Game violence, age limits and teens

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thejamppa
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Game violence, age limits and teens

Post by thejamppa » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:35 pm

Hi all!

Let's began another discussion, more related to the computers.

What do you, personally think that peoples under 18 play games that are R-rated ( Forbidden under 18 y-o's ) Is it harmful or not? Is there in between? Perhaps age limit are there for reason or are age limits just society that is over protective?

Is GTA4 harmless entertainment for the teens? Should it not be R-rated? What do you think is parents responsible for their kids gaming habbits?

Is there connection between violent games and school shootings? Or not? Or is this world just going towards the end and humanity goes insane because of it and games has nothing to do with it? Or they do?

This subject will raise a lot debated and probably a lot heated feelings. So before posting here, I do ask that everyone will respect others opinion and we can do this civilized without insults etc.

I just think this topic is quite intresting and important.
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Post by aristide1 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:44 pm

You can rent this games, right? Does the rental store pay any attention to the ratings?
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Post by xan_user » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:03 pm

Ratings help my grandmother choose what games to not buy for my kids.

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Post by shleepy » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:08 pm

I think that school shootings are extreme and very rare events and are not really the big issue. Sure, they're bad, but it wouldn't be a simple matter of playing GTA4 and deciding that it would be fun to kill some people. The problem would be a lot of factors, and a large amount of time spent playing violent games might be a symptom (e.g., of social isolation) as well as a contributer.

I'm no longer a college student and don't have free access to a big collection of Communications/Psychology articles, but my intuition is that there's a link between violent long-term attitudes and violent video games. Beyond that, there's likely to be a crapload of bad, biased studies, with conflicting conclusions and results.

I think that it's also hard to draw the line between violent and peaceful video games. It would be very complicated to properly measure "degree of violence" vs. violent thoughts and attitudes. When playing World of Warcraft, you are probably killing almost as many people and/or assorted creatures as with one of the more violent first-person shooters, and you see some blood and lots of corpses. Thus, realism is probably a factor, along with the type of game. And I bet the most important factor might be something like how the person perceives and uses the game. Is it a distraction? A chance for some social interaction with friends? A challenging competition that is important to the player?

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Post by mr. poopyhead » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:25 pm

i have nothing against rating systems in principle...

but most of the time they seem to be wildly inconsistent, almost arbitrary... it seems that video games are judged far more harshly than most other mediums...

if a movie depicted car-jacking and gang violence, it could probably get away with a 14A rating (or whatever the international equivalent of barring 14-year olds is...) but when it comes to video games, people are bringing out the pitch-forks and torches for an restricted rating? why?

oh, but the SEX in the GTA series must warrant a restricted rating right? psshh... i've seen more sex AND violence in music videos which don't seem to be rated at all...
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Post by Sylph-DS » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:44 am

I still find it surprisingly stupid how little these ratings are based around the actual game play experience. Sure, the content is somewhat important in terms of role models, desensitization and some other issues. But, speaking from experience (and I've got quite a bit when it comes to gaming), the games that harrowed me the most weren't the one's that depicted the most realistic and cruel violence, but those that were most frustrating.

Counter-strike is an interesting example of a frustrating game, it makes you wait sometimes up to several minutes every time you die, and on top of that the action is in general extremely short-lived (you walk around for a while without anything happening but then when you actually meet an enemy the action is over in less than 10 seconds). I'm not entirely sure what other psychological elements come into play, but somehow Counter-Strike managed to always get under my skin like no other game ever did. I am not particularly sensitive to the ill effects of gaming, but I remember sometimes being somewhat irritable after getting beat at CS repeatedly for an hour or longer. At this point I was probably like 14 or 15 or so, imagine how a preteen might react..

And then there are even some games that are rated fun for the whole family because there isn't any particularly violent or graphic content, but they can still be bat shit frustrating. Take Mario Land (or whatever it was called) on the N64 for example, it had a bit in some underwater world where you had to jump up a whole bunch of platforms, and every time you would miss a platform you would fall all the way down and have to try again. I'm sure there is a technical term for this sort of level design, because I've seen it used in SOO many platform games, and time and time again it frustrates me to no end.

If you ask me, aggression is more likely to be caused by games because they are simply not fun at certain points, yet you keep playing for the bits when it is fun. For some reason however, ratings completely ignore this.
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Post by andyb » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:51 pm

if a movie depicted car-jacking and gang violence, it could probably get away with a 14A rating (or whatever the international equivalent of barring 14-year olds is...) but when it comes to video games, people are bringing out the pitch-forks and torches for an restricted rating? why?
The answer is simple and only needs one word "interaction". If you watch a film where someone gets shot its quite different from you shooting someone.
oh, but the SEX in the GTA series must warrant a restricted rating right? psshh... i've seen more sex AND violence in music videos which don't seem to be rated at all...
Thats just the Americans being retarded. "South Park the Movie's" entire point was about rude words and phrases being watched in movies by underage kids, so their parent got pissed off and the US went to war. Thus vulgar words and phrases are worse than violence. In America it seems that it's the same with nudity and sex, but violence is just fine and dandy.
I still find it surprisingly stupid how little these ratings are based around the actual game play experience. Sure, the content is somewhat important in terms of role models, desensitization and some other issues. But, speaking from experience (and I've got quite a bit when it comes to gaming), the games that harrowed me the most weren't the one's that depicted the most realistic and cruel violence, but those that were most frustrating.
I can relate to that - and aggree to a point. I think that this really depends on the individual in question, some people will be more affected by the depiction of violence and others by the frustration and annoyances of the games.
Is GTA4 harmless entertainment for the teens? Should it not be R-rated? What do you think is parents responsible for their kids gaming habbits?
Apart from the fact that GTA4 is the worst game of the franchise (my opinion), it is also full of "pointless" violence. And violence against innocent people just for the sake of it, and there is little/no punishment for this. Most other games that are "violent" have a more justifiable reason (zombie's, bad people, war etc), but with GTA4 "YOU" are the bad guy. GTA4 should be given a rating that is higher than other violent games for the reason I have mentioned above - the rating is up for debate.
Is there connection between violent games and school shootings? Or not? Or is this world just going towards the end and humanity goes insane because of it and games has nothing to do with it? Or they do?
Yes. There will also be a connection with faulty laws, peoples stupidity, what someone said to them last week etc etc. A link to violence that may or may not have had a cause can always be found and its usually bollocks. People who go on mass murdering sprees are the kind of people who would regardless of what they see / do, so violent games may give a murderer some ideas, but so can a book.


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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:28 pm

ratings make sense.

I can't ever figure out what the against argument is.

Rated R movies. rated X. nc-17.

Most non'F'd up people would keep these away from children.

how is this a consideration? There will always be a few people advocating for civil liberties. However, they apply mostly to adults. These are kids. Their right is to not watch hurtful crap.

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Post by Cov » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:38 am

I have noticed something funny ...

I'm a pationate Computer gamer and there seems to be one key title in my PC games collection, which I always come back to.

It's called ... *angelic background sound* ... Halo - Combat Evolved !

It came out in 2003, so it's kind of outdated, but it's still my all-time-favourite.

The campaign mode is approx 75% good, but there are 25% which I really hate so much (the flood) that they do spoil the campaign for me completely.
But the online gameplay of, for example slayer (everybody against everybody) or capture the flag (teamplay), is totally different to the campaign mode and never cease to entertain me.

The multiplayer scene is still very much alive, from there you can see that a good concept does not die out.

- The 16 included maps are very thought through designed. Some are huge, some are tiny.
- There are 10 different weapons (incl. 2 types of hand grenades) to be used.
- There are 4 different vehicles available.



Before you go playing Halo online, first thing you do is to scan for available servers to play on (up to 16 players).
When you then select to join one of the servers, within seconds you are being placed in the middle of a war atmosphaere, ready to anticipate and take full action.
(That's what I call INTERACTIVE)
When you have been compromised (been hit and died), you will be respawn (resurrected) after a few seconds, to re-join the game again at a random place of the map.


Ok, here comes the funny bit, related to this thread:

What I have described above sounds pretty rough, right ?
Considering the realistic sound of all kinds of weapons, and the realistic graphics (bullet holes and blood spots everywhere!) ... the movements of your team mates as well as the enemies (especially when they're being hit) is so incredible well animated ... and given the theme of this game, you can't think of anything more violent to play, right ?

During the gameplay, you will be presented with some kind of report, running in the bottom left corner of the screen, constantly.
It only says who just killed whom.
And by pressing F1, you can see a list with the current number of kills for each player.
If the target has been set (by the admin) to 25 kills, then the game ends as soon as someone has killed 25 people.

But also, this very spot where the report is located, can be used to chat.
Meaning, during gameplay, you can type some comments and it will appear between the report lines.
This way I had some nice little conversations with fellow players.
Unfortunately, the software developers missed to implement the option to keep a list of favourite servers & players.

Anyway, so ... when chatting with others or the whole team, there are frequently players who DO NOT ACCEPT if you use bad language, like swearing !

I think that's pathetic because this game is all about killing others, but on the other side they don't want you to swear ?
Honest, there are a number of servers where the admin will "kick" or even "ban" you from playing with them if you ignore their rules.

So, you just killed someone with your rocket launcher where you see the victim's body flying through the air, landing dead on the floor in a very realistic position.
If the victim then types the word "shit" or "damn" into the chat, he might get banned from further playing on this server because the admin possibly thinks that children are watching ? and could be exposed to violent language ?

Hahaha ... I think that's pretty funny.

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Post by xan_user » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:02 am

"Close range" its all the rage! A new level of depth in video gaming.

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/h ... e_consists

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Post by spookmineer » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:07 pm

Oh darn, this is gonna be a long post... :(
But worth it :D so I hope...

People have been looking for things to blame for a long time.
Movies with violence were the "cause" of a lot of bad things happening, but ever since it has become a major entertainment industry, and the majority of people enjoying it, lately the focus has changed to video games [music has been blamed for some crimes as well].

Video games: said to be less of a pastime next to watching movies (yet there goes more money around in the games industry than in the movie business), it is the underdog, and not as accepted.
We all know the dangers of alcohol, but most of us like a beer in the weekend, so you could consider movies as the alcohol of today, and games as the weed of today (hm... not a very sound analogy - and I don't want to sidetrack this thread by comparing alcohol to weed - which I didn't).

I agree there should be an age limit for violent games.
Age limits are there for a reason.
IIRC, the brain is fully developed when a person is about 21 years old, meaning his character will not be affected much after watching a violent movie, or after playing a violent game.
Among other countries, Germany has banned some violent games in the past.
I think that's why id opted for no-blood but a nice optical effect when they developed QuakeLive: because it's web-based it needs to be accessible for all countries without problems.

If there is a connection between violent games and school shootings, I think a person who is susceptible to violent behaviour, will probably play violent games and watch violent movies.
I don't think someone can turn to violent behaviour, just because he's watching violent movies or playing violent games (this was a while ago, but there are about 1 million people playing CounterStrike daily, if they could all turn to.... bleh).

If you have children, be careful what you expose them to. If they are mature enough, ask yourself what you were experiencing when watching all the gore when you were as old as they are now, and how much you think it will affect them.
You can't control all of it, you don't know what they are doing when they play over at a friend's place. It's give a little which you can control, in order to keep them from experiencing worse.

As for "interactiveness", there has been a solution of some kind for a few years.
People have been making movies about games and gameplay for quite some time. You only have to watch, you don't pull the trigger (click the mouse) so it's ok :wink:

Seriously, there are some gems among game movies. After making a few myself, it's amazing how much work is being spent selecting the footage, the music, how to "frame" what is being shown, synching the footage to the music, adding effects etc.

Here are some examples of what people think are enjoyable movies [not for the faint of heart]:
The badge v3.0 HQ available.
Get Quaked 3 Part I and Get Quaked 3 Part II, both very HQ.

There are also a lot of tricking movies, but they are quite unaccessible if you don't know the game and the game physics. The up side to this: no so called frags at all, because the little pixels don't die, the interest is in performing tricks within the game.

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Post by InfyMcGirk » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:41 am

A couple of observations from me.

At university, I used to watch pretty much anything whether gory or violent or whatever, if it was recommended by a friend as being worth a watch. I could watch pretty much anything and although horror wasn't my favourite genre, I could cope with it. I've found my tolerance for violence, especially realistic violence with gore, has plummeted over the 10ish years since then.
Maybe it's having a baby or just my tastes changing, but when I recently watched some of Cabin Fever on telly while channel hopping, it made me feel really queasy and I don't think I'd ever choose to watch a horror movie nowadays (OK maybe silly comedy horrors...).

Secondly, one of the most entertaining 'grown-up' games that I've played on the Wii is Godfather Blackhand Edition. It's very much an adult game where the basic idea is to wander around an interactive city, extorting shopkeepers, murdering people, beating business owners around the head with shovels, etc. That's all pretty normal for a GTA-esque game... except for the fact that it's on Wii, which means that you actually have to do the physical gestures of 'beating this guy over the head with an iron bar' or 'strangling this drug dealer' with your hands. It makes the game fun but I can't help thinking whilst I'm playing it that if kids played the game, it would certainly be more damaging than it would be beneficial entertainment. Just my 2p!

Maybe I'm just growing into a grumpy old killjoy? :)

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Post by croddie » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:06 am

thejamppa wrote:What do you, personally think that peoples under 18 play games that are R-rated ( Forbidden under 18 y-o's ) Is it harmful or not? Is there in between? Perhaps age limit are there for reason or are age limits just society that is over protective?

Is there connection between violent games and school shootings? Or not? Or is this world just going towards the end and humanity goes insane because of it and games has nothing to do with it? Or they do?
Yes I think it's harmful but not mainly because of the violence but because these are mindless games in general which have to be violent because otherwise there is little interest.

School shootings I would suppose have many more important and interconnected causes: breakdown of families, rise in mental-health problems, elimination of social norms, a school environment that is formed by kids with all the associated social pressures rather than by a respected educational culture. And other things that are not new like availability of guns, lack of monitoring of people with abnormal and potentially dangerous psychology. These are the things I would investigate rather than computer games, although I certainly wouldn't say the effect of computer games is exactly 0, as most of the drones on tech websites say. Actually regardless of any causation of school shootings these are all much bigger issues in themselves than school shootings by many orders of magnitude.

Although there is are some violent games that could cause a callous attitude towards society and other people. Following up on andyb, in the GTA series don't you go around stealing cars, shooting civilians, attacking the police, and having casual sex? Even without any graphical violence, I would think each of these things would have a damaging effect. Disclaimer: I haven't seen these games first hand.

A better question than what harm does a game do but what good does it do. If it doesn't do any good then it does harm at the very least by being a waste of time. Look at the games where you have to construct civilizations (sometimes with violence), or with involving/inspiring/revealing stories, or that train the mind in some technical way (e.g. strategy), or that encourage creativity, imagination, humour, or engagement with music.

*(Some still exist including don't go and shoot people in schools, but there is no framework within this norm exists, it isn't supported by anything else.)

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Post by croddie » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:07 am

andyb wrote:Thats just the Americans being retarded. "South Park the Movie's" entire point was about rude words and phrases being watched in movies by underage kids, so their parent got pissed off and the US went to war. Thus vulgar words and phrases are worse than violence. In America it seems that it's the same with nudity and sex, but violence is just fine and dandy.
I don't think that's retarded. Violence is relatively under control in western countries: it can certainly be brought down but it isn't rampant. And if it were rampant as it is in some countries the fixes would be more law-enforcement and stability, economic growth, education, etc. rather than media violance.

OTOH sexual behaviour is out of control, and sexualization of the media plays a big role in that, and has taken a big role in replacing family norms with a free love mentality. If you live in the US/Europe, you don't have a huge chance of becoming a criminal or being severely impacted by crime - significant but not huge, and what chance there is is unlikely to be caused to a great degree by violence in media. Whereas you have a big chance of having experienced family breakup in parents, of having strings of meaningless relationships, of having one's own family break up or more likely never take a stable form in the first place.

And regarding swearing, of course blanket rules against swearwords are inane and too constraining. But enforcing some aspects of language can be more important than reducing media violence, especially if the effect of media violence is not great which I think it isn't. I don't think you get so much of it now but you used to get otherwise relatively intelligent people speaking in a sub-culture of "1337-speech" and reducing their level of language to something not much higher than grunts. I think now that you have a smaller proportion of geeks online and this sort of language gets rightly ridiculed.

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Post by spookmineer » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:03 pm

croddie wrote:Yes I think it's harmful but not mainly because of the violence but because these are mindless games in general which have to be violent because otherwise there is little interest.
I'm sorry for reacting to a post of you again... I swear it's not personal :wink:

There are a lot of different violent games, and I have had discussions with people about this topic who haven't actually played a violent game themselves (what are they basing their views on?).

Different kinds of violent games, or rather different mods in the same game, the most popular/basic types:
Deathmatch or Free for all: every man (woman) for himself.
Team deathmatch: same as above, every kill scores a point, but there are two teams competing.
Duel or 1 vs 1: just two persons vs eachother.
Capture the flag: two teams trying to get the enemy flag to their own flag, which scores a point. Maybe in a far stretch like football/soccer, you can have individual star players but still the team which scores the most "goals", wins. It is not about killing a character, but getting the flag (although in order to do that, you usually have to kill some characters).

If you have played any of these games (especially duel and CTF) you see there is a lot of tactics involved. Especially duel is like playing chess on speed. You have to make multiple decisions in a very short amount of time, and have to keep an eye on different things: your own health (if you have been shot), anticipating the enemy, timing the items, etc.
"Controlling" a map will be more beneficial than having exceptionally good aim, therefor you need sound tactics.
Not mindless at all.

Like any game/sport, you need to know the rules and have some experience (having watched the game before, or played it) in order to appreciate it and notice one player or team outwitting the other, or winning due to better tactics.


What good does playing an FPS do? It improves eye sight with older people (younger people too, but older people benefit more).
The question is not very relevant though: most play for fun, and some for money. Same as with football/soccer, again.

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Post by aristide1 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:53 am

Passing thought - How many people were decapitated in the Star Wars Movies?

Masked and bloodless, but still the same result. And that doesn't even address the total body count.

This was all in fun right? Yee-haw! No wonder the series is a staple on Spike.
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Post by croddie » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:37 am

spookmineer wrote:Different kinds of violent games, or rather different mods in the same game, the most popular/basic types:
Deathmatch or Free for all: every man (woman) for himself.
Team deathmatch: same as above, every kill scores a point, but there are two teams competing.
Duel or 1 vs 1: just two persons vs eachother.
Capture the flag: two teams trying to get the enemy flag to their own flag, which scores a point. Maybe in a far stretch like football/soccer, you can have individual star players but still the team which scores the most "goals", wins. It is not about killing a character, but getting the flag (although in order to do that, you usually have to kill some characters).

If you have played any of these games (especially duel and CTF) you see there is a lot of tactics involved.

Especially duel is like playing chess on speed. You have to make multiple decisions in a very short amount of time, and have to keep an eye on different things: your own health (if you have been shot), anticipating the enemy, timing the items, etc.
"Controlling" a map will be more beneficial than having exceptionally good aim, therefor you need sound tactics.
Not mindless at all.
Actually I included "strategy" in the list of possible benefits of a good game, but this gives an opportunity to qualify that.
It's a very physical sort of strategy, tactics more than strategy, and if it trains the mind it's at a superficial level of perception - taking in a scene fast - rather than artistic appreciation for example, or in physical responses - hand-eye coordination, reflexes. There is also strategy in these games but not at the level of chess. If you have seen people play "chess on speed", they have an intuitive appreciation of a highly complex logical situation that involves far more in cognitive faculties than a FPS. I think if you made chess real-time, not turn-based you would lessen it as a strategic game.
What good does playing an FPS do? It improves eye sight with older people (younger people too, but older people benefit more).
The question is not very relevant though: most play for fun, and some for money. Same as with football/soccer, again.
I do think the question what good it does is important.
Chess itself is often taken too far; it can be a very time consuming process to learn and if it trains the mind it is only good when the mind is actually used: to understand things, not to play chess.

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Post by Scoop » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:27 am

I don't think violence in games OR MOVIES has any effect on a mentally stable person regardless of their age.

Plain and simple I can give an example of myself. Playing Wolfenstein 3D when I was 8, Duke Nukem & Quake when I was 12 and so on and watching people get shot in movies and I still haven't killed anyone to this day. I swear.

Many times I see people blaming violent games for aggressive behaviour which is completely retarded.

Here is another example of my nephew. He is 6 years old and hasn't played any violent games in his life. But oh boy when he fails in Skate, the television is in grave danger cause he's banging it with the controller. This is a sign of being COMPETITIVE and failing makes him angry like it makes hockey players angry.

Another thing about him which is more concerning is that when someone takes the game/controller away he'll try to hit you if you don't give it back. I'd say he's pretty addicted but he's not my kid so can't do anything about it. But I repeat, he has never played violent games yet shows aggressive behaviour which is human nature. If someone doesn't ever get mad, they're on drugs.

This doesn't mean that if I had a kid, I'd buy him GTA for his 5th birthday, of course not, but I wouldn't let him play games for hours a day either no matter what they games they may be.

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Post by LodeHacker » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:26 am

Scoop wrote:I still haven't killed anyone to this day. I swear.
Please do tell me whether you live in Finland, particularly in Helsinki area so I know I'm safe or not :lol:
Scoop wrote:Many times I see people blaming violent games for aggressive behaviour which is completely retarded.
+1. I am very certain many people use that as an excuse because they can't come up with a good explanation to why some people have aggressive behaviour.
Scoop wrote:But oh boy when he fails in Skate, the television is in grave danger
Ah, good times, good times... I used to hit the TV with the NES controller when I failed in Super Mario and especially Castlevania :P What was I, 6 or 7 years old? At any case I do have seen it impact my social life in a way that I engage much quicker in fights than before in school. Now I'm relatively cool but when I get angry I hit the victim very hard and I mean very HARD.
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Post by croddie » Fri May 08, 2009 3:32 pm

Scoop wrote:I don't think violence in games OR MOVIES has any effect on a mentally stable person regardless of their age...

Plain and simple I can give an example of myself...
Here is another example of my nephew...
LOL
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28670

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Post by lm » Sat May 09, 2009 1:25 am

Scoop wrote: Here is another example of my nephew. He is 6 years old and hasn't played any violent games in his life. But oh boy when he fails in Skate, the television is in grave danger cause he's banging it with the controller. This is a sign of being COMPETITIVE and failing makes him angry like it makes hockey players angry.

Another thing about him which is more concerning is that when someone takes the game/controller away he'll try to hit you if you don't give it back. I'd say he's pretty addicted but he's not my kid so can't do anything about it.
I disagree. I think you need to talk to his parents about this. You can't just let your nephew grow up like that.

Aris
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Post by Aris » Tue May 12, 2009 4:27 am

I was always content with the notion that some people are just crazy, and it didnt matter if they watched an R rated film, or played a mature video game or listened to explicit lyrics in a song. They were just F'd up in the head, and it really didnt matter what you did, they were eventually going to go crazy because their perception of reality is F'd up.

I watched Jason movies when i was 8.
I watched the entire Faces of Death series when i was 12.
I listened to explicit songs when i was a young teen.

And i turned out pretty normal. I have things in my life i think i could be better at, but i dont see a link in any way shape or form to those behavial deffeciencies and adult media content.

People need to except the fact that some folks are just crazy.

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