Texas Juvenile Probation Chief Blames Games, Rap Music For Youth Violence

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Texas Juvenile Probation Chief Blames Games, Rap Music For Youth Violence

Mortal Kombat Fatality

The Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of Tom Green County in Texas says rap music and video games are to blame for the rise in violent behavior among today's kids and young adults.

Violent crime in the United States has declined rather dramatically since the early 1990s, a span of time that just so happens to coincide with the mainstreaming of video games. Did the 1993 release of Doom finally teach us the error of our ways? I don't want to confuse correlation with causation, but facts are facts, and the U.S. is a less murderous nation than it was 25 years ago.

But Mark Williams, the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of Tom Green County in Texas, isn't about to let facts get in the way of his narrative. In an address to the San Angelo Rotary Club last week, Williams spoke out about the malaise that has gripped the current generation of youth and what he believes is responsible for it.

He touched upon the challenges faced by single, young mothers and the problem of broken homes, which deprive children of proper role models as they're growing up. That leaves them susceptible to the influence of modern culture and its obsession with sex and violence, which are particularly prevalent in rap music and video games.

Games, in fact, have surpassed rap music as the primary threat to the hearts and minds of today's youth. "Rap music used to be the subject of my soapbox speech until I found out what's in today's video games," Williams said. "In my position I think I know what's happening in the minds of our youth, and then I get exposed to more things reaching them and it just blows me away."

Williams said that while adults today may look back fondly on games like "Mario Brothers Double Dash" or Legend of Zelda, modern "shooter" games are desensitizing kids to the dangers of sex and violence. He even went so far as to compare them to actual drugs. "As the body becomes physiologically accustomed to a little lift from a gateway drug, the person graduates to harder drugs," Williams said, "I see video games as something where once the thrill of playing a video game is gone, what's the next step?"

Williams mentioned four specific games in his speech that he said are "wildly popular" with youth and also especially dangerous: Mortal Kombat, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Postal 2 and Grand Theft Auto V. He also warned people in attendance that Postal 3 is coming out "in a few weeks," despite the fact that it actually launched in late 2011. And he dismissed studies showing that playing violent video games does not translate into violent behavior in the real world.

"There's a juvenile case headed through our local courts right now. The defense lawyer's argument is based upon the fact that the kid was unduly influenced by violent video games," he claimed. Of course, rather like the launch of Postal 3, that particular defense strategy isn't exactly news either.

Source: San Angelo Live

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Old people say what?

...I have no follow up to that, that was the joke. Same old wafflenuggets saying the same old waffle to the same old audience.

I guess someone is stuck on the early 90's and just came out of his cave, trying to sound current.

I mean, I hate rap music, but listening to it doesn't make me want to murder something... unless it's from 50 Cent or Kanye West, making me murder something for how terrible they are.

The endless cycle of Video Game blame.
This is less surprising than EA being nominated for Worst Company again.

Tom Green County, you say? That was unexpectedly interesting when placed side-by-side with what the C.J.P.O. of T.G.C. said. I hope he doesn't see the printer scene from Office Space, then...he's liable to have a heart attack.

I love how quickly they forget that they said the same thing about rock and roll, and before that it was jazz. We're always looking for an excuse that allows us to not admit to bad parenting.

86% of the 7 Americans we polled in the nursing home next door said video games cause violence. How could they possibly be wrong? STATISTICSLOL

Andy Chalk:

He touched upon the challenges faced by single, young mothers and the problem of broken homes, which deprive children of proper role models as they're growing up. That leaves them susceptible to the influence of modern culture and its obsession with sex and violence, which are particularly prevalent in rap music and video games.

Did anyone else catch this? Perhaps you should find a way to fix the home, or get the mother help, or do something about the actual cause. He literally pointed out that he thinks these kids already have problems before video games and rap music, yet he doesn't bother with those. Because God forbid you hold the parents responsible for raising their kids. You think these games cause problems? Fine. Don't let your kid play them. His entire argument just went out the window with me when he acknowledged that there's a base problem but he refuses to touch it.

How many times has this site alone done the "so and so think games cause violence" story 'cos fuck me, it's almost a monthly thing! What next? "an 86 year old former plumber in a retirement home thinks these vidja games are satanic!".

Come on now, some out of touch old guy thinks the latest scapegoat for why the youth of today are fucked up, are things that have been around 40 or so years? What game where they playing when a war was being started every 5 minutes? IRL risk? Age of empires? Total annihilation: kingdoms?

Like his opinion matters, just like most peoples, it doesn't.

So does the right to bear arms now extend to: pistols, rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, and thermonuclear-flying blue turtle shells? Cause I'm pretty sure that 'Mario Brothers double dash' (<--da FUCK?) has caused more than it's fair share of violence with that little tragedy.

And what the hell is with that list of 'wildly popular' games? by the time each subsequent game in the list was released, the one before it would have fallen out of the 'wildly popular' category.

I really wish that one republican had not been forced out of public eye; I mean the one that said "we have to stop being the stupid party!" he was one of the few that actually knew that things were going wrong.

I have no expertise in this area, yet because I'm on an internet forum, I shall pretend I do anyways.

Yeah, I don't think so. I think this is a case of someone thinking correlation=causation when it in fact, doesn't.

It doesn't matter what decade it is, there will always be dumb people blaming everything on things they don't understand. That's what being a social conservative means. If you're socially conservative you're basically announcing to the world that you don't understand that the world is constantly changing and you're making no effort to adapt to those changes. Instead, you live in your bubble, thinking that things should be the way they were when you were growing up.

Jitterbugging and Ragtime music are going to ruin the youth of America, I say! It's outrageous that our children can go to dance halls and listen to immoral music like

and dance to it! Ban this sick filth!

Reminds me of when Elvis and the Beatles were gonna cause satanic cults to spring up in every neighborhood. Every generation has something that's gonna cause things to get evil. Rap, rock and roll, video games, movies, same accusations different era.

"I see video games as something where once the thrill of playing a video game is gone, what's the next step?"

After too many games that seek to overload the senses, then I turn to more subtle and sublime games.

Then after I get tired of sightseeing, I get back into the fray.

Heck really good games contain elements of both, one can begin some action packed battle or just walk around explore and chill out. The Fallout series or the Elder Scrolls series for example.

Oh and personally, I don't think videogames increases the probability of committing violence. But perhaps it might affect one's thought processes towards conflict resolution or willingness to compromise.

Mortal Kombat, Modern Warfare 2, and Postal 2 are popular with youth today? Really? Aside from all the other dumb shit he said, where did he get these three games from? Mortal Kombat is from '92, I really doubt it's all that big among the kids these days, the CoD masses moved on from MW2 4 years ago, and I don't remember Postal 2 even being very popular when it first came out. I'll give him GTAV, I guess.

Fun fact: the WALTZ was once seen as a dance so scandalous that it could only be done in brothels. Why? Because the bodies of the dancers were being pressed too close together. The point of this little fact? I'm sure you can all see it yourself.

what a pointless, small minded douche. whatever, i quit paying these people much attention. their generation is slowly checking out, and their opinions won't matter much longer.

*sigh* right...sure you don't want to add Marilyn Manson to that as well? Good grief.

Everytime I hear one of these stories that song from South Part pops into my head (http://youtu.be/bOR38552MJA?t=1m22s
Then I think about all the other tragedies that have occurred and figure what video game could have possibly sparked them. What game had the retired cop watched before he killed the other man in the movie theater for text messaging? What about that guy that shot his wife? The lady that drove into the sea with her minivan? Arguments like this seem to have a singular purpose; explain why we don't understand why younger people do anything. Rather than say we've lost touch or don't know what youngsters think. They're doing things because of outside influences beyond our control.

Headline: "Out of touch old guy doesn't understand sociology or statistics." The only newsworthy thing here is how he still has his job after loudly declaring himself unfit.

Let's not blame bad parents. They vote!

I've been playing video games since I was five. I played Doom and Duke Nukem 3D when they were new. Mortal Kombat? Played loads of that when it came out. Played dozens of light-gun games in the arcades, back when arcades weren't as rare as hen's teeth. My FPS killcount probably exceeds the population of your average first-world nation.

And I've never so much as been in a fistfight. The thought of actually killing another human being in any but the most dire circumstances makes me sick. I'm a firearms aficionado, but I also understand that a gun is a terribly dangerous and imprecise tool that must be respected, not idolized. I guess that my mother (who was, by the way, a single mother) must've raised me right.

RJ Dalton:
I love how quickly they forget that they said the same thing about rock and roll, and before that it was jazz. We're always looking for an excuse that allows us to not admit to bad parenting.

That's not what the guy in the article said. He stated that children, Already at risk thanks to lousy parenting by single moms, gravitate towards these games and types of music, which influences them to become more aggressive and anti-social.
Let's face it, there has always been a seedy side to Jazz, Rock 'n Roll, and Rap, and an unhealthily violent side to some comic books, movies, and video games.
The greatest problem is that people have been desensitized to the earlier genres and media, and the latter ones are now simply more extreme (and they will eventually be eclipsed by future media that decides to go further).

Oh look, another Jack Thompson wannabe. Christ man, if anything video games have molded me into a better person by showing me what happens when you just resort to violence all the time and teaching me that occasionally the good guys are not the good guys they think they are.

So, it's come to this. We're getting spitballed by the low-hanging fruits of justice. Really, what's next? The head janitor of the supreme court? The man in charge of polishing Arnold Schwarzenegger's biceps? McCain's doctor?

TEXAS

I'm sorry, but this is TEXAS.

The state that's trying to BAN science, in favor of magic.

So, yeah...nothing new here.

Please join the line to the grave you old backwards fuck. Getting real tired of ya stupid shit. Lets give every man, woman a child a gun and a bible to protect themselves from these dastardly video games, corrupting our society of inbred rednecks. Stereotypical view of Texas is stereotypical.

Oh rap music, it has been too long since you've been used as a scapegoat. How've you been? You bitches and hos doing alright? And I must say, you're looking fabulous in those low hanging jeans!

He also warned people in attendance that Postal 3 is coming out "in a few weeks," despite the fact that it actually launched in late 2011.

That is probably all you need to hear from him before you just walk away.

I kinda wish that the story of 1984 was a reality, because then I could get my social revolution on. Make me feel like a rebel, instead of some schmoe that's thinking of replaying Dead Space for the Platinum trophy.

Old man, you can't even get your facts straight. Why the hell do you think anyone is supposed to take you seriously? Stop complaining about scary new things you won't even take the time to do your research on.

we had a guy like that up here, he was promptly fired when a few of us wrote the governor. God I love living in a small state, politicians fear you here:)

But Andy, you Already shown us the FBI disagrees.

not to mention the whole mountain of other authorities http://www.theesa.com/policy/violence_argument.asp

Of course. Because an absolute lack of discipline in today's youths couldn't possibly have anything to do with it.

He mentions "shooter" games but nothing about the fact that there where over 800 murders in 2010 involving a gun and a gun ownership in the state of 35%.

Games have gone up, crimes have gone down. No conclusive research supporting his viewpoint. He's backwards and doesn't know how the real world works. Get with the times. Why isn't everyone a criminal then? Blah blah, yadda yadda, blah blah.

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