Australian Police Commissioner Blames Games for Knife Violence

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Australian Police Commissioner Blames Games for Knife Violence

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Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione thinks young adults play and act out games that reward murder and rape.

Videogames are often targeted by political figures looking to justify social statistics, and Australia's Police Commissioner for New South Wales is the latest personality to attempt to link gaming to violence. Andrew Scipione recently stated that he blames violent videogames for an increase in knife crime, but several researchers have stepped forward to debunk his comments.

Scipione gave his comments to conservative Australian tabloid The Daily Telegraph, saying that young adults were growing up in an era where carrying out violent acts for hours at a time was "almost praiseworthy". He believes that teenagers have become desensitised after heavy exposure to violent media and, as a result, young adults are prepared to do the same in the real world.

"You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people," he says, presumably drawing upon a number of common tropes found in the Grand Theft Auto series.

Researchers were quick to disprove the Police Commissioner's claims. Dr. Christopher Fergusson, Associate Professor of Psychology and Communication at the University of Texas, stated that the comments were "irresponsible" and that Scipione had "no idea what he was talking about."

"In fact, in most countries youth violence has reached 40 year lows during the videogame epoch," Fergusson explained. "Although many videogames do allow players to explore a range of moral choices both good and bad, they do not typically set up rigid reward structures to reward antisocial behaviour. Many games have considerable consequences for the moral choices players make."

Dr. Jeffrey Brand, Professor of Communication and Media at Bond University, commented that the Police Commissioner failed to take into account several major studies that found no conclusive evidence that games were responsible for inducing violent tendencies in people. He didn't consider videogames to be a helpful common denominator, since both criminals and non-criminals in Australia played them.

Statements that attempt to attribute teen violence to games are counter-productive, and take the focus away from more serious social issues that may be responsible for crime amongst young offenders. It's not the first time these comments have been made, and it's unlikely that they'll carry any weight now.

Source: news.com.au

Permalink

Don't worry!
Crocodile Dundee will set those crazy kids right!

Since when do video games reward rape? Lies and slander! *glove slap*

In before blaming an entire country for one guy.

I find it hard to believe kids are being corrupted by games when the faulty ratings system ensures that they're being censored to hell and back.

Before anyone quotes me: this is hyperbole.

An old, oversensitive fart is blaming them veidjya gayme thingamajigs for all the worlds problems.
...
I'm sorry, but how is this even news anymore?

I don't know that videogames cause increased knife attacks, but I do know that tasering defenceless Aboriginals and Brazilian exchange students to death causes increased public distrust of the police force, hence this latest attempt to bang on the incredibly redundant and broken 'games arr evul' drum.

My Grandad remembers when scrabble was invented...
My god, the rivers ran with blood that day...
Blood and Ink.

DVS BSTrD:
Don't worry!
Crocodile Dundee will set those crazy kids right!

image

I'm actually more surprised that people were so quick to jump on his comment/defend videogames, at least experts anyway. Probably not something you'd see in America.

Sizzle Montyjing:
My Grandad remembers when scrabble was invented...
My god, the rivers ran with blood that day...
Blood and Ink.

No Proper Nouns!

AND NO PRISONERS!

JokerboyJordan:
http://mlkshk.com/r/GO27

I'm actually more surprised that people were so quick to jump on his comment/defend videogames, at least experts anyway. Probably not something you'd see in America.

Actually, one of the experts was an American.

Dr. Christopher Fergusson, Associate Professor of Psychology and Communication at the University of Texas

I find it interesting that he is singling out knife crimes in particular, instead of just attributing violence in general to video games. What was the last game that was centred around using a knife? Sure they are in lots of games, but they aren't a major feature.

...and before video games it was television, and before television it was comic books, and before comic books it was rock and roll, etc etc.

People are scum by nature. When are we going to stop pointing fingers and place blame where it belongs: On the individual?

He's right.

Only last week I woke up one morning and decided to go on a vicious killing spree armed with a 4 foot long purple sex toy and whilst dressed as a pink cartoon cat wearing a cape.

Lizardon:

I find it interesting that he is singling out knife crimes in particular, instead of just attributing violence in general to video games. What was the last game that was centred around using a knife? Sure they are in lots of games, but they aren't a major feature.

The last game I remember with a knife being a major part (in the promotional material, and used as a weapon etc) would be Alice: Madness Returns, and it isn't exactly grounded in reality.

Timothy Chang:

"You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people," he says, presumably drawing upon a number of common tropes found in the Grand Theft Auto series.

Killing people: An act so nice he named it twice!

Raping women: Oh yeah, I totally remember that time I raped that woman in [insert series here]. I got double points too! (just in case it needs pointing out that was sarcasm, you can never be too careful)

So yes, another day, another stupid "VIDYA GAMES R EVUL, MM'KAY" comment.

knife crime because here in australia due to gun control if there is going to be an assault it would more than likely have to involve a knife and not a gun.

I am surprised no one is comparing this to "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"
But I am sure he is grasping at straws trying to panic people and I am sure people are actually starting to use their noggins to see that is not the case.

It must suck to live in Australia and try to game and I feel sorry for everyone who is there.

Most games, the people you kill will try to kill you first. We don't usually classify that as murder (extenuating circumstances may apply, depending on the game and situation therein). Indeed, in games like Deus Ex:Human Revolution, where they might not attack you until you're trespassing, you're actually given bonuses for not killing them.

I love how video game nerds (you, me, especially me) are the most likely of people to be out partying dangerously on a friday/saturday night and are also the most likely to be randomly violent. Sack this fool and give us Commissioner Gordon.

Also, I want to know what kind of games this guy has been playing that rewards you for rape O_o' afaik, we don;t even allow them into the country.

It's never the responsibility of the person who actually did it. Interesting.

Oh look, this again. I'm curious on his sources of the rape in games. I wonder if he's just talking out his ass...

Alright Scipione: Name 1 mainstream game that actively rewards you for rape. Rapelay is a niche game from Japan, so that doesn't count.

nikki191:
knife crime because here in australia due to gun control if there is going to be an assault it would more than likely have to involve a knife and not a gun.

give this guy a few years he will moved down the list to bats, clubs, decently sized stones, hands, feet, harsh language.

really where do they dig these people up down there?

last game i can think of that had a knife as a central feature was the riddick games, other than that dead island you could get knives and such as a weapon.

but not too many games come to mind where a knife is a go to choice.

course in real life when your really horked off at someone and guns are banned in your country a knife might be a logical progression.

and another one who has shit for brains again. if he thinks you rape women in GTA, he truly never played the game at all. actually, in what game do you rape women?? that japanese game jim was talking about?
amazing how these people get these high jobs if they dont even know society.

As someone who grew up with voilent video games I would agree that I have been somewhat desensitized to voilent imagery. However this is only true to voilent imagery on screen that isnt actually real.

I still get queezy seeing real blood and gore and generally feel sad when I hear about someones death. I wouldnt even think about mugging or stabbing someone.

It would take a lot more than video games or movies to make me feel otherwise. Maybe this guy should be looking into these kids living situations, upbringing and mental wellbeing.

Timothy Chang:
"You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people,"

You missed the one about killing children in a concentration camp.

(No, really. Back during Columbine at least one article accused Doom of being about just that.)

ResonanceSD:

Also, I want to know what kind of games this guy has been playing that rewards you for rape O_o' afaik, we don;t even allow them into the country.

guy talking out of his ass aside ... this ... where the hell is he getting rape from?

also, good to see he got verbally slapped by people that know what they're talking about before we got this bit of 'news'

I'm once again ashamed to live in Australia.
Just as we something right by adding an 18+ rating to game we get an uninformed douche blaming games for violence with less basis than ever before. So I'm thinking maybe just maybe that some of this violence could have something to do with the huge drinking culture in Australia that we still haven't adressed and refuse to. It seem far more likely that this asses argument. /rage
I'm just venting so don't twist your panties if you like a drink, I'm not pointing this at you, I'm pointing this at the government that points all the blame on one thing while never getting to real issues. (That may sound a little hypocritical)
Drinking was just an example.

You know, it's sad that the police commissioner blamed video games here, but on the bright side (and IMO it is really bright) we now have actual psychologists and doctors coming forward with solid evidence to defend video games in the mainstream.

teqrevisited:
He's right.

Only last week I woke up one morning and decided to go on a vicious killing spree armed with a 4 foot long purple sex toy and whilst dressed as a pink cartoon cat wearing a cape.

Well, we've all been there before.

Videogames are often targeted by political figures looking to justify social statistics

...
....

OMG how have I not seen this before. I have been blind O_o

Aussie police commissioner: Shit, crime ticked up a little bit. Quick! Find something to blame it on that old people will agree with!

Boudica:
Since when do video games reward rape? Lies and slander! *glove slap*

In before blaming an entire country for one guy.

My thoughts exactly. In fact, I'd go as far as to ask: When do you play a character who rapes someone else? Rape is one of those forbidden areas in video-games last time I checked.

Everyone knows knife fights are encouraged by stage performances like "West Side Story.".
They have a lot of that in Australia, right?

*sigh* THIS again.

there really isn't any need for discussion about these things now. Well, except for the part about Crocodile Dundee.

Video games being blamed for a rise in knife crime? I know I've read this one before.

http://www.gamesradar.com/the-top-7-most-insane-things-videogames-have-been-blamed-for/

Yep. Right there at number six.

teqrevisited:
He's right.

Only last week I woke up one morning and decided to go on a vicious killing spree armed with a 4 foot long purple sex toy and whilst dressed as a pink cartoon cat wearing a cape.

On the other hand, I spend about 90% of my time swinging around the city on a web beating up supercriminals, so maybe the undisputed fact all videogames cause teens to perfectly and exactly copy them isn't a bad thing.

(Will be when the deadpool game comes out though...)

((I have also decide to start calling you Edmund))

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