Malcolm Owen On April 2, 2001 at 4:19 pm

It seems every month some poorly treated student goes bezerk in a school in the US. He (Or She) will invariably be labled "An Unpopular Computer Loving Psychopath" and videogames will get yet another telling off for a crime that it did not commit. The police will find a copy of ‘Slash-em-Up 13: The Final Oblivion’ and submit it into evidence as an influence on the youth, and yet another game company will get sued. Shall we guide the ‘Censor everything’ bandwagon to a halt? Here’s a list of typical statements given by fake psychologists, the police, new mothers, governments and prudish types, and also what I have got to say for each one.

"The graphic violence onscreen makes Tommy angry!"
Does it? Some tests show that after playing games of a violent nature, which are quite agressive in nature, that the participant becomes more agressive too. It’s also been shown that this occurs whenever the subjects do ANYTHING agressive, so even a war film, boxing, or hell, even Snakes and Ladders, can make a tame mouse turn into a lion.

"The nature of the game, and the involvement of the player makes the player want to see more violence in real life if there is violence on screen!"
…Huh? You mean that after playing a game of Mario, jumping on mushrooms and turtles, smashing small brick walls along the way will make you want to destroy your local surroundings, stamping on your neighbour’s flowerbeds?
Most people, as children, are conditioned into working in ways that everyday culture demands, i.e. we hold back up to 90% of our natural strength and that hurting, killing or destroying things is not nice to do. If the person has not had a good childhood, or was not taught right from wrong (Jiminy Cricket, there’s a whole industry there for you!) at an early age, they may not be able to accept that they cannot do what they see onscreen. And then there are those with psychological problems to consider, since they could be influenced by violence too.
This is not to mention the other things in life that include violence, like movies, TV, phone calls and books, that could, in some way, influence a person anyway.
Doesn’t this say more for the state of mind of the subjects rather than the games themselves?

"Kids today see or learn something on screens and try them out themselves!"
Ahh, the classic case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. Most of this arguement can be seen above, but think about this:
My father is a keen fan of death. No, seriously! He finds out about horror, murder mysteries, medievil torture, war, and other ways of lowering the human population every day…as a hobby. As far as I know, he hasn’t killed me, nor killed anyone else. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. Wouldn’t you say all of this research may be an influence on him?

"Little Johnny can get hold of ‘Bloodlust 19: Death on a C String’ from the local videogames store!"
Now, here’s where you learn about a wonderful word ‘Censorship’. Most countries who have a gamer population make sure that only those of a certain age get to see or play games of a certain nature. I.e. if a game is too violent for a person under, say, 15, then in the UK, it would be rated 15, and would not be sold to anyone under that age. The only way (Apart from crooked shopkeepers, pirating or shoplifting) that little Johnny can get hold of a violent game is for someone to buy it for them. In this case, shoot the messenger, not the message writer.

"Help! My son’s played Leisure Suit Larry and he goes to stripjoints and seedy bars wearing badly fitting suits, while slurring various badly formed come-ons, to pick up chicks!"
Now you’re really taking the pi…(Censored)

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