Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment Software Rating Board’

ESRB

ESRB “Mature 17+” rating symbol, displayed on the packaging of computer and video games appropriate for audiences over the age of 17. Part of the ESRB Video Game Rating System. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I thought this Moral Panic on  violent entertainment causing Sandy Hook was done. Apparently not… Lo and Behold, Senator Grassley, a Repooplican from Iowa starts ranting on how the Gaming Industry’s Voluntary Rating system isn’t good enough, how it “lets these violent games get to kids”. What violent  games are these, “ones that glorify killing of innocent people”. Sure… I quote:

“There are too many video games that celebrate the mass killing of innocent people — games that despite attempts at industry self-regulation find their way into the hands of children,” 

 

Talk about a moronic claim…. Number 1, the “attempts at industry self-regulation” (like they are a complete failure, despite the FTC study that says that the ESRB ratings are better than the MPAA ones, enforcement wise), have nothing to do with why these “violent games that glorify the mass killing of innocents” fall into the hands of children. Number 1, the Industry itself isn’t to blame if the Stores refuse to card the people buying the games, or the 2/3’s of parents who refuse to read the ESRB ratings in the first place, right? Apparently to this moron, the parents aren’t to blame and somehow the industry made the parents not read the ratings or the stores are being all run by the industry and purposely start selling GTA games to kids…. This whole claim is bunk, and he knows NOTHING about violent games, the industry or the “attempts at industry self-regulation”. He just blindly believes all the nonsense being spread that violent games are marketed to kids because “oh noes, the kids can buy games…” BLAH BLAH BLAH

To make things worse his claim of how their are too many games that “celebrate the mass killing of innocent people” is a bogus claim too. I regularly debunk crap like this. It’s just a blanket statement, used to demean the industry based on shitty games, ones that do allow the “mass killing of innocent people”, which are few and far between. Using a list of all released FPS games on wikipedia, I calculated that the sheer lack of “uber violent games” is astounding, despite what scaremongering is being said by people like Grassley.

This list spans all the way back to the 1970’s with Sega titles such as “Jet Rocket”, long before the dawn of PC gaming, so it does count everything…. No picking and choosing, no editing of the total data to show a point, pure unadulterated Facts…. Something anti-gamers almost never provide, it’s almost always rhetoric, false data, or misinterpretation.

When You look at the spreadsheet, look at the column “gms kill inno”. This is how many games out of 650 allow you to kill “innocent civilians”, where innocent civilians are defined as characters who can’t fight back. I have 2 rows, one with all 650 games in the FPS category, and another with all FPS games + Postal + all GTA games.  That one is the second row, the lower one with 658 total games. The top row with 650 games is just FPS games. “gms rwd inno” is how many games that reward killing of innocent people.  “gms nrwd ino” are games that punish killing innocent civilian characters. Look at the % with and without GTA and Postal applied, tiny %, less than 10 in each case…  There have only been 19 FPS games EVER released that allow the killing of innocent characters. Only 4 of these reward it. Tiny numbers when you factor in the 650 total FPS games ever made. 8 Punish the killing of innocents.  IF you count in GTA  games and Postal 1 you get 27 total games in this list that allow the player to kill innocent characters, and only 8 reward it. 15 Punish the killing of innocents!!! You see a pattern, equal amount of FPS games punish the killing of innocents, and in the case when you add in GTA, more punish than reward. Apparently Grassley can’t stand the fact that there are 8 games since 1970(!) (when the list started) that reward killing innocents. But he mentioned mass slaughter of innocents!!!

Grassley’s complaint about “too many games that celebrate the mass killing of the innocent” is a nonsense claim. Because this suggests that there are games where you are rewarded for mowing down big rooms of innocent civilians in such a game. Here’s the thing. No ESRB Game like this Exists! In any game with civilians, that reward it, it’s never been huge numbers killed at once. People might say “GTA!” but GTA, despite the nonsense claim about it, does NOT reward  the killing of innocent civilians. It punishes it. You get the police after you for doing stuff like this, get arrested, etc… That’s punishment, not rewarding. The last game to reward mass killing of innocents, the only one was before the ESRB, so the esrb has nothing to do with it, that was Carmageddon! In 1997! The only game I know where it :”rewards” the mass killing of innocents….. Under the ESRB, the “voluntary rating system” there have been 0 games that “glorify the mass killing of innocents!!!”. NONE! Zip! Zero!! Zilch!!! Grassley is a liar… Surprise!!

So Grassley is making up crap, just like a lot of morons who attack games do. It’s stupid. It has to stop. He is also hinting at regulation of the industry by the government and using biased claims and utter lies to support it??? I thought this country was beyond it. IF they do decide to regulate the games like this, what’s to stop them from setting up a system where they purposely rate any game that is only slightly violent or above, to their equivalent of Adult Only, so the stores won’t sell them.. Hmmm… Because thats what I think people like this want, just to get rid of all the violent games so no one can buy them, no adults can too, no gaming companies can sell them so the industry just goes out of business. These people shouldn’t be in office if they use nonsense like this to fuel censorship, and make no difference it is. The gaming industry does not need to be regulated!! Just the Congress!!! Seriously…

I decided to do a debunking video twice a week till I cannot do anymore due to battery life issues on my Digital camera.  This video debunks a not-so-widespread claim that Doom can train real marksman skills. I’ve debunked it before on a blog post but I’ve decided to debunk it in a video to show off the reasons why this simply isn’t possible. The claim surrounds Paducah, and Micheal Carneal, and was spread by people condemning violent games, claiming he had no practice with a fire arm and Doom taught him how to be an “efficient killer”. My debunking proves that this isn’t the case because the game isn’t realistic enough to train real firearm techniques. I also briefly talk about libel threats to blogs and the reasoning behind me pulling 10+ articles off this blog to prevent that.  My next 2 videos will be done either both next sunday or one next sunday and another next Wednesday.  Not sure which. Don’t know what things I will talk about either. It all depends on what I read before that.  Hope you enjoy it.

The "sigil of Lucifer", used by mode...

Image via Wikipedia

You had the moral panic in the 50’s surrounding “graphic” comic books and how they cause delinquency in kids. Caused by a German Psychologist mentioning nonsense such as “bondage” in Wonder Women Comics, and how Batman and Robin were “Gay Lovers”. The readers effected by the Comic Books, supposedly, were kids.

Now we jump 20 years later to  the Dungeons and Dragons moral Panic. The main claim in this moral panic is that kids were being possessed by Devils. Why? The nature of the table top RPG, made it so that the players would “role-play” as fictitious characters, making it so when their character did something, they would often say “I am” doing the action. Extremist religious groups took that as a sign that Satan was possessing them.  You got dozens of groups attacking DND for supposed satanic ritual content, and demonic summoning allegations came soon after. Who was the “victim” in the Panic. Kids… Again.

Fast forward to the Metal Moral Panic of the 80’s. Subliminal messages were corrupting the kids. To make them drink, do drugs, have sex, worship satan, rape babies, sodomize Nuns, want to marry sheep, and worse!  Of course all of that is BS. There is no such thing as a backwards or subliminal message that actually does what the proponents of subliminal or backwards messages claim. It’s impossible for you to make out 1 frame out of many 60 frames per second animations to see the “hidden” sex scene. If you can’t see it, neither can your subconscious. With backwards messages, the claim is that your mind reads things backwards so you can understand the messages, deep down inside…. But that doesn’t make sense either….  But who were the targets of these damn hidden satanic subliminal messages in all the rock and Metal Records…. Kids… Again…

Then the damn evangelists in El Paso kept telling the police that satanic cultists who were either Mexican American or Metal-heads were secretly molesting kids, and “Eating Babies”.  No proof found… Yet another moral panic… The Victim… Kids. Babies. Metal-heads are eating our babies. Oh Joy!

Now you have the 15 year old set of 5 moral panics surrounding violent games.

A)  They make kids violent. Enforced by dozens of “studies” that the media keeps on claiming prove this violence, but they are flawed and only prove aggression. The victim… Kids.

B) They train kids by either breaking down the inhibition to kill, or make kids a better shooter in real life. The target… Kids.

C) They are being marketed to kids due to all the “ads” they see everywhere… The target of all these ads…  Kids.

D) Video game console makers use a mineral called “coltan” from the Congo to make their PS2/Xbox/etc. It’s mined using child labor. The victim – Kids.

E)  Violent games are used as a recruitment tool for the US military. To recruit… Kids.

Notice a pattern? In all these moral Panics kids are the purported victim.  Comic books make kids delinquent. DND makes them possessed. Metal makes them Satanists. Video games make them violent. These are all the major moral panics of the 20’th century. Bigger ones from the 1700’s like the Salem Witch Trials don’t count because they were before the 20’th century. In 3 of these moral Panics (Comic Books, Metal, Violent Games), the government cracked down on the entertainment in question, regulating and censoring it, just to “save the children”. To me, to start a massive moral panic, you need kids as the victim. Everyone assumes they are all innocent and can’t do any wrong, and when a massive entertainment industry giant starts “harming the children”, everyone starts to overreact, and strongly attacks the industry for fake allegations that have been completely fabricated in some cases. In the metal moral panic, very few real bands really were using backmasking and subliminal messaging and the parents groups kept misinterpreting lyrics to demonize the bands. The “satanic” bands like Slayer are fairly rare in Popular Metal, even then.  Most metal bands write about societal issues and Satan is rarely brought up unless it is to tell the tale of him possessing, or enticing people, to show the ills of temptation, in bands that write lyrics like that (Iron Maiden, did lyrics like this a lot). In the DND moral panic, roleplaying was mistook for possession. In the Coltan, video game, and Comic Book Moral Panics, nonsense was willingly made up to demonize the Artform inflicted. Coltan is mostly mined in Australia. Not Congo. And it’s used in ALL forms of electronics, from Cell phones to stereo systems. Not just for PS2’s. But the panic spreaders failed to mention either. They also claimed that 85% of the Coltan mined was from Congo, an inflated number. Wikipedia shows that less than 5% of Coltan comes from Congo. In the Video Game Moral Panic, nonsense was made up to make it look like School shooters were influenced by violent games, often times hoaxes were used and cited by newspapers, and to make it worse, psychologists actually spent the time to write books filled with nonsense claims about violent games being used in the military to break down the inhibition to kill. Then all the right wing attacking groups kept on making up new lies. This by far, is the worst example of scaremongering seen in ANY moral panic.

Can you name a single recent (within the last 50 years) moral Panic where kids aren’t the victim? I can only name one, the panic over Terrorism in the US that has been going around, fueling both Racism towards Muslims and the War on Terror. In that moral panic, the religious right perpetrate most of the scaremongering and the targets are random people. Not necessarily “2 year olds”.  It’s all about “saving the children”, in all these moral Panics.

U.S. Supreme Court

Image via Wikipedia

I am continuing my study into the nature of comments attacking violent games on articles in newspaper sites online. By definition the comments must fit these categories to be considered ‘attacking violent games’…

A) Spread lies about violent games

A2) Making up new lies about violent games .

B) Call for games to be banned outright

C) Call for games to be restricted to adults

D) Enforce negative gamer stereotypes

D2) Shows dislike, hate, or a grudge towards gamers.

E) A Bias towards gaming, such that the person commenting thinks games don’t deserve 1st amendment

protection,  the industry is marketing “trash” to my kids, etc.

F) Not sure what violence effects on kids are a restriction might be in order…

G) Attacking the ESRB due to some flawed thing like the FTC study or the fact ‘my 9 year old’ could get bulletstorm.

H) Wants violent game manufacturers sued or games boycotted.

The Previous 6 parts of the study found that, out of 77 comments, 57% were spreading lies about violent games, 31% had a clear bias towards violent games, 7% wanted violent games banned, or violent game makers sued, and 4% wanted violent games restricted to adults.

Newest article to survey comments in is this one which happens to be filled with lies and BS about violent, generalizing all violent games as uber gory… talking about the “dismembering, bondage, decapitation” in violent games, even though no violent games have bondage…. What’s next child molestation?

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – said that ‘violence is being sold to kids’ and the SCOTUS decision was designed to allow this phantom “selling violence to kids”.

1 Comment of type A) Alluding to the violent games (called “videos”) where “you slice naked women into pieces” and how they are being sold to kids or marketed to kids. more BS.

Also of type A2) Making up new lies about violent games. No games allow you to slice up a naked women.

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – saying violent games are recruitment tools…

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – says violent games make kids aggressive

also of type E) Bias towards games – says they are “garbage”.

1 Comment of type A) Spread lies about violent games – says they are recruitment tools.

1 Comment of type D) Bias towards gamers – says the ‘battle’ is lost when society wants to watch violent video games.

1 comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – says there is “so much scientific evidence” that violent games cause harm.

1 comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – says “violent games are linked to aggression”.

1 Comment of type A2) makes up new lies about violent games –  I quote

“But the videos in question, which the court ruled that kids can see, allows them to virtually stalk, beat, rape, and defile virtual women in a range of perverse and degrading ways. That is purely sick”

THERE ARE NO GAMES THAT ALLOW PEOPLE TO DO THESE THINGS….

1 comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – calls “mortal kombat” torture porn, and violent games “trash”. Blah-Blah-Blah….

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games – I quote
“It’s offensive and embarrassing the Supreme Court will afford murder in all its contexts—self-defense, revenge, military mission, zombie killer, mobster—and variety–disembowelment, decapitation, abassination, guns, chainsaws—more protection that sex.”

Most of these things aren’t even murder…… Only assassination, mobster are… The rest are either military combat, “self-defense”, or combat…. how is “zombie killer” murder? Idiots like this astound me. Especially when they bring up disembowelment, and and decapitation, which are rare in most violent games!

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about games – cites “research showing the violent games are more harmful to kids than sex”.

1 Comment of type A2)/G) Makes up a new lie saying ESRB purposely rates games wrong to increase sales, says MPAA does the same thing.

1 Comment of type A)/A2)/D2)/E) Just read the quote:

“Generally, video games are pointless.
When you add sex and or violence to the game, it is no longer pointless.
When you fill the mind of a child with music, he learns to love music, and may become a musician.
So is true of fine literature…
It stands to reason, that if you fill the mind of a child with sex and violence (especially when you rate it MATURE… It becomes forbidden fruit)… He or she will learn to love, and ACCEPT violence, and violent sex, as a NORM!
In my opinion:
Having something labeled as a GAME, attracts kids…
Video Games are a bad enough, form of entertainment for children…
When you create and sell REALISTIC video GAMES, that portray any LIFE… AS EXPENDABLE…
And reward the participant, for DEVIANT BEHAVIOR…
You are going to CREATE A GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS!”

1 comment of type A) part spreads likes – says labeling it a game attracts kids – implying violent games are marketed to kids

Says “realistic video games” portray any life as expendable. Hello! Most of these games are about as realistic as your claim that you create a generation of sociopath. Yet another bullshit statement that people who play violent games are sociopath. This statement shows a huge bias towards games and gamers and a HATE towards gamers as well.

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – generalizes violent games as games that have “torture, maiming and murder”.

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games, says that violent games teach kids how to disembowel people… Sigh…

1 comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – says they are raising a generation who “think it’s a sport to dismember people”….

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – I quote:

“These violent video games , on the other hand, are ‘active’ and ‘participatory’! Why should anyone, of any age, find pleasure in ‘virtually’ practicing all manner of depravity? Does the word ‘devolution’ strike a familiar note?.”

Claims in games you practice “all manners of depravity”.

Also of type D) Bias towards gamers/enforcing negative gamers stereotypes – says that we are “devolved”…..

1 Comment of type A) Implies violent games are “recruitment tools”. This is the third time I’ve heard this crap about gamers wanting to be soldiers just because they play violent games.

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – says they “desensitize” people. Also implies they break down the inhibition to kill.

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – generalizes violent games as “rape simulators”.

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – say they reward criminal activity, “maiming,torture,etc” and cause people to be psychopaths. Generalizes all violent games as the gangster sim’s GTA is saying you never play the good guy… Also generalizes the whole “they reward violent activity”….

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about games – generalizes all violent games as games where the player chooses to “decapitate, dismember, blow up or otherwise mutilate and destroy his victim.”

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games – Says the SCOTUS decision allows children to play such “hideously violent “games””. Note how it puts “games” in quotes like they are all murder simulators to him. He also makes it quite clear that he is a right wing family group moron.

1 Comment of type G) Attacking the ESRB saying that the ratings system isn’t enforced in “Libraries”… Saying that’s the reason the ratings system doesn’t work..Based on ONE library allowing kids to rent mature games.

Results:

Out of all 97 comments in parts 1-7, 64 are spreading lies about violent games. That’s 65%

Out of 97 comments in parts 1-7, 26 have clear bias towards violent games, violent gaming companies, or the industry. That’s 26%

Out of 97 comments, 5 wanted violent games banned, and 5 more wanted the companies that make these game sued. that’s dropped to 5% for each.  3% wanted violent games restricted to adults.

Out of 97 comments, 7 made up totally new lies about violent games. that’s 7%. It’s small but still significant that this is happening.

Out of 97 comments, 4 enforced negative gamer stereotypes.  (4%)

Out of 97 comments,  4 showed a clear hate or dislike towards gamers. (4%).

The last 2 expected a lot more of….. In earlier articles, the comments showing a clear hate or dislike towards gamers was higher, and comments spreading negative gamer stereotypes was more common than this….

This will be the last part of the study.  97 Comments is plenty to me, and I don’t need to go any further looking for new articles to find similar comments. Now If I find another article with comments like these, I will certainly attack the users commenting…. But for now this is good enough to show a trend.

The big thing to me is the spread of media lies. 65% of 97 of the comments were spreading these lies. The ones spreading the whole “violent games break down the inhibition to kill” is 7 out of 64, not as high as in other parts of the study (only 10%). But still it’s significant to see the people spreading this lie after downright believing this nonsense spread by the psychologists on talk shows around april 1999.  The comments that allude to the ‘fact’ that violent games are recruitment tools for the US Military, is huge in this article. I never saw them until this one, and 3 out of 25 spread this lie. There is no way that the Military is using anything other than “America’s Army” series of games to recruit people into the military. Anyone who generalizes violent games as recruitment tolls is idiotic. Those “America’s Army” games are the only violent games, that are specifically designed to recruit people. Period!

I can tell you that after playing FPS games since I was 13, I have no desire to join any armed services branch. The whole basic training thing gets me. It’s brainwashing to make people follow ‘lawful orders’ without thinking. It uses dehumanization to do this. I am defiant in my opposition to ANY institution that glorifies dehumanization in order to control people.  Just because someone plays violent games that your main playable character is a soldier, doesn’t mean they will want to join the Military. I sure as hell do not.

The other thing I would like to bring up is the idiots online calling gamers sociopaths. The blanket discrimination of our kind was clear as day in the post that I quoted… Let me quote it again..

“Generally, video games are pointless.
When you add sex and or violence to the game, it is no longer pointless.
When you fill the mind of a child with music, he learns to love music, and may become a musician.
So is true of fine literature…
It stands to reason, that if you fill the mind of a child with sex and violence (especially when you rate it MATURE… It becomes forbidden fruit)… He or she will learn to love, and ACCEPT violence, and violent sex, as a NORM!
In my opinion:
Having something labeled as a GAME, attracts kids…
Video Games are a bad enough, form of entertainment for children…
When you create and sell REALISTIC video GAMES, that portray any LIFE… AS EXPENDABLE…
And reward the participant, for DEVIANT BEHAVIOR…
You are going to CREATE A GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS!”

First of all this idiot stereotypes all violent games as “realistic” when fewer than 30% can be considered realistic enough to train “kids to kill” due to the lack of  iron sights, realistic recoil, real firearms, kickback, etc. Also stereotypes the whole genre as “rewarding deviant behavior” and calls all gamers “SOCIOPATHS!”….. Not the first person I’ve read to call gamers that. What’s next…. Paedophiles? Baby rapers?

What’s weird, is that on 2 occasions Something I parodied the anti-gamers as saying in various Doom Mod’s parodying the whole debate, turned out to be something they would actually say later. Remember the bulletstorm controversy over the game being a “rape simulator”? Well…. I suspected that the anti-gamers would stop making up lies about violence and graduate to rape, to make games promote violence towards women. The amount of comments I saw in this article stereotyping all violent games are games where violence towards women is portrayed and rewarded, is idiotic. But even worse, on my parody of violent game attackers, one called “STALKER : Shadow of Chernobyl” a stalking simulator merely due to it’s name…. But now the anti-gamers are really whining about violent games where stalking is actually permitted. They are whining about nothing, because I know of NO game that is a “stalking simulator”. Are they misinterpreting the game “STALKER”? Merely due to it’s name?

Lies that are made up from the blue seem to be getting more popular in the last few articles. These lies are brand new, and are being spread by commenters. They are not from various news articles, or psychologists. These ones are troubling. Who would gain from complete nonsense being spread about a violent game by people who knowingly spread these lies that they know are not true? If you make up a total nonsense claim about a violent game you know you haven’t heard before, you have to know it’s a lie… Right? So who would gain?

Do anti-gamers sign up under fake names and spread more lies?

I can’t say. But these lies seem to hint at that. These aren’t the things I have heard from the so-called “experts” on media violence. These are totally new to me….  And they are false… But…  Do we really have a generation of libeling right wing anti-violent games groups hiring members to sign up with fake names to make up BS claims about violent games and post them in comments? I think we do. But I can’t prove it. But if they ARE doing this… It is VERY alarming… I will keep track of these lies that seem to be made up by commenters to see if others repeat them in other articles. I have an idea to see how many people are gullible enough to believe nonsense that is spread. More on it later….

The other thing that surprises me is the low total of comments that either enforce negative gamer stereotypes or show dislike, or hate towards gamers. After hearing various “violent game experts” maliciously, and repeatedly equate gamers to the scum of the earth, or “sociopath’s”, or “druggies”, etc… I have been expecting to see more comments of the like from people who obviously believe these “experts” and will repeat the nonsense they said. I Don’t see as much as I expected. It’s a good thing. I’ll say. Now most gamers I know from the internet are idiotic. There is a LOT of immaturity in this group. I will be the first to admit. But Immaturity does not mean that all gamers should be called druggies, school shooters, “gamer shitheads”, or sociopaths.

The study is done. The results are a surprise. The media lies issue is clearly a big one. I wasn’t expecting this amount of comments to be enforcing the lies. I knew some would. But 65%. That’s huge…. It’s an issue. I will recording parts of a radio show that will be split into many parts for youtube tonight. It will bring up ideas to stop the spread of the lies. And a blog post will follow up with these ideas…. It’s a serious concern to see how many people are repeating misconceptions, outright fabrications, etc, of the nature of violence in games… I know it’s pretty small sample size. But articles like these that show these kinds of comments are rare. I usually see more comments attacking  the people who want to censor games than the gaming industry itself. And this is the first article in a week that has shown these comments. So finding more articles is something I really don’t want to go through. It’s stressing to have to total up all these %’s. I’m just going to leave it at this…. But more is to come in different areas, showing off the public’s misconceptions of the nature of violent games, gamers, the industry, the ESRB, etc.

Stay tuned…

I am continuing my study into the nature of comments attacking violent games on articles in newspaper sites online. By definition the comments must fit these categories to be considered ‘attacking violent games’…

A) Spread lies about violent games

A2) Making up new lies about violent games .

B) Call for games to be banned outright

C) Call for games to be restricted to adults

D) Enforce negative gamer stereotypes

D2) Shows dislike, hate, or a grudge towards gamers.

E) A Bias towards gaming, such that the person commenting thinks games don’t deserve 1st amendment

protection,  the industry is marketing “trash” to my kids, etc.

F) Not sure what violence effects on kids are a restriction might be in order…

G) Attacking the ESRB due to some flawed thing like the FTC study or the fact ‘my 9 year old’ could get bulletstorm.

H) Wants violent game manufacturers sued or games boycotted.

The previous 5 parts of this study (you can view the condensed version on my other blog here), found that out of 44 comments, 59% were spreading false claims (media lies) about violent games, such as the claim that “studies prove violent games make kids violent”, “these violent games break down the inhibition to kill”, “kids train on these games”. Some in this category said crap that was stereotypical of violent games, using uber violent examples of violent games to make it look like all are ‘uber violent’, when they are not, aka “These games allow you to decapitate people, and torture”, etc. 34% had a clear bias against the gaming industry (“their marketing this trash to the kids”), the games themselves (calling them “trash”, “junk”,etc), or or the gaming companies (“do these people have no conscience?”). Others in this category said “why should these games exist”, “I wish people would take the moral high road and not play these games so the kids won’t be effected”, etc.

In this part of the study I have 3 new articles I found (not ones that a recent though) all with some moronic comments in them. Article 1 is here

Comment data:

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games, saying the country shouldn’t have violent entertainment, puts games in quotes to attack them like many journalists do, like they aren’t games but murder simulators, implying gamers have no intelligence.

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards the gaming industry, “bloody corporations should not have 1st amendment  rights”.

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games – “1St amendment doesn’t give us the right to be indecent”…. Indecent… like anything that offends you. People should not have the right to complain about being offended. It’s stupid

1  Comment of type A) Spreading lies about games – Military uses violent games to break down the inhibition to kill, calls the ads of violent games in question in the article “Violent Ads”. The ads themselves don’t show violence. More Bs.

Next article (I know it’s a gaming mag, but the comments do fit some of these descriptions). Article is Here

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – Violent games ‘desensitize’ kids.

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – The Ads target kids.

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – says ‘the carnage’ caused by violent games is equal to the the cancer causing problems in cigarettes.. Sigh… I hear this nonsense all the time….Also says that violent games make players more prone to violence, and spews a rediculas assessment on the future of gaming…

Also of type E) Bias towards games, saying… Well Just read the entire quote.

“Remember when the cigarette companies kept saying that no one had “proven” that cigarettes CAUSE cancer? So we continued to let the ads run where all the kids could see them. Lots of people died. Has it yet been scientifically proven that cigarettes cause cancer? Do you believe they do anyway?

Here’s the future of gaming: TVs as big as your entire living room wall. Life size enemies. Realistic wireless game guns with a loud bang and a huge kick. Maybe actual gun makers will make a wireless game clip that you can pop in the real gun where the bullet clip goes. Maybe someone will make an accessory that throws fake blood all over you when you shoot a game enemy at close range.

That’s OK, because no one has scientifically proven that violent games make the players more prone to violence. Until they do, let the carnage continue! ”

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games – Saying “others are using pseudo facts to support their bias torwards games in the guise of anti-censorship”.

Next article Here:

This article is filled with lies and bs. Here we go.

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about games – generalizing games as games where you “take a club to a pedestrian”. Hello. Only GTA has that feature. 5 out of 500. It’s ridicules.

1 comment of type A2) Making up new lies about violent games – Claims violent games as training tools to recruit military at young age, says violent games ‘permanently burn memories’ into the minds of children, blah-blah blah… Common. Back up your crap. You can’t therefore it’s a lie.

1 Comment of type A2) Making up new lies about violent games – Claims violent games and action movies have too much things happening at once, overloading the brain, causing ‘anti-social behavior’ in kids. WTF?

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games – First claims studies should make kids play games longer, to see ‘how senseless they become’

Also of type D2) – Shows a dislike, hate, or grudge, towards gamers. calls gamers bullies and says that parents should be put in jail,

Also of type A2) Mentions a fictitious link between violent games and real life military combat. More BS.

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – Violent games break down the inhibition to kill. BS. Also advertize Grossman AGAIN!

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games and Gamers… Says we are violent and violent games cause this… Also of type D2) Shows a dislike, hate, or grudge towards gamers.  I quote:

“And it games cause violence, so be it. If a gamer tries to be violent with you, remember this one rule of thumb, so to speak. Since gamers spend a lot of time inside playing games, they are physically weak. As long as you can avoid their powerful, unnaturally strong thumbs, you should be able to subdue them.”

I think this cartoon image describes this guy perfectly.

Pitiful. Who in the hell actually thinks that “violent gamers” should be “subdued”. Someone who hates gamers who think gamers cause school shootings, like that idiot who threatened to kill me on denverpost.com. This goes beyond a mere perpetrating anti-gamer stereotypes and goes to wanting them physically hurt. Is this a trend? First we’re bullies, and now we need to be “Subdued”. Moronic.

1 Comment of type D2) Shows dislike, hate, or grudge towards gamers – says “people who play these violent games are people I don’t want to be around anyway.”

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games, generalizes the clip on the Jon Stewart’s Tonight show segment showing a girl being ripped in half as what most games are like, than mentions games have “passive and casual avatar rape and murder” in them. 2 Words : Custer’s Revenge. 1989! Stop making this damn fake claim of rape simulators up… It’s idiotic. These people read biased articles that keep putting that lie in the game and everyone believes this  tripe. It’s ridiculous.

Ok this next comment has nothing to do with violent game controversy but it’s BS, especially when Metal is mentioned:

“and don’t forget comic books and heavy metal music cuz they’ll make kids grow up to be homosexual murderers too”

I don’t know if this is a joke, but I doubt It. Homosexual murderers is something only a Fred Phelps lover would come up with…. These kind of people have been trying to say that metal is linked with a global satanic cult that ‘molest’s children, for years, along with “god hates fags”, “all masturbators are going to hell”, and the biased claim that all masturbators are child molesters and rapists.

Back to the offending comments:

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – College students are all ‘desensitized to violent games’, and more bs..

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games. Says violent games are a great training ground for the ‘forces of evil. More nonsense about violent games being used to train killers. Sigh..

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games – Says ‘the weight of evidence’ proves violent games cause real violence… More BS.

1 Comment of type A) Spreads lies about violent games – says ‘ultra realistic’ battlefield simulators like COD, Medal of honor are ‘training’ or kids to kill…. seriously. A game with regenerating health, low bullet damage and no recoil is ‘training’… BS…

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about games – Says a famous psychologist who has been researching ‘media violence’ for a long time proves that violent games have a ‘long term effect on people’ without blatantly saying that they make us violent , or desensitize us to violence, break down our inhibition to kill, or any of the nonsense spread above…. Statements like this that are very open to interpretation, even though they are false, are equally dangerous as the ones that make nonsense claims like the three I mentioned after it.

1 Comment of type A) Spreading lies about violent games, says their an outlet for young children. When the industry markets violent games to 18-35 year olds.

1 Comment of type A2) Making up new lies about violent games – Claims just because the commentator drove around for days and because of the length, he was forced to automatically do things without knowing he did them, the ‘kids that play games 18,20,24 hours a day will go into kill mode!’ Is this another Grossman worshipper unknowingly or knowingly advertising his best seller?

1 Comment of  type A) Spreading lies about violent games – Says they desensitize, reduce attention spans, and make people obese. The last is the only one I would even consider.. The rest sounds like bunk.

1 Comment of type E) Bias towards games – says they are garbage.

Out of all the comments I’ve surveyed in previous parts and this part (72 in total), 41 spread lies about violent games. That is 57%. Out all of the 72 comments, 22 are clearly biased towards games, that is 31%. Out of all the newest of these 72 comments, (the ones surveyed in this part), there were no ones calling for violent games to banned outright, or restricted to adults, or their makers sued. The % have dropped due to this, 7% for bans or lawsuits, 4% for restricting to adults.

But… Looking at the sheer amount of people supporting violent game bans on facebook groups, you can see the want is actually higher. I will combine those numbers with these comments later…

The real problem in these articles, especially in the last one, are lies about violent games, especially ones that seem to be completely made up by the commenter.  There were 3 of these. The % of that is tiny, (4%) but is still notable that this is happening. The even bigger issue, despite the small lack of comments that do this (3 out of 77 – 4%), is comments that have a clear hate or dislike towards gamers themselves, not just enforcing negative stereotypes. I see radical censors all the time targeting gamers calling them subhuman, sociopath’s, “gamer shitheads”, the list goes on. Now by radical censors I do not mean all the people who are attacking violent games, just the most extreme of these. The list of people I can think of off the top of my head that this includes are limited to 5 people, 2 outside the US. It’s not a big group but they make it clear that they dislike or hate gamers on a regular basis.

Still I think the biggest issue I can see is the spreading of lies and making up new ones…. It is almost 60% and is around 65% combined… These things are spread many times by people I think are outright fans of the initial lie spreaders, the psychologist hacks  on TV after columbine.  In many of these lies, the one that says “the military uses games to break down the inhibition to kill”, is spread, at a decent pace, 6 out of 22 lie comments surveyed, that’s 27% of the lies! So 1 third of the lies spread are about breaking the inhibition to kill. Another 4 Mention the vague statement “games are training killers” or allude to that statement… While not as bad as the break the inhibition to kill nonsense, it’s still a lie and a big one. I debunked the 5 biggest lies, including this one in this article.

Not till the last article Did I see a  dislike towards gamers, so that’s a good thing. But on the last 2, new lies were being made up by the commenters and spread around. I am starting to wonder if some anti-gaming radicals are posting comments because a lot of  these new lies sound like something a radical would spread around to cause a panic. They hide behind the anonymous protection of the internet and no one knows who they are. That anonymous protection, the newspaper websites/forums/etc, are constantly protecting idiots online by not giving out their IP, especially if they are trolls. I think some anti-gamers abuse this privilege by starting secret ‘evidence gathering campaigns’ that involve brutally insulting gamers to see their responses to see how ‘violent’ these responses are to use in their next press release. I can’t prove it, but the work of the  denverpost troll who had a justicemail.com email account, combined with his last post “I have all the evidence I need to prove gamers are violent”, seems to suggest this is going on in isolated patches of the internet.

But that’s for another editorial. This study is far from complete and will not stop till I’m satisfied I’ve surveyed enough comments to show a trend. Stay tuned…

Panic over violent video game ads….

So I was researching the whole violent game myth that violent games are being marketed to kids. I came across a commenter on some guitar forum mentioning “oh violent games are being marketed to kids! Look at all the lego games, it’s proof!” after saying “oh look at all the violent game ads! everywhere”… Excuse me.
Violent game ads…. I’ve only seen them in 2 places.. A) TV (rarely – where I live, in MA), and B) ones and gaming magazines, online gaming sites,etc…. I’ve never seen a violent game ad on a billboard, or anywhere like that…. I think this may be a new moral panic, because his description of ‘violent game ads, everywhere’ sounds fictitious.  Meanwhile you get constant annoying ads with misbehaving kids in them for eastern bank, new york life,etc during Red Sox games, every single commercial break…… And no one is complaining… But that is another story…

This “AD Paranoia” is one of the things that brings up irrational claims of “Violent games being marketed to kids”… It’s like to the anti-gamers, if kids can see an ad, it’s marketed to them… When the 18-35 demographic is the age group the games are really being marketed to. There is not a single bit of proof that these ads are targeting kids, no single advertiser confirming this. Only Anti-gamers assuming it… It’s irrational…

A moral panic started when ads for some violent game (I Think GTA) were found in a Boston Subway.. They were taken down, thanks to the mayor whining….   The whole irrational claim that violent games are being marketed to kids was brought up… The whole attack started again, complete with the media lies spreading all over the place…. One ad… In a subway. It wasn’t like it was in a daycare center!

HELLO! More than kids go through a subway! In fact the last 2 subway stations I visited when going into boston for sporting events, I saw not a single kid! Not one… All adults….. I personally didn’t see any ads for any games on the subway.. Now let me show you how bad a subway station is… They are crowded like crazy, very little room to move. Not a place to take a 10 year old… The subways themselves are the same way and rock around a lot… It’s easy to trip and fall…. It’s not a place to bring a kid… So why all the complaining when ONE AD for a violent game comes up?

Similar panics show up when any kind of thing that is associated with ‘harm to children’ is advertised on TV at any time before midnight… You get tons of right wing groups whining about “Family hour violations”. They complain the instant anyone advertises a violent game, wrestling, etc, during family hour… Which by definition is 8 PM, but they always make it look like it’s any time kids could be up (6 am – midnight) They want these ads pushed to 3 AM. Not joking… So that any time these ads show up, no one will see them…

HELLO! Even I don’t stay up that late, 2 AM sometimes…. You think that something like this would make the game makers lose a lot of money…. I think it’s intentional… This family hour crap is insane…. More than kids watch the TV….. Just because a kid could see an AD, doesn’t mean he will go out and become addicted to GTA…..

Other times, there is complaints about Violent game ads during sports games….. I’ve personally never seen a violent game ad during a sports game, ever.. In fact the last time I saw an ad for a violent game on TV was when Vice City came out in 2003… Not once have I seen the ‘rampant violent game ads’ on TV since then.. .Granted I don’t watch a lot of TV. But I used to watch a lot more, wrestling, sports games, Horror movies, Ghost hunters. I never noticed ads for any violent games during those things since I saw the GTA : Vice City ads. Granted those were advertised like crazy. But that’s the last one I saw that was Advertised like that. Hell, I didn’t see a single ad for DOOM until 1997! 4 years after it was made…

I think it’s a moral panic and shouldn’t be taken seriously… They only people saying violent games are marketed to kids, have very irrational ways to back it up. It’s always something that doesn’t make sense. These are the things I’ve heard lately.

A) “All the ‘ads’ everywhere”
B) “My kid could buy bulletstorm so violent games are marketed to kids”
C) “Look at all the Lego Games” – this one wins it….
D) “Games are being marketed to kids due to the fact that kids are in game stores and can see the games”
E) “All the game ads during family hour!”
F) “All the game ads during a sporting event!”

The whole family hour “violation” thing pisses me off. Family hour is an hour that all the prime time channels had a responsibility to show only kid friendly stuff at 8-9 pm… It was mandatory then but not now. A court overturned it… Now it’s something some networks do, other don’t…. So all the complaints about violent ads during the warped version of family hour that is 6 am to midnight is mostly nonsense…. Brought up by the PTC… Again…

There is no law mandating family hour. There shouldn’t be. You cannot attack game companies and advertisers for violating something that certain groups think is illegal but isn’t…. It’s optional now… And extending the period from 1 hour to 12 hours is insane….  The problem is that parents use the TV as a babysitter. That shouldn’t be the case.. They don’t watch the kids…. They don’t Watch what they are doing. None of the TV ad nonsense would be an issue if irresponsible parents did…

Related articles
ESRB "Mature 17+" rating symbol, dis...

Image via Wikipedia

So, on my old blog I spent 2-3 hours researching for an upcoming article debunking 10 violent game myths. I posted this article on a social bookmarking site (digg), and tons of trolls came out saying crap like “badly written article, Downvote!” and one even visited a link to the pro-family group I called nutjobs for making up a claim that violent games allow kids to ‘sodomize victims with broomsticks’.  Something that I was pretty sure no game had in it…. The trolls then visited the groups site and I had to take the post down and the whole blog, to prevent libel.

But… the actual post that I linked on the site was debunking violent game myths. I am going back to recreate the post and debunk 5 violent game myths… With links to debunk them if possible… Here goes….

I will try to say why I think the lie is being spread, and then disprove it…. Below the paragraph about each lie I will write a section called “Data on Lie”, which will give rough estimates (in %) of how severe the lie is (how drastic the claim is compared to the truth), Popularity (how much it’s being said in the media since it’s conception), recent popularity (how popular it is in the media now), and respread (how much people have spread the lie in comments, etc, intentionally or not)

5: Violent games have controllable Rape scenes in them (really going strong now)

So the following article linked in this debunking of mine is spreading this lie that has been used dozens of times on anti-gaming articles bashing the SCOTUS EMA vs Brown decision. The lie is that there are violent games that have virtual rape in them where the player rapes a defenseless woman character in the game…. You have the Bulletstorm controversy saying that the game could cause real life sexual violence, then a biased claim by the psychologist in the article that violent games have caused real life rapes to occur, without any citing of any real cases… And many, many other articles calling violent games ‘rape simulators’…. Where did this come from?

You get the morons complaining about violent games going to the next level by saying violent games have rape in them to increase the moral panic, that’s what…. And the truth is, is that there hasn’t been a controllable rape scene in a violent game since “Custer’s Revenge” in 1989!, an adult game not even sold in normal game stores, then!

I hear the claim constantly from various people… Including this Connecticut anti-gaming AG  complaining about the Cal law being held unconstitutional by the courts before it got to SCOTUS.. I have heard it at least twice in articles bashing SCOTUS, and in many comments of articles I have surveyed in my study looking for anti-gaming comments to see what their severity is.

Data on lie:

Severity 100%

Popularity 55%

Recent Popularity 75%

Respread 30%

4: Violent games are marketed to kids

This myth is less drastic than the first one, but is still constantly spread around. The truth is this one has been used in many different ways, all claiming violent games are marketed to kids for different reasons. There isn’t one common reason why this is true… But My article on this (here) basically says that the ESRB ratings are often misconstrued as GOVT enforced by people who do the same thing with MPAA ratings.. They are both voluntary ratings and if a store doesn’t enforce them they don’t get in Legal trouble, unlike what the common belief is.  So when you get a biased study like the PTC ‘secret shopper survey’ that says stores sell M rated games to kids 80% of the time, you get people thinking that the industry is marketing games to kids.

The truth is that a recent FTC study says ESRB ratings are even better than MPAA ratings and enforcement in stores… but that doesn’t really disprove the myth…. What does, however is the target demographic of the industry is 18-35 year olds, according to this page. I have heard this on many articles in gaming sites, so I trust it….  If it were 5-9 year olds like all the anti-gamers keep saying then I wouldn’t even try to debunk this… But I have never heard any kind of evidence to support the biased claim that violent games are marketed to kids that isn’t something ridiculous like “violent game ads in our subway”, or “kids in a game store that sells violent  games that could be seen by a kid”, or recently someone on a forum said this great claim “Look at all the Lego games, proof violent games are marketed to kids” after saying that since there were violent game ads ‘everywhere’ the claim must be true. Basically it’s a lie.

Data on lie:

Severity 80%

Popularity 65%

Recent Popularity 45%

Respread 80%

3: violent games make kids violent

There are many studies that seem to prove violent game make kids ‘aggressive’ but the fact is that this lie is based on right wing journalists and violent game ‘experts’ misquoting these already biased studies by saying they prove the kids become violent after playing violent games. The studies themselves are flawed (as my debunking shows). Basically the studies use brainwave scanning on both groups of kids, kids who play violent games , and kids who don’t.  The aggression levels are proven through that, and through a competitive task that pits 2 people (1 from each group) against each other and allows the winner to blast loud static noise into the loser’s ears. The study says that the kids who play violent games hold down the ‘blast’ button longer. They don’t say how much, but from a comment on an article on a recent study, it was only milliseconds. Yeah. Nice proof.  But if that wasn’t the only thing making these studies flawed, we have the fact that many of these studies fail to even measure tendencies that could cause aggression in the kids before the study starts, so basically the more ‘aggressive’ kids aren’t even checked to see that another thing is making them ‘aggressive’, and the checks are right after they play the games, no checks done next day, next month. These are short term studies… Not good on seeing if a kid will ‘go violent’ after playing Doom.  To make things worse, there is no eliminating gamers from these studies… Using a 18 year old GTA fan as proof  of ‘aggression’, by playing GTA is a bit biased. Don’t you think… Now all of this proves the studies have holes. But where did the violence claim come from, the one that says violence is proven by these studies…

From the ‘violent game experts on the news’, the hack psychologists purposely misquoting studies after columbine, on morning talk shows. This lie was spread like wildfire back in 1999 and many people outright believe it without questioning. It’s sad.

Data on lie:

Severity 100%

Popularity 45%

Recent Popularity 25%

Respread 70%

2:  Violent games make school shooters  better shooters in real life.

This one is really alarming, not very popular in lies being spread by the media, but really alarming, none the less. It basically says that Doom, allows players to be better shooters in real life, and uses the evidence in a school shooting predating Columbine as proof. The shooter was very accurate shooter in the shooting, and an avid Doom fan. They said “he had never picked up a gun before!” and then said that Doom made him the better shooter….. Without debunking  possibility of him not going to a gun range, and actually practicing for real… Ok… Now the think is that the Columbine Shooters also were Doom obsessed…. But the FBI report  mentioned that they missed most of their shots! Why?

Recoil, the force that pushes the gun angle up after every shot.

99% of Violent games don’t have realistic recoil of weapons, Doom had none, Quake had none, Half-life : none, only games that have good recoil are tactical shooters. And they are so unfairly realistic that no one could ‘train’ on them without becoming frustrated.  The shots kill not hurt in those games, and the guns are very realistic with realistic recoil and kickback… But they didn’t really get popular till AFTER Columbine.. And since there hasn’t been a school shooting with a real link to Violent games since…

Recoil prevents someone from hitting their shots if they hold down the trigger like they do in the movies and in most violent games. It causes a real life gun to spin out of control, especially an Assault Weapon like a MP5, or any Assault Rifle.  The tactic taught in older violent games available in 1999 basically was (run into room, hold down fire button, kill all enemies, let go, rinse and repeat). This doesn’t work in real life. The person would be shooting the ceiling if they tried this for more than 2 seconds. The military teaches real soldiers to fire in short bursts to minimize the recoil… A debunking of this in Doom was done by me recently on this blog… Here it is. There is no way a violent game will make you a better shot. The tactics are incompatible with real life… At least they were before realism was added to FPS games in 2003+. Realistic tactical shooters weren’t really popular till Far Cry (2003). Before that it was all no recoil in weapons…

So no way in hell did the school shooters get better at firing a real gun by playing FPS games of that time.

Data on lie:

Severity 100%

Popularity 45%

Recent Popularity 25%

Respread 10%

1: violent games break down the inhibition to kill

Ok…  I’ve debunked this in my attack on the amicus brief with tons of lies submitted on CA’s side of the SCOTUS debate (go here for the debunking) but I will debunk it again…  The claim is that violent games are used in the military to break down the inhibition to kill. This blog completely debunks the claim, which is another claim spread by the “hack psychologists” after columbine…

Violent games are used in the military to train group tactics, it’s no secret. The Marines licensed doom for this purpose… But there is no branch of the military that uses them to break down the inhibition to kill. The above blog says that the inhibition to kill is part of what Boot camp is for, to make recruits automatically follow orders. This, is really the only way to make recruits fire when they are commanded to… Seriously… A video game won’t do this… You need to break down the recruit by Intimidation, exhaustion, and other factors to make them act automatically. This needs an environment where you cannot leave the environment, and have limited freedoms, and are being constantly screamed at for making any mistakes, and are being worked out so bad that your constantly exhausted. No video game does this. Period.

Data on lie:

Severity 100%

Popularity 75%

Recent Popularity 15%

Respread 90%