PS3 News: Dear Senator Feinstein: So, Gamers Can't Distinguish Reality? - PS3 News

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Dear Senator Feinstein: So, Gamers Can't Distinguish Reality?

At some point, wouldn't you just want to stop talking? Wouldn't you be afraid of being perceived as woefully out-of-touch and just plain ignorant?

Obviously, politicians have no such hangups.

Last week, California senator Dianne Feinstein said that violent games "play a very negative role" in the development of young people, never once acknowledging that violent games aren't even made for "young people." We tried to explain this in detail but let's face it, no video game journalist will ever get on MSNBC, and Feinstein will. It's convenient that we're never allowed to defend ourselves, isn't it?

And now, Feinstein is as it again, saying that violent games are enablers for potential mass murderers:

"I think the really violent video game becomes a kind of simulator to practice on. And it enables the individual to become much more familiar with that depiction of death and blood. Of course it's not the way it is in real life."

You're kidding. Really? It's not that way in real life? And pressing buttons on a controller turns perfectly stable individuals into murderers in training? I just have so much to learn. And by the way, that last line is a gross implication that gamers are all brainwashed addicts who actually mistake virtual worlds for reality. That, on top of the fact that once again, violent video games are not meant to be played by children.

But of course, everyone over the age of 40 still thinks all video games are for kids. They also likely believe that if you're not a kid and you're playing games, there's something wrong with you. ...these people are our representatives. How freakin' scary is that?

Tags: violent games, violent game debate, violence in games, dianne feinstein

4/11/2013 9:45:09 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Norrin Radd
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 10:34:04 PM
Reply

People are always eager to fear and blame things they don't understand. Senators included.

I also think this issue, like many others throughout time, is generational. In 60 years people will look back at now (and this issue) and be stunned at all the ignorance surrounding it.

Last edited by Norrin Radd on 4/11/2013 10:36:13 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 11:06:05 PM

That is if we can ever get these old farts to leave office, I'm convinced they plan to live and rule forever. Their government health care keeps them alive forever.

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booze925
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 10:36:16 PM
Reply

Diane Fienstein. A quarter of the I.Q. of the average human, yet makes triple the amount of money they will ever make.

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Nas Is Like
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 10:37:03 PM
Reply

Old female politician who knows literally NOTHING about games, is commenting on an issue she knows NOTHING about.

Piss off, lady.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 11:00:06 PM
Reply

That's it, as a PSXE contributor I'm going to try to get on MSNBC.

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Nas Is Like
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 11:48:26 PM

Represent us and the truth. Someone needs to bring logic into this argument sometime soon.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:07:12 AM

I just sent a respectful but strongly worded letter to Lawrence O'donnell on the matter, who I watch regularly, telling him I'd be happy to speak up for the side of the debate which has been left out of the debate. He's one who might be open to the idea. I don't expect much of a response if any, but I'll keep pressing them all.

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touchyourtoes
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:17:23 AM

If I lived in the USA I would fully back you in this, sadly I think your only hope is to become a politician to be heard at all.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 8:26:11 AM

yeah it'll never happen but I'm so tired of gamers and game developers being verbally abused and those people just being allowed to go completely unchallenged!

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gumbi
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 10:36:19 AM

Good luck World. We need a voice, but we need a respectful, objective, and mature voice if we are to defend ourselves and our pass-time for what it is. I think you could bring that :)

Of course, the knee jerk reaction is to lash back at these idiots. But we're dealing with politicians. Savvy and silver tongued, these people have built careers on their ability to convince and manipulate others. Gotta keep cool.

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xenris
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 10:38:14 AM

I would back you 100% man. Just make sure that if it does happen you don't let anyone bully you into saying something you don't mean. Make sure everything you say is 100% fact and then sprinkle some anecdotal stuff in there for good measure.

Heck most people who see me write about this stuff hear know my Dad is a psychologist and he is an old guy, 60+ years old, and even he knows that games don't turn you into a murdering psychopath. Obviously when he talks about the matter it is much more complex but in a nut shell everyone here is pretty much spot on. Playing a game is not going to turn a healthy individual into a killer, plain and simple.

The only thing that has been shown is that in some people videogames can cause aggressive behaviour but not necessarily physical, and usually it is minor stuff, like the person just becomes more edgy. Personally I can relate to this but it is ONLY if I play a competitive game like a shooter, or Dota 2 or something where I'm facing off against another human.

But still is that really limited to only video games? How many people here played sports and when they lost they were in a sour mood for a while?

Anyway, hopefully you get heard man that would be great :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:20:31 AM

Well it's a pipe dream but let's say somebody actually bit and wanted to chat, I'd brush up on my numbers and names but the basic message is the same in that the facts and studies are on our side and most of what is being said is just made up opinions without any basis. As some of you know I'm a political junkie myself so I know how they work.

Xenris as far as real negative effects, yes violent games can be trouble for young developing minds (like any media) and I stress the word "can" but of course we know about the ratings board and regulations and they don't.

For adults the affects of aggression from violent games is indeed real, and is also right along the lines of other forms of media wherein those affects simply dissipate after a brief period of time. But your dad probably knows all about that.

Sick of some folks talking as if gaming is like radiation poisoning where it just keeps building up in you until you go nuts.

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Amnesiac
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:55:17 AM

If you were to have that conversation a good counterpoint to effects of video games on kids would be most
Looney Toons cartoon (fantasy violence,sexually suggestive themes,advocating murder,sexual assault to name a few)

as well as Three Stooges
that simulate REAL Violence in a Real Situation.

How many kids growing up in the '30's and '40s were found guilty of killing their friends by bashing w/ a frying pan or clobbering with a flat iron across the skull?

oh I get it its been indoctrinated into our society and gets a free pass.


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Metal Head
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:10:54 AM
Reply

Politicians are the only people who can lie,cheat,steal,and still keep their job. I grew up listening to metal and never have touch drugs. Been playing games and watching horror movies since 4 and have never try to imitate what I see.

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BTNwarrior
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:19:35 AM
Reply

Sounds alot like "Rock and Roll is the devils music!"

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Amnesiac
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:22:50 AM
Reply

No wonder why she has so much hostility
The closet thing she ever had to a video game was the ole' ball and cup.
-and she wasn't very good at it either.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 2:40:12 AM
Reply

The only time I fear this kind of ignorance in goverment is when the rest of the goverment starts believing this type of propaganda. We have all seen, heard, or read ignorant statements from almost every politcian, but it normally disappears just as fast as it appeared. Luckily looking at her picture we don't have to worry about her ignorance much longer, I just hope whoever replaces her isn't as out of touch with society(though that is a pipe dream)as she is.

I've saidit before and I'll keep saying it, if games had these kinds of effects on people no one would ever leave their house. This is propaganda, nothing more.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 9:52:23 AM

She has been around for ages and isn't going anywhere, she's pretty popular with the democrats too because she spearheads the assault weapons ban. Clearly she sees games as a weapon too.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 10:40:38 AM

Sorry if I was unclear I didn't mean she would be voted out or leave office, I was referring more to her age and that she doesn't have much time left in life. I just didn't want to come off too callous.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:21:09 AM

lol okay, yeah maybe she will kick off. It's the ornery ones that live the longest though.

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Cesar_ser_4
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 3:31:19 AM
Reply

Ben aren't you extremely close to hitting 40? hehehe anyway, Then why do they think the ESRB is for? just for putting black and white letters on the corners of videogame covers? Why must our hobby get blamed for mediocre parenting? I suggest we take these guys through an online match on xbox live and see for themselves the amount of spoiled little chipmunks that plague the most violent videogames. She may have a point there but its just because of bad parenting. The kind that lets their 10 yr old play call of duty, or halo, or gears of war, I'm not blaming Xbox for this but it is unfortunately the platform of choice for little brats to play online. Christ I can't make sense of anything today...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 9:53:07 AM

I don't think they know what the ESRB is.

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Ultima
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 2:22:55 PM

I'm not even sure I would label is a case of "mediocre parenting". There's that involved, of course, but if some nut goes and shoots up a bunch of people with assault weapons, usually it has little to do with the parenting of the individual and more to do with the individual's mental health or lack thereof. I'd say lack of proper mental health care and culture are a bigger culprits - after all, nothing is wrong with going to the doctor if you're sick, but if your go to see a psychiatrist/psychologist, you're considered "crazy".

There's plenty of bad parents out there raised messed up kids. But only a tiny minority of them go out and commit mass murder.

And yeah, old woman in senate is OLD. When the current generation is in office this will as much relevance as rock & roll corrupting the youth.

And hey! I'm going to 36 this year. That's fairly close to 40. Maybe raise the cutoff point to people over 50... :p

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Huey
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 7:17:13 AM
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Excuse me Mr. Dutka, but not everyone over 40 has thoughts of games are just for kids!

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___________
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 7:59:13 AM
Reply

just goes to show theres cooks even all the way to the top.
or is that ONLY at the top.........?

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Comic Shaman
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:43:03 AM

I think you mean "kooks." Though I hear Senator Feinstein whips up an amazing poop sandwich.

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Kryten1029a
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 8:06:00 AM
Reply

It's not as though this is a new phenomenon. Politicians and pundits have been hammering on videogames for at least 20 years and for the same reasons. Regardless of party, it's an easy target and an easy way to get for them to get their name out there before journalists who are as clueless as they are. About the only good thing that I can say, is that it's at least bi-partisan stupidity.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 9:54:59 AM

It isn't new but gaming has become mainstream in recent years so we (or at least I) sort of hoped there would be someone from our side of the argument allowed to speak up this time. The insane NRA gets to go apesh*t, why are we just shut out?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:26:22 AM

Yes, but 20 years ago, games really WERE mostly for kids. In fact, when games started out, they were essentially just electronic toys for children and nothing more.

So freaking out about Mortal Kombat was almost justified in those days. That was right around the time the ESRB came into being, and it was because of all the complaints.

Now, things are VASTLY different and the problem is that the politicians are so out-of-touch with the industry, they think nothing has changed and this is still 1985.

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gumbi
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 10:17:51 AM
Reply

Something that was drilled into me at a young age was the importance of knowing what you don't know. You should never lecture or engage in an argument on a subject unless you have a solid, well rounded understanding of it. You must be able to qualify your arguments with valid reasoning, and factual evidence. Otherwise you find yourself preaching an ill-informed opinion and polluting the minds of others who don't know. While insulting the minds of those who do.

Clearly, this quality is not a requisite of politicians. Arrogant, ignorant, liars and hypocrites. These are the people who govern us...

I can only hope that this will pass. Video games are merely the latest in a long line of political which hunts. This tactic has been employed for ages. The best way to distract the masses from REAL problems is to fabricate artificial ones.

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Amnesiac
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:40:50 AM

well said.
I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth
just gimme some truth
I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians

All I want is the truth now
just gimme some truth


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xenris
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 10:40:46 AM
Reply

Why don't they get a psychologist to say something on the matter? I mean one with more than 2 years experience who got their degree online.

Why don't they let people who actually know what they are talking about speak?

I'm dumbfounded that this is still being debated right now.

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PC_Max
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:02:40 AM
Reply

Here we go again. Maturity and IQ on both sides of this issue is in question. And yes, I am pointing at the Politicians who ignore the other things pop culture that affect kids let alone adults. That games are one component of the the issue but not the sole cause.

And then theres the other side... the gamers who seem to want to prove to the politicians right by reacting in a abusive and insulting ways. And gamers know games do affect people, but reacting the way they do, granted not all do, just fuels the debate in favour of the politicians who are selectively focussing on a single cause.

Does not matter if one side or the other brings in experts, psychologists or whatever science, social expert that SEEMS to have a background or knowledge of what affects whatever.... NEITHER side is going to accept... the truth.

Both sides are right and wrong on this issue. Not sure who is riding the middle ground here were a more rational and reasonable approach.

I've seen what gaming does to people first hand, BUT I also know its not the only thing that is out there affecting us. AND those things, be they pop culture or just mainstream media, affect us all different, in different quantities and over different periods of time. BUT there is an average group that stands out the most and is EVERYONES focus of this is whats causing these people to do bad things or not.

Someone, anyone please just go in to a room, discuss the issues rationally, logically. I DO NOT care what side you are one, but people are killing people period. Lets try to figure this out and try to save lives be it mortal or just their way of life.

A human life is precious and everyone who is playing this like some social political affront to them, get off your high horse and remember what is behind this. The loss of a human lives.

Just try to get a long and solve as best as you can this issue. And if you do not think you can contribute to the issue rationally and logically then just walk away and ignore it. This includes Politician and Gamers of this sort, because as different as you think you are on this issue, you react and act exactly the same.

Regardless of your stance on this issue and concer... take care and Keep Playing! (nicely)



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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:27:25 AM

Nobody here is being abusive. We're reacting to ignorance and by the way, as ignorance is far from rational, maybe that should be focused on first.

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Twistedfloyd
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:42:23 PM
Reply

Gah, it's just... I have no more words for this anymore. Do some research before you open your mouth!!!

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Temjin001
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 1:43:07 PM
Reply

Wee put Ben.

http://kotaku.com/after-brutal-murder-taiwanese-gamers-apparently-kept-p-472613449

...this news however will not be helpful to the situation.

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Temjin001
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 2:25:34 PM

'well' means 'wee' today I guess =p

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MKM
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 5:59:42 PM
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Hey! Try over 50 as those having no clue. Those of us in our 40s grew up with video games, and I'd like to think we know that they're not just for kids anymore.

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Ather
Sunday, April 14, 2013 @ 4:08:39 PM
Reply

One general said it best. If video games are so good at making us killers, why isn't the military training recruits on them?

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to throw a banana peel at her while she's driving. Apparently I'm playing Mario Kart, not living in the real world.

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Caanimal
Sunday, April 14, 2013 @ 8:36:16 PM
Reply

It's become PAINFUL to read/hear ANYTHING a politician says about games, or just about anything in general... Maybe someone should... No never mind, I won't continue THAT thought, wouldn't want to give Congress any more ammunition...

Congress REALLY needs cleaned out, most of them are covered in combwebs...

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Banky A
Sunday, April 14, 2013 @ 8:56:38 PM
Reply

Is this the real life?

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