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Gaming Game Controversy

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[SIZE=1]As the title implies, games have become more and more controversial over the past few weeks. There are particular games more publicized then others, but I believe all games are being watched closer as of late. Some of these stories do have some merit behind them, but some are just ridiculous.

GTA is the more controversial title. Of course it previously had an "M" rating but a code leading to a certain "sex scene" has achieved it an adult only review. Of course, if you're playing the game anyway, I don't think this makes much of a difference. You're already killing cops, stealing cars, beating people with sex toys, I really think a mild sex scene is the least of parents' worries. Of course, Hillary Clinton, thinks otherwise. She claims that those judging the games and applying ratings aren't aware of the actual content within them. Which is ridiculous really. How could a game be given an adequate rating without being played beforehand?

Voice acting is also becoming increasingly complicated. Actors have requested a 37% or so increase in pay for their voice-overs within games. Now I'm sure that the actors and actresses are stressed for money *rolls eyes*, but I think it's ridiculous paying them overwhelming amounts of money to simply talk with some luster for characters within a video game, I mean c'mon.

There are various other stories surrounding certain games, the new systems, XBOX 360, PS3, etc. Details being leaked and things being fabricated. But I wanna know what you guys think. Has gaming really become so complicated? I don't remember it ever being this bad.[/SIZE]

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[font=arial][size=1][color=darkorchid]I read an article in Reader's Digest about a boy who was caught with a stolen car. The police cuffed him and took him to the station, and when he was freed he grabbed one of the officer's gun and shot him down, then encountered two more officer's and killed both of them, too. He was replicating a scene from Grand Theft Auto.

In that same article, it said a man was suing multiple companies for $600 each: Take Two Entertainment and Rockstar Games for manufacturing GTA, and Walmart and Gamestop for distributing it. I don't think he's being completely unreasonable: violent, controversial video games have been proven to, in few cases, lead to violent reactions and attempted (and achieved) murder. It listed a few massacres, including the Colombine shooting, and said that the kids who started it were very much into violent games.

Now then, how could ANYONE get insane over Galaga? That's probably my favorite game right now. xÞ;;[/font][/color][/size]

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[quote name='Kamuro][SIZE=1']Voice acting is also becoming increasingly complicated. Actors have requested a 37% or so increase in pay for their voice-overs within games. Now I'm sure that the actors and actresses are stressed for money *rolls eyes*, but I think it's ridiculous paying them overwhelming amounts of money to simply talk with some luster for characters within a video game, I mean c'mon.[/SIZE][/quote]

[color=darkred]Money isn't always the motivation that drives actors and other celebrities to take part in voice acting in games. 50 Cent was offered to provide the voice for CJ in San Andreas, but turned it down because he said that if he ever wanted to provide voice acting in a video game, then he'd act as himself, like he will be in his upcoming game 50 Cent: Bulletproof.

For one, I see famous people doing voices for video game characters as a sort of added bonus. Most of the time I never really notice who's acting as who when it happens, (take Ray Liotta as Tommy Verceti, for example), but still, it wouldn't kill for it not to happen, so either way I'm not particularly bothered.[/color]

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[QUOTE=Ailes de Velour][font=arial][size=1][color=darkorchid]

In that same article, it said a man was suing multiple companies for $600 each: Take Two Entertainment and Rockstar Games for manufacturing GTA, and Walmart and Gamestop for distributing it. I don't think he's being completely unreasonable: violent, controversial video games have been proven to, in few cases, lead to violent reactions and attempted (and achieved) murder. [/font][/color][/size][/QUOTE]

Umm, I don't think that there is any proof that games lead to violent behavior, how exactly would you prove that?

I think that people that are predisposed to violence may take some inspiration from violent games or movies, but its more about the problems with the person than the game. If you are rasied right, you can play GTA (or any other game for that matter) and its just a fun game. Bullying in school had something to do with the Columbine shootings, them playing Doom (or whatever) didn't cause them to want to shoot people.

So basically, you'd have to be messed up in the first place to act out violent parts of videogames. There is so much stuff in GTA anyway, you can't claim any carjacking to be playing out a scene from GTA. The cops weren't trying to stop Player #1 when they beat the hell out of Rodney King, and surely nobody blames Super Mario Brothers fro hippies eating mushrooms.

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[COLOR=Indigo][SIZE=1][FONT=Arial]What's pathetic is all these people are bitching about their 8 to 14 year olds having access to this sex scene in GTA when:

a) It's an M rated game, ie 17 and over. They would've had to buy the game for their children to begin with and
b) To even unlock it on the console versions you have to get a GameShark or something similar, then input a long arse code THEN you can see hardcore Team America style puppet sex. I'm sure every 10 year old is willing to go to those lengths when they can just type 'porn' into Google if they really want to see sex. Ahem.

I think it's about time these parents started being more responsible for their children, instead of letting a PS2 raise their kids for them. If they really cared about their kids they wouldn't be letting them get their hands on GTA to begin with. What's worse is that it's an M rated game, where you routinely bash and kill random bystanders and perform any number of violent illegal acts, but one (incredibly hard to get to) sex scene has them up in arms.

It just goes to show how ignorant some people can be.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]

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[QUOTE=Ailes de Velour][font=arial][size=1][color=darkorchid]I read an article in Reader's Digest about a boy who was caught with a stolen car. The police cuffed him and took him to the station, and when he was freed he grabbed one of the officer's gun and shot him down, then encountered two more officer's and killed both of them, too. He was replicating a scene from Grand Theft Auto.

In that same article, it said a man was suing multiple companies for $600 each: Take Two Entertainment and Rockstar Games for manufacturing GTA, and Walmart and Gamestop for distributing it. I don't think he's being completely unreasonable: violent, controversial video games have been proven to, in few cases, lead to violent reactions and attempted (and achieved) murder. It listed a few massacres, including the Colombine shooting, and said that the kids who started it were very much into violent games.

Now then, how could ANYONE get insane over Galaga? That's probably my favorite game right now. xÞ;;[/font][/color][/size][/QUOTE]
Ahh, but we have no connection. I find that the games have a very positive effect. I can't kill people in real life, so I do it in a fictional world. I jump bikes and run from the cops. There is no proof that violent games are more than stress relievers.

$600? Rockstar and Take Two will settle for $20,000 for the guy to shut up. It's like me suing you for a penny.

The kid was replicating a scene from Grand Theft Auto to get out of murder. If I went and shot someone like someone did in GTA, does that make me any less guilty of the crime?

The Colombine kids were bullied and neglected to insanity. Just because they [I]play [/I] the games doesn't mean that there is a connection. They were just really pissed off and had no self control.

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[QUOTE=satan665]Umm, I don't think that there is any proof that games lead to violent behavior, how exactly would you prove that?

I think that people that are predisposed to violence may take some inspiration from violent games or movies, but its more about the problems with the person than the game. If you are rasied right, you can play GTA (or any other game for that matter) and its just a fun game. Bullying in school had something to do with the Columbine shootings, them playing Doom (or whatever) didn't cause them to want to shoot people.

So basically, you'd have to be messed up in the first place to act out violent parts of videogames. There is so much stuff in GTA anyway, you can't claim any carjacking to be playing out a scene from GTA. The cops weren't trying to stop Player #1 when they beat the hell out of Rodney King, and surely nobody blames Super Mario Brothers fro hippies eating mushrooms.[/QUOTE]
When i saw this topic i was pretty much gonna say what he said, but it's been said so I'll just agree with satan.

Except for that last line about Super Mario Bros. We should blame the hippies who did shrooms for influencing Super Mario Bros since hippies came long b4 Mario. Those damned hippies must've screwed with Miyamoto's head!

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I think I'll say my piece, then sit back and enjoy the reactions.

Anyways, I think satan665's got it right: violent games do not make people violent, but, like the guy in the [i]Reader's Digest[/i] article, may choose as acts of violence things thay saw in violent games. I agree with Morpheus, too, in that video games can be great for stress relief. When I'm really pissed for whatever reason, I'll pop in [i]Drakengard[/i] and kill a couple thousand people. That normally helps.

Now, here's what really gets me about the whole violent video games thing: while everyone's talking about violent video games, we've got things like alchohol that have an undeniable correlation with violent and/or dangerous behavior, yet nobody's doing anything about them. If you really want to cut down on violence, what should you go after? Well, how about the single greatest contributor to violence in the history of mankind? For those of you who are wondering, I'm talking about religion. Before you all start b%tching at me, read my reasoning.

First, take a look at the history of Christianity. We've got the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and about ten bazillion onther, less well-known incidents. The irony here is that Jesus preached for peace and compassion, yet more people have died 'in his name' than for any other reason. As for other religions, well, I confess to not knowing much, but I'm sure that there have been incidents of violence ustified by religion for all major and most minor belief systems. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that religion should be banned or anything. I just find it odd that the big focus is on violent video games when things that have a prooven conection with violence, like alchahol and religion, go unchallenged. I just don't get it.

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I agree with takuya. Religion only leads to hate.

I think it's funny to point out that crime is on the fall. This coincided with the release of Doom:
[IMG]http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/games/halocrime.gif[/IMG]

All I can say is LOL...

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[color=darkred]At the end of the day, video games are an escape from reality. A form of stress relief. In this escape, one should be able to do whatever he or she pleases without going through the fuss of controversy or government interventions. You may want to have sex or kill a cop in GTA because you may never get the chance in reality. Video games are like a world of make belief, where anything you could possibly want to exist or happen happens, and it's there for you to enjoy. Bottom line.[/color]

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I also agree with Takuya for the most part.

Have you guys watched Bowling for Columbine? That movie was pretty much about how media is more to blame than video games. More specifically the night time News and scare tactics from the President. The violence that is supposedly spawned from video games doesnt really have anything to do with religion. So religious violence may be a big thing but it doesn't coincide with the type of violence that we are discussing here. Alcohol is a fairly good example as a cause of this type of violent behavior, though.

Religion will be around for a long *** time. It's too deeply embeded in the world's cultures, especially places like India, Pakistan and the middle east in general. No one would ever dream of taking on a religion. There is almost no way to ever convince a religious person that they're beliefs are probably wrong. There is this illogical and stubborn nature of religious people when their religion is put into question .... but i digress .....

Rockstar games shouldnt have left that little bit of code in the game but it wasn't entirely their fault. It's like blaming the creators of the Sims for those nude patches. The fact remains that the product that goes off the shelf deserves an M rating. If someone wants to tinker with it at home, that's their problem. Also, the same kid could just as eaily pick up some porn off the internet, along with more indept sex games. GTA is the worst of the parents problems if porn is such a bad bad thing that worps peoples minds. I watched porn when i was 13 ... not like it really did anything to me. Some of these ultra conservative bastards have to open up their eyes. There really is no issue. I say, if the kid knows what it is and is smart enough to know how to install it, then he should be able to use it. Worst that could happen is that his mom walks in and has a heart attack. :animesmil

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[SIZE=1]I think for the most part people use video games as a scape goat for violent activities in reality. Anyone who saw something in a game and then re-enacted it in reality, especially at the cost of someone's life, has mental problems in the first place, all games barred. Any sane person would chalk up video games to just that, games.

Awhile ago a mother thought it wise to sue the creaters of Everquest, because her son killed himself. Apparently, he'd worked on a character and his character died, so...he killed himself. His character's name, by the way, was called "ILoveYou." His life was nothing spectacular, so he played the game and became obessessed and enthralled. It is ridiculous to blame something like this on the game's creator. The boy was obviously unstable to begin with, get over it.

There is so much useless controversy surrounding video games, most of it is just senseless babble. People with to much tiem on their hands.[/SIZE]

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Well my two cents has pretty much been covered. Any sane person can just play video games and enjoy them as what they are. Still what I don't understand is why people need to use a scape goat like this. Of course I can't entirely blame parents and such. They do hold part of the blame though, given that they raised their children, although sometimes it's the lack of raising that does this...

However one thing I always thought was odd is that no one tries to blame games for other things. It's always negative aspects. It goes for music too. (although movies don't get it nearly as bad these days, they still get hammered every so often)

Seriously, sometimes I swear people think that no child could possibly just be messed up and that something had to be at fault.

...Actually I happen to think that in general, more blame is being put on entertainment and such lately (holds back a rant on censorship)

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[SIZE=1]Interesting, most interesting.

The correlation between violent video games and acts of violence in real life are at best supposition, there have been no clear studies done so far that link absolutely and beyond all doubt violence in videogames and violence in the real world. Some individuals are more prone to violent acts than others, it's a simple accepted fact, did Jack the Ripper have a nice game of Hitman before he went off and committed his horrific murders ? I think not. The fact is for years violent videogames have been used as scapegoats for society's ills as a whole, rather than simply addressing the problem most politicians seem to be content to sit back and say "It's all Rockstar's fault for creating these games".

That said however when games become violent to the point where it is not only horrific but gratuitous i.e. Manhunt, then there does need to be a bit of thought on the side of the developers. Violence by itself does not influence a person, if it did then anyone who played Grand Theft Auto would be out there beating some poor sod's head in for a few euro, or robbing a car or God forbid in a country where gun access is common killing someone. Half of these so called "GTA" influenced crimes are nothing but a defence solicitor telling his/her client that by pleading they were influenced by a violent videogame then it may generate publicity for the case and mercy of the individual because of they were being influenced by a force outside their control.

Long story short, there will always be violent people in our society, it is something brought from when human's were primitive savages and as such is in each an everyone of us. However as human being who are civilised for the most part we have common sense and a sense of what is right and wrong, watching violent movies may show acts of violence but normal people should be able to distinguish between that which is real and that which is not.[/SIZE]

[QUOTE=Ailes de Velour][font=arial][size=1][color=darkorchid]I read an article in Reader's Digest about a boy who was caught with a stolen car. The police cuffed him and took him to the station, and when he was freed he grabbed one of the officer's gun and shot him down, then encountered two more officer's and killed both of them, too. He was replicating a scene from Grand Theft Auto.

In that same article, it said a man was suing multiple companies for $600 each: Take Two Entertainment and Rockstar Games for manufacturing GTA, and Walmart and Gamestop for distributing it. I don't think he's being completely unreasonable: violent, controversial video games have been proven to, in few cases, lead to violent reactions and attempted (and achieved) murder. It listed a few massacres, including the Colombine shooting, and said that the kids who started it were very much into violent games.[/font][/color][/size][/QUOTE]

[SIZE=1]As I said before this "replication of GTA" is for the most part utter crap, the fact that the child may have had a predilection for violence seems painfully obvious at this point. This person in the first place would have had to be clearly aware that what he was doing was [b]not[/b] the same as Grand Theft Auto, as any person with half a brain cell would be able to comprehend. Where were the boy's parents ? did he watch violent movies ? was he known to have a violent demeanour ? how was he proficient enough to discharge a police officer's weapon when there's a safety on all firearms ? A litany of questions which are not answered because it's easier to say he was influenced by a semi realistic videogame.

In the context of the man suing, was he directly affected by Rockstar and it's product as well as it's distributors ? or was he just looking for quick money by hoping on a band wagon. It's sheer stupidity, it's like suing McDonald's because their food is fattening, you have the choice not to buy it. As I said before, certain people are violent by nature, a proven psychological fact. Any act or action can provoke these people into acts of violence and as such blaming the catalyst rather than the person seems rather a rather imaginative choice.[/SIZE]

[QUOTE=Takuya]IWell, how about the single greatest contributor to violence in the history of mankind? For those of you who are wondering, I'm talking about religion. Before you all start b%tching at me, read my reasoning.

First, take a look at the history of Christianity. We've got the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and about ten bazillion onther, less well-known incidents. The irony here is that Jesus preached for peace and compassion, yet more people have died 'in his name' than for any other reason. As for other religions, well, I confess to not knowing much, but I'm sure that there have been incidents of violence ustified by religion for all major and most minor belief systems. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that religion should be banned or anything. I just find it odd that the big focus is on violent video games when things that have a prooven conection with violence, like alchahol and religion, go unchallenged. I just don't get it.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='BasouKazuma']Religion will be around for a long *** time. It's too deeply embeded in the world's cultures, especially places like India, Pakistan and the middle east in general. No one would ever dream of taking on a religion. There is almost no way to ever convince a religious person that they're beliefs are probably wrong. There is this illogical and stubborn nature of religious people when their religion is put into question .... but i digress .....[/quote]

[quote name='Morpheus']I agree with takuya. Religion only leads to hate.[/quote]

[SIZE=1]As a Roman Catholic I read those three responses with both amazement an utter disbelief. I'm going to address each of these people in turn to prove to them that religion is in fact [b]not[/b] the source of violent behaviour. I will be the first to admit that the Catholic Church was not the pillar of virtue it should have been for many centuries, abuses rampant in the Church stripped away it's core values because those in charge were not virtuous men. The Catholic Church is based on the teaching of Christ, love, compassion, generosity, decency, things most people regard as morally right because religion taught them that they were morally right. Where as greed, violence, hate and anger as seen as wrong because ? yes you guessed it, religion informed the people that such ideas, acts and emotions were wrong.

[B]Takuya[/b]
As I said, the Catholic Church has committed acts of violence in the past, but the Crusades were not instigated by the Church. Rather the Crusades were a geo-political war, rather than a religious was, the Holy Land was important not just for religious reasons but also military and defence reasons. The fact remains that wars between Powers in the Middle East and Europe were common place, the fact that these for both trade reasons and those of religion does not mean that religion itself was responsible. As I stated before, those acts are not at the core beliefs of any major religions, whether Catholic, Protestant or other Christian based, Islam, Judaism or other religions.

The Spanish Inquisition took place during what was basically a civil war, a religious civil war but a civil war none the less, Catholicism had been the only Christian religion and with the advent of Protestantism it was causing a schism is the Church. Violent acts took place on both sides because it was for better or worse a civil war between Catholics, however it was because of that civil war that the Church was able to finally get rid of it's crippling abuses. I'm not trying to justify that violence, it was wrong and any Catholic today would accept that, but are you seriously saying that violence that occurred during the American Civil War was not wrong because it wasn't religiously based. That those who owned slaves in the South and treated them as sub-human were not wrong because it wasn't religious based.

The fact is that those who commit acts of violence in the name of God are not acting in his name because they do not act as he has instructed them to. These are people called extremists and they exist in every major area of life, whether religious, political or ideological.

[b]BasouKazuma[/b]
That fact that you say that a religious person's beliefs are "[i]probably wrong[/i]" is half the problem. That fact that I believe what I believe in is right doesn't make me stubborn, it's simply the basis of faith. And to say that because religion is strong in many countries is some how a bad thing is something I feel deeply troubled. Your statement is (no offence) filled with such arrogance that it is rather amusing, you say probably wrong as though you have some inconclusive proof that it is wrong, but add in probably just in case you are wrong. I'm not trying to be offensive, but an atheist has no right to say that my beliefs are wrong or evil because they don't agree with them.

[b]Morpheus[/b]
No Morpheus, [I]fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering[/I].

All jokes aside as I have state before religious beliefs are not responsible for hate, unless of course the core beliefs stipulates as such but no major religion of this world comes anywhere near such a belief system. [/SIZE]

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Nice double post, Gav!

Since i do not wish to discuss this here and draw this thread off topic as Gavin has, here's a link to where I am moving this religious conversation for anyone who wants to go any further with this topic.

[url]http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=48642[/url]

I'm starting to hate Rockstar games for pushing so far and creating this whole problem with censorship. I'm strongly against censorship and this just doesnt help at all. Worst case scenario: game designers will have less creative freedom, which would blow.

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[quote name='Kamuro][SIZE=1']GTA is the more controversial title. Of course it previously had an "M" rating but a code leading to a certain "sex scene" has achieved it an adult only review. Of course, if you're playing the game anyway, I don't think this makes much of a difference. You're already killing cops, stealing cars, beating people with sex toys, I really think a mild sex scene is the least of parents' worries. Of course, Hillary Clinton, thinks otherwise. She claims that those judging the games and applying ratings aren't aware of the actual content within them. Which is ridiculous really. How could a game be given an adequate rating without being played beforehand?[/quote]

What you're talking about here in the last sentences is exactly why the politicians have so much of a problem with these games and the ESRB in the first place. It's how it works and she's complaining about that... why is it wrong to have a problem with it?

The ESRB does not play ANY of these games. They're given a write-up/survey that answers some basic questions about the content and such. They're also given tapes that show first-hand examples and complete cutscenes that may be considered inappropriate for an E-type rating.

To expect these people to play through every title end to end is ridiculous. It is--and I think [i]should[/i] be--the job of the developers to adequately answer these questions and objectives given to them by this ratings system.

Almost alll of these same politicians have been bitching about GTA before San Andreas. They have more fodder now because "Hot Coffee" adds to all of their previous complaints. It's also the issue of the fact that that modification (if you even want to call it that) goes beyond what the ESRB was shown and how they rated this title. It gives further credence to the idea that the ESRB is broken in very basic ways, not the least of which is the fact that the members of it are essentially industry employees leading to an obvious conflict of interests.

That's the problem here. It's not simply that "omg, there's sex! I didn't care about the violence, but sex is wrong!!" Obviously this country gets more worked up over that and I think too many politicians are focusing on this specifically (aside from focusing on this to confuse uninformed people to think they're great workers of the cause of the everyday American).

But to me, and I think a lot of these peopel, it's not a case of censorship as much as it is a case of things not being properly labelled and marketed. In essence, because of the ease of this "Hot Coffee" change, the game has been sold and marketed to people that it shouldn't have been [i]by the definitions of the ESRB ratings, store regulations and magazine allowances[/i]. I'm not talking from a "moral" standpoint, but simply by the rules. I would assume most people know that a lot of magazines will NOT allow ads for AO rated games in their magazines and a lot of stores wouldn't have even sold it to begin with. If this game came out at AO to begin with, of course some people would complain about the fact that it exists at all, but they'd have no real grounds to complain to this degree because it would be properly rated and marketed.


As for the voice thing, I think it's a bunch of BS. I side with the main complaint against this... if a voice actor should get royalties for best-selling titles then so should the programmers and artists and such that spend literally 100 times more work on it. A raise is one thing, but they don't want that alone. They're already making something like $300 an hour last I heard.

A lot of voice actors aren't part of those unions to begin with. They're just going to wind up forcing studios to rely on non-union workers and that will be the end of it. There's so many "professional" voice actors out there that are doing terrible jobs in games even today to begin with.

And lastly, the rumor complaint... it's not any worse than it has been really any generation that's had the internet.

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[QUOTE=Generic NPC #3]

To expect these people to play through every title end to end is ridiculous. It is--and I think [i]should[/i] be--the job of the developers to adequately answer these questions and objectives given to them by this ratings system.

[/QUOTE]


Do you realize what you just said here? If they had to play through all of the games it would create the single greatest job in history. Of course you might get canned if you weren't good enough to finish a game.

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[quote name='Generic NPC #3']The ESRB does not play ANY of these games. They're given a write-up/survey that answers some basic questions about the content and such. They're also given tapes that show first-hand examples and complete cutscenes that may be considered inappropriate for an E-type rating.[/quote]

[SIZE=1]Well, for one, If the ESRB is supposed to veiw all seemingly controversial cutscenes and portions of the game, then it's the creator of the game who should suffer the consequences for the inadequate rating. It's their job to provide the ESRB with all the information needed to place the best rating possible.

But this isn't the case, instead of cracking down on this one portion of gaming, whether it be the game itself, the creator of the game, etc. Instead they bare down on all games and industries due to the mistake of a certain company or product. I think it's unfair to look at GTA and then generalize about all video games. Do you think the politicians, or even the parents play these games. I can assure you that few play GTA and most don't play video games at all. So they see this one controversial scene, and thats all they have to go on. There is so many examples of good gaming, but this one spark of opposition causes problems for everyone.

As far as parents go, if their children are playing GTA already, then they aren't doing their job. It already had an M rating, they would've had to buy it for their child anyway. And this particular scene is far from the worst thing in this game. Killing policemen, people, prostitutes, etc. And everyones worried about this particular scene. I mean c'mon.[/SIZE]

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[font=Trebuchet MS]I don't have time to read all the replies right now and I'm just posting my opinion before I have to go, so forgive me if I simply repeat what others have said or seem to have ignored others' points.

I really don't think that video games influence anyone who isn't already predisposed to violence and/or would otherwise do something that's depicted in a "controversial" video game. I know that I haven't (or hope that I haven't) picked up a shotgun, raped a hooker, and beaten an old woman with her body... and that's really how rediculous the whole issue is. Anyone can say "I was influenced by GTA!!" and the politicians will come a-runnin' screaming about desensitized youth and the apocolypse and other such nonsense.

Many people say these sorts of things having never played such a game, or video games at all; most politicians say these sorts of things as a quick way to get votes. I wonder how a politican or an overzealous parent would respond if you asked them if they think they would become a homicidal rapist after playing GTA...?

The whole thing is ludicrous. The previous generation will [b]always[/b] have problems with the current generation -- it's always been that way. People seem to easily forget that [b]they[/b] were once called a bad generation by [b]their[/b] parents.
[/font]

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[QUOTE=Kamuro][SIZE=1]Well, for one, If the ESRB is supposed to veiw all seemingly controversial cutscenes and portions of the game, then it's the creator of the game who should suffer the consequences for the inadequate rating. It's their job to provide the ESRB with all the information needed to place the best rating possible.

But this isn't the case, instead of cracking down on this one portion of gaming, whether it be the game itself, the creator of the game, etc. Instead they bare down on all games and industries due to the mistake of a certain company or product. I think it's unfair to look at GTA and then generalize about all video games. Do you think the politicians, or even the parents play these games. I can assure you that few play GTA and most don't play video games at all. So they see this one controversial scene, and thats all they have to go on. There is so many examples of good gaming, but this one spark of opposition causes problems for everyone.

As far as parents go, if their children are playing GTA already, then they aren't doing their job. It already had an M rating, they would've had to buy it for their child anyway. And this particular scene is far from the worst thing in this game. Killing policemen, people, prostitutes, etc. And everyones worried about this particular scene. I mean c'mon.[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

Obviously it's the problem of that specific developer. Clinton hasn't said anything about censoring every game in existance. Neither have any of the grounded politicians out there either, whose interviews you'll see on IGN or whatever else. They don't want children to be able to buy these games, just like they don't want kids buying porno magazines or going into R rated movies. This isn't censorship, it's getting kids to avoid questionable material.

So in that case, I don't even see the issue. They aren't saying all games are evil. They aren't saying no games should have this content. They aren't saying people old enough shouldn't be able to play these games. In fact, many of them have been careful to stress all of this. Of course, there's always the more extreme ones, but what they're trying to do would never go by someone of moderate intelligence in the first place and certainly never pass, same with anything else they do. These things give too much tax money and courts plop down the free speech angle on things all the time... it's why the compromise to put "explicit lyrics" stickers on music was made.

What you were saying would make sense if 1) retailers got in trouble for selling M-rated games to children under 17 in the first place, 2) if carding kids to make sure they're old enough was a common, required practice and 3) if adults had to be present in even a remote majority of situations where kids got these games. The plain fact is that none of those are the case. Time and time again it has been proven through studies that something like 70%+ of minors have had no problem buying supposed 17 and older games at any store they please and because of the idea of "games are for kids" that's still prevalent in this society, there is not any sort of social stigma that's present like there would be if these kids tried to buy R-Rated movie tickets or porno magazines.

I mean, I'd rather they'd just shut up, change this game and move on too, but this isn't a case of what's "fair" or "unfair". They've been going after Rockstar, GTA and Take 2 specifically because of these reasons. I've not seen a single other game bitched about during all of this (aside from that REALLY uninformed politician on Sims 2 and maybe everyone has noticed that not a single other person has jumped on his bandwagon), so I don't really see what the issue is here. They're going after that company much more actively than anything else. If they don't do anything about any of this, what message does that send? More proof for politicians that the ESRB has no actual power or importance or objectivity, something they've been clamoring about for years now. This isn't something that popped up simply because of "Hot Coffee"... which totally undermines the system in the first place.

In turn it of course would lead to a questioning of the industry as a whole because many of them feel this was an issue before San Andreas came out to begin with. When you have a situation where the ESRB is misinformed, slow to act, does ratings these groups think are too lenient in many cases AND are essentially industry employees (again, as I said, causing a rather large conflict of interests), I don't see why they wouldn't question the ESRB and industry as a whole anyway. It's just logical from that point of view. They're not getting pissed about Super Mario or Katamari Damacy, they're getting pissed over how this could have happened and why this game wasn't properly dealt with. Expecting them to not question how the rest of the related processes work in the industry seems odd to me. They want to avoid future issues like this and I don't blame them. Of course, there's some of that "hey, I want to blow this thing up so I look like a great politician stuff" too, but I think a lot of that is largely secondary to the main issue personally lol.

So again, I don't think this is as much of a "OMG kids are seeing sex and" thing as much as it is "see, we told you the ratings system was fundamentally broken and things need to be done about it", based on the actually informed things I've read. Uninformed opinions from these people rarely seem to go anywhere... afterall, what was done with Mortal Kombat years ago? It's bloodier than ever lol. Kids shouldn't have these games, but they can easily buy them themselves. What is stopping kids from hiding them and playing them when their parents are away? I don't think all the blame lies on parents who don't expect their children to have M rated games and then later find out their kid has easy access to them.

If people buy them for their kids themselves, then whatever, there's nothing that can be done about it (and the politicians have said this, again saying they don't want to censor these titles if they're properly rated)... but at least then they'd have no room to blame the companies or retailers like they can now. I think that would be an important step in making the "blame" more clear in the future and would likely actually [i]benefit[/i] the industry.

Anyway, I'd normally agree with what you're saying in here, but I find myself agreeing with the opposite side as well and defending it because it seems to have so much more opposition lol. I'm conflicted. :animeknow

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[SIZE=1]I don't know. Maybe I'm simply upset at the fact that someone I've never met, and knows nothing about me, is choosing what "appropriate" is for someone my age. Generalizing obviously isn't the way to go concerning such serious matters. So one mentally disturbed person go's out and kills someone because they "saw it in a video game," in turn decreasing the government's estimation of kids' maturity. They go purely on assumption.

I think you give the "politicians" to much credit. Sure, they have good intentions, but in the vast majority of cases things get out of hand. I think this is being taken a bit to far. As I said, the game already had an M rating. If a store declines the option to card it's customer, then that should be the problem rather then the game content itself.

"1) retailers got in trouble for selling M-rated games to children under 17 in the first place, 2) if carding kids to make sure they're old enough was a common, required practice," thats how it's supposed to be. We put these restrictions on games for this very reason. What difference will it make to change the rating? If the store doesn't ask for ID, they'll still be able to buy it and play it to their heart's content. So why all this political fodder over changing the rating when in the long run (judging by your statistics) it won't make a difference anyway?[/SIZE]

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In the church section of the local paper there was an article about GTA getting the AO rating. It was talking about how terrible it is that kids praise the game and even suggested that parents read their children's blogs to see what type of games they play and what they think of them and such. I just remember laughing when at one point it said that GTA had trained some kid to kill. This kid apparently killed three policemen and said (or perhaps it was his mother) that he learned it from GTA.

Really, it trained him how to use a gun? If that's the case then my driving should be great after playing all those racing games. Ah but funny how it's not. I still don't understand why games only teach how to kill in the eyes of all these people. I'd love to hear a case of a video game teaching a kid to go save the princess. A real gun and a ps2 controller are, surprisingly, very different though. I don't think it could train him to shoot.

The guy who wrote the article is a bit odd to me anyway. He was so mad but he even pointed out that parents need to know the ratings system and that retailers should enforce it. So really the problem isn't with the games but we all know that...it's with the people who should be using the rating system.

Oh and another thing about the GTA rating change...it is a bit like going from R to NC-17 but really, was the change warrented? It seems to me that if M means no one under 17 in the first place that it SHOULD have been ok...

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[quote name='Kamuro][SIZE=1']I don't know. Maybe I'm simply upset at the fact that someone I've never met, and knows nothing about me, is choosing what "appropriate" is for someone my age. Generalizing obviously isn't the way to go concerning such serious matters. So one mentally disturbed person go's out and kills someone because they "saw it in a video game," in turn decreasing the government's estimation of kids' maturity. They go purely on assumption.[/SIZE][/quote]

[SIZE=1]The unfortunate problem Kamuro is that for the most part age ratings work, they're designed to prevent younger people from accessing materials or seeing things that they shouldn't see until they're deemed ready once they hit an age. If the group responsible for giving the rating able to give an appropriate rating, or the company that created the game doesn't submit the proper information for the rater to give a proper rating, or a store sells the game to those under the age then it's only natural that problems are going to occur.

As much as a dislike the idea, ratings work because as mature as some children consider themselves to be, they may not be ready to see everything they're going to see if they get games that are rated for ages above them. Imagine if you will if a Grand Theft Auto game, or GTA clone is ever created is such realism that the violence and criminal offences in it are reproduced in life-like detail, watching some poor bastards brains splatter all over a wall in grotesque detail after a bullet. Or watching the blood spray from an open knife wound, while listening to the person scream in pain and terror, or taking a baseball bat to the skull of an old women for a few dollars and seeing her head turn to pulp, you get the idea.

Though I have said that videogame or movie violence doesn't influence people, a twelve or fourteen year old shouldn't see such things as I have described above at such an age, hell at any age. Grand Theft Auto is fortunate it's violence has always had a cartoonish side to it, it doesn't look real, which is why Manhunt is regarded with a sense of horror and GTA with a sense of "it's just a game". Ratings are there to give people an idea of what to expect, and if the government make an assumption about how mature fifteen/sixteen/seventeen or eighteen year olds are then that's their prerogative.

I agree that politicians shouldn't use Grand Theft Auto or games like it to generalise all games, but certain games do need to be rated in order to keep them away from those who shouldn't see the content of it. I agree also that ID should be required for people to buy 18s rated games, just as they would for movies or videos, but laziness on the behalf of some just stokes the fury of over-zealous parents and politicians. [/SIZE]

[quote name='Bio][font=Trebuchet MS]The whole thing is ludicrous. The previous generation will [b]always[/b] have problems with the current generation -- it's always been that way. People seem to easily forget that [b]they[/b] were once called a bad generation by [b]their[/b'] parents.[/font][/quote]

[SIZE=1]Exactly, but it's not something you're going to hear, because as soon as a parent gets the opportunity to condemn something they see their child enjoying, all their (the parent's) acts as a young adult disappear from memory. My father for instance had long hair at my age, longer than mine and yet he feels it's appropriate to demand I get a hair cut because he dislikes it.[/SIZE]

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[quote name='Kamuro][SIZE=1']"1) retailers got in trouble for selling M-rated games to children under 17 in the first place, 2) if carding kids to make sure they're old enough was a common, required practice," thats how it's supposed to be. We put these restrictions on games for this very reason. What difference will it make to change the rating? If the store doesn't ask for ID, they'll still be able to buy it and play it to their heart's content. So why all this political fodder over changing the rating when in the long run (judging by your statistics) it won't make a difference anyway?[/SIZE][/quote]

I understand where you're coming from with most of this. I mean, it's not like I've been this age all my life lol.

But, really, the question you're posing here kind of answers itself. The stores don't card because they aren't required by law to do so. It's up to the individual store. Part of the argument here is making these ratings actually mean something and hold people who sell these things to underage kids accountable. It's not something that is done, but it's definitely something they want to be a standard. Here in Illinois the government is pushing strongly for that and wants to fine retailers that sell games directly to these kids (this would not matter if a parent bought the game and gave it to their kids, so if your parents think you can deal with the stuff it's not an issue).

In terms of rating this AO, the difference is enormous. If a game is rated AO, these kids would have next to no access to it to begin with. Almost any store would refuse to carry this game (Target, Sears, Walmart, K-Mart, Toys R Us...etc) and magazines that deal with games would refuse to run print ads for it. The difference is that we're going from something kids can buy anywhere under current laws to something that they'd probably have a hard time finding at all. The game also wouldn't be marketed in publications that are completely and totally geared towards people under 17.

I think people are getting the idea that politicians are jumping on this Hot Coffee thing and that alone. They're jumping on anything M and up being sold to people under the ages suggested by the ESRB. They don't think they should be "suggestions" as much as they think they should be "requirements". That's really their main goal here. Not to make all M rated games AO or to censor them or block their sale entirely. It's just a matter of how responsible these companies are being, whether or not the ESRB even has any pull or importance in anything and who these games are truly being marketed to.

I don't know how else to explain it lol. I don't think politicians are great or anything, but I certainly see where some of the (smart) ones are coming from.

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[CENTER][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=Red]Anyone know the name of the video game Hitler was playing?

Yeah...

Violence has been around since the dawn of mankind. We don't need video games, movies, or music to spark it. Just call someone's religion nonsense, or, hell, even throw snow on someone's property and let the violence begin.

Plain and simple, anyone who blames any form of media for violence is an idiot.

Also, I never take anyone's complaints serious when they get outraged over some polygons "having sex" when it's one of the more innocent actions that could be done in the game, not to mention impossible to find without a hack or cheat. On top of that, as already mentioned, GTA San Andreas is a Mature rated game, meaning 17 and up, and yet people with children are complaining, why? Their child isn't supposed to be playing it to begin with and if they are then the only person to blame is the parents themselves for not paying attention to their child enough to know what he/she is occupying their time with.

Also, making GTA San Andreas an Adult Only game is pointless as it's only a one year difference in age requirement. I mean at that rate Rockstar should just make the sex mini-game accessible now that it's an AO game, I mean no point in keeping it locked away now. I guaran-damn-tee that had GTA San Andreas been an AO game to begin with we'd still be hearing these complaints from these idiots.[/COLOR] [/FONT][/CENTER]

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