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This makes me sick


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  • This makes me sick

    Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal (12/17/02):

    A Season of Peace, Love -- and Decapitation

    Janet Mason recently stepped up to the cash register at a KB Toys store here to purchase a videogame that her 11-year-old had been hounding her for.

    "Are you sure you want this?" she recalls the cashier asking her. The game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, is rated "M" for mature content, meaning it is considered suitable only for those 17 years and older under the game industry's ranking system.

    But with her son Jackson tugging at her sleeve, Ms. Mason says she had little choice but to buy the $50 game, which centers on an ex-con trying to re-establish himself as a cocaine dealer by driving around town knocking off the rivals of his crime boss, picking up prostitutes and gunning down whoever steps in the way, including pedestrians.

    "They see this kind of stuff on television anyway," Ms. Mason says. "Besides, it's Christmas."

    Okay, I can accept the fact that these games are out there and some people enjoy playing them. To each his or her own. But to get this game for your 11-year-old?! How can any responsible parent think this is right?

    Sure, playing these kinds of games may not turn your kid into a sociopath...but it sure isn't helping to prevent it.

    If you doubt that these types of videogames and other violent media don't have an impact on your children, go out and get a copy of Lt. Col. David Grosman's book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.

    From the publisher's note:
    In the explosive last section of the book, he argues that high-body-count movies, television violence (both news and entertainment), and interactive point-and-shoot video games are dangerously similar to the training programs that dehumanize the enemy, desensitize soldiers to the psychological ramifications of killing, and make pulling the trigger an automatic response.
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    But with her son Jackson tugging at her sleeve, Ms. Mason says she had little choice but to buy the $50 game,
    That is a sad statement of her role as parent.
    "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan


    • #3
      I'm really not in favor of government interfering with the way that children are raised, but I do wish that everyone had to take a class where they would learn how to pronounce the word "no."

      It is the single most important word that any child needs to learn...and many adults.
      I haven't felt this good since we stole the 2000 elections!--Ned Flanders


      • #4
        The cashier and the mother are jointly to blame for this unsatisfactory situation

        a shop has a RIGHT to refuse sale
        a mother has a DUTY to make responsible decisions as to what her 11 year old child obtains for entertainment

        the game is superb, absolutely brilliant entertainment but....most definitely for ADULTS ONLY
        the game is clearly marked with a red 18

        of course videogames have an impact on children
        the news has an impact on children
        big films have an impact on children
        violence in the home has an impact on children

        this is why "children" should not be exposed to videogames like this, OR violence in the home, OR big films etc etc

        the game itself is great entertainment, you don't need to take it seriously IT'S FUN, but it's parents' responsibilities to keep their children entertained with children type entertainment, full stop
        from your old mate
        c h i e f y
        global chiefy to yer seadog seafarin' maties


        • #5
          Yeah, even I'll agree on this one. Eleven is to young.
          There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.

          Steven Wright


          • #6
            The flippin' game is marked 18 !

            where's the confusion ?
            from your old mate
            c h i e f y
            global chiefy to yer seadog seafarin' maties


            • #7
              In one of my classes, we had a guest speaker who works for Aklaim (they make video games). He showed us the trailor for BMX XXX, which is basically like Grand Theft Auto except it involves pornography and so forth.

              After he showed the clip which had a lot of verbiage such as "ho, bitch, pimp" etc.. the instructor apologized profusely for letting him show it.

              People have a right to buy those games, but I don't see the attraction in them and I too am appalled by parents who would buy their children such crap.
              No partner is worth your tears -
              the one that is won't make you cry. - Anonymous

              <a href=" Raychel&ByArtist=Yes" target="_blank">My Photo Gallery</a>


              • #8
                Coincidentally, I went home last night after putting up this post and Dateline was doing a hidden camera piece on kids buying M-rated games like GTA:VC. Most of the chains they hit (Circuit City, KMart, WalMart, CompUSA) had horrible records of selling these games to kids under 17, even after the companies touted all the measures they've been taking to prevent it. Over the course of 2 years, they sent kids aged 10-13 into these stores and, most of the time, they had no problem buying the most violent games on the market. One store, in an effort to prevent young kids from purchasing, forced the cashiers to ask for the buyer's birthday which then had to be entered into the cash register before they could complete the sale. But the "can-buy-if-born-after-this" date was displayed on a monitor that made it easy for both the cashier and the buyer to read. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to circumvent that obstacle.

                Sorry, this has turned into a 2-day rant.
                Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


                • #9
                  Remember, it's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$....Kids are not considered.

                  [ 12-18-2002, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Mitzi ]


                  • #10
                    At Gamestop (which includes Software ETC. Funcoland, and Babbages) they have always been asking me for my I.D. They're quite diligent about it. However, as long as the adult is buying the game for the kid, they have no right to refuse service.

                    Sadly enough, I have some friends who work for Gamestop, and they've gotten **** from parents who were mad they had to come in and buy the game for their kids 'cause they were underage.

                    By the way, Rachel, I think the company name is Acclaim (hey, i've bee playing games since I had an Atari way back when).

                    Oh well, kids playing violent games don't turn out bad (I haven't - yet), as long as kids grow up in a good environment with good adults to act as positive role models, there'll be no troubles.
                    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
                    -Mark Twain


                    • #11
                      I'll 2nd Kirch on Col. Grossman's book. It's very well done and an eye-opener. I think I'll have to read it again.


                      • #12
                        I play GTA3. It is a great game, obviously it isn't preaching any ethics, it's just entertainment. If a child at 11 years old can't understand the difference between a game and reality than the kid needs some major help!
                        At that age that child should have a firm understanding of ethics, If he decides to go on a killing spree it's his fault! I can't imagine that a game could desensitise anyone to real-world violence, I highly doubt that if some psycho pulls an M16 on Main st. and starts killing every living thing in site that that 'desensitised' child will be laughing and saying "hey, just like in gta3!".
                        It's up to the parent to decide if their child is mature enough to handle it. It's just a game! Real-life violence is NOT entertaining, if the kid thinks so then s/he should not play that game, instead take the little nut-case to a shrink.
                        Just my humble opinion...
                        All of god's creatures are entitled to live without fear of "gun violence" except for you and your family. - <a href="" target="_blank">Source</a>


                        • #13
                          These type games are trash. They are of no value, teach nothing and are a poor excuse for a child not going outside to play.

                          They are designed for consumers (that'll be you, America), if the industry did not require a ratings on the box, there would be none. On the other hand, anybody who has the money can get the game or games, no matter what the warnings depict.

                          I see the making and selling and utilization of such garbage as simply a reflection of the society which this country finds acceptable.

                          Jim Burnes


                          • #14
                            Oh please, GTA is merely a new and updated version of cops and robbers!

                            Besides, they're fun! I don't see why a game has to be educational to be of value, it's just like any other entertainment form. I play them because they're fun!

                            Now Jim, don't be so negative towards games, you can't be good at everything, and there's probably a younger relative in your family that routinely whoops your *** at tekken or virtua fighter...
                            Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
                            -Mark Twain


                            • #15
                              I love Counter-Strike ... it's a team-based, mission-oriented first person shooter. You play as either a terrorist or a counter-terrorists, with a range of missions ranging from hostage rescue/defense, to bomb defusing/planting, to VIP assassination/protection.


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