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Okay, One Last Time, Politicians: Some Games Aren't For Kids

Typically, I'm one of the most laid-back people on earth. I have long since accepted that rampant ignorance and even stupidity can and indeed does exist even at the highest levels of our political infrastructure. And once you accept that, you can just sort of shrug and go, "Yeah, well, what else is new?"

But this recent Sandy Hook mess is making me livid.

I knew the politicians and other authority figures would find a way to point the finger at video games. It was inevitable. Nobody is content with the depressingly simple explanation that the evil individual in question was just plain broken. Problem is, that doesn't make people feel any better because there's not much you can do about people who are born broken. But it happens and we just can't deal with that; we need to point the finger and assign blame.

In short, we need a scapegoat. I knew gaming wouldn't avoid some backlash but even then, I could never have conceived that those who are, supposedly, our representatives, could be this far out of touch. Furthermore, I had no idea they could be that ignorant and still be willing to put that ignorance on display for all the world to see. I'd be so horribly embarrassed to say what these people are saying, especially after learning the truth of the matter. I'd have to issue a public apology for being lazy and terribly ill-informed. I'd be humiliated and would be hesitant to show my face in public for quite some time.

But these people obviously don't have the humiliation gene. It's the only explanation. US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is now on the record saying that games "play a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that." She was talking about possible legislation options for video games, and of course, they're noting that Sandy Hook murderer Adam Lanza is now being called a "deranged gamer." Why? He had a game console. Oh yes. That's like finding a DVD player in a psycho's room and saying he was a violent film addict.

So one last time, politicians and anybody else who cares to listen:

Violent games, especially those that depict a lot of shooting and a lot of death, are not designed for "young people." They're not made for kids, they're not marketed to kids, and the ESRB always states very explicitly that kids shouldn't be playing them.

Pray tell, what more is there to do? Oh wait, I've got it- How's about all these embarrassingly out-of-touch lawmakers realize that this isn't 1985 and not all video games for kids? Oh, but see, that would actually require some research. And when we need to point the finger, even the most blatant facts and truisms fall by the wayside. It makes me physically ill.

Tags: violent games, violent video games, violent game debate

4/5/2013 10:01:36 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 05, 2013 @ 10:30:09 PM
Reply

I was pretty upset this morning watching Morning Joe where the resident idiot Joe Scarborough himself went on a rant about how this guy probably locked himself in his room and played video games 5 hours a day and we need to lay some blame at the feet of the entertainment industry instead of the NRA stranglehold over gun legislation.

Listen folks, I'm not against guns or the second amendment at all but why should guns and violence stop being portrayed in adult entertainment while everyone else is happy to flood the streets with the actual weapons? Should we really fear the pretend world instead of what's happening in the real world?

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Lemon_Saint
Friday, April 05, 2013 @ 10:40:07 PM
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Next time a teen rapes another on a college campus I'll be sure to point to their adult film collection and call them a "chronic masturbator". The plot lines in these movies show you that EVERYONE is easy:

- see that girl bending over for that box of Capn' Crunch on the lower shelf ... she wants you

- That guy over there changing the oil of that LeBaron ... just wait, soon his shirt'll be off to mop up love juice.

- That grandmother over there ... wha? NO, nothing! She's my gram-gram, you perv!

As you have stated Ben, everyone is just looking for a scapegoat. Like Tipper Gore in the 80's during her crusade against 2 Live Crew and all "filth" in music, or when Dungeons & Dragons was recruiting kids into the Satanic clutches of Alister Crowley and his Necromantic Romancers, (heh), people look for any reason to blame that which they do not understand.

Unfortunately, gaming still hasn't shaken the stigma brought to it in the early arcade days as a hobby for miscreants and reprobates of society.

Last edited by Lemon_Saint on 4/5/2013 10:43:12 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 05, 2013 @ 10:48:34 PM

The scary part is that these witch hunts are capable of creating hysteria that can damage anyone, for instance in the case of the West Memphis Three people were so willing to believe in satanic ritual murder(which also surrounded Dungeons and Dragons)they put 3 innocent kids in jail for a very long time basically because they had long hair and didn't play sports.

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Lemon_Saint
Friday, April 05, 2013 @ 11:04:15 PM

I closely followed the West Memphis Three case, (I actually own both Paradise Lost documentaries as the proceeds benefitted the legal fees for those kids). It still pisses me off when I think of what they went through just because they didn't fit into the cookie-cutter, homogenized existence of their community.

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Temjin001
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 12:31:56 AM
Reply

The deranged gamer label is totally ridiculous.

anyway, I pretty much agree that most M-rated games advertise towards adults but I think Microsoft blurs those boundaries and may make the games are still for kids identity more pronounced. Games like Halo and Gears definetly get teen directed advertising. I made a trip to a Wal-mart right around the new Gears launched. The sort of imagery and end cap promos and stuff had a very teen-like appeal. I understand Halo isn't nearly as 'mature' as Gears but regardless these games get the M rating and these games I'm sure just drive some metric up somewhere showing that lots and lots of minors are playing M rated gory games.

Which all of this is really besides the point because the correlation between M-rated content and deranged psychopaths is totally retarded. Attacking games for these unthinkable acts of public violence goes way, way beyond entertainment media consumption. Representatives pushing this issue I'm sure would like nothing more than to enforce a 'violent game tax' through regulations. This way the government can get something from all of this fluff.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/6/2013 12:32:15 AM

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Cesar_ser_4
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 12:52:59 AM
Reply

I still say we gamers take this up against the ESRB as it is one of their own. Once we put the blame on the ESRB just like they're putting the blame on us maybe then they will understand.

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KingRed
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 5:16:55 AM

All got to say is Huh?
ESRB is the industry rating agency for games and apps. It's run by the game industry and supported by it. So I have no clue what you mean by " I still say we gamers take this up against the ESRB as it is one of their own. "

Last edited by KingRed on 4/6/2013 6:22:48 AM

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Kratoskillall09
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 2:02:36 AM
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When will this end? I get so sick and tired of hearing about out of touch politicians talk about making laws against video games. At what point does it just become redundant? So now they want to legislate how violent games should be. Do they not realize there's guidelines put in place for parents who buy they're kid's video games? This just screams 1st Amendment issues. I'll go to D.C. myself if I've got to, to try and talk some sense into these people. This woman is nearly 80. What right does she have to say anything about something she clearly misunderstands. Stop going after the video game industry. Concentrate on getting this country financially stable. Trust me I highly doubt legislating video game violence will help this country at all. Its just a waste of money.

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Amnesiac
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 2:35:40 AM
Reply

Is it me or was anyone else really hoping that officials would come out with new information that showed the deranged shooter spent all his time listening to Kenny Chesney and watching south beach tow?

Instead because they find a game console now all videogames should be held responsible.
yknow
I hate how certain events like this tragedy only end up elevating those lying hypocritcal politicians who otherwise would have been a very tiny and insignificant voice attempting to be heard in a loud crowded room

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___________
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 2:47:30 AM
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never ceases to amaze me how f*cking stupid and lazy parents are these days!
had to piss myself laughing at work today this lady rang up complaining about the late fees we charged her.
her excuse was they were late because her kids decided to use them as skates around the kitchen floor and that badly scratched them so our "useless" machines could not read them and accept the return.
right, so your so incompetent you cant control your own kids, and its OUR fault!?
then she has the hide to start swearing at us! yea right good luck with that sweet heart.
oh well, serves her right.
people need to learn their a$$ some responsibility!
no, seriously, people should be forced to keep locks around their waists till they pass a 4 year course proving they can be proper parents!

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Amnesiac
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 2:56:58 PM

I know where your coming from on that.
(I spent a great deal of my working life in customer service)

In my managerial experience I noticed people will use yelling and shouting if it will get them to have their way.. Policies be dammed.
Its also used as a device to get you to crumble
-as though the mere situation of someone losing their temper and being unreasonable in someway is valid enough to get them what they want.

It might have something to do with that customer is always right thing.
I didn't read that book
and I don't subscribe to that idea.

I feel grown adults using childrens tactics only serves as a bad example for the children who watch their parents.

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Nas Is Like
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 3:14:38 AM
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How ironic, that the people that are supposed to be running our country/ies are getting more and more stupid.

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Knightzane
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 10:15:55 AM
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When something happens that can be explained, someone will always find a way to make it a much deeper issue than what it really is. It can't ever be what it appears to be, but instead it HAS to be something completely over the top.

Theres always a "source" of an issue, it can never be that the guy is insane. If you look back at some of the most notorious murders of the early 1700's and up, could you imagine if video games had existed then? Back in those days they had nothing else to blame so they didn't. Now there's more than enough for people to point fingers at and they will.

What really amazes me is how the dumbest and most ignorant of people get to be our leaders while the wisest and the most selfless people have a hard time finding a job.

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Twistedfloyd
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 1:51:45 PM
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The ignorance in this country is absolutely absurd. The world for that matter. The fact that this guy played video games has nothing to do with the fact that he went on a shooting rampage. Titles are clearly rated E-M.

Some people are disturbed. Flat out. Some of it has to do with nature, some of it has to do with nurture, but there's not one factor that leads to it. I've played violent video games for years, and do I have any inkling to go on a shooting rampage? No. I despise guns. I'm not a fan of violence.

I like violence in games/movies/TV when it advances the story and serves a purpose, or in a silly game/movie/TV show that's fun and pulpy. But that doesn't translate to real life with me in any way.

So for any politician that thinks that video games, movies or television translates directly to violence, you are completely over reacting and are ignorant. As Ben said, do some damn research and stop being so quick to blame things that you don't understand.

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 5:53:15 PM
Reply

what i don't get, why are'nt video game publishers/developers speaking up,
or maby they're just not screaming loud enough?

it seems to come down to us gammers to defend what we love.

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Jed
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 8:27:12 PM
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I'd really like to see his gaming system and what games he played. I remember when Columbine happened they were talking about how the kids played Doom.

You don't hear any mention of what games Lanza played, you just hear that he
had a game console. If they found Modern Warfare, Gears of War, or any of the other wildly popular violent games at his place the press would be all over the game makers.

But you don't hear that. Just boneheaded theories from uninformed jackasses.

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Rogueagent01
Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 11:25:21 PM
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It is the same as the War on Drugs or the newer War on Guns, both costs an absurd amount of money and net pretty much zero results. They have done studies over the years that show there is still just as many drugs on the streets as there were prior to the War on Drugs, so thanks Nancy for wasting trillions of dollars to keep us in the same exact spot.

Look at Conneticut they actually think by passing a law banning assault weapons, clip sizes, and instituting background checks is going to stop these situations from happening. What F*****g world do you live in? When a crazy psychologically deranged person decides it is time then nothing is going to stop them. Oh no he can't by his weapon from Walmart, no matter Bobby down the street has one I'll just buy his and funny thing Bobby doesn't require a background check.

I am also not saying legalize everthing or hand out assault rifles with extended clips to everyone, but when someone wants to cause devastation NOTHING can stop them, it is as simple as that! If you think otherwise then I truly suggest getting the proper education to become an elected official as they always need more morons.

If "any" of the accusations against games were true this would be a ridiculously bloody world, however when you take into account the 7 +billion people and how few names you can say that have commited these kinds of crimes that is evidence enough to show that games, drugs, and guns are not the responsible parties, those reamrkably few individuals are solely responsible for there actions.
Obviously whatever set them off is not prevelant within society or else these kinds of crimes would happen everyday amongst all of society. Funny thing though most serial killers are white males, now how is that possible if games, guns, sex, or drugs are what cause these situations to happen? Shouldn't we have a near equal amount of serial killers amongst the different races and cultures? I didn't realize that games, sex, drugs, and guns were a white persons thing.

Politicians always look for things like this as it makes them seem like an appropriate candidate, because god forbid they actually show there true qualifications which are nothing but a couple pieces of paper saying they went to a college just to come out less educated.

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ChloeAngelCat
Monday, April 08, 2013 @ 5:05:17 PM
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I Swear politicians are to chicken beep to blame on the lazy parents who don't do their job right on raising their children and politicians ignore that gunman was grown adult men he knew right from wrong and that he was unstable and his mother took him to shooting ranges with her and ignore her son mental health and that she let her sons have easy access to her guns and has ever been proven the gunman was gamer? and I'm not talking about were he only for hour or so.

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Ather
Monday, April 08, 2013 @ 5:27:03 PM
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I love their plan to spend more money (that we don't have) on a subject studied so many times before. Yes, it was the lack of money that couldn't link video games to real life violence. Not the fact that reality doesn't work that way.

No wonder our economy crumbled. We keep spending money we don't have on things we don't need.

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Widow Maker
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 6:45:25 PM
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Seeing the game industry grow all the way back to Pong to today's awesome gaming consoles has inevitably (and hopefully continue to do so) catered to more than just one genre of gaming experiences. Quite frankly, I'm an American, of lawful age, if I want a game that smears blood six ways to Sunday in an number of horrid fashions, then, that is MY choice. I don't require a nanny system to govern what I can and cannot play. If it's up to them it's all teletubbies or some other random nauseating eventless game that will never sell more than 100 copies.

The gaming industry is HUGE, I am unsure just why the programmers, the console manufacturers, the gaming community as a whole haven't spoken out en masse. The gaming industry produces billions of dollars of sales worldwide if not just here in the states. There is muscle there, huge muscle, and loads of cash that seems to be what D.C. listens to anymore, there is more than enough to buy off politicians and leave us be.

My current view is this, it's a GAME, number one, a game, fictitious in every sense of the word, and may or may not be based in any type of actual events. If all it takes is a GAME to push this nut case or that fruitcake over the edge to start killing unarmed people, they weren't TOO far from the edge to begin with.It's like saying Ozzy Ozbourne's Suicide Solution caused a bunch of angst ridden teens in the 80's to kill themselves. Nope, I don't buy that. Obviously, people who SHOULD be paying attention to said nut case, i.e. mom and dad or whomever, is not up to the job of putting their foot down.

Furthermore, having the politicians in D.C. come to the gaming manufacturers or the gaming community about gun violence in the streets from video games is like having Hot Wheels or Matchbox show up for car safety crash tests, there is no point, except the finger they use to point at whatever industry they feel is either responsible or contributed to the issue at hand as opposed to pointing the finger at the one nut job, fruitcake, whacko, that actually did the deed.

The failures are their own, the politicians, in not holding those accountable for the atrocities these weirdos commit. No matter how hard you try, nor how many laws you pass, you just can't regulate crazy. Rather than identifying the individual with these odd issues (sitting in a corner drooling on one's toes is USUALLY an obvious sign) and treating that, as opposed to treating those of us responsible enough to keep our kids away from these types of games; that is the true failure here. You can't regulate crazy, you can't regulate intent. Point blank.

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oldguy
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 8:38:25 PM
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You think they don't know that some games aren't meant for kids?

That doesn't mean kids don't play them. Your average 12 year old isn't going to say, "Oh, callofduty is rated M for mature, I guess I'll wait till I'm 17."

When you can't stop the kids from playing them, the next thing you can do is stop the games period. I don't agree with this, but you provided no arguments besides trash-talking politicians. Okay, they're not aimed towards kids, so what? that doesn't mean it has no effect on them.

And no one is "born broken". everyone's a product of their environment.

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Rogueagent01
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 @ 1:58:57 PM

"And no one is "born broken". everyone's a product of their environment."

Tell that to a child who is born with their brain exposed, or kids born with any number of mental/physical deficiencies. Wow! If you believe that then you are truely on your way to becoming the next Senator of the state of your choice.

And so sorry that you can't see the problem there also lays with the parents. No since parents can't be bothered with their responsibilities we should just ban anything that could have an adverse affect on kids.

"brandonctl 2016" I can see it already.

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