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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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  • by andr0meda (167375) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:13PM (#17370758) Homepage Journal

    We've seen it with every ban in existance. It is either impossible or inhuman to exercise orrectly, and it never kills what it intends to ban. Instead the world evolves and the ban is ridiculed, along with those supporting it. Why? Because it is an artificial attempt to lead people into streets they want to break out of. And eventually they do.

    This is of course no argument for/against the reasoning behind the ban. I'm all for more educational and more natural games that do not involve sex and gore, but I also want to give sex and gore it's rightfull place in our human existance. I think sex is educational, as it tells something about the boundaries of our perversities. I think gore is eductional, as it tells something about the boundaries of our fears. I think young people are looking for those boundaries and eventually, with our without help of their parents, will discover those in some way. Trying to hold these things back from them is keeping them from maturity in those fields. Declaring a ban is probably more distubing than anything else.

  • Re:Same old same old (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:24PM (#17370850) Journal
    When was the last time you saw a law passed in the states that made selling a violent movie to a minor against the law?

    Parent's groups decry violence in movies, but it's not to the degree that they get outraged toward games...A movie that was exactly the same as GTA San Andreas would barely show up as a blip on their radar.
  • Nethack (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fishbowl (7759) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:25PM (#17370858)
    I am quite certain that the depths of my imagination are far more disturbing than anything these graphic video games can portray.

    Chopping, bludgeouning, burning, crushing, eating corpses, seducing/being seduced by succubi and nymphs, looting shops and killing shopkeepers and soldiers, summoning demons in hell, you name it.

    Very little of this kind of stuff actually goes on in these graphic video games, and when it does, it is *never* anywhere near as violent as what goes on in my imagination when I am playing a game like Nethack. Video cannot even begin to represent this level of madness.
  • Re:Same old same old (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MollyB (162595) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @06:49PM (#17371088) Journal

    Flash forward to the 80's when comics started going really adult in this country for the first time. Really dark, gory, and real.
    As a proud fogie (can't help when you were born...), I must point out that you left out the comics of the late sixties, Zap, Yellow Dog, etc., featuring R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson and many others. 'Twas psychedelia mixed with sex and "kozmic trooths" in the comic medium that deserves mention, too. These were "underground" items and were generally purchased at City Lights Bookstore, SF, or one of the zillions of head shops around back then.
  • by b.burl (1034274) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @09:52PM (#17372750)

    ...so lets legalize smoking ads aimed at kids. Afterall, if behaviour and personality aren't affected by what people see and hear, then who cares about advertising laws.

    To the people who think video violence doesn't matter: how do you know this? I am not a psych expert, so I cannot say anything with authority, but intuitively it seems a steady diet of narcissitic, solitary, violence oriented activity might affect child personality development.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @11:52PM (#17373442)
    Oh yeah, like there aren't any under-age smokers already.

    Is a 15 year old smoker less morally correct in your mind than a 20 year old smoker?

    Stop trying to protect people from themselves. Taboo == attractive to the younger crowd. I'm convinced that if smoking were completely legal at any age (like alcohol is in some non-USA countries), and people didn't piss their pants about how evil it is, then there wouldn't be nearly as many smokers as there currently are.

    As with all bans, it ultimately does not have the intended effect, and it builds a powerful black-market around the banned items. Which is great if you wanted more criminals and less tax income.
  • Re:Same old same old (Score:3, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:25AM (#17373878)
    A movie that was exactly the same as GTA San Andreas would barely show up as a blip on their radar.

    There is a fundamental distinction between watching a movie for two hours and role-playing it's central character for days or weeks on end. You might want to read Gene Wolfe's cautionary tale "When I Was Ming the Merciless."

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

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