U.S. Senator Says Violent Games Are "Practice Simulators"

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U.S. Senator Says Violent Games Are "Practice Simulators"

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U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein says violent videogames give budding mass-murderers the opportunity to practice their craft.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is back in the news after saying on MSNBC's Morning Joe yesterday that violent videogames are essentially trainers for killers. "I think the really violent videogame becomes a kind of simulator to practice on. And it enables the individual to become much more familiar with that depiction of death and blood," she said. "Of course it's not the way it is in real life."

The comment builds upon statements she made last week during an address in San Francisco, where she issued a thinly-veiled threat that the U.S. government might move to mandate a reduction of guns in videogames if the industry doesn't do so itself. It also follows not too far behind a March report that police officers investigating the Sandy Hook massacre believe the shooter was a "deranged gamer" who was trying to rack up points for a "score sheet."

If the term "murder simulator" rings a bell, it's likely because it was a favorite term of Jack Thompson, the former attorney who was once reviled as a strident, fanatical opponent of violent videogames. But while Thompson was disbarred in 2008, Feinstein is a popular Senator, winning her most recent election campaign in a landslide with more than 62 percent of the vote and setting a record for the most votes cast for a single candidate in one election.

Source: GameSpot

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Tell me miss Feinstein, were you always this shortsighted/desperate for attention or did you have to train by playing videogames?

What this another "aging" out of touch with modern times senator? Shocking!

In related news; US Senator turns out to be a complete moron.

shocking no one.

Birds fly, fish swim, politicians hate violent videogames....

"I think the really violent videogame becomes a kind of simulator to practice on. And it enables the individual to become much more familiar with that depiction of death and blood," and "Of course it's not the way it is in real life."

Am I the only one who thinks these two statements seem to conflict each other? Am I reading this wrong or misunderstanding what she's trying to say, or did she just contradict herself?

Guys, you have nothing to worry about in my opinion, in terms of legislation against video games. In this case, EA and Activision are your best friends. No way they would stand for it. Not to mention gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry now, and we all know the USA is most definitely a corporate state. So, make sure the minority of people that say this drivel don't get away with it, but also keep calm. No way it happens.

Damn old'uns today, don't remember they were born! *waggles candy cane*

Oh yay.

Another day, another daft statement from a politician about video games.

Meh just old and out of touch like most of our country's lawmakers.

Andy Chalk:
Feinstein is a popular Senator, winning her most recent election campaign in a landslide with more than 62 percent of the vote and setting a record for the most votes cast for a single candidate in one election.

Hope she enjoyed it, cuz she just lost a lot of votes

This ain't the 80's; gaming isn't a niche thing anymore. Remember Colleen Lachowicz? Her political opponent criticized her for playing WoW. He lost, hard. (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120540-World-of-Warcraft-Candidate-Wins-Election)

Maybe I'm too optimistic after seeing that & things like the SOPA outrage, but I'd like to think our community remembers things like this; then again, she's a senator from California & they also elected Leland Yee, so who knows

Edit:

mattttherman3:
Guys, you have nothing to worry about in my opinion, in terms of legislation against video games. In this case, EA and Activision are your best friends. No way they would stand for it. Not to mention gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry now, and we all know the USA is most definitely a corporate state. So, make sure the minority of people that say this drivel don't get away with it, but also keep calm. No way it happens.

This is true. Thanks, I feel a bit better now :)

Really?
Another one who thinks games can be used as a simulator for using guns?

I vote they put everyone who thinks so into an institution. Both the politicians and the ones who would try to use it like that.

Also... Am I the only one who thinks she looks like professor Umbridge?

I dunno...I shot some real guns when I was in the army, and I've played a few games with guns in them (even worked on a few!). I wouldn't consider them comparable experiences. At all.

I wouldn't worry about anything. As soon as video game companies start giving buckets of cash to liberals like Feinstein and doing everything they can to push that agenda (like the movie and music industries), we'll start hearing about how all these same politicians play Call of Duty in their spare time.

Can we please just start a movement so that nobody who has ever been involved in politics ever gets to be elected again? Most of them are complete morons, and the equally stupid masses will continue to vote for the familiar name 80% of the time.

I would feel better if we just had randomly selected people picked up off the street and forced to serve to two years...

Except Hippies.

Never Hippies...

If video games should be restricted why not restrict other training tools like the hundreds of hunting preserves, shooting ranges, classes on gun handling, etc. that exist in the U.S.?

Because the vast majority of people who use those things aren't mass-murderers in training? Because they employ lots of people? and those two points aren't applicable to video games as well?

Mhmm. Okay. Right. I see where she's coming from, but the problem is that where she's coming from is some bizarre alternate reality where teens don't have sex until they marry, children only play with letter blocks, and the internet is a bunch of poppycock that could never work and could only lead to 'bad things'.

I'd like to visit one day just out of sheer amazement but sadly we don't have a Holly Hop drive or any other similar device.

Is this just a Yank thing? I swear I've never heard British politics going on about games like this. Or is the focus of american politics on damning games just misrepresented on this site because every time anyone comes out with an offhand comment its posted as news?

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No games on Sundays.

Games teach me as much about using a real gun as they teach me about fractional integration, that is, not at all. Can we please make it law that these people can only discuss matters that they are actually informed upon, or at the very least, make them play a game, any game, and ask them if they genuinely feel moving some analogue sticks and pressing buttons have taught them anything at all about guns, general weaponry, and war.

It is not an American thing, it is an idiot thing. They happen to be all over the world, we just have a bad habit of electing them into office.

Then I guess we shouldn't worry about feeding the growing population in the future, what with all these farming experts trained in Farmville.

Hot damn, I'm pro at Theme Hospital. I should go open a hospital, make some money.

Maybe if senators were force to retire before 50 we'd be led by people more in touch with reality and life.

Andy Chalk:
"Of course it's not the way it is in real life."

Think she says it all, really.

Damn son, after all that time playing Pokemon, I'm gone to bust into her house with trained animals I found in the wild and challenge her to a battle she can't refuse, because we locked eyes!

Arnoxthe1:
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No games on Sundays.

Wow, it's gone to shoot free games through the fire place!

Rogue 09:
Can we please just start a movement so that nobody who has ever been involved in politics ever gets to be elected again? Most of them are complete morons, and the equally stupid masses will continue to vote for the familiar name 80% of the time.

I would feel better if we just had randomly selected people picked up off the street and forced to serve to two years...

Except Hippies.

Never Hippies...

Yeah, problem with that is that most of the hippies back then are the people in power now.

You know if there was a law against stupidity passed first things would move along much quicker.

"First Amendment rights protection! Come at me bro!" ~Violent Videogames.

I'm just going to post this video every time a politician starts talking about how bad fake guns are while we haven't passed any sort of laws to fix up our loophole-filled, poorly enforced gun laws.

ah, short sighted, behind the curve morons in office ....

and people wonder why i think we should fire every one currently holding office, ban them from running again, ever, and start over with people who are retards stuck in the past

Jaden Kazega:
Birds fly, fish swim, politicians hate violent videogames....

"I think the really violent videogame becomes a kind of simulator to practice on. And it enables the individual to become much more familiar with that depiction of death and blood," and "Of course it's not the way it is in real life."

Am I the only one who thinks these two statements seem to conflict each other? Am I reading this wrong or misunderstanding what she's trying to say, or did she just contradict herself?

It's coherant to me, she's pretty much trying to say that the games help people become better killers and encourage them to kill, even if the games themselves are not entirely accurate to the reality. The arguement being one of mental preparation more than anything.

The anti-game groups have long been argueing that while playing a shooter might not actually enable you to shoot a real gun well, they help you get into the mindset to want to go out and kill a lot of people, as well as perhaps helping you pick up some basic knowlege of tactics, entry, etc... over a period of time. Especially when dealing with games that have received consultation from real military/police authorities in terms of the tactics and situations. Where they tend to hide guys in some games for "ambush scenes" is where real people would try and bushwhack you from when you enter a room or whatever for example, so your by default learning to check the expected places when you enter a room playing a video game.

Basically in playing a game you'll become more able to inflict violence mentally, and thus when you decide to go buy a gun and practice, and then go on a murder rampage, be more effective. Not to mention the idea that if you had never become entranced by the idea playing video games you probably never would have done it anyway.

It's overall a load of crap actually, and almost exactly like arguements made about a lot of other media that took it's turn as being the "boogie man". The same basic arguement applied to say rock music, which by having anti-social and violent messages it encouraged listeners to get into that mindset, so they would be more likely to learn how to do real violence and become criminals and murderers. You can add movies, comics, and tons of other things to that list.

I'll also say that what games teach you isn't anything you couldn't pick up from reading some tactics manuals or survivalist/military training tapes from gun shops and military surplus stores and the like. Of course there has been a long-standing effort to try and eradicate those things as well, it's just not at the forefront of the media right now.

At the end of the day it's just more of the same, the issue will go on until they find another boogie man. Right now by harping on video games it gives the politicians something to talk about and pretend they are taking action while they try and avoid any kind of strong action on things like immigration, or actually cracking down on the elements of society doing violence (gangs, terrorists, etc...) as they all come with touchy issues and any position in any direction that could potentially be effective or make a differance comes with enough enemies and opposition to be tantamount to political suicide.

In closing, the biggest problem I have with game critics, and what makes them seem paticularly idiotic, is that they tend to be a lot too broad in their accusations because they have little idea what they are talking about. In general I think their problem is mostly in response to realistic/tactical military shooters, things like say "Call Of Duty" and their ilk. To be honest it would be nice if they narrowed their focus to those games, because at least that can be considered fairly reasonable in connection to what they are talking about. Railing about violent video games in general means that they are also talking about things like "Star Wars", "Star Trek", and other types of utter fantasy games. The amount of RL skill, even from a mental perspective, gained from playing something like "Mechwarrior Online" is pretty much non-existant, and the game is plenty violent in an absolute sense.

I still do not agree with them, but to be honest, they would probably seem a bit more sane if they refined their focus.

"Yes, watching something over and over again can make you forget the difference between fantasy and reality. For instance, sometimes I mistake Morning Joe's for a news show." - Stephen Colbert

It's all true. Everyone knows that Tiger Woods practises his swing in Tiger Wood's PGA Tour 2013, Metallica tune their guitars in Guitar Hero when warming up for a gig and every NFL team runs drills in Madden NFL. I bet John Wilkes Booth played Assassin's Creed to train as well.

My entire mid to early highschool was spent playing GTA and CoD, and I almost fainted when I sliced the side of my finger while pairing an orange. I'm totally a sociopathic killer, obviously, desensitized to blood... yeah right.

Grammar Nazi that I am, I can't help notice that the term "practice simulator" is completely redundant. It means a simulator in which you rehearse....practicing itself. You practice the art of practising. You sit down at your computer and repeatedly do the same thing over and over, and that thing is....practising. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?! It's like an infinite loop where you repeatedly do something over and over, and that thing is repeatedly doing something over and over and that thing is repeatedly doing something over and over and that thing is repeatedly doing something over and over and that thing is repeatedly doing something over and over and that thing is repeatedly doing something over and over and

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*Deep breath*

It's fine. I'm OK now. Just gimme a minute here.

Isn't violent crimes at an world history low? Why would millions of people "train" themselves to kill others, when they have no reason to? People usually commit murder, theft, rape etc on the basis of lacking decent living standards.

Spend money on education, health care and infrastructure, instead of wasting it on anti-game laws, anti-gun laws and such. That way our society can truly continue to become less violent.

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