Videogame Violence 2005

Violent game furor:

Here we go again folks. Last year it was GTA: San Andreas. This year it’s a new game made by Eidos called “25 to Life”. This is the first I’ve heard about this game so let me quote the article…

“25 to Life,” allows players to attack police with an arsenal of Molotov cocktails, broken bottles and baseball bats. When weapons fail, players make strategic moves using civilians as human shields.

The game even lets players choose gang colors and create personalized graffiti tags.

It sounds like a GTA ripoff to me. I bet the gameplay will suck. But of course, that’s not the point here. Certain lawmakers have their panties in a wad…

“It’s the worst in a series of violent and gruesome games that lower the common denominator of decency,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is trying to block the game from hitting stores in September.

“25 to Life” makes “other controversial games like ‘Grand Theft Auto’ look like ‘Romper Room,'” Schumer said.

Schumer called on PlayStation manufacturer Sony and Xbox maker Microsoft to cancel their licensing agreements with Eidos. The senator also urged stores and retailers not to stock the game.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, slammed “25 to Life” for its cavalier treatment of murder.

“It’s outrageous that a company like this would try to desensitize our children,” Lynch said.

First off have you noticed that when a politician is usually involved in calling for the censoring of a video game it’s usually a Democrat? Secondly, these are obviously people who have never held a game controller in their life or at least not since Space Invaders or the Atari 2600. Not all video games are aimed towards children anymore and haven’t been since the dawn of Mortal Kombat back in the early 90’s. Lastly the bigger a deal you make out of these games the more hype you’re giving them. You’re taking what looks like to be a mediocre game at best and you’re potentially making it a blockbuster by trying to censor it. People always want what they can’t have.

If this game ends up in the hands of children it’s because of irresponsible parents and I have yet to hear any kind of blame falling on them. Remember kids, censorship is the solution to bad parenting. Or so says the Democrats.

Big Brother Joe is watching you

My second bone of contention today is from my favorite Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman. He has co-authored a bill with a $90 Million price tag that will try to figure out whether kids’ favorite TV shows, movies, and video games are actually bad for their health.

There’s a good use of taxpayer money huh? Even Lieberman’s own censorship squad, the Parents Television Council, say this is a bad idea. How about this Joe? Why not do a study on why people stopped parenting their kids. Joe even admits as much…

Lieberman says parents need to play a more active role in what their kids are watching.

“You can’t put it all off on the entertainment industry,” he said.

Then what is the point of this bill? If it’s so obvious then why do you need $90 Million? Lieberman has very pro-censorship leanings. I feel like this is his way of trying to disguise a “well-meaning” program that’s actually an Orwellian dream for him.

Someone woke up the ghost of Tipper Gore

Study: Violent music boosts aggressive thoughts:

You have got to be kidding me. How often do they trot this one out? A bunch of egghead psychiatrists released a study of 500 college students that said violent songs increased feelings of hostility. You don’t say. The feeling of hostility and acts of hostility are two different things. Why don’t they do a study on why some people are more prone to resorting to violence than others. I’ll bet you that it has nothing to do with music. For example, I listen to Black Sabbath, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Carnivore, and Type O Negative. But you know what music makes me have feelings of hostility? You guessed it, Dave Freakin’ Matthews. Anyway, check out how they did this study…

During the APA’s five experiments, conducted by researchers from Iowa State University and the Texas Department of Human Services examined the effects of seven violent songs by seven artists and eight nonviolent songs by seven artists.

After listening, students were given various psychological tasks to measure aggressive thoughts and feelings, including asking the participants to classify words that have both aggressive and nonaggressive meanings, like rock and stick.

Results of the experiments showed that violent songs led to more aggressive interpretations of ambiguously aggressive words and increased the relative speed with which people read aggressive versus nonaggressive words.

Did they ever think to just ask the participants if they were feeling more hostile or not? What the hell does the way we read words have to do with violence?

They never will get it. It’s not the songs that cause people to act out in violence. That notion was in their head long before they heard the music. Study that.

Meet the new boss…

Gore out! Lieberman in?:

The Good news is Gore isn’t going to run in 2004. The bad news is Lieberman might. To me, there really is no difference between the two. They’re both about censorship. Think about it. Al’s wife Tipper was all about censoring music with the PMRC back in the 80’s. Al was 100% behind her. When Gore was running in 2000 he constantly spoke about how the entertainment industry needs to tone things down or face government reprisal. Yet, he took most of his campaign money from Hollywood bigwigs. Lieberman is a member of the PTC. A group with similar goals to that of the PMRC but more interested in television and video games than music. His group basically thinks they know what’s best for everybody and what programs everyone should be watching. They were most recently in the news protesting the Victoria’s Secret special that was on. If Lieberman runs I’ll do everything within my power to see that Bush gets re-elected. I don’t want the government telling me what I can and can’t watch.

More Al Gore Hypocrisy

Recently the Federal Trade Commission released a report saying that the film, music, television, and video game industries have been marketing adult-oriented material towards children. Let me add to this by saying “Duh!”. This has been going on for years. When I was 11 a movie came out called “Friday the 13th”. It was rated R and I was much too young at the time. Did that stop me from wanting to go see it? Um…..NO!!!!! What did stop me was a responsible mother who realized I was too young to witness such violence. Not to mention the fact looking back I really didn’t miss much outside of seeing Kevin Bacon get slaughtered but I digress. I found an article (dead link) on MSNBC.com that had Al Gore’s reaction to the FTC findings…

Gore said Monday if the entertainment industry did not halt such practices, he would support unspecified measures to hold it accountable. “A lot of it has to be done privately,” Gore said in an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey television talk show. “It’s not about censorship; it’s about citizenship, including corporate citizenship.” Referring to his wife’s involvement in the 1980s in a campaign to urge the recording industry to voluntarily label obscene and violent lyrics, Gore said, “Tipper started 20 years ago educating me about why parents need more help, and she was successful in convincing the recording industry to give warnings to parents when material is inappropriate,” Gore said. “Now Joe Lieberman and I are following up on that to try to persuade all the companies in that industry to abide by what they said they would do.”

Ok, let’s break this down, shall we…
1. He’s on Oprah. We know how great a fair and even-handed political forum the Oprah Show is.
2. This is coming from the man who has accepted more campaign funds from the Hollywood industry than any presidential candidate ever.
3. He dug up the ghosts of the PMRC. The ill-fated pet project of Tipper Gore. She cried for ratings, she got a sticker.
4. So either this man is dead serious about censorship or he’s a hypocrite. Either way that makes him dangerous.

Bottom line: All corporations are soulless money-making machines out for a fast buck. Of course, they are marketing towards your children. Children want most what they can’t have. It’s yours and my job as parents and step-parents to protect our children, not the government. And if you feel it is the government’s job to help raise your children than you shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.