Evil

It seems obvious that the violence of  video games makes some people indifferent to violence and others embrace it.

In 1984, Orwell foretold that degraded televideo audiences of the future would cheer scenes of violence.

In 2011, a proposed California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors was blocked by the US Supreme Court.

Surprisingly the consensus, even PC, position seems to be that violent videos don’t encourage real-world violence.

Or maybe an industry with over $100 billion in annual sales has persuaded enough experts to assert, with sufficient plausibility, that there is no connection.

It’s a strength of President Trump that he doesn’t do PC and he doesn’t need lobbyists’ money.

And he seems to be taking the common-sense view that violent videos breed real-world violence.

“I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, how is that possible?” Trump says about his 11 year-old son’s viewing habits.

Yesterday Trump met with representatives of the video industry.

“Numerous authorities and reputable scientific studies have found no connection between games and real-life violence,” said a weaselly statement from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada ahead of yesterday’s meeting.

So video makers blame shootings on the availability of guns, the NRA blames shootings on the lack of mental-health checks for gun-buyers and the law says that tens of billions of dollars spent on violent videos every year have no effect on young minds.

And a couple of thousand years ago, St Tim observed that money is the root of all evil.


Comments

21 comments

  1. Yes AnotherDavid, I have heard teachers are concerned about this.

  2. It would make a billion Fred, great idea.

  3. Interesting, zeitghost, obsessives can be smelly.

    • One at a time you can open the windows & stay far far away.

      A room full of soap dodgers is quite another thing.

      But they won’t breed, so that’s a plus.

  4. I wonder what a Martian would think if he came here and saw that a large proportion of youngsters were given the means by adults to simulate killing people, DontAgree, IMHO, he’d think we were a bit odd.

    • Given that a lot of teenage boys are playing these a lot while their brains are re-wiring from child to adult, it explains a lot of the behaviour issues boys are having at my daughters school.

  5. We suppress video porn to stop the corruption of young minds, Ian, bur not video violence. Violent videos and having nutters allowed to buy guns seems a toxic mix to me. Is there too much violence in the world? Should those who depict it be rewarded munificently?

    • There is too much violence in the world for sure.

      All that is also on full display in graphic detail on MSM, 24 hr news channels, but at least they attempt to moderate the graphic details. Not so on youtube, FB and live twitter feeds, etc.

      Mind you that this is not ‘fantasy violence made to look real’, this is real violence.

      We definitely should attempt to block all that from young impressionable minds, but I am highly doubtful we are 100% successful. If there is one kid with parents that are not aware (or don’t care) then that kid can post such material and now all other kids see it too.

      The only way you are going to prevent that is by taking all their electronics away … which means socially isolating them … likely to lead to bullying … which then eventually may lead to …

      So really, are violent games the real problem ?

  6. Everywhere in the world has video games where you shoot virtual people, but the USA is pretty much the only country where large numbers of disaffected/mentally ill/uncontrollable/criminal (insert adjective of your choice) people can legally and easily get their hands on guns and shoot real people, singly or multiply.

    Don’t forget that individual shootings also kill far more people than mass shootings even in the USA, but don’t make the news because one “black gang member” getting shot (for example) is barely more newsworthy than somebody getting run over — which is to say, not at all.

    It’s possible but not proven either way whether shoot-em-up video games encourage real-life shootings, but in most of the world it doesn’t matter because they don’t have real guns, only virtual ones.

  7. If you think Tom & Jerry has the same level of violence as Grand Theft Auto, Chris, then you’re the one that’s out of touch.

    • Maybe we could make it so – an “updated” Tom and Jerry would make a smashing video game, full of extreme violence, blood and gore and the odd sexual innuendo as well.

  8. Ha Ha Chris ‘random industries’ my foot – the gun industry, the video games industry and the mental health people are hardly random – they are directly related to this problem. My senility might disqualify me from making a valid judgment but when I see the grandchildren playing video games the thought has occurred to me: Why are they all about shooting people? I think it’s worth asking this question and I’m glad President Trump did.

    • Indeed, gun and mental health industries are not random, but I’d argue that video games are. Violent video games are certified for 18 and above, not really grand children material unless those grand children are adults – again is the fault then with the games or the people who let children play them against the expert advice?
      Besides, I seem to remember road runner, tom & jerry etc being full of violence, should kids TV also be banned? What about books containing violence – Lord of the Flies removed from school reading lists? The issue is plain as day and it isn’t about simple issues like games – it’s about mentally unstable people with easy access to military grade weaponry and the particular breed of macho culture that pervades in the US.

  9. Showing your age here David, this is severely out of touch. The majority of people from mid 30s downwards have spent significant time gaming, games like Call of Duty or GTA are worldwide best sellers and the problem of mass shootings is very much a US issue. Yes, violent crime is increasing in the UK but that’s very different to mass murder and more likely linked to increased poverty, decreasing opportunity and cuts in police budgets. Pointing the finger at games is the usual nonsense to avoid dealing with the real issues. Some key questions might be: Why is is always disaffected white males? Why can mentally unstable people buy assault weapons in the supermarket? As for your piece, Trump’s ignorance is summed up in the quote “I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, how is that possible?” – surely the question is why is he allowing his 11yr old to watch something that is unsuitable? Films, games etc. have age ratings for a reason, I would suggest that better parenting may lead to better outcomes than censoring random industries.

  10. That is most interesting SEPAM, thank you. The bit which says “in 2012, psychologists Brock Bastian, Jolanda Jetten and Helena R.M. Radke were able to use brain scans to show that playing violent video games had the potential to desensitize players to real-life violence and the suffering of others” is exactly what George Orwell warned about in 1984.

  11. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    It seems the same levels of violence in games and comics have a vastly different effect in different cultures, ref. US vs. Japan.
    http://theconversation.com/how-the-us-military-is-using-violent-chaotic-beautiful-video-games-to-train-soldiers-73826

  12. Yes I did rather have the UK games industry in mind Mike and if you think violence isn’t on the rise in the UK just ask HM police force.

  13. Remember all those scientific studies which said smoking wasn’t harmful, DontAgree? When a rich ruthless industry is under attack, it will pay to get the studies it wants.

  14. Given that a large portion of the most violent games are designed in the UK, why don’t we see US levels of violence in UK schools ? We might not have guns lying around everywhere like the US but other weapons are easily made, and in Grand Theft Auto a lot of the violence isn’t gun based anyway.

    I don’t see kids anywhere using GTA as an aspirational role model in their lives. What I do see is kids aspiring to work in the UK games industry which is currently thriving.

    • Odd note: A Games Programming Esteemed Customer may be discerned by the distinct lack of personal hygiene.

      In fact, a lot of them seem to be afraid of soap & water.

  15. So you are saying that you don’t believe in science, or that the ‘studies’ are just fake news …

    Your idol may not need lobbyists’ money, but he sure doesn’t mind taking it anyway.

    And right now the main reason he doesn’t need to take the money is because he has been indirectly lining his pockets since he went into office. He has a conflict of interest for pretty much every thing he touches.

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