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CT Governor Blames Games For "Destigmatizing" Violence

I was wondering when my state would chime in. Didn't take long.

Politicians all around the country are coming out of the woodworks, leaping at the opportunity to blame video games for the recent Newtown school shooting tragedy. We've got politicians who want to tax violent games, for instance, and even President Barack Obama has called for more studies concerning the subject.

Now it's the turn of Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy, who criticized violent games for "destigmatizing" violence in the US. Malloy made the following statement during the winter meeting of the US Conference of Mayors over the weekend:

"If we spent as much time and energy on destigmatizing mental health treatment as we do in the proliferation of these video games that destigmatize violence, we as a society would make great gains."

Malloy went on to say that on the same day of the Newtown disaster, there were games in stores that would let people go into a school and "shoot 'em up." ...I must've missed that game, but all right. Questioned Malloy:

"Why do we do that? When we're willing to destigmatize violence and willing to bring it home to your living room or your den and put it on a 50-inch screen [and play games that award points for] when you hit someone with your semiautomatic and more points depending on how many times you hit someone with your semiautomatic, where is the social value in that? Is this the kind of thing we want to be involved in as a nation?"

In terms of desensitization, he of course has a point. But all our media does that; we're a society hell-bent on shocking and titillating to service the lowest common denominator. It's hardly unique to our industry, Mr. Malloy.

Tags: video games, violent games, state of connecticut, violence in gaming

1/20/2013 9:28:00 PM Ben Dutka

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Sunday, January 20, 2013 @ 10:37:13 PM

I would rather see the government try to help people with mental illness and legislate some sort of gun control (like, one gun only per family) than to blame violent video games. Still, it's the lazy thing to do.

I do have to say that there are WAY TOO MANY M Rated games out there. Back in 2004, the M Rated game was less frequent. In 2013, they are almost everywhere. Borderlands, Halo, Call Of Duty, Devil May Cry, Killzone, Resistance, Gears Of War, God Of War, Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, Resident Evil, Dead Island, Left 4 Dead and many, many PC franchises are M Rated. With all these games, I would relish a return to more family-friendly fare gaming of the E/E-10 vein. With all these M Rated games, these lazy politicians can blame it all on them instead of lazy parenting and poor identification of the mentally ill. Then again, it doesn't matter. Even in 1994, they tried to legislate and did nothing. It's just talk.

I just long to see more responsible parenting and a limit on how many guns you can own. Why did Nancy Lanza need 12 guns for anyway? These are the issues the government needs to address. Sadly, it's too much work for these politicians . I'm sure in 6 months, we will hear all about it again.

Last edited by n/a on 1/20/2013 10:40:37 PM

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:07:21 AM

Sorry to even go here, but I'll keep it brief: My family owns multiple guns. The different guns we have are different purposes, but in a nutshell, shotguns for bird hunting and rifles for deer hunting. My father has a handgun for personal protection in case of a break-in. With my father, my brothers, and myself as avid hunters, we each have our own guns, at least one shotgun and one rifle for each. Believe it or not, not one of us has used the any of the guns to murder a person, (even with all the ultra-violent games I have played in my years on Earth) and I hope that we would never need to even for protection. Why should we, and the millions of other law-abiding gun owners be punished because a woman didn't take the proper precautions to prevent her mentally-ill son from getting his hands on them?

To address the other issues you raised, the M-rated games exist due to simple economics. There is a demand for them, so the companies supply them to us. Most gamers fall in the 18 and older age groups, and those games are popular among them, so they are advertised more heavily and people in those age groups are more aware. There are still plenty of options for family-friendly gaming out there (I recently had a blast playing Mario Party 9 with my nieces, ages 11, 9 and 6) but responsibility lies with the parents to make sure their children play age-appropriate games.

As far as mental health goes, it's a much more complicated issue. Stigma is one thing, but there are other issues surrounding it. My mother is a mental health nurse, and she has worked for government funded projects that had their funding cut. She currently works for a privately owned company. Up until recently, they cared greatly for the quality of help that was provided, with weekly check-ups with patients. They were bought out by a different company, which is more concerned about saving time and money, and thus quality-of-care is dropping. She and the other nurses are very displeased with this new policy, but the company doesn't want to make changes. This is an issue that needs to be brought to light more, as better mental health care could reduce tragedies.

Last edited by 556pineapple on 1/21/2013 1:09:01 AM

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:32:36 AM

The good news for gun enthusiasts is that no new legislation would cause problems for folks like Pineapple getting their legal guns. The best part of the second amendment is the part that reads: "well regulated".

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 1:58:53 PM

She didn't have 12 guns. She had 4. Besides its none of your business how many guns a law abiding citizen owns. It's called The Bill of Rights. Not the Bill of Needs.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013 @ 11:29:41 PM

When was the last time video games gave you points?

I'm all for the further studies because no matter how many they do they can't find a legitimate link between media and violence. Desensitization sure, but that's not the same.

Go for the mental health angle and for God's sake bring back the long-term care facilities but going after first amendment rights isn't how America should handle these things, it should instead focus on ESRB education for parents and regulation for retailers.

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 7:48:51 AM

CoD online gives you points for kills doesn't it?

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:29:13 PM

I wouldn't know ;)

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:46:18 PM

Well thankfully I let you know. :) I think everyone online game that let's you kill you opponent gives your points. Just and FYI.

Last edited by DIsmael85 on 1/21/2013 4:46:47 PM

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 5:40:42 AM

According to experts, ignorant parents and politicians, apparently psycho people doesn't exist.
Because video games and other violent entertainment media turns a normal guy into a psycho.
Mother of........I'm doooomed!!!!!!!!! *sarcasm*

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 7:47:31 AM

To be fair I remember one of the Call of Duty games in which you did run through an abandoned school shooting folks. I think it was Modern Warfare 2 if I'm not mistaken, however, it was part of the terrain and the situation you were in. It had nothing to do with children. If anything the parents are to blame if their kids are allowed to play games that have an "M" rating slapped on them. Why not blame the parents for this? I'm still a firm believer that folks who want to bring harm to others, no matter which way they do it, are not mentally stable to begin with.

Last edited by DIsmael85 on 1/21/2013 7:48:05 AM

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 8:54:13 AM

Because parents are in the majority, and they VOTE. So it would potentially be political suicide to blame them. So let's blame something else. Video games? Why not? While we're at it, let's find other things to blame too.

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 5:13:30 PM

In the SP game of BF3, the one level in Tehran (before the earthquake hits) one of the characters mentions they're in a school (abandoned just like MW2). Now it's not a "western" school so it doesn't "look" like an American school (like the one in MW2 was).

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 10:52:39 AM

Its hardly unique to our time as well. Crime is going down, and I will say that on every one of these articles because that is the truth of the matter.

Terrible crap has, does, and will always happen but I don't think there is any relationship between games and real world violence.

When the generation who has been playing CoD from the age of 8 grows up we will really be able to see if there is a link, but I personally don't think we will find one.

And of course if we are going to point fingers lets point it at the education system instead of parents. If people were better educated and understood and lick of psychology they would know that you don't let young kids play this stuff and if you do, you talk with them and explain to them its not real etc.

It is the parents "fault" but a lot of parents just don't know any better because they aren't educated enough.

There should be child raising courses in schools that teach people how to raise a child and it should be mandatory.

Then the media should make an effort to have commercials for this stuff too.

Also kids should have to be active. Being physically active helps balance out all sorts of things in developing children, it helps them let off excess energy and it helps them develop cognitive function, and well in a nut shell everyone should be moving more.

These are the real problems, not video games. Good lord the more news I see on this the more I facepalm and wish I could go and debate these gentlemen, they seriously don't know what they are talking about.

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:32:56 PM

It's interesting how they point to the glorification of violence as one of the root causes, but what on earth is advertising if not glorification of a product? This is integral to the capitalist system. You can't have it both ways.

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:23:32 PM

All these guys need to go back and watch action movies from the 70's and 80's. Now there was some violence.

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 5:29:27 PM

Sure, it's totally media and especially video-games that infuenced the amount of massacres, rapes and pillages throughout all of history when video-games never existed.

No, it's simply everything people experience in society, and the situation that occurs for them to take advantage of.

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Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 10:24:07 PM

What Mr. Malloy and others like him need to understand is that the US is a mega industrialized WAR machine. Lets face it for most of the 20th century our prosperity was mostly due in part to the WAR economy it was built upon.
Video games have less to do with these violent acts than a 24 hour news cycle that promotes fear hatred paranoia to secure this weeks ratings.
Its society
ahem.. its our society and we live in a culture that is constantly told to be afraid.
This creates feelings of desperation in a lot of peoples lives.
I've always been scared of people who have nothing left to lose because they are capable of anything.
Who is to say that shooter didn't snap because
john boenner and obama couldn't agree to resolve the media super imposed "fiscal cliff?"
Mr/ Malloy blames video games
I blame his Congress.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 2:06:43 PM

I've come around on this. I have to agree with the Governer. In basic combat training they have you shoot at silloette targets and train with video game like simulators for a reason. It desensitizes the shooter. Playing Call of Duty or any other shooter is no different. I would even argue its more effective than paper targets. Now most sane people can play games like that and continue to live normal, healthy, sane lives. But insane people....I do believe these games can have disastrous results. That said, I will still stand firm with the 1st Amendment and defend a developers right to make violent content just as I will stand with the 2nd and the Bill of Rights in its entirety.

Those who sacrafice liberty for temporary security deserve neither.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 11:14:24 PM

video games are only around because it makes us into better soldiers. I'm sure if we dig deep into the earliest history and funding you'd find it primarily military orientated.

Whether it was destroying all the red and green blobs on Atari or infiltrating a kingpins hideout in Ghost Recon, video games hone all those soldier specific abilities inside us that would take much longer for a technophobe to develop on their own.
So video games are here to stay, violent ones aren't going anywhere.
It a matter of national security (or defense)
Think how useful we would all be if they reinstated the draft.
hell we might even have better insight and more battle ready than most of those taliban clowns, all thanks to a lifetime of playing video games.

"Those who sacrafice liberty for temporary security deserve neither."
kudos to that.
now we only have to rid ourselves of that bill that can label anyone a terrorist and strip them of their rights (patriot act)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 4:53:42 PM

Yes because playing countless hours of Call of Duty or Medal of Honor has turned me into the United States ultimate killing machine. I have the absolute and most complete combat experience over any actual military personnel. I am a pro because of video games....yeah don't see it.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013 @ 12:42:05 AM

Reading must be hard for you DIsmal. I didn't say it turns you into a killing machine simply that it desensitizes the user. FACT!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013 @ 12:13:31 AM

I dunno, hyperbole aside I didn't write that games make us superior to military personnel
I did write that we have more battle awareness and understanding than say some taliban jobber.
I bet you can understand how to successfully infiltrate an enemy compound, as well as having the ability to strategize and coordinate a sophisticated attack working with in a group.
Your reflexes and awareness are heightened and your eye-hand coordination is skilled at best.
I agree with you that nothing will replace actual combat experience, but [only based on what I've surmised above] it seems the typical gamer would possess the necessary faculties to become a valuable member of the united states armed forces.

Last edited by Amnesiac on 1/24/2013 12:14:54 AM

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