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Puny Boy Follow Hulk!
May 4th 2002, 13:57 CEST by m0nty

Amongst all the claims that violence in games begets real life violence, given fresh impetus by the Erfurt killings, it is refreshing to note that one American author is arguing on the side of the media. Killing Monsters - Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence is by Gerard Jones, a San Francisco-based "cultural critic", comic book author and historian, Pokemon translator, and all-American defender of the oppressed gaming masses.

This excerpt from his book details his escape from a life of small-town mediocrity by a student in his mother's English class, whose passionately-written essay on Marvel Comics encouraged her to give comics to her lonely and disenfranchised son.

My mother borrowed some, thinking they'd be good for me. And so they were. But not because they preached lofty messages of benevolence. They were good for me because they were juvenile. And violent.

The character who caught me, and freed me, was the Hulk : overgendered and undersocialized, half-naked and half-witted, raging against a frightened world that misunderstood and persecuted him. Suddenly I had a fantasy self to carry my stifled rage and buried desire for power. I had a fantasy self who was a self: unafraid of his desires and the world's disapproval, unhesitating and effective in action. "Puny boy follow Hulk!" roared my fantasy self, and I followed.

His argument, which he has espoused in many media appearances (on NPR, local papers, tech sites, comic fanzines and where I read about it today, in the Melbourne Age), is that violence in video games and other media has an inoculatory effect, allowing people who are experiencing rage (whatever its cause) to exercise it, and thus exorcise it. His argument is further detailed in the excerpt: go read it.

So, is this guy the Great White Hope for gamers everywhere who don't want to see their games censored and slashed beyond all sense of realism or fun? Is his thesis that violence is sometimes healthy correct, or are we kidding ourselves? Can his arguments combat the well-researched studies into the violence, sexism and racism inherent in games like this one? Why can't I stop dreaming about that damn briefcase in the Soldier of Fortune 2 multiplayer test? Whose side are you on?
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#1 by MCorleone
2002-05-04 14:27:50
First the comics code came for horror comic books in the 50's and we stood by.

Then they came for the movies and we said nothing.

Now they're coming for our games, and there's no-one left to stand up for them.

Or something like that.  It truly is disturbing, though.  I've said it before and it doesn't make a difference.  Bottom-line is that society is looking for a scapegoat to shift the blame from the real problem, which is a lack of parenting as a result of our focus-shift from parenting to careers.  "Hmm, economy is booming, we're a richer society than ever, but our kids are going crazy and killing people!"  Way to miss the correlation, there, chief.  The sad thing is that they're going to win.  They always do.  Placate the parents (voters) and everyone is (ahem) happy.

Build a man a fire and you'll keep him warm for the rest of the night.  Light a man on fire and you'll keep him warm for the rest of his life.
#2 by Martin
2002-05-04 14:42:55
http://www.mocol.nu
I like the green hulk better than the grey.

"that fatty crocodile! what a glutton!"
- Kayin
#3 by LPMiller
2002-05-04 15:49:32
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
The comic code is getting ignore though, and has for a long time. And they actually had a code in place for movies well before the comics. The movie code is no longer there either.

They always attempt to regulate, but it only works for so long. I dunno if it's a cyclical thing or not.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#4 by "Zippertit"
2002-05-04 16:36:36
coming soon zippertit@redwingsloth.com
Well, violence is inextricable from human nature. That bullshit phrase "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it" is simply a self-defeating tidbit of false conjecture. First of all, damn near everyone knows history and war and violence continue unhindered. Secondly, history, to some people, provides them justification for more violence. Thirdly, history itself has no future in it. We're "doomed" to nothing; the future's not here yet. No one can prove it.

Violence is part of human nature, pure and simple. A cathartic release in any form: games, sports, blah, blah, blah. I'll choose violent games to effectively relieve stress than going out hunting at the local mall.

That will be $50 for the history lesson. Punk.
#5 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-04 18:05:06
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Violence is a great escape for some people.  No matter what form it comes in ... games, movies, books, comics, etc.  I used to love to read before getting into computers.  I read fiction all the time.  It was a great escape.  Then came computers.  Once I got into them, I buried myself there instead.

Violence in media is fine for people who can handle it.  However, there will always be a small percentage who can't.  And of course, it's that percentage that ruins it for the rest of us.

WoT?
#6 by "Nathan McKenzie"
2002-05-04 18:52:32
So exactly HOW violent are today's kids?

I think that failures in parenting are responsible for a hell of a lot of problems in the US...  but I think I'd still like to see a few more statistics about this whole "kids are horribly dangerous now" before I start pointing fingers, myself.

Do people on this board actually know kids who have been affected by school shootings and escalating in-school violence?  I'm being serious here.  I've never seen meaningful statistics from the media, other than the typical fear-mongering bullshit: "172 percent increase from last year!" where the source numbers are so miniscule that the data themselves are too small to be statistically meaningful.  "More and more"!  "Increasingly!"  Whatever.  Go keep your terrifying trends to yourself and give me the actual news.  And the fact that the obsessive-compulsive behavior of the news industry ends up, ironically, encouraging copy-cat crimes just makes me sick to my stomach.  I don't think its just the kids who have such a hard time distinguishing fantasy from reality, but at least they're not allocated public airwaves.

Does anyone have any actual useful numbers?  How serious is this problem, really?

Nathan
#7 by Foodbunny
2002-05-04 19:02:41
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Violent comics, books, and video games are really what kept me from going over the edge as well.  If I hadn't had JTHM, Doom, and endless amounts of trashy pulp fiction I wouldn't have had a very necessary release when I was emotional and hormonal.  Without that release all the anger and distress would have made me much worse than I was.

They're cute, they're cuddly and jam shoots out their heads.  I want 'em all!
#8 by Dumdeedum
2002-05-04 21:08:37
http://www.dumdeedum.com
So exactly HOW violent are today's kids?

Thanks Nathan, now to find out the answer we have built, in the studio, a veritable cage of death, two men enter, one man leave... iiiiiiiiittttttttssss tttthhhhhhe THUNDERDOME! (audience goes "ooooooooooohhhh").

As for the topic, censorship doesn't work, never has done and never will.  The undesirable elements either move underground or they become more subtle, either way the message remains.  Humans will be humans and you're not going to fix them by pouring them into a fluffy bunny mould, they'll just beat each other to death with fluffy bunnies instead.

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue"
#9 by Phayyde
2002-05-04 21:15:38
Question: Why aren't these game technologies used to create diverse expressive works?  Why are we only making games with it?  

Why don't we see (quik example) economics treatises in 3D game format with a little terrain renderer, wasd+mouse movement, some cool jazz and an awesome sky?  It could work like Black and White, where the goal isn't domination, but to demonstrate an economic effect.  

The communication could be deep AND experiential at the same time.  It would be rare and valuable.  If this technology is as good as I believe it is, why is it not diverse?

Beat to fit, paint to match.
#10 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-04 21:41:32
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
It could work like Black and White, where the goal isn't domination, but to demonstrate an economic effect.  

Tropico?

WoT?
#11 by zarathustrian
2002-05-04 22:07:00
tarbour@adventuregamers.com http://www.adventuregamers.com
However, there will always be a small percentage who can't.  And of course, it's that percentage that ruins it for the rest of us.


And I'm sure that, if violence were to be magically removed from movies and video games, this small percentage of people would just find another reason to cause mayhem.
#12 by None-1a
2002-05-04 22:07:56
So exactly HOW violent are today's kids?


The last time I checked DoJ stats on it youth violence has gone down since the mid 80s. Most of the studies that get news take numbers from schools (suspensions and the like). The problem, and likly reason the numbers keep going up, is each time something happens we get more sensitive to the idea of violence and start counting things that didn't count before. Pushing someone once lead to a nice talking to from the principal, now that'll get you suspended for fighting.

Well that and if the numbers don't match what you want to say there is always those nice "estimated unreported acts" (usualy they are listed separately and as estimates but news agencies rarely ever bother with any thing other then the total)
#13 by Sgt Hulka
2002-05-04 23:34:39
Seems as if Marvel is raking in the cash with three features (Spidey, Hulk and Daredevil), as well as the new fall shows based on these properties.  I think it's great. I love comic book movies.. Can't wait to see Spidey in action.

Note: I heard Toby McGuire is a Vegan and had a hard time getting into shape to play the role of muscle bound teen Peter Parker.  Poor kid.. I'm sure they'll make it up to him somehow. :)

<a href=https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=sgt_hulka%40yahoo.com&item_name=Team+Evolve+Support+Foundation>Please consider donating</a> to the Team Evolve Support Foundation - Any and All Donations Are Appreciated
#14 by Max
2002-05-04 23:35:23
http://massivebraincase.org/
As far as school shootings go - I read an article in (I believe) the NYT several months ago that declared that murders at school were down precipitously over the last several years... that the year of Columbine was the lowest on record total of murders in school since statistics on such things were available. The reason it's become such a big issue is because the killings now are mass killings by "disaffected youth" (meaning white kids from middle class homes) instead of inner-city minorities killing each other one at a time.

"Any game you play features a big penis. Nuff said." -Neale
#15 by Sgt Hulka
2002-05-04 23:36:17
Wow.. I pulled a Derek Smart [/urk! on that last post.. Let me try again.  And yes, we're seriously looking for donations.  We're having a problem with a past member and need some legal assistance, and need some cash!

Please consider donating to the Team Evolve Support Foundation - Any and All Donations Are Appreciated
#16 by jjohnsen
2002-05-05 01:02:27
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Seems as if Marvel is raking in the cash with three features (Spidey, Hulk and Daredevil), as well as the new fall shows based on these properties.  I think it's great. I love comic book movies.. Can't wait to see Spidey in action.


This weeks entertainment weekly has a cover story "Can Superheroes Save Hollywood, basically saying Marvel, DC, etc. have all these great characters and stories and hollywood is so desperate they are going to make movies of every one of them.  I saw Spider Man today, and I'm betting there is already a sequel planned. The ending practically begs for one.

And Tobey Maguire has got to be the most boring guy that can stick to walls and shoot thread out of his wrist.  He didn't get an excited expression even once.

I still loved it though.  I think they are finally doing comic book movies right.

love is good, butter brings on the love...
#17 by LPMiller
2002-05-05 01:30:05
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
he was perfect for Peter Parker because he was so mellow. Peter was the classic wallflower, after all.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#18 by Foodbunny
2002-05-05 01:30:34
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I believe that Spider-man was always planned to be a trilogy of movies.  I certainly hope we'll get Venom in one of them, but my hopes aren't too high yet.

They're cute, they're cuddly and jam shoots out their heads.  I want 'em all!
#19 by Foodbunny
2002-05-05 01:31:19
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Also, Tobey Maguire had the best geeky reactions to being around a girl ever and that makes up for not being excited.  And grinning while Uncle Ben was dying.

They're cute, they're cuddly and jam shoots out their heads.  I want 'em all!
#20 by LPMiller
2002-05-05 01:31:51
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I dunno, did you catch the name dropping of Eddie LeBrock and Dr. Connors? Venom and Lizard.

Though really, one of those movies needs to have the sinister six. Spidey is at his best when the odds are way against him.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#21 by Bailey
2002-05-05 01:33:15
Considering what an old nag the guy was, can you blame him?

The good lord gave me a mind, but the devil taught me how to use it.
#22 by Foodbunny
2002-05-05 01:33:28
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Name dropping can be a clue at what's coming or it can be a nod to what they aren't going to use.  I just refuse to get my hopes up because the movie was better than I expected and I want to look forward to the others without having that looking forward caught up in a character that might not be involved.  Look at me, I can type run-on sentences!

They're cute, they're cuddly and jam shoots out their heads.  I want 'em all!
#23 by Hugin
2002-05-05 01:33:37
lmccain@nber.org
I have to admit I got a little fanboy thrill when Peter mentioned (no spoiling) who he worked for briefly.
#24 by Bailey
2002-05-05 01:43:53
Jonah Jameson?

The good lord gave me a mind, but the devil taught me how to use it.
#25 by Hugin
2002-05-05 01:55:04
lmccain@nber.org
No.  The person was never seen onscreen, and Peter got fired from the job.  It's just a little geeky fanboy thing.
#26 by Hugin
2002-05-05 01:55:59
lmccain@nber.org
Oh weird, the page didn't update the latest posts..oh well, it's already been spoiled, yeah, the mention of Dr. Connors/The Lizard was cool
#27 by Duality
2002-05-05 02:00:10
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Its been around, but what did you guys/gals think of the X-Men film?

The butter religion will spread nicely.
#28 by Hugin
2002-05-05 02:16:43
lmccain@nber.org
I thought it was reasonably solid.  They managed to pull off Wolverine which was the toughest bit I think.  Considering the attention she's gotten lately, and the acting chops she evidently has under the right circumstances, I wonder if Storm will come off better the next time around.
#29 by Hugin
2002-05-05 02:17:41
lmccain@nber.org
Hm..insert the words "Halle Berry" in the previous post somehwere.  It'll help.
#30 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-05 02:57:08
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I have to agree about Wolverine.  I was expecting something lame, but they did that character well.  The crack about yellow spandex was well done too.

WoT?
#31 by Bailey
2002-05-05 03:21:18
Aside from needing to put on about 30lbs of muscle, yeah, Wolverine was pretty much spot on. Halle Berry... well, I don't think it was good casting to put someone in the role of a main character who self-professedly thought the idea for the movie was "stupid". Small wonder she did such a lousy job. Overall, X-men was an alright flick, but I've never really felt the urge to watch it again.

The world loves a bastard.
#32 by WeeMadArthur
2002-05-05 03:29:25
smarteyman@interia.pl
I don't feel the urge to watch it for the first time at all.

"Exit, pursued by a [space] bear." - W. Shakespeare
#33 by jjohnsen
2002-05-05 03:48:02
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Also, Tobey Maguire had the best geeky reactions to being around a girl ever and that makes up for not being excited.  


True, his ummm desperateness (maybe a word?) was perfect.

After very few good comic book movies, I feel like hollywood is on a roll with X-men and Spider Man.  Even Blade 2 wasn't awful.

love is good, butter brings on the love...
#34 by Bailey
2002-05-05 04:13:48
You got an extra n't in that last sentence.

The world loves a bastard.
#35 by Funkdrunk
2002-05-05 04:49:28
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
jjohnsen

I saw Spider Man today, and I'm betting there is already a sequel planned.


I believe all of the major actors have been signed up for 3 films, as Foodbunny already noted, but due to the estimated sales numbers the second movie is being fasttracked.  As for the sequel, some of the name dropping was a preview, because in an interview Dunst let slip that the early plots for the next film will have 2 villans, Dr. Ock and the Lizard.

Funk.

/I saw the film today as well, and the retired fan boy comic geek I buried gushed back the surface.  I spent the rest of the day beating it into submission.
#36 by Duality
2002-05-05 04:55:35
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Now see, I thought Halle Barry did a pretty good Storm, when compared to that of the early / mid 90s Storm.  As well as that of the X-Men cartoon of about the same timeframe.

The butter religion will spread nicely.
#37 by Martin
2002-05-05 05:38:10
http://www.mocol.nu
#34 by Bailey
You got an extra n't in that last sentence.

Amen.

"that fatty crocodile! what a glutton!"
- Kayin
#38 by Bailey
2002-05-05 05:42:52
And here I was earlier today hoping they wouldn't take Doc Ock to the big screen in any of the future movies. Oi gevalt.

The world loves a bastard.
#39 by crash
2002-05-05 06:05:55
hey, Blade 2 was fun. brainless, and way over the top, but hell i wasn't there to see a revision of The Accidental Tourist with vampires. total popcorn flick. whee!

just... weary.
#40 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-05 06:19:45
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
crash

I agree!  Blade 2 was cool once you got past the kid talking ("Yo, yo B , what up!?").  The action scenes were awesome ...

WoT?
#41 by Funkdrunk
2002-05-05 06:30:39
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Bailey

And here I was earlier today hoping they wouldn't take Doc Ock to the big screen in any of the future movies.


Why not?

He's one of the historical Spider-enemies, and the visual effect of the arms would be great.

Funk.
#42 by AnalFissure
2002-05-05 06:37:09
He's also Roy Orbison in spandex.
#43 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-05 06:44:13
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Portly men in their 50s have no need to wear green and orange. Doubly so if they have a bowl cut.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#44 by Funkdrunk
2002-05-05 06:45:17
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Just as an aside, Doc Ock was in the orginal script for this movie.  One of the smartest decisions in recent movie history was to remove the character.  He would have ruined the movie.


AF

He's also Roy Orbison in spandex.


Ok, well if you put it that way.

Funk.
#45 by Hugin
2002-05-05 06:46:26
lmccain@nber.org
Spider Man has a vast array of cheesy 70's villains to cringe at the thought of trying to update...Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, Scorpion...maybe with modern FX and an updated costume Electro could work...
#46 by Hugin
2002-05-05 06:48:39
lmccain@nber.org
You could update the look of Doc Ock...new haircut, new costume..they changed the look of the X-Men and the Goblin heavily and it turned out okay.
#47 by Bailey
2002-05-05 07:22:06
Wasn't Electro the one with the 60's dinette set clock for a face mask?

The world loves a bastard.
#48 by Hugin
2002-05-05 07:26:51
lmccain@nber.org
Yeah, all of Spidey's classic enemies look goofy.
#49 by Funkdrunk
2002-05-05 07:44:31
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Bailey

Here's [url=http://www.samruby.com/Villains/Electro/electro.htm]Electro for you.

Marvel in the 60's were responsible for some horrible costume design.  But somehow, they've moved from bad to classic.

Funk.
#50 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-05 07:44:46
http://departmentofinternets.com
...Vulture, Kraven the Hunter

The latest issue of Spider-Man's Tangled Web focuses on Kraven, Vulture, and a mystery man at a super villains bar bitching about how Spidey ruined their week.  It's hilarious.  Vulture all pissed off that he can't get a date, Kraven bragging about all the women he's had... comedy gold.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
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