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Welcome to my Conservative Blog, Solomon's Conservative Wisdom. The name comes from my middle name and the historical & biblical figure King Solomon, now I make no claim to have Solomon's Wisdom, but I do have Common Sense. I welcome anyone to join in and comment about anything I may have written, posted or one of my Articles / Columns. This blog is dedicated to conservatism and freedom. I invite all conservatives to join in, I don’t mind non-conservatives joining in (after all the only way to change liberals and fence-sitters is to debate them and change their minds, some are just too hard headed to admit they are wrong) . All I expect is a respectful debate.

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Welcome to my blog, Solomon's Conservative Wisdom. The name of this blog comes from my middle name and the historical & biblical figure King Solomon. This group is dedicated to conservatism, and I invite all conservatives to join, I really don’t mind non-conservatives joining. All I expect is a respectful debate. So tell everyone you know.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Violence, Lies, & Video Games

I want to talk about something that irks me, the view that violence in video games is a problem, its not. Both the left and the right have gone after video games on violence, now I am sure that most have good intentions about this but we all know the saying about where good intentions lead. Now the common argument for banning or regulating games with violence originated with the Columbine High School Massacre and the game Doom, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were allegedly obsessed with it, also there are/were rumors that they had made a level mimicking the school layout, but there is no evidence of this. Starting with Doom, I had played it, more accurately its sequel Doom II, in the early 90s while I was in high school and I
was bullied also during that time period so much so that I eventually dropped out, and there were guns in my home that I could have easily used to strike back, but I didn’t, it was wrong even if they were tormenting me I would have been no better then them if I had done such a thing. Ironically I have played plenty of violent games from the RPGs like the Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior now know by its Japanese title Dragon Quest, Legend of Mana, the Legend of Zelda series of games where the player is fighting against monsters and evil humans, the action games like Mega Man series, games based on movies like Predator and Rambo, Contra, a NES game called Commando, & the Castlevania series, I could go on with more games at least a page or
two of games, but I think you get the point. A lot of kids played similar games and more but if you look at the symbols that they hold up as why violent games need to be banned or regulated they had their own problems and instead of finding help they chose to take a different corse.
Let me put things in an even better way of looking at it, with numbers. If you look at the estimated number of people who played Doom or Doom 2, at least 15 million people then look at the number of incidents that were in the media, only a had full that I know of, the argument falls flat on the evidence, 15 million verses less then ten. Also an additional point about the Doom series I want to make to some is, while the game has satanic imagery in it, the player is fighting against the forces of Hell, which if one thinks of it such imagery would be expected in such a
Ironically there is one violent game series that I don’t like, Grand Theft Auto, I don’t see the fun in playing a thug or glorifying thugs and criminals, I’ve heard all of the excuses used to defend the game and I don’t find them even remotely credible, but I don’t want to see it banned.
Now I want to go into two types of violent video games, first some of
the most violent games, which you have never heard of being linked to an incident, survival horror games, the two title series most well known are Resident Evil and Silent Hill each is quite violent and with plenty of gore to go around, Resident Evil is based in science fiction with a twist on the old zombie theme and Silent Hill takes the supernatural theme with the player dealing with the consequences of others messing in the occult, Silent Hill is the more gory game dealing with some of the darkest nature of evil. Now there are no incidents related to those games, and if
any game was to cause violence it would those games. And on the other hand are the series of games based on war such as the popular Metal of Honor and Call of Duty lines set during WWII or modern conflicts. There is one incident involving a Call of Duty game but it isn’t what you might expect. In October 2008, 15 year old Brandon Crisp from Ontario, Canada ran away from home on his mountain bike after his parents confiscated his Xbox 360 following an argument regarding the time he spent playing Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. His body, which had fallen
from a tree, was found on November 5, 2008 by some local hunters.
Now there have been plenty of incidents involving many other games computer based and video game that have been either blamed for the incident or claimed to have been the cause of the persons problems, but as I said earlier most of these individuals already had either a problem or an underlining problem that might have been brought out by something else. To finish this off I want to list some things to everyone first some fairytales with some violent scenes, Hansel & Gristle with the pushing of the witch in the oven, Little Red Riding Hood with the wolf eating Red and her grandmother and the hunter cutting the wolf open and saving the two, the more
resent classics of last two hundred years such as John Steinbeck's of mice and men, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Jules Verne's books, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, and many more authors who have violence through out their works. Many of us would fight tooth and nail if the same critics were wanting to ban or regulate these works. The difference between written, audio, and visual mediums are different but similar, while a written story may only be words our minds will create the images in our heads, the same is with audio only the words spoken and sound effects may be included, while visual is a combination of
all three only someone else interprets what the story on the screen will look like and who fills those roles. If violence could truly be caused by seeing it after World War II there should have been a run on violence, but their wasn’t. Most Vets of WWII didn't even talk to others in general about their war experences until documentaries.
Finally on the critics of violence in video and computer games, most of them I question their intentions while the politicians may have good intentions, I question the intentions of critics like Lt. Col. David Grossman, Jack Thompson, and Craig A. Anderson, when the science show’s otherwise, when a child is raised in a good home and with good morals the “killing” of creatures made up of pixels on a screen will not mean a thing. As former Surgeon General David Satcher said in 1999, "We clearly associate media violence to aggressive behavior. But the impact was
very small compared to other things. Some may not be happy with that, but that's where the science is.” There are many studies showing exactly that, such as a US Secret Service study found that only 12 percent of those involved in school shootings were attracted to violent video games, while 24 percent read violent books and 27 percent were attracted to violent films, and an Australian study found that only children already predisposed to violence were affected by violent games. While the studies on the other side try to prove their points with exaggerated definitions of violence like pushing, shoving, and raised voices as being caused by violent games. It is also worth noting that violent crime rates in the USA have declined dramatically since the early 1990s, among both juveniles and adults even as sales of violent video games exploded and such games became increasingly graphic over time.
In the end the best advice if you are a parent and your child wants a game no matter what the ESRB rating is look for independent reviews from others, parents and players, to decide whether a game is right for your child, you may even want to play it yourself before letting them play it. But in general if you have rased your children right they will be fine.

By Solomon the Wise.

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