The highbrow academic mag Wilson Quarterly has posted a new article on video games. Given what we’ve come to expect on this subject, the article is surprisingly even-handed. Still, it is somewhat negative, with the author suggesting that the critics of video games aren’t really wrong—just making the wrong arguments. Are games really sapping the creativity of the youth? Discuss.
(Edited by Rabbi Guru (1250), Oct 17, 2006)Re: Are Video Games Evil?
Rabbi Guru (1250), Oct 17, 2006
"Worry instead that they’re teaching us to salute."
Arrrgghhh, grrrrrrrrr....me mad. I have so much to say and I don`t know where to start. I find it a pity, that only World of Warcraft, Sims and Gta get any mention in articles like these. It seems that Bioware is not yet so-well recognized as I have believed, which is a pity. Although, then the comment might be that Bioware teaches our kids to manipulate other people for your own interests. Where do they get this idea that games are only for kids, Fahrenheit definitely wasn`t and it`s one of the most refreshing games I have played in the last year and it wasn`t only because of the interactive sex scenes. Okay I probably know the answer to my question....sure most game stories are crap, sure it`s 20 years from Ultima 4....we need another best-selling Ultima 4 to silence this fools....and then go play our hentai games in peace....sure Warren Spector hasn`t made his Renait game yet...but, but...guys who only read top selling lists have no right to comment on state of gaming....I mean how can you judge something, to know something truly when you haven`t plunged deeply into it....I am boiling over. Okay, one thing is certain...my long life with video games has not made me a "salute person", it`s most probably the other extreme - doubt in everything. Sigh, it seems that grammatics go out the window, when you want to unleash your righteous fury.
Come on, they have probably never even heard about Ultima 4. If they had, they wouldn't dare say with a straight face that games teach you bad things. Unless they think the Eight Virtues are bad, of course :-)
Video game industry have their Ultimas and also their GTAs, but it's the responsibility of the player to choose if he wants to be an Avatar or a gangster... or both. Those people don't even begin to understand how rich and versatile the world of video games is.
(Edited by Rabbi Guru (1250), Oct 18, 2006)Re: Are Video Games Evil?
Rabbi Guru (1250), Oct 18, 2006
YID YANG Wrote:
Hey, I know they haven`t heard of Ultima 4...that`s why I said that we need another best-selling Ultima 4. Guys, like the one who wrote the article, only read the top-selling lists and then try to say something intelligent on the state of gaming. Now if a game similar to U4 would be on that list... then again, now thinking about it, I am not so sure anymore that a new U4 would help. "Virtues, morals, mantras and shrines. This game is evil, it wants to make our children religious (or if the parent is a christian: it wants to make our children evil satanists with it`s vile Hindu names)." The virtues would most certainly be mixed up with religious themes, and U4 in today`s world would get an instant "Adults only! Religious themes! Beware!!! XXX!!!" and then you can only buy it in porn shops. Oh, well, at least I can comfort myself with the fact that most people are stupid anyway. Although the bad thing about stupid masses is that they like to lynch people.
YID YANG Wrote:
Wow... I really like the way you said that. That's a fantastic statement Unicorn.
You know. I'm getting tired of hearing this conversation come up again and again though about how videogames teach bad things (and indeed some of them do, I own a few of those games, they're not the majority of the games I've played). On that note, I'm thinking that maybe someone needs to start a new section on Mobygames (or maybe even a new website) detailing information on positive influences from videogames as well as skill-building activities... throughout the ages. It's obvious that some gamers have learned a lot from certain games and there's plenty of "good guy" examples in gaming: Maybe it's time to start detailing them and pointing them out for the benefit of non-gamers and reporters?
After all, it's good to have some kind of defense for the entire medium and art form when it comes under attack.
well, having read hundreds of articles like this, they are all the same in the end, don't play computer games cause they turn you into a lunatic killer, a maniac driver, a... I don't know what!!! I remember some years ago when Carmageddon was released here in Greece, the media made it such a huge issue in the 9 'o clock news. Guess what: every youngster wanted to buy a copy of Carmageddon! Truth is, such articles have been written since the beginning of video gaming, and only thing is sure, the video gaming industry is still going strong. And if you want to find a reason why people become lunatics and outrageous, certainly it is not because of violence or rage in the videogames they play. It's more how their parents have grown them up, what morals and how they taught their kinds those morals.
Parents, stop blaming everyone else for your own failing as a parent. It is the *parents'* responsibility to teach their kids right from wrong. Sure, everything around them can influence them, but if parents do a good job raising their kids, unless there is a medical (mental) issue, the kids should be able to make the right choice regardless of other influences. I certainly am not a lunatic or a killer or anything like that and I have put in so many hours playing computer games in the past 20+ years (I'm 28 and started when I was in 3rd grade, so that's somewhere around 20-22 years) that I can't even begin to count the number of hours.
I really do get tired of parents constantly blaming media, movies, games, books, peers, teachers, etc. for everything that is wrong with their children, rather than looking at themselves to see where the real problem lies. There should be a required series of classes for all parents (5 in the first couple years of the child's life, and 1 every year after than, up to 18). That would at least help to make parents smarter. :)
Yeah, well said. But it opens up another question: is it good parenting to keep your children away from games?
I'd say it's neither good nor bad parenting to keep your children away from games. Children developed fine before video games were even on the scene, so they're not necessary. That being the case, it won't harm them to not become exposed. On the other hand, I don't see why one would need to prevent their exposure. I myself, would be in favor of controlling it to a slight degree, just so they don't become exposed to some things before they're ready for it in their development. Blocking them entirely from the world of gaming isn't required to do that.
Riamus covered my feelings on the violence issue.
Limiting use isn't a bad thing... get the kids outside instead of playing games all day. However, preventing all contact with gaming doesn't really help anything.
I think it's good parenting to take it upon yourself to make sure your children are old enough/mature enough to handle those types of games before they play them. Working at a video game store has done nothing but renew my moral outrage at the parents who blame the industry, then turn right around and buy the M rated games (even after we warn them) anyway, because "*shrugs* it's what he/she wants". Or another favorite, "They see all that stuff on TV anyway." I swear one of these days I'm going to jump over the counter and shake them until my arms go numb.
This issue will probably not matter in the long run, given the possibility of peak oil and global economic crisis in the near future.
I'd say, though, that computer games aren't evil or hamful, just wasteful in terms of resources. One can gain skills-building and other benefits from other types of games, such as board games, puzzles, and sports. Most of these aren't as expensive as playing computer games.
Ultimately, given what I said in my first paragraph, moving away from computer games will probably not be based on choice.
Wait a minute. You wander into a thread you clearly have no interest in just to do some Doomsday evangelising? OK...
You're saying that unproductive things are bad? What's wrong with pure and simple entertainment? If you reject gaming using that logic you'd also have to reject 90% of all the movies ever made, 80% of fiction, basically almost everything we class as entertainment. Sports are likewise useless. I mean, why would you want to be kicking a ball around when the global economy collapses and the evil Communist Fascist Right-Wing Liberal Neo-Nazi Zionists(tm) take over the world, which is what you're saying will happen...right?
(Edited by Rabbi Guru (1250), Oct 23, 2006)Re: Are Video Games Evil?
Rabbi Guru (1250), Oct 23, 2006
Wow. So it is true then. It was just a masquerade from the beginning. Cool.
“When children spend hours in front of a screen playing some of these games that are inherently violent, they will tend to look at people as they look at these little blips on the screen that must be zapped—that must be killed before they are killed."
Well, of course. If we could just take away any video games, television, or books that are indecent we would not have violence. People who encourage censorship really just want to help us. Its not like they are just trying to turn video games into a scape goat to draw our attention away from the real issues that increase violence, like increasing poverty, an increasing lack of faith in the American government and judicial system on the part of average citizens, desperation, and a public educational system that is behind most others in the free world.
Its really the video games that cause violence! Its so simple
Great comment. I love the sarcasm! :D
Speaking of education, it can be the leading factor in reducing crime. Yet, in the US, it is one of the first things to get budget cuts from the federal and state governments. It's almost like the government prefer crime over education. That's not true, but it sure seems that way with all the cuts in education... and then everyone complains about the schools when they have to try and educate kids with half the funds that are necessary for a good education.
Yes, today's video games ARE evil. Want proof?
When I was playing the Ultima series, I wanted to be a priest.
After they stopped making "morally correct" games, I ended up being a lawyer.
Indra was here Wrote:
The lawyer in Ultima gets +3 against Lord British during tribunal sessions.
That reminds me of a situation with the first Tactics Ogre. Due to the way the game is set up... following orders and not causing trouble sets your character along the "good path" (eventually allowing class changes to "Paladin"), whereas questioning authority and etc sets your character towards the "bad path" (eventually allowing class changes to "Dark Knight")... well, as it so happens there's a point in the story where your character is ordered to slaughter a town: Obeying the order is "good" and disobeying it is "bad".
(Edited by Indra was here (15038), Oct 27, 2006)Re: Are Video Games Evil?
Indra was here (15038), Oct 27, 2006
Somehow I think the "Avatar" road was somewhat destroyed by games like Fallout.
The freedom of choice where the lines of good and evil are somewhat vague is remarkably intriguing in games. Both in the philosophical sense and the impact it has on gameplay. Example see game: Fable (2006)
Not quite sure you want to teach that to you're children, but in the real world, good and evil really doesn't exist. (just more money or less money!).
Though I must admit, showing off an AK-47 at the casual passerby is not the type of alternate dispute resolution we should be teaching to the youngsters. No matter how fun blasting the brains of the average grandma may seem to appear in games.
(Edited by Majestic Lizard (655), Oct 27, 2006)Re: Are Video Games Evil?
Majestic Lizard (655), Oct 27, 2006
Good and evil don't exist, in the ultimate magical sense. However, there are actions which are compatible with the health of society and the individual and those that are not. There is right and wrong which has both subjective and objective qualities. There is taste. "Good and evil" is a different concept than "right and wrong". The former tends to have religious connotations. Some people think heavy metal music or bell bottoms are evil.
A society with members who can produce original ideas and plan ahead to avoid catastrophes of food supply, resource depletion, and over population would need to afford members certain rights. Situations which would infringe those rights threaten such a society. People who think that they are helping by forcing everyone to be politically correct don't realize it, but to the degree that people listen to them they are a threat to society.
Thieves and frauds are parasitic and cannot exist if they do not have victims. You cannot have a society made up of them. So what they represent would rationally be considered wrong. Because it leads nowhere.
I don't think video games are wrong. I do think people who want to police our thoughts and fantasies are wrong. I think people who suggest that criminal actions are the result of people being allowed to entertain their imaginations are wrong. When people act it is because they made a decision to act. That decision is a reflection of the hierarchy of values of that individual. The individual is accountable. Not the person who painted his house or actor that starred in his favorite TV show.
Situations like Columbine were the result of a group of young adults who had no rational hierarchy of values, did not value human life, felt alienated and helpless, and were mad at the world. They had no values because they were never taught rational values or the basis of self esteem, not because they played Doom.
You seem to have a fairly good idea of what you're talking about, but I've got a few comments.
Majestic Lizard Wrote:
I agree with your overall point, but not with your reasoning. If thieves are parasitic, then so are bank tellers and real estate agents and graphic designers and shop assistants and carpenters and miners and engineers and pretty much everyone else. Even farmers rely on other people. You can't have any society that's made up of a certain class.
Majestic Lizard Wrote:
Can you substantiate this, please? What do you mean by "people who want to police our thoughts?" Is letting people know what's good and bad for them (i.e., educating people about family values) "wrong" by your definition?
Majestic Lizard Wrote:
OK, I'll agree that the individual first and foremost has to take responsibilities for his actions, but what you're saying just isn't applicable in the real world. Drug peddlers should be prosecuted. You can't say "oh, it's the fault of the people buying the drugs!" In a perfect world where everyone is rational and knows what will benefit them, and what will lead to them lying in a gutter with a needle in their arm, sure. But in a real situation often the best solution is to remove the temptation or the source of the problem.
Didn't Freud say that evil thoughts lead to evil actions?
(Edited by Majestic Lizard (655), Oct 28, 2006)Re: Are Video Games Evil?
Majestic Lizard (655), Oct 28, 2006
I'm pretty sure he didn't. He was heavily influenced by Nietchze. However, I've only read Frued's "General Psychological Theory", "Civilization and Its Discontents", "The Future of an Illusion", "Totem and Taboo", and "On Dreams". He may have said it in one of the books he wrote that I have not read, though as "Evil" has theological connotations and he was an atheist, I doubt it.
I think the word you are looking for is "qualify" not "substantiate". Opinions don't need to be substantiated. Educating people on family values is obviously not policing their thoughts. I'm sure you've read Orwell's "1984".
Just for that I'm not sharing my cocaine with you.
Gosh, I really hope you are playing devil's advocate. Obviously lawful employment which relies on others to compensate for services rendered is not parasitic. That's symbiotic. The Shigella bacteria you might get from drinking the water in the Rio Grande which might cause you to die of dysentery are parasitic, the bacteria that already live in your intestines which help you break down food are symbiotic. Big difference.
You are taking a lot of figurative statements literally and if you are going to do that there isn't much point in my responding because you will continue taking statements in a different context than they were intended.
Right, wrong, good, evil, who cares. It wasn't a direct quote. Freud did hold that immoral actions begin in the mind, and I was paraphrasing him.
Majestic Lizard Wrote:
The trouble is that most of your arguments are vague and airy-fairy and don't seem to have much room for interpetation except the literal. Exactly who is trying to "control our thoughts" and turn us into an Orwellian society? Jack Thompson? Ann Coulter? Maybe it's my fault, but I just don't get what you're trying to say.
Majestic Lizard Wrote:
Thieves will never be a legitimate part of society, but you're missing the point in my previous post that was quite obvious. I was not saying that we should grant thieves equal status with tradesmen but that you were saying that thieves are "wrong" because "you cannot have a society made up of them" as if your criteria for accepting or rejecting certain groups of people is based on whether a society could function made up entirely of them. Or is this another thing that's supposed to be taken figuratively?
And refer back to the last statement in my previous post.
I don't think today's games are more immoral than older ones. In old Ultimas you could also kill innocent people on the streets. You could be pretty evil if you chose to. But in today's comparable games, such as Bioware's RPGs, you can also choose between good and evil. It's not much different from the classic Ultima way.