Comments on: Violence, Sanctioned and Unsanctioned Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:53:13 +0000 hourly 1 By: Matt Wed, 30 Nov 2005 18:51:00 +0000 My only response to this article is “duh.”

I mean, it’s just pointing out the age-old contradictions in state-sanctioned versus non-state-sanctioned killing. Why *wouldn’t* videogames follow this model as well?

Even so, it is a timely topic. I remember at Boston Postmortem once I got into an argument with a reporter (I forget which Boston paper he wrote for.) I was trying to say that I was offended more by America’s Army than GTA… basically because I find sheer amorality less creepy than ideology-fueled self-righteousness. He just *would not* accept this, claiming that–and I’m paraphrasing here–all military crimes committed by U.S. soldiers were not representative of the true chain of command which has, on the whole, been more or less righteous throughout history… so therefore it was much better to reinforce righteous violence in games than total anarchy. I felt that was fairly naive, but I obviously couldn’t *prove* he was wrong I just let it drop.

By: Darren Torpey Tue, 22 Nov 2005 17:30:00 +0000 I’d like to comment on the question of when a piece of media (let’s say a movie) promotes violence or not.

One of the long-running (eternal?) debates this obviously relates to was brought up in passing on Ebert & Roper the other day. They were reviewing Get Rich or Die Trying and they mentioned the fact that whether the movies is promoting violence (and the gangster lifestlye) or not is ambiguous and certainly a matter of opinion and perspective.

Ebert admitted that the fact that 50 Cent (clearly) succeeded in his gangster career may lead some younger viewers to get a pro-ganster message out of it. At the same time, the movie shows the violence of a ganster’s life without sugar-coating — it’s brutally honest and a lot of people die.

So does it promote a gangster lifestyle or not?

My take is that it can only promote the gangster lifestlye if you go in with the naivite and mindset needed for being a gangster to ever seem like a good (or acceptable) idea to begin with. So really, the movie itself won’t make a big difference either way in anyone’s life. Part of what would make a difference, however, is how people around a kid respond to, talk about, and present the movie.

But that’s just the way everything is in life. Does a rockstar’s life promote the rockstar lifestyle? In and of itself, probably not, unless you look at it from a memetic perspect (ahem, not that any readers of this blog would do that). Does having your friends or your friends’ father or older brother talk about how awesome rockstars are promote the rockstar lifestyle? Probably. Unless, of course, the kid thinks little of those people for reasons relating to their view of music performers. ;)

Hmm… I guess this doesn’t sound particularly on-topic. I think my point is that it’s not always clear when people (the majority or vocal majority, I suppose) do and don’t believe that a piece of media is promoting a given undesirable quality to begin with.

By: Darius Kazemi Mon, 21 Nov 2005 19:29:00 +0000 Once again Craig, my politics completely disagrees with yours. I would like to see any evidence that shows that more jails mean less crime. Also, I’ve seen firsthand the effectiveness of community policing and would argue that it has a profound effect on community crime rates.

By: Craig Perko Mon, 21 Nov 2005 19:20:00 +0000 As a note, the reason NY has less crime than in the darker days is not because they are a kindler, gentler NYPD. They may be, but that’s not why crime went down:

It went down because of more police, more jails, and, arguably, legalized abortion.

Anyhow, yeah, the reason GTAIII was so controversial had nothing to do with blood and violence so much as the fact that you were not a good guy. That’s always been what people get upset about.