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Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games 87

Posted by timothy
from the handwringer's-symphony dept.
simoniker writes "Gamasutra has just posted an interview with author Gerard Jones, subtitled 'Sex, Violence, Tension and Comic Books,' in which the writer of 'Killing Monsters' talks about violence and games eloquently. When asked: 'What do you think it is in your work that resonates with the gaming community?', Jones comments: 'Video games have been so much under attack recently, that I think there's a certain nervousness. Most people in this business are very pleasant and non-confrontational and the fact that they are being reviled as the causes of crime, causes of violence, is disturbing. On the one hand, I think people want to know how to respond to those criticisms. But on the other hand, I think there's some genuine anxiety that maybe games have a bad side, maybe there is a problem, and how do we deal with any guilt or fear?' He goes on to suggest of attacks on gaming: "I would say now we're kind of at the tail end. If games continue to push boundaries, particular ones could come under attack. A lot of it's just the medium being around long enough that people have realized the world hasn't gone to hell.""
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Sex, Violence, Tension & Video Games

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  • Same old same old (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:03PM (#17370672) Journal
    The thing that always leaps to my mind, and they touched on it in tfa, is the persecution of comics in the late 40's early 50's. they were blamed for everything, from making kids more violent, to promoting homosexuality (all those guys in their tights with their little boy sidekicks), to promoting Communism...Not that everything wasn't accused of promoting Communism right then, but that's beside the point. They had congressional hearings, they came up with standards for "decency", the works.

    Flash forward to the 80's when comics started going really adult in this country for the first time. Really dark, gory, and real. Congressional hearings? No. New standards? No.

    And why not? Because they were just comic books. The same people who had read them as kids were running the country, and blew off the concerns of the few as unwarranted. Comics had been around forever, and nobody'd seen any ill effects, so what was the big deal? Not worth getting in a flap over.

    The biggest thing against games right now is how new they are. You get these hugely violent movies, above and beyond the pale, and no one cares. Why? Because people grew up with movies. You understand whats going on there, there is no mystery...You can flash back to all the risque crap you watched in your youth, and know that it didn't warp you forever.

    In ten, twenty, thirty years at the outside, video games will be completely accepted, and no one will give a damn when the new super realistic holographic blood & guts game comes out...Till then though, we're just going to have to suck it up, because the old fogies are still running things and they lack clue.
  • by Oddster (628633) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:37PM (#17370954)
    Right now, the Nintendo Wii is wooing the very people who have for so long opposed video games, on whatever grounds. Soccer moms around the country are picking up Wii-motes, playing the games, and having incredible amounts of fun. Along with dad, grandpa, and grandma.

    I have a friend whose retirement-age parents, who have never touched a video game before, were introduced to the Wii - and four hours later, it was my friend who had to call it quits because they tired him out. Soon the video game market will reach far beyond the young-single-male demographic and into the general population, at which point people will figure out that video games are no more or less harmful than movies, or even books. People may just finally realize that perhaps if they won't take 6 year old Johnny to see Silence of the Lambs, they probably shouldn't let him play Resident Evil either.

    It won't be very long before the anti-video game nuts fade into oblivion.
  • by Knara (9377) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:45PM (#17371038)
    "Sex and gore" have been the predominant features of nature for hundreds of millions of years. You may want to re-think that phrase.
  • Not quite. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @07:21PM (#17371408)
    50 years ago when I was a kid, we had cap guns and air riffles. My brother, Mike, I and two American Indians, Danny and Harry, used to play cowboys and Indians. We had a one square block area with lots of building, trees and brush to hunt each other in. Anyone shot had to stay dead for a fifty count. Our parents bought us the quite realistic-looking toy guns (much better than what you find today). No one thought twice about this; it was just clean, wholesome fun. However, in most places today, if kids were to try this there would be a SWAT team dispatched and the parents would wind up in forced counsilling. And it is my generation doing this. Sad, but true.

    I also like to point out that in the late 60's, when I was in High School, the rules regarding weapons were as follows: (1) All guns were to be checked in at the office before school and picked up after school except during hunting season when you were allowed to keep an unloaded rifle in your school locker. (2) Students were not allowed to carry switch blades longer than six inches or fixed-blade knives longer than twelve inches. There were no rules regarding pocket knives. In fact, you were more likey to get detention for carrying a squirt gun than a real one (but only if you squirted the Vice Principal after he squirted you).

    How did we ever get into this sorry state?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @08:39PM (#17372192)
    Wow, you're blind.

    TV is less violent because the market wishes it so. Advertisers want less violence because the people they want to sell their wares to want it. It's got nothing to do with government censorship, which is what TFA was about, and everything to do about What The Market Wants, which is what Slashdot seems to advocate, unless the market wants something else.

    Not to mention that it's becoming more violent, lately. Anyone notice the violence in Heroes?
  • by Carldian (1044056) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @11:20AM (#17376636)
    This whole games are too violent thing is absurd. Parents who demonize games like this need to work on their parenting skills instead of wasting their time trying to censor things. Im a product of divorced parents, grew up playing all sorts of violent video games and watching movies like full metal jacket, colors, basic instinct etc. and i turned out ok, i got my education and now have a great job and working on a family of my own. i not a thief, or a murderer or any sort of psycho / felon. Why? Easy my parents did their job. My father may have been a little nuts taking me to see "Colors" when i was 10 years old but he did teach me that those are bad things that happen in real life. What difference does it make to play GTA and steal some cars and do horrible things in the game when in the news you hear of people killing kids just to steal their video game console, or of how many people died in some war? If you dont want kids to play violent video games then thats your decision, nobody is making you buy your kids anything. Besides it will be a loooooooooong time before video games can produce the type of violence us humans can make in real life. Should 8 year olds be playing GTA? Probably not, but its the parents responsibility, after all its your kid. And think of this, what do you prefer; for some stressed out guy to go shoot it out in some online session of halo so he can vent? or should he bring his rifle to the post office and vent there...?

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