There are many grounds for which people object to certain kinds of video games. Another in the list concerns wargames that are made about modern conflicts, either comparatively recent ones, or actually ongoing military actions.
It’s extremely rare that any two people possess the same basic beliefs and priorities. It might be so rare, that it doesn’t actually happen at all. We’re all at least partially aware that if you dig deep enough, any superficial resemblance in the beliefs and priorities of any two people is fundamentally erased.
That doesn’t stop us giving each-other crap because someone fails to precisely conform with our views. I’ll be talking some more about that, but right now, I’m going to talk about Jack Thompson.
As you’re probably aware, Australia doesn’t have an 18+ rating for video games (though it does for other types of media such as films and publications). It’s not a stretch to see why. At the time the legislation was applied to video games, such games were the province of the young, and it is only recently that they’ve grown up, right?
From their inception, video games (particularly computer games) were played by all ages.
One multiply-convicted 19-year-old felon accidentally shoots another multiply convicted 20-year-old felon in the head with an illegal firearm that neither of them should possess.
Police say video games may be involved. The headline goes further and suggests that video games may have “prompted” the shooting.
Destructoid makes a few observations on the death-toll of video-games (murders, suicides and so forth) [thanks for the link, Tigro].
I’m going to add a couple extra data points here.
The state of California has now spent rather more than half a million US dollars on its violent video games. The bill would make the renting or sale to minors of video games unlawful, if ‘the state’ determines those games to be ‘violent’. Note that that violent rating seems to be entirely independent of the existing ESRB ratings system.
Remember the failed Utah bill created by Florida ex-attorney Jack Thompson? It was designed to make the sale of mature-rated video games to minors (by retailers if they also advertised that they did not do so) a deceptive trade-practice.
As it panned out, the bill was denied by the governor on constitutional grounds. Thompson raised the ire of the Utah legislature, and has been having another go-around with the bill in Louisiana as SB152.
It hasn’t fared so well there, either.
Given that the number of gamers worldwide who have played or presently play violent video games is roughly estimated to be somewhere around 250 million, and the number of shootings, school shootings and violent crimes associated with violent video games is (roughly) 10-20 per year….
Would that not suggest that there is some alternative explanation for these outbursts of violence than the video games?
In fact, there’s a far stronger correlation between violent crimes and eating carrots, or riding bicycles than there is for video games.
Besides, didn’t we used to blame these shootings on television? When did we stop blaming TV for violent crimes?