Wednesday, December 01, 2004

News: Renewed Furor Over Video Game Violence
Posted by Shocker :: 10:30 AM

Not the latest of news, but I wanted to back off the story for a bit until people sort of moved on from it.

A video game simulation of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination released this week sparked outrage yesterday from a leading entertainment decency watchdog.

In "JFK: Reloaded," the player views Kennedy's fateful Dallas motorcade from the book depository tower in which Oswald sat and is charged with the mission of assassinating the president. The game debuted Monday to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Traffic is offering a $100,000 prize to the first player to "most accurately re-create the three shots fired by Lee Harvey Oswald," according to a news release issued Monday.


Does this cross the line? For myself, I think it's, again, a big disconnect from the attitudes that older politicans have about games versus the reality that is there. Last week, I gave some facts about video game players that stated that a good majority of players are adults (18+) and are capable of making these decisions without politicians' help. But the statements in the article are a bit more insidious than that. Lieberman outright threatens developers and publishers with possible legal action for "contemplating violent action against an elected official." Please.

Video games are a form of media, and like all media, sometimes acts are simulated that the participator would never do, but wants to experience. When we watch a movie like Rambo, are we actively involved in the killing of commandos in the jungle? Or more relevantly, when we buy books, watch TV shows, attend movies, and read magazines about the assassination of JFK, or any figure, are we any more or less culpable for the promotion of that event?

Moreover, where is the outrage over games like Dynasty Warriors, in which you simulate the assassinations of leaders of Chinese dynasties. Oh, wait. That aroma you're catching is the smell of hypocricy. Because it's tragic to you, now it's a problem. If politicians want to make hay, let them. But don't start telling me that I'm culpable for promoting the assassination of a president if I'm interested in a game, when more pure profit has already been made over exploitation of his assassination through books, magazines, movies and television than this game could ever make.

This, by the way, brings up our second ever

How do you guys feel about this? Do you agree with the way I stated it, or do you think that I'm full of it? What about the broader implications of games like this? Will its acceptance, tacit as it may be open the gates for mainstream games about assassinating current political figures?

Respond in comments!

I think it's time to start up a politician education program, tasked with teaching politicians coming from overpriviledged generations how things actually work when real people are involved. I'm not saying it'll be easy, fun, or erotic, but it's something that needs to be done for the good of the nation.

When I see all these ignorant politicians shooting their mouths off about things they don't know about, it makes me sad. And when they talk about the dangers of video game violence, it makes me mad. Anybody who thinks video games make people violent need to be shot in the balls and stomped on until their torsos split open like huge gooey firecrackers and spill out all that stupid held inside.

While we're on the subject of video game rating systems, maybe someone should change the "R" rating of "Mature" to something more like "R". From a semantic standpoint calling a game where you run around blowing shit up at random whilst finding new and exciting ways to look at impossible cleavage "Mature" hurts my brain and I cry a little bit.
I agree with most of what you said, but I also consider this specific game to be a different case from games like GTA and Postal and other purely escapist games. This game exists less to give the player an opportunity to KILL A PREZ-O-DENT OMG than to make some points about the difficulty in reconciling the Warren Commission report with documented events and conditions. If anything, this game exists in order to demonstrate the impossibility of experiencing the Big-Ass I Would Never Do That In Real Life Event that it's getting slammed for "selling".

It also wouldn't surprise me one bit to see a game like this for 9/11 a few years down the pipe.
Actually the game's website says they're trying to show that it IS possible. The fundamental problem of course is that even Oswald wasn't trying to take the exact shots he did (he missed the first one).

As a side note, the game recieved an M rating not for violence or political content, but on account of Jackie's bouncing, buxom, bare titties. Crass? Perhaps, but history is history.
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