This Week In Stupid: Nader And The Prince

By John Walker on January 23rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

EVIL HAND!

At a point where the Obama administration has called for independent research into the relationship between violent games and real-world violence, you’d think it would be a perfect time for everyone to keep their gobs shut until some more data is revealed. Or at least to take notice of the data currently available. But of course not. Which is why this week we’ve seen a former presidential candidate declare equivalence between gaming and child molestation, and the Taliban enter a stupid-off with Prince Harry.

People’s opinion of Ralph Nader tends to be mostly driven by their opinions of the Republican and Democrats at any point in time. But the third-wheel presidential candidate is playing fast and loose with any reputation he may have had with a statement that’s as offensive as it is egregiously ignorant. The 78 year old activist has declared that videogames are “electronic child molesters”. Because that’s a balanced and reasonable remark.

“We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment],” Nader told Politico. “Television program violence? Unbelievable. Video game violence? Unprecedented. I’m not saying he wants to censor this, I think he should sensitize people that they should protect their children family by family from these kinds of electronic child molesters.”

Throwing out the words “child molesters” is certainly a great way of getting attention, and sure, it’s worked. But it’s also a way of declaring yourself stupidly insensitive. Nader either has no idea of the genuine horror of child abuse, or he’s cruel enough to want to misuse it to win an argument. Either way, it’s not an impressive showing.

Which makes the other half of the madness in the press this last 24 hours even more weird to hear. According to a report by Al Jazeera, the Taliban have released a statement aggravated by the ignorance of Prince Harry’s quoted claims that war is comparable to playing videogames. The quote attributed to Britain’s favourite Nazi nudist says that flying an Apache helicopter is…

“a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful”.

Putting aside the slightly unnerving suggestion that being involved in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan is “a joy”, um, what? Of course the Taliban, in a situation where they could have taken the upper hand, have reached into their own pot of dumb.

“Probably developed a mental problem,” Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera. “There are 49 countries with their powerful military failing in the fight against the mujahideen, and now this prince comes and compares this war with his games, PlayStation or whatever he calls it.”

So yes, this is clearly propaganda for the terrorists. Let’s not lose sight of that. But still. He goes on, “This is a serious war, a historic war, resistance for us, for our people… But we don’t take his comments very seriously, as we have all seen and heard that many foreign soldiers, occupiers who come to Afghanistan, develop some kind of mental problems on their way out.”

The tragedy is, fighting in Afghanistan is indeed traumatising many soldiers. And it’s gross to see the Taliban seemingly mocking this. But what a day it is when you find yourself trying to work out who’s speaking more sense on the subject.

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241 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    *grabs popcorn*

    • baby snot says:

      The second last post on your site says the alien box for ufo:enemy unknown rarely makes an appearance on ebay. I just found one at an op-shop. Worth putting on ebay then?

      • Premium User Badge

        c-Row says:

        Not exactly the place where I would have expected this question, but yes, if it’s in good shape you should give it a go, depending on how much the shop sells it of course.

        • baby snot says:

          Well I figured something to talk about while the show unfolds. Really didn’t expect a royalist to show up. But yeah, the box was a dollar I think. Has all it’s contents. Just sitting in a draw here now. Not sure what to do with it. OMG Nader! Watch out! EVIL HAND!

          • Premium User Badge

            c-Row says:

            A single dollar?! That’s a bargain if I’ve ever seen one. Just keep it out of Nader’s hand.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Sure, fuck anyone who might’ve actually picked it up and played the thing, you should flip it to some doofus on eBay who will put it in a display case and never even open it.

  2. Zanchito says:

    Holy crap, am I agreeing with some taliban about *anything at all*?

    • LionsPhil says:

      They probably think it’s a good idea to breathe air, too.

    • sdancer says:

      If you were a CIA-founded operation, you’d have fun at the Brits’ expense as well.

      • baby snot says:

        I think it’s been a while since they were on the paybooks of any branch of the US government.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Can anyone please explain, how exactly is Taliban terrorists?

      I thought they are islamic fundamentalists fighting the US invasion…

      • InternetBatman says:

        The Taliban were allegedly providing a safe haven / recruiting ground for Al Qaeda and there was some collusion between the two groups.

      • Molotova says:

        “We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment],” Ever heard of the Gladiatorial games in ancient Rome ? 8000 death/year for entertainment, I would call that the peak.

        Especially since if the numbers are made relative to the total population, it would be equivalent to 800.000 death/year. Now thats a fucking peak.

        History of the world started in 1789, eh Ralph ?

      • aldo_14 says:

        Because they’ve committed terrorist acts; such as killing teachers for educating women (or shooting a 14 year old girl campaigning for the same thing), (deliberately) bombing civillian targets, or beheading people for dancing to music at a party. Even in government they were terrorists (specifically, using tactics of terror to spread their particular fundementalist ideology – or at least obedience to it).

        Whether you view the situation in Afghanistan as a US invasion, or a multinational liberation backing the Northern Alliance, or something more messy in-between, it’s pretty definitive that the Taliban were and continue to be Very Bad People by all accepted standards of human rights.

        • Arglebargle says:

          Of course, our ‘allies’ in the Northern Alliance processed the great majority of the world’s heroin. But you won’t usually see that in any screed against Taliban opium growing….

          • Universal Quitter says:

            I hardly see how that makes the Taliban not a terrorist organization, as much as i hate using such poorly defines terms, specifically designed to dehumanize enemy combatants.

            Please, i get enough of this in the States. “Bush doesn’t like black people!” “Clinton let Osama go!” “Obama really hasn’t done anything in the past four years!”

            Can’t we just kind of agree that everyone’s sort of a dickhead, and just go after murderers and rapists?

        • scatterbrainless says:

          True, they are of the Very Bad People party, but that’s still an over-extension of the use of the word terrorist. The Taliban had an official, governmental presence and their “terrorist” acts were actually sovereign acts enforcing laws that they had laid down in legislation (really, really awful legislation, but still). I just think the difference between “terrorist” and “oppressive sovereign power that we really, really dislike” needs to be emphasized.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Exactly. The Taliban are despicable and do not deserve the honor associated with the mujahideen. The infamous mujahideen who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan did not target civilians and children.

      • ucfalumknight says:

        Well, if you consider others like Stalin in Russia, The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the VRS in Bosnia terrorists for unspeakable acts against their own citizens, then yes, the Taliban is a terrorist organization.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        They’re both.

        The word terrorism has been misused quite a bit (Assad calling the Syrian opposition terrorists for example), but the Taliban use terror tactics in an asymmetrical conflict. Pretty clear in this case.

      • Arona Daal says:

        If you assume that:

        Reign of Terror = Terrorists

      • sybrid says:

        Context helps. They’re fighting off the US invasion so that they can go back to forcing everyone to live in a socially regressive brutal dictatorship. They’ve attacked little girls for the audacity of trying to get a basic education, throwing acid in their eyes or shooting them. That’s literally terrorism, “the systematic use of terror, often violent, especially as a means of coercion.”

        I’m not saying the US’s behavior in Afghanistan has been above reproach, but that hardly makes the Taliban ‘good people’ or ‘not terrorists’. They are literally terrorizing the girls in their country to try and scare them off from getting any kind of an education so that said girls can be treated as little better than breeder livestock.

      • Hazz-JB says:

        Does shooting a 14 year old girl in the head for promoting education for females count as terrorism? People tend to forget that the greatest victims of Islamic fundamentalism are other muslims.

        • Premium User Badge

          FriendlyFire says:

          That’s true of every fundamentalist core. Fundies in general are xenophobic, but they don’t have an issue with messing up their own turf if they think it’ll give them an edge.

          Just look at all the horrors done in the name of Christianity.

          • ThirteenthLetter says:

            How is Christianity relevant? Why are you so eager to change the subject?

          • The Magic says:

            @Thirteenth letter
            wut? he/she was just talking about extremism of any form. christian extremists were one example. other examples could be made. hindus, sikhs, shintoists, and athiests have all had their share of people with extreme views

          • Cloudiest Nights says:

            Christian. Muslim. Christians acting wrong during the Crusades. Muslims acting wrong in the 21st century.

          • Premium User Badge

            Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

            @ThirteenthLetter
            What, we’re only supposed to mention “the bad religions”? (now there’s a name for a cover band!)

            @Cloudiest Nights
            I’d say Christians are still doing wrong. Just look at the Bible Belt and their stance on education and safe sex or the gay rights issues.

          • Felixader says:

            There IS a Band with the name Bad religion:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Religion

      • shagohad says:

        The Taliban could probably called terrorists, I think the invasion of Afghanistan was also an act of state terror. Murdering people with helicopters and Predator drones is terrorism

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Thank you for responses.

        By no means am I trying to defend any fundamentalist regime, however by that broad definition outlined in majority of comments – we could classify “war on terror” an act of terror, and label most participants as terrorists.

        Which we won’t, because drone operators are good people fighting terrorists.
        I’d pick US over middle east any day, but I do sense hypocrisy here.

        BTW: this over 12 years long war on terror was 1) based on false pretenses and 2) has planted seeds of hatred between middle east and US for centuries to come and 3) created the greatest debt burden over the “free world” citizenry ever in the history of mankind.
        What a shame.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I think they are getting pretty media savvy. Makes me wonder where they get their news from though.

      The idea of a closeted Taliban Royalist makes me giggle a little.

  3. philbot says:

    It’s almost as bad as politicians making decisions on climate change policy without a proper scientific backing. Prince Harry is just a bit silly for saying that. Someone remind me how these people come to power again?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      My understanding is that the general public come together once every few years and decide to vote for the person with the best hairdo.

    • Premium User Badge

      elderman says:

      Politicians can’t be experts in a fraction of the topics on which they’re obliged to make decisions. I’ve heard/read this thought before, that leaders have to know whereof they speak before making policy. That’s not possible. Not an idea directly connected with the article, just thought I’d point that out. They’re experts in politics and often one other field. Nobody’s an expert on everything.

      • Archonsod says:

        That’s why we have a Civil Service and the House of Lords. Although when it comes to the Royal family it’s something of a moot point, since their job tends to involve mainly opening new buildings and being nice to foreign dignitaries*.

        * Unless you’re Prince Phillip

        • Premium User Badge

          elderman says:

          Ok, sure. Ex post facto I guess that’s as good an explanation as anything else for why the House of Lords still exists.

          Sorry, I really should resist going so off topic. Maybe next time I’ll be able to control myself.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Ignorance is fine. Everyone is ignorant about almost everything. There’s far too much to know these days for even the most studious polymath to master it all.

        Acting on ignorance is not fine. Know what you’re ignorant of, and either educate yourself or delegate as appropriate.

        (Which is probably what Obama was trying to do with a call for research—as much as a study of existing literature to produce an overview of the state of the field would count.)

        • Premium User Badge

          elderman says:

          So how much knowledge do you need to be safe making a decision? And how do you know when you’ve cleared the bar? That’s a rhetorical question to which you may have a real answer.

          In principle, sure, decision makers should get informed first. In practice, most don’t have the time or resources, let alone the mental capacity or desire. It’s hard enough to figure out the cheapest plane flight London to Honolulu and to know what sources to trust. The decisions don’t get any clearer when you’re considering legislation that will affect millions of people. Leaders end up having to guess a lot and resign themselves to the fact that they’ll be screwing up on a daily basis. And of course most of their energies go toward administration or politicking, not research on two hundred different topics.

          And I hope you’re right about the president’s intentions.

          My better angels just aren’t getting heard today. It’s a compulsion, I can’t stop myself from posting!

          • LionsPhil says:

            Well, heck, that’s a judgement call. And we kind of select politicians (in theory; beautiful, beautiful theory, all the way over there in those clouds) for making those well, or at least in a way consistent with our own beliefs and opinions.

            Jerking your knee at whatever’s hitting headlines to look effective and decisive, however, usually isn’t clearing the bar.

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            A judgment call, absolutely. And to complete the thought and even tie it back to the topic of the article (sort of?), given the problems facing nation X, I’d hope my duly elected national representatives would set the bar fairly low for informing themselves about video games* and spend their time on more important things.

            * At least in a professional capacity.

          • LionsPhil says:

            By field is probably the wrong way to look at this. By magnitude of impact of decision would seem better.

            If you’re proposing effort on educating (or scaremongering) the nation about some risk, check the risk is real first. Again, this is what delegation is for. (But the level of “sure” to be is lower than if you’re proposing censoring, regulating, banning, or such.)

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            Good point, and I’m probably setting up a false dichotomy. The hour spent discussing video game violence wasn’t taken out of the US president’s national security briefing. And everyone’s larger point is good: if the US is going to make policy related to computer games and violence, it should be informed by good research.

            I guess based on my reading, I think you can eye-ball the magnitude of any possible effects of violent games on American children and dismiss national policy change out of hand.

            But then, no one’s elected me to anything.

      • Lone Gunman says:

        But they have advisers who do know.

        • Premium User Badge

          elderman says:

          It’s turtles all the way down. The trail of expertise usually leads to a policy memo written by an underpaid twenty-something right out of university because they’re the one who has time to do the reading. Of course, it’s true that they may think they know everything.

          Or else it leads to a lobbyist or advocacy group. This is one reason why lobbyists wield such influence: because they offer certainty to overwhelmed, under-prepared policy makers.

    • Kollega says:

      I don’t want to knock the British by saying this (well, not this time), but Pince Harry came to power pretty much automatically, if i understand this whole “royalty” thing properly.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        You don’t understand it. Prince Harry has not “come to power” in any sense at all. He has however come to an unwanted position of celebrity automatically.

        • LionsPhil says:

          The royal family: Britain’s most popular reality TV series.

        • Ross Angus says:

          I think it’s reasonable to describe what the Royal family has as “power”. They might not have direct political power, but what they say is widely reported upon.

          • LionsPhil says:

            “Influence”?

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            You could say the same about Katie Price.

            Edit: For clarification Ross, I largely agree with your point if made about certain specific royals, but I don’t think it really applies to anything Harry says any more than it does to any other random celebrity that our media (and its consumers) obsess over.

          • solidsquid says:

            Prince Charles is a good example of this, he does a *lot* of lobbying with ministers who know he’s going to be king at some point (if the queen doesn’t outlive him)

            @Llewyn Katie Price doesn’t have regular private meetings with government ministers to discuss matters of state to “prepare” her for ruling

          • iucounu says:

            It turns out that the Queen and that doofus Prince Charles do a surprising amount of meddling in government policy, though the exact details of that are apparently not for us plebs to know about.

          • aldo_14 says:

            The Queen (and other royals) has power of veto (and has excercised it in the past to block a private members bill); one of the fundamental issues with the monarchy is not only that they have a massive amount of legal power to influence and/or block legislation, but that whenever they do it is kept secret (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jan/14/secret-papers-royals-veto-bills).

            The more fundamental issue, methinks, is that the Monarchy hold their position not by ability or qualification, but by the notion of devine right – that God has dictated they are superior to the public and the publics elected representatives. Now, MPs may be by and large complete idiotic morons, but at least they don’t have a legacy of historical inbreeding and complete untouchability.

          • Milky1985 says:

            The private members bill that was blocked from my understanding was the meddling of a anti war MP during the conflict trying to do something that was absolutely pointless as he was essentially trying to get power they already had, to try to reverse something that they had already voted on.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            @solidsquid: And neither does Harry.

          • Ovno says:

            Sorry but the British Royal Family do not rule by Divine Right, they rule because they won the power struggles to see who rules.

            Have you not heard of the War of the Roses or any of the other various power struggles we’ve had here?

            They also still rule because the various attempts by the people to overthrow have either

            a) failed

            b) succeeded but the new non royal ruler was much worse (Cromwell) so we got the old kings son back

            Or

            c) they were clever enough to concede to demands of the people and sign all their real power away in return for not being beheaded.

          • Brun says:

            It was my understanding (albeit as a dastardly rebel Yank) that the Royal Family does not actually have real political power, serving instead as figureheads. They retain this position as the result of a rather convoluted series of events in which they became one of the few Royal families in Europe not to be sent to the guillotine during the revolutions that swept the continent in the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s. Their opinions are widely respected, but that is more of a sociological construction rather than a political one.

          • aldo_14 says:

            @Milky1985

            Does it matter what the bill was on (although it’s rather interesting to note that its purpose was to place the ultimate control of military action with Parliament rather than the monarch)? The point is that it was blocked by the Queen from even being debated.

            @ Ovno

            It’s essentially by divine right. Or, to be precise, they rule because of some unspoken commitment that they deserve to, that they are somehow better than the plebs that form the electorate and parliamentary MPs. In the lack of any action beyond inbreeding and the occasional early death over the last few centuries, what other justification can they really fall back on?

          • Ovno says:

            @aldo re:@milky

            And thank god it was, one of the best things IMO about the British constitutional monarchy is that it shields the people from the worst excesses & insanities of its elected officials, though it is possible for parliament to push things through to do so would require a massive political will with consensus from both sides of the house and even then if the queen disagreed that much she could refuse to reinstate parliament after recess and demand that a new government be formed.

            And if it went even further the military swear allegiance to her not to the government.

            Its all checks and balances keeping our government in line and preventing the pace of political change in Britain changing things before the populace has had a chance to change their minds (which we do often)

            Also to quote a later comment

            ‘instead, the Queen just glares at you if you do anything unbecoming.’

            How can a system where this is true be anything but good?

          • Archonsod says:

            “It was my understanding (albeit as a dastardly rebel Yank) that the Royal Family does not actually have real political power, serving instead as figureheads. ”

            Nope. Any bill passed by parliament has to receive royal assent in order to become law. It’s one of our little quirks in that the Queen has supreme political power providing she promises never to actually use it (although to be fair, if she started sending the bills back to parliament with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors underlined in red and a note to do better she’d probably get away with it).

            The British political system becomes a lot easier to understand once you realise that rather than lofty goals of fairness, freedom or the like, the main idea behind parliament was to have somewhere we could put the less useful members of the upper classes where they wouldn’t cause too much trouble. Parliament in essence is a kind of psychiatric institution for the attention seekers of society, supervised by a civil service whose main job is to ensure everything keeps ticking over nicely.

        • Lone Gunman says:

          The royal family owns a lot of land and pay no taxes. A lot could be done to make the situation fairer.

          They are not just tourist attractions and I would be up for shrinking them. Although the monarch would help protect Britain from being swallowed up by the EU, which is not very democratic and visibly determines what laws we can make.

          • Ovno says:

            Wrong they pay ordinary taxes as agreed between them and them and the state in the 1993 ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Royal Taxation’

        • Jim Dandy says:

          The Queen is Australia’s head of state. In 1975 her representative in Australia, the then Governor General John Kerr (the cur) colluded with the conservative opposition of the time to remove a popularly mandated Labor Prime Minister from power. With a stroke of Kerr’s pen (a very special pen imbued with the throbbing potency of the British monarchy) a democratically elected Prime Minister was removed from office.

          Subsequent Governors General have kept themselves nice – fattening their purses with taxpayers’ dollars, attending garden parties and cutting ribbons, but that executive power derived from the monarchy remains unchallenged. It’s more than a purely symbolic position, methinks.

          • Archonsod says:

            Providing you redefine “popular mandate” to include “barely scraping a majority in the lower house, zero control of the upper house and yet refusing to either call another election or cut a deal for coalition rule, resulting in several years of a lame duck government and the entire political establishment of Australia calling for your resignation”, yes.

          • Jim Dandy says:

            Ouch. Sounds like you think the whole sordid affair was perfectly reasonable, to which I’ll reply that a small mandate is still a mandate. Just ask Ronnie Corbett…

            Look at the current state of the US parliament. The GOP holds congress and the Democrats hold the senate. The GOP could cause huge amounts of damage to the Obama administration by taking action analagous to that of the Liberal Party in 1975 – they could essentially ‘block supply’ by, for example, refusing to allow the debt ceiling to be raised and consequentially ‘crippling the duck*’. The difference is that in Australia a non-elected authority was empowered to dissolve parliament in this kind of situation – a fact of which Fraser and his goons were well aware. The blocking of supply was a deliberate tactic, with a premeditated outcome.

            *Sounds like some kind of euphemism…

          • Jim Dandy says:

            Let me put this another way, Archonsod. If in 1975 parliament had voted for double dissolution and put the question to the Australian people we would, very likely, have seen the same outcome: the Whitlam government would not have been re-elected. The wave of euphoric optimism that saw a left-wing government elected for the first time in 23 years had well and truly receded, leaving a beach strewn with dead crabs and stinky seaweed. That is not the point. It is very far indeed from the point. The point is that the parliament did not vote for dissolution. It was a unilateral decision enacted by an unelected representative of HM the Q.

      • One Pigeon says:

        Don’t worry, you’re not knocking anyone as Prince Harry has no power aside from that of being monied and a helicopter gunner.

        • Guvornator says:

          So…guns and money = not a lot of power? I have my doubts…

          • One Pigeon says:

            True. Although monied with weapons describes a fair amount of the officer classs in the British Armed forces.

      • ucfalumknight says:

        Just as the Kardashians have come into power here in the states. Them or (God help us) Honey Boo Boo.

    • Kaira- says:

      Someone pulled the sword out of stone and something like that.

    • Cyberpope says:

      well, when a mummy monarch and a daddy monarch love each other very much they meet in a BIIIIG castle and they do a special hug. And 9 months later another tourist attraction is born

    • DXN says:

      re: Prince Harry:

      Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid miscreant
      Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin’s gore,
      And thus for wider carnage taught to pant,
      Transferred to gorge upon a sister shore
      The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want,
      With just enough of talent, and no more,
      To lengthen fetters by another fixed,
      And offer poison long already mixed.
      — Lord Byron

      He’s like a muscular but coddled dog, eager to kill, to prance and play and bark idiocy with no real understanding of what the fuck is going on around him.

  4. Matt-R says:

    Not sure saying Harry is a Nazi (since fancy dress doesn’t turn me into pyramid head) is particularly bright either…

    • Delusibeta says:

      Didn’t the US Supreme Court explicitly declare that unconstitutional a year or so ago?

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Thing is, the EU has had legally-required game ratings for ages, and no-one has a problem with this. I think someone said the problem in the US, though, is that Walmart is a big outlet for physical copies of games, and it won’t stock adult-only games, hence companies trying to avoid being hit by this. Also I guess the UK doesn’t have a single, formal constitution to protect like the US – instead, the Queen just glares at you if you do anything unbecoming.

      • Delusibeta says:

        Yeah, the big concern for the US was Walmart & co deciding to drop video games wholesale instead of getting some folk over from ASDA to teach them how to enforce age ratings. Still, as I mentioned this proposal has a Supreme Court ruling going against it and I doubt it’ll get any serious traction as a result.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          Referring to the linked article, it’s funny how you never hear people refer to “the good old days” as being times of high taxation and much higher pay relative to GDP. You can’t really have a stable society of middle-class surburb-dwellers when the economic climate of maximised profits and shareholder rights is creating a growing underclass, and the media ensures that a large fraction of the poor refuse to vote for effective wealth redistribution. But then this is a woolly liberal European talking. Join us. We have shiny tram systems*.

          *Hello, Edinburgh.

  5. Ravenholme says:

    Oh man, monumental dumb all round >.<

  6. Premium User Badge

    Morlock says:

    Well, this is a political post, so let me be political for a second.

    I do think that some aspects of warfare come close to computer games in terms of operating equipment. The computerised parts of it certainly do, and war is becoming more and more computerised.

    Also, the word “Taliban” has taken on a really broad meaning. We quickly label any resistance against the military operations “Taliban” or “Al Quaida” (the latter is currently happening in Mali). So “Taliban” does not automatically mean “religious extremist” at all. Any “spokesman” can just be someone opposed to the occupation. The name mentioned? Zabiullah Mujahid is likely to be many people. It’s that crazy.

    • baby snot says:

      Zabiullah Mujahid… Interesting

    • Zanchito says:

      I don’t think you’re being political, you’re just making sense. I’m waiting for the follow-up investigation on games creating misogyny.

    • Archonsod says:

      Indeed, and Cpt Wales was a gunner in an Apache, so I can see where he’s coming from (although I can’t think of any helicopter sims available on the consoles).

      Mind you, since he’s royalty he probably had someone else to do anything that might have been required, and since he was a gunner rather than a pilot the experience would have been on rails too, so a lot like Call of Duty when you think about it …

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      FhnuZoag says:

      I don’t think Taliban and Al Qaeda is so much a thing, as they are brands. People declare themselves to be Taliban, or Al Qaeda, to declare their particular allegiances.

      • solidsquid says:

        There were at least 2 organised Al Quaeda after the Iraq invasion, one which was the original Afghanistan one and Al Quaeda in Iraq. There wasn’t a direct tie between the two and the latter was formed after Saddam was deposed (dictator doesn’t get on well with group which thinks god should rule). Since then you’re probably right that it’s become a “brand” of sorts, although the original groups are still around

    • sinister agent says:

      “Al Qaeda” is basically shorthand for “bypass rational thought now, for we have invoked the ULTIMATE EVIL”.

      • Premium User Badge

        Morlock says:

        This is exactly what is so harmful about that label, because it is applied to others to justify military force against them.

        Yes, it is likely that some rebels in Mali should be labeled Al Quaida. But if you have to use pne label, it should be “Tuareg rebellion”. Of course in that case it is harder to convince your population that you have to bomb these guys.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          Except that the Tuareg MNLA have been ousted by the Islamist group Ansar Dine (and MOJWA), which is believed to be linked to AQIM, though this link is disputed. So the intervention is being fought mainly against Islamist militants. In fact, the MNLA have claimed that they are willing to help the French and Malian government fight the Islamists, provided that the government respect their autonomy.

  7. distrocto says:

    > Throwing out the words “child molesters” is certainly a great way of getting attention, and sure, it’s worked.
    Kinda similar to throwing around words like “misogynistic” every other week then?

    • baby snot says:

      Eight posts in and we have a winner!

    • Yehat says:

      The difference is that games aren’t child molesters but they *are* often misogynistic.

      • distrocto says:

        No they’re not, you should look up words before you use them.
        And games/magazines/movies/general entertainment with sexy women in them will make you hate women about as much as violent videogames will make you embark on killing sprees.
        But obviously the moral crusades and casual hyperbole of a few politicians against violence in games is bad while the other thing is a proper righteous cause that everyone should support cuz gaming journalism tells us to.

        • mondomau says:

          While I don’t think that the comparison to John’s writing is either apt or especially relevant here, Distrocto does have a point in this reply – for every genuine bit of genuine misogyny that rears it’s ugly head, there are multiple issues that boil down to ignorance, sexism and general immaturity that get slapped with the same word.

          In many fields (including Games Journalism), it gets bandied about far too often and too readily by people who either a.) don’t really understand the word or b.) understand it perfectly but are interested in pushing buttons rather than having a reasonable debate.

        • Yehat says:

          *sigh* Not this again.

          Which one is more likely, that you go on a shooting spree because you played an FPS or that you become more likely to treat women/foreigners/gays/whatever with disrespect because all of your favourite media keep reinforcing the belief that those groups are somehow less capable or deserving of respect than white straight males?

          edit: Also: “That’s not misogynism, that’s sexism! You used the wrong word and that means I must be right! End of discussion! Continue business as usual!”

          • mondomau says:

            Ah, you’re a b.) then. Well done on evading the core point entirely.

          • Grargh says:

            Your edit reminds me of the Catholic Church once dismissing claims of pedophilia by stating what actually happened was hebephilia, or something like that.

            Still, using extreme words like misogyny for normal douchebag sexism does a discredit to our cause, as it alienates more people than it compels to think about the situation.

          • Zanchito says:

            @Yehat Uh, none of them?

          • Milky1985 says:

            There is also another possibility, maybe people can play games and understand that its not real and its only a story? Also maybe people can identify and at least attempt to avoid stereotyping (or roll eyes at how cliched it is) wherever possible meaning that neither of your answers are valid? Dunno why i think that maybe taking things to stupid extremes to try to prove a point may be a bit too close to the strawman.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            I’m not sure whether it helps to use hyperbole to make a point or whether it’s better to stick to what’s accurate. Certainly considerable parts of the community as misogynistic, but sure, for reformable parts of the community it’s better to be less confrontational.

      • Jahnz says:

        As a misogynistic child-molester I am deeply offended on multiple levels…

        (Now if I ever run for office someone will find my jokey comment and take it out of context…)

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Yeah…no, not like that at all.

    • x1501 says:

      You must belong to that “very small group who like to endorse their own unpleasant prejudices by angrily denouncing RPS for its coverage of gaming’s representation of women” John mentioned in the misogynistic statue post (you know, the one with “globular breasts”).
      Woman haters and likely pedophiles like you make me sick.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Was that really necessary?

  8. Chalk says:

    Seems that military officers from Royalty are just as dumb as they were in WW1. Thank god they no longer run things…

  9. Borklund says:

    The article and comments posted underneath reek of ignorance of the working lives of the people who serve in conflicts around the world.

    Prince Harry is third in line to the throne of England and he’s risked his life in Afghanistan twice, once as a soldier on the frontline and just recently as an Apache gunner. From my experience with friends who have served and are serving overseas as I type this, he seems to exhibit a healthy attitude toward his occupation.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Prince Harry, much like previous royals who served in military positions is there because it is good PR for both the military and the royals.

      • Borklund says:

        No, he’s there because he wanted to be there. Prince Harry getting captured in Afghanistan would not be good PR. What evidence do you have at all to suggest that this was a PR stunt?

        Again – he is third in line to the throne. He could be a playboy Prince but instead he’s risked his life twice in Afghanistan. You’re going to post disparaging comments about him on the internet from the comfortable chair in your safe home?

        • ReV_VAdAUL says:

          From the low ebb of the Princess Diana’s death the Royals have worked intensely with PR firms to regain public support. Harry serving in the military is an aspect of this although every male royal has to serve in the military to fundamentally show they aren’t actually the layabouts who inherit wealth and soft power just by right of birth (which they are).

          Of course Harry is going to say he wants to be there, in order to justify his position as a playboy prince he is doing these military jaunts, it is interesting his first jaunt was after the nazi uniform fiasco and this second one follows the arsehole picture.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            Of course Harry is going to say he wants to be there

            Thank goodness we have someone as wise as you who knows better, eh?

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            So either Harry is there for PR reasons as seems likely given every male royal has had to serve in the military as part of an effort to justify the monarchy OR he is there because he wants to be playing computer games and killing people.

            But hey, feel free to trust an institution that pretty much exists solely as a propaganda object and whose every act is a highly choreographed move to maintain public approval. Left wingers like John have hidden underlying motives at all times but His Majesty Prince Harry is to be trusted without question.

          • jkz says:

            To be fair, they only let him go the first time when he threatened to resign.

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          @jkz: No doubt that was all part of the PR conspiracy!

          Edit: Reply fail :-(

      • Eddy9000 says:

        And because you don’t have to be particularly clever to join.

    • Felixader says:

      That doesn’t make his comment less insensitive and stupid.

      People can do important things even risk their life and still be able to behave like idiots.
      He should have considered what he said and how especially seeing how his Status as an celebrity puts him in the Spotlight and thus makes him a representative Person, in this case for the soldiers of his military.

      EDIT: Well, in Context of the actual interview it is just half as awful. The Point stands though.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah, one of the most worrying angles of this is that someone whose basic role in life is to be a figurehead is (repeatedly) being really freaking bad at presenting himself in the public eye.

        If he’d been born to someone else, these shenanigans would have just been yet another half-wit 20-something.

    • Mirqy says:

      what’s the throne of England?

      • InternetBatman says:

        One of the many positions / objects that makes on a monarch of Britain?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throne_of_England

      • jkz says:

        The Queens shitter.

        • Milky1985 says:

          I would hope that she knows the different between the throne and the porcelain throne, although it might explain the look on Prince Phillips face half the time

      • Dozer says:

        Are you perhaps wondering what happened to Scotland?

        Layman’s understanding here: the United Kingdom is the united kingdoms of England and Scotland. So presumably there’s a separate Scottish throne. Wales isn’t a kingdom, it’s a principality which was annexed by England in the 1200s or thereabouts and exists within the kingdom of England. I have no idea about northern Ireland.

    • kataras says:

      Did your friends ever ask themselves why they are there? And please do not answer ‘to protect their homeland’ etc. ‘Obeying orders’ is not a good answer either.

      No disrespect to them and I hope they get back in one piece but I am sick of people glorifying soldiers/spooks and the like. They have no place being anywhere outside of the borders of their countries ( or to be more extreme the army has no place anywhere but that’ s a different story).

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Amen.

        And then there is drone warfare – a very well hidden war of assassinations with hit ratio terrorists/collateral(civilians) 1:50 . That is 50 people murdered to kill one terrorist suspect (without trial).

        American taxpayers are funding this freakshow while getting poorer and poorer and lamenting economic crisis. I love how they say “these wars are protecting us abroad”.

        No logic whatsoever.

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          Hmm, I think that deserves a snarky [citation needed] post, if for no other reason that 1:50 seems like an awfully round number for something that’s likely to be rather closely tracked.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            Actually no one really does, hence the round number. US army classifies any military-age male within the strike zone as “enemy combatant”.

            The number of “high-level” targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%.

      • MrLebanon says:

        Agreed completely..

        I’ve got a few American chaps in the army and I ask them what they do in Iraq and they tell me “It’s for America’s freedom!”

        I’m sorry but running around orphaning children (and sometimes killing orphaned children – you know – collateral damage) does not effect how “free” America is.

        Unless by freedom one means a monopoly on the world’s natural resources and enslavery of the rest of humanity.

    • Grargh says:

      Your own comment “reeks of ignorance” of the situation of the people who try to lead their lives in “conflicts around the world”.

      Seriously, our governments are blasting the shit out of developing countries, transforming them into military bases and robbing them of their natural resources with the shadiest of pretexts, and you glorify their pawns as if what they do serves any altruistic purpose. When some spoonfed royal dramaqueen decides to play some CoD with real-life brown people, there is nothing heroic or brave about it at all.

      And they sure as hell won’t let him risk his life at any point of his shiny-soldier-look-at-me visit there!

      Edit: Probably have to take back the part about Harry enjoying shooting at Afghans after reading some comments below. Still, it sounds like a ridiculous stunt and they have no business flying military choppers around down there.

  10. ankh says:

    Clearly we should ban consoles if playboxes and xstations are forcing the royal family to got to war.

    • The Random One says:

      I don’t see why, they find it so much fun.

      • ankh says:

        But if one of them dies it would effect my enjoyment of television since it would be the only thing on.

        • Guvornator says:

          They probably won’t. If video games have taught me anything, it’s important people will have MANY more hit points than unimportant people. Also if they are killed, they’ll just respawn at the nearest H.Q. I’m sure they’ll be fine.

          • Jahnz says:

            Unless it’s a cut-scene. Who knows what might happen then.

          • Guvornator says:

            Good point, I forgot how someone once impervious to anything up to a nuclear explosion may be rendered helpless by a well judged bop to the head.

  11. Kimau says:

    To be fair to Harry it should be noted this was during an interview about his position in an helicopter where he showed one of the firing controls. It was modeled after a dual shock controller because UI designers know to take advantage of developed skills.

    Game controllers, especially with lots of pre-exposure make great reflex driven controls.

    • KikiJiki says:

      How dare you bring context into this rant. Obviously you’re a sexist/misogynist/racist/walkerist

    • solidsquid says:

      Was wondering about this. I read the article this comment was lifted from, and I’m sure he was talking about enjoying flying the helicopter, not warfare itself

    • Koozer says:

      Can I stay in here with you lot? It’s full of crazies out there.

      Just because you’re fighting in a war, doesn’t mean you have to be poe-faced and sombre and crying over the countless dead and oh god how can man be so inhumane to fellow man at all times. He’s allowed to enjoy being in a bloody helicopter.

      Also, the header GIF is creepy.

    • Premium User Badge

      maninahat says:

      To be honest, “fun” is the way in which a lot of soldiers see conflict. Remorse and empathy are drummed out in training and in the heat of battle. Remember that horrifying footage of that Apache pilot, gleefully gunning down what he thought were a bunch of militants? After months of training and desensitization, where people are reduced to tiny white specks on a monitor, kilometers away from your gunship, it is hardly surprising that one could compare the ease and satisfaction of killing to a video game. Don’t the Modern warfare games even simulate being in the gunner’s seat, doing the exact same thing?

    • wererogue says:

      Yup! While I’m not that hot on the royals, and Ralph Nader’s comments are clearly awful, I think a claim that boils down to “flying a helecopter is fun” isn’t exactly controversial. I don’t see any context that suggests he means ‘taking human lives is fun’ or even ‘participating in the taking of human lives is fun’, although there are clearly those in the military that hold that view.

      Outside of specific instances, though, it’s important to remember that the experience of being in/part of the military, a well-funded organization with a great incentive to provide an enjoyable, memorable occupation is distinct from being in/part of combat, a hellish minefield of moral quandary and potentially both psychological and physical damage.

  12. Ayam says:

    Harry and the Taliban spokesman settle this over xbox live with JWalker as mediator. Call Don King, let’s get this to happen.

  13. zachforrest says:

    That Harry quote is disappointingly out of context.

    I’d rather give him the benefit of the doubt seeing, you know, he’s been to war

    • groovychainsaw says:

      Yeah, I actually read his interview, and the comment about playstations was in regards to what he does back in Camp Bastion in his downtime and how he bonds with non-royal soldiers. So, nothing to do with his involvement in the war (apart from tangentially, he’s deployed AND he’s playing games at some point), and far more to do with the social elements of gaming, really. /Sigh

  14. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    The military have been trying to make war more like computer games for a while now:
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/07/wargames/

    Now a decent person would realise the difference between a computer game and killing real people but the military has for decades worked on making sure decent people aren’t pulling the trigger by either using training techniques and psychology to remove decency from recruits, as the research of SLA Marshal shows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.L.A._Marshall

    Whether Harry was naturally a sociopath or was made into one I don’t know but regardless the blame for him thinking killing people is just a game does not lie with computer games.

    • Borklund says:

      Uhm, what? Prince Harry is a sociopath now? You really think he doesn’t take his job or what he’s doing seriously, or that he understands the consequences of his actions? You’re basing all that hyperbole on an off-hand, jokey comment that being an Apache gunner is similar to playing console games. Get real.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        I am basing it on the fact he murders people for a living. That is not what decent or healthy people do. The military devotes significant resources to psychologically break down the decency civilisation instills in people so they can reliably kill people on command.

        They mask it with duty, honour and so on but they, quite reasonably, require reliable killers, you can’t have an operation compromised by someone thinking the “enemy” might not deserve to die after all.

        Of course once soldiers leave the military they often have considerable struggles to re-integrate back into society because of how the military broke them down. But that certainly isn’t the military’s problems.

        • Borklund says:

          Peacekeepers cannot be healthy or decent people? OK, I’m out.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            Peace Keeping is such a lovely, meaningless phrase. Further though, if killing Afghan peasants is what the military needs to do to “keep the peace” it is in the military’s interest to make sure their troops have no psychological barriers to killing those peasants.

          • Guvornator says:

            I believe there was a study that said 98% of soldiers exhibited sign of mental illness after combat. The other 2% were already sociopaths before they joined up.

            The urge to kill is an unnatural thing – see below:

            Excerpt from “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows”, Melanie Joy
            Unnatural Born Killers
            There is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating humans’ seemingly natural aversion to killing. Much of the research in this area has been conducted by the military; analysts have found that soldiers tend to intentionally fire over the enemy’s head, or not to fire at all.

            Studies of combat activity during the Napoleonic and Civil Wars revealed striking statistics. Given the ability of the men, their proximity to the enemy, and the capacity of their weapons, the number of enemy soldiers hit should have been well over 50 percent, resulting in a killing rate of hundreds per minute. Instead, however, the hit rate was only one o two per minute. And a similar phenomenon occurred during World War I: according to British Lieutenant George Roupell, the only way he could get his men to stop firing into the air was by drawing his sword, walking down the trench, “beating [them] on the backside and … telling them to fire low”.1 World War II fire rates were also remarkably low: historian and US Army Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall reported that, during battle, the firing rate was a mere 15 to 20 percent; in other words, out of every hundred men engaged in a firefight, only fifteen to twenty actually used their weapons. And in Vietnam, for every enemy soldiers killed, more than fifty thousand bullets were fired.

            What these studies have taught the military is that in order to get soldiers to shoot to kill, to actively participate in violence, the soldiers must be sufficiently desensitized to the act of killing. In other words, they have to learn not to feel — and not to feel responsible — for their actions. They must be taught to override their own conscience. yet these studies also demonstrate that even in the face of immediate danger, in situations of extreme violence, most people are averse to killing. In other words, as Marshall concludes, “the vast majority of combatants throughout history, at the moment of truth when they could and should kill the enemy, have found themselves to be ‘conscientious objectors’

            Also, armies go where they are assigned. So peace-keepers are really only as moral as the person who sent them to keep the peace, and quite often get up to some frankly dodgy stuff when they’re there…

        • Michael Fogg says:

          Killing an armed oponent in an armed struggle doesn’t count as murder within a definition broadly acepted in culture…

          • Grargh says:

            Is that your notion of modern asymetrical warfare? You might as well believe the prince fenced with all his enemies in single combat, sparing their lives if they fought valiantly.

            The reality of a helicopter gunman would be endless days of nervous boredom, interspersed with occasional indiscriminate firing into an alleged terrorist hideout, never knowing what or whom you might hit.

          • Michael Fogg says:

            Still doesn’t make it okay to call somebody a ‘murderer’. Even if he did pull the trigger without full knowledge of possible civilian presence that would be a charge more along the lines of ‘reckless/negligent manslaughter’. I am not a fan of the Afghan operation but what the hell, calling every coalition troop a murdere is clueless peacenik hyperbole.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      What absolute rubbish. As a recently redundant Officer I can assure you that there are no ‘techniques’ used to turn people into sociopaths. Quite the opposite – the ability to tell right from wrong, compassion, fair play and having the confidence to question anything morally dubious is highly prized.

      And in Prince Harrys case, there is nothing morally dubious about providing close air support for British soldiers already engaged with the enemy.

      • kataras says:

        ‘ability to question anything morally dubious’

        Like being there in the first place? Or does it mean question anything that doesn’t have to do with politics and the army?

        • darkmouse20001 says:

          Actually, being there in the first place is not morally dubious, the coalition forces are there under a UN Security Council Resolution at the invitation of the Afghan government. The wisdom of getting involved is a different matter.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            So just because the UN says it’s okay makes it automatically okay? That kind of blind acceptance is exactly what he’s talking about.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            Given that the UN doesn’t come to any kind of decision lightly and a high degree of consensus [between nations who aren't exactly allies] is required, it’s about as close to a global moral compass as we can have.

            The alternatives are to either just do what we want without bothering to ask anyone else, or do nothing.

          • Grargh says:

            Are you talking about the Afghan government instilled after the previous one was overthrown by western military forces?

      • Guvornator says:

        First off, commiserations on losing your job. Hope you’re not too screwed. And military training ISN’T designed to “turn you into a sociopath”. Your morals and beliefs remain the same.

        However, things like using human shaped targets and dehumanizing the enemy are established military techniques enabling you to kill other human beings. They’re designed to take moral choice out of the equation. Can you say in all honesty that none of those things have happened in your training?

        • darkmouse20001 says:

          I just wrote a long reply, and one touch of a random mouse button, it was gone. Anyway, I didn’t come across any ‘dehumanising’ techniques, but then being RAF I might not have done. Generally speaking though, of all the chaps and chapesess that I know across various branches of all three services, the vast majority fall into the category of being some of the most intelligent, sensitive and talented individuals I know.

          It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the people who are involved in the shooting war on a daily basis do have to ‘dehumanise’ the enemy to a certain extent in order to cope with their job. However I haven’t seen any evidence to support this among friends and acquaintances, some of whom have been at the very sharpest of sharp ends for many years.

      • aldo_14 says:

        Isn’t the ability to not hesitate before pulling the trigger also highly prized?

      • jkz says:

        That’s what you say after the techniques have been applied.

  15. darkmouse20001 says:

    “a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful”.

    He was talking directly about his role as co-pilot/gunner in the Apache, not the wider conflict. Unlike a lot of people who carefully calculate the exact effect their words are going to have when they scrutinized later, Prince Harry doesn’t. And likening the role of gunner to playing a game, other than killing people, is pretty exact.

  16. Jimmy Dell says:

    Mr.Nader first came on the scene in the early 60′s bemoaning the evils of a small car made by GM. This was particularly interesting to me as he had never owned a car or had a drivers license.
    Yes, I know that you don’t need those qualifications to read data; but it seems that you should have some passing knowledge with the dynamics of the two, owning and driving. But perhaps that’s just my take.
    But wait, Mr. Nader is now commenting on children and the outside World’s affect on them and he doesn’t have any children. He’s never been married. I’m sensing a pattern here.
    Let’s all comment on those things we know nothing about.I’m sure that there are many people like Mr. Nader; they just don’t seem to receive as much ink.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Mr. Nader’s work for car safety is actually his lasting achievement. His work has saved many lives, which is generally considered a very good thing.
      As for your argument that he didn’t have a driver’s license or children himself, I’ll offer this quote by the great philosopher Co Adriaanse: ‘A good horse does not necessarily make a good jockey’.
      I’m not saying he’s right in saying what he did this time, but please use some reasonable arguments when pointing out he’s wrong…

  17. BigglesB says:

    That’s a seriously out of context quote you’re reacting to there, John. Sensationalist and prejudiced journalism if ever I saw it, I thought you were better than that.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Unfortunately, John seems to be taking a “if their knee’s going to jerk, mine is going to jerk twice as hard in response” angle these days. It undermines his points.

    • ChippyTea says:

      My thoughts exactly. Its sum what ironic that the quotes from an interview were Prince Harry complained about the press twisting words, telling half truths and telling lies.

  18. MOKKA says:

    Considering that people usually have to distance themselves from their opponents in conflict scenarios, I’m not suprised to see such an analogy coming up. It’s just much easier to gun someone down when you don’t think that behind this image on the screen is an actual human being, with dreams, hopes, hobbies and maybe even a family.

    This does not make Videogames responsible for this kind of behaviour, it’s just another way of dehumanizing your opponent.

    • Fanbuoy says:

      I think this issue is addressed in All Quiet on the Western Front. I don’t recall reading that the main character had been playing a lot of video games, so I’m inclined to agree with you.

    • iainl says:

      I think it’s even simpler than that; picking out priority targets on a screen full of complex data at speed and with accuracy involves the same skills whether that screen is a TV in Camp Bastion or in his Apache.

  19. LionsPhil says:

    Oh god you just awakened the hand.

    We are all doomed.

  20. Jahnz says:

    What is Prince Harry’s full original comment? The quoted comment starts with a lower-case a and the rest of the comment is properly punctuated and capitalized. This looks like a comment that was clipped and taken out of context.

    From my understanding Nader was once a useful player in getting seat-belts and other safety features installed into all U.S. cars which seemed to me a decent thing. I think he’s just off the deep end old now.
    “Get off my lawn!” old.

    • solidsquid says:

      Pretty sure it was a reference to controlling the helicopter (or as someone else mentioned being a gunner in one), so it’s probably a pretty accurate statement

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Having read the interview and watched the videos, it seems to be awfully out of context. Shoddy journalism.

  21. John Walker says:

    To address the many comments:

    Harry’s quote was referring to flying an Apache gunner in war. I maintain that this is a damned stupid thing to have said.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      No John, he was describing the controls as being a joy to use.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      Give us the quote in context then. Or even the source you took it from. Some of those other comments are from people claiming to have read the same interview and who disagree with your interpretation, and you’re really not addressing those at all.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      It was a silly thing to say, but Harry isn’t known for putting a lot of thought into what he says and does (and I don’t think he cares, something for which I applaud him) – and the over-riding sentiment in that context was that he enjoys his job and is good at it – he wasn’t talking specifically about killing people.

      He goes on to justify his role saying that killing the enemy whilst they are engaged on the ground with British troops saves British lives. His role in the conflict, over which he has no political or ideological control, is limited to supporting coalition troops under fire, a perfectly respectable role.

      Whilst the wisdom of getting caught up in our present conflicts is certainly questionable, the British armed forces on the whole do a superb job, and much as I hate to use the phrase, really are a ‘force for good’, populated by intelligent, fair minded individuals who recognize that sometimes force is necessary, if unpleasant. I would much rather have someone like Prince Harry sitting in an Apache who won’t hesitate to pull the trigger when necessary, than someone who hasn’t thought their job through properly.

      But I agree, his comments are open to interpretation.

    • RogB says:

      im pretty sure an apache IS a joy to fly, whether in a warzone or not.

      But dont let that stop you getting needlessly upset.

    • Premium User Badge

      maninahat says:

      For once, I’m not on your side. It might make you uncomfortable that he associates the controls of an Apache with the controls of a PS3, but I can plainly see they look alike, and how a video game comparison is apt. Especially when there are games about this specific thing, with the exact same interface and everything: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl1Gg5Sehg0

  22. vandinz says:

    I think Francis says it all very well – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rz74yaixnA

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      And here I was hoping that was Francis from Left 4 Dead saying, “I hate videogame violence!”

  23. Liquidoodle says:

    It’s probably worth everyone watching documentaries like the Beebs Our War and Channel 4′s Fighting On The Front-line before making any assumptions and accusations about what Harry said, his words are probably far more in line with other soldiers than you actually may realise and it’s hard for us none military folk to understand how they think or what they are going through. They often seem quite blasé about what they do making jokes and saying how exciting it is, I can only imagine that like anything in life it’s a helpful coping mechanism yet they also have a great deal of seriousness and compassion when the time comes. The Apache crews don’t take life unless they feel it necessary and they often re-watch previous kills to make sure they did their job correctly and that every shot is fired on target. I have an utmost respect for anyone throwing themselves into the firing line, I don’t think I could do it.

    This one is all about pilots so it’s quite worth watching.
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/fighting-on-the-frontline/4od#3255540

    • Guvornator says:

      Was that the one where the patrol can’t fire on the insurgent compound without the insurgents firing first, even though a) it’s obviously an insurgent compound and b) they’ve been spotted? I remember them watching emotionless as loads of Arabic guys with RPGs and AKs strapped to their back arrived on scooters…

  24. Jenks says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Prince Harry said. All I see in that quote is someone saying flying is fun, and likening flight controls to video game controls.

    Would this be a story if the Taliban didn’t react? Absolutely not. So the question is, why the fuck do you care what the Taliban thinks?

  25. aepervius says:

    ““We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment],” Nader told Politico. “Television program violence? Unbelievable. Video game violence? Unprecedented. I’m not saying he wants to censor this, I think he should sensitize people that they should protect their children family by family from these kinds of electronic child molesters.””

    And real violence ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Property_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg

    Much lower than the peak of 1980.

    • Zanchito says:

      Awesome counter argument.

    • monkeybars says:

      Not really a great argument. If there wasn’t this violence from video games, his argument goes, the amount of real violence could be even lower.

      There’s no such thing as saying “look at how little violence there is. That’s plenty low enough. In fact, we should have a little bit more.” If there’s a way to decrease it, we should be doing that. So if they think that video games cause violence, they’re going to try to decrease it, even if it is lower than its peak.

      • Zanchito says:

        Please, allow me to disagree. If the man is postulating a direct relationship between the amount of violent enterntainment and real violence, showing opposite trends should be enough to dismiss that particular argument. There are other possible relationships, but not that particular one.

  26. monkeybars says:

    Dammit England and your time zones…

    I really don’t see the problem with what Harry said. It’s taken in the wrong context by various media outlets, and now you’re continuing that trend.

    He said flying a helicopter is similar to using a console controller. Flying one. Being a co-pilot in a helicopter. He did not equate playing FIFA (which is what he was talking about playing) to mowing down Taliban in any way or form. He said that playing games back on base helped him pilot a helicopter in the way he used his hands. There’s no talk of video game violence there at all. You’re attaching violent video games to a violent situation — but neither of those are in this. He wasn’t talking about playing violent video games, and he wasn’t talking about shooting the helicopter’s gun.

    While I don’t doubt he did both of those things, neither are what he was talking about when he talked about “war being like a video game.” Which he never said. Again, he never said “war” was like a video game. He said one aspect of it was.

    He said flying a helicopter was very cool. I haven’t flown one, but I imagine getting to fly one would be a very cool experience.

    • Berzee says:

      Stop saying these things. It’s tripping up my wrath. It’s also making me want to fly helicopters. ;_; look at my life, what i’ve become

  27. reggiep says:

    I think Nader’s comment is certainly over the top, but consistent with his view. Certainly a child who is sexually molested will be much more fucked up than one who spends 8 hours a day playing Call of Duty. In Nader’s view, any act that corrupts children in any way can be called child molestation. In a certain definition of molestation (non-sexual molestation), his statements could be seen as accurate by some.

    Of course his view on this issue is still ridiculous no matter how you temper his statement. One thing is for sure, I got a completely different understanding of his comments by reading the Politico article than I did from this one here. Nader was specifically talking about “game creators”, not video games or gamers. I’m sure by “game creators”, he meant game publishers. And I’m sure, like cigarette companies who target kids, game publishers like EA target kids for adult-themed games like CoD. So there actually is an issue that needs to be part of this whole debate.

  28. Syra says:

    Flying an attack helicopter IS fun and DOES require the same dexterity as a gamepad, I don’t see that he has implied anything or indeed said anything wrong at all. This is just silly nitpicking now.

    Also he’s just a gunner iirc, so he literally is doing the same shit we do in all those videogames – he’s doing a real life rail shooter section.

  29. Tei says:

    I am getting tired of stupid people in positions of power.

    • yogibbear says:

      Like John Walker and his ability to take quotes out of context and turn them into whatever random “cause” he wants to celebrate for the day?

      • elmo.dudd says:

        Be careful, with statements like that we’ll be lucky if his next post has comments enabled.

  30. Armitage says:

    It’s as clear as day that Price Harry is an immature child and the Taliban spokesman is correct. I don’t read any mocking tone in the spokesman’s comments. I only see him attacking Harry’s trivialization of war, which we all should be doing.

    A soldier should understand that when he presses a button, people are being killed. Comments about “the joy of video games” as some kind of qualification is disgusting and should immediately disqualify him from service.

    • Strife212 says:

      What, shooting the guns on an apache gunship probably is like playing the xbox, he’s the one doing it.

      It’s not saying the war is like a game.

  31. Ruffian says:

    No disrespect meant (I’m sure it would be similar if say, one of the president’s kids went to war) but I doubt he saw much actual danger while deployed, and as such probably isn’t the most qualified person to be talking about what the war is like. Or rather, probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Though I certainly can see why offense would be taken at such remarks, at least he seems to enjoy being able to do something to help the men on the ground, which is admirable enough.

    Nader’s just being a sensationalistic dumbass. The guy below me makes the exact point that I like to make, which is last time I checked video games are influenced by society, we live in a violent world, video games reflect this. Maybe if we weren’t constantly at war, it wouldn’t be such a popular subject.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I believe an appropriate American parallel would be Elvis going to Vietnam.

  32. The Smilingknight says:

    If i found the right quote, this is what has actually been said.
    ———–
    He said: ‘Exams were always a nightmare, but anything like kicking a ball around or playing PlayStation – or flying – I do generally find a little bit easier than walking, sometimes.

    ‘It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I’m probably quite useful.’

    The Prince said taking the controls in the helicopter came naturally to him, and he qualified top of his class as a CPG despite finding the academic side tricky.
    ————

    Therefore, there was no mention of either flying a chopper is similar to a video game – or that killing or war are similar to a video game. Which would have been extremely stupid to say.

    As for Nader dumbfuckery – why anyone doesnt look into how reality and violence influence video games? That is what is really happening – isnt it?

  33. MacTheGeek says:

    Ralph Nader. Unsafe at any volume.

  34. Strangerator says:

    Perhaps Nader was referring to vibrating controllers that many children will accidentally hold in their laps, giving them funny feelings whilst playing Lollipop Chainsaw?

    Anyhow, I think this argument should be counted as a win in the PC vs. console debate. Our controllers do not usually vibrate and are meant to be operated well-clear of the genital area.

  35. Valerius Maximus says:

    “We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment],” I guess he has never picked up a history book.

    Also did you take that quote of Harry’s way out of context? He didn’t mention war, killing, murder or whatever, he simply said that flying an apache is like videogames for him. He didn’t imply that killing people was enjoyable, just flying a helicopter. Same as people enjoying shooting at ranges.