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Thomm

Atomic Games: Six Days in Fallujah

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Naturally per thousand : ) I would not, and need not stoop to playing with figures.

You mention things have changed since the 1960's other than the media. I was curious what you might be suggesting had happened to cause the increase if it is not the media.

As for the restrictions on Manhunt in the UK - you really don't believe that had an effect do you!

In the UK, the game was linked to the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, 14, by his friend Warren Leblanc, 17, on the 27 February 2004. Giselle Pakeerah, the victim's mother, claimed that Leblanc had been 'obsessed' with the game after he pleaded guilty in court.[12] During the subsequent media exposure, the game was removed from sale by some vendors, such as the UK and international branches of GAME and Dixons, leading to "significantly increased" demand[13] both from retailers and on Internet auction sites. The police denied any such link between the game and the murder, citing drug-related robbery as the motive. The presiding judge also placed sole responsibility with Leblanc in his summing up after sentencing him to life. It was later discovered that Leblanc did not actually own the game, but Pakeerah did

Oops - do friends play the same games together .... ! Gosh thats a tricky question.

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Naturally per thousand : ) I would not, and need not stoop to playing with figures.

Didn't mean to make it sound like you were, I just didn't know. :)

You mention things have changed since the 1960's other than the media. I was curious what you might be suggesting had happened to cause the increase if it is not the media.

I have no idea what the other things might be. I have done absolutely no research here; it seems that you have, and I respect that. I could throw out some suggestions, but they'd probably be fairly meaningless without seeing any of the data myself. Could you maybe point me to some of these sources?

As for the restrictions on Manhunt in the UK - you really don't believe that had an effect do you!

Of course not--that's exactly what I was saying. Unless you mean that the regulations weren't enforced properly, in which case that's a whole other deal, and not really all that relevant to what we're talking about.

Oops - do friends play the same games together .... ! Gosh thats a tricky question.

I find it odd, though, that you would be inspired by playing a game with someone to kill that person. I've played lots of violent video games with friends, either cooperatively, versus, or taking turns playing, and if anything it makes our friendship closer. Seems to me that if it was the game that inspired him to do it, that he would be one of the last people that the guy would choose.

Furthermore, most actual authorities seem to be in agreement that the game didn't cause the killing. The argument comes from the victim's no doubt (understandably) hysterical mother, who was (understandably) searching for an easy explanation. I don't blame her, I just think that emotions clouded her judgment.

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I have no idea what the other things might be. I have done absolutely no research here; it seems that you have, and I respect that. I could throw out some suggestions, but they'd probably be fairly meaningless without seeing any of the data myself. Could you maybe point me to some of these sources?

Well I wrote this, and then saw that I looked a little lazy, so I headed out to the vast expanses of THE INTERNET to do some research of my own.

According to wikipedia primarily, but also to some other sites, while violent crime experienced a significant increase since 1960, it actually tanked in the US around 1993 and has continued to fall ever since. Wikipedia estimates that homicide rates are at an all-time low between 2000 and 2005, and that overall all kinds of violent crime have decreased steadily since the early 90s-which, oddly enough, is precisely around when video games became mainstream entertainment forms.

I'm not saying that it's not a coincidence, but this certainly seems to nix the argument that violent video games have caused a widespread increase in violence. Seeing as other forms of the media have also continued to display extremely graphic violence (not all of which I approve of, mind you) throughout that period, that certainly seems to indicate that other factors are responsible.

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No offence taken : 0

1963 murder rate lowest at 4.6, below 5 1961-64, hovering at 5.5 in 2000's

Violent crime rate 160 in 1960 , 2007 466.

I am glad you mentioned the declining rate from the 1990's. There has been a presumption that more effective policing is the sole cause. However the real reason is probably more to do with the age profile of the population. Older people and babies are less criminal than other age bands. Here are some graphs showing the bulge of potential criminals

http://www.nationmaster.com/country/us/Age_distribution

I could argue that the violence would be even less without games and violent films. Also that the drop in the US is because many people who might be violence statistics are in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact that is almost a certainty I would think.

Why the US crime rates are higher than Western Europe I attribute to American society and the larger inequalities in society. This is exacerbated by the dream world as portrayed by TV programs and adverts to which the majority of the country cannot reach. Also the level of general corruption, higher than most of Western Europe, and the way media and political felons are resurrected leads to a possible feeling that the only way to get ahead is not being honest.

Where a country cannot respect its politicians and judges, the feeling that it is an unfair society perhaps becomes pervasive. People do not like unfairness. As an aside this is also true of animals. Dogs have been shown to get very peeved if they are rewarded unequally in dog biscuits for the same activity. A natural sense of justice would appear to be innate in animals.

Rubbing the faces of the have nots in the glossy world of the haves by an all pervasive media may well be divisive and disruptive of society.

That is my feeling about violence and general lawlessness. As for violence by film, TV, and video games - is that just showing how it can be done, and commonly it is done in TV land

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cSPigYNkeNcC&pg=PA259&lpg=PA259&dq=murders+per+hour+on+US+tv&source=bl&ots=CMQjugBYUY&sig=_tq-1HSnwLYrUz2mqTbyiIaKqjo&hl=en&ei=-lzmSY69MIHH-AaGqbnfBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8

Interestingly this psychology books claims that 99.5% of the 3500 studies 1950-2000 show a negative effects of violent entertainment. One for C'Rogers to contemplate. : )

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Wikipedia estimates that homicide rates are at an all-time low between 2000 and 2005, and that overall all kinds of violent crime have decreased steadily since the early 90s-which, oddly enough, is precisely around when video games became mainstream entertainment forms.

Malcolm Gladwell addresses this fact in his book "The Tipping Point" and backs it up with some good evidence (imo). Needless to say the impact (or lack of) of video games is not examined as a major motivational factor as to why crime rates go up or down.

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A cognitive psychology of mass communication

By Richard Jackson Harris

Is the book I linked to. There are many interesting excerpts/pages to read in the book but the one that is perhaps most valid is that the studies tend to come out with a 10-15% figure attributable to the media for violence. Obviously not as important as poverty etc etc but significant in being a controllable factor.

Incidentally it mentions the V chip which are fitted to US TV's to allow the easy filtering of violence - a failed attempt. Children , before they leave elementary school will have seen 8000 murders and 100000 acts of violence. Way to go, problem solving in easy lessons?

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Every time I see this topic come up I'm reminded of a Calvin and Hobbes strip:

"Graphic violence in the media.

Does it glamorize violence? Sure.

Does it desensitize us to violence? Of course.

Does it help us tolerate violence? You bet.

Does it stunt our empathy for our fellow human beings? Heck yes.

Does it cause violence? Well, that's hard to prove.

The trick is to ask the right question"

Bill Watterson, "There's Treasure Everywhere"

I can agree with that, but I would argue that, to some degree, and with certain personality types and situations, graphic violence in media and games sets up conditions which encourage a portion of the population to more readily resort to violent behavior to resolve personal problems.

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(snip)

The solution here is not to deprive hundreds of millions of people from a form of entertainment that is profitable and generates thousands if not millions of jobs just because of the actions of a few mentally handicapped people, the solution is to appropriately diagnose and treat the mentally ill people before they cause harm on others. This is a win-win solution, provided that it's properly carried out. Obviously, this would require infrastructure, etc., etc., but I'm willing to pay a couple of extra dollars per year to the government to help ensure that this kind of tragedy doesn't happen again.

This kind of problem has always been here. The only reason it's gotten particularly bad lately is the lax gun laws in the US and A and the increases in firearms technology. And, as a good citizen of the US and A, I know that those gun laws aren't going to be changed any time soon. So, what'll it be? Lose millions of people their jobs and entertainment in the middle of a recession and not fix the problem, or create thousands of counseling and therapy jobs and solve the problem?

Well, you did find a couple of points we agree on: first, that U.S. society has done a progressively worse job of helping individuals with mental health issues. I fault the conservative crowd that love to crow that "its each man to himself" and "survival of the fittest" as they gleefully cut spending for mental health programs.

Second, I concur that the state of gun control in the US is lamentable and it is largely so because of the effective propagandization of the subject by the NRA and gun manufacturers, who jointly and skillfully manipulated the wrath and ire of people who would rather own a gun that live in a safer society, and converted this into a significant political interest group.

Now, I have to admit - if I could own a tank or a working machine gun, I'd love to...but I'd also happily give up the right to do so if it would make the streets safer. Same for gun ownership. I'm one of those people that believe that the 2nd Amendment guaranteed the right of citizens to belong to a well regulated militia, and in the pursuit of that organization, they would be permitted to keep arms at home. The idea being that a well-regulated militia would tend to counter the tendency of a central national government to use its national army to suppress the population. That's it - no guarantee to your own AK-47 or MG-42, not even a guarantee of an M-1 or .45....unless you happen to belong to that well-regulated militia. I think the Founding Fathers had the Swiss national defense system in mind, but we have taken the idea and made a suicidal/homicidal circus out of it...and of course our politicians made sure to appoint judges that would support the NRA/gun manufacturer lobby's view of this topic.

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I think this argument is going to dead end in an 'I attribute such increases/decreases to A, you attribute them to B'.

I am surprised by how easily the violent crime rate decrease after 1993 after is brushed off. Of course there could be other contributing factors but since 1993 we have also seen a mass increase in the rise of violent games. Were would the crime rate be without violent games? The 1960s level? Could video games be anything more than a very minor factor? Compared to say something like alcohol is there even a comparison?

An observation on the wikipedia data. One of the things mentioned is that economic status is one of the prime indicators of likelihood of crime area is low income level. Who is more likely to be playing violent games? A rick kid or a poor kid? Maybe my gut reaction is wrong but I certainly feel like it would be the rich kid.

Why the US crime rates are higher than Western Europe I attribute to American society and the larger inequalities in society.

I disagree strongly and will note that US crime rates have always been higher than the European averages. If I had to make a quick counter argument I would say in the US we have allowed dead zones to develop in our cities. There is little order and rare police patrols. Crime in the US is highly concentrated in such areas. I do not know if a similair situation exists within European countries.

Sorry if this is short and unordered. I shouldn't have stumbled into this argument with the availble time I have. I know I am coping out but hopefully the argument will have not strayed outside the accepted bounds of this forum by the time the weekend rolls around.

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I would attribute any decrease in violent crime from '93 on to the increasingly longer sentences for many crimes, and the greater number of people being incarcerated in the many new prisons built all over the country. For many years I was part of the machinery of government that front-loaded these jails and prisons and I know they did make the streets safer - for a while. Now, all those prison graduates have given birth to offspring who will be our next headaches, since we failed to provide sufficient remedial services to the families that keep breeding criminals, and so they continue to do what they do so well. Oh well...better luck next time.

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The last time I was "offended" by a video game was when I watched some Medal of Honor: World at War videos (if I am not mistaken) and saw for the first time the knife attack to the throat of a Japanese soldier! In that moment I just thought to myself: "WTF, how can they show something like this in a mainstream video game!" It was not Fallujah, but offending nonetheless!

Best regards,

Thomm

Thomm... I know what you're talking about... big turn off for me too. I love running around in an FPS game and blowing away the enemy just as much as the next FPS guy, but at some point it becomes too... personal. Too real. I play FPS games to have fun, and as far as I'm concerned slitting someone's throat crosses the line. Doesn't matter who is getting the throat slashed, so I'm consistent :D

Steve

CoD:WaW, where while playing the Rusian campaign, you were also frequently encouraged to execute German POWs, though with less gore than the slitting of Japanese soldiers' throat.

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Well I wrote this, and then saw that I looked a little lazy, so I headed out to the vast expanses of THE INTERNET to do some research of my own.

According to wikipedia primarily, but also to some other sites, while violent crime experienced a significant increase since 1960, it actually tanked in the US around 1993 and has continued to fall ever since. Wikipedia estimates that homicide rates are at an all-time low between 2000 and 2005, and that overall all kinds of violent crime have decreased steadily since the early 90s-which, oddly enough, is precisely around when video games became mainstream entertainment forms.

snip ...that certainly seems to indicate that other factors are responsible.

"Freakanomics" by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner makes a compelling, statistical argument for the availability of abortion being the single most important contributing factor in the reduction of crime rates in the US. Unfortunately, this argument runs counter to the "Religious Nutcase" political groups' way of thinking and will therefore likely not be heeded or credited.

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Well I am off away for a few days so not much further to add currently. The book I recommended from which you can read for free many sections does seem a good basis for taking any further arguments. Page 268 has this nugget;

For White Americans and Canadians the murder rate increased by about 92% between 1945-74 when television was becoming pervasive. In South Africa the murder rate for White South Africans living in comparable economic conditions dropped 7% during the same period. Of course they did not have TV until the following year - and then the murder rate began climbing.

page 268

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cSPigYNkeNcC&pg=PA259&lpg=PA259&dq=murders+per+hour+on+US+tv&source=bl&ots=CMQjugBYUY&sig=_tq-1HSnwLYrUz2mqTbyiIaKqjo&hl=en&ei=-lzmSY69MIHH-AaGqbnfBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8#PPA268,M1

It would be nice to think humans are not easily fooled/swayed/played but every piece of research over the last century has revealed mankind as irrational creatures who are driven by various triggers. I would like to think there are some exceptions who counter their irrational side : )

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Never heard of Manhunt before.

Alas, some kind soul put a compilation of all execution scenes on Youtube. No need to buy the game after that, I suppose.

At the end of the day, it is pretty crappy stuff. The extreme violence displayed does not make it any better or more interesting. At least for me.

Best regards,

Thomm

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For White Americans and Canadians the murder rate increased by about 92% between 1945-74 when television was becoming pervasive. In South Africa the murder rate for White South Africans living in comparable economic conditions dropped 7% during the same period. Of course they did not have TV until the following year - and then the murder rate began climbing.

Yep, read that, too, in the Grossman books.

Incredible, isn't it?!

Best regards,

Thomm

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Looks like Full Spectrum Warrior and CoD4 combined. And I find it funny that of all the outrage here, no one talked about the torture and summary execution scene in CoD4.

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Looks like Full Spectrum Warrior and CoD4 combined. And I find it funny that of all the outrage here, no one talked about the torture and summary execution scene in CoD4.

Never played it or heard about it. Care to elaborate? As I said earlier, I mostly avoid games that invite you to direct violence, at least these days. I tried a few when I was younger but didn't acquire a taste for them. Or the real thing, for that matter.

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I find it funny that of all the outrage here, no one talked about the torture and summary execution scene in CoD4.

Not only do the "good guys" in CoD4 dish out capital punishment to two terrorist leaders, in both instances they're done in by an SAS operator wielding an M1911-type pistol. In that regard, CoD4 is rather like the movie The Kingdom, in which not only do the "good guys" positively identify who is behind the suicide/truck bombing of an American-populated suburb in Saudi Arabia, they later personally shoot him dead (with an AK-47, ironically).

It is curious that during the few seconds that Khaled al-Asad is being smacked around, the player's view is blacked out (so the player doesn't actually see the "torture"), and it clears up only in time to see Captain Price draw his pistol and shoot al-Asad in the chest.

IRL, if an SAS team had captured a terrorist leader, even one who was known to have set off a nuclear bomb in a densely populated city currently occupied by Coalition forces, I seriously doubt they would have just shot him. AFAIK, they would have brought him somewhere for more in-depth interrogation. (By the way, those who think interrogation and torture are synonymous, even mutually inclusive, have clearly never heard of Hans Scharff.)

As to why no one mentioned this scene (mentioned it with outrage, that is): I suspect it could be because the character who was "tortured" and summarily shot dead was effectively confirmed to have detonated a nuclear bomb in a large city, killing hundreds of Marines and thousands of civilians (though no civilians are ever seen in the game).

According to my understanding, one of modern war's prime challenges (specifically in MOUT) for the typical infantryman is not hitting civilians. (Yes, I understand that the player characters in CoD4 were not typical soldiers; but for some reason they depicted 1st Force Recon as if it were a full-blown MEU with armor, helos, and Harriers.) I really doubt any game will include civilians, even if such would dramatically increase the realism and challenge of MOUT scenarios, since inevitably some malicious 15-year-old wannabe serial killer (or several of them) would just shoot the civilians instead of the insurgents or enemy troops, then some righteously indignant politician (or several of them) would rant and rave about the game, claiming that the purpose of the game was to indiscriminately shoot and kill innocent people, until it got pulled from the stores, as happened with Night Trap.

Or am I perhaps overstating the presence of civilians in instances of MOUT-type combat? I had just been under the impression that it's not like civilians dematerialize from towns or cities when Western troops show up.

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Something else to consider is that nowadays every child has access to every imaginable kind of sick crap via Youtube (or its XXX derivatives). There is one video clip out there that I even flagged as "inappropriate". I could tell you the name of the movie, but believe me, you do not want to go there ... sick, sick ****, accessible for everybody!

Best regards,

Thomm

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Hooray!

And strangely Apple have pulled a little game after a couple of days where the idea was to stop babies crying by shaking them violently.

You have to marvel at the intelligence level of game designers and even more so at the marketing arm. Makes me want to cry -- no hold that perhaps a very violent shaking might help them to engage brain!!!!!

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You have to marvel at the intelligence level of game designers and even more so at the marketing arm. Makes me want to cry -- no hold that perhaps a very violent shaking might help them to engage brain!!!!!

How 'bout a firm open-handed slap 'cross the face?

Not to re-open vociferous debate, but don't y'all think Six Days in Fallujah was dropped as much because of the assumed extent of civilian-killing in the real life battle as because of the supposed degree of gut-wrenched realism the game was aiming for?

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Not to re-open vociferous debate, but don't y'all think Six Days in Fallujah was dropped as much because of the assumed extent of civilian-killing in the real life battle as because of the supposed degree of gut-wrenched realism the game was aiming for?

Your comment made me interested in the precise reasons. So far, the three most often-quoted objections to the game (1 and 4 were by different people, 2 and 3 were by the same person), all made in the Daily Mail were:

1) It's too soon

2) There was and is a large loss of life in the Iraq war, and therefore it should not be glorified (I believe this person was talking about military deaths, not civilians, but I could be wrong; his statement was somewhat vague as to what kinds of deaths)

3) Muslims might be induced to retaliate because of the game

4) The civilians issue.

So one of the three objectors mentioned the civilian issue. Of course, I'm sure there were more, but in my limited search these were the only four quoted objections I could find, and only by three people. That's my sample space right here! :)

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Hooray!

And strangely Apple have pulled a little game after a couple of days where the idea was to stop babies crying by shaking them violently.

You have to marvel at the intelligence level of game designers and even more so at the marketing arm. Makes me want to cry -- no hold that perhaps a very violent shaking might help them to engage brain!!!!!

Uhm, think you might be celebrating a little early there. The only thing that happened was that the publisher decided not to publish the game. Some websites say that Atomic's just going to find another publisher.

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