Violent Video Games: Good or Bad For Society?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Oxygen, Sep 20, 2000.

  1. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    Certain video games which were briefly termed "Murder Simulators" , usually the first-person shoot 'em ups, have been blamed as a contributing factor in youth violence. In the Columbine High tragedy, the press never failed to mention the video games that the punks who did the shooting were into playing. They couldn't run the story without going out of there way to mention the games.

    Also in the news, but only for one night and for little more than a video clip, was a story about an inner-city LAN party set up to give the deprived kids and gang-bangers a taste of a different life, a virtual world that they had only heard about other enjoying. The game "Half-Life", a notoriously realistic shoot 'em up, was set up, and the gang members almost immediately teamed up and began blowing the crap out of each other. They vented anger and frustration at each other as though they were out in the streets. After the anger subsided, the fun began. A hall that had been filled with swearing and tension gave way to the laughter of a good game of Steal the Flag. Afterwards, the youths said that it was fun because they knew they could "kill" someone in the virtual world, but that in reality he was really still alive and nobody was in trouble and nobody was left crying. Unfortunately, there was not enough funding to keep the LAN party going and the vioence returned, but to lower levels as the kids realized that in the real world, you don't just respawn somewhere else on the map.

    So, do first-person shoot 'em ups do good by most people, or are they a menace?
     
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  3. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    IMHO:
    I guess its the same as violence on TV. To any well adjusted "healthy" mind its just abit of fun, recreation, a release if you like of our primal instincts to hunt and survive (well maybe more for males) and in general not a problem. However there are always going to be people who need some guidence in the way they absorb what is being presented to them...

    Both good and bad just depends on the mind "absorbing" it...same could be said about many many things like hmmmm the bible for example.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I'm of the opinion that FPS video games simply exist. They do nothing. If a person of any age is unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality, we must wonder why. Rather, we're entitled to wonder why.

    But it's like anything else ... you have to choose to shoot someone in reality. You have to choose to have a problem with something, and choose to settle it with a gun.

    When we look at youth ... I mean, one of the reasons I enjoy FPS is because I've never been a violent person. My folks brought me up to stand up for myself, but I can't recall an occasion on which my parents accepted my reasons for standing up for myself, so there again, we're back to questions of conflict resolution.

    I point out a recent school violence case we had in Washington. A 6 y/o boy brings a loaded pistol to school. When caught with the gun and asked why he has it, he says, "To shoot Ellie in the face." Ellie is a 5 year-old girl he knows on the playground. Apparently, he and Ellie had disagreed about something the day before.

    The kicker is that when the authorities investigating this situation show up at the residence, it's a crack den. Freebases and guns all over the place, bulletholes in the walls. I'm willing to bet that no video game our young gunman ever played, no song or television show, or soldier doll had as much to do with why he brought a gun to school as the fact that guns are the first solution in the adult world around him.

    But playing Half-Life and such has not made me more violent; playing Wolfenstein 3-D and Duke Nukem didn't do it when I was a little younger. When I was about half my present age, no amount of Miami Vice could do it. Sure, my brother and I took to pro wrestling for awhile, but we figured out right away how to do it without hurting ourselves frequently or badly, and even until we were 18 or 19 we still enjoyed throwing each other around the basement.

    We must choose to be violent. It is far too easy for parents and parenting advocacy groups to place the blame on the violent products they allow their children to use.

    Soapbox, soapbox ... I sure wish my laundry was this interesting.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  7. patriotSTORM Registered Senior Member

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    The US Marines use (or used) a modified version of Doom to supplement training (ie: desensitize troops to killing)

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    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who' if we wins' knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid sould who know neither victory nor defeat."
    -"The Man in the Arena"
     
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I thought I'd mention that the Army, once upon a time, used a modified version of the arcade came Battle Zone to train tank crews.

    I do not recall, however, that the Chinese ever used Atari's Pong in any way.

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    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  9. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    Arcade games based on combat training equipment really isn't that new. In Santa Cruz in the older part of the Boardwalk down at the arcade there used to be this game based on the Norden Bomb Sight. You were bombing military targets (you lost points for hitting villages and towns). The whole apparatus was based on the bomb-dropping method that, at the time the game was built (1942), was top secret and so highly classified that it only became de-classified within the last decade. There were other "games" that were really combat simulators when you thought about them, including one that had you manning a "30 caliber machine gun" and shooting at abstract targets that would zoom by. This game was also circa 1942. Were they just innocent amusements caught up in the times, or were the kids of the Greatest Generation* being trained without their knowing it?

    *(Greatest Generation is a tag given to that generation that grew up in the Great Depression and served in WW2 by more than a few authors.)

    [This message has been edited by Oxygen (edited September 22, 2000).]
     
  10. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I think that violence is part of human nature. These games exploit that part of our nature, as do most contact sports. I think the Violent Video Games are both good and bad: they serve as an emotional release for desires which have no other source of expression; however, the violence is produced in an artificial environment which has no physical or emotional consequence as it does in life.

    What would be the repercussion if I was to write a game called "Hate Crime?" Would tiassa want to play it? <img src = "http://www.exosci.com/ubb/icons/icon10.gif">

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    [This message has been edited by Bowser (edited September 24, 2000).]
     
  11. dexter ROOT Registered Senior Member

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    i think of it as virtual tag.....

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  12. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    "i think of it as virtual tag....."

    Virtual Tag would never sell on the retail shelves. You need to combat something and you need an objective in order for a game to be entertaining...no, in order for a game to be fun. That's the dark side of human nature, a left-over from our past. ...Domesticated maybe, but still animal. <img src = "http://www.exosci.com/ubb/icons/icon12.gif">

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  13. htr44 Registered Member

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    personaly i think if someone comits a crime or whatever u wanna call it from playing a video game there just plain crazy or using it as an excuse to get away with one, but thats just my opinoin

    video games kick ass
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Bowser--

    One of the things I loved about Half-Life was that I wasn't shooting at fat little Nintendo-Mario characters.

    Tell ya what, Bowser, if it gets you off to shoot at people in a video game 'cuz they're black or gay or Jewish or whatnot, go for it. Just play your stereo real loud so the neighbors don't hear you yelling, "Take that, you filthy Nigger!"

    That would have to be one hell of a video game.

    Although I did love the game where I was an LAPD Cop and went around solving weird crimes. Anyway, it was, actually, easier to shoot a suspect who appeared to be a minority. The game designers had enough of a sense of humor to allow you that liberty.

    If I ever remember the name of it, I'll pass it along. You'd probably get a kick out of it.

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    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  15. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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  16. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    One day at work we had encountered the workday from hell. All of our customers seemed to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. We all tried to maintain a professional bearing, even the guy we call "Bad Attitude". When the day finished, the boss told me to print up papers with the names of every customer we had dealt with that day. We copied a stack for each employee, then we had a company party down at the local shooting range where we used the papers as targets. We filled the bays with gunsmoke. The following morning, many customers apologized for having been so rude the previous day. One even asked us how we could remain so pleasant after all the trouble. "Shoot," I said. "It was a hot day and everybody was just a little trigger happy." The boss cracked up laughing and the customers never knew why.

    Now that we have games like Half Life and such, we don't have to go to the range. We can shoot our virtual customers and still make money off the real ones. Plus we can drink beer while we're doing it.
     
  17. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I haven't down loaded these, but it might interest you.

    http://hatewatch.org/software.html

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    [This message has been edited by Bowser (edited October 09, 2000).]
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Bowser--

    None of the capsule-summaries appealed to my taste. Let me know how you like 'em.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  19. Weaver Registered Member

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    Who can tell? The video games seem too much like training simulations for eye to hand coordination, and who is to say wars will not be fought over the World wide web? We have the programs, so why not just use it?
    To me violent video games are a relief from stress, I go to college full time, work part time (soon to be full time) and volunteer at my old high school to train Jrotc cadets. I have absolutely no time to myself except for maybe an hour or two before I go to bed. The video games help a lot. If it werent for them, I would have probably been in a bell tower somewhere.... who knows? All I know is that if you can descern between role-play, and real life. Then you have absolutely no problem...
     
  20. crazy2623 Registered Member

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    I think that all you people talking about how violence in Video Games and Television are stupid! Kids grow up to be violent because they weren't treated correctly by their family. Using Video Games and movies as an excuse is bull, I play Video Games with violence all the time and im not a violent person so stop being paraniod parents.
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The direction of causation is very difficult here. The question is: do violent games make people violent, or do violent people tend to play violent games?

    I think that if you are predisposed to violence, violent games are one expression for that predisposition. But I doubt that violent games make you a violent person.

    Personally, I loved <i>Half Life</i>. I played my way through <i>Doom II</i> to the end. The granddaddy of FPS, <i>Wolfenstein 3D</i> was a lot of fun at the time. I have not had any kind of physical confrontation with anybody since <i>Wolf 3D</i> was published, so I don't think violent games have had a big effect on me.

    As a side thought, I personally don't see any point in those boxing/martial arts/wrestling games where there's just two guys in a ring belting each other. Without a plot of some kind, it just seems like gratuitous violence to me.
     
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I totally do not believe violent video games cause people to be violent. I have been playing FPS sence I was 8! Now if you tell me that video game have made me violent then I will just have to... HUNT YOU DOWN AND PULL OUT YOUR SPIN AND FEED ON YOUR FLUIDS!!! According to Oxygen you will not respawn after this? I hope for your sack this is not true.
     
  23. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    This is absolutely untrue. The marines experimented with a modified version of doom to teach squad coordination and movement. It had nothing to do with desensitizing anyone.
     

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