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  1. #1
    Network Hub Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    New Zealand jumps on the 'Games lead to Violence' bandwagon

    Article here
    An online gamer is accused of killing his cyber-rival after losing a fantasy game where they were pitted against each other in battle.
    The violent blurring of the virtual and real worlds came after the pair had spent several hours playing an online game, each in his own house kilometres apart.
    The Sunday Star-Times cannot reveal the names of the accused killer nor his victim, where the homicide took place or when, because the details may prejudice an eventual trial.
    However, police have confirmed they believe the most likely motive for the attack was the game which the pair played in the hours immediately before the attack.
    The dead man favoured PC-based role-playing games such as Guild Wars and Oblivion, which create complex fantasy worlds filled with swords and sorcery.
    Guild Wars, part of a genre gamers call MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), focuses on highly competitive player-versus-player action.
    Players can spend considerable time and effort building characters - gaining experience, weaponry, armour and in-game money to become more powerful.
    Police believe that after the attacker's game character was killed, he was so enraged he drove the short distance to the quiet street where his friend lived, and stabbed him repeatedly with a knife.
    Despite the apparent link between the killing and the violent video game, Christchurch-based clinical psychologist Craig Prince said there was no evidence violent online games created killers.

    "It's often very difficult to pinpoint which variable contributed to these things because people are so complicated," he said. "It's usually that people have some underlying difficulty or problem already and the video game might contribute to the actions, but it's only one thing out of potentially many."

    The man has appeared in court charged with murder. His parents would not speak to the Star-Times but an extended family member said: "He's just lovely. It's such a shock... it's obviously the last thing we expected."
    The relative, who described the alleged killer as "academic and quiet", confirmed he enjoyed computer games but did not think he had any obsessive gaming tendencies.
    His parents were unconcerned about his behaviour in the lead-up to the incident.
    "It was just the most regular of nights and there were no warning signs - it was just the hugest shock to everybody," the relative said.
    The parents of the victim were unavailable to comment but colleagues of the dead man said he worked in the IT industry and produced "remarkable" work, while staying totally humble. Workmates described him as "quiet but very, very clever". They confirmed he was an avid gamer.
    If the gaming link is proved in court, it will put New Zealand on an international stage. The supposed link between video games and violence, alternatively mooted and refuted in contradictory multiple reports in recent years, resurfaced in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, in the US.
    Adam Lanza, 20, killed 20 children and six staff on December 14 last year. Police said Lanza had dozens of violent video games that he played regularly and they were looking into whether there was a link between the games and the shootings.
    - © Fairfax NZ News
    Note the tie in to Sandy Hook, and the straight talking of "Games lead to violence"

    Yay for my country!

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    It does appear that gaming is the proximate cause, but not the distal cause. In another age this could have happened over a game of chess instead.
    Last edited by Sakkura; 23-02-2013 at 11:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    It does appear that gaming is the proximate cause, but not the distal cause. In another age this could have happened over a game of chess instead.
    And definitely not the ultimate cause.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node NecroKnight's Avatar
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    Hooray, lets blame video games and totally ignore the more than probable preposition that he was mentally ill.
    But where did he come from, this fleck of spite in an abandoned paradise?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NecroKnight View Post
    Hooray, lets blame video games and totally ignore the more than probable preposition that he was mentally ill.
    But all gamers are mentally ill. After all, they voluntarily sit in front of a computer instead of in front of a TV like normal people. It's like they don't realize how amazingly awesome American Idol is. There must be something horribly wrong with them.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Dead Herald's Avatar
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    Chris Rock said it best when he was talking about Columbine way back when.

    "Whatever happened to crazy?"

    For all this vintage balderdash about fantasy worlds, the media likes to sell it's own fantasy accusing everyone who plays games of being a school shooting waiting to happen. The truth is these people who just happened to be playing video games were already crazy eight bonkers and wiping video games from existence would not have stopped them from going apeshit and killing people. I mean if it's all about video games and video games cause murders then how do you explain...

    Jack the Ripper - 1888
    The Son of Sam - 1976-77
    The Zodiac Killer - 1968-70
    The Nightstalker - 1984-85
    The Manson Family - 1968-70
    Ted Bundy - 1974-78
    John Wayne Gacy - 1972-78

    That's just a sample of the popular media from crazy murderers that existed well before the rise of popularity of video games and well before the explosion of the "violence in video games" debate which came to the front of the media in the wake of Doom, Mortal Kombat and Night Trap. Although it had existed long before. (See Death Race: 1976)

    There's always going to be crazy mother fuckers and there's always going to be media hucksters and half-assed shysters using phony moral outrage to pin shit on the newest popular media in pursuit of monetary gain. Trust me, everyone blames Manson on The Beatles, they still do to this day.

    And now you know, and knowing half the battle!

    The other half is colored lasers, apparently.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Seems like nobody considered the fact that some of these shooters play video games because they can be solitary activities with a veneer of social interaction through online gameplay. As Dead Herald said, there's always going to be nutjobs. Disagree on coloured lasers though, clearly it's photon torpedoes.

    Also, New Zealand did this? I know our friends across the ditch can some strange things but I didn't really expect this, normally you guys are a little bit more progressive than this.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I wonder if sociology, for all its devaluation as a "soft" science, is really being ignored this much, where people only start looking for proximate causes in the most direct, immediate fashion and no further. This speaks to an education problem much akin to how supposedly intelligent people cannot differentiate between debt and deficit.

    I believe that gaming does have an effect on our acceptance of violence in society, but isn't the sole nor the strongest cause of such. But try to explain the echo chamber of violent media in a way that the media itself can break into a bite-sized "talking point" is a nigh-impossible task.

    I mean, take Dead Herald's list:

    The Son of Sam - 1976-77
    The Zodiac Killer - 1968-70
    The Nightstalker - 1984-85
    The Manson Family - 1968-70
    Ted Bundy - 1974-78
    John Wayne Gacy - 1972-78

    That's a lotta shit going down in American in the 70s and 80s. And if you remember the politics and media and society at the time, there's a plethora of reasons why this would happen: The shrinking of the middle class, the apex of white flight, general discontent and distrust of the federal government, a drug epidemic, a series of unwinnable wars, the obsession of crime in the media, the aftermath of race riots... dude, that people went crazy seems itself more sane a response than most other things.

    Right now we're in a new Gilded Age, with yet more unwinnable wars, on the brink of losing our status as leaders of the free world, with a Congress polling single-digit approval ratings, a trade deficit that's largely of our own creation, and a political party imploding upon itself despite being propped up by one of the most popular, robust propagandist outlets in the world.

    I say this because games are clearly not the only cause. But they also aren't helping, either. Yesteryear we had Red Dawn and Dirty Harry, today we have Black Ops and Connor.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I wonder if sociology, for all its devaluation as a "soft" science, is really being ignored this much, where people only start looking for proximate causes in the most direct, immediate fashion and no further. This speaks to an education problem much akin to how supposedly intelligent people cannot differentiate between debt and deficit.
    Sociology, and most of the human sciences, suffer because in a way we're living through a positivist revival of the sort we hadn't seen since the 1930s. Common sense regarding science is atrociously bad: people think science provides clear, unambiguous laws, simple causes for simple effects with simple causal links. That's why we can't go one week without newspapers claiming "neuroscience has found the cause for behavior x!"

    Of course, no science provides clear, unambiguous, simple laws at all, and the first thing any science student learns is that simple causation is just a myth we tell each other so we can learn some procedures and test some hypotheses. But that's what people expect from science, and the natural sciences are usually pretty good at presenting a consensus to the general audience (since most untrained people can't even understand the deeper issues involved).

    Sociology and the other human sciences usually fail to present any consensus at all, for good reasons. And most people think they innately understand the human sciences (which is true, to a certain extent), so we get a lot of "but you guys are just telling me what I already know". And most schools of social science will avoid the idea of "law" altogether, so...

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    To be fair to the article, I think what they were trying to say (and the impression I got) was that: that particular game-event, lead to that particular homicide (note the use of the word: "the video game" as opposed to "video games" in the bolded text).

    The article seemed fairly balanced, in that while stating the evidance, it also noted that psychologist's believe there is no link between the two.

    On top of all that, I don't see our government making new laws to combat this supposed effect, and I have faith that whatever decision the judge comes to, and any reccomendations s/he makes, will not be detrimental to our hobby.

    Ed: This is response to the OP's title, not so much the rest of the discussion.
    Last edited by Wheelz; 24-02-2013 at 10:33 AM.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Clearly they've been alarmed by the recent spate of psychotic kiwi archers.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Dead Herald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I say this because games are clearly not the only cause. But they also aren't helping, either. Yesteryear we had Red Dawn and Dirty Harry, today we have Black Ops and Connor.

    It's not the responsibility of the artist to cure the ills of society, only to hold a window to it. To suggest otherwise is the battle cry of the censors, they who seek to quash freedom of expression to further their own agendas. A truly ignoble purpose if one ever existed.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Herald View Post
    It's not the responsibility of the artist to cure the ills of society, only to hold a window to it.
    Well, there are some video games that hold a window to it and then shout "Fuck yeah!". Even then, the existence of such games isn't really a problem, but (to my understanding---I don't play these sorts of games often) they have a rather large share of the market which could be a problem.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    Of course, no science provides clear, unambiguous, simple laws at all, and the first thing any science student learns is that simple causation is just a myth we tell each other so we can learn some procedures and test some hypotheses. But that's what people expect from science, and the natural sciences are usually pretty good at presenting a consensus to the general audience (since most untrained people can't even understand the deeper issues involved).

    There is also a growing concern with philosophy of science in the recent times that instead of thinking about the scientific method or considering what we can actually know, it's been a race to praise the all-knowing science without actually questioning what it means for us.

    It is probably a cognitive bias that even the most fierce supporters of a deterministic universe are in favor of humans having free will ( or more than what free will we think animals have ) but the fact that brain surgery or simple chemical intake can alter behavior suggest there isn't any outside factor to facilitate sentience and it's an electrical phenomenon.

    Also some of the recent studies ( mostly funded by marketing departments, heh ) suggest that while very complex and hard to understand, human behavior is also incredibly easy to influence.

    Anyway, that's that rant about pretty much nothing, when it comes to the article I got the impression that they don't actually think that it happened because of the video game. It is only natural the game ( and they did a pretty good job of not blaming all games ) will be suspect because it happened over a game event. I hope they spend some money to research how games actually affect our lives .. and not just our violent tendencies.

    I also remember a similar story from around where I live: a guy was murdered because he sold some game currency and a few game items for some real cash and a car ( yes a real one ). Then he got hacked and couldn't deliver. I don't remember anyone thinking that games were responsible, the same thing would have happened over anything else. They did ban people under 15 entrance to Lan Centers without signed permission from their parents though, which is a good thing. There was a lot of skipping school to play games among the youngsters so I think they used the murder to pass that without too much trouble.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Herald View Post
    It's not the responsibility of the artist to cure the ills of society, only to hold a window to it. To suggest otherwise is the battle cry of the censors, they who seek to quash freedom of expression to further their own agendas. A truly ignoble purpose if one ever existed.
    To call them artists would be generous.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  16. #16
    Network Hub Dead Herald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    To call them artists would be generous.
    Even the worst artist in the world is still an artist.

    The word artist used here as a catch-all term for people who embark on creative endeavors. I.E. painters, musicians, writers, actors, film makers, game designers, cartoonists. Hell, I'd consider things like domino stacking and creating a Rube Goldberg device to have artistic merit, since it evolves a level of creativity.

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Well, there are some video games that hold a window to it and then shout "Fuck yeah!". Even then, the existence of such games isn't really a problem, but (to my understanding---I don't play these sorts of games often) they have a rather large share of the market which could be a problem.
    What I said about those who censor art is equally true for those who exploit it.
    Last edited by Dead Herald; 24-02-2013 at 07:15 PM.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Herald View Post
    Even the worst artist in the world is still an artist.

    The word artist used here as a catch-all term for people who embark on creative endeavors. I.E. painters, musicians, writers, actors, film makers, game designers, cartoonists. Hell, I'd consider things like domino stacking and creating a Rube Goldberg device to have artistic merit, since it evolves a level of creativity.
    To absolve all creators of any moral or social responsibility is fantastically wrongheaded.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    To absolve all creators of any moral or social responsibility is fantastically wrongheaded.
    I find people tend to reason in all or nothing absolutes.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    To absolve all creators of any moral or social responsibility is fantastically wrongheaded.
    In the case of CoD you're probably right. Even if we accept that it's "art" games like CoD are purely about the glorification of war, particularly American war (the end of Black Ops was basically 'MERICA FUCK YEAH!), and it's hard to claim that the devs were just commenting on war.

    The idea that artists can hide behind "But I'm only reflecting reality!" like some sort of shield to absolve themselves of interpretation is absurd. It's their art, they have responsibility for it. Fortunately the ones that approach this from a mature perspective do it very well. Games, like student art, are still laughably ham-fisted at it to the point where you can't take it seriously.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    CoD may be very much into the glorification of war and this hoo-ahh Merrica jingo-patriotism, but that's no different than (some) movies. I don't really see how CoD is any worse than Rambo 2, 3 etc.

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