Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Games and violence. A neverending debate. English version.

Games always did it.

Thanks to Jan Hautekiet, a Belgian radio personality, the gaming debate is in full swing again. The bad guy this time is GTA V. Why it should be forbidden!

It’s true that this series is notorious for the amount of violence in it. Now the whole debate is about how games like these would put children and youths up to extreme violence.
Newsflash, GTA V is an 18+ game, as rated by PEGI. That means it is developed for the adult mind, which should be able to discern the political satire and social criticism. 

So it's up to the parents/care givers to draw the line. Not knowing anything about games or computers is no excuse. The age indications on those boxes are crystal clear, 18+ means 18+. It's called parenting.

I read a couple of reactions on the Radio 1 forums and my stomach just turned. People that dared to speak in favor of the game were slandered as computer addicts and degenerates. 
The reactions of the non-gamers were much more venomous and personal. 

If you feel like some Google translate fun here you go.

Games like this one should be forbidden, according to these people. Let's expand upon this line of reasoning then shall we?

Soccer hooliganism. So because a fraction of soccer supporters are violent fighters, we need to ban this entire game?

Religion. How much blood has flowed in the name of religion? Shall we cancel those too?

Movies. In high school, as a minor, I saw American History X in school. This movie is about the extreme racism of the White supremacist movements. Someone's teeth get knocked out there while his head is on the sidewalk. Gruesome, my skin still crawls thinking about it.
Did I feel like repeating it, just because I saw it? No. And know why? Because this film was shown to us to warn us about Racism and it was placed into a context.

The Internet. In the beginning days, people feared that young people would construct bombs at home or watch porn all day. Also, all human contact would go down the drain and the poor Celebs wouldn't make any money because their songs would get downloaded for free.
In mean while, nearly everyone I know is on facebook, planning parties, exchanging recipies and posting pics of their cats or children, who, I might add, are mostly playing outside.

TV in general and the news specifically should be banned too then. What's happening is Syria is very real at the moment. Real people and children are getting brutally slaughtered. Maybe we should stop covering that war, suppose we get the same idea!!

And what about alcohol and tobacco? And let's not talk about certain music styles either...

I can of course only speak for myself. Yes, I'm sure there are people out there that use games as an inspiration/scapegoat to do bad things. 
Surprise, we had murderers, rapists and overall evil people 30 years ago too. They blamed TV back then.
You can also read some passages out of the Bible, what was happening back then. Who did they blame for it? Don't you think it's time that people took responsibility for their own actions, instead of blaming it on everything else. 

I'm a gamer, my husband is a gamer. Fifty percent of the people I know are gamers and you couldn't find a nicer and politer bunch of people if you tried. My kids, even though small, are well behaved and well loved wherever they go. 
My dear husband and I have been together for over 10 years and we literally NEVER fought, even with all those games, rotting our brains. 

My point is, like with everything in life, balance is key.

We're gamers, but also parents, family members, friends, co-workers and employees. A person that eats to much gets overweight, a person that eats too little might die. Do we blame the food? Should we ban food because of that?

We live in a digital world. We have to raise our kids to be able to cope with "their" world.
The Good Old days, when all of us played outside, without all the technology, are not coming back. It's not like we're going back to hand-wash, now that we have washing machines either.

I'm going to try and raise my kids into responsible adults, with a good mixture of everything and yes, that includes games. The ones that are suitable for their age that is ;)

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