Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rant Alert: Violence & Video Games


For those of you who have read my blog in the early days, you will note the change that has occurred over time. Less ranting, longer reviews and (recently) less posting.

Every once in awhile a topic arises that gets me annoyed enough to write about. It is a sad day when the only time I feel like writing is when I am annoyed.

On my local news website today, two articles appeared in succession that, on the outside, bear no relation to each other.

The first is an article relating to the South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson and his opposition to the introduction of an adult classification rating for video games. You can read it here

I should point out that Mr Atkinson is a right wing labor minister who believes very much in Christian Values. Now I don't have a problem with him wanting to protect children from harmful material, be it pornography, violent video games or even violent TV and Movies, but I do have a problem when that protection also prevents me from accessing material that is, for all intent and purpose, made for me.

I am 28 years old, I do not have children, I am employed full time and have been ever since I left college and I am in a steady relationship that is coming up to its 3 year anniversary. Therefore I believe I am big enough and ugly enough and definitely responsible enough to decide for myself what I should and should not be able to see, read, play or do in the confines of my own home.

Why can't I play an R rated video game?

Apparently I need to protect the children I don't have from viewing violent content, and that means I have to give up my right to play what I want to play.

Correct me if I am wrong, but, children have parents, I thought the role of a parent was to protect their children from harm or foul and raise them to the best of their ability. At what point did this responsibilty get designated to a governing body of politicians? I would have thought that the governments only responsibility is to children whose parents fail in their task.

Am I wrong?

The second article related to a 13 year old boy who took a gun to school with the intent of a killing spree - you can read this article here.

I draw your attention to this line "The boy, said to be a video game enthusiast, had on Monday left a message on his blog stating that "this is the last day of my life''."

The only question I have is what does this sentence have to do with the story?

It would seem I need to post a rant about violence in movies and video games and their relation to violence in society et al, as it is something I do feel very strongly about. For the record, I do NOT think playing a violent video game makes you any more violent than you already would have been. If you want a great visual example for this argument, seek out Penn & Teller's: Bullshit. In their 7th season they did a show on Violent Video Games and this exact argument. You can see a clip below:



I have already posted my thoughts regarding violence and horror in movies, so I don't really want to go through all of that again, but you can read the original post here.

2 comments:

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Anamnesis said...

Those interested in this topic, might like to know that an R18 classification for games is going to be put to public debate by the Office of Film & Literature classification. You can read more information here: http://www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification