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How Videogames Became the Bogeyman 125

Posted by Zonk
from the scary-stuff dept.
Tom Leupold, writing for the Inside Bay Area site, explores why videogames have become an American bogeyman. Talking with prof. Dmitri Williams, he discusses the rise, fall, and resurrection of games as a part of mainstream society. From the article: "Today, as games have once again infiltrated the mainstream, a growing number of adults are again enjoying gaming and understand there are games that are appropriate for different age groups. But that hasn't stopped crusaders from trying to censor them in the name of 'saving' the children. Williams, 34, said those under 38 have a different view of games than their elders. Most have grown up with games and, like television for the previous generation, games are embedded in their culture. "
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How Videogames Became the Bogeyman

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  • by rob1980 (941751) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:36PM (#16238259)
    See: How Rock'n'Roll Music Became the Bogeyman in 1950. Bunch of wound-up old people that don't like change.
    • by Gnostic Ronin (980129) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:58PM (#16238545)
      You forgot comic books. People honestly thought Batman comics and True Crime comic books would make kids go out and kill people. Before that, I think Flappers were the end of Western Civilization.

      In fact, I think everything that came along since the Roman Era has been the "End of Western Civilization". Kids have always been lazier and less interested in knowledge than privious generations. Evil currupting forces have always pulled them from the Straight and Narrow(TM). Even Christianity, when it first came along was a threat.

      • Even Christianity, when it first came along was a threat.

        Considering it is necessary to actually call for a separation of science and church, I could see that happen again.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by rob1980 (941751)
        Even Christianity, when it first came along was a threat.

        It's still a threat even now, considering some of the shit going on these days.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In fact, I think everything that came along since the Roman Era has been the "End of Western Civilization".


        Like those "Goth" type people.
      • by LKM (227954)
        Even Christianity, when it first came along was a threat.

        Well, seems like they got at least one thing right.

      • by Yaotzin (827566)
        Even Christianity, when it first came along was a threat.
        Those darn kids with their bibles and their crosses...
        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          In a history lesson we were given a quote from a Roman that said pretty much that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kalirion (728907)
        You forgot Dungeons and Dragons [chick.com].
      • by westlake (615356)
        You forgot comic books. People honestly thought Batman comics and True Crime comic books would make kids go out and kill people.

        The comic book argument is revisionist history. The true story is something like this:

        Sales of comic books like the older pulp magazines sank like a rock after World War Two. There were new and more compelling, forms of entertainment. TV. The paperback novel.

        The crime and horror comics were an attempt to recapture that older audience---but, let us be honest here---the cover art

      • by mstahl (701501)

        Kids have always been lazier and less interested in knowledge than privious generations. Evil currupting forces have always pulled them from the Straight and Narrow(TM).

        I disagree. I think what happens is that the world continuously changes more and more rapidly, and each successive generation is more and more equipped to deal with that change. I have a lot of criticisms for my generation (I was born in the early 80s; please don't call me a "millennial", I hate that), and for the one coming right afterward

    • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:47PM (#16239095) Homepage Journal
      Sometimes I find myself wondering: 10-15 years from now, am I going to be the old fogey freaking out about something new that I don't trust, but all the kids are into?

      Then I think of MySpace.
      • by Jerf (17166)
        10-15 years from now, am I going to be the old fogey freaking out about something new that I don't trust, but all the kids are into?
        "Son, I don't care what your friends say. You don't want to directly interface your brain to the Collective Conciousness."

        OK, probably more than 10-15 years from now, but, yes.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          Ooooh, that'd be a great storyline for a clicheed Hollywood adaption. The father becomes the Arm Commander, the son the Core Commander and at the end of the movie with the forces of Core crushed and the implosion countdown ticking down the father tries to reawaken the humanity in his son-turned-machine to save the galaxy! The drama! The explosions! It's gonna be a box-office smash hit!
      • by edunbar93 (141167)
        Sometimes I find myself wondering: 10-15 years from now, am I going to be the old fogey freaking out about something new that I don't trust, but all the kids are into?

        Not me man. I not only grew up with video games, I grew up with Slayer and King Diamond. Marilyn Manson came a little later on, but by then it was a schtick that had been done before. After that, *nothing* is shocking.

        My kids are worshipping satan? Hell man, giv'er!
        • by jackbird (721605)
          When your kids start dressing and talking like victorian dandies and being really polite, it's gonna grind your gears real good.

          Remember, it's not the content of the youthful fad that's important, it's the fact that it pisses off your parents.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mgblst (80109)
          Really, what about if your kids go in for self-mutiliation future style?? Say, removing an arm or a leg, because all the kids are doing it.

          What if they want to slice out a part of their brain?

          What about when they want to listen to music that is jsut a high pitch whine, that gives you a headache in under a minute??

          Don't ever think that you have seen it all. It will make it even more shocking.
      • by kabocox (199019)
        Sometimes I find myself wondering: 10-15 years from now, am I going to be the old fogey freaking out about something new that I don't trust, but all the kids are into?

        Then I think of MySpace.


        Um, MySpace isn't even wrong. It's just that those kids should be capable of so much more than that. I think webdesign or just basic published page layout may need to be an elementary school class now. Forget reading. Learn the basics of just put 2 ad banners up: one at the top and one at the side, and 2 nav panels and
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm an Old Person (tm), and a gamer. I've been doing it since line-printer lunar lander games on mainframes. Pac-man is newfangled :). I'm as against this idiotic blame shifting as anybody.

      Blame it on stupid people, instead, some of whom happen to be old. We're not all like that.
  • by Eightyford (893696) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:38PM (#16238285) Homepage
    First it was radio... then it was television, rock and roll and comic books. After that it was video games, rap, heavy metal, and goth music. Now it's the internet and more realistic games.

    Message to parents! If your child screws up, it is probably your fault! Sucks, doesn't it?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:42PM (#16238341)
      "Message to parents! If your child screws up, it is probably your fault!"

      Or possibly the child's...

      (That shouldn't seem like a radical idea, yet somehow always seems to be missed.)
      • by TubeSteak (669689)
        Or possibly the child's...

        (That shouldn't seem like a radical idea, yet somehow always seems to be missed.)
        Since a child can't exactly be responsible for anything...

        Up until a certain age, we (society) pretty much assume that anytime a kid screws up it is the parents' fault. An being oblivious/ignorant does not give the parents a free pass for their kid's behavior.
        • by Stalyn (662) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:09PM (#16239301) Homepage Journal
          Don't forget the role society plays as well.

          Up until a certain age, we (society) pretty much assume that anytime a kid screws up it is the parents' fault. An being oblivious/ignorant does not give the parents a free pass for their kid's behavior.

          Which translates to, until a child is able to determine social norms independently, society blames the person who is responsible for instructing a child on how to act within society when the child does not conform to social norms.
      • It's missed because something causes the child to mess up. Things don't just happen, they happen for a reason. Just blaming "the kid" doesn't get us anywhere.
      • by Nephilium (684559) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:24PM (#16239443) Homepage

        And of course... an appropriate quote to refute:

        'Juvenile delinquent' is a contradiction in terms, one which gives a clue to their problem and failure to solve it. -- Colonel Dubois in Starship Troopers

        One who is a child does need to be instructed on how to behave... the responsibility for this education does not belong to anyone except the parents... it is no one else's responsibility to teach a child how to act well...

        The problem is that too many parents now (and most likely in the past as well), think that children can grow up fine with no supervision of their activities... no knowledge of what their kids are doing...

        Without a parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/sibling teaching/raising a child... it's a total crapshoot as to how the kid will turn out... the downside to this is it's actually WORK to raise a child, and not just let the TV turn into a babysitter...

        Nephilium

        The trouble is that things never get better, they just stay the same, only more so. -- (Terry Pratchett, Eric)

      • by tfinniga (555989) on Friday September 29, 2006 @02:12AM (#16241797)
        It's almost shocking to see a moderate argument. It seems that the average slashdot poster is an idiot, and half are below average. However, I think it's mostly because a balanced argument is much longer to type and less fun than firing out a quick one-liner, or shooting talking points back and forth.

        Here's my take on the whole thing - raising kids is a tricky business. Many people take different approaches, and very few parents will agree on everything. Most parents that I know want their kids to grow up to be better people than they are. Most work quite a bit to reach that goal.

        One argument that seems common is that anything that is banned or censored is controlled at the request of parents who don't want to take responsibility for their own kids. So, the argument goes, it is the fault of bad parenting that I can't watch saturday-morning porn on NBC - lazy parents that don't want to raise their own kids. However, the laziest parents I've known don't care about what their kids listen to, see, or do, certainly not enough to try to ban it.

        On the other hand, it seems that there are a lot of parents that don't spend enough time with their children, but still act as if they did. It's easy to imagine parents like these being shocked that their kids are into bad things, and going ballistic. Legislating a solution, instead of trying to work one out with their kid. These are not always helpful.

        Personally, I try to spend a lot of time with my kids, get a good relationship, teach values and social expectations. (Currently we're working on pooping in the potty.) However, I appreciate the fact that my kids don't have to grow up too fast. I'm glad that Nick Jr. doesn't have violent or racy ads inbetween shows, and I'm glad Dora the explorer doesn't swear. It's nice that there's entertainment that's age appropriate, and I appreciate the help. As kids get older, there's a delicate balance between letting them make their own mistakes and bad judgments, and cushioning their fall. At the end of the day, it's up to the kid to decide whather he wants to take what you taught him and try to be good, or ignore it and seek other pursuits.

        So, you try to be a good parent, try to help your kids be good people, and appreciate any help you can get from society in general. Some people would like the world to be adults-only, but I really appreciate that there are some places that are safe for kids.

        In relation to the perception of games, I personally hope that the Wii will help change people's perceptions. Unfortunately, the current crop seems to be more aimed at hardcore gamers, who expect adult-themed games to be an option. My 3-year-old probably couldn't handle a dual shock, but I bet she could have a lot of fun with a Wii. Hopefully there will be better content out there which will show a kid-friendly side to this medium as well. Heck, if the devkits are cheap, I'd be happy to make some.. :).

        • by rts008 (812749)
          I understand where you're coming from with this:
          "However, I appreciate the fact that my kids don't have to grow up too fast. "

          But they will still grow up faster than you want them to, and you will always feel you have not quite have them ready to go out on their own, but go they will- wide eyed and full of energy.

          Always try to keep in mind that you will be teaching by example more than any other method. They can emulate you sooner and easier than they can grasp any "instruction" you try. and will.

          Like most
        • Too Long/Didn't Read.
        • What the fuck, I have karma to burn...

          Currently we're working on pooping in the potty.

          This is one of many reasons I will never have kids. Somehow, giving birth, or becoming a sperm donor, slowly but surely transforms one from the kind of person I might actually want to talk to into the kind of person who posts on Slashdot about their kid's progress in the taking-a-shit department and uses phrases like "age appropriate" in everyday conversation. As life becomes more routine and mundane the brain atrophies, c
      • by kreyg (103130)
        Or possibly the child's...

        My grade 8 teacher was always one of the most reasonable people I have ever met, primarily because, as he said, he never forgot what it was like to be a kid.

        I have tried as best as I can to do the same, and one thing I remember is this: at age 14, every one of my peers was responsible and self-aware enough to think that being absolved of responsibility for our actions because of our age was an absolute joke. We knew what we should and should not do and were fully in control of

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I would actually argue that Rock and Roll is the best comparison to violent videogames for one important reason; in the 1950's Rock and Roll was a musical format which was created to appeal to Teenagers.

      As much as people will argue against this, the fact is that the majority of Mature games are targeted towards Teenagers and if they could no longer sell them to teens the sales would evaporate. Being 26 I believe that I'm reasonably representative of most adult gamers and I can honestly say that I purchase 1
      • by sqlrob (173498)
        You do know that
        a) a vast majority of buyers are over 35?
        b) Less than 10% of games are M
        c) 2/3 of gamers are over 18?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by smallfries (601545)
          > a) a vast majority of buyers are over 35?

          Have you ever connected to any online server, anywhere, ever? 95% of people who play games online seem to be about 12...
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by DavidTC (10147)

            Just because they seem to be 12 doesn't actually make them twelve, it just makes them idiots.

      • I can't speak for everyone, but speaking for me and my friends, of which I'm the youngest at 26, we love the M rated games and buy lots. GTA: SA rules. Also turns out I can get a lot more games now than when I was a teen since I hold my own job. I'm not saying I don't buy lower rated games, Civ 4 is another favourite of mine, but there's tons of good M rated games. I don't buy based on rating, but I wind up with plenty of them all the same.
        • Of my friends, I'm the oldest at 24. They're are between 17 and 23. Just about the only games we play are rated M. Like GTA:SA, GTA:VC, True Crime:LA, True Crime:NY, etc. The only games I play that don't have an M rating are some open source games like Dope Wars, Pingus, SuperTux, and Frozen Bubble (damn that game is addicting).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lawpoop (604919)
      Hey, you forgot Dungeons and Dragons. Who knows how many innocent babies have been sacrificed after their young, unwed parents learned the ritual from the Dungeon Master's handbook?
    • Before that it was wearing loincloths that were far too big and sagged and they grunted in fashion the elders were unaccustomed to...
    • by Atzanteol (99067)
      Don't forget D&D! It was supposed to suck all those poor children into satanism!
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <{shadow.wrought} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:43PM (#16238355) Homepage Journal
    'Cause all their Lemmings died.
  • Games and Movies and Music oh my!
    Games and Movies and Music oh my!

    We can't be exposing our youth to violence [cbsnews.com] and smut [hbo.com] now can we?

    Won't somebody please Think Of The Children?

    Nobody under the age of 18 is allowed to read this post.
    • This reminds me of somting I noticed while cruizing IMDB the other day. Ever compare the ratings for movies in other countries to America?

      Take for example, The Whole Nine Yards [imdb.com]. For those who haven't seen this movie, it's a compedy. There is nothing beyond comical violence in it. There *is* some nudity when Amada Peet is topless.

      Now, take a look at the ratings. Pretty much every single country except the US has it rated for Young Adults 13-14. The US has it rated "R", which means it is barred from anyone

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        US has it rated "R", which means it is barred from anyone under 17.

        No, it's not. You should probably familiarize yourself with the rating system before criticizing it. It means that it's barred to unattended children under 17. Parents can bring a child of any age they like to the film. Basically the rating says, "We think a significant amount of parents might find this inappropriate for their teenagers, so we'll let them make the call." Sorry but I can't find a single thing wrong with that. Children

      • I went to Canada a few years back to visit friends. I stayed the night in Seattle because, hey, it's a long drive. At the hotel, there was some crappy movie on broadcast tv with Richard Gere and either Darryl Hannah or that other actress I always think is Darryl Hannah. As coincidence, a week later I saw the same movie on some broadcast channel in Vancouver. In the movie, two things of note for this conversation occurred:

        1) Darryl Hannah got topless for about 3 seconds.
        2) Some guy got hit in the face wi
  • Lobbying Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WiseWeasel (92224) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:01PM (#16238571)
    I'm willing to be it's because television, music a movie industry interests are lobbying our representatives to place restrictions on the games industry, which they see as a threat. The games industry just isn't ponying up enough money to counterract the rest of the entertainment industry's lobbying dollars and stay off the regulation radar, and now they're paying the price. It's a terrible way to run a country, but people in power are making too much money to change it...
    • That should read: "I'm willing to bet it's..."... Caught it too late.
    • I wouldn't say it's just lobbying. It's simply knowing a thing and growing up with it, and thus not seeing a threat in it since, after all, you grew up ok as well, so the thing you grew up with can't be that bad.

      See D&D for reference. It was a HUGE issue in the 80s, college kids spending nights brooding over some dungeon puzzle, hurling fireballs around and resurrecting their friends. MADD was all over it, and the hype was up.

      Today? A sizable population of the RPG market actually IS adults, a wide range
      • by DavidTC (10147)

        Yeah, D&D is the greatest example. With rock and roll, people can, in fact, seriously argue that did cause a lot of problems, namely, the 60s. It didn't, it was the other way around, but people can stand there and pretend otherwise, even those who were actually around then and participated.

        Same with lots of other stuff that got protested, like cop-killing rap (Remember that?) and comic books. They didn't cause problems, they existed at the same times as problems, as outlets, and people looking for scap

        • by rts008 (812749)
          LOL!
          "So the response to 'Grand Theft Auto might make kids violent!' is 'Oh, you mean like D&D?'"

          I love that...good stuff.

          I'm probably older than than the average aged /.'er (weather changing reminds me I turn 50 this winter), but not what I would think of as "old".
          Anyway, we played "Army", "Cowboys and Indians", "Cops and Robbers", and "Space Explorers and Martians" growing up. Real-time RPG at it's finest...massivel destruction frequently entered the plot: EVERYBODY DIES!!! Oh Noooo!

          Videogame violence
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by neutralstone (121350)
      Agreed. But I think Tycho put it best. [penny-arcade.com]
  • 38? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Schemat1c (464768) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:03PM (#16238613) Homepage
    Williams, 34, said those under 38 have a different view of games than their elders.

    I think he needs to go higher than 38, I'm 41 and I too grew up with video games. I play HL2 deathmatch on a server where the majority of players are older than me.
  • by westlake (615356) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:09PM (#16238677)
    I don't recall any campaign to censor game content for adults.

    I do remember a campaign to restrict sales of adult-themed games to adults and a profound distrust of developers who pushed the limits of the M-rated game to protect their sales through Walmart.

    If you want to know why videogames became the Bogeyman, you only have to look at adolescent idiocies like Hot Coffee and Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

    It is not Fallout, or System Shock, Resident Evil or Half-Life, or any of a hundred other significant, popular, M-rated games published within the last ten years that make the headlines.

    It is the handful of games from the handful of publishers we all know are aiming for the flashpoint.

    • by Sigma 7 (266129)

      I don't recall any campaign to censor game content for adults.

      Two words: Jack Thompson [illspirit.com].

      If you want to know why videogames became the Bogeyman, you only have to look at adolescent idiocies like Hot Coffee and Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

      The Super Columbine Massacre RPG was designed to attract media attention (i.e. it was a media whore, just like you know-who). In the same manner of JFK reloaded, it causes a massive amount of "omg-evil" reaction to something that is ultimatly minor - in the same way that Ce

      • by westlake (615356)
        Hot Coffee was not intended to be released

        There are three problems with this argument.

        The first is in Rockstar's disastrous PR which claimed that Hot Coffee was a third-party mod.

        The second is the fact that mini-game could be unlocked in the PC and two console pressings of GTA:SA. That strains coincidence when you have already been caught in a lie.

        The third is that you will not be allowed any excuse if you release AO content into the wild. Mark Twain had to pull a first print run of "Huckleberry Finn" b

    • No, it's the fact that the people who legislate the games aren't the ones who play them. They also don't realize that "Hot Coffee" wasn't made by Rockstar Games, "GTA" was. "Hot Coffee" was something some bored programmer threw in there as an Easter egg for his own enjoyment.
      • by pNutz (45478)
        A bored programmer inflitrated the Rockstar headquarters, set himself up as a regular employee, and stealthily inserted content into the gold master that was never meant to be in there. HE USED MAGIC!!! HOW COULD THEY HAVE KNOWN!?!?!?!?
    • If you want to know why videogames became the Bogeyman, you only have to look at adolescent idiocies like Hot Coffee and Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

      id you actually pay attention to Hot Coffee or SCMR? Hot Coffee required players to download and install a mod, the content was not available to players who simply purchased and played the game. There was no "cheat code" you could enter to get the content. SCMR was an attempt at serious social commentary, it emphasized imagry the killer's deaths, as well

  • Wait until the Wii drops...imagine small children maniacally hacking their way through hordes of enemies with a machete, FarCry style. Their parents will most assuredly be outraged and write obscen letters to nintendo and ubisoft for creating such a monstrousity. I find it humorous that they would feel so entitled after having disregarded the large 'Mature Audiences' rating on the box and placed it into their preteens' wii little hands.
  • The culture war (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VTMarik (880085) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:13PM (#16238733)
    Ah yes, first it was The Novel, then it was Radio, then Movies, then Comics, then Television, then it was Lenny Bruce, and now it's video games. Anything that is new and exciting to the younger generation (AKA what wasn't around for the previous generation) is evil simply because it is new and untested. The game The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the Atari, which had no blood and only showed death as children flipping upside-down before disappearing, caused a massive storm of controversy for all of two days before everyone started speculating about the end of the fad.

    Thanks to Nintendo, the fad has now become a staple of entertainment and everyone's left wondering why. This confusion quickly leads to hatred and FUD which brings us up to date. And now you know the rest of the backstory....

    Good day.
  • Bogeyman is right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalhermit (113459) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:15PM (#16238757) Homepage
    Back in my time it was Dungeons and Dragons. You'd watch the news and see these "exposes" on the kids who are LEARNING TO LOVE SATAN because of the EVIL D&D game. Oh yeah, and Satanism was also a dire threat to our kids. Oh and Styx and Kiss too. Then 2 Live Crew. My neighbor tells me that in his day it was Bob Dylan that was symptomatic of evil.
  • Control (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PresidentEnder (849024) <wyvernender AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:23PM (#16238843) Journal
    The vast majority of what goes on in the world, from legislation to war, can be attributed to people's desire to control other people's actions.
    • ... and speech, and thoughts.
    • That's true, but you can't paint that immediately as if it were a bad thing all the time - I really do want to control other people's ability to kill me and get away with it.
  • by nuggz (69912) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:27PM (#16238887) Homepage
    People would rather blame than take responsiblity.

    What can we blame for the lower per capita crime rates?
    Particularly when we consider some things weren't crimes, or weren't widely reported earlier.

    Yes we have had graphic headline grasping crimes lately, but there has always been something. I'm sure there were pissed off kids taking swords or clubs to each other before they invented guns.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      What can we blame for the lower per capita crime rates?

      This answer is both snarky and serious at the same time:
      Immigration

      Snarky, because so many people hate the Mexicans for pouring into the U.S.A.

      Serious, because immigration and the children of immigrants are pretty much the only thing driving population growth these days.

      More people + steady crime rate = less crime per person

      (unless you didn't mean to say "lower per capita crime rates")

    • by Don_dumb (927108)
      Well all the experts who predicted 'a bloodbath of crime' before the crime rate dropped in the mid 90s, sought many reasons why the crime rate dropped so no one would point out they were wrong. But from reading 'Freakonomics' it would seem that the three reasons the authors could actually support with statistical evidence were abortion, stronger jail sentencing and more police officers, many other reasons given simply have no numbers to back them up.
      What is also interesting is that it gave evdence to show t
  • ...What videogames were Duane R Morrison playing that prompted him to kill Emily Keyes in her school in Colorado? What video games made into a sexual abuser?
  • Games? Oh yes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Criceratops (981909) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:08PM (#16239291) Homepage
    Yes, games are a terrible waste of our time and money, and a contributor to drinking, institutionalized violence, and selling sex!

    It sucks billions and billions out of foolish peoples' pockets...

    More riots, beatings, and other assorted violence take place because of games!

    During games, people are exposed to repeated messages selling them alcohol and sex as well!

    Did I mention that hundreds of pro and amateurs are permanently injured or killed playing these "harmless" games?

    In fact, there are numerous studies proving that these games suck money away from vital education programs and game-players often score lower on standardized tests!


    Yes, they are evil.

    Wait a sec, we *are* talking about sports aren't we??? ... ooops!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It seems like the media and some parents just point the finger to anything that there child loves. While I never enjoyed it, Pokemon was a good example. Some Christians found it to be Satanic and animal lovers found it supported animal cruelty. However if these people just sat down an watched an eposide of the anime, I'm sure that they would find that it was a good (as in good and evil) show.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:20PM (#16239401)
    You can usually find those claims at the end of some drama. Some teenager goes bonkers, goes on a killing spree, kills himself or just rapes the girl next door, THEN, and only then, you get those witchhunts for the culprit.

    The parents? How DARE you! Those poor people gotta live with what their son did now! They cannot be the ones to blame. So it has to be... ... in the 20s, that aweful dances ... in the 30s, the damn radio ... in the 40s, that aweful swing music ... in the 50s, that godforsaken rock music ... in the 60s, that hippy music ... in the 70s, that disco music ... in the 80s, that devil's spawn D&D ... in the 90s, those gangster-rappers ... and today, violent video games

    Glad we found a culprit.
  • Today, as pot ha(s) once again infiltrated the mainstream, a growing number adults are again enjoying pot ... But that hasn't stopped crusaders from trying to censor them in the name of 'saving' the children. Williams, 34, said those under 38 have a different view of marijuana than their elders. Most have grown up with ganja and, like television for the previous generation, pot (is) embedded in their culture.
    Off the topic of video games but on the topic of blaming everyone but the parents.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:47PM (#16240125) Homepage

    Rock and roll used to evoke similar hostility. But that's changed, as rock moved from rebellion to senility and lost its political connection.

    It's suprising how little hostility hip-hop and rap evoked, considering that much of '90s rap was about killing people. ("Devil, to gangbanging there's a positive side and the positive side is this--sooner than later the brothers will come to Islam, and they will be the soldiers for the war; what war, you ask; Armageddon; ha, ha, ha, ha, ha" -- "Armageddon"; RBX, The RBX Files, 1995, Premeditated Records, © Warner Brother Records, Time Warner, USA.) But hip-hop and rap switched from guns to "bling", thereby encouraging shopping. "According to American Brandstand, a Web site that tracks brand names on the Billboard top singles chart, of the 111 songs that made the Billboard Top 20 in 2003, 43 mentioned a product; 84 different brands were named."

    So we can expect that as in-game advertising becomes more pervasive, media criticism of games will become muted.

    • by l0cust (992700) on Friday September 29, 2006 @05:55AM (#16242645) Journal
      Well said. Though I think there is another aspect of why the hip-hop/rap thing did not get so much OPEN negative publicity. It may sound a bit NPC but the whole hip-hop/rap culture is generally associated with the black community and no politician or major public figure would risk commenting openly against it for the fear of being dubbed a racist. OTH calling games the reason for their sons/daughter indulging in sex/violences/whatever accomplishes two goals - It absolves them of the responsiblities of the actions of their children by providing a proverbial witch to be burnt at stake, plus it there is no obvious race/culture/demographic attached with the games so they can curse it all they want without fear of repercussions from potential voters etc.

      I honestly don't know what to make of the current situation. It is really easy for me to imagine all old ignorant hags sitting in the position of power and trying to restrict my choices/actions/thoughts for monetary, power or whatever reason but then it may happen that when our generation comes to that stage and have the same kind of power in our hands, we may end up trying to restrict something which (some of us atleast) genuinely feel is wrong but is really popular with the younger generation. Oh well, I just hope the concept of karma works. Will suck really if things don't balance out in the long run.
  • As others have mentioned, this is an old saw made new.

    At one point, it was it was rock 'n' roll, or jazz for the elite rebels. In the '60s it was pot and long hair. Acid (courtesy of the CIA) has been used as a target at times, as has heavy metal, movies, cartoons, video games, and now online chat/blogging communities.

    On the one hand, they're all scapegoats. Someone is always looking for a _cause_ for evil or deviant behaviour. Bad messages for the sake of entertainment are meant as entertainment, and will
  • Videogames are just another in the long line of topics that talking head politians use to campaign for family values. Whatever draws the most attention is where you'll find these people, if some kid kills his abusive father but has a copy of Vice City in his house then it's obviously the videogame's fault [sarcasm]. However let me get one thing strait just because videogames have no direct connection with violent behavior doesn't mean some twelve year should be playing a game like Manhunt, on the other hand

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