Ban or Censor Video Games, Not Guns?

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Foxfyre, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    NOTE: Clean debate zone thread here. . . .

    This morning I was listening to a concept put out by a military psychologist who suggests that it is not guns that are the problem in a 'violent America', but rather the changed American culture. Violent concepts are prevalent in our television programs, movies, comic books, music, and most especially in video games that are available in large quantities to very young children.

    His theory is that this is desensitizing young people to violence and even exalting and promoting it.

    Are video games conditioning kids to accept violence as virtue? As the way to get things accomplished? To win? To reach the pinnacle of success? In many/most of video games out there, it is necessary to be ruthless in order to win the game. Does this change the way people view their world in an unhealthy way?

    If you do see this as a problem, how do you get around censorship as being somehow better than gun control? Do you want the government to have power in that area?

    Or is there a way for the public/radio/Hollywood to self censor itself as it once did? And should we push for that?

    Or maybe you don't see it as a problem at all?
     
  2. AmyNation
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    AmyNation Road Warrior Supporting Member

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    Ban guns
    Ban Hollywood violence
    Ban antidepressants


    It's all the same blame game.
     
  3. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    He's right, it's a changed American culture. It just doesn't have anything to do with video games. It's a culture of entitlement and imagined rights. It's the transformation of freedom into license. Sadism is now just another form of having fun. There is now a form of crime that includes dousing the victim with flammable liquid and setting them on fire. The perpetrators didn't learn this in video games. They learned this by doing the same thing to dogs and cats as "fun" and getting away with it.

    In the past, it used to be comic books, television cowboy shows, it was kids playing cops and robbers, cowboys and indians. It was flag football and games of tag. None of it was ever true. When you have a population raised from infancy without morals, without a sense of right and wrong, where good and evil are equal and completely without the ability to make judgments, you will get the culture we have with or without video games.
     
  4. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    Personally speaking, I don't that computer games are as much to blame as is commonly made out. I think these children and young adults crave something that's being systematically stripped away from Western society: traditionalism.

    It’s interesting to me, and keep in mind I am largely unfamiliar with the gaming world being from the Pong and Space Invaders generation, that the games I seem to hear about most are either first-person shoot 'em up games, representing a chance to vent against dehumanized humans, or fantasy worlds decorated generously with traditionalist themes – hierarchy, rites of passage, heroism, monarchy, holy or elite orders, priest and warrior castes, and the existence of extra-material worlds and beings. Some of the biggest franchises in the video gaming industry, HALO and The Elder Scrolls being two that I am aware of, are overflowing with the traditional.

    Video games companies aren't transforming these avid young gamers into throne and alter types, they're simply exposing them for the throne and alter types they already are (without any real world thrones or altars to kneel before).

    Am I making sense here?
     
  5. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Not only did that pyschiatrist make me ponder this topic, but also a contentuous exchange between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones the other night on CNN, followed by an analysis in this video:


     
  6. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    To Amy, Katz, and Swagger, all pertinent observations.

    But don't you think people can be desensitized to what they would otherwise deem unacceptable. You see it in boxers--they have no problem inflicting as much pain and suffering as possible upon their opponent when most of us would recoil at the idea of striking somebody. Military types become unaffected by the mayhem they inflict on the enemy or even some of the collateral damage done in the heat of battle.

    Wouldn't it follow that constant exposure to people doing violence to other people necessary to win a game could change the psyche of the most vulnerable to the point they would use violence in order to feel like the hero in the game?
     
  7. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    I like to play video games, although they are a little to sophisticated for me today. I've played some of the older Elder Scrolls games. Even the most shoot em up of shoot em up games are really games of strategy. The end is always the triumph of good over evil. Like Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings. They have a definite story line and goal. It's more like being an interactive character in a good movie than simply a game.
     
  8. AmyNation
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    AmyNation Road Warrior Supporting Member

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    Let's say I agree with the premise that video games desensitize the young and promote violence.

    Now what?


    Now that we've all agreed "what's bad" you move to ban them for the good of the public?
     
  9. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I LOVE video games. One of my favorites is a Microsoft Big and Huge games called "Rise of Nations". Though there is one format that allows you to take a purely defensive posture, the most fun goal is to bring your country forward from a very primitive time to the modern age and conquer enough or all of the rest of the world to win.

    So first rattle out of the box you have to attack other countries though you do focus on their military installations and armies. But your defenses automatically attack any non military citizens they see too if those citizens aren't our own.

    The thing in the game that most bothers me is a limitation on the population each country is allowed to acquire. So when I get to the point that I am at the population max and need more military types, I can identify my 'idle' citizens and eliminate them. Hit the zap button and they scream and die.

    And that bothers me though not enough to not play the game. You do wonder if it somehow programs a vulnerable and perhaps unstable young mind though. And my game is way WAY less violent and graphic than most of them out there now.
     
  10. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    I certainly don't think that a game can desensitize anyone to violence. Getting away with acts of violence is worse than video games. It was the "desensitization" to violence that stopped games of tag and dodgeball. It didn't help. Young people still got away with sadistic acts in the name of having fun. Boxers have no problem inflicting pain on another boxer because it is a sport with definite rules. They are not enemy combatants. Outside of the ring, they are usually friends.

    In times past when men went to war it wasn't nice and neat like it is now. It was swords and axes, spears and battlefield gutting. It didn't turn the men who went to war into murderous madmen intent on repeating their acts against their neighbors and families. Such insanity wouldn't be permitted, someone who did that would soon find themselves at the end of a rope or drawn and quartered without endless appeals.
     

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