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Posted by tommosaur

While games are again and again pushed to the spotlight for such things it has nothing to do with games themselves.

Politicians and other groups look for someone/something to blame when bad things happen and well, a few decades earlier it was Rock'n'Roll and before something else and now its them video games..

The real issues turning kids to mass murderer maniacs are others, they are usually severe problems in the kid's social life combined with bad outlook for the future feeling and various other problems. Often many of those are directly or indirectly caused by the school system, financial/work system and hence educators, politicians etc (Next to that, yes, that it is very easy to obtain weapons in the US sure does not help when a kid with such severe issues can easily get a gun or similar) Guess which groups would love to blame games most to push the focus of blame away from themselves?

One can create as many studies as one wants, waste of time, one would instead just have to look at all the people playing video games to easily see that there's only a tiny fraction of people among all those who are uncommonly aggressive etc, not a larger group than in any other group of such total size. But yeah, no,... its them video games..

Posted by mrfluke

@Cathryn: sterotypes? maybe show them some of the more abstract weird stuff then

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

You're full of shit. If what you said was true then the thousands of boxing/martial arts gyms that do the exact same thing as MMA gyms would produce thousands of violent felons who are just looking for a reason to hurt people. They don't. What you learn in those spaces is how to take care of yourself definitely, but you also learn the discipline to know when and how to apply the technique you've learned as well as respect for your peers, your competition, and for the skills you've acquired, as said. You also have a new sense of community, camaraderie, both of these things are vital to mental health of people, and both of those things you won't find in your neighbourhood, let alone in your class room.

If you're on a crusade against combat sports God bless you for wasting everyone's time. You will lose. Your kind always loses because you miss out on the fundamental thing these gyms provide their members: community. That's a very powerful thing that often leads to a strong sense of morality.

But hey, these places just teach people how to be violent barbarians right? There's no room for a contextual outlet for aggression in a civilized society.

Posted by YOU_DIED

Blame guns, blame video games, blame marilyn manson, blame everything and everyone except the person who actually committed the atrocities

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

@Oldirtybearon said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

You're full of shit. If what you said was true then the thousands of boxing/martial arts gyms that do the exact same thing as MMA gyms would produce thousands of violent felons who are just looking for a reason to hurt people. They don't. What you learn in those spaces is how to take care of yourself definitely, but you also learn the discipline to know when and how to apply the technique you've learned as well as respect for your peers, your competition, and for the skills you've acquired, as said. You also have a new sense of community, camaraderie, both of these things are vital to mental health of people, and both of those things you won't find in your neighbourhood, let alone in your class room.

If you're on a crusade against combat sports God bless you for wasting everyone's time. You will lose. Your kind always loses because you miss out on the fundamental thing these gyms provide their members: community. That's a very powerful thing that often leads to a strong sense of morality.

But hey, these places just teach people how to be violent barbarians right? There's no room for a contextual outlet for aggression in a civilized society.

I'm not against combat sports, I was just against that dude saying it takes kids off the street and somehow teaching them to elbow dudes in the face makes them better human beings, even if he is surrounded by his peers yelling at him to elbow that dude in the face harder. Teach a kid to do Muay Thai and he will use it every chance he gets, kids are too young to be learning MMA. I like UFC, up until they end up on the ground trying to choke each other. Probably why I enjoy boxing alot more.

Edited by Vigil80

@Sunjammer : I never said it was offensive, and if you think it was good, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I will give it credit for being more reasoned than other recent works. But I don't think it's the tour de force some are holding it up as.

@drakesfortune : Thanks for posting. I don't entirely agree with everything you said, but it's nice to see the occasional break from the reapplying of the same thought processes that we're upset about in others.

Posted by Brodehouse

@fisk0 said:

@mrfluke said:

alexs writes an excellent thoughtful opinionated article that pretty much draws 0 ire from the community and actually has them thinking. and expressing some big thoughtful opinions.

Personally I think confirmation bias plays a rather large role in it. Jeff, Patrick and Alex could write or say the exact same thing, and part of the community would still jump for Patrick's throat because of it. They are determined that everything Patrick say or do is a crime against humanity and will rage about it regardless of the actual content of his writing. Just watch the comment section for every quicklook or article put up on the site (or on youtube) since Patrick joined, a bunch of it is "PATRICK IS IN THIS? I'M GLAD I READ THAT SO I WON'T HAVE TO CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON OR READ THIS THEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111". Also, a chunk of the community have treated Alex exactly the same throughout the years. Thankfully that group is dwindling in size, and I guess the same will happen with the anti-Patrick mob in time, but the process is painfully slow.

I find Alex to be kind of obnoxious in person, but I will state that he's still the best writer on the Giant Bomb staff. I find Patrick to be a conspicuous hypocrite, but I will state he's the hardest worker on Giant Bomb.

Perhaps instead of just saying that people are incapable of forming an opinion based on lived experiences, you should accept that maybe they are reacting to the evidence before them. As in, maybe the people who dislike Patrick's actions have reasons for disliking them? Maybe the people who like Jeff's contributions are happy because those are the kind of contributions they come to Giant Bomb for? I see people follow the leader all day long, but the proper response to criticism is to argue the criticism, not the person who made the criticism.

Lastly, the idea of a Giant Bomb community where everyone loves the staff independent of the staff's behavior is simply advocacy for the creation of an echo chamber. People who are interested in Giant Bomb are here for its qualities (humor, insight), not because they love they unconditionally love the site.

Posted by zoozilla

God damn, this is a nicely-written article.

I especially like the phrase "seething, hateful blobs of humanity."

This is definitely becoming one of my favorite features. Keep it up, Alex!

Oh, and maybe you could update your Year of the Cage blog sometime too...

Edited by Brodehouse

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

I suppose we can look at the legal, highly promoted sport of boxing as the cause of all the left hooks and right uppercuts you saw criminals throw for the last 100 years, right?

I remember 30 years ago when karate classes had a major spark in popularity due to the Karate Kid and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yet somehow the amount of school violence remained consistent. Maybe it's because violence is caused by reasons other than the accessibility of a weapon or martial skills? Perhaps violence has root in actual, real world issues, and not just "I'ma choke the guy like on the teevee".

edit: Keep in mind; I fucking hate MMA. But I hate bad argumentation more.

Posted by mrfluke

@Brodehouse said:

@fisk0 said:

@mrfluke said:

alexs writes an excellent thoughtful opinionated article that pretty much draws 0 ire from the community and actually has them thinking. and expressing some big thoughtful opinions.

Personally I think confirmation bias plays a rather large role in it. Jeff, Patrick and Alex could write or say the exact same thing, and part of the community would still jump for Patrick's throat because of it. They are determined that everything Patrick say or do is a crime against humanity and will rage about it regardless of the actual content of his writing. Just watch the comment section for every quicklook or article put up on the site (or on youtube) since Patrick joined, a bunch of it is "PATRICK IS IN THIS? I'M GLAD I READ THAT SO I WON'T HAVE TO CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON OR READ THIS THEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111". Also, a chunk of the community have treated Alex exactly the same throughout the years. Thankfully that group is dwindling in size, and I guess the same will happen with the anti-Patrick mob in time, but the process is painfully slow.

I find Alex to be kind of obnoxious in person, but I will state that he's still the best writer on the Giant Bomb staff. I find Patrick to be a conspicuous hypocrite, but I will state he's the hardest worker on Giant Bomb.

Perhaps instead of just saying that people are incapable of forming an opinion based on lived experiences, you should accept that maybe they are reacting to the evidence before them. As in, maybe the people who dislike Patrick's actions have reasons for disliking them? Maybe the people who like Jeff's contributions are happy because those are the kind of contributions they come to Giant Bomb for? I see people follow the leader all day long, but the proper response to criticism is to argue the criticism, not the person who made the criticism.

Lastly, the idea of a Giant Bomb community where everyone loves the staff independent of the staff's behavior is simply advocacy for the creation of an echo chamber. People who are interested in Giant Bomb are here for its qualities (humor, insight), not because they love they unconditionally love the site.

this,

i think there are legitimate reasons for people disliking patrick, but it gets lost in the noise, or as alex puts it, the awfuls become the default image (which that saying is pure genius, im going to use that a lot more)

Edited by Vigil80

@Brodehouse: Well said.

Be wary of simple answers, indeed. Nothing like these conversations to stoke the pathological fears some seem to have.

Posted by TheManWithNoPlan

I definitely think perception is the problem, but I really think we need much more diversity. There have been examples, in recent memory, of games that brake the mold from your average shooter. I'm not saying developers should stop making games that have a violent overtone, but instead there should be more games that don't only create a gameplay scenario that involves somebody on the receiving end of a gun barrel. I love playing violent games and wish for them to continue being made. Though sometimes it's nice to experience something different. You don't just listen to rock. Sometimes you want a mix of jazz or country. You don't just watch action thrillers. Sometimes you want to watch a comedy or a drama. The same should be said of games.

Imagine if movies were a relatively new medium just starting to gain traction. Now imagine that only movies like Scarface, Goodfellas, Die Hard, Commando, and Halloween dominated that market. Sure there were rare gems like Casablanca, Titanic, Ghostbusters, and Airplane, but they were too few and not easily visible to the mainstream. Can you imagine the complaints from the uninformed mass. They would probably mirror what we hear now.

Alex made an excellent point that we are just talking to ourselves. There are so many of us that can relate wonderful inspiring personal stories of how games enriched our lives, yet we seem to be talking to fellow like minded individuals. There's no reason that a minority should control what we the majority can enjoy or do. That last sentence can be applied to other political topics I suppose, but it doesn't make it any less true.

I can only hope that nothing ever major happens to our medium before the ones who grew up with games and understand them replace the ones who haven't. I have hope that our medium will continue to grow, as well as become even more established and accepted. Until then, it would benefit the medium for developers to continue to diversify what kinds of games are available.

Posted by coakroach

Loving these articles.

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

I suppose we can look at the legal, highly promoted sport of boxing as the cause of all the left hooks and right uppercuts you saw criminals throw for the last 100 years, right?

I remember 30 years ago when karate classes had a major spark in popularity due to the Karate Kid and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yet somehow the amount of school violence remained consistent. Maybe it's because violence is caused by reasons other than the accessibility of a weapon or martial skills? Perhaps violence has root in actual, real world issues, and not just "I'ma choke the guy like on the teevee".

edit: Keep in mind; I fucking hate MMA. But I hate bad argumentation more.

I'm just speaking from experiences from growing up, it was always the trained fighters starting all the shit, it's not this Disney movie outcome that the UFC tries to promote. Karate Kid and TMNT is alot different than a kid watching a dudes teeth and face being battered in lying in a pool of blood when thousands of patrons are up in their seats cheering away, but you should know that was a bad comparison because you hate bad argumentation. =)

Posted by bledsoe9mm

you notice these debates only come up in GTA years , i think its all a publicity stunt by Rockstar !

Posted by Brodehouse

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

I suppose we can look at the legal, highly promoted sport of boxing as the cause of all the left hooks and right uppercuts you saw criminals throw for the last 100 years, right?

I remember 30 years ago when karate classes had a major spark in popularity due to the Karate Kid and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yet somehow the amount of school violence remained consistent. Maybe it's because violence is caused by reasons other than the accessibility of a weapon or martial skills? Perhaps violence has root in actual, real world issues, and not just "I'ma choke the guy like on the teevee".

edit: Keep in mind; I fucking hate MMA. But I hate bad argumentation more.

I'm just speaking from experiences from growing up, it was always the trained fighters starting all the shit, it's not this Disney movie outcome that the UFC tries to promote. Karate Kid and TMNT is alot different than a kid watching a dudes teeth and face being battered in lying in a pool of blood when thousands of patrons are up in their seats cheering away, but you should know that was a bad comparison because you hate bad argumentation. =)

You're implying causation when all you've proven is correlation. This is the same argument that believes people play violent video games and then become violent people with the interest to commit violence, and not vice versa. Your 'trained fighters' growing up didn't learn a martial skill and then decide to become violent people, they were violent people who then learned a martial skill in order to achieve violent ends.

In a couple threads this idea has been professed where people only learn violence through media or representation, that in a violence vacuum, no person would ever be able to 'figure it out'. That kept from any representation of violence, people would be perfectly docile. This is fundamentally backwards to reality. Much in the same way that even someone who was never trained in mathematics can make the distinction between 2 and 1, someone who never saw a person being hit in their life will understand the core nature of violence as soon as they discover tactility. Children who can barely walk or form thoughts longer than 4 seconds understand the nature of tactility and therefore the application of violence as a solution to problems. This idea that people are only violent because they see representations of violence is about as accurate to the human condition as believing that if people didn't see representations of urination we'd all forget how to piss.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

said:

There are awful people like this in every facet of entertainment, but somehow, we've let our awfuls become our default image. Angry commenters, forum trolls, and thoughtless haters are stealing our narrative and feeding into this resentful and fearful perception people have of what games are all about. All the while, those who are actually paid to represent this medium are quietly nodding along, trying to figure out how to right a ship that feels like it's been rudderless for ages.
Posted by sommer.derek@gmail.com

I completely disagree with the notion that engaging in a discussion with Biden is admitting culpability. I live in Colorado, a friend of mine lost someone they knew in the Aurora shooting, and with Sandy Hook its the perfect time to have a discussion about all the possible reasons these tragedies keep happening. Now let me make myself clear, im not saying video games are to blame quite the contrary, now is the time when our industry needs to do something you said defend itself better. Alex you make the salient point we have done a terrible job defending ourselves, so the answer to that is to when handed an invitation to make the case why video games are not to blame to just sit out. Its not hard to point out the easiest flaws in the NRAs actual effect on these because quite simply its true people kill people, guns dont kill people, but guns are used to kill people, video games, movies, tv shows aren't. The other mediums mentioned went through this and in fact still do, but the film industry, the music industry, etc have all endured and rebutted criticism based on flase claims, the video game industry needs to now more than ever actually particpate in its own defense, not say nothing as the defense.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

Don't stop being delicious, Alex.

Posted by tourgen

great article!

The bit about the industry taking care of ex-THQ people was nice to hear.

Video game scapegoating sucks but it's kind of necessary. Otherwise we would have to acknowledge real offenders and by god that's not going to happen. No I'm not talking about guns either.

Posted by MormonWarrior

Love the article.

The thing I find disturbing, and something that my parents have mentioned as well, is the unusual silence in regard to how we deal with seriously mentally disturbed people and how we figure out who and where they are. Tragedies like what happened in Sandy Hook are a result of super crazy people not being properly watched after. And yet the debate keeps turning to guns or video games or any of another bunch of tangentially related/unrelated topics. Games and gun control have little or nothing to do with it. Insane people that are not watched after can do insane things with or without guns or GTA to inspire them.

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

I suppose we can look at the legal, highly promoted sport of boxing as the cause of all the left hooks and right uppercuts you saw criminals throw for the last 100 years, right?

I remember 30 years ago when karate classes had a major spark in popularity due to the Karate Kid and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yet somehow the amount of school violence remained consistent. Maybe it's because violence is caused by reasons other than the accessibility of a weapon or martial skills? Perhaps violence has root in actual, real world issues, and not just "I'ma choke the guy like on the teevee".

edit: Keep in mind; I fucking hate MMA. But I hate bad argumentation more.

I'm just speaking from experiences from growing up, it was always the trained fighters starting all the shit, it's not this Disney movie outcome that the UFC tries to promote. Karate Kid and TMNT is alot different than a kid watching a dudes teeth and face being battered in lying in a pool of blood when thousands of patrons are up in their seats cheering away, but you should know that was a bad comparison because you hate bad argumentation. =)

You're implying causation when all you've proven is correlation. This is the same argument that believes people play violent video games and then become violent people with the interest to commit violence, and not vice versa. Your 'trained fighters' growing up didn't learn a martial skill and then decide to become violent people, they were violent people who then learned a martial skill in order to achieve violent ends.

In a couple threads this idea has been professed where people only learn violence through media or representation, that in a violence vacuum, no person would ever be able to 'figure it out'. That kept from any representation of violence, people would be perfectly docile. This is fundamentally backwards to reality. Much in the same way that even someone who was never trained in mathematics can make the distinction between 2 and 1, someone who never saw a person being hit in their life will understand the core nature of violence as soon as they discover tactility. Children who can barely walk or form thoughts longer than 4 seconds understand the nature of tactility and therefore the application of violence as a solution to problems. This idea that people are only violent because they see representations of violence is about as accurate to the human condition as believing that if people didn't see representations of urination we'd all forget how to piss.

Again alot of words to really say nothing, keep it simple mate. Pissing is a bodily function.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

I suppose we can look at the legal, highly promoted sport of boxing as the cause of all the left hooks and right uppercuts you saw criminals throw for the last 100 years, right?

I remember 30 years ago when karate classes had a major spark in popularity due to the Karate Kid and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yet somehow the amount of school violence remained consistent. Maybe it's because violence is caused by reasons other than the accessibility of a weapon or martial skills? Perhaps violence has root in actual, real world issues, and not just "I'ma choke the guy like on the teevee".

edit: Keep in mind; I fucking hate MMA. But I hate bad argumentation more.

I'm just speaking from experiences from growing up, it was always the trained fighters starting all the shit, it's not this Disney movie outcome that the UFC tries to promote. Karate Kid and TMNT is alot different than a kid watching a dudes teeth and face being battered in lying in a pool of blood when thousands of patrons are up in their seats cheering away, but you should know that was a bad comparison because you hate bad argumentation. =)

You're implying causation when all you've proven is correlation. This is the same argument that believes people play violent video games and then become violent people with the interest to commit violence, and not vice versa. Your 'trained fighters' growing up didn't learn a martial skill and then decide to become violent people, they were violent people who then learned a martial skill in order to achieve violent ends.

In a couple threads this idea has been professed where people only learn violence through media or representation, that in a violence vacuum, no person would ever be able to 'figure it out'. That kept from any representation of violence, people would be perfectly docile. This is fundamentally backwards to reality. Much in the same way that even someone who was never trained in mathematics can make the distinction between 2 and 1, someone who never saw a person being hit in their life will understand the core nature of violence as soon as they discover tactility. Children who can barely walk or form thoughts longer than 4 seconds understand the nature of tactility and therefore the application of violence as a solution to problems. This idea that people are only violent because they see representations of violence is about as accurate to the human condition as believing that if people didn't see representations of urination we'd all forget how to piss.

Again alot of words to really say nothing, keep it simple mate. Pissing is a bodily function.

As is violence. Do you think that people who are born in a Quaker community are all quaker'd out the moment they're born? No, it's learned.

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

@HaltIamReptar said:

As is violence. Do you think that people who are born in a Quaker community are all quaker'd out the moment they're born? No, it's learned.

You ain't going to punch someone because you can't hold it in, many people have lived their whole lives without inflicting violence, I don't think anyone has lived their whole life without taking a piss. This is getting silly I'm not against UFC, but I can see how it can influence and glamorize violence to young individuals, and this is what this whole debate steamed from, that there is more things for the government to point their finger at apart from violent video games if they are going to go down that blame road the NRA wants them to do, I've said my piece about it. Oh and by the way what is Quacker?

Edited by Judakel

@towolie said:

@Judakel said:

@Alex: My comments are simply a warning against emboldening the individuals who have no qualms about declaring violence to be a "fine" thing in games and all media. To get rid of America's detestable gun culture, all forms of media will have to look really hard at the content they are creating and reevaluate their stance on gun violence without purpose.

Discussing what needs to be done as far as game violence is particularly difficult with games, since it is such an artistically immature medium. It is difficult to separate games that have artistically justifiable reasons for their gun violence from those that aim simply to attract eyeballs.

There will come a day when games are no longer singled out. Whether this will be due to the influence of lobbyists or an artistic maturity which makes it clear certain forms of video game violence are artistically legitimate remains to be seen. I hope it is the latter.

plz don't do that, we in Europe love to keep having fun/violent game's. don't ruin my games because your culture apparently can't handle it.

if you should do one thing, its to stop all this gun madness. in my country all these problems are practically unheard of.

( not trying to offend you, we should even give them ground of acting like this is a serious problem )

Sorry, but you must "suffer" so that we may endure. The prospect of changing our gun culture should be appealing to you despite the fact you live in another country.

Posted by Brodehouse

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MrWiggles said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: Mixed Martial Arts or "Cage fighting" As you put it, Is a sport. It encourages more people off of the streets and into Gyms where they can learn discipline and respect, While bettering themselves as people. It may be easy to flick the channel over, See the violence and think of it as barbaric or over the top, But it is in fact the sportsmanship and skill shown by most fighters is something to behold. I don't see how this could influence a person into violence anymore than a video game, Movie or Music would.

It encourages young people to learn how to choke a dude on the ground or snap a dudes arm, or smash their elbows into their opponents face, then they send those kids back on the street to use their new "talent"

I suppose we can look at the legal, highly promoted sport of boxing as the cause of all the left hooks and right uppercuts you saw criminals throw for the last 100 years, right?

I remember 30 years ago when karate classes had a major spark in popularity due to the Karate Kid and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yet somehow the amount of school violence remained consistent. Maybe it's because violence is caused by reasons other than the accessibility of a weapon or martial skills? Perhaps violence has root in actual, real world issues, and not just "I'ma choke the guy like on the teevee".

edit: Keep in mind; I fucking hate MMA. But I hate bad argumentation more.

I'm just speaking from experiences from growing up, it was always the trained fighters starting all the shit, it's not this Disney movie outcome that the UFC tries to promote. Karate Kid and TMNT is alot different than a kid watching a dudes teeth and face being battered in lying in a pool of blood when thousands of patrons are up in their seats cheering away, but you should know that was a bad comparison because you hate bad argumentation. =)

You're implying causation when all you've proven is correlation. This is the same argument that believes people play violent video games and then become violent people with the interest to commit violence, and not vice versa. Your 'trained fighters' growing up didn't learn a martial skill and then decide to become violent people, they were violent people who then learned a martial skill in order to achieve violent ends.

In a couple threads this idea has been professed where people only learn violence through media or representation, that in a violence vacuum, no person would ever be able to 'figure it out'. That kept from any representation of violence, people would be perfectly docile. This is fundamentally backwards to reality. Much in the same way that even someone who was never trained in mathematics can make the distinction between 2 and 1, someone who never saw a person being hit in their life will understand the core nature of violence as soon as they discover tactility. Children who can barely walk or form thoughts longer than 4 seconds understand the nature of tactility and therefore the application of violence as a solution to problems. This idea that people are only violent because they see representations of violence is about as accurate to the human condition as believing that if people didn't see representations of urination we'd all forget how to piss.

Again alot of words to really say nothing, keep it simple mate. Pissing is a bodily function.

No, I actually said plenty. A refusal to present a counterpoint does not qualify as a counterpoint. And can the condescension.

Pissing is a bodily function, much like the sense of touch. Violence is nothing more than an understanding of tactility and physics and an expression thereof. If I hit X, X will break. If X breaks, then Y. If I want Y, then break X. It is not something that requires an education in violence to reveal. Children hit each other independent of a 'violent culture'. Adults commit violence independent of what's on the teevee. The proposition that they only did it because the video game or the MMA or the action jackson made 'em violent is logically corrupt.

Posted by Lazyaza

I do love how American politicians point the finger at games when their is practically a vending machine on every street in US selling assault rifles for $5.99 meanwhile joe-mc-average-crazy is in a room for 12 months, alone and ignored and then everyone asks GOSH why'd he go crazy and shoot a bunch of people? vidya games of course!

Posted by posh

why have people who played videogames put this barrier around themselves and started defining themselves as "gamers"? I see a lot of "we" in this article, is this "we" in the industry or "we" as gamers? can't you just play videogames and not alienate yourself about it? think about how annoying the terms "wine buff" and "film buff" are. when you start identifying yourself as someone who has a particular affinity with one thing it makes you seem weird. and it brings up this whole "us v them" notion where gamers are in a constant battle with everyone else to keep their beloved videogames from being less violent and having less cleavage in it

Posted by Dixavd

First article I have ever 'Liked' on facebook. Way to be a boss, Alex. Fantastic Article. Cuts right to the heart of it for me. I'm not even American (and actually know very little about what is going on) but damn if this didn't make me feel sad, angry, disappointed. But I'm also filled with a drive to at least hope to cut this issue down a little in my life time - little by little.

Posted by towolie

@MormonWarrior said:

Love the article.

The thing I find disturbing, and something that my parents have mentioned as well, is the unusual silence in regard to how we deal with seriously mentally disturbed people and how we figure out who and where they are. Tragedies like what happened in Sandy Hook are a result of super crazy people not being properly watched after. And yet the debate keeps turning to guns or video games or any of another bunch of tangentially related/unrelated topics. Games and gun control have little or nothing to do with it. Insane people that are not watched after can do insane things with or without guns or GTA to inspire them.

. Insane people that are not watched after can do insane things with or without guns or GTA to inspire them."

fun fact, you can easily do way way more damage with a gun than with almost any other kind of weapons.

i do agree with you, i just think you understate what difference a gun make's.

Posted by MrSpaceMan

This is just growing pains in the industry. Mind you videogames are still kinda new.

Posted by towolie

@Judakel said:

@towolie said:

@Judakel said:

@Alex: My comments are simply a warning against emboldening the individuals who have no qualms about declaring violence to be a "fine" thing in games and all media. To get rid of America's detestable gun culture, all forms of media will have to look really hard at the content they are creating and reevaluate their stance on gun violence without purpose.

Discussing what needs to be done as far as game violence is particularly difficult with games, since it is such an artistically immature medium. It is difficult to separate games that have artistically justifiable reasons for their gun violence from those that aim simply to attract eyeballs.

There will come a day when games are no longer singled out. Whether this will be due to the influence of lobbyists or an artistic maturity which makes it clear certain forms of video game violence are artistically legitimate remains to be seen. I hope it is the latter.

plz don't do that, we in Europe love to keep having fun/violent game's. don't ruin my games because your culture apparently can't handle it.

if you should do one thing, its to stop all this gun madness. in my country all these problems are practically unheard of.

( not trying to offend you, we should even give them ground of acting like this is a serious problem )

Sorry, but you must "suffer" so that we may endure. The prospect of changing our gun culture should be appealing to you despite the fact you live in another country.

hehe, nah what you do with your gun's is fully your choice. i just have the silly hope the we as a species can one day move beyond all the silly violence in the world.

i am however glad that gun's are illegal where i live. and i'd like to keep violence and sex/nudity in my entertainment. ( watching spartacus right now, its amazing! )

Posted by tescovee

Weird that never does any one just say "fucked up families make fucked up kids", instead of blaming things. Any who...Ill be dead and people will still be bitching over guns, weed, abortion and violent media.

Online
Posted by towolie

@tescovee said:

Weird that never does any one just say "fucked up families make fucked up kids", instead of blaming things. Any who...Ill be dead and people will still be bitching over guns, weed, abortion and violent media.

3 of the 4 discussions are close to non existent in my country, don't lose hope!

Posted by Judakel

@towolie said:

@Judakel said:

@towolie said:

@Judakel said:

@Alex: My comments are simply a warning against emboldening the individuals who have no qualms about declaring violence to be a "fine" thing in games and all media. To get rid of America's detestable gun culture, all forms of media will have to look really hard at the content they are creating and reevaluate their stance on gun violence without purpose.

Discussing what needs to be done as far as game violence is particularly difficult with games, since it is such an artistically immature medium. It is difficult to separate games that have artistically justifiable reasons for their gun violence from those that aim simply to attract eyeballs.

There will come a day when games are no longer singled out. Whether this will be due to the influence of lobbyists or an artistic maturity which makes it clear certain forms of video game violence are artistically legitimate remains to be seen. I hope it is the latter.

plz don't do that, we in Europe love to keep having fun/violent game's. don't ruin my games because your culture apparently can't handle it.

if you should do one thing, its to stop all this gun madness. in my country all these problems are practically unheard of.

( not trying to offend you, we should even give them ground of acting like this is a serious problem )

Sorry, but you must "suffer" so that we may endure. The prospect of changing our gun culture should be appealing to you despite the fact you live in another country.

hehe, nah what you do with your gun's is fully your choice. i just have the silly hope the we as a species can one day move beyond all the silly violence in the world.

i am however glad that gun's are illegal where i live. and i'd like to keep violence and sex/nudity in my entertainment. ( watching spartacus right now, its amazing! )

I don't think the problem is just any gun violence, but rather some gratuitous violence and the way we advertise violent games so as to make them appealing to people who are far too young to be playing them.

Posted by Lydian_Sel

Alex is really nailing it, I'm glad he has a more prominent voice on the site again.

Posted by towolie

@Judakel said:

@towolie said:

@Judakel said:

@towolie said:

@Judakel said:

@Alex: My comments are simply a warning against emboldening the individuals who have no qualms about declaring violence to be a "fine" thing in games and all media. To get rid of America's detestable gun culture, all forms of media will have to look really hard at the content they are creating and reevaluate their stance on gun violence without purpose.

Discussing what needs to be done as far as game violence is particularly difficult with games, since it is such an artistically immature medium. It is difficult to separate games that have artistically justifiable reasons for their gun violence from those that aim simply to attract eyeballs.

There will come a day when games are no longer singled out. Whether this will be due to the influence of lobbyists or an artistic maturity which makes it clear certain forms of video game violence are artistically legitimate remains to be seen. I hope it is the latter.

plz don't do that, we in Europe love to keep having fun/violent game's. don't ruin my games because your culture apparently can't handle it.

if you should do one thing, its to stop all this gun madness. in my country all these problems are practically unheard of.

( not trying to offend you, we should even give them ground of acting like this is a serious problem )

Sorry, but you must "suffer" so that we may endure. The prospect of changing our gun culture should be appealing to you despite the fact you live in another country.

hehe, nah what you do with your gun's is fully your choice. i just have the silly hope the we as a species can one day move beyond all the silly violence in the world.

i am however glad that gun's are illegal where i live. and i'd like to keep violence and sex/nudity in my entertainment. ( watching spartacus right now, its amazing! )

I don't think the problem is just any gun violence, but rather some gratuitous violence and the way we advertise violent games so as to make them appealing to people who are far too young to be playing them.

than explain why this is a non issue in at least northern europe. we play the same game's and watch the same show's. again its not my country and by extent not my choice on how you should deal with it. i'm just wondering what you think the difference whit these things are between america and europe.

also wanted to say sorry for my very first reply, i was a bit pissed and that rubbed off on my response.

Posted by Phished0ne

The problem with issues like this is solely that people want one singular solitary thing to blame for violent behavior in children. But it doesn't exist, most of the research i have seen on the subject shows that there are many risk factors. Consuming violent media is one of them. But that is really all we know.

Posted by mondeblue

Really good read, Alex, and you bring up some interesting points.

Hope to see more from you in the coming weeks, dude.

Posted by spencer_twin

@horseman6: Amen duder.

Posted by TOYBOXX

Although this article is thought provoking, and highly interesting; one argument comes to mind at the very beginning when discussing restraint from our leaders in Government. I think you're giving Biden a little too much credit with handling the "Violence" in this video games 'witch hunt'.

And this is exactly what it is. A modern day witch hunt.

If Joe Biden, the gaffer and chief, took the time to study-up on the violence in video games investigations of the past, the public display of incompetency wouldn't have even occurred. Common sense dictates that interacting with any form of violence in the media DOES NOT brain wash an individual into becoming a killing machine. Jack Thompsons' poison corrupted the thoughts of others, including the media, and it worked. Even our leaders are considering this idiocy as being fact without seeing the facts which only further fuels the fire of stupidity.

If citizens of this nation refuse to put in check the very people who are quick to judge (and likewise quick to pull the plug on things that they don't understand), is very damaging to our society as a whole.

As the saying goes "You can lead the horse to water, but you can't make one drink". In other words, you can present the facts plain as day to the individual, but you can't make someone learn said facts if they refuse.

What other forms of industry will be thrown under the bus in the name of "peace"?

Posted by fargofallout

Something I still struggle with is thinking of this as an "us" and "them" situation. People play games. People watch movies. People read books. I don't know why people who play games are their own group of people, whereas people that watch shitty reality TV every night are just people. I know people play games to varying degrees, but almost everyone - and especially people who have smartphones - plays games to some extent. Hell, I don't know that my wife has ever touched a 360 controller, but even she plays Temple Run and Angry Birds on her iPhone. Does that make her a gamer?

Also, I would like to voice my concern about shooting being a core mechanic of so many games. I'm not talking about it from a violence perspective, but I'm starting to think of it as sort of lazy and uninspired design. My annoyance at games like Uncharted 3 (timely reference here) is really starting to skyrocket. I liked the game, but I felt like it didn't need to be a shooter. Games don't always need to involve shooting other people.

Edited by Branthog

As long as we keep biting at the political "the games industry needs to participate in the discussion about their role in causing violence" bait, it'll keep being a problem. We contribute to the validation of the prolonging of this bullshit conversation about something for which there is no evidence or justification and only baseless accusations.

It's also ultimately irrelevant, because so what if it did in some magical fantasy world increase the chance of a crazy person with access to guns who is on medication for their mental health going nuts in a school or shopping mall? That one in tens of millions person going nuts is, what, going to justify unprecedented censorship?

Posted by Sor_Eddie

Thanks for the great article, Alex. Can't wait to read more pieces by you

Posted by darkdragonmage99

Hey I am a social outcast and a loner and you know what I don't see anything wrong with that

Posted by Shensai

One day, the old generation will die off and hopefully so will their astigmatism towards "violent" media.

Posted by kfizz

I think its that each time a game genration starts, its a new form of media to the old bags. So its a new thing to them each time so its going to happen every genration of systems. So its a microcosm of media at a faster rate. Its crazy I saw chain smoker of facebook, say that E-cigs cutting profits of cig companies saying that is why our economie is bad because their profits are being cut by e-cigs. The common man is getting dumber and dumber.

Posted by darkdragonmage99

@Judakel: I'll gladly blame something other then guns because I know a certain number and I know the driver of america's murder rate.

80% of murders in this country are gang related gangs are killing each other over drug turf just like gangs killed each other over alcohol turf. If you want to solve the violence problem in this country end Prohibition. it is truly as simple as that it worked the first time it will work again.

Posted by KittyVonDoom

I blame the parents and popular, sensationalist news networks...

If you don't want your child "influenced by the devil", then stop them from using the things you don't understand. But don't stop them from gaining an understanding of what these things are.

Who instils fear of society thru warped reality into more minds - video games, or FOX news? Hey. Remember when the media and parents wanted you to be afraid of Marilyn Manson because he turned kids into cold-hearted serial killers? Apparently his music doesn't do that anymore. Not since video games.

Posted by darkdragonmage99

@towolie: gang violence a overactive black market cultural clashes the list of our differences that cause our homicide rate to be so much higher is large and not much of it has anything to do with the crappy gun laws we have.