Author Topic: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming  (Read 27296 times)

Offline LadyTerra

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #40 on: July 06, 2011, 07:23:01 PM »
Quote
Please tell me that, even then, you were a civilised, cultivated intellectual who didn't use "like" as a filler

I didn't actually think the word "like" back then either; then, as now, I loathe the use of the word. I applied it retrospectively to get across how silly it was :P

I, like, totally get what you mean.  Like, totally in the tubular sense, dude.   ;D

I'm also curious as to how your friends were affected, Dawson.  In a way, I was affected by violent video games as a kid, particularly Mortal Kombat: it helped me release my anger in a safe and constructive way.  I used to have terrible anger management problems, and video games gave me an outlet.

After re-reading Damar's post, I recalled an exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum about the political propaganda against rock, and it was identical to what's happening with video games.  On a funny note, there was also a quote from Socrates about how music destroyed young minds.
I have my cake and eat it too, until it's gone.  Then I can't do either.


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Offline DawsonJ

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2011, 12:35:53 AM »
Ok. I have a really rough time explaining myself, which tends to piss people off online and IRL. So bear with me.
I'll use myself as an example. Generally, I suck at video games, so I rely heavily on Action Replay, GameShark, and, back in the day, Game Genie.

But with fighting games, I tend to break things more and get more violent, when I lose. Recently, I was playing Hulk: Ultimate Destruction on GameCube. When I lost, I would imagine some especially violent things to do to someone. I eventually threw the game in the garbage, just to control myself. Also, I used to play violent games with a friend. We would start threatening each other as we played 1-on-1 fighters, like SF and MK. Those threats very nearly became a reality.

However, when I play Mario Kart with friends, I'm not nearly as angry when I lose.

I'm the same way with hard music, too. Nickelback and Disturbed progressively alter my mood, within 3 songs. I ended up tossing a lot of my music collection, for that reason.

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2011, 12:58:43 AM »
Ok. I have a really rough time explaining myself, which tends to piss people off online and IRL. So bear with me.
I'll use myself as an example. Generally, I suck at video games, so I rely heavily on Action Replay, GameShark, and, back in the day, Game Genie.

But with fighting games, I tend to break things more and get more violent, when I lose. Recently, I was playing Hulk: Ultimate Destruction on GameCube. When I lost, I would imagine some especially violent things to do to someone. I eventually threw the game in the garbage, just to control myself. Also, I used to play violent games with a friend. We would start threatening each other as we played 1-on-1 fighters, like SF and MK. Those threats very nearly became a reality.

However, when I play Mario Kart with friends, I'm not nearly as angry when I lose.

I'm the same way with hard music, too. Nickelback and Disturbed progressively alter my mood, within 3 songs. I ended up tossing a lot of my music collection, for that reason.

I don't mean to mock you or insult you when I ask this, but I think it helps illustrate the defense of the case. After playing a game, would you take a gun and shoot up a school?

Changing your attitude and becoming frustrated is one thing. I've never seen a case where a kid was so weak-minded that a video game convinced him to kill another human being. I think a lot of these prosecutors are just sick and tired of being bad at their job and are trying to hop on a bandwagon that they think will take them somewhere. They know nothing about what they speak of, and clearly are grasping at straws. If they at least took a look at the people they are affecting, maybe they will realize that they are on the losing end of the case.

Sorry if I offended anybody with my above question. It's exactly the kind of question that a prosecutor would use against video games, so it's only right I fight fire with fire. We have a right to get angry, we're only human. However, we have moral fiber that restrains us from our animal instincts. Game on, my fellow brothers!  :thumbsup:
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Offline Enchantermon

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2011, 06:40:05 AM »
However, we have moral fiber that restrains us from our animal instincts.
Typically? Yes. But it's perfectly clear that our moral fiber isn't enough to stop people from murdering one another. Take Caylee Anthony, for example. Let's not start an argument about the outcome of the trial for those who have been keeping up; I'm just trying to make a point. No matter who is at fault, it's clear that someone murdered a beautiful two-year-old girl. Who could do such a thing? Surely our high moral fiber would prevent such a horrible act from occurring.....right?
The thing is, everyone is psychologically different. But just because I can play violent video games and not have the desire to kill someone doesn't mean that everyone can. I'm incredibly sensitive to correction and rejection because of things that happened in my early childhood. Those things act like a trigger for older memories and scars that I've carried for a long time. Likewise, there are likely people for whom violent video games (or movies, TV shows, what have you) are a trigger for repressed emotions or a reminder of things in their past that bring up harsh feelings. It's just psychologically who they are. Now there's nothing wrong with that, as long as they can control themselves; everyone is allowed to feel anger and sadness and regret. But some things could push a person over the edge, and such a thing could be video games.
Consider some people who become obsessed, even to the point of death, with games like World of Warcraft. People have died in real life because they became so engrossed and obsessed with the game that they didn't pay attention to their own health. That is an enormous emotional investment. How could you become so focused on a video game that you completely lose touch with your body's own signals telling you that you need food and sleep? Again, I think it depends on the type of person she was. Maybe she didn't have any friends in the real world. Maybe she was bullied at school or had an atrocious home life and so she used World of Warcraft as her escape from reality. Or, conversely, maybe she was a person who was committed to seeing everything she did through to the end. That's not a bad trait at all, but perhaps she also tended to put that trait above anything and everything else, including her health. Whatever it was that caused her to neglect herself, World of Warcraft was the trigger for it.

Now I say all that to say this: video games are not to blame. The WoW girl could have just as easily found something else to obsess in that would have also led to her demise. It just happened to be WoW this time. The point I'm trying to make is that while we do have a moral fiber within our being that helps us distinguish right from wrong, there are times when certain things could trigger emotions or psychological distress within us that could be difficult to control. The mind is a strange beast. But every person is different and video games are certainly not the only thing that could be triggers. So it's not the fault of game developers, publishers or sellers. Everyone is responsible for him/herself. Do your best to know yourself, keep yourself in check and know your limits. Watch yourself. DawsonJ illustrated this point beautifully; he gets frustrated to the point of physical violence when playing fighting games. But he realized how destructive that behavior is, so he keeps it in check by not playing those games, and perhaps it's for the best that he made that decision. I'm not saying that there's something psychologically "wrong" with him, just that violent games are triggering something in him that is violent, to a greater extent than they might for other people. He knows his limits, and everyone needs to be responsible enough to know theirs.

As an aside, this is the point that people are getting hung up on when the debate about violent video games comes up. Many people point to game developers saying, "You shouldn't make games like that!" These are the same type of people who point to fast food restaurants and say, "You shouldn't make fatty foods like that!" Why not? They have every right to, and you and everyone else has the right to not buy such games or eat such food. It all comes down to a matter of control. Everyone needs to control themselves. Parents need to control their children while teaching them to control themselves. "Everything in moderation" is a wonderful rule. But sometimes people are so afraid of over-indulgence that they try to remove temptation instead of learning to be responsible for themselves and for what they play and eat and do and think. And that's the real issue here.
So what if I am, huh? Anyways, I work better when I'm drunk. It makes me fearless! If I see a bad guy, I'll just point my sword at him and saaaaaaaaaay, "Hey! Bad guy! You're not s'posed to be here! Go home or I'll stick you with my sword 'til you go, 'Ouch! I'm dead!' Ah-ha-ha!" Ha-ha. *hic* See? Ain't no one gonna be messin' wit' ol', Benny!

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2011, 07:41:48 AM »
A very good point Enchantermon. I said what I said about moral fiber, more or less, to soften the blow about what I said earlier in my post. I try not to get on an offensive or defensive stance with this debate, because so much comes into play. But when I take one side, I feel like I have to look "on the other hand". Truthfully, everyone should be responsible for their own actions, and anyone who would quickly turn to a scapegoat to try and save their own hide for killing someone or destabilizing the balance of things is psychologically disturbed. No doubt about that. I for one think that you can't blame something on an institution that clearly works for the majority moreso than the handful of kids who are strung out socially or mentally. Everyone is wired differently, but why treat everyone as the weakest link?

For instance, a kid plays a violent video game, and feels like today is the day for redemption. He gets loaded on drugs and alcohol, loads up a .09 millimeter, and takes out an entire school. Why should this be stemmed back to video games? Clearly, he was already mentally unstable, and had easy access to drugs, alcohol, guns, and ammunition. So if they penalize the game industry because of an unfortunate outcome, is that supposed to bring back the lives that were lost? Is the rate of school shootings going to decrease? Will life all of a sudden get better for everyone? Bullying, parenting, and depression all take a part in the hypothetical situation, but video games is clearly a copout for them.

Which leads me back to saying that this case has nothing to do with the safety of the children or the world. It's about winning a war that they aren't a part of. It's about money. If people truly cared enough, they would go to parents, teachers, and the leaders of the world to set an example for children rather than have kids grow up with stress, depression, and a lack of self esteem. They always tell kids "Life will get better after high school is over", but for some, they can't wait that long.
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Offline Enchantermon

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #45 on: July 07, 2011, 08:03:05 AM »
I get you. Sorry about the soapbox by the way; this is one of the things that I get kind of fired up about.
So what if I am, huh? Anyways, I work better when I'm drunk. It makes me fearless! If I see a bad guy, I'll just point my sword at him and saaaaaaaaaay, "Hey! Bad guy! You're not s'posed to be here! Go home or I'll stick you with my sword 'til you go, 'Ouch! I'm dead!' Ah-ha-ha!" Ha-ha. *hic* See? Ain't no one gonna be messin' wit' ol', Benny!

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #46 on: July 07, 2011, 08:20:59 AM »
No worries. I hear ya. This stuff gets pretty intense when "preaching to the choir" so to speak, much less debating with conflicting views.
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Offline DawsonJ

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #47 on: July 07, 2011, 10:02:37 PM »
@Fierce Deity: No, I wouldn't take a firearm to a school.

And, for clarification, I've been heavily abused my whole life. Therefore, my personal experience is different than most. For example, there was a scene where Superman was nearly murdered in the Superman Returns movie which set off all those feelings of abuse and pain in me. So I refuse to watch that movie again. I know a rape victim who went into a flashback at the theater during Titanic, due to one of the scenes in the movie. Hence, your life experiences dictate your reaction. Each person needs to learn moderation and learn to avoid what affects them.

According to what I've heard from various gamers over the years, it sounds like just as many things get broken over The Incredible Machine as Diablo. For me, my weakness is fighting games, because of my experiences. It's been said that many people have felt depressed after watching Avatar or Pokémon because they couldn't really live in those worlds. That's personal, not a typical problem.

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2011, 04:14:48 AM »
@Fierce Deity: No, I wouldn't take a firearm to a school.

That's exactly what I was hoping to point out. Personal experiences can resurface no matter where you are, but as long as we can keep our emotions in check, violence may never become an option. I was solely trying to point out the flaw in a prosecutor's argument. I meant no offense, and I hope this remains a professional and cordial debate.
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Offline Damar

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2011, 07:28:37 AM »
It's true that some people can be sensitive to certain things due to their past and in people who have been abused or had other things occur, violence can trigger flashbacks (if they have PTSD) or just a general fight or flight response which can then lead to irritability.  That said, though, like Fierce Deity pointed out, that doesn't mean that the person will get violent and actually do someone harm.

And really, whether the person tends to get more violent or not, that doesn't mean that the games should be changed.  It means that the person should look at treatment.  The world is what it is and there will always be triggers.  It's our responsibility to learn to cope with those triggers.  As another example, if someone had alcoholism, beer commercials could definitely be a trigger.  That said, we shouldn't ban beer commercials from the television because it can trigger people.  Alcoholism may be a disease, but it's on the person to cope with the world in which they live, not to reshape the world to conform to their disease.  If I have diabetes, I won't eat cake.  But I won't insist that cake be banned either.

And even in the cases of an actual disease like PTSD, while the triggers may be real, there is still personal responsibility to either avoid hot button issues like violent games, or if someone truly cannot control themselves when in an episode, to seek help and make sure they are properly medicated and receiving therapeutic support so that the control in their life can be regained.

Oh, and as a quick aside, cases like Casey Anthony are a minority mainly because she's a sociopath (whether you think she did it or not, it seems to be conclusively proven that she has no empathy, she's a compulsive liar, and she cares about nothing but her own enjoyment and what she needs).  When we talk about the moral fiber in humanity, sociopaths become an outlier.  The average person doesn't step too far outside the societal moral code.  People with antisocial personality disorder specifically will because they see rules as something that don't apply to them and that are made to be broken so they can get ahead.

Offline Big C from Cauney island

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #50 on: July 08, 2011, 08:05:09 AM »
Video games don't make people violent.  My Human development class says statistically that it has been proven, but I still don't believe it.  It takes more than that to make people snap.

Offline wilco64256

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2011, 09:37:04 AM »
If people are doomed to replicate what they do in video games then shouldn't we have seen a huge number of incidents of people jumping on each other when Super Mario Bros. came out?
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Offline Enchantermon

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #52 on: July 08, 2011, 07:45:11 PM »
So what if I am, huh? Anyways, I work better when I'm drunk. It makes me fearless! If I see a bad guy, I'll just point my sword at him and saaaaaaaaaay, "Hey! Bad guy! You're not s'posed to be here! Go home or I'll stick you with my sword 'til you go, 'Ouch! I'm dead!' Ah-ha-ha!" Ha-ha. *hic* See? Ain't no one gonna be messin' wit' ol', Benny!

Offline Damar

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2011, 07:57:35 PM »
Yeah, that's not really the kind of thing you can conclusively prove as it would require a control group and it's kind of unethical to center an experiment around potentially making people more violent.  Odds are what's been shown is a correlation between violent video games (or violent media in general) and aggressive behavior.

But "aggressive behavior" can encompass anything including simple irritability.  Heck, in that case there's a correlation between too much coffee and aggressive behavior when it comes to me.  And regardless of how something makes you feel, we can stop ourselves from being violent.  I might be more likely to feel irritable after playing a violent game (probably not though) but no matter how irritable I am I'm not going to actually act out what I've seen or take that irritability to an extreme.  If that were the case I'd go on a murdering spree every time I had a stressful day at work.  Which would totally affect my paycheck, incidentally.

Offline glottal

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2011, 09:43:46 PM »
And correlation is not causation.  If there is a correlation between violent behavior and violent video gaming, I think it's more likely that violent people like violent video games, not that violent video games make people violent.

Offline wilco64256

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2011, 10:54:16 PM »
I agree - if correlation equals causation then I could easily prove that eating bread causes people to be violent as well.  In fact I'd be willing to bet that violent people are more likely to have eaten bread within 24 hours of committing a violent act than playing a violent video game.
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Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2011, 11:27:19 PM »
I agree - if correlation equals causation then I could easily prove that eating bread causes people to be violent as well.  In fact I'd be willing to bet that violent people are more likely to have eaten bread within 24 hours of committing a violent act than playing a violent video game.

This. Totally, 100% THIS. It's just as likely, and it can't be proven otherwise. Just like violent video games making violent people. There are violent people out there who don't play video games, but chances are, they eat bread.  :thumbsup:
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Offline glottal

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2011, 01:26:15 AM »
Technically, there would only be a correlation between eating bread and violent people if violent people were more likely to eat bread that non-violent people.

By the way, *I* don't eat bread.  I definitely have not eaten any bread in the last six months, and it's even possible that I haven't eaten bread in the past year (I can't be sure because it's not the kind of thing I keep track of).  I eat rice instead.

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2011, 02:35:41 AM »
By the way, *I* don't eat bread.  I definitely have not eaten any bread in the last six months, and it's even possible that I haven't eaten bread in the past year (I can't be sure because it's not the kind of thing I keep track of).  I eat rice instead.

For the sake of argument, would you state whether or not you have been acting out violently within the last six months, or possibly within the past year?
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Offline glottal

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Re: The Supreme Court and Violence in Gaming
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2011, 03:00:35 AM »
By the way, *I* don't eat bread.  I definitely have not eaten any bread in the last six months, and it's even possible that I haven't eaten bread in the past year (I can't be sure because it's not the kind of thing I keep track of).  I eat rice instead.

For the sake of argument, would you state whether or not you have been acting out violently within the last six months, or possibly within the past year?

Generally I have not been acting violently.  For that matter, most people around here don't eat much bread (rice is much more popular), and the violent crime rate is quite low.  Hmmm ... maybe there really is a connection between eating bread and violence :P
 

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