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Guns don't kill people, Pictionary kills people

Saturday, July 12, 2003

To quote Penny Arcade's news post "The Real Threat":

"There is a game so sinister in its execution, so perverse in its design that it must be stopped. I mean, just look (article has since been removed) at what it is capable of."

Update: The article used to be there, but since it isn't anymore, I'll just summarize: It was about a guy who was in a mental institution and during a game of pictionary he was ridiculed for his drawings (as happened to everyone). He took it personally and took his psychiatrist hostage, and was later put in a higher security area because of the incident.

Yet another clear case of games that cause people to be violent. *rolls eyes* I wonder how long until people realise that a few psychos that happen to play games doesn't mean that the games make people psychos. This is a good example showing that games don't even have to be violent to set someone off, it just has to be someone unstable who fails at something, not even necessarily a game. Violent computer and video games are now a multibillion dollar industry, and that means a tremendous amount of people are playing them, so by the logic of those who say games train killers, we should have kids walking in to schools shooting about once a week. Let's take a look at some statistics from Mike A. Males' book Kids and Guns:

     "The crime decline in the late 1990s was particularly precipitous. From 1992 through 1999 - the period in which ultimo-violent video games such as Quake and Doom sold 4.2 million copies and tens of millions played them - the FBI's Uniform Crime Report shows violent crimes declined 31%, led by drops in robbery (-43%), murder (-38%), rape (-25%), and aggravated assault (-24%).
     So much for violence in society; what about violence by kids? The rate of homicide arrest declined even more steeply among youths ages 10-17 (-61%) than adults. Further, young white males, the group that patronizes violent games more than anyone else, showed bigger crime declines than anyone else!"

Okay, so they're obviously not doing what Grossman and Leiberman claim, but that doesn't mean that I think kids should be allowed to play them. Kids should definately not be playing, or even viewing, games like Grand Theft Auto, but certainly not because they're "teaching our kids to kill", as Senator Grossman seems so sure of. Just like with violent movies, kids should be protected, but making a claim that it's because games will train kids to kill is just plain stupid.