Should violent video games be banned?

Should the government ban or regulate violent games?

  • Yes. Violent games are dangerous and should be banned.

    Votes: 1 4.8%
  • Regulate them. Violent games should not be sold to minors and should be clearly marked.

    Votes: 9 42.9%
  • No. The government should not be telling citizens what they can buy.

    Votes: 11 52.4%

  • Total voters
    21

Dr Zaius

Chief Defender of the Faith
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
8,900
Reaction score
516
Location
The Forbidden Zone
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
What do you think of the efforts of some politicians to ban or restrict the sale of violent video games? This is already somewhat common in parts of Europe and there are some who would like to do the same in the US and Canada.
 

Mark Peachey

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
94
Reaction score
0
Location
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Country
llCanada
If we're talking about banning the sale of violent videogames to minors, then I am actually in support of such legislation. If we're talking about banning violent videogames altogether, I am opposed.

In Canada, as far as I know, there has yet to be any legislation introduced regarding a ban on sale to minors. In the US, it's a different story altogether. Check out the website GamePolitics.com. You'll find that several states have already attempted to pass legislation banning the sale of Mature rated games to minors, and I believe most have failed on constitutional grounds or have been struck down in court for the same reason.

I am an avid gamer. Despite my passion for gaming and the seemingly constitutionally doomed legislation, I do believe there are reasonable limits on their distribution, and one of those reasonable limits is keeping violent games out of the hands of children. This isn't to say children should not play them, but rather that parents should be making that decision. Legislation banning the sale of violent games to minors provides parents with that discretion; they do not have to worry about their children clandestinely purchasing said games.

I do not believe that any form of media will singlehandedly shape the behavior of an individual. Likewise, I do not believe that violent videogames cause children to embark on murderous rampages, nor do I believe that they instill longlasting violent attitudes. To proclaim otherwise is, frankly, an insult to human nature; we are infinitely complex. Whether you support nature or nuture - or something in between - as the paradigm through which human behavior is understandable, the proposition that continued play of DOOM will end in real world violence just doesn't wash. Plenty of research suggests that play of violent videogames increases levels of excitement, stress, aggression, etc. immediately afterwards. But what form of media is exempt from similar effects? None. Movies, music, TV, even books, are all equally capable in that regard.

Having said all this, violent games and media do have some effect on all of us, especially children. Most healthy adults have the perspective and life experience to place these things in their proper context. Children are lacking in this respect, and are therefore more susceptible to negative outcomes. Some children are naturally more intelligent or well adjusted than others, but they're not the point. The point is that parents with children of any capacity would do well to monitor all that their children experience, such that they grow to be well adjusted adults themselves. The legislation banning sale to minors is a tool to help those parents.
 
Last edited:

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Define "violent".

Is it "violent" if after conquering a city in Civilization IV I refuse the city and have it razed?

Or is it violent, if while playing a cliche GTA type game I can attack a female pedstrian, and simulate raping her complete with nudity and then shoot her in the head after and watch her body get blown to bits.

I suppose it just depends, what's yer limit on what you think is required to make a game.

I remember watching the movie Training Day. I stopped watching about the half way point. I was turned off by the script which was 50% words we are not allowed to type in full on the forum here. I decided I required a higher order of quality in my movie entertainment.
Not that I am a prude, I swear like a DI (but I recognise it's a bad habit too).

How much blood gore, adult content do we really need in a game?
Why should we even NEED our kids games rated?
Or rather, can't we at least make them games that don't require the warning.

Hey, I like adult content under the right situations. But is a video game a "right situation"?
 

mr_clark

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Messages
1,007
Reaction score
2
Location
Berlin, Germany
Country
llGermany
Funny, I was at a test today at the pshrinks's at the uni. They claimed they wanted to test whether you get higher reflexes from playing games. Well actually they lied and wanted to test our behaviour. (they told me afterwards)
I played NFS with a car made 'worse' by a cheat and so they monitored my reaction for not even coming close to the opposition after 16 races...
I wasn't very upset as I had similar experiances in some parts of NFSC so I kept my calm, but they said some others really lost their temper and even became violent against the testers and one even broke a keyboard the other day....
Does that make NFS Hot puirsuit a violent game?

well so much for that anecdote...

On topic:
I think that games displaying graphically intense scenes of violence should not be available to minors in open buiseness.
Here in Germany we have a rather strict regime on that. Games are rated and categorized the following: "Suitable for all ages", "not under 6/12/16"(respectively) "not free for minors"(18+) and "Indexed". Actually indexed has two stages the low one is a game that it deemed not suitable for minors and is not allowed to be advertised or publicly displayed in a shop.The shops still have them and you can buy them if you ask for it and display an ID. Mainly this happens for extensive violence, but is now not happening very often anymore. Examples of this group would be Doom, or Quake...
The hard indexed group are those programs forbidden by law. Like Wolfenstein in the english version featuring swastikas and such.

Personally I find this system well enough. All games have to be rated by a government sponsored "independed Rating board", or will automatically fall into the first indexed category. (Nobody really doesn't do it as you can't really get off worse...and the process is free)
There are standing rules on what is allowed for what restrictions and violence and it's intense is valued against other factors. So Hitman "Blood Money" is rated 18+ as it's main idea is not killing as many as possible but to perform with as few kills as possible (allright one can argue with that) while Doom was indexed as killing was the main (only) intention of the player...

Edit: As companys try to reach the 16 rating (to reach where the money is...) Games tended to be quite censored in past years featuring no or unred blood in shooters or exchanging nonlawful symbols with others. "Funny" was having robots as units in the original command and conquer and Red alert...
This has changed a little in recent years (the later C6Cs allowe blood... ;)) as manufacturers try to not be so much interested in the 16+ rating for some games, and the rules also became a little loosened.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
1
Location
Newark, DE
Country
llUnited States
Absolutely not. The industry is doing a fine enough job as it is self-regulating their sale to minors. It's difficult to go and buy GTA if you aren't 17 in most places.

And anyway, the research "proving" the influence of violent games is erroneous at best. A lot of this political fuss over video games is just political posturing against violent games which have been demonized of late. Several pieces of legislation looking to regulate video game sales has even been declared unconstitutional recently.
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Pavlov proved a long time ago that you CAN condition a subject. But no one wants to listen.

Still, I am not sure banning is the answer.

I DO know parenting is about a lot of things a lot of parents want to ignore though.

My son can always get the banned game if he wants it. Just like kids can get a beer if they really try, or smokes. And your 13 year has likely had more sex than you did in your teens.

The world of today isn't the Leave it to Beaver world of my youth that's for sure.

I'm more concerned about angry lyrics in music though, than in violent games. Heck so what he sees it in a game, he sees it in the movies on tv and everywhere else. But music seems to get into a persons mind easier. Maybe because the games are just to obviously not real, while the music is usually about the real world as seen by the singer.

Anyway, I don't expect a ban to accomplish near as much as an agressively interested and attentive parent can accomplish.
 

mr_clark

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Messages
1,007
Reaction score
2
Location
Berlin, Germany
Country
llGermany
Personally I am not really concerned about music. After all peoples favourites differ and someone who listenes Korn isn't likely to listen to Britney Spears, no matter how brutal Britney's liyrics are ;)

In my last year of highschool we compared current 'comments' on video games with those claiming Goethe's "Sorrows of young Werther"(1774 IIRC) is responsible for rising suicides rates in young men (which doesn't even happen actually).
It's interesting how similar those comments were to the modern ones, even though 230 years passed in between. I guess you can always 'prove' your point if you try hard enough...
 

ehandlr

Member
Joined
May 28, 2005
Messages
3,606
Reaction score
0
Location
Newark
Country
llUnited States
I have no quarrels with stopping minors from purchasing adult oriented violent games. I don't believe they should be banned altogether. Leaving the parents to decide is no different then letting the minor decide by their self.
 

Adamaniac 791

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
0
Location
nowhere
Country
llUnited Kingdom
Why should we even NEED our kids games rated?
Or rather, can't we at least make them games that don't require the warning.

Hey, I like adult content under the right situations. But is a video game a "right situation"?
And there is the stigma that games are designed primarily for kids. Most games these days include violence in some form and many are aimed at adults. For example, games in the Metal Gear Solid series are aimed at adults and are usually rated 15+ because of the violence/blood involved. However as the storytelling is so complex I doubt a young kid would understand the game anyway, after all the game wasn't designed to be played by kids.

The ratings are there for a reason and should be enforced by the stores that sell games. It is the fault of the store or the parent if a kid manages to get their hands on a "violent" game such as GTA, not the fault of the game developers as it was intended for adults only.

@Aries: As far as I know you cannot simulate rape in any GTA game or any of the various GTA clones.
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
"@Aries: As far as I know you cannot simulate rape in any GTA game or any of the various GTA clones."

That was an extreme illustrative example only. I have never played GTA, and only vaguely know what they look like. GTA is like using the world Kleenex to mean anything used to clear one's nose with :)

I'm a parent though, and I am VERY much the sort willing to blame damn near ALL of society's problems on lousy excuse parenting.

Kids are open books, they become what you let them become. If you are surrounded by kids that seem a problem to society, look no further for the reason, than the parents that made them.
Doesn't matter culture, colour, place of origin, beliefs. Every human child is brought into the world in the same way. We all start equal. After the first few minutes though, the equality disappears.
 

jayedub7423

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
975
Reaction score
27
Location
San Jose
Country
llUnited States
well, i should really slow down and read things before i just start voting, cause i casted my vote for no, but i meant to vote for the regulate option.

i think that there needs to be more accountability on the part of retailers and vendors to make sure that any games marked 'M for Mature' are not sold to minors. and i also think that parents need to be educated on the games that they are buying for thier child, and be made aware of questionable content.

i would do that when i was a manager at gamestop, i made my employees do it as well, but the majority of parents i had to deal with just never seemed interested or cared, which is sad really.

i find that what is being broadcast on t.v. is getting worse than what is in video games now a days.
 

Reiryc

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
213
Reaction score
1
Location
Kansas
Leave up to Parents to police their kids. Dag nabbit they're adults let them figure it out.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Don't have time to police the games, then ban your kids from playing them. It's not as if playing video/computer games is a requirement for a healthy childhood.

Heck, governments are responsible for waaaay more violence than any video game. Should we start banning governments too? Hrmm... not such a bad idea come to think of it...
 

Leftie

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
804
Reaction score
0
Location
Ohio
Country
llUnited States
@Aries: As far as I know you cannot simulate rape in any GTA game or any of the various GTA clones.

Unfortunately that isn't true. The Japanese have made a game (albeit with low production values) where you prowl the Subways and other public places looking for rape victims.

I think this was a result of some people in the adult industry putting together a video game and not someone in the gaming business deciding to mass market such a terrible idea but it still is a pc game in which your objective is to rape women.





Ben
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Unfortunately that isn't true. The Japanese have made a game (albeit with low production values) where you prowl the Subways and other public places looking for rape victims.

I think this was a result of some people in the adult industry putting together a video game and not someone in the gaming business deciding to mass market such a terrible idea but it still is a pc game in which your objective is to rape women.





Ben
Sadly that's not too shocking considering the source location.
I like anime just fine, and the darker side doesn't mean squat to my liking it.
But when you consider all the hentai dating games that revolve around a challenge to end up having sex with all the female personalities contained in the game.
Then you add the atypical obsession with anime having so many plots where all the women want one solitary male that spends his time fighting off their interest.
The Japanese sure have some peculiar ways of handling things under the surface.
They can illustrate that no one can outdo them at bondage, and you just have to say the word bukkake to realise western porn has nothing on Japanese porn.

But I'm fairly sure that a game like you mentioned would be strictly speaking an underground title for the most part. Not coming to a store near you :)
 
Top