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StingingVelvet: Media effects us tremendously. Nothing wrong with examining games' effect on kids and perhaps making it harder for them to play violent ones.
If we take that as a given, why are John Steinbeck books in every junior high and high school library? Why is Glory often shown in class to high school students? Why do we celebrate the hell out of Shakespeare, Poe, and Twain?

I mean, I'm not disagreeing that media affects us, surely that's why we engage with it. Video games are very much being singled out this generation, most of this board will remember the same arguments vs. Heavy Metal, Rock Music, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.

Why are we singling out games this generation? I still like Dee Snider's testimony before congress, I found the imagery amusing as fuck back then, now I realize he's one of the smarter fellows who's had the opportunity to speak before congress on the matter. Interesting, because watching this wouldn't make you think so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9AbeALNVkk
Post edited January 25, 2013 by orcishgamer
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StingingVelvet: He's not really wrong though. His language is annoying, but it's a fair point. Most gamers I see talking about this issue sound just like gun hobbyists: defending their hobby to extremes because they're biased.
Good idea - NRA members should stay out of gun laws debates. I hope the Senator mentions that next time he's on camera.
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cogadh: What I disagree with is that any group, especially a group so intimately involved with the topic at hand, should be excluded from this discussion. Why is Yee's obvious bias about games more valid than gamers' bias?
I disagree with the way he put it. I would of just said "keep in mind these people have natural agendas even they don't realize the extent of." Something like that.

Human beings have a remarkable capacity for self-deception. We can truly believe stuff about ourselves that is not true. We can think we are 100% objective when we are not, that is probably one of the easiest examples. I see it all the time with reviewers who insist hype, advertising, PR and other such things have no impact on their reviews. I also see it on this topic, where we insist that realistic looking murder simulation cannot possibly have an effect on little kids.

Do I think it causes violence? No, overall violence has plummeted in the age of media. Am I scared of research or closed-minded about it possibly having weaker effects we don't understand? No, bring on the knowledge.
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StingingVelvet: He's not really wrong though. His language is annoying, but it's a fair point. Most gamers I see talking about this issue sound just like gun hobbyists: defending their hobby to extremes because they're biased.
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kalirion: Good idea - NRA members should stay out of gun laws debates. I hope the Senator mentions that next time he's on camera.
Two things: For one, people have to protect their own interests. That's kind of just how life works -- I mean why let someone else decide for you on an issue that you're involved in but they are not? It's your hobby/lifestyle/whatever, so you have every right to voice your opinion or try and protect it. In this case, bias is a good thing. And secondly, I believe he is wrong because who else is more qualified than a gamer to talk about how games influence them? That's like saying that a race car driver isn't qualified to talk about racing because they're a race car driver. I've been playing violent video games since they were invented. I also own guns and I've been in the military, and yet my moral leanings toward cold blooded violence have not been affected.
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cogadh: What I disagree with is that any group, especially a group so intimately involved with the topic at hand, should be excluded from this discussion. Why is Yee's obvious bias about games more valid than gamers' bias?
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StingingVelvet: I disagree with the way he put it. I would of just said "keep in mind these people have natural agendas even they don't realize the extent of." Something like that.

Human beings have a remarkable capacity for self-deception. We can truly believe stuff about ourselves that is not true. We can think we are 100% objective when we are not, that is probably one of the easiest examples. I see it all the time with reviewers who insist hype, advertising, PR and other such things have no impact on their reviews. I also see it on this topic, where we insist that realistic looking murder simulation cannot possibly have an effect on little kids.

Do I think it causes violence? No, overall violence has plummeted in the age of media. Am I scared of research or closed-minded about it possibly having weaker effects we don't understand? No, bring on the knowledge.
Unfortunately I don't actually think that's what he was saying - what you are saying is something I completely agree with and I *think* cogadh also agrees with. But that's not what I heard (for a lack of a better word) when I read what he was saying. He's saying that gamers are addicted to violence which causes them to defend to the point of lunacy the violence in their media and therefore they should be excluded from the conversation about violence in games. That's a qualitatively different statement and not just something that if somehow rephrased would be better. It's his right to say it, but I think gamers and game companies deserve a seat at the national table. Yes there are, I'm sure nut cases who I wouldn't give a media bullhorn to, but given the fact Lee lost the Supreme Court case, that's not a fait-a-compli, but it shows the game industry has some merit. Of course further, and better research is always good. I'm a fan of studying the effects of violence in the media on people - heck I'd like to see studies of sex in the media too given a) the double standard where a lot of violence is acceptable whereas sex is not and b) despite this how widespread implied or direct sexual imagery is anyway. So I'm a fan of people doing serious, large research studies into these areas. But that doesn't mean I'm a fan of everyone pushing for it or how they think about the issues.

He was not saying something nuanced that just came out wrong.
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crazy_dave: He was not saying something nuanced that just came out wrong.
I was more thinking he phrased it in a way that would grab attention, as all politicians practice, but perhaps it was a different point entirely. Not sure.

Anyway, won't amount to much, the Supreme Court has already spoken.
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cogadh: He's a State Senator from San Francisco and he's telling people they have no business voicing their opinions in a public debate. If that isn't anti-free speech, I don't know what is.
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pseudonarne: well it'd be different if you agreed with him.

Thats always how it is with those pesky demoncrat jackasses only they say its the opposite ;)

edit-
lol wikipedia says I guessed right... He sounded like a democrat.
Nah, any party or philosophy can be bad, Democrats and liberals included, but Republicans and conservatives are actually slightly worse for this, especially when it comes to video games. The NRA was for instance quick to blame video games after the recent shootings (right before releasing their own video game I might add). You can just look up FOX clips on video games where the conservative hosts are yelling "think of the children!", "Mass Effect has rampant nudity", etc ... And definitely love to shut down debate.
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crazy_dave: He was not saying something nuanced that just came out wrong.
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StingingVelvet: I was more thinking he phrased it in a way that would grab attention, as all politicians practice, but perhaps it was a different point entirely. Not sure.

Anyway, won't amount to much, the Supreme Court has already spoken.
Perhaps so, but in this case it qualitatively changes what one is saying. If he was trying to make your point, I'd be supportive of that. But that's not what those words say. And you're right it probably won't amount to much, especially since scientific research takes a very, very long time. By the time those studies which are just being thought about being organized now are done, it will probably be years away (if not longer if they are trying to study long-term effects) and everyone will have forgotten who this guy was never mind what he said to a reporter one day.
Post edited January 25, 2013 by crazy_dave
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cjrgreen: A good place to start would be the amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court case, http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/08-1448_amicus-California-Psychological-Association-et-al..pdf
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Cormoran: The study it cites, and more specifically the person who headed it, is of questionable legitimacy.

In debating these idiots we give them a certain air of legitimacy. The general public don't follow up on whether or not the debate was won or lost (note that Dr. Andersons' previous studies on this issue have been rejected by the courts that considered them) they only ever hear that there was a debate.
Whether you like it or not, Leland Yee is one of the three or four most powerful men in California. He is not Jack Thompson; he is the second-ranking Democrat in the state Senate, he has a portfolio of awards longer than my resume, he has the backing of professional associations and a faction in the legislature.

He must be taken seriously and refuted, not dismissed as an idiot whom we should not stoop to debate. Not because his positions are worth a pitcher of warm spit, but because everybody who matters in the passing or killing of real laws takes him seriously.
Post edited January 25, 2013 by cjrgreen
Californians sure keep voting in real quality people into office, don't they?
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Cormoran: "Politician says something poorly thought out with no evidence to back it up in the hope that it will win him votes. Full story at 6."

If you want to respond to him though, don't say something clean and sanitary like "so much for free speech" That doesn't get attention. Say something equally headline worthy like "Sen. Yee hates the constitution and want's America (may God bless it) chained to the yoke of Communist Chinese Oppression!" and demand that he be investigated by the FBI as a Chinese spy.
The main difference between China and the US in that regards is that the Chinese government will throw you in jail for certain things, the US government just lets the lynch mob prevent you from having a job or any of the means to support yourself if, in many cases, you do the same things in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shunning is a surprisingly effective tool when you control access to the good jobs and places to live.

Being in China the last year has been really disillusioning for how much worse things are in the US than I had realized. And just how incredibly hypocritical we are at the government level.
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solzariv: Californians sure keep voting in real quality people into office, don't they?
What, you didn't like the Governator?

Well, but he's no "The Body" but who is, really.
Post edited January 25, 2013 by hedwards
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Cormoran: "Politician says something poorly thought out with no evidence to back it up in the hope that it will win him votes. Full story at 6."

If you want to respond to him though, don't say something clean and sanitary like "so much for free speech" That doesn't get attention. Say something equally headline worthy like "Sen. Yee hates the constitution and want's America (may God bless it) chained to the yoke of Communist Chinese Oppression!" and demand that he be investigated by the FBI as a Chinese spy.
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hedwards: The main difference between China and the US in that regards is that the Chinese government will throw you in jail for certain things, the US government just lets the lynch mob prevent you from having a job or any of the means to support yourself if, in many cases, you do the same things in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shunning is a surprisingly effective tool when you control access to the good jobs and places to live.

Being in China the last year has been really disillusioning for how much worse things are in the US than I had realized. And just how incredibly hypocritical we are at the government level.
Oh no they've gotten to hedwards! Somebody save him! :)

(just in case to anybody reading this, yes I am just being silly)
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StingingVelvet: He's not really wrong though. His language is annoying, but it's a fair point. Most gamers I see talking about this issue sound just like gun hobbyists: defending their hobby to extremes because they're biased.

Media effects us tremendously. Nothing wrong with examining games' effect on kids and perhaps making it harder for them to play violent ones.
Not really, unless I missed the rash of fatal paper cuts administered via game manual or all those DVD sack beatings.

The difference is that the NRA is advocating against even the most rudimentary measures to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals. Because no measure is perfect, they would have us have none.

I haven't handled a firearm in years, but if a person requires more than 9 rounds in order to hit an assailant, they have absolutely no business handling a firearm. Those bullets don't just magically disappear if they don't hit their target. The office building I used to work in would have to replace windows at night, from time to time, when a bullet hole was discovered in one of them.

Now, when video games are actually used for a mass murder, then we can perhaps revisit the comparison. Until then it's a comparison too far.
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hedwards: The main difference between China and the US in that regards is that the Chinese government will throw you in jail for certain things, the US government just lets the lynch mob prevent you from having a job or any of the means to support yourself if, in many cases, you do the same things in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shunning is a surprisingly effective tool when you control access to the good jobs and places to live.

Being in China the last year has been really disillusioning for how much worse things are in the US than I had realized. And just how incredibly hypocritical we are at the government level.
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crazy_dave: Oh no they've gotten to hedwards! Somebody save him! :)

(just in case to anybody reading this, yes I am just being silly)
One of the reasons I'm leaving is that I'm having an increasingly hard time remembering that I'm not actually Chinese.
Post edited January 25, 2013 by hedwards
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hedwards: Now, when video games are actually used for a mass murder, then we can perhaps revisit the comparison. Until then it's a comparison too far.
No one wants to ban violent video games, only study their effects on children and perhaps increase awareness or punishment for letting little kids play the most violent of games.

It's common practice in the UK and other Western countries, but we act like it would be insanity. It comes off to me as overly defensive.
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crazy_dave: Oh no they've gotten to hedwards! Somebody save him! :)

(just in case to anybody reading this, yes I am just being silly)
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hedwards: One of the reasons I'm leaving is that I'm having an increasingly hard time remembering that I'm not actually Chinese.
:)

I've got a couple of friends who are Americans but have lived and worked in China for long periods of time. They both had very complex views on China, both positives and negatives. One studies business law and the other is in DC doing human rights law. I have no personal experience beyond several of my friends being from there or living there.
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hedwards: Now, when video games are actually used for a mass murder, then we can perhaps revisit the comparison. Until then it's a comparison too far.
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StingingVelvet: No one wants to ban violent video games, only study their effects on children and perhaps increase awareness or punishment for letting little kids play the most violent of games.

It's common practice in the UK and other Western countries, but we act like it would be insanity. It comes off to me as overly defensive.
Well I think part of the defensiveness comes from the fact that no other media gets criminal sanctions for minors getting their hands on violent content and that the ESRB ratings at least at the seller level, what happens after that is a different story of course, do seem to be effective already (more so in comparison to movie ratings preventing sales in retail stores which was the point of comparison in the Supreme Court Case).

I think there is an automatic reflex to making the act of obtaining any type of media, video games or otherwise, a criminal act. But that's not just video games. And there is the double standards here between sexual content and violent content, which is a real double standard which I believe Justice Kennedy in his differing Opinion pointed out. We already do ban some speech (no yelling fire in a crowded theatre, or conspiracy to commit a murder, etc ...), because we feel that isn't covered by the spirit of the 1st amendment. Even though the provision was to criminally ban access of violent video games to minors rather than criminally ban violent games for everyone, I'm not sure video games rises quite to the level of the other types of speech we've restricted (except sexual content which I believe does indeed come with criminal sanction for the knowing distribution to minors), unless we can show that indeed it does have a hugely negative impact on young minds.

I think we do need to improve parental controls and increase parent's awareness of those controls as cable tried to do several years ago, but I don't think we should be at the point that we talk of criminalizing the sales of improper video games unless it is eventually shown that it does truly harm their development. And I think gamers and game companies should be part of that discussion if they are presenting valid arguments (which apparently the SCOTUS thought they were).
Post edited January 25, 2013 by crazy_dave