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Games Are No Cause For Murder 112

Posted by Zonk
from the there-very-rarely-is dept.
An anonymous reader writes "At Gamers With Jobs, Shawn Andrich speaks out against pointing the finger at videogames as a causative factor in a murder cases. He makes the excellent point that, though we may enjoy the metaphor, life is not a game. There is no simple connection between event A and event B. Our actions are dictated by experiences from a lifetime, and they should be addressed that way for good or ill. 'Life can't be framed up like a game of billiards. There is no easy eight ball, corner pocket shot to be made when trying to draw a line between cause and action ... Lasting, positive change will only come when we stop reaching for causes and start creating conditions that will support kids and teenagers who need it. We can't make anyone put the pin back in the grenade, but by supporting active, caring people who want to help, we might be able to influence some of those fateful decisions before it gets that far.'" GamePolitics on Joystiq has an editorial up looking at a similar question.
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Games Are No Cause For Murder

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  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@exitUMLAUT0.us minus punct> on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:59AM (#19271045) Homepage
    ...you realize that Jack Thompson will have something to say about this.

    Not that it will be anything worth while, but that's never stopped him before.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not that I agree with Thompson,and I'll probably get modded way down for saying this), but it needs to be said. Some of these games are not really much more than combat simulators.

      Do our servicemen and women run through combat simulators without having some sort of debrief afterwards to deal with the physiological and mental stresses put on them? Is there a good reason for doing that?

      So, if the people who really DO train people to kill think it's a good idea, why do we argue the point.

      No, I'm not saying t
      • Re:Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by The Damned Yankee (829738) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:27AM (#19271521)
        Mmmm... no. Simulators are training, and the debriefings that follow their use aren't designed to help them deal with any sort of emotional trauma, but rather to evalutate how they did in said simulator and where room for improvement might lie.

        Plus, add to that the fact that, unlike most folks who play GTA, soldiers in simulators are training for actual situations that they will face in real life. Real life, it's generally acknowledged, is generally the source of most physical and psychological trauma.

        But nice try, Mr. Thompson.
      • Re:Of course... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:39PM (#19272745)
        You overestimate the "simulation" environment that these games provide.

        I remember reading a story about a drill sergeant who had noticed a difference in how his newest recruits who played FPS games adapted to training in relation to how the non gaming recruits performed. Needless to say that this was picked up by every media outlet possible and misrepresented to make it look like video games were training our children to be killers.

        I agree that there are some elements that a FPS, or any other action game for that matter, can most certainly influence - but these things are useless without weapons training.
        1. Tactical Priority - the closest thing to you is slightly more dangerous than something far away. Anyone who has ever played any game involving bad guys who attempt to hurt you is that the closest guy is generally the biggest threat.
        2. Tactical Sequence - Sometimes baddies come extremely fast and everything needs to be slowed down. Basically the theory of "get em all bleeding first."
        3. Using cover - No, not in actuality, but in theory. Identifying what can be used as cover from certain vantage points is most certainly developed when playing any video games. "He can't see me if I hide behind this!" Now, lets address the practical use of cover. A video game is not going to teach you that you shouldn't lean on or crowd your cover, something everyone does off the bat because they see it in movies. A game also can't teach you what cover is actually protective and which is merely visual cover. Real training does that.

        None of these skills are practical without significant weapons training. In fact, they're pretty close to worthless, so I think the term "combat simulator" is a little harsh. Maybe combat game is more accurate.

        • I think you could expand upon Tactical Priority with being able to quickly id hostiles vs non-hostiles. Many modern FPS have you working in teams or they throw civilians in front of you. Building in that bit of mental code that pauses their trigger finger long enough to process if the target is Friend or Foe, is probably pretty valuable to have in advance of training.
        • Disclaimer: although I did get drafted into the army, and in case of a war I'd be a sergeant, this was a long time ago and I don't think I was some expert even then. Also, I'm an AA guy, and we did less infantry training than the _real_ infantry. So take it with a grain of salt.

          That said, I think that games offer an even more distorted view than even you credit them with. E.g.,

          1. Tactical priority: games offer a massively distorted view of that. Sometimes stuff that's far away is of higher priority than stu
          • 1. Tactical priority: games offer a massively distorted view of that.

            Maybe, but it doesn't matter. The priorities are determined by the ruleset of the game, just like priorities are determined in real life by the situation and your own role in combat.

            For that matter, suppression just doesn't work in games either.

            Works kinda well in Day of Defeat. Machineguns are really, really bad news. They are ridiculously accurate, they have an extremely high rate of fire and they kill the enemy in one or two hits. If yo

            • by Moraelin (679338)

              Maybe, but it doesn't matter. The priorities are determined by the ruleset of the game, just like priorities are determined in real life by the situation and your own role in combat.

              That is technically true, of course, but going into a battle with the wrong set of priorities trained into being reflexes, is a recipe to get killed fast.

              The whole point of military drills is so you can act instinctively without thinking too much. You already know what to do, whose turn is it to lay down suppression fire and who

          • Thank you for clarifying my point even more.

            These games don't teach shit, and the shit they teach is worthless without some conjunctive training.

            You make a really valid point with this statement:But generally, that's part of a bigger problem, that realistic tactics don't work well in games and viceversa.

            To use some allegory evidence, I LOVE PLAYING AGAINST MILITARY AND LEO TRAINED PEOPLE IN PAINTBALL! The tactics that they learn are based on staying alive. You don't really die in paintball or video games. T
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          you shouldn't lean on or crowd your cover

          I have no military training, so I haven't seen this before. I am curious as to why. Do you mind elaborating a little? I have noticed, as you point out, that all the movies have people leaning on their cover (but then, sheet rock walls and car doors stop high-powered rifles in the movies).
          • OK, let me clarify where I get my information from. I have never been in the military, but I have studied military tactics from a philosophical perspective. I shoot competitive IDPA events, but I am not combat trained. I play games with guns that reinforce responsible use of guns in stressful situations, but they are no substitute for LEO or Military training.

            Now, this does give me some insight to tactics in only the most basic of definitions - but I am not qualified to speak as if I was an instructor at Th
        • I think games might teach you how to move tactically by always minimizing your exposure as much as possible and being mindful your environment. This seems like it would easily translate to real combat. The ability to react, think and process information quickly should also be improved by games. Also, the ability to refrain from shooting when there are friendlies in front of you seems helpful. Of course they teach that in any military (right?), but repeatedly reinforcing it with gaming should be beneficial.

          P
      • by Sj0 (472011) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:47PM (#19272877) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, I know last time I was murdering someone, I grabbed my railgun, jumped off a third story balcony and kept on running, then started shooting while jumping to avoid missle launcher fire.

        And if you believe THAT, I've got some lovely beachland in Florida to teach you.
    • Anti video-game crusaders cause violence. Proof: Look at the constant stream of hatred spewed frotyh by pretty much everyone. The gamers, the courts..even the media are starting to realize "Hey, we kind of looked idiotic putting this crazed man on camera" and are turning against Jack Thompson. Of course this only drives him on, making him even more aggressive...

      Come to think of it, I think lawyers cause violence. Eveything involving them certainly is violent...
    • by eln (21727) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:10PM (#19272221) Homepage
      I agree, video games are a perfectly good cause for murdering Jack Thompson.

      See? Video games breed violence! (against Jack Thompson)
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      "...you realize that Jack Thompson will have something to say about this."

      Maybe something like "Murders Are No Cause For Games!"

      In his mind we, live in Soviet Russia, where Games Shoot You. When ARE they going to throw his sorry ass in jail for being a public nuisance?

    • by Mathness (145187)
      I am Jacks complete surprise at this news/headline. :p
    • When does Jack Thompson not jump on stories like this?
  • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:03AM (#19271131)
    from the article "Getting mired in the minutia of cause and effect keeps us in a constant cycle of fear and blame. It's an utter waste of time."

    straight, to the point, and in my opinion very accurate. kudos for this one!
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      Sadly, that's no way to get your point across on correlation between games and violence. Ive actually come to expect a little flamebait here, a little logical fallacy there. No one even seems to pay attention unless you're screaming 'think of the children' or 'help, help, I'm being repressed'. Common sense ... hhmmmmmf.
  • by Rycross (836649) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:04AM (#19271153)
    I'm not sure that gamers and game journalists repeatedly stating, "Games don't cause violence," is doing any good. Usually, its preaching to the choir. In the cases its not, simply saying, "Hey they don't cause violence," isn't going to convince anyone not already convinced. It seems to me that articles of these sorts are more mental masturbation than anything else.

    Oh, and am I the only one who's tired of the old, "I'm a gamer and I'm not violent so obviously games don't contribute to violence," gem being busted out time and time again, as if its actual proof? If you want to convince people, how about trying something a bit more scientific?
    • think outside the gamers defending themselves stance, and think of it more from a completely logical standpoint. To claim that A caused B, without any consideration for C through ZZZZZ is to simplify things to the point that it has no more place in logic anymore.
      • by Rycross (836649)
        Well true, but since when have people like Jack Thompson had any regard for logic in the first place? If you read some of his correspondences, it becomes clear that his train of logic is more of a derailed-crashed-into-a-ditch-exploded-into-a-ball -of-flame train of logic.

        I think that there needs to be a new tactic for dealing with this. Some actual science wouldn't hurt.
    • by pla (258480) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:19AM (#19271389) Journal
      Oh, and am I the only one who's tired of the old, "I'm a gamer and I'm not violent so obviously games don't contribute to violence," gem being busted out time and time again, as if its actual proof?

      When dealing in absolutes, yes, it does constitute a valid (dis)proof.

      To prove causation, you must show the precondition as both necessary and sufficient. If I play violent games and haven't killed someone, you can't say that playing violent games cause murders (without any qualifiers).

      Now, that doesn't disprove the idea that playing violent games may apply another CCW turn to some people's screws. But that means a whole world of difference, putting "violent games" in the same ballpark as "pain", "alcohol" (or other drugs), "a good scare", "isolation", "Military experience", and "divorce".
      • by Rycross (836649) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:23AM (#19271463)
        Its only a valid disproof if your opponent is saying "Violent games always cause violence." What they're saying is more along the lines of "Violent games can sometimes be a trigger for violence," or more frequently "Violent games can increase violent tendencies, which may have an overall effect of increasing societal violence when systematically applied to a large population." The whole I-play-games-and-I'm-not-violent defense is pretty much worthless against such arguments, and makes you look uninformed. Why would anyone take you seriously if you don't even seem to understand the basic tenets of the argument at hand?
        • by rlp (11898)
          "Violent games can increase violent tendencies, which may have an overall effect of increasing societal violence when systematically applied to a large population."

          I agree with the game critics here. At least for some small segment of the population (certainly not everybody). I'd add that violent movies can increase violent tendencies in some small group of people. So, can violent TV and books. Guns, knives, garden tools, and cars can be used by violent people to kill and harm people.

          Where the critics a
          • Do you really think that one of these people who is susceptible to media violence is going to watch '24' one night and think, "hey, yeah, it might be fun to tie some guy to a chair and torture him"? Violent media may inspire the form of violent action--for example, I recall the case of two criminals who tried to kill their victims by making them swallow drain cleaner after they saw it in a 'Dirty Harry' movie. But would you really argue that but for the movie, they wouldn't have have sufficient "violent te
        • by Qzukk (229616)
          What they're saying is more along the lines of "Violent games can sometimes be a trigger for violence," or more frequently "Violent games can increase violent tendencies, which may have an overall effect of increasing societal violence when systematically applied to a large population."

          Why should we take them seriously when their argument is that "sometimes stuff happens" or more frequently "if we get a large enough population, someone will snap"? Other than, of course, the fact that the people making thes
          • by Rycross (836649)

            Why should we take them seriously when their argument is that "sometimes stuff happens" or more frequently "if we get a large enough population, someone will snap"? Other than, of course, the fact that the people making these arguments are rich and powerful and have Senators as lap dogs?

            Because they're actually influencing opinion. They've managed to get laws passed. Sure they've been struck down as unconstitutional, but how long until something sticks?

            How many millions of people have played first person shooters since Quake? I'm waiting for someone to demonstrate a statistically interesting fraction of video game players that go on to murder people. San Andreas alone sold 5 million units by the end of 2004 [pcvsconsole.com]. Since then how many gamers killed people? What percentage of gamers killed people compared to the percentage of murderers in the general public? Can these people even demonstrate a correlation between gaming and murdering? Can they even back up their claim that games "can" cause violence with hard facts?

            See, that kind of thinking is a lot better than what normally passes for debate on this issue, which was my point.

      • I wore khaki pants to work and didn't get in an accident, ergo khaki pants prevent car accidents just like video games cause crime.
      • by koreaman (835838)
        You may have been right, if we had been using a strict and quasi-mathematical way of constructing sentences. Since we're not dissecting formal syllogisms or analysing law, this is not the case.
    • Listing studies and statistics, is logical if you believe that video games are games, but is futile if you believe video games are something you don't understand or value. If we assume that Slashdot posters, when compared to the general population, are more logical, more male, and more likely to value enjoyment derived from video games, then logical arguments would be "preaching to the choir".

      If we assume that those whom believe video games are not fun, have no value, and are tools of the devil, then it
    • re:" If you want to convince people, how about trying something a bit more scientific?"

      Ok - I'll bite. I'm a gamer who became a scientist and I'm not violent so obviously games don't contribute to violence.

      (Actually - I'm not a scientist - but wouldn't it be great this one time if I were?)
    • by Lethyos (408045)

      If you want to convince people, how about trying something a bit more scientific?

      Forgive me if I am overshooting or being pretentious with this remark. One does not simply “try” being more scientific when attempting to persuade. Science depends entirely on experimentation to disprove an assertion. It seeks evidence and tests that evidence against a hypothesis, doing so until a reasonably exhausting sources of evidence or when the hypothesis is contradicted by evidence, in which case the h

    • by Sj0 (472011)
      Because all the studies that show there's no causal link between video games and violence are ignored by Jack Thompson, despite the fact that most of them are initiated to support his assertions?
      • by Rycross (836649)
        I hear that a lot but people don't actually bring the studies up. Its repetition after repetition of the same old straw men: "I play video games and I haven't murdered anyone LOL" or "Man they're so stupid how can playing quake teach you to aim a gun LOLOL." It would probably be a good idea to at least throw out a link or two if there truly are so many studies.
        • by dan828 (753380)
          The idea that Quake or any other FPS teaches people to aim a gun is fairly foolish, as it does nothing to show people how to line up their sights and get an appropriate sight picture. However, having been trained in the military how to shoot after having almost no experience with firearms prior to that, I can tell you that training someone in the basics of aiming and firing a weapon can be done in a very short amount of time (twenty minutes or so in a classroom environment). You can also easily do a Googl
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rycross (836649)

            The idea that Quake or any other FPS teaches people to aim a gun is fairly foolish, as it does nothing to show people how to line up their sights and get an appropriate sight picture.

            I agree, its incredibly foolish, which is why people aren't saying that. Its a strawman that gamers and journalists bring out to pound on so that they can feel oh-so-superior to the anti-game lobby. What Jack-o and company are claiming is that it can mentally prepare them to kill another human. That is, it can lessen the psychological resistance and after-effects of killing another human being. Now, I think that this is bullshit, but its not really quite as clear-cut, which is why I suspect my fellow

        • by Sj0 (472011)
          Give me one good reason why entire communities of gamers, millions and millions of people, who don't go out and kill people aren't the final word on whether video games make people into murderers.
          • by Rycross (836649)
            Because that argument is based on [wikipedia.org] logical [wikipedia.org] fallacies. [wikipedia.org] You think that the opponents are really going to stand by and go "Well if you say so..." instead of ripping your extremely poor argument to shreds, then chalk it up as a win? Playing games doesn't make you informed nor an expert on this subject, which means those masses of masses of gamers count for jack and shit.
            • by Sj0 (472011)
              Empirical proof trumps rhetoric.

              There's an entire generation of gamers out there that aren't going out and killing. That's empirical proof if I've ever seen it. If people saying that video games are this huge problem that cause violence, then there'd be violence in the streets! We'd look like Africa!

              Oh, will you look at that, we don't.
              • by Rycross (836649)
                Your argument is based on a strawman, and your proof really isn't proof at all. You're countering rhetoric with rhetoric.
                • by Sj0 (472011)
                  It's not a straw man. Group A says that video games make people more violent. Group B plays video games. Simple Aristotelian logic says that if Group B isn't more violent, then Group A is wrong.
                  • by Rycross (836649)
                    Thats a vast oversimplification of Group A's argument. Additionally, a proof would require that no-one in Group B is more violent in any way to be valid, which you have not proved in the slightest. Thanks for demonstrating my point.
                    • by Sj0 (472011)
                      Yes, if you want to establish proof beyond any reasonable burden of proof, you can't prove anything except that you exist. We seem to be talking about establishing a problem large enough to justify taking away first ammendment rights from game developers, so you'd better goddamned well have a significant, demonstratable problem with video games causing violence among the massive generation who has grown up with them.

                      Now, here's the kicker which destroys your faulty arguement. DESPITE an entire generation bo
                    • by Rycross (836649)

                      You're missing my point which is exemplified by this quote:

                      Now, here's the kicker which destroys your faulty argument

                      Its not my argument. I don't believe it. But they do, and they have been successfully in getting laws passed. Yes they've been struck down, but it only takes one lapse in the courts for something to stick.

                      My point is that we need to make good arguments instead of mental masturbation. The whole "If video games make us violent then why aren't we all murderers LOLOL" is arguing a strawman. Not only that, its completely based on anecdotal evid

                    • by Sj0 (472011)
                      Honestly, it's slashdot. I'm here to get in a stupid arguement over something everyone really agrees with on principle anyway. :P

                      You should have seen me argue "Babies shouldn't be thrown into meat grinders unless they somehow deserve it". It was beautiful. Somehow the other people became pro throwing babies who don't deserve it into meat grinders.

                       
                    • by Rycross (836649)
                      What, you don't think babies should be thrown into meat grinders? ;)
    • by ni42 (268052)
      Oh, and am I the only one who's tired of the old, "I'm a gamer and I'm not violent so obviously games don't contribute to violence," gem being busted out time and time again, as if its actual proof?

      You are not the only one.

      What surprises me is that there aren't more people pointing out the decline in youth violence. Media sources frame things such that it sounds like there's a terrible increase. The presentation is misleading, stirring up drama.

      Some statistics:
      http://youthviolence.edschool.virginia.edu/viol [virginia.edu]
    • Oh, and am I the only one who's tired of the old, "I'm a gamer and I'm not violent so obviously games don't contribute to violence," gem being busted out time and time again, as if its actual proof? If you want to convince people, how about trying something a bit more scientific?

      I thought that the burden of proof was on the side that raises the theory...

      • by Rycross (836649)
        Ideally thats how it should be, but real life isn't ideal. If we consider ourselves as defending against Jacko's attacks, then we should collectively make better arguments. As it is, we're flinging around straw men and anecdotes, then patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, while everyone else is rolling their eyes at us.
  • I am shocked that more people don't make the connection that: of course the murderer kid played violent video games... s/he was a violent person! If those games "made" people violent, then wouldn't there be a direct correlation between when a new game is released and some huge spike in murder statistics, where the new murderers mostly also owned the game?
    • You got a point there. Violent people do play violent games. For example in Columbine the students played Doom. My question for everyone though is what was it that made them violent to begin with?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Afternoon tea is no cause for solar eclipses

    Wood polish is no cause of sleeping sickness

    Radio waves are no cause of cumulus nimbus
  • Simplest answer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:21AM (#19271417) Homepage
    How video games inspire violence in 3 easy steps:

    1) Psycho plays video game
    2) Psycho likes what he did in fantasy world
    3) Psycho goes outside and lives out his fantasy world with the best weapons he can find

    There's the issue, in a nutshell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by El Torico (732160)
      The key words in your post are "Psycho" and "fantasy", not "video game".
    • You can replace step one with "Reads a book", "Watches television" or heck, even, "daydreams" and it will be just as accurate - which speaks volumes on the worth of the argument put forth
    • This is not the issue in a nutshell. This doesn't mean shit.

      Just for example: if we didn't have violent video games:

      1) Psycho plays outside with friends in violent games like tackle football, "smear the queer", or any number of the violent activities children, teens and adults engage in.
      2) Pyscho likes what he did in these games.
      3) Pyscho does it outside of the games. It gets worse, and Psycho eventually kills someone.

      The same could be applied to reading books. Hey I know, we should ban any book with violence because some psycho might read it!

      The only real thing you said is "some people are psycho".

      Stating the obvious is not helping the situation -- with people blaming video games when there's an infinite number of other things in life that can set somebody off.

      We need to be able to figure out who has violent tendencies, who is psycho, and make them cease to exist before they harm others. And that, as an issue, both logisticall and ethically, is not too easy to fit into any 'nutshell'.

      TLF
      • You are correct, but it seems that the majority of the media needs to be violently beaten over the head with the obvious because they are consistently ignoring it to the detriment of us all.
  • by Vexor (947598)
    It's about the lack of self control and discipline that causes kids to recreate what they see/do in a videogame. TV is no better then a videogame except for one key detail. The detail being a videogame is far far more interactive. The illusion is more complete. The experience more real.

    The kids parents (or their legal guardians w/e) are responsible for those kids. They either need to keep them in line or find assistance from another source to do their job. I know there are lots of great parents out there do

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lurker2288 (995635)
      "It's about the lack of self control and discipline that causes kids to recreate what they see/do in a videogame."

      I think that to suggest that it's self control and discipline that prevents kids from acting out what they do in games is pretty damn absurd. Do you think that every kid (or even most) who plays Counterstrike is thinking, "man, it would be so great to go machine gun my school...ah, but I really shouldn't."

      I don't think most people have any desire to act out violently in real life. If a kid comes
      • by Vexor (947598)

        Do you think that every kid (or even most) who plays Counterstrike is thinking, "man, it would be so great to go machine gun my school...ah, but I really shouldn't."

        I'm not saying they all do. You're misinterpreting my point. Once again it's the minority of these kids that lack the self control and discipline and that's exactly why we see it on the news. It's not just counterstrike that's violent. How many stories on the news have you heard about kids getting paralyzed/injured or worse because they tried to recreate their favorite wrestlers move after seeing it on TV or doing it in a videogame.

        I don't think most people have any desire to act out violently in real life. If a kid comes from a lousy background, or has rotten parents, then those things may be sufficient to send him down a dangerous path without video games having anything to do with it.

        I completely agree. Yet videogame's can certainly inspire an idea.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lurker2288 (995635)
          And my point is that most gamers have no desire to commit violent actions. Video games aren't a corrupting influence that creates violent intention where formerly there was none. If a kid is inclined to violence, he's going to do something violent. If he's a heavy gamer, it might be game-influenced. If he likes movies, maybe he'll act out a film scene. The media may influence the form, but it doesn't magically create the desire to harm other people.

          To speak to your example, if the idiot kids hurt emulating
          • by Vexor (947598)

            People like to blame video games because it's a lot easier than addressing the root causes of youth violence, lousy upbringing probably being the chief one. Until we see otherwise happy, well-adjusted kids from stable families turning into murderous zombies because they played GTA, there are better uses for our preventive efforts.

            I agree. I'm a gamer myself and I really don't have any violent urges. I'd go one step further and say it's the media and Jack Thompson who like to blame videogames. It's no doubt pointed out as well that there is not conclusive proof that videogames cause violence to appear magically. We certainly had violence long before TV, videogames, and movies.

  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:30AM (#19271563)
    I decided to run the Jack Thompson Translation software on the first comment from TFA...See the results below. Comments in italics, translations are not.

    Just off the top of my head, benefits I've gotten from gaming
    1. Faster, more accurate typing skills
    (for dodging bullets)
    2. better reading comprehension
    (so I know who to shoot)
    3. Sharpened Problem solving skills
    (when the gun doesn't work, switch to the knife)
    4. Computer and Programming knowledge
    (old aimbots didn't install themselves you know!)
    5. Experience using CAD like programs
    (to make maps of my school of course)
    6. better hand eye coordination
    (the better to shoot you with my dearie!)
    -
    I had a good signature until format c:
  • by killmenow (184444) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:37AM (#19271663)
    I don't know. I've played some games that made me want to kill...the developer of the game.
    • by snowgirl (978879)
      I don't know. I've played some games that made me want to kill...the developer of the game.

      Yeah, actually, I avoided playing Daikatana...
    • After playing Half-Life 2, I thought it would be cool to create a mod and have Jack Thompson get ripped to shreds by Ant Lions.
  • As much as I disagree with people blaming video games for violent actions in young people, it is plausible that exposing an 8 year old to violent video games and movies will have a violent influence. However, when a violent incident involving kids or teenagers occurs and people look to video games as the scapegoat, they neglect to consider that parental intervention is what really could have prevented something like that from happening. I think parents should be held accountable for something like that ha
    • Parents can only do so much though. For example how do you control the peers at school? Sure the parents can home school the kid but what if they are not able to do that? Then the kid is left at the mercy of the crack heads, bullies, etc. The parent can only hope the kid gets the right influence at school. And what about a kid that does not have parents? What then?
      • And what about a kid that does not have parents? What then?
        Study the kid to find out where the hell (s)he came from! Binary Fission, maybe?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Our actions are dictated by experiences from a lifetime, and they should be addressed that way for good or ill.

    I think it's plainly obvious to see just what happens when children are raised by parents who are more interested in their career than their children, are more interested in being "friends" with than applying discipline to their children, and are more concerned with keeping political correctness than instructing their children about the consequences of their actions. Games are not the cause, but t

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "Political correctness?" Really? I think you'll find that bad parenting predates the term. One can find such parenting even in morally rigid, highly unrelativistic families. A hundred hours of GTA are nothing next to a lifetime under an abusive dogmatist for a father, for example. Parents who want to be the buddies of their kids, though annoying, do far less damage to society than the ones who do their best to grind the kids' self-esteem under their heels.

      And saying the games are a catalyst still impli
  • by OneMHz (1097105) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:26PM (#19272503)
    1) an oversimplification, as you can almost guarantee that it is NOT the only source of violence, 2) a scapegoat that simply removes the responsibility of the person who committed a crime, those who influenced the person toward violence (*coughparentscough*) and anyone else who could have had an influence. People see a freak, and they treat them like a freak. Yet they're surprised when that person does something... freaky. If we blame violence on video games because they exposed someone to violence, then can't we blame the news too? How about violence in the streets or the home? Let's ban all of it! It would seem (to me) that "real" violence might have a more significant impact than fantasy violence, at least in developing a personality/irrational responses/violent tendencies. Most importantly, correlation is not the same as causality. And more imprtantly A implies B does NOT mean B implies A. A violent personality making someone like violent video games dose not imply liking violent video games means a person has a violent personality. And it especially means liking violent video games causes a person to have/develop a violent personality.
  • by CokeJunky (51666) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:33PM (#19272647)
    One argument I have not heard very often, but I think should be brought to light, is that someone predisposed to engaging in violent activities may be drawn to violent video games, more than the average person. That point of basically allows that someone may use video games as an out, or that they could maybe be involved with pulling that person deeper into whatever is causing them to have violence problems. One wonders if the preconditions for someone who will be violence affects how they percieve themselves, and the real world versus the video game world.

    More simply put, seeking violent video games may be one of the effects, rather than the cause. The problem is that most gamers are not in this category.
  • Believe it or not video games are actually teaching people some firearms usage. People who play shooters generally have a better understanding on things like leading a target as opposed to people who don't play shooters. Makes sense when you think about it.

    I'm not saying that video games are causing people to go out and murder eachother, but in the claim that they're teaching people how to shoot guns, then yes. That actually has some basis.
    • Yes, I'll never forget how Doom II taught me about controlling my breathing, acquiring a good sight picture, and trigger squeeze. No, wait. That was the Army.
    • You know, I've never handled a firearm in my entire life (unless you count an air pistol when I was 8... no, didn't think so either.) And I can honestly say the idea that running around a UT map switching between shotguns and rocket launchers is unlikely, to say the least, to have taught me a single thing about guns that I didn't already know. I believe essentially the facts one can garner about them from the average video game are:

      1. If you point a gun in a particular direction, and pull the trigger, the b
    • by OneMHz (1097105)
      I've fire several pistols and rifles. Sure, it teaches leading a target... so does Wing Commander, X-Wing, R-Type and a host of other non-FPS type games that don't really translate to firing a gun. Hell, learning to pass a football or basketball to a person who is running teaches you to lead your target. It also (as others mentioned) does not teach the proper way to hold a gun, breathe, aim, squeeze the trigger, shoot on the run or just about do anything else with a real weapon. I don't know any games (
    • by Chabo (880571)
      An hour of shooting an M16 taught me WAY more about its function than I've ever learned in my countless hours of gaming. And that includes realistic games like America's Army and the Rainbow Six series. At the beginning of that session, I was just as clueless as anyone else about what to actually do.

      Tactics can be taught through video games, paintball, airsoft, etc., but the techniques of shooting must be taught using a real firearm.
  • He makes the excellent point that, though we may enjoy the metaphor, life is not a game.

    Oh really? How exactly does he assert and support this? There have been thousands of years of philosphy about why we are here, and, in my reading on the subject, there is no conclusive resolution to the discussion. We don't know more than our collective experience. In fact, some have made very reasoned arguments about how and why this experience may be a simulation. This explanation of reality resolves many conundru
  • Zergling (Score:3, Funny)

    by owlman17 (871857) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:57PM (#19279631)
    After watching the trailers for StarCraft 2, I had a sudden urge to take six dogs and rush my neighbor...
    • by Mbenji (1109035)
      After seeing the trailer for Starcraft 2 the first thing I said was "dude I'd totally kill for this". So I played some SC Brood War and killed some stuff, which drove me to blast zerglings in real life o.O!

      You have to be careful these days, those damn zerglings will steal your waffles.

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