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Games - the ethics issue

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MrWillyWonka 6th March 2006, 13:45 Quote
Two links after the BBFC on this page isn't valid.

But that is one very interesting article, I really enjoyed that! Isn't there a country that has already set up a policing organisation to investigate ingame crime? I think it might have been the US or Japan.
Tim S 6th March 2006, 13:54 Quote
The ESRB link is correct, but the site appears to be down. We've corrected the 3rd link though, thanks for spotting it. ;)
Bindibadgi 6th March 2006, 14:55 Quote
That was a great article ;) with a good perspective. I still think that all games should have enforced legal age limits, just like movies. The idea that ANYONE of ANY AGE in america can pick up a copy of GTA and go play it seems insane to me. You might as well buy your kids a porno at the same time.
However, I think that as long as it's 18/AO rated, then people can choose what they want to play, whatever it is. I do think that KKK games are seriously ****ing not-on though, but then again, I think until they get proper ratings games like Bully which will be played by kids, shouldnt be released.
Cthippo 6th March 2006, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigz
The ESRB link is correct, but the site appears to be down.

That can't be anything but a good thing.

I can't speak directly to the game aspect, but I do know that during the week Bit-Tech is the closest I come to intelligent and socially meaningful contact with other people. I live alone, work with a wide variety of remarkably stupid people, and because of my schedule really don't do anything but work and sleep during the week. My take on it is that it lss a case of people giving up social interaction in favor of online, and more of a case of people who would otherwise not have any social interaction finding it in an alternative community.

I also find it interesting that you can have all the graphic violence you want in a game, but sex is absolutly taboo. Seems pretty reflective of the values of society as a whole.
Bindibadgi 6th March 2006, 15:22 Quote
Absolutely. But then again, we're subjected to violence daily in the news. Having said that, we're also subjected to tits on page3 of the Sun (UK people will know) everyday.

I think it's because sex is "demonised" by religion to an extend, but fighting for something, is considered good and so the desensitisation begins.
Hybr1d 6th March 2006, 15:30 Quote
Great article. I must say that I used to play rather controversial games like Postal, GTA, True Crime etc. but now that sort of stuff makes me feel awful. OK, games like HL2 and Halo etc. are fine and I feel it OK to contain gore but Manhunt and Postal cross a line IMHO.

I used to think "meh" when I saw things about people killed by people addicted to certain violent games, but when I thought about it, I've seen myself become a more hardened and even violent person myself. I think that KKK game sounds absolutely ******* appauling and hope nobody even considers distributing such ****.

I also believe the same can be said for movies and music and well any media really.
Nix 6th March 2006, 15:49 Quote
Its better to have someone use a cat as a silencer on a game rather then in real life.

And if someone is going to do it in real life i doubt they are going to be influenced by a grade unless they are seriously unstable... if they are unstable, then well anything can trigger them.
Ab$olut 6th March 2006, 16:00 Quote
I used to love the amount of gore in sof when it came out I must of been about 14 or 15? not sure didn't make me want to go out and blow peoples heads off though.
Fly 6th March 2006, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nix
Its better to have someone use a cat as a silencer on a game rather then in real life.

And if someone is going to do it in real life i doubt they are going to be influenced by a grade unless they are seriously unstable... if they are unstable, then well anything can trigger them.

That's a good point, games do not have a phsycological rating. It's not really age that makes a difference as most of you will know that one 16 year old can be miles more mature than a 20 year old. In my opinion it is mental state that renders someone more susceptible to copying violence in games, a slow methodical distancing from reality that is caused purely by the inability to switch off properly when the game has been switched off.

No age restriction can stop a mentally unstable individual buying a game that will push him/her over the edge though, and thats the reason there are so many people in favour of banning violent games. It is an undeniable fact that games cause violence, but driving causes violence, boxing causing violence, TV causes violence. The only effort we can make is to sheild those who really can't tell the difference between real life and a game, and those people are children.

Wrapping the rest of the world in cotton wool could be counterproductive as people would lose touch with the violent part of society, and put themselves into danger. For example, how would you convey the concept of a violent ghetto to someone who has never left the safety of a small village? They watch TV, they play a game that depicts the realism of life; where muggings, murder, rape and random acts of violence do exist.
kiljoi 6th March 2006, 16:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nix
Its better to have someone use a cat as a silencer on a game rather then in real life.
What? :|

I think this was a great article. It brings up a lot of good points, that a lot more people need to be aware of.
Nexxo 6th March 2006, 16:42 Quote
Research on the age-old debate of: "Do violent computer games make people violent" is a bit conflicting. It turns out, not surprisingly, that it is pretty hard to translate a game experience to behaviour. Research generally does not find that playing Postal or CS:S makes you want to blow people's heads off for real. I think rather that the association runs in the opposite direction: those who harbour violent fantasies are attracted to games in which they can act them out. Thus they psychologically "prepare" themselves for the real act.

Of course games allow them to psych themselves up in the privacy of their own home, but people managed to find ways to do that before Doom came onto the market. There are Survivalist magazines, there is paintballing and there is going hunting deer (or pets) with your buddies. There are violent films aplenty, each more explicitly violent than the previous one. If you want to become a serial killer, you can pick up some material at your local Blockbusters.

What research has found that children playing violent computer games become more desensitised to scenes of violence in real life. No news there; films have the same effect. And little Johnnie growing up in a violent household is likely to make much more of an impact.

I think that obviously games should have a rating like films do, but after that it is unfortunately up to the parents. Too often the responisibility for kids turning into monsters is sought outside the home. However we know full well from much, much research that as with anything else, be it school achievement, self-discipline and responsible behaviour or psychological health, that the home environment makes by far the biggest impact. If parents are responsible and give their kids the attention they need, a child simply won't get its hands on a violent game. Arguably, it won't even be interested.
mattyk123 6th March 2006, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I think that obviously games should have a rating like films do, but after that it is unfortunately up to the parents. Too often the responisibility for kids turning into monsters is sought outside the home. However we know full well from much, much research that as with anything else, be it school achievement, self-discipline and responsible behaviour or psychological health, that the home environment makes by far the biggest impact. If parents are responsible and give their kids the attention they need, a child simply won't get its hands on a violent game. Arguably, it won't even be interested.

They are exaclty my thoughts aswell. The parents that go shouting about how the game made thier child a monster are the people who have to look elswhere to blame because they know it is thier own fault. It is the way they bring up the child, if they bring up the child maturely they would be able to buy them a game like GTA and not expect them to go mimmicking every part of it.
whisperwolf 6th March 2006, 17:19 Quote
I have seen various studies that were used to show that playing a violent computer game resulted in an increase in levels of agression and willingness to cause pain. I belive one such test asked the subject to place someones hands in ice water (this would be the pain bit) then play a game for half and hour and the repeat the hand dipping thing. and this showed people were more likely to place the hands in ice water for longer after the game. However none of the studies I've seen compare different sorts of games, FPS to racing for instance, or even computer games to football or rugby, which i would ahve thought would have the same effect.
Kipman725 6th March 2006, 17:20 Quote
although most of the ratings in the uk are not legaly enforced almost every shop will stop someone who looks younger than the recomended age buying the game. Caused me quite abit of bother till I got plastic ;)

As for having sex in games, I say go for it I mean what are you going to do? go around having sex instead of a mass orgey of violance? well which would you prefer people do?

It's true that games make you decentisied to violance, I have seen people pretty mangaled up (car crashes etc) and wasn't particualry bothered about it. Again why is this such a bad thing? making me better prepared to act in emotianaly stressfull situations? posibly saving people instead of been a gibbering wreak? am I a monster becase death dosen't make me cry?
Nexxo 6th March 2006, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperwolf
I have seen various studies that were used to show that playing a violent computer game resulted in an increase in levels of agression and willingness to cause pain. I belive one such test asked the subject to place someones hands in ice water (this would be the pain bit) then play a game for half and hour and the repeat the hand dipping thing. and this showed people were more likely to place the hands in ice water for longer after the game. However none of the studies I've seen compare different sorts of games, FPS to racing for instance, or even computer games to football or rugby, which i would ahve thought would have the same effect.
The problem with such research is that it is very hard to translate dipping someone's hand in ice water to blowing their heads off. Then there is the issue of the age of the subject; children really do not fully appreciate the reality of death and suffering in others, or the consequences of one's actions until they hit about 12...

Kids are suggestible and may act irresponsibly or dangerously? No sh*t. There is a reason why we don't let kids drive a car until they are at least 17. There is a reason why we put a value on parental supervision until they are at least 16. You don't let them play an 18+ game any more than that you let them watch an 18+ movie, drink, play with guns or have sex. But it is up to the parents to do so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipman725
It's true that games make you decentisied to violance, I have seen people pretty mangaled up (car crashes etc) and wasn't particualry bothered about it. Again why is this such a bad thing? making me better prepared to act in emotianaly stressfull situations? posibly saving people instead of been a gibbering wreak? am I a monster becase death dosen't make me cry?
No, you're only a monster if it makes you feel excited or indifferent. Keeping your head cool is one thing. Simply not caring enough to help, or to avoid causing it is another. But it is pretty hard to feel anything as you drive past an anonymous car crash because, well, it feels distant, unreal. There also is an interesting group dynamic about empathic behaviour --people don't always throw the caring switch in their head until they see someone else care first.
Nix 6th March 2006, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiljoi
What? :|

I think this was a great article. It brings up a lot of good points, that a lot more people need to be aware of.

On Postal 2 you could use a cat as a silencer amongst other things.
TGImages 6th March 2006, 18:07 Quote
I think that was a real good article. It brings to mind a number of questions I've been mulling over but have not come to any opinion on yet myself.


Is it the game or the graphics?

When it's a pixelated blocking looking cartoon character that you roll over/shoot/beat up/etc. and when it's a very realistic looking, possibly with a real person's skin/face used as the image, character is there a difference?

Could it be the message of the game? Random violence to anyone/anything vs. structured or targeted get the "bad guys" but don't hurt the hostages/bystanders/etc?

-G
Veles 6th March 2006, 18:21 Quote
Very well written article there, nice to see it wan't totally one sided for or against games.

But I do think all this hoo haa about video games is unnecessary, if you take away violent games then people can still watch violent films. I remember a caption underneath a fear screenshot about gore being more common in games or something. Just watch Saving Private Ryan, that has one of the goriest scenes I've seen in my entire life but I don't remember hearing anything against that film.

But one thing is for certain, other countries need a BBFC equivalent mark on thier games. The fact a 10 yearold could go in and buy GTA is not on. Then it's up to the parents whether thier kids can play the game. My parents didn't have a problem buying the original GTA for me when I was like 10 or something becasue they know I'm mature (but after the most boring lab session I'm doubting that, you'd be amazed what 2 people can do with the most random things to avoid work :p)
kiljoi 6th March 2006, 18:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nix
On Postal 2 you could use a cat as a silencer amongst other things.
Now, it makes sense.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 6th March 2006, 19:04 Quote
I spotted a mistake in the artical:
Quote:
The incredibly addictive Championship Manager.
-You means the iincredibly buggy and frowned upon fake Championship Manager produced by EA.....


I'm sure what you ment to say was:
Quote:
The incredibly addictive Football Manager.
-Which is clearly considered better by the vast majority of users and is produced by SI who used to produce CM when it was actually good..
automagsrock 6th March 2006, 19:18 Quote
Great article. A very enjoyable read. I agree with pretty much everything said. Except that US football doesn't have quite the football riots you guys have across the pond (though maybe it would make it better to watch).


For some reason, I can see world Governments trying to force Excercise at some point. Just seems like something that will happen. Oh well, back to playing BF2 :D
Firehed 6th March 2006, 19:38 Quote
But our football isn't their football (soccer), and we're focused equally on our sports for the most part, we don't really have one that dominates the sports world. However there have been a number of riots around Super Bowl time.

Definately an intresting read though. Not sure that I quite agree with everything, but I'd give it a +1 Insightful if we had a /.-esque rating system ;)
whisperwolf 6th March 2006, 19:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles

But one thing is for certain, other countries need a BBFC equivalent mark on thier games. The fact a 10 yearold could go in and buy GTA is not on. Then it's up to the parents whether thier kids can play the game.

Its a good idea but it works in the Uk due to the sensible ratings guide. Games follow along the film idea with 18, 15 12 and pg type ratings in the uk, and we also have the adults only rating for sex films which can only be sold on licenced premises but from what I understand the USA lumps anything overly sexualy or violent as an Nc-17. and these have to be displayed out of view of minors. This would mean that although you can go into any shop in the uk and buy GTA so long as you are 18 it can be displayed on the shelves next to other games. In the US you would have to enter the adults only department of a shop to browse the 18 rated titles branding you a naughty Perv :p . and hence people will avoid the embaressment and avoid the games. Hope Im right with that.
Reaper_Unreal 6th March 2006, 19:45 Quote
You know, I really liked this article. It was well written, in-depth, and it didn't make any assumptions. It was clearly fair and balanced. Sigh, if only the mainstream media were like this.
Kipman725 6th March 2006, 20:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper_Unreal
You know, I really liked this article. It was well written, in-depth, and it didn't make any assumptions. It was clearly fair and balanced. Sigh, if only the mainstream media were like this.


the mainstream media have an interest in discrediting games as people arn't reading newspapers/watching tv if there surfing the internet or gaming.
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