Monday, June 20, 2005

Sex vs Gratuitous Violence

liver writes:

So last night one of our lovely below average current affairs items does another boring item on how video games are turning our children into serial killers. Now most people already know where they stand on this, I wasn't really paying any attention.

Until the mummy who let her 7 yr old play GTA came on. She didn't think there was anything wrong with this. Apparently she knows exactly what her darling child is thinking and he's a good boy! Yet she seemed quite indignant when the reporter asked her if she would ever let her child watch porn.

Which got me thinking. Would I prefer my child to watch close ups of peoples genitals, or pretend to blow peoples brains out?

It's kind of strange that there are people willing to let their children act out activities that they find completely abhorent in real life, yet they would completely lose it if they found them watching an activity that would be perfectly normal for them to partake in when they are older.

Personally I would confiscate any porn or violent games I found my child in possesion of, but I still find it unsettling that I would probably prefer it if they were pretending to be gun wielding LA gangsters.


RSJS said...

Porn turns kids into fuckers, whereas violent video games turns them into survivalists.

Apathy Jack said...

The latest research on this sort of carryon shows that violent video games stimulate the parts of the brain that you use during times of anger and fighting and kicking seals and the like.

This means that while, of course, video games don't make you into an axe murderer, they actually do desensitise you to violence, or , more accurately, thinking violent thoughts and rationalising a violent mindset.

That's why I'm a touch wary of kids with the violent video games.

That having been said, working on the same principle, kids with porn normalises all sorts of pregnancy-inducing thought patterns.

Of course, only one o mine that I kow of this year is pregnant, so who knows?

My head hurts and I've lost my point. Something about communism...

dreamer said...

the issue that I have is generally that people, such as the parents in question, will generally pick on a videogame/band/goth (*chuckle*) and blame little Johnny's violent and/or abnormal behaviour on it/them.

righto, so wait just a second. videogames like GTA, whilst I don't like and/or play them myself, do carry ratings on them. If you buy your 7 year old child this game, you've forfeited the ability to bitch about it, because you are a BAD PARENT.

Read the ratings. Stores don't sell these games to kids without an adult present - they get their arses kicked otherwise.

There was a Penny Arcade strip, the link to which I can't seem to find, which satirised this point rather delicately.
It went something along the lines of "Dear, have you got a sitter?" "Oh don't worry, I just bought johnny a playstation - we won't need to worry about him until he's in jail".

Personal Responsibility - it's a powerful thing, especially when you're a parent.

(disclaimer: yes these kids will probably end up at some other kid's house playing said game, but at least you can control your own household)

Psycho Milt said...

Now when I were a lad, we had to run around pretending to blow each others' brains out with machine guns and arguing about who was dead. This turned killing other people into a fun social activity, instead of the solitary vice it is today. Thus we see that things were much better in the good old days.

liver said...

Ooh, you lucky sod! Guns were banned from our house. If we made our own gun out of lego we got told off.

I find it funny what we desensitize ourselves to. I never thought I'd be having a conversation with my sister on how necrophilia didn't neccesarily make a movie bad.

dreamer said...

we made guns out of wood - cut shapes into it with the help of a dad or two. made swords and things too.

man, I remember the bruises so clearly!

hmm, I wonder if all that faux-swordplay is the reason my friend has a pair of sai, and I have a variety of chinese martial art weapons :P

Duncan Bayne said...

Do parents think that banning their children from playing with toy guns will somehow prevent them from being raped by crack-addled losers in the middle of the night?

Such people should really have a read of the article Women's Voice: The Day I Discovered That HCI Wants Me Dead:

I had the gun out and turned with it in both hands, trying to raise the gun as close to my line of sight as possible, like I'd been trained. I remember a freaky-calm corner of my brain chanting "frontsightfrontsightfron..." when my assailant almost ran onto the muzzle. I remember that I was taking up slack on the trigger, when he tried to backpedal at the sight of the gun and fell on his butt. I tried to tell him to hold it and wait for the police, but I couldn't get the words out. Incidentally, my roomie says that I was screaming louder than her; not words, just a shriek. Truthfully, I don't distinctly remember any sounds at all, except for him hitting the floor; I thought for an instant I'd shot him. He scrabbled backwards out the door and jumped back out of the building. I got to the outer door in time to see him turn the corner at the end of the driveway and run off. It was then that I noticed that a) I was in tears, and b) I had piddled myself.

liver said...

I'm sure that there are plenty of people who have saved themselves from many atrocities with the help of a firearm.

There are also many people who get shot with their own guns though.

I frequently thank God that I don't live in the US of A.