Discuss: Violence in Video Games

January 4, 2013 at 05:42:43
Specs: Windows 7, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB

Hi all,

This week's poll is about news that a Connecticut town is holding a Violent Video Game Buyback program. Discuss here if you think video games play a major roll in real-life violence, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.

Thanks!
Justin


See More: Discuss: Violence in Video Games

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#1
January 4, 2013 at 06:48:03

Classic joke: I play FPSes, and I'll kill anyone who says it makes me violent.

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#2
January 4, 2013 at 08:18:17

Prior to the invention of video games my friends and I played games like: "cowboys & indians", "war" and things like that. All those games could be considered violent as we ran around yelling "Bang, bang" pretending to kill each other.

We also played hockey, football and any other physical (ie: violent) games there were.

My oldest and best friend in the world (we grew up together) and I are avid gamers and have been since before video games were invented. We've both also hunted and owned firearms our entire lives.

Between us we've played quite a few violent games. The latest two favorites of ours are Diablo III and Company of Heroes. We like those because we can join up online and play together.

I'm happy to report that after thousands of hours of gaming (literally - and you don't want to know how much we spent in arcades before PC's and gaming consoles were made both available and affordable) neither one of us has killed anybody. Oddly enough, nobody we know personally has killed anyone either.

When something bad happens people always want to blame someone....or some thing. Blaming violent games is convenient. But it's not correct. A violent game may feed some young soon-to-be mass murderer, but they don't turn "normal" kids into serial killers.

I think mental illness causes violence. I think things like greed, intolerance, hate, bigotry, and ignorance cause violence. But I do NOT believe violent movies/TV and/or games cause violence.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#3
January 4, 2013 at 08:53:34

Hey guys,

Let's remember to try to keep the conversation in this thread civil, and that emotions may still be raw. Would be best to keep the jokes, no matter how light-hearted, at a minimum so as not to offend anyone.

Thanks!
Justin


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Related Solutions

#4
January 4, 2013 at 08:56:07

Like Curt and Razor, I, too, grew up playing violent games, and look how I turned out. Oh, NO, WAIT!!!!

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#5
January 4, 2013 at 09:05:57

People have been killing each other since Cain & Abel. I wonder which video game they played? Or John Wilkes Booth? Lee Harvey Oswald? Sirhan Sirhan? Charles Whitman? The town in Connecticut has now instituted a violent game buyback program. How long before we have violent movie buybacks? Violent book buybacks?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertc...

The vocal minority will declare that if it saves just one life, it will be worth it while the silent majority will just sit on their hands. Both oblivious to the fact that they're playing right into the hands of Big Brother.

http://www.theagoraproject.org/uplo...


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#6
January 4, 2013 at 09:13:31

Violence in art has always been with us, and video games are just another form of interactive art. No one would ever presume that after playing Super Mario, gamers want to go stomping on turtles. If anything, the more violent first-person shooters out there provide a release for aggression and an escape.

I wonder how many instances of violence were actually averted as a result of some frustrated person loading up Unreal, Quake, CoD or another FPS to vent. And if you've played any of those games via an online service and listened to the voice chat, you'd probably agree that that's aggression everyone would prefer be channeled and released in pixelated form rather than inter-personally, socially or physically.

I'm a real-time strategy gamer myself, and can confidently say that my personal urge to harvest vespene gas and mineral deposits IRL is minimal.


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#7
January 4, 2013 at 10:20:07

I, like Curt R played cowboys and indians when we were kids. We shot cap pistols, cork guns and BB guns until I was 11 years old and got my first .22 caliber rifle. My father trained us in gun safety. I have played, and still play violent FPS games like Far Cry etc. I don't believe violent video games are any more responsible for murders than reading books by Einstein make you a genius. I know, I've tried. The people that commit these murders are very ill people to begin with. There is no mental test, nor can I think of any way to keep sick people from buying guns. Banning them won't do any good, they'll steal them. I don't have an answer to the solution, but I don't believe violent video games make people killers. If it did, there would be a whole lot more people shot. That's my two cents for now.

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#8
January 4, 2013 at 12:59:44

Maybe, to some extent, but I suspect other factors are equally to the point.
I won't elaborate because of the recent sad and tragic events.


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#9
January 4, 2013 at 20:56:34

In some cases I feel that violent games lead to real life violence. A recluse can sit and sometimes master a game like that and when he has finally reached the highest levels and starts getting bored could turn to real life violence.
So, I do believe the killing games can lead to higher destruction.....they are just too real anymore....

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#10
January 5, 2013 at 12:42:27

I agree with jpishgar.

According to the FBI, deaths from firearms peaked in the 1990s (over 13,500 in both 93 & 94) & have been on the decline ever since. In 2010 (latest numbers available), it was down to 8,190.

I'm no expert, but I don't think violent video games were all that available in the mid 90s. But since then, there have been 1000's of violent games produced for the PC, Nintendo, Sega, Xbox, etc. For this "violent video games theory" to hold water, it seems to me there should be a proportional increase in gun related deaths & violence in general. But since the opposite appears to be true, one might be able to make the case that violent video games actually help prevent violence.

See the FBI data for yourself:

http://ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/as...

Here's another chart that shows the decline in violent crimes:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/uc...


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#11
January 7, 2013 at 07:50:26

Boredom rarely leads to violence though. For the most part, violent killings occur due to trauma, or some major trigger or psychotic episode. People don't get the end of Doom 2 and decide they want to go kill a bunch of folks because the game ended and there's no more demons to be ganked. Violence is criminally motivated, or the result of sociopathic tendencies. The closest case that comes to your hypothesis that it's based on boredom would be the Brenda Ann Spencer case immortalized in the song "I Don't Like Mondays", and even that was surmised as being drug-induced.

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#12
January 7, 2013 at 07:58:37

and there's no more demons to be ganked.

Supernatural fan are you? LOL

Violence is criminally motivated, or the result of sociopathic tendencies.

^ x2

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#13
January 7, 2013 at 08:25:20

Can't see why folk get a kick out of violent games but everyone to their own I guess.


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#14
January 7, 2013 at 08:58:09

Can't see why folk get a kick out of violent games but everyone to their own I guess.

That's nice to see. Someone who's not interested in something but not trying to make others stop doing it just because they don't like it. I never could stand those busybodies who decide that because they don't like something, nobody else should be doing it.

I suspect it all comes down to the comptetive nature all us humans have. Some folks like to compete in sports, others like to watch them. But it still stems from the same source. I suspect it's that competetive nature that gets most people into playing violent video games. I doubt very much it has anything to do with wanting to actually kill another person. While I'm not a huge fan of FPS's, I've played them and it was never about wanting to kill another human. It was about seeing if I was better than the other guy(s).

You could compare violent video games to football or hockey I guess. All three are nothing more than controlled warfare in which nobody gets killed.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#15
January 9, 2013 at 04:44:10

I think that there is confusion between cause and effect here.

It is often the case that when someone has committed some violent crime, it turns out that they have been playing violent video games and blaming them as the cause of the violence. While the reality is that playing video games is the effect of that persons pre-disposition to violence in the first place.

The same false connection is made between pornography and sex offenders. Rapists and child molesters often start by watching pornography. It is not to say that everyone playing violent video game or watching pornography are pre-disposed to enacting them in real life, but they do tend to attract those that are which does tend to skew peoples perceptions.

Pornography is not my thing but one of the kindest and gentle person I ever met watched pornography all the time. But they are no more likely to go out and commit a sexual offence any more than I am who cant stand watching pornography for more than five minutes.

Stuart


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