Comments about ‘In our opinion: Video game violence’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Last month 20 children were gunned down in elementary school.

Last week a 15 year old child took his families gun and killed them.

A man purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition and went on to kill Americans in Colorado.

More Americans have died from Domestic gun fire than in all the wars since 1968 combined.

But by all means, ban video games.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

Generally I am not impressed with Matheson's performance in office, but we do need to make violent interactive games less accessible. The best solution would be for the producers to take up a challenge to contrive games that are as enticing, but without the violence. That probably won't happen. I am glad Mr. Matheson recongnizes that something must be done.

I've lived in Albuquerque, and it is a high crime city. The middle schools are especially frightening, and the high schools are a gathering place for drug use, alcohol promotion, temptations for immoral activity and extrememly disrespectful behavior. Students who try to get an education in that atmosphere are much challenged. I can easily imagine a teenager finding escape in internet games, but what a horrible way to spend "free time." Parents can also do a lot to help their children avoid violence, but many don't. What we need is a kinder more caring society. Each of us who believe that should work on solutions.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Is it the role of the federal government to replace parents? Who was given stewardship to raise children, the government or the parents?

Will the government be required to monitor all "poisons" that we or our children may take into our homes?

Let's contrast Mr. Matheson's ideas with other ideas. We are counseled to gather around the family table every evening for dinner to discuss the day's activities and to keep communication lines open. How many do that? Will the government force us to eat dinner together so that problems can be nipped in the bud? We are counceled to spend Monday nights together as a family and to have wholesome family activities on that night, including outings, games, and teaching. Will the government force us to hold FHE?

The 10th Amendment clearly leaves those responsibilities to the people, not to the government.

Mr. Matheson's intentions may be good, but he is exercising authority that he does not have over our children. He sees an opportunity to make political hay. We don't need political hay.

I'm 100% for keeping violence out of the family, but that is not the proper role of the federal government.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Yes, because banning certain video games is so much better than just not allowing the mentally ill to have access to guns. Thanks, nra.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

[But it would be foolish not to notice how violent video games are a common denominator in many crimes such as these.]

Young men play games, that is all. Millions and millions play games, but we have to keep hearing this nonsense over the handful of mass shootings. It isn't even statistically interesting. Of the 10s of millions of young, middle-class gamers, less than 100 have committed mass shootings. There isn't a trend here, and it isn't that games "affect people differently". Less than 0.00001%...

This bill will fail. Its based on a faulty premise to begin with, that the government will enforce the voluntary game ratings they put on their games. Even if this joke of a law did pass Congress and the Supreme Court (which it wont), expect games to start go "Unrated" or with far lower ratings.

The video game industry provides ratings as a service and won't let it be used as a weapon against themselves.

Of course, why are games being singled out by this bill? Once again these bills are always suggested by old men who didn't play and don't understand video games.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Matheson should be commended for finally making at least a tentative break away from his left-wing masters. He may well have had some ulterior motive, but regardless of his motives, his move to regulate video games is a move that is good for society.

The vast majority of modern video games are full of violence and sexuality. Indeed, these games portray both violence and sexuality as purely recreational activities with no consequences whatsoever. As a result, millions of impressionable young people are imitating what they see portrayed in the games.

If we as a society are serious about protecting innocent schoolchildren from being massacred, we must go even further than Matheson's proposal and must ban these games outright. The minor pleasure obtained from playing these games is not worth the terrible cost.

Z
South Jordan, UT

For 18 years the video game industry has used a ratings system to indicate the content of games and the appropriate age levels. Most games stores already will not sell 'M' rated games (similar to the R rating for movies) to minors. So what is the point of this bill, really?

Are we to assume that in this day and age parents, who are expected to read and decode the nutritional labels on the food they stuff in their precious children, are now not smart enough to read the rating on the game they give to their child? Or is this just one more intrusion by the government into the parenting arena? Or is it just avoiding the real issue, which is that for every 1 person that goes off and kills someone, 1 million others play the same game and do no such thing?

Parents have the ultimate say in what their children watch and play, or at least they should. Whether they make good choices or not, letting the Feds play nanny is not going to help.

Maudine
SLC, UT

There is one little problem with this bill: the children whom this this bill is directed towards, are usually already incapable of buying these games without adult assistance. They aren't working, so they don't have the money to buy the game system or the games on their own - these items are bought for them by the adults in their lives. They are also unable to drive themselves to the store to buy or rent the games. There is already full adult participation in the process - this law serves no purpose and will change nothing.

one old man
Ogden, UT

The NRA and their conservative friends have been screaming that it's not guns that are the problem, but movies and video games.

But now, when Matheson steps up and actually makes a proposal, they start yelling nasty things at him.

Ah, well. I guess that makes as much sense as anything else they say they stand for.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

The irony of this is the fact that the liberals constantly scream and yell that what goes on in a person's house is their own business are the same ones telling us that we can't buy the violent video games.

Personally I don't like them, and won't let my kids play them. However, that is my choice.

Are the liberals also going to stop minors from watching R-rated movies in their own homes?

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Who's yelling nasty things? Reality, though, rears its ugly head. Look how good the banning of alcohol and tobacco from minors works. When you have irresponsible parents and an inbred desire to do what you have been told not to do, (as teenagers often do), you can legislate all day long...

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

[But it would be foolish not to notice how violent video games are a common denominator in many crimes such as these.]

Probably because a large percentage of 15-30 year old guys play video games. That's about as groundbreaking as taking a random selection of 10 Utahns and noticing that several of them are LDS.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

No smoking, no drinking, no swearing, no violent video games.

And conservatives want to claim they are about freedom?

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

The article claims that video games were the common denominator in these shootings. An even more obvious common element was the access to guns...

If it's shooter and not the gum, why is it the game, not the gamer?

This isn't the 1980's where gamers were a subculture, they are now as mainstream as movies. Calling it a common thread is the same as saying they all ate bread

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

As many have pointed out, there is no doubt that the access to high capacity firearms is a common thread. That is the means. But there is still the issue of motive. The question is, do hyper violent and very realistic video games cause some to go over the edge?

Will such video games make the average person into a killing monster? Of course not. But what about the young person who is already experiencing deep emotional disturbance? Are these videos good for him or her?

Let's put it another way. If you were counseling a young man or woman with emotional disturbance and violent tendencies, would you advise them to play such games? Over and over again for hours each day?

Again, it is not the only factor. Nor will it make every one of us go over the edge. But for those who already walk close to that edge, these may provide the push.

This comes down to a "whose ox gets gored" question. There are those who say do not touch firearms. There are those who say do not touch videos. Others who want no controls over the mentally ill.

Likely all need some review.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Pagan, Laws regarding the use of tobacco and alcohol by minors have been around since the early 1900's. Pretty hard to show that conservatives have had such a powerful death grip on legislative bodies for all that time.

And it's Utah Democrats favorite son, Jim Matheson that is proposing the video game ban. Hardly your garden variety conservative.

Or maybe this is just a very thinly veiled jab at them crazy Mormons and their religious beliefs.

I guess we could do away with all laws and regulations of any kind and enjoy the "freedom" that would surely ensue.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

Twin Lights:
[Again, it is not the only factor. Nor will it make every one of us go over the edge. But for those who already walk close to that edge, these may provide the push.]

There is no proof of this. For the millions and millions of gamers we get a handful of incidents. That doesn't even represent any kind of cross section. The fact is, there are still thousands, if not millions, of severely mentally ill individuals who are playing these games and not killing.

Just saying it over and over again, no matter how clever it might sound, doesn't make it true. There is nothing statistically significant here.

[This comes down to a "whose ox gets gored" question. There are those who say do not touch firearms. There are those who say do not touch videos. Others who want no controls over the mentally ill.]

Or there's those of us who don't want to sacrifice any of our rights for a handful of random, statistically insignificant events. No reason to take extreme action on events that aren't even one in a million.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Mukkake,

Of course no one wants to sacrifice. Hence my point about whose ox gets gored. Everyone wants their sacred cow left alone.

The question is what is the proper balance going forward?

As to proof, check “Media violence 'unchained': Multiple studies show kids are adversely affected by violence in entertainment, news” published in the Deseret News on January 12, 2013.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

If alcohol is not as regulated due to conservatism..

why are there state run liquor stores?

And, if more guns is the solution...

why not more booze?

Pick a standard, but don't try both, at the same time.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

I'm in favor of ratings and restrictions for video games like we have with movies. For example, those rated "mature" could not be purchased by a minor without an adult. But, this won't change the fact that some parents make bad decisions. I remember one of my kids, probably in 8th or 9th grade wanted a particular game for his birthday. I asked the store clerk why the game was rated "mature" and when she explained the reasons, i thanked her and didn't purchase the game. My son accepted the decision and enjoyed playing other games.

The policy that we adopted in our home was that guns and teenaged boys aren't a good combination. I never wanted to be one of those parents who came home and found a jilted-heartbroken young man had chosen lethal means to end his pain, or to have the experience of a curious teen injuring or killing his friend. I erred on the side of caution and have no regrets.

However, we were not opposed to occassional visits to a shooting range with dad or at scout camp.

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