December 30, 2002

A Tremendous Response

We have received an overwhelming amount of letters about video game addiction and violence.

A large portion were argumentative rebuttals sent in by feral teenage gamers. However, we did receive many hopeful letters of encouragement and support from those parents who are dealing with their own video game addiction and violence in their families.

We plan to post their stories and more in our updated Articles section.


Comments

I have always found that violent video games discourage real world violence because you can release bottled up emotions into games where it is appropriate. also most games the player is the hero and fights evil.

Perhaps it is not the game's fault at making a child violent as it is the encouragement the child receives when they act violently. Granted violence is natural. Without violence the world would not know the taste of steak, burgers, or fried eggs. Nor would there be inventions such as the thrasher, or rototiller because these machines operate using the most simplistic and aggressive actions that are ironically violent in order to utilize time and energy. It may be confusing how frying an egg or digging up the ground can be deemed “violent,” but using MAVAV theories I will explain. Violence, as well as things like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Digging up the ground “violently” to grow/harvest produce as well as snatching an offspring (egg) from an expecting parent are things that are destructive. However, there are benefits to acting violently and being destructive. For one, nutrition is gained by killing and eating other species. There is no way to kill another living animal without using violence. Just as there is no humane way of killing (when you die, it has got to hurt unless the pain is greater than the individual's tolerance, then dieing probably doesn't hurt as much). Despite how much humanity wants to hide this fact, violence is in our genes.

According to certain members of MAVAV, one of the leading causes of violence in youths is due to video games. Did anyone take into consideration the violent nature of people? Instead of blaming violent video games on making youths aggressive, it may be more politically correct to think in terms that youths play violent video games to release there aggressions. It is as Eran Cantrell put it when he said that “video games are used as a form of escapism.” Any video game player that is mentally capable of joining the military will say that they do not get ready to join the Army by first playing “America's Army.” It is true that violent video games do enhance hand-to-eye coordination, but they do little to prepare an individual for real life. That is where the youth's guardians fill in. I am not saying “blame the parents” nor am I saying to “blame society.” However, I am saying “blame the individual” because they are the ones who are supposed to know right from wrong and should have respect for life and a fear of the repercussions if they do not follow the status quo. The ironic thing is that many violent video games are good at showing youths what happens if they deviate too much from the status quo.

I noticed that there was a comment that described most of the people who have replied as being “feral.” This is what I mean. Young people that range from pubescent adolescents to young adults do face problems with violence and an overall disconnected state of emotional affairs (see “emo”). These problems that the individual face are not only their own, but also (increasingly) the problems that society places on them. When they speak out and try to have someone listen to them, they are cut down. This snowballs into the individual(s) acting out in ways that are noticeable. The best way to be noticed is through violence. The violence that was committed by a youth gets the attention of groups like MAVAV and the cycle repeats. Logically, is it really the youth and the youth's guardian(s) that should have to deal with violence in video games. Organizations like MAVAV should only intervene if the guardian is at their rope's end, out of ideas, and in need of help. MAVAV should be staffed by advocates using professional advise in order to help individuals deal with wanting to act violently instead of being staffed by idealists that want to change everyone into thinking that there needs to be censorship with video game violence. Perhaps it is by listening to each other instead of presiding over each other that will attract the extreme lefts and rights of the issue toward the middle because for the people in the middle... everything I wrote is already common sense.

Ok I can see if you think teenagers do not know much about life but if you ever played a game almost all of them you are a hero. Gears of War, the Medal of Honors, Ghost Recon, I could go forever. Just because a few games have violence doesn't make them all evil.
I love the felling of saving the human race from destruction. How often do people do that in the real world! Video Games make me feel important and in a world which insults you for any imperfection, felling good is very important. So before you judge video games think about the people who can't make friends, You may not know what it is like to leave your only friends but it sucks.
So please STOP playing games is my only way out of this world, I want to still be a hero in my own world instead of an outcast in this one.

Firstly I have to say that I really like this site. People here really seem to care, regardless of the political measures. and I like it when people care.
But I feel a strong issue here which I will adress.
Many children are not socially inept because of video games. Many are outcast by society and take up gaming as a means of moderating life to be more bearable and enjoyable. Like many comments obove will clarify.

Now games do not, in most cases instigate viloence. If anything they an outlet to be rid of it. think of a punching bag. I know after a hard day's work at the office, I feel pretty good blowing up a few baddies. It gives me the feeling someone is paying up without me having to take it out on any REAL thing or any REAL one. And since psychologists recommend taking out SOME of our frustrations on beating the pillow, a harmless means of venting, it can be healthy if anything.
Now as I have stated on many accounts, games are no different than books. They are delved into for hours on end, a method of escape for some via fantasy, etc.

Life is an ubundance of experiances and to not understand reading, sports, dancing or games, leaves little room to criticise. I know people that protest sports for being violent, protest dancing for it being provacative, games for being addicting. In SOME cases these are true, but not in most. If someone has fallen to gaming due to a poor social life and it's someone you care about, then pull them out. Real life is still far better and more enjoyable than any game I know. With a little time, effort and resources you can wow the socks off anyone with life's REAL goodies. If a child likes shooting in a game, take them to the range, teach them about weapons, safety, the importance of awareness, everything they need to know. and they will LOVe pulling that trigger a lot more than in the game. If someone plays games for a social life and you feel they need a more real social life, find out what portion of social life they are attracted to and throw them a line, attach a pretty lure and reel in. It works, it really does. So if you're really worried and care about someone you think has a gaming problem, you don't even have to tell them no. Some people don't like no and don't take it very well. So be a little manipulative. Not to insert anything too religious here, I know that can be controversial, but a good point. Jesus used parables to teach people that would otherwise not listen to his teachings. A good point.
If someone likes the water from a game, offer them water that's better in life.

If you know their interests and you have any sense of adventure of your own, you can find all sorts of ways of convincing your children and friends to go do better things, all the while with them even thinking it was their idea. Now how grand is that?
And a really huge point to make here. No I'm not a teenager, haven't been in years. However, do not ignore them or their opinions. Do this and you have practially condemned your efforts to failure. Listen to them, guide them and inform them. And make sure to offer them plenty of variables to life. teach them early and ivolve them in a variety of activities. Like me I was enrolled in sports, scholastic programs, dancing, lots of writing, hiking, biking, swimming, reading, traveling the world, and playing video games never seemed to be a problem. Now the content of some games is definitely questionable. But come on, when you start attacking pokemon you're going a TAD bit far... really you are.

At that point you might as well ban elmo, all of sesame street, and anything else out there and the point is nothing is absolute.
games are not bad.
People can be bad though.
So do not blame game.
Adress any problems.
If problems persist... seek help.
this applies to anything... not just games.

"Feral Teenage Gamers"
Ok, let me just laugh out loud here.

...

Ok done.
I just wonder. If you had your own children write a letter all by themselves, to someone who is tryingto prohibit their favorite past-time, what would they write?

Obviously, the situation is hard to simulate, but i don't think the results would be too different.

And to write all of us off like that, is kinda cheap and very ignorant.
I'm gonna go physically abuse someone, because according to you, i'm an agressive and voilent lunatic.

Hope you have a good day

I've been doing research for a college presentation on persuasive speech (against videogame violence in particular), and honestly, I am shocked at the images, ideas, comments, and messages that groups like MAVAV and individuals like Jack Thomspon have about videogames and gamers.
Actually, I shouldn't lump him in with your group. He's a bit of an oddball case.

The stereotyping (such as gamers are lonely losers that are prone to violence) is laughably ridiculous and the insults (such as teenage gamers are stupid and "feral") simply blood-boiling.

I really hope that one day people like you will see the truth that violence in videogames are no worse than that in movies and television. In fact, if you really think about it, every household in America has several TV sets, and almost everyone watches a large amount of TV and/or goes to the theatres.
Personally, most of the people I know watch TV or go to the movies, and only a few play games.

Also, to throw gaming into the mix with alcohol and drug abuse is crazy. Alcohol and drug abuse are very prevalent, serious crimes that touch virtually every family in the world. Videogame addiction is nothing in the face of those addictions.

I hope that my message is taken seriously by someone out there reading this. I am neither "feral" nor a teenager. I'm just a hard-working university student saddened by people's false ideas of others.

Hello. I'm not really sure it's necessary to respond here, seeing as the only people who leave comments are those more or less aligned with my viewpoint, but what the heck.

First, for a site so concerned about we gamers' miserable outcast status, you sure don't seem to be very sensitive. Apparently teenage gamers are "feral" (I've buzzed through several of the comments sections and have seen a small minority that were less than civil, they just happen to disagree with you), as well as unstable and several other tactful adjectives.

But generalizing is apparently this site's specialty. There's apparently NO exceptions to any of these horrifying "facts" about gaming and the stereotyped players. Even kid-friendly folks like Mario and Sonic are guilty of being too recognizable and easily hooking kids (just like that dastardly Mickey Mouse and insidious Muppet clan?).

Do you really believe this? With kids and fiction, there are so many exceptions that there isn't really a rule. Some kids can watch Jurassic Park at 5 and it doesn't bother them. They have simply learned to distinguish reality from fantasy sooner than their peers.

Now, I'm not encouraging showing Jurassic Park to kindergarteners. There's no need to "rush" kids into distinguishing movies from reality, and there's no real reason that they should be seeing it. My point is, each kid is different, and parents should be able to know what their kid(s) can and can't take.

Now, since I disagree with your position and I've employed some mild sarcasm, I'm guessing I'll be lumped into the "feral teenage gamer" crowd. I'd really like to get a legitimate response from someone who actually supports this site, though. Wanting to protect kids is never a bad thing, I just think you have an extremely narrow view of the subject you're condemning. A little dialogue with some gamers could benefit everyone.

P.S, when are you getting the old articles back online? "E3: Evil Entertainment Expo" just cracked me up, and I've been dying to read more than the title.


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