Lawsuit Larry

I have noted that this blog is primarily a creative output for me. This includes random and not so random philosophical thought and such on random things or present day issues. This unfortunately means that on occaision posts in my blog will actually be serious.

At this point, there's probably nobody reading this blog, save myself, but for the sake of my sanity I must do the following.

Every avid video gamer out there is aware of the issue of violence and the possibility of a link to video games. I say possibility because the wrangling continues on whether such a link exists. In any case, if you weren't aware of this, play video games and hope to keep playing them (or if you're old enough, let your children play them) you should take a good look at what is going on in terms of this issue, regardless of what side you're on.

I personally do not see a strong connection between video games and violence, probably because both the most balanced and most unstable people I know play them in excess (including myself, you decide which category I fit into). This does not mean I believe in the nonexistance of such a link. I simply disagree that such a link is so strong that video games can be blamed solely for any violent act. In each case where violence occurred, parental negligence, mental instability and even other aspects of pop culture are factors as well. While video games are a factor they are by far not the sole one and thus each of these should be examined and rectified and equally blamed as opposed to the singling out of one.

Were I on the "other side" of this debate, I would certainly be discouraged to have a man such as this speaking for me. There is a rational thought process behind the idea that there is a link between video games and violence, but that man doesn't have it. A comparison set of answers from the creator of ctraltdel-online's Tim Buckley is also on the site. Later, vgcats' Scott will also have his answers posted at CBSNews.

Additionally, if there is a link, this isn't the way to solve our problems. If there is a link, the solution rests in the hands of parents and video game suppliers, not in the people who make them. Video game makers will not make video games that don't sell. Violent video games won't sell if parents who do not want their kids to have them do not buy them for them, and retailers do not sell such games to kids who do not fit the ESRB requirements. Footing the responsibility of a crime to a video game merely lets the criminal off the hook.

Unfortunately, I dislike Thomspon for the same reasons this guy does, as well as my noting that Thompson destroys the voice of what would otherwise be a rational challenge to my beliefs opn this issue through his sensationalism.

The media doesn't help much either. The man in charge of study of comparative media at MIT, Henry Jenkins, was ambushed on Phil Donahue's show. While this one case is honestly not representative of all of the media, I can't remember for the life of me a time a national news broadcast, a popular talk show or the like has ever painted video games in a good light. Non existant audience, disprove me if you will.

Regardly, such a treatment of the issue seems epidemic, if only because the diesease of such people like Thompson is. When people like Henry Jenkins sit down to have an intelligent discussion (Such as this three part interview by Penny Arcade) they should be joined in their efforts, not harassed because of their beliefs.

The following is either a brief or lengthy rant, be forewarned.

I feel very strongly when it comes to discussion and debate on any topic. What most irks me in any discussion is not someone who holds dogmatically to their beliefs. Quite simply, I'd hardly expect any debate or discussion to change another person's mind. Rather, I love debate and discussion because at the least it allows me to better understand my own position and to better express what I already believe that whoever it is I'm speaking to can understand where I am coming from. It is entirely possible to understand another person's beliefs and not agree with them.

Those people who irk me in discussion are those who see the issue or issues in black and white only, who do not look at or ignore all the of relevant data and facts they have heard, who do not look at the bigger picture but focus their opinion on one facet and hold to that as a drowning man does to timber. These are the people who kill debates, make mountains out of molehills, and create division where it needn't be.

This irking of mine is regardless of issue. I was irked in this way before the elections in november, in many of my class debates, and in this case as well. If we could get a group of people who are not irksome in this way from both sides of these issues to get together and discuss how each side could work towards their aim effectively a lot of media blasted issues would vanish.

To tie this into the issue previously discussed, it is quite likely that both sides want the same thing or close enough to it that they can each work towards their goal while helping the other. Parents who react strongly against the violence in video games may simply want to secure for their children an environment in which they can grow and flourish properly. Gamers want to play video games and keep them from being continually attacked for their violence and effects on people. Are these ways of thoughts completely incompatible?

As cited in one of the linked articles, eighty some odd percent of mature game purchases are made either by parents or by parents with their children. I believe that the best way to achieve the goals of both parents and gamers is summed up as follows: 1) Make parents better aware of the importance of not only ESRB ratings, but of movie ratings as well. 2) Give insentive to retailers to hold to the ESRB and reduce the ten to twentyish percent of mature game purchases without parents that occur (important to note, this doesn't mean that all of those purchases are by minors below ESRB ratings as a seventeen year old can always buy a mature game for themselves). 3) Generate media coverage that shows the entire set of factors and issues that can generate violence in our children.

I could go into a long explanation as to how each of these three points aids the other, but I think it should be self explanatory.

End of rant.

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