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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Violence in Video Games

The Godfather: The GameViolence in video games and how they affect people has been a major discussion recently. Many politicians, including good ol' Hillary Clinton, have been trying to outlaw the sale of 'M' rated games, specifically Grand Theft Auto, to minors. This seems to be causing tension throughout the media, as some of them are starting to include what video games people have recently bought whenever a murder happens.

I will tell you right now and upfront. I have always been an anti-mass-media type of person (which is why I'm running a one-man blog). I think that if you are a major media source with hundreds of employees, journalists will twist the information and over-dramatize the news so that their story goes first. It all comes down to who can make the biggest scandal/ story/ article/ 5-minute-clip-of-a-building-blowing-up.

People have lamented on how the situation seems oddly specific to Grand Theft Auto (and even more specific to San Andreas). I agree with Conrad in that it seems to be more of a PR thing than keeping 'M' rated out of the hands of minors. This too comes back to the fear of a bad media coverage (which, I'll will bet, will happen soon).

Recent events and studies aren't helping the average gamer's image, either. A couple in South Korea recently left their 4-month-old to die while they played World of Warcraft [Read]. A 15-year-old boy in Japan beat up his parents and blew up their apartment, and they are connecting it to his love of Grand Theft Auto [Read]. A 4-year-old died of heat stroke in the car because he wanted to stay and play video games [Read].

This is a very disturbing trend, and it is getting worse. The recent study that showed that your brain becomes dramatically more cognitive and less emotional when you play violent video games is an extremely one-sided study. That is the only thing they looked at. No puzzle games, no RPGs, no strategy games, not even games like Myst. If they looked at those, too, then it would be much less bias. [Read]

But, of course, the media exists to sell itself. No one wants to hear that video games improve your logic skills. But parents will pay attention when they learn that the video game that their child is playing might turn their son into a mass murderer who will blow up their apartment.

Via Joystiq, Kotaku, and Press The Buttons.

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posted by Tyrantmizar at 12:28 PM | TrackBack |

Comments:

i completly agree with what u r saying and how they are only looking at the violent video games.
 


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