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Joined: 2006-10-17

THis essay was done for an assignment in my highschool English Advanced Class. I am sorry if the format is a bit off, it was too big to put in the word document. Again, I would like to thank everyone here for helping me on this and I am sorry for any mistakes / errors / misinterpretations which I show. Ill keep my flame hat on just in case heh.

[CENTER]Violent Video Game Controversy –
The Pixelante Nazi Thugs and the Culture of Violence[/CENTER]

Imagine waking up one day and going through the same routine you do everyday. Take a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, get dressed and go outside. But instead of going to school, you ditch class and steal a car while you shoot an Uzi out the side window. Then you wake up another day and find yourself in the midst of an alien invasion, jump into a tank and start ripping your way through the creatures with chain guns and a healthy dose of fragmentation grenades. If that’s too mundane for you, you can go take a chainsaw and start mauling random people, screaming for their lives. No one would actually think about doing these things in real life, but in video games violence can be a common theme. Not surprisingly, simulation of such events has created quite an uproar across America.

An interesting discovery in my research of violent video games is that scientific research often failed to support the views of video game opponents. The opponents are consistently of the older generation who are afraid for the children’s development. I found gamers to be not a product of violent video games, but rather a subculture resisting restrictions placed on their lifestyle. Therefore, the American culture is actually diverse and created from subcultures. In addition, it has not paid attention to the true causes that give children the will to do such violent acts and use violent games as a scapegoat.

The big question in the violent video game controversy is whether these violent games cause children to commit such violent acts such as the string of school shootings lately and other killing spree-like massacres. The issue has been raised throughout almost all aspects of society from radio, politics, the news, the gaming industry, religion, schools, and the family. However, it is evident that violent games themselves are not the only factor involved in real life violence. In fact, many other factors including mental disorders, poor parenting, and abuse are more often the root of these acts of violence.
The Crusaders[/CENTER]
The greatest opposition against violent video games mainly comes from Christians, concerned parents, politicians, and lawyers. These demographics usually consist of the older generation that are much more conservative in their thinking then the younger generation. The main argument of the conservatives is that violent games cause violent people. Christians often have negative views towards video games due to their sexually explicit, violent, and rebellious nature. The aggressive view towards games has only been catalyzed by the addition of religion into actual games such as Kakuto Chojin, Castlevania. These games contain ‘pagan’ icons and blatant criticism of religion. Parents are probably the biggest and most influential players in the controversy. They are concerned for their children and the effect of violent games has on them. Such concerns often stem from first hand experience with children who exhibit behavior that they view as abnormal. They say that children aren’t naturally supposed to do these things and that they are being driven and conditioned to do violent and antisocial acts by these games. Politicians, eager for more votes, have both attempted to investigate these violent games and to create legislation against them. Nevertheless, the judiciary often destroys them due to constitutionality issues. Lawyers represent those who have been once wronged by these violent games. Usually these lawsuits run in the millions of dollars given the video game industries 7 billion dollar revenue (ESA). One of the most controversial of these figures has been Jack Thompson. He has sponsored numerous anti-gaming bills, represented plaintiffs in the fight against the video game industry, and has taken a proactive approach to attacking violent games. He is not only convinced himself that violent video games are evil, but also considers gamers themselves to be immoral.
He has also compared gamers to “book burners”, “skinheads”, “nazi-thugs”, “pixelantes” and many other derogatory statements. This quote, and many more comments like it, shows how divided the two sides have become over this issue and illustrates the extreme differences between them.

So far those groups of people have tried to put restraints on video games similar to alcohol and tobacco but have failed due to 1st Amendment protection (specifically free speech). These include an Oklahoma bill which would ban sale of ‘inappropriate material’ to minors, but was deemed too broad to be made enforceable. A similar California bill, signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger, was deemed unconstitutional by a judge because children have the right to free information (gamespot.com). Countless other laws try to restrict teenage rated games from minors because of violence, and they have mostly failed. These bills are often made to equate violent games to pornography. A new terminology was created to show the connection, known as “killographic” by Dr.Walsh, a major promoter of video game legislation (NIMF.org). The only progress they have made is to restrict mature games in some states from falling into the hands of minors. Usually, the consequences for breaking these laws range anywhere from a hefty fine to actual jail time ([url]http://www.davis.ca/community/blogs/video_games/)[/url].

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