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Dec 08, 2003



Ted> if the researchers cited in Yee's Fact Sheet had played MMORPGs, they probably would have noticed quite a bit of violence there too.

What happens when the powers that be discover the rather shocking fact that chat sex has been known to happen in online spaces? Given the US' puritanical streak, that could raise an even larger uproar.


> Will legislation respect the subtleties?

I really doubt it.

And Cory has a very good point.


Sadly, there's not much productive discussion to be had here. Mr. Yee may have a PhD in Child Psychology, but now he's a politician. And this legislation is politically airtight--there's no reason for him not to pursue it:

-those who it affects are by definition minors and can't vote against him
-most parents with young/teen children are not avid gamers themselves, and don't care about the market
-most legal adults who are avid gamers don't care, and either dont vote or won't make this a vote-changing issue

So if a kid can't buy the game they want in the store, what are they going to do--go home and play with educational software? No, they'll either download a copy online, or get a copy from a friend, and gain just that much more contempt for the law in their formative years. I'd really expect more critical thinking from a Psych PhD.

"Saving the children" is almost always political cowardice. It makes an emotional appeal which there can be no empirical evidence against. Maybe some lobbyist could point out to him that California's economy doesn't need any further obstacles at this point...


I am as annoyed at the "games are dangerous" debate as you are, but not desperate to fight every battle on that field. The reason being that I see it as a repetition of a familiar pattern. Nobody can accuse films or videos of lacking in the sex and violence department presently, yet the same debate has raged with the advent of all new media. For the 6 million Norwegian readers out there: Professor Barbara Gentikow writes about Norwegian media panics, and over two quick, efficient pages sums up the hundred + years of history of "blaming it on the media".

I am not all that worried about the online communities, massive multiplayer games or digital meeting spaces, because according to the experience we have with media panics, this too, will pass. The problem is that blaming violence or just about everything else on the media is a very good trick politically, because:

1) the media is something their entire audience relates to. That's why attacking new media is better than established media - "it's not about you, my dear established readers/listeners/viewers, it's them, the others with different habits and routines."

2) nobody have managed to prove or disprove a connection between media and violence, while it is pretty clear that there is a connection between violence, education, employment, health, social security and the spaces in which people live. Give people better lives and more room and there is less crime and violence. That costs money and demands public regulation, takes time and changes the status of the well-off. Forbidding violence in computer games/on video/in television/in comics is free, doesn't concern the taxpayer, doesn't change the status quo, is visible to the right groups and just might work. At least nobody can prove it doesn't work, right?

3) people feel genuine concern and fear. Media develop too quickly for most of us to keep up. Not all of us have the time, resources and interest - and I am quite relieved at that, somebody need to be medical doctors too. We all see the younger generations have experiences we don't know how to share or guide them through, and that is terrifying. How can we help, protect and teach in this strange landscape?


I think you hit it right on the head in your third point. The simple fact is that gaming is *not* a form of mainstream entertainment in the United States and the majority of American adult's don't entirely understand it. They can, however, perceive the violence inherent in most of today's games - making games the inevitable target for those who fear social evolution.


was a lousy argument, 90% (good guess) is based information from newspapers, and we all know what perpective they are using and it`s not the "whole" truth..

I really wonder what is the worst, that they may buy any violence game they want or the tv thats constantly pupmps the viewers with violence and fear.. So if you cut the video games they will surely look alot more on television, but on the other hand there is games who I think should be banned or not even leased..

I am an hardcore gamer and play games at least 2h a day. There are many good games that contains less violence, but I think violence should be in mostley of the games, look at it this way. A 13 year old kid who plays a violent game is bad but for the tv to show violent movies, documentaries of war and so on and forth..

The wrong doesent lay in the game creators but at the salesman of the game..


I think the government is trying to hide behind the supposed " video game violence."
The say Halo 2 is bad but the only cussing is ass and bastard and those are not even that bad.
It's just a bunch of over protective parents trying to shield their children from the truth of how the world really is. they dont even include news movies and tv programs. They say its just video games. Oh he shot someone because he played Halo2. Teens aren't stupid we can make smart dicicions on our own.

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