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Comic for: March 7th, 2005
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Gaming News: "Sonic made me do it!"
Posted: Monday March 7th, 2005 by

Given 60 Minutes' report on video game violence focussing specifically on Grand Theft Auto, [ more info ] and all the other "game induced violence" ignorance floating around out there right now, I figured you guys wouldn't mind me painting a slightly different face on the situation.

I'll tell you honestly, and I expect a good number of you might disagree, I don't believe that games with violent content cause anyone to commit violent acts. Ultimately it comes down to that persons own choices, their mental state, their morality, and their own weak will. If violent video games exerted such a powerful influence over us, there would be a lot more of us out there emulating the games we play.

The vast majority of us see video games, movies, etc as nothing more than entertainment. So nothing within the movie can drive us to act beyond what our intelligence and our sense of right and wrong tells us an "okay course of action".

Blaming video games for violent acts is, again in my opinion, nothing more than a ridiculous excuse. Unless the person is mentally unstable, they know damn well whether their action is acceptable or not. And, if they act on an inclination that they understand to be unacceptable, then it can't possibly be the fault of a video game. The fault lies in making the decision to act on a violent whim despite realizing that it's wrong.

Honestly, the absolute most you could accuse a video game of is stirring curiosity. Self control should be plenty to temper that unless, of course, the parent has done a piss-poor job of teaching the difference between right and wrong.

Which brings me to one key aspect of the whole argument that has, as of yet, been largely ignored. That aspect is that concern over being "Rated M" should not end at the time of purchase. If the game is rated for mature players, then it's the parents' responsibility to actually supervise game play AFTER the game comes home. Buying the game, ignorant of its content, and then not paying attention to the child while they actually play the game... should be just as much a crime as the store selling it to someone that's not old enough in the first place.

In my opinion the only time video games can rightly be accused of causing a violent act is when it's an accident. That is to say, if a person does not understand the consequences, that certain actions can result in pain, injury, and even death. Again, in those instances, I feel the parent is largely to blame for not properly supervising gameplay.

So yeah, the comic is an effort to shine a light on the silliness of the whole argument. So, I'll let you guys run with that.

Remember, neither side of the discussion is wrong. Be adult in your posts. Don't address anyone elses comments. And, let your arguments stand on their own feet. In other words, try to keep this one quote free.

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