our culture violent crime is woven into the very fabric.

You really should start playing these games before making your high-handed judgements. Crime in GTA is presented as the aberrant behaviour of a minority; while the lens of the world is cynical, and most characters whom you meet will be devious and scheming, that's because your character is involved in the criminal underworld. There are thousands of average, normal people on the streets, running hot dog carts and wandering around, who aren't up to anything illegal.

As for violent crime being woven into the fabric of our society, what's your explanation for the fact that at the same time games like GTA are gaining broader, more mainstream appeal real-life violent crime rates are dropping? If GTA is the devil you claim it is, then shouldn't its rise be marked by an increase rather than a lessening of violence?

Mick P.:
You may think you are not affected, but you don't notice the minor ways in which you are affected.

I'm not claiming that I'm not affected by GTA. I certainly have been. For one thing, I'm not planning on becoming a gangster any time soon, because - as with all the other media portrayals - the series, despite being a comedy, has demonstrated ably that so-called "thug" life is more likely to end horribly for those who undertake it.

Mick P.:
Criminality in our government, and business, well boy will be boys, you don't see the cultural fallout that comes from a cultural obsession with criminality

Well, can you point me to this cultural fallout? And I mean some kind of proof rather than the wild and baseless speculation you've been throwing around. I'd be quite interested in seeing how government corruption is derived from a cultural obsession with our own darker nature. What is it about all those stories, games, TV shows and movies which almost exclusively show corrupt politicians and their actions in an atrocious light that makes politicians decide to emulate the behaviour? It's not like the fictional portrayals are based on existing real-world issues or anything...

Mick P.:
PS: My original aside was just to be sure that these games, while wildly popular, are beneath me, and can be beneath you too.

Well, it's nice that you feel superior. How's the view from up there in that ivory tower?

Mick P.:
I've lived with people playing through Bully, Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver, GTA, in the background. I am keenly aware of how video games and exploitative narrative works.

Are you? Because you've selected an extremely disparate group of titles there to make whatever point it is you're failing to make. Mechanical similarity aside, only half of those titles are explicitly criminal, and in none of them is the player character a "bad guy" in the traditional sense of a pure-evil character. Rather they explore ideas of shades of grey. Perhaps if you'd paid more attention to whoever was playing them rather than forming snap judgements off the back of scant information, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Mick P.:
You don't have to experience a bad fall to know that it can be dangerous, and is probably not a good thing. Especially when your culture says you should be falling 8/10 times, because 8/10 programs on the television are about all the different ways you can possibly fall in exciting new ways. If that isn't glorification then what is?

....wow. Perhaps the problem is just that you're using the word "glorification" wrong? Ignoring for the moment that the vast majority of what you've called "crime shows" are about characters attempting to stop crime (your CSI and other police procedurals, your superhero shows, COPS and similar reality shows) even the remainder hardly show criminal activity to be more glorious or excellent than is actually the case.

What's weird is that if you didn't have this apparent crusade and need to prove yourself right, there are some interesting things to dicuss about our portrayal of criminality and our fascination with humanity's darker nature. Why do so many of our myths, legends and modern heroes often skirt the borders of the law? Vigilantes and petty thieves, Robin Hood and Malcolm Reynolds. For a supposedly civilized and ordered society we appear to have an odd regard for those who step outside the law to do what they think is right, so long as we agree with their overall goal. Is it just that we clearly delineate real life and fiction, and will accept in fiction the kind of semi-criminal behaviour that we won't from a real-life hero? We apply a shades-of-grey filter, perhaps because we're savvy enough to know that while our laws are far from perfect they're better than anarchy, but in our fiction we like to see them disregarded in situations where we see a moral imperative to do so. On this very forum, and in other places, the most common complaint levelled (incorrectly) against Superman is that he's "boring" due to his upstanding moral code and adherence to the law, and people apparently desire more internal conflict from their heroes. It's very interesting to me, at least; the civilised but discontented, unwilling to take risks themselves and push boundaries but more than happy to see it in their fictionalised escapism. It's much more interesting that "criminal behaviour in games has a negative effect because it just does!", at least.

Mick P.:
PPS: And again, I am more concerned with how derivative our programming has become than the effects of violence. I arrive at this conclusion mainly because I am tired of so many resources being spent on dramatizing crime. It's not compelling material. And it's 10x more played out than vampires and zombies combined.

Perhaps not compelling to you, but as the sales and viewing figures show, it's still enormously compelling to most of the rest of society.

Not having read this anymore than I've played GTA. The first sentence, there is a difference between a "bad guy" and a criminal. You won't find many instances where a fictional violent crime with unsympathetic characters succeeds without repercussions and none of the characters were betrayed as not bat shit insane larger than life monsters. Also GTA is a sandbox.

Last sentence. The reason it is compelling is because people want action, and there isn't much of a venue for that in the contemporary setting. Still it's too easy. And epidemic when it becomes just about the only thing on the airwaves. Especially where you are talking derivative exploitative schlock. But what would the space aliens think? We are a race of whack jobs to be obliterated most likely.

Magefeanor:
*snip for readability

Ehh no biggie I have done the same thing. At least you did not call me names ;)

slash2x:
HAHAHA!!! You are right my gun walked into the room the other day and told me it was going to go off on its own if I did not get better quality ammo. Oh wait no it did not because it is an inanimate object incapable of moving on its own....... PEOPLE kill PEOPLE on accident. NOT objects. Your argument assigns mobility and sentience to an object, and therefore is invalidated by facts and physics. If you had read the rest of my post instead of telling me I failed you might have noticed that.

**facepalm**

My argument does not assign either mobility or sentience to an object. Your claim that I did (when I clearly discussed accidental discharge) is a really bizarre and fairly pathetic attempt to pull off a Strawman argument.

This is the kind of insanity I expect out of the NRA. If you're really that out of it, then nothing I say is going to break through.

I'm done with you.

Edit: Oh, and for anyone else who even thinks about getting on this particularly stupid train of thought:

Are tornadoes sentient? Are fires sentient? Are hurricanes/floods/mudslides sentient?

No? Of course no!

Are you going to claim that they don't kill people because they aren't sentient?

Being sentient is not a requirement for being able to kill. Implying that it is - that only sentient things can kill - is absolutely insane.

Likewise, none of the above have control over their own mobility. Sure, some of them move, but purely through physics (ie, gravity or wind patterns).

Bara_no_Hime:
*snip for space..

Accidental discharge by a person is just that a person did something with an object. So do you blame the person or the object?

I am not saying good or bad about guns. They have no moral compass they are just objects. I do not blame a tornado on a personal level or any other disaster for people dying it is just something sad that happened.

If the fire was set by an arsonist or through someone being careless, I BLAME THAT PERSON! NOT THE FIRE... The fire did not seek out someone to kill it just did what all fires do, burn all the fuel it can get.

Bara_no_Hime:

Ravage:

Bara_no_Hime:
Wow. That was just... sad. On so many levels.

This, ladies and gents, is why I do not and will never own a gun, as much as I like them.

Right, because it's guns that kill people. I guess knives kill people too. And baseball bats. And bare hands. Water can suffocate people, and make them drown. Damnable, evil water. I guess we shouldn't own any of those either. So, so very dangerous.

Wow, way to miss the point.

Guns can be mistaken for toys and can kill people accidentally.

The whole point of the article is that the kid didn't know it was a real gun and didn't mean to hurt anyone. Sometimes people accidentally cut themselves with a knife, but it is very, very rare to accidentally kill someone with a knife. Everything else you mentioned pretty much either requires someone to actively try to murder someone (it is very difficult to kill someone bare-handed - it takes a lot of effort), a massive accident (like falling into a river), or a natural disaster (ie, a hurricane or flood).

Yes, many things can be used to kill. But very few things can kill by accident that fast. Guns make killing very, very easy. So easy it's easy to make a mistake. And not just failing to realize the gun is real. You can kill yourself or another while cleaning a gun, by dropping a gun, or by failing to remove a chambered round.

Guns DO kill people.

A lot of effort to kill someone bare-handed? Not at all. What kind of fool leaves around a loaded gun for a child to pick up and use? Someone who's clearly not responsible and shouldn't own one.

Any idiot who can't operate a gun and care for it correctly doesn't deserve one. Guns don't kill anyone. Only fools do. This was that situation. A gun-owner left a weapon around for their kid to screw around with. End of story.

Look at it this way, cops are more likely to screw up than gun owners are. Far more likely. If someone broke in to your house wanting to kill you, would you call 911 and wait 45 minutes for the cops to clean up whatever mess the invader left behind or are you going to exercise your rights and defend yourself? We need guns. Chicago is has the heaviest gun control and the most crime. Because no one can own a gun.

My point being we should all be trained to how to care for our weapons, we'd be living in a utopia right now. I believe it was the Netherlands, or Sweden, I forgot which, it's a mandatory two years in the military there and everyone HAS to own a gun, by law. Rarely any accidents, and the crime rate is spectacularly low.

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