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T O P I C
Can't Parent? Then Blame Games!
April 22nd 2001, 16:46 CEST by Robert E. Waring aka Sgt Hulka

As I recently (this morning) read over the current lawsuit against video game makers, some questions came to mind.  As well as further inspiration to finish my DOOMED! documentary about this very topic.  It's people like this who try and point the finger at games as the cause for their failed parenting skills that really irk me.  I play violent video games, I like them, I'm an adult.  A somewhat responsible one at that.  I don't let my children play these types of games.  I censor what my children have access to in my home.  That's what a good parent does in my humble opinion.  I do think there is a degree of desensitizing that goes on while playing a game, but to actually control the thought process of a human through a digital encounter is ludicrous.

Let me ask you this, for those with children who DO allow them to play violent video games like Counter-Strike, Quake Arena, UT and the like. Had your child ever tried stepping on the box of band-aids when he was hurt? Has he figured out how to rocket jump with nerf weapons? If you've ever taken him to the optometrist, he wasn't as concerned about seeing clearly as he was about frame rate. Perhaps he simply never stops jumping!!  These are all warning signs of a child that is DOOMED! from video games.

<a href="http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,11%257E24990,00.html">The article</a> I speak of talks about a family, who had a child murdered in the horrible Columbine high school massacre two years ago. They have decided to file a lawsuit against 25 game companies before the statute of limitations (2 years) ran out. They filed with two days left.  What inspired them to wait for 728 days before filing? Did they need the time to realize what had actually happened?  Did it take that long to identify the cause?  Where's Columbo when you need him.
 
If you've got some ideas for my documentary that you think fit the theme of showing how insane this argument is, please respond to this article and/or email me at <a href="mailto:rwaring@teamevolve.com">rwaring@teamevolve.com</a> - In our documentary, we're showing the effects of how gaming can control a child's mind, make him do the impossible (For example, in DOOMED!, one kid robs a bank because he used clipping and walked through the walls, the town is going beserk wondering what he'll do next.  They keep arresting him and putting him in jail, but because he knows the clipping code from DOOM, he just walks out each time they apprehend him)
 
I eagerly anticipate the feedback from this article and ideas for DOOMED! from a crowd that's very close to the subject matter at hand.
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Can't Parent? Then Blame Games!

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#1 by "Morn"
2001-04-22 16:46:35
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Thanks Hulka for sending in this story!

- Morn
#2 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-04-22 16:50:47
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
One other point, why only 25 game companies?  Is there a hot list somewhere we don't know about?  How do you get on this list?  Who decides that your particular game inspired some whacko?  Why not 100 game companies!

Mario alone is responsible for three kids in my neighborhood who have been jumping on the heads of their enemies.  Many of the victims now wear neck braces! And what about Pac-man, ever hear the story of the little boy who swallowed golf balls off the floor and chocked to death!  Oh, the horror!
#3 by "llamasex"
2001-04-22 17:03:46
llamasex@yahoo.com www.drunkenlosers.com
Sgt Hulka
I think your sarcasm muddies your point. saying
"three kids in my neighborhood who have been jumping on the heads of their enemies. Many of the victims now wear neck braces! And what about Pac-man, ever hear the story of the little boy who swallowed golf balls off the floor and chocked to death! Oh, the horror!"

". Had your child ever tried stepping on the box of band-aids when he was hurt? Has he figured out how to rocket jump with nerf weapons? If you've ever taken him to the optometrist, he wasn't as concerned about seeing clearly as he was about frame rate. Perhaps he simply never stops jumping!! These are all warning signs of a child that is DOOMED! from video games."

there you seem to say they don't influence you, but here you say "I don't let my children play these types of games"

So how bout we get everyone's straight out answer
"are violent video games a factor in violent behavior"
#4 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-04-22 17:22:33
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
I think SeanBaby (www.seanbaby.com) said it best ...

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society.  The truth is, fuck you."
-- Seanbaby
#5 by "Jafd"
2001-04-22 17:31:37
jafd@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
I don't think there is any doubt that violent video games can have an 'undesirable' effect on developing minds. Additionally, I think that such 'undesirable' effects will be more pronounced in 'undesirable minds.'

I think that violent games should be watched over carefully. I don't think that children should be exposed to them. I suppose this means that regulation is needed; I can't see those fucks in the publishing/marketing business voluntarily curtailing the push towards youth.

But I firmly believe that any 'regulation' begins, and ends, in the hands of the parents. I don't give two farts in a whirlwind how many laws get passed, there will still be violent content and 'children' will still have access to it; period.

Frankly I feel like a total dumbass writing this, since I suspect that 99% of the people who read these words will have already come to the same conclusion. However, in the hope that some total dumbass(es) who have chosen to breed and then chosen to let government take over the infusion of morals and ethics into their little scions ends up reading this...

I'm well aware that regulating game content will have ramifications for the game-making industry... so be it. Personally, I'd rather round up all the stupid people and their children and KILL THEM. Barring any dramatic advances in stupid people detection technology, a less effective solution will likely be tried.

On the plus side, doesn't this suggest that the violent games that do end up being developed in the future, will end up being of somewhat higher quality?
#6 by "Jafd"
2001-04-22 17:32:41
jafd@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
#4: Yeah, that's what I meant to say. Rock.
#7 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-04-22 17:53:26
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.hulka.com

I think your sarcasm muddies your point. saying
"three kids in my neighborhood who have been jumping on the heads of their enemies. Many of the victims now wear neck braces!


Yes, it does, but that's the point of the documentary.  We'll have a Springer-esque Moral at the end of it that we talk our serious points in.
#8 by "BobJustBob"
2001-04-22 17:58:53
kevinakabob@mindspring.com
There is absolutely no good evidence at all of any kind that playing violent video games, or reading violent books, or watching violent movies or tv shows, leads to violence. It's the age-old Christian Syndrome: Do As I Say, Not As I Did. Everyone tries to make the world "a better place" for everyone except themselves, because they view their own lives as being lived the wrong way and want to protect others from going through what they went through. It's pathetic.

All those things that everyone always lists that kids should be "protected from", it's all bullshit. You have no proof that it will cause any damage to the child's mind, you have no psychological credentials, and yet you still feel comfortable enough proclaiming your moral right to shut your child off from everything in the world that you feel he should not be allowed to see. Talk about stunting your kids' development and trying to force your own beliefs on them. It's parents like you who cause all the problems, because you are creating the type of world that no one wants to live in and that kids would rather die than be a part of.
#9 by "Jafd"
2001-04-22 18:04:30
jafd@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
BobJustBob (#8):
There is absolutely no good evidence at all of any kind that playing violent video games, or reading violent books, or watching violent movies or tv shows, leads to violence.

There is absolutely no good evidence at all that the sun will come up tomorrow, either.

I agree with much of everything else you say, but here I think you're mistaken. If violence is not learned via observed examples in the environment, where IS it learned from? Virii? Bacteria?

If televised images have no affect on those who view it, why is all that money being spent on superbowl commericals?
#10 by "PiMuRho"
2001-04-22 18:15:57
Jafd:
If televised images have no affect on those who view it, why is all that money being spent on superbowl commericals?

Because marketing doesn't work? You'd have to ask some kind of expert on the subject, like.....er.....um....maybe not.

Game violence does NOT incite reali-life violence, unless the person involved already has several screws loose. My 13-year-old stepson plays Counterstrike, TFC, GTA, and many other "violent" games. It doesn't make him go out and copy what he's seen in those games, because he's (fairly) normal and well-adjusted. It's question of morals and values. To knowingly attack someone suggests that you place no value on their life, and/or that you are not concerned about the punishment.
It's not possible to prevent kids from seeing violence. One of the most popular kid's TV thing is wrestling, for <deity>'s sake! Sweaty, half-naked men pretending to hurt each other. The main thing is to ensure that they understand what the consequences (physical and legal) are for committing a violent act. It worked for me.
#11 by "mcgrew"
2001-04-22 18:20:20
NOSPAMmcgrew@famvid.com theFragfest.com
Sarge, get in touch with "Marko" Mrkobrada (a.k.a. dopey smurf). He mailed me last December about an article about this subject written by a psychology professor at his Toronto college published at that school's domain that basically says that the idea od violence being caused by games or movies is ludicrous. I was going to post a link to it then, but my mail client chose that day to go berserk and nuke my address book.

Serves me right for letting Netscape play Quake.

If you have trouble getting in touch with Marko, email me and I'll give you a current address.

As to why they waited until two days before the deadline to sue, my guess is they don't really want to sue, but filed just in case they decided to change their minds later.

Llamasex, you should visit Hulka's page once in a while, it's IMO one of the top five funniest gaming pages on the web. The Sarge has mastered the art of sarcasm well.

Speaking of sarcasm, has anybody noticed the REAL problem- the kid's name. ERIC. Now, if I was named after Chet's brother I'd kill a bunch of people too!

The subject is just too bizarre and downright nonsensical to NOT be sarcastic about.

Warren, thanks for that quote, I must have missed OMM that day (or is it new? They're updating more than once a century now? Gee, gotta go over there...)

As to the bad parenting, I'm not convinced of that. Both my girls are good kids (at least they haven't been in jail or pregnant or on drugs or dating Charlie Weiderhold or anything), but they are as different as night and day. The oldest will be 16 this summer (no, she CAN'T use the car!) and is a lazy slob who does crappy in school and has few friends, the poor kid. The youngest just turned 14 and is a popular honor roll student who is talented in both visual art and music.

The way it looks now, one kid will spend her life working at McDonald's and the other will be in a symphony orchestra. Night and day, those two, but they were both brought up under the same roof by the same parents at the same time and treated the same way.

Um, wait a minute; the oldest likes racing games and the youngest likes Diablo II, UT, and Jazz Jackrabbit. So I guess violent games make you nerdy?

I suspect that any parent should repeat the refrain "there but the grace of God goes I"... as you know, being Dad ain't easy.

Even if bad parenting is to blame, how could that be corrected? Mandatory parenting classes for everybody? Forced sterilization of the handicapped? Gassing of the [insert the name of whatever race you love to hate here]? Stupid, violent people are going to have stupid violent kids.

The latest scapegoat isn't bad parenting, but something many crappers (and damned near all slashdotters) can emphathise with- bullying. A recurring theme in the school violence is that the shooters were bullied. Revenge is one hell of a motivator. So who are the bad parents, the parents of the bullies or the parents of the shooters?

No, I am neither excusing or condoning violence or murder. What is, is. In a nation of two hundred million people, there will be violence and death.

Speaking of death, as Hulka pointed out on his page at the time it happened, while the world was shocked and horrified at Columbine, eighteen people were killed in a single boating accident, including children. Should we outlaw boats?

Oh, and Patty says "God mode" has gotten her out of more trouble at school than you could believe, and thank God for the respawn points!

One last point, seriously- why has nobody looked at the sorrry state of our public education system? THAT is the ONE thing the mainstream media seems to be ignoring. Our public school educators are a bunch of liberal incompetants who, face it, have your kids in their control more hours of the day than you do. Bad parenting, or REALLY bad educating?
-steve
#12 by "BarneyQue"
2001-04-22 18:31:21
BarneyQue@hotmail.com
I fail to see the connetion between playing games, and real world violence.  If I had kids I would have no problem leting them play my games.

This is a wierd thing though.  I would not let my kid crawl around in sewers with a gun in real life, why would I let them do the same thing in a game?  I don't know.  To me, it's just two completely different things, with no connection.

I think we need to clean up organized religion first.  It's much more likely to cause one person to kill another than a game will, yet people willingly let their kids participate in organized religion.

I've see quotes of " God told me to do it.  It was God's will. "

I've yet to see anyone claim Laura made me do it, Blame her.

#13 by "mcgrew"
2001-04-22 18:37:12
NOSPAMmcgrew@famvid.com theFragfest.com
#8 by BobJustBob "It's the age-old Christian Syndrome:"
Hey, dude, do you realize you just blamed JC for the school shootings? I'd call you a fucking moron but I hate to sin on Sunday.

"you still feel comfortable enough proclaiming your moral right to shut your child off from everything in the world that you feel he should not be allowed to see"
Oops, sorry kid, didn't realise you were Patty's age. You'll figure it out too late, just like us adults did.

#9 by Jafd "If violence is not learned via observed examples in the environment, where IS it learned from? Virii? Bacteria?"
 
Where did you learn to breathe? SOMEBODY must have taught you, right?

"If televised images have no affect on those who view it, why is all that money being spent on superbowl commericals?"

How can I buy your product if I don't know it exists?

-steve

(holy shit, the return of the longasssed mcgrew post!)
#14 by "mcgrew"
2001-04-22 18:45:42
NOSPAMmcgrew@famvid.com theFragfest.com
#12 by BarneyQue "I think we need to clean up organized religion first."
I'll be the first to say the Pat Roberton has done more to hurt Christianity than anybody alive (with the possible exception of Jesse Jacxkson) but what would you have us do, repeal the amendment against mixing church and state?

And... I hope you are a regular churchgoer, because if you aren't then you are talking out of your ass just as much as the sermonizers who want Warren to sell crack instead of games.

FYI, God said "Thou shall not kill", not "burn the witches". Christ taught forgiveness above all else. However, I agree that I'm seeing damned little of it by the so-called "Christians".
#15 by "DanM"
2001-04-22 18:59:42
I don't let my children play these types of games.

I think this sums up how you feel about the effects that violence in video games has on young children. Yet you are trying to show how "insane this argument is".

 Personally I think this trend in law suits is a lashback in general against all the marketing and advertising aimed at children. With children getting inundated 24/7 with marketing flak, even while they are in school. I think changes in the entertainment and advertising industry do have to be made.
#16 by "BarneyQue"
2001-04-22 19:04:36
BarneyQue@hotmail.com
#13 "mcgrew" wrote...
Hey, dude, do you realize you just blamed JC for the school shootings? I'd call you a fucking moron but I hate to sin on Sunday.

Uh-Oh, I'm really going to get it when he see my message.  I'll take that fucking moron advisement tomorrow.

#14 "mcgrew" wrote...
I'll be the first to say the Pat Roberton has done more to hurt Christianity than anybody alive (with the possible exception of Jesse Jacxkson) but what would you have us do, repeal the amendment against mixing church and state?

And... I hope you are a regular churchgoer, because if you aren't then you are talking out of your ass just as much as the sermonizers who want Warren to sell crack instead of games.

FYI, God said "Thou shall not kill", not "burn the witches". Christ taught forgiveness above all else. However, I agree that I'm seeing damned little of it by the so-called "Christians".


Yep, here it is.  I certainly saw this one comming.  :)

Pat and Jesse, I have no comment on, I'm really out of my league when we start getting down to the specific personalities involved, so I'll take that on advisement. As for repealing the seperation, no, I do not advocate that at all.  There seems to be too much blending as it is with the law in place.

being completely upfront, I am not a chuchgoer, if you feel that renders my opinion worthless there's nothing I can do about that, but I wont hold it against you eitherway.

Despite what God has said, I'm afraid my opinion from the outside, is that many, many of his self proclaimed followers are not listening, or are using his words to commit evil acts in his name.  I can't cite anything off the top of my head, but I think history bears me out on this one.
#17 by "Jafd"
2001-04-22 19:07:11
jafd@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
mcgrew (#13):
Where did you learn to breathe? SOMEBODY must have taught you, right?

Failure to be violent doesn't kill the organism within ten minutes. Well, the modern human organism, at any rate.

(holy shit, the return of the longasssed mcgrew post!)

If you can't figure out Quote'n'Go and the difference between autonomic and learned behaviours, what else can't you figure out?
#18 by "szcx"
2001-04-22 19:41:42
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
Kids have immitated the entertainment they've been exposed to since long before videogames made the scene.  How many kids have lost an eye to a Lone Ranger BB Gun, or broken a leg jumping off the roof trying to fly like Superman?  The only reason this is getting so much ink now is because of the school shootings.  The media isn't about to point a finger at grieving parents, regardless of their negligence.  But ultra-violent videogames marketed to children?  Perfect.

I have done no research into the topic whatsoever, so I can't say that videogames aren't breeding a super-race of murderous psychopaths.  Personally, I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of organized religion and anti-abortion organizations.  Dylan Klebold should be the posterchild for RU-486.

Yes, I'm kidding.
#19 by "Kitrack"
2001-04-22 19:53:14
jajr2@vt.edu
Robert E. Waring aka Sgt Hulka pronounced(#0):
my DOOMED! documentary

ouch!

They filed with two days left. What inspired them to wait for 728 days before filing?

One of my teachers had to deal with stuff like this (He worked for the city during the summer, running the lifeguards).  People will wait until just before the statue of limitation because that gives those people who are being sued as much time as possible to forget how things happened, loose records, etc.  It makes it easier to extort a settlement.

Sgt Hulka pronounced(#2):
One other point, why only 25 game companies? Is there a hot list somewhere we don't know about? How do you get on this list? Who decides that your particular game inspired some whacko?

Just guessing here, but I'd say that those 25 produced games that the shooters played.  One of the principles of our legal system (I think, I'm not a lawyer) is that you can't file suit regarding something you aren't directly involved in.  For example, when the ACLU objects to a particular law, they have to wait for someone to break the law, get arrested and ask for help before they can file a suit/persue legal action.

Robert E. Waring aka Sgt Hulka pronounced(#0):
Has he figured out how to rocket jump with nerf weapons?

Now, if someone figured out how to do that, I think he should get a medal.  After all, everyone knows that the splash damage with nerf weapons is awfully low.

mcgrew pronounced(#13):
Hey, dude, do you realize you just blamed JC for the school shootings? I'd call you a fucking moron but I hate to sin on Sunday.

Now, I'm assuming that you mean Jesus, not John Carmack ...
That wasn't how I read it.  It seemed to me he was blaming the institution of Christianity (as it is), which is different from the ideal of Christianity (as it should be)...
To draw an analogy, it's like saying Marx was an idiot because the USSR was doomed from the start.  Hmm, not as good as I'd hoped.  Anyway, it doesn't appear to me to be a reflection on Jesus, but on the Institution of Christianity...
bleh.

mcgrew pronounced(#14):
I hope you are a regular churchgoer, because if you aren't then you are talking out of your ass just as much as the sermonizers who want Warren to sell crack instead of games.

Seems to be a neat way to avoid discussion:  Neutral observers can't make recommendations/criticisms because they are neutral?
Now, I'll admit I don't go to church much, but that doesn't make me blind, just as going to church doesn't miraculously open your eyes.  As a matter of fact, I think it's easier to see the flaws in the system from outside the system, rather than in it.
The saying goes "You can't see the forest for the trees".

--
Kitrack
Pull together, make the system better.
#20 by "fyrewolf"
2001-04-22 19:59:07
It's people like this who try and point the finger at games as the cause for their failed parenting skills that really irk me.


Except that the people suing are not the parents of the kids who shot up the school.  Having a child murdered does not mean a parent's parenting skills failed.

Blaming the parents is as stupid as blaming video games or guns.  Children are not suddenly granted free will when they turn 18.  Even good parents can have rotten children.
#21 by "Zachack"
2001-04-22 20:29:37
zachrounds@un-named.com
Except that the people suing are not the parents of the kids who shot up the school. Having a child murdered does not mean a parent's parenting skills failed.


Actually, they already did sue the parents.  Not sure what happened there, but I know the parents don't have 5 fucking billion dollars lying around.  

What gets me is that the parents of the kids who did go shooting already tried to sue the game companies.  They failed.  That means that, as far as the law is concerned, games did not make the kids go on a killing rampage.  The surgeon general's report backs up that statement even more (violent media was at the bottom of the list for causes of child violence).  What the new lawsuit seems to be saying is that games were directly responsible for the killing of their children, which is obviously false.  The case will be thrown out of court within minutes of a hearing.  

FYI, God said "Thou shall not kill", not "burn the witches". Christ taught forgiveness above all else. However, I agree that I'm seeing damned little of it by the so-called "Christians


I thought the english bible said "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".  Let's face it, the bible contradicts itself in the span of a couple pages.  It says "don't kill", and then has god saying "well, it's ok if you do, because you are my chosen something".  I firmly stand behind the arguement that if violent media is to be censored or banned that the bible must be the first thing to go, as it contains many descriptions of acts that "society" considers "immoral".
#22 by "BobJustBob"
2001-04-22 20:35:26
kevinakabob@mindspring.com
#13 "mcgrew" wrote...
#8 by BobJustBob "It's the age-old Christian Syndrome:"
Hey, dude, do you realize you just blamed JC for the school shootings?


#14 "mcgrew" wrote...
Christ taught forgiveness above all else. However, I agree that I'm seeing damned little of it by the so-called "Christians".


Sigh. In one post you completely miss my point, and in the next you make it for me.


And what was up with the lawsuit settlement? I don't have a link because I only go to nytimes.com and it requires registration to view stories and I bet most of you aren't registered. But just the other day the lawsuit by the victim's families against the shooters' families was resolved, with like 2.5 million going to the former from the latter. It's like a big 2.5 million dollar statement that the parents of victimized kids are to blame. What a crock.
#23 by "Kitrack"
2001-04-22 20:38:54
jajr2@vt.edu
Zachack pronounced(#21):
I firmly stand behind the arguement that if violent media is to be censored or banned that the bible must be the first thing to go, as it contains many descriptions of acts that "society" considers "immoral".

The main problem with that is this:  Most of the arguments for banning/censoring certain things rely on the statement that they provide nothing of value to society-political, social, artistic, what have you.  That's an incredibly difficult standard to meet, which is why Larry Flint can publish his smut.  I think that there would be little doubt that The Bible has had an enormous impact on the growth and direction of the world, and this means it has at the least historical value.
--
Kitrack
Pull together, make the system better.
#24 by "BobJustBob"
2001-04-22 20:42:45
kevinakabob@mindspring.com
Okay, because I love you guys I hunted down a link.

Here ya go.

Okay, from the parents comes 1.6 million, which "would be paid by the homeowner's insurance policies of the Harris and Klebold families, which amounted to a combined $1.6 million ($1.3 million for the Klebolds; $300,000 for the Harrises)". First, how did they divide it up like that? Why is Dylan more to blame than Eric? Second, all of you parents out there, get homeowner's insurance!!! ;)
#25 by "mcgrew"
2001-04-22 20:44:36
NOSPAMmcgrew@famvid.com theFragfest.com
#15 by DanM "I think this sums up how you feel about the effects..."
I don't. I wouldn't even let my kids WATCH me play Doom when it was new, but not because I thought they would become murderers; because I didn't want them having bad dreams. Can't say for the Sarge, but that was how I felt

#16 by BarneyQue
04/22/2001 17:04
cs892574-b.mtwx1.on.wave.home.com

BarneyQue@hotmail.com
"Uh-Oh, I'm really going to get it when he see my message. I'll take that fucking moron advisement tomorrow."

Nah, I'm the ORIGINAL fucking moron. I have more experience at being a fucking moron than anybody here!

"I'm afraid my opinion from the outside, is that many, many of his self proclaimed followers are not listening, or are using his words to commit evil acts in his name. "

I can't argue with that; I agree 100%. Neither Jackson nor Robertson have ANYTHING on the Popes in the middle ages, especially the one in power when Michaelangelo busted up all those rocks.

#17 by Jafd
"Failure to be violent doesn't kill the organism within ten minutes. Well, the modern human organism, at any rate."

I hope you're not in the army. Failure to be violent CAN be fatal. And violence is programmed into our very genes; have you never been angry? What is learned behavior is the ABSENSE of violence; self control is learned.

"what else can't you figure out?"

women.

#19 by Kitrack "Seems to be a neat way to avoid discussion: Neutral observers can't make recommendations/criticisms because they are neutral?"

How can you accurately describe the inside of something you have never been inside of? I can see how, say a Hundu, might think that JC (not carmak ;) preached that you are all doomed to hellfire and you should kill anyone you can't convert, as that is how Christian churches are often portrayed, and is pretty much what you see if you surf past the "700 club" while couch potatoing. That is not, however, how most Christian churches are.

My guess is (and I am speaking out of my ass here) that Mohammad didn't say to have a jihad against non-Muslims, but you wouldn't guess by their portrayal in the media.

The forest and trees thing is right on, though. Are we discussing trees or large collections of them here? Are we logging or birdwatching?

A side note here, my wife just informed me that the kid we used to live next door to, 13, was just given a ten day suspension from school for taking a cigarette lighter that looked like a gun to school last week. Now, these are good, hard working folks that try their best to raise their kids right, and I like them, but I swear if either one of them had dynamite instead of brains they wouldn't have enough to blow their nose.

They can't help being stupid, they were born and raised stupid. Good parents? Not IMO. Their fault? No. Anything anybody can do about it? Hell, if I knew how to increase intelligence I'd do it to myself.
#26 by "Kitrack"
2001-04-22 21:03:20
jajr2@vt.edu
mcgrew pronounced(#25):
How can you accurately describe the inside of something you have never been inside of?

There is a difference between seeing the inside of a religion, and following that religion (to be specific).  There are a number of courses at colleges that are designed to analyze religions and the effect that they have had on society.
Are we discussing trees or large collections of them here? Are we logging or birdwatching?

Dunno.  I was thinking maybe sight seeing in general, with a particular interest in tree species.
A side note here, my wife just informed me that the kid we used to live next door to, 13, was just given a ten day suspension from school for taking a cigarette lighter that looked like a gun to school last week.

Stupid is as stupid does?
That does sound rather stupid, though I suppose it might be possible he found that gun-shaped lighter and wanted to show his friends it as a novelty. *sigh*
mcgrew pronounced(#25):
JC (not carmak ;)

Damn.  I here I thought we were talking about the Church of John Carmack, with it's gospils, Quake, Quake II and Quake III.
Why do I always get this confused?
--
Kitrack
Pull together, make the system better.
#27 by "Darkseid-D!"
2001-04-22 21:07:21
Darkseid@captured.com www.sluggy.com
and our parents and grandparents were just running around slamming each other over the head with shovels, dropping anvils on each others heads, shooting each other in the face with double barrelled shotguns, hunting one another with crys of wascawwy wabbit, chewing on carrots whilst tormenting the short bald incompetent hunter...

Daffy Duck first appeared 63 odd years ago.  Tom and Jerry 50 some....


their level of violence on one another must have had some effect.


how about correlating the impact of two world wars and several colonial and local wars onto the psyche of the nation as well, not to mention the 'video game' war that the Gulf was portrayed as by the media.


Ive said it before in this type of thread, people suck.


Ds
#28 by "Greyjack"
2001-04-22 21:21:00
greyjack@greyjack.com http://www.greyjack.com
M'self, I just find it amusing that they're suing the game companies rather than the gun manufacturers.  Seems to me that the companies that made the weapons they used should be at *least* as culpable as Carmack et al.
#29 by "fyrewolf"
2001-04-22 21:28:37
What gets me is that the parents of the kids who did go shooting already tried to sue the game companies. They failed.


You're wrong.  This never happen.
#30 by "edlan"
2001-04-22 21:37:54
edlan_2001@yahoo.com
I'd like to focus in on the culprits who planned and executed the massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Clebold.  They were the ones who decided who should die, they fired the guns, detonated the bombs, and ultimately killed the teacher and students.  Therefore, they should be the ones to take responsibility.  The only problem here is that they are dead.  Which means these families can't have their revenge, unless they start putting the blame on the parents, gun laws, gun manufacturers, and video games.

What if Eric and Dylan decided they were killing in the name of God (not so farfetched considering their mental state).  Should we ban the Bible?  What if they enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series of books?  Should we ban that as well?

Ultimately this lawsuit will get dismissed, but I see it as another attempt at censorship through a civil lawsuit.  Just because you don't like something doesn't mean that no one else should have access to it.  To disguise it as a lawsuit saying it was it fault of videogames is irresponsible and disgusting.
#31 by "Narcopolo"
2001-04-22 21:41:56
Look out, a mcgrew of a post.

People have always believed in demons, it used to be a literal thing.  They couldn't handle their own impulses, some of them sexual, some of them violent, some both at the same time.  It was unaccepatble to society, and unacceptable to themselves, so they blamed things outside of their control.  "The Devil made me do it" wasn't always sarcasm.  

#7 Sgt Hulka-
Yes, it does, but that's the point of the documentary. We'll have a Springer-esque Moral at the end of it that we talk our serious points in.


It sounds like as much of a documentary as a Springer episode as well.  You are going to preaching to the choir, I'm afraid.

#21 Zachack-
The case will be thrown out of court within minutes of a hearing


That's just not necessarily true.  It's really a pisser, but right and wrong don't matter a whole lot, it's the law as it stands that determines things.

#27 Darkseid-D!-
Daffy Duck first appeared 63 odd years ago. Tom and Jerry 50 some...


These cartoons were originally "marketed" to adults, appearing before movies for grown-ups as shorts.  It wasn't until television that they were shown to kids, but since the parents were totally used to them, there wasn't much conflict until television started getting blamed for _all_ violence.  

#28 Greyjack-
M'self, I just find it amusing that they're suing the game companies rather than the gun manufacturers. Seems to me that the companies that made the weapons they used should be at *least* as culpable as Carmack et al.


This post pisses me off.  Do you believe that Carmack and id are at fault or not.  Do you believe that the gun manufacturers are at fault?  You are equating their roles, but there's only one way that this is true, and I believe it.  They are neither of them at fault.

It used to be that you could order machine guns through mail order, and children did, 50- 60 years ago.  They just didn't bring them to school.  I think it's school that has changed, much more than anything else.
#32 by "edlan"
2001-04-22 21:56:55
edlan_2001@yahoo.com
Apparently our society no longer has the concept of "personal responsibility." Maybe the videogame industry can try the "Blame the other party" defense on the parents.  After all it was their fault for Eric and Dylan in reaching their psychotic episode.  Eric and Dylan seemed bent on executing all the people in the school who made their lives a perceived hell.  This included bullies, jocks, and anyone else who didn't want to socialize with them.  So lets blame the parents for not teaching their children to be kind and gentle with undesirable scum like Eric and Dylan.  After all, if these people killed in Columbine were friends with them, they probably wouldn't have gotten killed right?
#33 by "PiMuRho"
2001-04-22 21:57:57
Narcopolo:
You are going to preaching to the choir


Damn, I just read that as precaching to the choir. I'm playing too many games.
#34 by "Darkseid-D!"
2001-04-22 22:18:38
Darkseid@captured.com www.sluggy.com
ehehehe

remember, cartoons predate television :)

hell, Im sure youve seen the reruns on TV of saturday matinee shows of the likes of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon (with Buster Cabtree), ya know, the ones with the boxy robots and rocket ships that had sparklers for engines.

Hell look at all the cowboy movies, Lone Ranger, Lonesome Star, Jane of the Jungle.  Predate those with the illumine lamp shows, or the graphic novels...


what warped Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein?  Or the Marquis De Sade to his deprivations?  Did Hitler read too many comic books as a child?



When shit happens people look for scapegoats/things to blame to shift attention from their own short comings.


I repeat, people suck.


Ds
#35 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-04-22 22:19:44
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
Narcopolo said "You are going to preaching to the choir"


yes, to this audience, I know that, but we want to market the film to concerned adults.
It's being made in the same vein as the scare films like Marihuana, Assasin of Youth and  Reefer Madness of the 30's, only this time, we're warning parents of the dangers of games.

Games with ROOTS IN HELL!  Not recommended for children.  What happens at Lan Parties.  Weird Orgies.  Wild parties.  Unleashed Passions.  A Frag, a Party a TRAGEDY!

ADULTS ONLY!

===

As for the two nuts who shot up Columbine, have you ever seen their homepage from AOL?  I was able to grab a copy before AOL took it down. These two were filled with hatred.

BTW: Ignore the ad, that was a lame attempt to get people to pay for my way to E3, which I'm not going to anyway, but don't feel like taking down the ad right now.
#36 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-04-22 22:42:56
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
Zachack (#21):
Actually, they already did sue the parents. Not sure what happened there, but I know the parents don't have 5 fucking billion dollars lying around.

That's the great thing about these lawsuits.  How much money will it take to take away the pain of losing a child?  Even trying to put a price tag on it seems very cold ... if they were suing to put the company out of business, that would be something, but suing for cash reveals them for what they are: opportunists.  Or, at best, grieving people who were seduced by a money hungry lawyer (is there another kind?).  But since it took them 2 says short of the deadline to sue, I'd go for the latter.

What I think would be interesting would be to have a game company that gets sued in this manner, file a countersuit for "wasting our fucking time".  :)  Or at the very least, force the people who filed the original suit to pay the companys legal fees (if the company wins).  If you're SO sure that you're right, you won't lose right?  So you've got nothing to worry about ...

Kitrack (#23):
That's an incredibly difficult standard to meet, which is why Larry Flint can publish his smut.

"Art"
#37 by "firethorn"
2001-04-22 22:46:27
firethorn@rhombusdev.com www.rhombusdev.com
I am mystified that people work so hard to put the blame on someone else.

I am also amazed at the lawyers who take some of these cases.  So many of them justify (or better, rationalize) it by stating they are doing it because they can -- never questioning whether they should.

Examples:
The woman who sued McDonalds for selling her hot coffee -- which she spilled on herself while driving.  Verdict: US$65 million.

The woman who sued a city in Arizona for not posting signs in a city park indicating that moles dig holes, after twisting her ankle in a mole-hole (with no long-term damage done to her ankle).  Verdict: US$450,000.

Not to mention the entire concept that the United States taxes the sale of tobacco, and then sues the tobacco industry for selling tobacco.  Isn't this called having your cake and eating it too?

/me steps off soap box
#38 by "Yotsuya"
2001-04-22 22:54:05
potvin@home.com http://www.digitalwoodchuck.com
JafD- Excelllent points. As a parent and a gamer, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

I have only recently begun to let my 12 year old play some of my more violent games (by this I mean UT, Half-Lafe, Serious Sam, etc.) However, he and I have talked about the games at length, and I am confident that he knows the difference between reality and video games. He does not have 100% access to my games (i.e. Soldier of Fortune), but he prefers my EA sports games anyway.

Having said that, I WILL come out and say that I DO think there is somewhat of a correlation between violent media and violent behavior. Not the "Let's go out and shoot up a school" type, but a subtle effect. Case in point- I have been working with children since I was 18. Around '94, while I was working with 1st Graders, I noticed a large increase in the amount of kicking, punching, and fighting going on during play time. After a bit of questioning, I realized that they were emulating something new they had seen on TV- MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS! The number of punching/hitting/kicking incidents at the school went up because the kids were emulating what they were watching. Now again, this is not major violent behavior, but I certainly do think there is a correlation.

It all ties into what JafD said- It belongs in the hands of the parents. Do I think violent video games cause extremely violent behavior? No. Do I think violent kids gravatate towards violent video games? Yup.

Besides, we all know gangsta rap is the cause of society's ills, anyway. :)
#39 by "Pablo"
2001-04-22 23:06:16
pflaherty@home.com
Not gansta rap.  Just P-Diddy.
#40 by "frodo156"
2001-04-22 23:09:10
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
#37
The woman who sued McDonalds for selling her hot coffee -- which she spilled on herself while driving. Verdict: US$65 million.


Ahh... urban legends...

I urge you to pick up the final issue of TMCM (Too Much Coffee Man). The facts are(somewhat blurred from my bad memory): McDonald's was knowingly serving their coffee at temperatures well above what is considered 'comfortable drinking temeratures'. She suffered third degree burns on her leg. She was NOT driving. Her son was, and he pulled over and stopped the car so she could pour cream into the coffee. The JURY awarded her the amount in sales of coffee Rotten Ronnies makes per day per year. When the total was actually calculated it came out to $65 mil. The Judge overturned that immediately and they settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.


--
Jeff

#41 by "Narcopolo"
2001-04-22 23:09:33
#34 Darkseid-D!-
remember, cartoons predate television :)
  
Was this to me?  I did say that, right?

#35 Sgt Hulka-
It's being made in the same vein as the scare films like Marihuana, Assasin of Youth and Reefer Madness of the 30's, only this time, we're warning parents of the dangers of games.

Ah, propaganda.  People really did believe those films.  I don't know if you can debunk the claims by showing them in a sarcastic manner, but good luck.

#37 firethorn-
The woman who sued McDonalds for selling her hot coffee -- which she spilled on herself while driving. Verdict: US$65 million.


She got a third degree burn.  Verdict:  the coffee was too hot.

As for the lawyers, they get a third of damages, except in the case of class action suits, where they can charge what they want, and since there usually is a settlement they are the only ones who get paid.

The parents/plaintiffs have found themselves a cause, something they've led themselves to believe could help stop their experience from happening to other kids.  It's not rational, and can't be argued with.  

I read something at the New York Times website the other week.  A woman who has a child at a certain school was asked about a kid who was suspended for bringing a stun gun to school (not her kid).  The kids (14) were using it on themselves and each other.  Consentual idiocy.  She said, they must have learned it in video games.  Stun guns are illegal in New York, btw.  And I've never played a game that made use of a stun gun.  That's what you are up against Hulka, and we all are.

I thought about submitting something similar to this topic to PC then, except that the Times makes you register at their site if you want to read the articles, so that scotched that :)
#42 by "firethorn"
2001-04-22 23:16:28
firethorn@rhombusdev.com www.rhombusdev.com
"Urban legends"

I am aware the judge turned the verdict over, and yes she was burned on her leg (and worse areas).

Except for the fact that (1) it actually happened and (2) the numbers are correct, yes, it is an urban legend.

Point being: the fact that it got to the point that the jury was prepared to hand out $65 million for HOT COFFEE is perhaps a symptom of a bigger problem.
#43 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-04-22 23:17:04
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
frodo156 (#40):
I urge you to pick up the final issue of TMCM (Too Much Coffee Man). The facts are(somewhat blurred from my bad memory): McDonald's was knowingly serving their coffee at temperatures well above what is considered 'comfortable drinking temeratures'. She suffered third degree burns on her leg. She was NOT driving. Her son was, and he pulled over and stopped the car so she could pour cream into the coffee. The JURY awarded her the amount in sales of coffee Rotten Ronnies makes per day per year. When the total was actually calculated it came out to $65 mil. The Judge overturned that immediately and they settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

So she DID sue for McDonalds selling her hot coffee and DID win money ... how is that an urban legend?  Maybe the amount of money is in dispute, but the basic facts are accurate.

Narcopolo (#41):
Stun guns are illegal in New York, btw. And I've never played a game that made use of a stun gun.

Well, there's Deus Ex ... so that must be the cause of this problem.  I mean, stun guns have never appeared on TV or in movies or in books or ...
#44 by "Zachack"
2001-04-22 23:30:57
zachrounds@un-named.com
I've never played a game that made use of a stun gun

Warren mentioned Deus Ex.  Thief had stun arrows (they released gas).  Tribes 2 has an ultra-powerful version.  A couple of fighting games (mostly neogeo) had taser wielding fighters.

ummmm.......

the lightning gun from quake?

The facts are(somewhat blurred from my bad memory): McDonald's was knowingly serving their coffee at temperatures well above what is considered 'comfortable drinking temeratures'. She suffered third degree burns on her leg. She was NOT driving


yes, but I usually don't hold cups in my crotch to alter them.  Especially not styrofoam cups.  And many people buy the coffee but don't drink it right away, instead putting it somewhere until they get to work/school/brothel, at which point it would have cooled down to a pleasing temp, but not be cold.

So she DID sue for McDonalds selling her hot coffee and DID win money ... how is that an urban legend?


She was then attacked by a black man with a hook for a hand and bees flying out of his mouth.
#45 by "szcx"
2001-04-22 23:37:08
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
What if Eric and Dylan decided they were killing in the name of God (not so farfetched considering their mental state). Should we ban the Bible?

Like the anti-abortion folks who murder clinic workers?  Hell, they've got a website up that contains a list of targets.

They're begging for donations as well.  I wonder if they have a PayPal account?
#46 by "frodo156"
2001-04-22 23:47:13
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
#43
So she DID sue for McDonalds selling her hot coffee and DID win money ... how is that an urban legend? Maybe the amount of money is in dispute, but the basic facts are accurate


Yes, the basic facts are accurate... maybe urban legend was too strong a term. There is conclusive proof the Heracles (real name of Hercules) exsisted. Ya sure he may have done some good things, and he may have been exceptionally strong... but over time stories of his deeds grew out of proportion and he went from man to legend to myth. Which is what is happening with these McDonald's stlye lawsuits.

--
Jeff
#47 by "frodo156"
2001-04-22 23:48:52
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
I was merely commenting that the numbers were not known until the math on coffee sales was actually done

--
Jeff
#48 by "Theseus"
2001-04-22 23:50:18
theseus@cpgaming.com www.cpgaming.com
True, and Theseus was really some wimp philosopher.  Sort of like a Gordon Freeman of his day I suppose.
#49 by "frodo156"
2001-04-22 23:51:22
frodo156.geo@yahoo.com
#47 argh... i really should finish my sentences BEFORE I post.

Once the numbers were known, the verdict was thrown out. But news organizations got wind of the case, and twisted the facts and turned it into something it was not.

--
Jeff
#50 by "Narcopolo"
2001-04-22 23:58:11
I'm not sure even if we should blame the parents for their kids murdering others.  I know that good parenting would have averted the incident at Columbine, but like someone else said, it's not like the kids get free will with their diploma on graduation from high school.

It seems to me that there is a certain degree of violence accepted by society as a kind of reflection of it.  All stories have violence of some kind, I was taught in my screenwriting class.  The problem as I see it is that the ones who are being taught that violence is acceptable are not the ones who snap and kill, but the ones who practice violence against their classmates for fun.  They do it regularly and aren't punished.  There's all kinds of bullying.  I remember reading about a twelve year old girl in Detroit who killed herself because of the hate she got for being a Wiccan.  

Kids go to school and it's like they're being institutionalized.  Kept somewhere they won't get into too much trouble.  But they aren't being engaged.  They're forced to be there, and told they have to go to college on top of it.  Meanwhile, they are being told to study subjects more and more alike, and the teachers aren't given any creative freedom.  It doesn't matter much if the kids can read when they leave, they all have to go through the same process.  Schools, in New York at least, are like prisons.  It's no surprise to me that kids are more and more acting like they're in one.
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