PS3 News: Former FBI Profiler, PTC President Tackle Violent Game Debate - PS3 News

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Former FBI Profiler, PTC President Tackle Violent Game Debate

It's a hot topic and after a slew of politicians pointed accusatory fingers at video games, professionals have started to get involved.

During a new Face The Nation episode, former FBI senior profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole said she does not believe video games cause violence, although they are indeed one of the "risk variables." Said O'Toole:

"It's my experience that video games do not cause violence. However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently. And my experience has been [that] individuals who are already contemplating acting out in a violent way, if they are also emerged 24/7 in violent videos, to the exclusion of other activities, and they're isolated, and they're actually using these videos as planning or collateral evidence in terms of how to do it better, what equipment to buy, how to select the victims, how to approach the crime scene. If their use is educational materials for the offender to do the crime better, that's what we take into consideration."

O'Toole added that while she doesn't see violent games as direct causes of real-world violence, they can be viewed as "sources of fueling ideation that's already there." Parents Television Council president Tim Winter agreed that games all by their lonesome don't cause violence, although he did argue that the industry needs to do more to educate parents.

"It's not just a parent's obligation. I think the industry has to have a responsibility. When you have a video game that allows a player to shoot a police officer, walk up to that police officer and urinate on him, douse him with gasoline and set him on fire, and listen to him scream as he burns to death. What kind of sticker do you put on the box to warn a parent about that?"

Woah...what the hell game was that? I love these examples, I really do. You're right, Mr. Winter, it's not merely a parent's obligation. But the ESRB fulfilled their obligation almost 20 years ago by putting ratings on games. And by the way, those ratings are awfully detailed these days, and every single game has a rating and an explanation for that rating. So how exactly is it the industry's responsibility to force a parent to read?

I mean, just wondering.

Tags: gaming industry, video games, violent games, violence

2/25/2013 9:35:13 PM Ben Dutka

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Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:19:05 PM

I'm all for an educational campaign so long as it contains the truth and not outright propaganda. Let's face it parents probably don't even know about those ratings that are right there on the box.

Also they need to be very careful with their studies when trying to figure out what media not meant for a certain audience does to that audience. As any profiler can tell you, most adolescents quite literally profile as psychopaths because of the biological changes they are undergoing.

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Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:52:06 PM

I remember when music was attacked for causing kids to commit suicide and that type of thing. Once something becomes big someone somewhere has to tarnish it somehow. Even with the most inacurate facts. Sad when people are so bored they have to make themsevles feel like they are appart of something. Imagine the drama that will come with the ps4 facebook style online. People need to grow up and learn to be happy. Drama isn't everything and theres plenty of things to keep your self pre-occupied rather than just full out starting problems that don't need to be started. This whole "video game caused that tragedy" thing annoys me so much because its the people who push it, knowing its all a lie.

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Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:04:15 PM

Look up House majority leader Eric Cantor (R) and his false claims about government waste concerning World of Warcraft. It's just sad at this point.

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Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:10:26 PM

Glad to see someone sane.

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Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:23:20 PM

She makes an interesting point, that people who are prone to committing violent offences are generally isolated and immerse themselves in games 24/7 (mentally disturbed by the sounds of it), they also use these games as a form of education to commit these crimes.

That is interesting, so one could assume that the intent to commit the crime comes before playing violent games, and they use the violent games as training of a sorts.

It's interesting, but does not put ANY of the fault of games. You don't ban butchers because someone who commited murder was a butcher.

Last edited by Akuma_ on 2/25/2013 11:23:59 PM

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:24:02 AM

That game Ben, is Postal 2. You can pretty much whatever you want, heck you can go and kill Gary Coleman then pee on his corpse. So yup, those games exist.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:58:29 AM

Like you said Ben the esrb fufilled that obligation. This one is on the parents. The mature rating is spelled out bluntly as well. The parent just needs to read. There are plenty of responsible parents, even on this website that are able to comprehend this. Its not a hard thing to figure out.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:16:43 AM

i doubt it'll help, maby the esrb rating on the front of the game case
could be a little bigger?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 5:07:34 PM

I dislike PTC because last time I was checking out their website they would prefer everything to be family friendly though they say otherwise.

Im more inclined to listen to the FBI profiler on this issue. I just don't see entertainment being the sole reason a person commits violence.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 6:15:32 PM

Wow, what the heck game is he describing?! lol I've never heard of it!

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