Violent Video Games

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The US Supreme Court has ruled that children can buy violent video games since they are protected by the First Amendment.

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7 thoughts on “Violent Video Games

  1. Americans are desensitized to violence long before they’re old enough to play these games, Ted. But it is a fact that many soldiers returning from active duty (especially tankers) report that it’s just like playing a video game….they also listen to heavy metal while they kill [insert brownskin du jour].

    Yes, pornographers weren’t as successful….or we’d have leisure suit larry 2000 for xbox, and that fabulous strip poker game on Commodore 64 I grew up with….loved it!

  2. On Killing, by Lt. Col. David Grossman

    Unfortunately the book was mostly based on S.L.A. Marshall’s “Men Against Fire” where the stats come in about hardly anyone using their rifles in WWII. As per below and elsewhere those “statistics” have come under greater scrutiny in the last couple of decades, but the myth continues.

    Robert Engen. “Killing for Their Country: A New Look At ‘Killology’ (Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2)”. http://www.journal.dnd.ca/vo9/no2/16-engen-eng.asp. Retrieved 2011-05-08. “As a military historian, I am instinctively skeptical of any work or theory that claims to overturn all existing scholarship – indeed, overturn an entire academic discipline – in one fell swoop…[however] Lieutenant Colonel Grossman’s appeals to biology and psychology are flawed, and that the bulwark of his historical evidence – S.L.A. Marshall’s assertion that soldiers do not fire their weapons – can be verifiably disproven.”

    Part of the reason is that back in WWII and earlier troops were taught not to shoot until they had a target. Unless you were a machinegunner or were laying down suppressing fire. But even then, well…his theory has been pretty well disproven.

    “Professor Roger J. Spiller (Deputy Director of the Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College) demonstrated in his 1988 article “S.L.A. Marshall and the Ratio of Fire” (RUSI Journal, Winter 1988, pages 63–71) that Marshall had not actually conducted the research upon which he based his ratio of fire theory. “The ‘systematic collection of data’ appears to have been an invention.” This revelation called into question the authenticity of some of Marshall’s other books, and lent academic weight to doubts about his integrity that had been raised in military circles even decades earlier.

    “The controversial figure, Col. David Hackworth, wrote in his 1989 memoir, About Face, described at length his initial elation at an assignment with a man he idolized, and how that elation turned to bitter disillusionment after seeing Marshall’s character and methods firsthand. Hackworth described Marshall as a “voyeur warrior” for whom “the truth never got in the way of a good story,” and went so far as to say “Veterans of many of the actions he ‘documented’ in his books have complained bitterly over the years of his inaccuracy or blatant bias”.’

    Not that I’m a war nut or anything, other than amateur historian and reader of a great many military books, but in this case, i.e. video games or otherwise, it’s reaching really. It has more to do with upbringing, or lack thereof, and military training rather than an X-Box IMHO.

  3. I dunno…I ran around as a kid playing cowboys and indians, playing Army, building forts, had a few toy guns and somehow I never went on a killing spree, or ever hit anyone for that matter. We didn’t have video games so I’d have to draw my own 🙂

    Wanted to be a cartoonist real bad. . Ahem….

    Anyhow, I don’t think it follows that playing video games makes violent sociopathic warriors. Ghu knows I watched enough films with violence in them as well, or tv shows for that matter like “Rat Patrol”.

    • Obviously 99% of gamers will never be violent in real life. But it’s been pretty well proven that they desensitize us to violence in general. A good book to check out is Robert Grossman’s “On Killing.”

  4. Don’t know what to make of this. Is it another corporatist ruling from the Supreme Court? Maybe video companies have better lobbyists and lawyers than pornographers and tobacco companies. Its hard to view the beta tested, focus group approved fruit of a large programming team’s capital intensive development as free expression.

    Is it a ruling which serves the military industrial complex? Its difficult to train an adult to squeeze a trigger and kill another person. In fact, most soldiers in most wars have cheated by deliberately missing rather than take a life. An effective army is a desensitized one.

    I’m all for free speech and zombie shoot-em ups, but I don’t think the Supremes’ ruling was motivated by a love of either. Call me cynical.

  5. These drone jockeys are recruited directly from the legions of gamer youth, they need to be inured to the hardcore violence of drone warfare. This is the future of American imperialism, and the Supremes have acted to ensure that more killers will be ready when they’re needed.

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