Jack Thompson on Attack of the Show
Last night I was watching the now famous video game violence debate between Jack Thompson and Adam Sessler on Attack of the Show, and this got me thinking that I am so sick of hearing this constant debate on whether or not, video games are the cause of violence in youth.
So allow me as a gamer to spell things out for all you skeptics out there; video games are not the cause of violence in youth today. Violence has been a part of our history for centuries and video games have only been around for the last 30 or so years, so how can you say that video games are the cause of a young teenage guy beating someone to death, when Hitler was killing thousands of Jews during WWII and he didn’t have any video games to influence his act. Did Caligula play Postal and then slaughter people for fun because of it? No, the game didn’t exist; he did it because he was a madman. Violence is a fact of life and as much as I don’t like it, we can’t blame video games, movies, or rap music for all violence in the world.
I’ve been a gamer since I was little, and I’ve played everything from Duke Nukem to GTA 3: San Andreas, and yet I am the most non-violent person you will ever meet. Just because I play these games doesn’t mean I wanna bash someone’s head in or want to shoot someone. Honestly if someone does watch an episode of “The Sopranos” or play “Postal” and then go out and hurt someone because of it, well then they needed help long before they played the game. Violent people will sometimes take the violent things they see and want to reenact them, but you can’t blame the game for their violence, because they will always find something to inspire them in the long run. They can watch the news every night and witness a police shoot out, or watch a football game to see the players violently tackling each other. Aggressive images are everywhere and no matter how hard you try to remove anything bad that may influence your kids, there will always be something horrible for them to see at some point. The best possible plan as parents is to make sure your kids are exposed to the kinds of things you feel they can handle at that age, and to also make sure they understand what acceptable behavior in the real world is. Playing a violent fighting game is fine as long as your kids are old enough and smart enough to know that body slamming their friends will hurt them in the long run.
I say let the game developers make whatever games they want as long as they are rated appropriately for the right age groups, that stores are required to only sell the appropriate games to the appropriate age group and then after that its up to the parents to make sure these games don’t fall into the wrong hands. I am gamer and I never want to see a 10 year old playing a Grand Theft Auto game, but as an adult gamer I do want games for my level of maturity and its not fair that I should have to settle for only kid safe games, because someone expects the government to remove these games, so they don’t have to actual play parent and watch what their kids are playing. We live in a free country and if I want to play a game that allows me to screw a hooker and then beat her to death, well then that’s my choice to do so. Who are you to take that choice away from me?
Basically my point is this, violent video games, movies, music, etc. are a part of this culture and if you don’t want to play them or have your kids play them, then that’s your choice not to, but don’t expect everyone else to give up their opinions to play them too, just because you feel this way.