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Another school shooting, and another call to ban violent computer games

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe....ap/index.html
One politician even says their distribution should be punished like child pornography.
I'm not into computer games at all, although my nephews, and many of my students, are, and I really wonder if the connection some politicians are making isn't a bit far-fetched. Most of these school shooters are teenaged boys. Don't most teenaged boys play such games? They certainly aren't all going around shooting classmates and teachers. One "expert" on TV here claimed that the games, because of the "active participation", are far more dangerous than violent films or TV shows.
What do you think?
post #2 of 16
You know, if we just banned schools, we wouldn't have any more school shootings.

Might as well propose that, as there is about as much cause and effect between being in school and teen boys playing video games and the school shootings.
post #3 of 16
I'm far from an expert on such matters, and not a fan of these games, either, but I do think laying the blame for such events at their door is a bit far-fetched. There are lots of kids who play these games and don't get messed up like the school shooters, so it can't be totally the fault of the games.

Like any other entertainment medium, they have the potential to influence the kids who play them, but I think the crux of the matter is not the computer games -- or videos or movies or TV or whatever -- but the fact that so many parents these days allow these things to "babysit" their kids, and expect the school to do the parenting. If those parents were more involved in their kids' lives, took time to notice what the kids were watching/playing, engaged them in discussion, etc, I think the kids would learn to process these experiences, and their feelings in general, in a more responsible manner.

And would that stop the school shootings? Who knows? I'd like to think that those kids who are at risk for developing in that (or similar) direction might be recognized in time to get them help that would head that off. I know -- dream on. But merely eliminating an entertainment form that for most is harmless seems a little pointless.
post #4 of 16
The issue I have is that there IS a rating system that goes along with these games that ISN'T inforced. M= Mature, similar to the way a rated R movie isn't for anyone under the age of 17.

The games that people are talking about are also $50.00 and up. Add in the cost of a system (anywhere from $200-$600) and a TV you are looking at having well over a thousand dollars with of equiment for kids to play with. Now, I don't know any 16 year old that has THAT kind of money. Who buys it for them? Their parents. Who should be looking at the box to make sure the game is approprate for them? The parents.

I'm going to break it down like this. Would any parent let their 12 year old watch the movie Scarface? No. Then why would you let a 12 year old play Grand Theft Auto? The two of them are in the same catagory.

With the average age of a "gamer" being 30, the content of the games is going to mature with the audience. It's really a matter of paying attention to what is on the box.
post #5 of 16
if anyone should have, been out gunning down other people it would be me and my friends. When i was 15 i was running around cutting up my best friends with chainsaws in doom. but guess what, non of us ever killed anyone. Sure we got into alot of fights, but guess what we are Males, that is what we do when young and dumb.

stuff like this is just more liberal bull, trying to place blame on something, other then on the person that did it. the goverment and bleeding hearts need to keep there nose out.

hmm, i wonder how many books they got banned this week. after all thinking is bad for people also, leads to all type of anti social actions
post #6 of 16
I don't remember as many school shootings happening years ago.
Does anyone have a plausible explanation for the increase?
post #7 of 16
them cause, todays mass media reports them, From all over the world. there are stories of other kids doing it. from years ago. This is like saying serial killers are new, they are not, until the last 20 years or so people could just move from place to place and kill and never get caught.

kid gets pushed around, kid gets sick of it and fights back,lack of support of the family of course is going to make this higher chance.

i remember reading once, where a kid got mad at losing a game, and he then killed the other one, and the comment at the time was this kid was going to make a great viking some day..like i said, been going on for a long time
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
them cause, todays mass media reports them, From all over the world. there are stories of other kids doing it. from years ago. This is like saying serial killers are new, they are not, until the last 20 years or so people could just move from place to place and kill and never get caught.

kid gets pushed around, kid gets sick of it and fights back,lack of support of the family of course is going to make this higher chance.

i remember reading once, where a kid got mad at losing a game, and he then killed the other one, and the comment at the time was this kid was going to make a great viking some day..like i said, been going on for a long time
And I think it's got a lot to do with mental illness still being a stigma. For some reason society has taught their young people that if your are mentally ill you can't be a productive member of society.
post #9 of 16
There's a certain psychology behind violent video games and they can have opposite effects. I forget the terms, but:

Some people (i.e. myself) are actually calmed by virtually gunning down a bunch of people and kicking the crap out of someone etc. I am more or less someone that "invents" swear words...but I feel mentally better after letting all my anger out on a video game.

Others are said to be stimulated by video games...to the point that if they experience enough virtual violence, they'll turn around an beat on their little brother or sister, pretending to be the character they played and whatnot.

So I can't blame video games 100%. Or TV and movies 100%.

What I can agree with though is what Chris Rock had said (as seen in Farenheit 9/11): They should raise the price of bullets to be $5000 a pop. Then it'll be a lot harder for children to gain access to bullets and guns.
post #10 of 16
Sadly, there is no way we can ever find out how many shootings were PREVENTED by video games, by giving a raging teen a place to vent his emotions, shooting and blowing up stuff in a video game.
post #11 of 16
I think individuals are influenced by different things. Long story short - some people should not watch TV or violent video games because they are easily influenced... some people shouldn't watch movies or even commercials ablut drugs because they are tempted... some people shouldn't drink alcohol... some people shouldn't eat meat. We are all different.
post #12 of 16
As someone else who greatly enjoys violent video games (and who has yet to brutally murder anyone IRL), I find the notion that we should ban violent games ridiculous. Once again, god forbid we should take responsibility for our own actions and for those of our children -- let's just take away the temptation or the inspiration, and never mind teaching our children the difference between fantasy and reality, or right and wrong. It's so much easier just to get rid of what we think is the source of the problem, instead of looking for what actually is the source of the problem: inattentive and/or absent parents, a lax judicial system, a general lack of caring on the part of society, and the media's need to blow everything out of proportion in order to sell the news.

It's always one thing or another, though, right? When Dungeons and Dragons came out, people were up in arms because it caused kids to "hallucinate" and act out their fantasies (did anyone read the book Mazes and Monsters, or see the movie with a very young Tom Hanks?). Marilyn Manson made those two kids shoot up the school in Columbine. Goth culture makes kids murder their parents. American Psycho made Paul Bernardo and Karla Holmolka rape and murder innocent teenage girls. Wait -- you know what? I play D&D, I listen to Marilyn Manson, I was a goth in high school, and I've read American Psycho and seen the movie with Christian Bale. The same can be said for a large number of my close personal friends. Like I said, I haven't murdered anyone, and neither have my friends (y'know, to the best of my knowledge). People who are inspired to kill because of violent video games or goth culture or loud music or graphically violent movies have other problems that are only exacerbated by the things they hear and see. If they didn't get the idea from one of those things, they'd find the inspiration somewhere else -- like the evening news.
post #13 of 16
Perhaps this is more an issue of gun control?

I think that maybe for some people who have violent tendencies that playing violent games for hours everyday, it might push them over the edge into acting them out.
I have to agree with lookingglass, the parents really need to be more active in what their kids are playing and make sure games are age appropriate.
post #14 of 16
I say put a rating system on games if they haven't already done it and if it is a violent game do not allow kids to play it, but it is parents responsibility as well.
post #15 of 16
There already is a rating system on games; however, any adult can purchase any video game, regardless of who they're buying it for. If an adult wants to buy an extremely graphically violent, foul-mouthed, sexually-explicit video game and then give it to their children, the rating system serves no purpose whatsoever. And many stores ignore the rating system entirely in favour of making a profit, and sell the games to underaged children. It's about as effective as having an age restriction on cigarettes or alcohol (less, actually, because to the best of my knowledge it's not actually illegal to sell the games to underaged children, and it's almost certainly not enforced if it is illegal). Rules are only as effective as the people who observe them.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazycatlover View Post
I say put a rating system on games if they haven't already done it and if it is a violent game do not allow kids to play it, but it is parents responsibility as well.
There is a rating system for games. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterta...e_Rating_Board
It isn't enforced by stores or parents so it's rather useless. People have also said that they find it confusing, but I have no idea why.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the stickers that are put on the games.
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