I could bore you with a bunch of facts and statistics, and I plan on doing exactly that. But before you get bogged down with silly information being flung directly into your eyeballs, think about something. Kids don’t behave like adults. Sure, people have some basic traits carried over from childhood, but for the most part we don’t really act the same way we did when we were kids. This is a good thing. No one wants a cute but whiney sociopath running shit in the real word. We know in our heart that Dexter would make a terrible veterinarian, or meter-maid. The lack of empathy and the impulsivity that dictates so much of childhood is all but totally impractical in most of everyday adult life.
I did say “most”
Not only are personalities not carried over from childhood, but most memories are also forgotten. The details of your favorite book or movie from when you were little are probably mostly forgotten. The details of your average day from fourth grade probably didn’t stay with you anymore than your skills on the recorder did. Most of childhood people move from terror, to confusion, to indignation, to unbridled joy with little incentive. It sucked being a kid, we just forget that when we till kids we wish we were young again. Thankfully, childhood is not permanent and we grow out of most of our unfavorable qualities. And if that’s true how can some game we played as a kid fuck us up later by accident?
8.) There Was Violence Before Video Games
Ever person like myself, who is against the banning or censoring of media cite this as a pretty big hole in the logic of their opponent’s arguments. “Why ban movies like Rambo if people went on killings sprees before that movie even came out?” It’s a good question that is usually met with a condescending smirk and some old white person telling” you that’s not the point.” To that I always think but almost never say, “yes it fucking is.” If you think that violence in movies and video games cause violence in real life, then you should also believe that violence increases if a really violent movie comes out. If that doesn’t happen, then you’re wrong. Even if you don’t like being wrong that doesn’t make you right.
Just don’t tell them that
Media does affect people. If a white girl watches The Notebook she feels happy, same with Black people and Madea movies. But happy movies don’t change the entire sociopolitical of the world for the better anymore than violent movies send us into a dystopian hellscape. It’s because people aren’t machines. Even if we are affected by a movie or a game for a few hours or days after seeing or playing it, we know its fiction. The content doesn’t change our personality if there are good real-life influences on us. If a kid has dickish parents, and his favorite movie is Sin City he probably is going to be fucked up. But that is more so his asshole parents fault that it is Robert Rodriguez’s. The fact of the matter is that violent media gets us all jacked up on adrenaline but adrenaline can’t turn us into angry killing machines.
7.) The Gateway Theory Is laughable
Correlation doesn’t create cause. No matter how clunky and annoying that phrase is, it’s true. People with the same interests are not the same people. Just because one guy who plays video games shoots up a Naval yard doesn’t mean that’s what every gamer wants to do. This is the same way that while some people who ski become president, the majority of winter sports enthusiasts never hold the highest office in the land.
Did you know that every rapist had kissed someone before their crime? Coincidence?
Just as smoking weed doesn’t lead to main-lining black tar heroine, watching Natural Born Killers won’t make you a vicious psychopath. The idea that fiction can somehow transfer into our lives through its existence. There is a jump in logic made when a person says that something fake can become real. It’s own falseness rules out the the existence of a possibility that it could become real. Most violent stories are hyperbole that refer to something else. No Country For Old Men is about the retiring and increasingly irrelevant baby boomer generation. Saw is an examination of black and white morality. Hills Have Eyes is about people’s general fear of the poor. And, Ichi The Killer (one of the most violent movies ever made) is ironically about the effect of media violence on the public.The only violent movies that kill people just for the sake of doing it end up being terrible. Violent media is about the story is just like other stories, they are about something. Just like porn doesn’t turn the world into a giant orgy, violent video games don’t turn us into torture addicts.
6.) Violent Crime Is On The Downslide
While violent media has been around since forever, but today the rate of violent crime is declining. You hear all sorts of people saying that violence in movies keeps getting worse and worse, complaining about the good old wholesome days when no one hurt anyone in movies. This idea is nothing more than completely outlandish.
“I’m not a numbers guy” – assholes who don’t want to be wrong
If violence in movies is getting worse, then it is not affecting human behavior at all. In number 2 I’ll tell you about the slight calming effect it seems to give people, but for now just know that violent video games seem to relieve stress in people. That effect however, probably doesn’t have to do with people blowing off steam from playing GTA V. There are social factors from every economic strata in America that are contributing toe the fall in violence. Most of these are too boring to go into and don’t really matter anyway. The point is that while extreme violence is more accepted in movies and TVs it has obviously no affect on real-life.
5.) Movies Don’t Kill People, Guns Kill People
If you’re a gun enthusiast, good for you. It’s a pretty bad-ass hobby that can almost definitely get you laid in the right circles. However, you need to be aware that what you’re doing with your free time is killing people. Maybe you don’t do it, but it’s the primary way that murder is done in the US. While we did beat out Mexico and South Africa, countries like Nicaragua and Kuwait have far less alarming gun related homicide numbers than the greatest country in the world. We as a country live in a fantasy world where personal firearms protect our liberties, and we can’t be hurt as long as we’re allowed to keep our Glocks. This is bullshit. Plenty of countries have guns and very little freedom for people. This is made extra crazy by the fact that we as Americans are fully aware of our status as the most powerful military the world’s ever seen. If our armed services could destroy the earth more than 5 times, who gives a shit about your .38. Guns do serve a purpose, however in America they’re mostly for hobbyists not for modern age minute-men.
Sometimes you’ve gotta hold your shit down
There are literally dozens of articles, and studies, and other articles from highly respected publications that give all but inarguable proof that video games do not cause real life violence. At the same time there are just as many studies, and articles that say fewer guns means fewer gun crimes. If you don’t think guns kill people but video games do, you’re wrong. #SorryNotSorry
4.) The Arguments Are Too Emotional
Ask any Jedi, being too emotional really fucks with your ability to do anything right. This is especially true when trying to make a rational argument. People say stupid stuff when they’re mad. It’s a fact of life. The violence in the media issue is a hot button controversy, and arguers on both sides have strong feelings about it. Even if they know they get less reasonable the angrier they get on an intellectual level that doesn’t stop anyone for spouting idiocy about video games on the internet.
Fuck rational conversation!
We don’t like to admit to being a part of rules when they reflect negatively on us. But a rule of being human is that emotion clouds your judgement, and it’s true for everyone. We all get irrational about something, and we need to learn to admit to it in order to function in the adult world. People who think their kids are at risk of being mass murderers because they like Gears of War, are wrong. Sure, the gut reaction is to see someone virtually saw another person in half is to freak out, but that’s not the smart reaction. you’ve gotta ask yourself “what does this mean for my child specifically versus what it might mean for other children?” And, “did seeing violent images when I was young turn me into a well oiled killing machine?” Usually, if you think it through you’ll realize that acting in a reactionary way is unwise and useless.
3.) Rock And Roll
For decades real life people actually believed that songs like this could legitimately corrupt real-life youth. We know now that all those theories were really just racism. But still, people didn’t start to think this was ridiculous until enough white people learned a couple blues chords. In fact some crazies still think believe Guitar Hero is the devil. They’re crazy as shit.But what do people in the 1950s have to do with violence in video games? Everything. Because those idiotic accusations were basically the same as saying Doom was responsible for the Columbine shooting.
Damn it, now I want to hold a nation in terror through heinous acts
Rock and roll is here to stay, and so are video games. If you’re afraid of them, you should realize that you’re a racist. More or less. Open your mind, and let your daughter date Tyrone. Who knows? She might have some fun and you might learn a thing or two.
2.) Even The Most At-Risk Young People Aren’t Affected By Media
A recent Texas A&M study showed that not only did video games fail to harm the psyches of depressed, or overly aggressive youth they provided a slight calming effect. As this Playstation 4 commercial definitively proves, people feel better when they get to kill something in a game. Same with this comedian. The study linked above also proved this. Every now and again we all need to shoot shit, and it turns out video games really help. Capping fake fools in Liberty City keeps you from doing it New York.
This aughta help me forget about that parking ticket
Humans are products of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Most of that has involved killing shit, and in a relatively more recent maneuver we decided to cut that shit out. We want to hunt, kill, and be horrible at our cores. Video games let us to be both horrible, and not do anything wrong. That study proved this in the most impulsive and violent elements of our culture. Young troubled teens not only failed to become more violent and troubled, they calmed the fuck down for a little while after. Like I said before, no effect from media seems to be perfect. The vast majority of movies don’t change people’s lives.Some can, but they’re mostly meant for entertainment. And, if even those most at risk of losing their shit after an Xbox binge do nothing but relax, why would we believe that anyone could?
1.) People Don’t Want To Commit Violence.
At all of our candy coated centers, we want world peace. We want no more wars or conflict. Obviously this doesn’t always work out. But even at our worst the average person wants everyone to just calm the hell down and get along. No matter how many fake people you shoot in Halo, or dismemberment you watch in the Saw movies you know that its wrong. If you show a 3 year old Evil Dead 2 it will probably cry because of all the screaming and blood. From very early ages we are very uncomfortable with the hurting of others. Even if kids are dicks, most don’t want to actually commit the types of unspeakable crimes seen in movies.
I said most, god damn you
There was a scene in Fight Club dedicated to this. And, Tyler Durden was right. It would be damn near impossible to start a fight with a stranger and lose, because no one wants to kick your ass and you need to work pretty hard to make them want to. Some are better at it than others. Like pageant queens we value world peace more than anything else, and we try to do our part in it when we can. There are even people who believe that this is a serious and attainable goal. While some tend to cry doom, conflict is something we want to avoid, at our most rational. Star Trek isn’t the only who thinks we’re headed for an increasingly level-headed international landscape, and they’re right. As we humans evolve more, and try harder to overcome animal urges we are growing more gentle. Through our own best instincts we are growing past violence, no matter how many Bioshock DLCs we buy.
Linked up above, but bears repeating:
Also, there are literally hundreds of articles that talk about this issue, and if you’re not convinced by me you should look into any of them. The internet can teach us just as much as it can confirm our prejudices so it’s wise to keep an open mind even if you feel emotional about a topic.
Here’s a few good articles on the topic that I didn’t link above:
One more thing. I worked for a chain of convenient stores in southern Pennsylvania for less than a year. It was a weird job, for a whole ton of reasons. One of them being the people. If an old lady wasn’t asking for help with her gas, then a teenager was putting his lit cigarette in a trashcan full of paper. It sucked. Those same psychos made a habit of starting weird conversation with cashiers, meaning me. One silver lining of that job was that sometimes I got to put on classic rock to play in the store instead of the normal mind numbing bubble gum pop. I’m not a huge classic rock aficionado but anything is better than Ke$ha. This one old guy bought his stuff from me and should have been leaving but instead said “you know?” Which is my least favorite way for strangers to start conversations with me. The song “Wish You Were Here” was playing and the guy made eye contact that I had never asked for.
He went on “thirty years ago.”
“Oh, fuck” I thought, “I’m gonna be here a while.”
“You couldn’t play rock and roll music. You know?”
I stood silently hoping I wouldn’t have to change the station.
“They wouldn’t let you. You know… cuz it will fuck up the kids.” he said with the air of the coolest old guy I’d seen all day. “but now they’re not so stupid. I hear Pink Floyd and its like ‘yeah, man cool.’ Any way, cool I’ll see you later.”
I’m dedicating this article to him, because his “fuck the man” mentality even for a guy into his sixties was pretty awesome so I named it after his phrase that was used in the title and that helped turn a pretty mediocre day suddenly awesome.