Friday, December 12, 2008

Games and Society

To add to Christiansen's post, I wanna throw my 2 gil/copper/zenni/cents out there as well. As the gaming industry continues to expand, society has taken a very different stance on video games.

Think back fifteen or even twenty years ago. The profile gamer was either a sub-12 year old or a post-25 year old living in his parents basement(possibly playing D&D with his "party"). Video games were part of a sub-culture in the US. There was no seriousness about it. Gaming was about playing games and having simple fun. The role of video games in society was "things that nerds or small children did." Around the turn of the century, the role of games in society began to change. With the increase in popularity of online gaming, the gaming community began to change. Without getting into a history lesson here, lets flash forward to today. What are games for us in 2008(soon to be 2009).

Arguably one of the best places to read up on the daily interactions of video games and our society is This is where I tend to go for my daily fix of /facepalm's. 98% of the time I go there, I sit in bewilderment of our society.

It seems to me(a person with a semi-functional brain), that nobody in this goddamn society wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Nothing is ever YOUR fault, it's always THEIR fault. It's a weak and overused excuse. It's not MY fault that I shoved the firecracker up my ass, it's YOUR fault for not putting a warning to NOT PUT IT UP MY ASS. Or how about the famous, I didn't know the HOT COFFEE was HOT. I'm suing you.

As Christiansen pointed out, the FCC commissioner blames World of Warcraft as the leading cause of college dropouts. yes. Lets totally not count the fact that we're currently in an economic recession, credit markets are needing a bailout, people are defaulting on their mortgages, the US has shed over 100,000 jobs during this month, and the cost of going to college is on average about $35k a year. Did I mention that some college graduates come out with over $100k worth of student loans? Alright, alright, I'll stop with the links. Just tryin to cite my sources.

In the context of the gaming culture, the one group that refuses to take any social responsibility are the parents(I know they'll never read this blog so I can say this[on second thought, i don't give a shit if they do read it]). I must give credit for this next bit to a pretty smart man, George Carlin. Parents gotta be the most full of shit people on the planet. Let me rephrase that, STUPID parents gotta be the most full of shit people on the planet. I know a bunch of good people who raised their kids right(*cough cough* my folks *cough cough*). It's pretty much the same shit every time with these stupid parents. If the kid comes out all fucked up, they had nothing to do with it. "Ohh it's all those damn video games he plays." or "It's because he was talking with those weird fucking people online." If the kid is successful, they're the first ones to raise their hands and be like "Yeah that was all me. I did a good job, look here." Here's the dumb thing, this can happen TO THE SAME KID. He might fucks up on SATs and has to settle for a "lower" university, hey it happens. BAM! Not their fault. Kid is barred from all family functions because he's a disgrace. Kid later wins a nobel prize for his work at this "lower" university, BAM! "It was because I pushed him with his studies and told him to never give up" bullshit. Now lets do the oh so fun game examples.

Here's one. Two kids hang a kitten with a xbox controller after playing GTA. Yes. Because the game "This game allows players to kill cops and rape women,” which leads to violence against small animals. The boys were age six and seven. The report blames the content of the game for the actions of the two small children. Yet, where are the parents in this case? No mention of how two small children were given permission to play a game that is only purchasable by someone 17 or older. Child supervision? Any? Baby sitter? Older sibling? Uncle? Aunt? PARENT? None? Well then. Lets put some small children in a room with a loaded gun and see how that turns out. And when they shoot each other, lets blame the gun.

Speaking of assault with a weapon. Check this kid out. The kid tries to rob his fucking teacher in order to buy GTA4. Because his mother wouldn't buy it for him. And it's the game's fault. Wait wait. I'm not sure if I can blame the parents directly. But their kid is pretty fucked up. And if he did play GTA, he must've been a terribad. First he asks for $20. Then $1. WTF kind of bargaining is that?

Ohhh hohohoho. Yeah, this will seem mean. Brandon Crisp. You might remember him. He's the 15 year old kid that went missing after his parents banned him from playing XBox360. Ohhh the mother is blaming Call of Duty 4. It's an addiction to the game. Blah blah blah. No,no, the extreme lack of parenting and not beating the shit out of your kid for being a complete fucking idiot. In all honesty, I see it as natural selection. If two retards breed, the spawn shouldn't survive. Oh yeah, the kid was found. I think the best would be the raids done on pages in his honor.

Alright, my face is getting red from slapping it so much. I must conclude this article here. I hope those of you that read this kinda get where I'm coming from. All blame cannot be solely placed on one thing. People gotta suck it the fuck up and take responsibility for their shit. Maybe I'll edit this article and turn it into a paper for some class one day.


  1. Hey man, I appreciate you backing me up on this. I have posted stuff like this before and usually no one wants to touch it.

    Essentially we are preaching to the choir here. Anybody reading this won't be someone that disagrees.

    That being written, I think what is going to be important for us to solve as a community is how do we convince society that games do not corrupt and cause violence through desensitization? The burden of proof is on us as well as those that would blame video games. To all of us it's common sense. I mean all you have to say is "Hey look at me and him and that guy and all of those people, we play video games and haven't killed anyone."

    But to the people that are fighting this blame war all it takes is a few people.

    There is hope. There are judges and people in power that aren't easily swayed by the antics and spectacle of people trying to place blame, like Jack Thompson, a lawyer who is responsible for a famous suit against rockstar games citing an actual shooting by two boys who played GTA. Yeah... well he got disbarred this is a good thing, because it gets one whacko off the pedestal and it sends a message to the rest of them that they can't waste everyone's time with silly antics and publicity stunts. If this is a serious problem treat it like one... bitches.

  2. edit: Jack Thompsons case vs GTA involved one boy not two. Mah bad.

  3. Did you check this article out?

  4. Great link Loke. There are a couple things I am wondering about that particular incident.

    Why did the minister have a 9mm, I thought priests were sworn an oath of pacifism, maybe I am wrong.

    Also, the defense's justification was that the kid was under tremendous stress from being homebound from a snowboarding injury. First off it's fairly obvious, the kid is pretty well off, but the fact that he didn't realize the gravity of what he was doing nor the consequences, shows me very clearly that with-holding video games such as halo has no effect if anything it completely backfired.

    It seems that there was no thorough explanation to the kid as to why these things in the lockbox were there and they merely became a thing for him to desire, a forbidden fruit locked away.

    I know I am kind of rambling, but I think this is actually a great microcosm of the debate as a whole. If you ban these games, especially without an open dialogue with the public as to why, then people with a detachment to reality will covet them and turn to violence to get them.

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