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Predator Drone with Atari logo
You know how many murders and assaults there are in the average game of Grand Theft Auto? Exactly none. How many people are killed in serious on-line session of the latest Halo or Call of Duty? Precisely zero. How many throats are cut or necks broken over the course of the whole Assassin's Creed series? Zip diddly.

The same thing can be said for every Stallone movie, with a side order of Schwarzenegger and a dash of Michael Bay. Mix in a double-batch of Tarantino. Finish off with a fine James Bond. No matter how loud the booms from the theater's 50-speaker ultra sound system, or how bright the images on the IMAX-3D screen, no one dies. It is not real.

Movies and videogames are fantasies. When you push the square button on your Playstation 3, it doesn't fire a gun, wield a knife, or accelerate a car. It sends a signal that's evaluated by software. It shifts some pixels. There is no gun, Neo. No car. No knife. No harm, no foul. The only injury is the flab gained from all the hours parked in front of the screen.

Which isn't to say that America hasn't fallen into a culture of violence. Of course it has. But that culture has nothing to do with fantasy on the small screen or on the big screen. It has to do with reality.

Not only are video games and movies nothing more than bits of color flitting around a screen, people know they are fake. It takes a deliberate effort to sink into one of these false experiences, and the illusion is as evanescent as a soap bubble. Games in particular have a hard time engaging people on more than the most superficial level. Even the best video games—from A Mind Forever Voyaging and Star Control II, to Knights of the Old Republic, Borderlands and Mass Effect—have a depth of character not much exceeding the average Choose Your Own Adventure paperback. What's more, game developers are all too aware of the limitations of the medium. The difficulty of providing story and character without imposing such rigiditiy that it ruins the experience is a problem that's plagued game makers from the time of the primordial pixel.

The truth is that children running around shouting "pew pew pew" and pointing their fingers at each other are enjoying an experience that's just as violent, and more engaging to the imagination, than most games. I say that not only as someone who has loved games for three decades, but as someone who spent years reviewing, testing, and writing them. Even with the best of games, emotional engagement isn't that great.

I'm willing to bet that you could take all the people inspired to actual violent acts by playing video games and fit them into one (very unpleasant) booth at your nearest Denny's. Blaming video games for violence in our culture is just the latest itteration of a trope that's been voiced by everyone from Harold Hill to Socrates. Whether it's Pool (with a capital P) or Books (with a capital B), whatever the kids like, it must be trouble.

You know what really inspires people to violence?


Are we seeing a generation that's more inured to violence than their parents? There's little evidence to suggest this is true, but if it is, don't blame Blizzard or Electronic Arts. Blame us. All of us. Blame a people who have accepted the efficacy of torture, surrendered the idea of privacy, cheered endless imprisonment without charge, and enshrined the authority to kill anyone, anywhere, anytime. Blame a nation whose young adults cannot remember a time when we were not at war.

Rather than healing wounds, time has just turned war into back page news. Hollywood has been accused of glorifying violence, but reality has done something infinitely worse. It's made death, destruction, and personal tragedy boring. It's made a culture of violence so prevalent, that we didn't notice it settling around us like an ugly red fog.

And perhaps the worst thing we've done is to make killing clean and neat, cool and pushbutton. We've turned the business of death into something carried out as a 9-5 job, something you can do wearing a polo shirt in an air-conditioned office. Something you can practice in the afternoon, before going home to your kid's softball game and a nice home cooked meal.

It can be argued, has been argued, that the use of remotely operated weaponry is no different than the use of weapons that demand a more personal presence. After all, the person on the receiving end of an attack is just as dead whether that attack comes from a $20 million laser-guided missile, or a $20 truncheon. If dead is dead, what's the difference?

The difference isn't in the effect on those who are killed in the attack. It's in the effect on those who authorize it.

War is state-sponsored violence. It's acceptable only when it's necessary. The people who carry out that violence are admirable not for the harm they cause, but for the risk they assume. In an age when only a small percentage of the population accepts that risk for the rest of us, it is far too easy to use the instrument of war as an expression of frustration or hubris rather than out of need. Removing the risk even to that small group makes delivery of deadly force so acceptable, it barely warrants notice.

In 2005, a rancher in Texas set up a rifle connected to the Internet, rigged so that someone on the other end could direct the weapon toward a deer or antelope and kill the animal by remote control. Within weeks, Texas had banned this sort of operation. Thirty other states followed suit. In every one of those states, deer hunting is legal. Deer are just as dead when hunted by a guy in a camo suit as they are when that guy it sitting on his couch. So why does it matter that death was being delivered by remote control? Why did it matter so much that even Texas was quick to halt this use of weapons?

It matters because it matters. Increasing the distance between personal action and violence is accepting that violence itself is nothing very important. Something you can carry out without the sanction of any court. Something you can carry out on a battlefield that has no boundaries. Something you can do when there's no real threat. Something that's... no more than a game.

You want to blame rising violence in America on someone pushing a button? I'm right there with you, but that button isn't on an Xbox.

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Comment Preferences

    •  If you include putting down domestic insurrections (6+ / 0-)

      oppressing native peoples and covert ops abroad, I don't think so.

      1920's & 30's, perhaps? Cue up counterexamples in 3.2.1...

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:44:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  War is the greatest scam ever (10+ / 0-)

      and since at least WWII war has been a huge part of American financial success and doubtlessly still is.

      the entire whole of 'drug trafficking' in the world in but a fourth the worth of arms and straight-out killing.

      Peace sells but who's buying?

      When the Iraq Debacle was still in the gearing up stage, the Neocons were sponsoring workshops on profiting from it.

      War, since ancient times, has always been a robbery of the People. Whether based on acquiring real estate or pushing one ideology or another, it's always a robbery of the People.

      That hasn't changed one little bit, and, in fact, war is now more a scam than it ever was.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:17:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jacob Bronowsi in the Ascent of Man (5+ / 0-)
        But war, organized war, is not a human instinct. It is a highly planned and cooperative form of theft. And that form of theft began 10,000 years ago when the harvesters of wheat accumulated a surplus and the nomads rose out of the desert to rob them of what they themselves could not provide. The evidence for that, we saw, in the walled city of Jericho and its prehistoric tower... That is the beginning of war.
        At this link.
      •  "peace sells but who's buying"? ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xxdr zombiexx

        ...Sometimes seeking peace at any price is the close brother of cowardice. I am reminded of Carthage v. Rome. In 216 B.C., after the Battle of Cannae, Carthagenian General Hannibal Barca, going before his Senate--fresh from his annihilation of a Roman army far superior in numbers and arguably fielding the best army of its day--presented several baskets of over 50,000 gold rings severed from the fingers of the Roman nobility who owned land and titles in Rome, from centurians on up to cohort level commanders( 6 centuriies to a cohort, 10 cohorts to a legion of 6,000 times over 12 legions in the field). He begged his leaders for the money to finish their mortal enemy Rome off. Not even the severed fingers of Roman nobles was enough to convince his country that they could defeat Rome. In their mind, and despite Barca's amazing victory over a far superior army, they had already lost the war. And the rest is history.

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:40:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anyone doubting this, hear Gen. Smedley Butler: (8+ / 0-)

        Two Medals of Honor, lots of other decorations, all apparently deserved, who said, after decades of using Made in America violence to serve the predatory interests of US companies like United Fruit, the guy who apparently was selected by US businessmen to conduct a coup ousting FDR and instead blew the whistle, wrote and spoke loudly of the real nature of modern war:

        short version:

        WAR is a racket. It always has been.

        It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

        A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

        In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

        How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

        Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

        And what is this bill?

        This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

        For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

        Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

        The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other’s throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people -- not those who fight and pay and die -- only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

        There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making. Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers? Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in "International Conciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

        "And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and  observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. . . . War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."

        Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war -- anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter’s dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

        Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

        Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the "open door" policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000. Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war -- a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and
        mentally unbalanced men.

        Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit -- fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

        Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends.

        But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children? What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?

        Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

        Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War [1] period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

        It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people -- who do not profit.

        [But wait! if you follow the link, there's much more! and ask yourself how what he said then, before WW II, is not just as applicable to the current state of the game]

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:46:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for posting that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jm214, akmk, DSPS owl, shaketheworld

          and I wish those that join the military would understand that.
          Since it came out that the Iraq war was based on lies, I do not understand how people would join up to be exposed to either getting killed or maimed for life.
          Everyone that is thinking of joining up should visit a VA hospital to see what is at risk.
          Or even ask the question of why there are so many homeless vets?
          In obits, you see the spouse or parent saying : He died doing what he loved:
          I take that is that he loved going in to another country and murdering innocent people for the corporations.
          That is my take on it.
          The fact that the military kicked in doors at night and killed so many people is a stain on the US.
          I do not support the troops.
          I do not support the invasions.
          I do not support the drones.
          I never have.
          The US is the greatest purveyor of violence. MLK.
          He was right.

          Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

          by snoopydawg on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:36:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, during Vietnam, we didn't have a choice. (0+ / 0-)

            It was either join one of the services or be drafted into the Army and a great likelihood of death. Many of the current members of the military joined because there were no jobs available in the civilian world and some joined for the educational opportunities.

            "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

            by gritsngumbo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 02:18:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the US averages 2 wars/year. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      That's the average.

      •  They are not wars (0+ / 0-)

        they are illegal invasions.

        Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

        by snoopydawg on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:36:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Barbara Marquardt

      But, it is not an American problem, it's a human problem.

      ego sum ergo ego eram

      by glb3 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:28:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some of the 19th century... (0+ / 0-)

      There was an undeclared war with France while Jefferson was President.  That may have ended before 1802, ten years before the war of 1812.
      After the war of 1812 ended in 1814, we weren't at war again until the Mexican War in 1848.  
      There was about a decade between that war and the Civil War.
      From 1865 to 1898 there was no war with a formally recognized state, but we did fight Indians.  Some time in my youth, maybe the 1960's, Congress took note that we'd legally been at war with the Seminole Nation for about a century and declared that war over.
      Between 1918 and 1941 there was no formal war, and pretty much no informal one.
      The Korean War ended in 1953.  We started dipping our toe into the Vietnam war in about 1964.  That ended, when, 1974?  Reagan had that little invasion of Grenada.  Bush senior had the Desert Storm war.  Clinton had that air war against Serbia.  And Dubya got us into two wars.
      So the last time we went a decade without war was 1918-1941.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:55:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so we should just sit by and be attacked? (0+ / 0-)

      That's not my idea.  That's Obama's.

  •  War (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, Farradin, lyvwyr101, david78209

    War games are popular because war is popular. And war is popular because our leaders like war.

    GTA is not a war game. The people I know who like it do so because it's open world, not linear. And it's not nearly as popular as CoD where they pit the West against Muslim type countries.

    The child of an NRA gun nut slaughtered the children.

    by plok on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:37:49 AM PST

    •  Just look here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, lyvwyr101

      Muslim Practice targets. I had no idea these existed! I guess it's a little encouraging some places are retiring these for targets depicting Wall Street types?  

      The child of an NRA gun nut slaughtered the children.

      by plok on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:50:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Loot The Rich! (5+ / 0-)

        A GTA III type of video game wherein the People rise up and destroy wall street.

        full-on mayhem: Wall Street in flames, cars and busses burning, running, screaming, Shooting. Kidnapping.

        Rich people jumping out of windows.

        Just a game....therefore just good clean fun.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:22:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Real war is not popular, ask the millions of (4+ / 0-)

      men, women, and children actually killed by war, or their families, if it is popular.  It is not.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

      by helpImdrowning on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only way war will end (3+ / 0-)

        is if it becomes so unpopular no one signs up to join the armed forces. No politician will risk bringing back the draft.

        It will never end top down - only bottom up.

        •  That only addresses a small portion of the wars (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          historys mysteries

          America, and other developed nations, aren't the only ones engaged in warfare, not by a longshot. For most though, war is something ugly, far uglier than cable news networks want to talk about. where rape, torture, starvation, and even cannibalism are used as weapons. One group wants what another group has, and takes it. Maybe it's a better source of water, maybe it's better farmland, maybe that piece of land has resources valuable to the industrialized world. Doesn't matter, they still kill for it.

          A lot of the electronics we use contain minerals people have fought wars over, and continue to fight over. Our laptops, smart phones, tablets, all have the blood of the innocent on them.

          You need a license to drive, a license to run a business, but any idiot can buy a gun.

          by Hannibal on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:15:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think war's popularity (2+ / 0-)

      is entirely the fault of our leaders -- at least these specific leaders.  Humans have been glorifying war for pretty much as long as humans have made war.

      •  No only some (0+ / 0-)

        And you need to look up the word "lead".

        Democrats did not lead in the run up to Iraq which is still a disaster like they knew it would be. They made calculated choices. Just like Adam Lanza.

        The child of an NRA gun nut slaughtered the children.

        by plok on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:59:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Democrats never put up a fight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          To stop it either. By and large, our elected Democrats went right along with it, if not outright cheered for it. They never voted against the funding of it in all these years. Most are so hawkish they refused to vote to end the use of cluster munitions in populated areas, something that primarily causes casualties to the civilian population, in particular children.

          Yet here we are, always eager to vote for them, give them our hard-earned money, and volunteer for their campaigns, hoping that this time, things will be different.

          You need a license to drive, a license to run a business, but any idiot can buy a gun.

          by Hannibal on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:19:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I do not believe President Obama "likes" war. His (0+ / 0-)

      job as Commander in Chief is to keep his nation of people safe and in today's world, that job includes maintaining stability throughout the world.  I don't envy him his task and have more trust in his ability to carry out this mission in the best interest of as many people as possible as anyone.

      But yeah, leaders want to keep their positions of power.  There are perks in that among the commoners.  Imagine a Romney "leadership".  Ugh.

  •  Wonderful comparison (4+ / 0-)

    Puts it all in perspective.

    •  I can and will use this discussing with... (4+ / 0-)

      gun nuts who feel that the First Amendment of video game makers should be taken away to protect the Second Amendment rights of people who just like shooting things in the real world.  

      As for the drones, I'm thinking they not only promote violence but lawlessness too. We used to have the morality of sheriff telling the lynch mob "This man is going to stand trial" because that seemed right at one time.  Now capital punishment, in secret and without trial is being presented as acceptable.

    •  Perspective? You mean conflation. This is why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we can't have nice things...we can't get on the same page about anything and have to say 'look over here' and 'well what about this' etc and completely lose focus, and then nothing gets done.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:29:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   No. I know what I meant. (0+ / 0-)
        a. A view or vista.
        b. A mental view or outlook: "It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present"
        2. The appearance of objects in depth as perceived by normal binocular vision.
        a. The relationship of aspects of a subject to each other and to a whole: a perspective of history; a need to view the problem in the proper perspective.
        b. Subjective evaluation of relative significance; a point of view: the perspective of the displaced homemaker.
        c. The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance: tried to keep my perspective throughout the crisis.
        4. The technique of representing three-dimensional objects and depth relationships on a two-dimensional surface.
        Of, relating to, seen, or represented in perspective.
        Conflation is for other people.
  •  I don't know...if people don't start playing me (6+ / 0-)

    back in Words with Friends shit's going to hit the fan.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:41:25 AM PST

  •  But, the boundaries are different, for sure. (15+ / 0-)

    In the real of possible killing, there are degrees of acceptable and unacceptable. So, there are no video games where one gets to rape children. Obviously there are people who have fantasies of doing so, but do we want video games where one gets to do this sort of thing as a fantasy? Probably not. Fifty years ago, a person probably would have found a game where one commits a mass murder of civilians in an airport (Modern Warfare 2) too far. I couldn't play that game because of that. It just went too far.

    So while I agree that entertainment doesn't directly cause violence or other social ills, we would be mistaken to say there is no social effect whatsoever. I don't think government should be getting involved in that as they do in other countries, but society could encourage people to set some collective limits on the sorts of playthings we find acceptible. Even in gaming.

    •  I hear you on the "Too Far" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I remember trying Dead Space 2 and shutting it off when the game made undead babies as a target.

      WAY too far.  Hell I had moral qualms about some of the dark side quests in KOTOR, so... ya know...

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:02:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the point, here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, Mark Sumner

      Is not that there's no social effect from violent video games, but to wonder if violent video games might be caused by our social circumstances.  We're in a time when our culture is mostly ok with assassinating people in other countries.  Maybe that's why we're mostly ok with violent video games?

      •  I think it's a humanity thing. We're animals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        that have risen (somewhat) from our base instincts, but they're still there...they had gladiators in Rome, for example. We watch football and play violent video games. I think there's an argument that if we didn't have these outlets, there could be MORE violence, but ymmv.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:31:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the Japanese make video games (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DavidMS, lyvwyr101, Hannibal

      where the point is to rape children.

      It's a genre in Japan.

      There are collective rules that the video games industry sets on itself. One of them is that children are generally immortal in videogames. Bad guys can kill them, but the player cannot, even if the player is a bad guy.

      Players have rebelled and produced"killable children" modifications for games.

      Some people play an open-world game like Skyrim or Fallout with the goal of killing every living thing in the game.

      That's the thing about open world games. You can spend six hours slaughtering a villiage, or you can spend six hours chasing butterflies to make magic potions. The game doesn't encourage either action. It's a sandbox. There is stuff there to play with, or not.

      There are actually some circumstances in which I would argue that making games MORE violent and more realistically violent, is good for kids.

      Take Racing games as the prime example of this. If you play A game where your car is invincible, you never get the message that driving is dangerous. That would be the need for speed series.

      But if you play a game where you watch in slow motion and in intense detail as the vehicle you were driving gets crumpled into an unidentifiable ball of metal after hitting a wall at 180 MPH, it pounds home the message that cars are incredibly dangerous.

      That would be the "Burnout" series of games. I've watched children play both games, and there are phrases you hear when children play burnout that you do not hear when children play any other racing game.

      "You would be so dead if you were in that car."
      "It would be cool to live in paradise city. Except for all of the dying."

      Children who play burnout get the message that cars can and will kill you. Something they don't get from need for speed, which is less violent, because all of the cars are invincible.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:24:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is kind of OT, but I thought that a game (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      or a holograph of a child that would tempt a child abuser, would be useful in prison.  Yes, they could have it game, but they could never be released from prison as long as they chose the game.  It would always be there.  Then we would be much closer to knowing if someone was safe at large.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:22:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You *choose* to be active in that mission (0+ / 0-)

      In "No Russian", you don't have to shoot a single civilian. Don't have to fire your weapon once. The only people you are required to shoot are the security troops who are shooting at you after the airport massacre.

      And at the end, you die. No other option. And end up having started World War III. So, yay, good job?

      You can also choose to skip the mission entirely.

      If anything, that mission is a rather dark parody of the typical "kill 'em all" FPS mission: nothing you do makes any difference, you die, and things get worse because of you.

  •  You're arguing against all bombing? (10+ / 0-)

    Strange argument. It reminds me of the argument Bill Maher made that got him cancelled from network TV. He said the cowards in the war were those who safely bombed civilian populations. A stealth bomber at high altitude isn't much more dangerous for the pilot than someone using a drone. So, you haven't pointed out any meaningful distinction between drones and manned bombers. Both leave the killer far removed from the killing.

    Also, the idea that a war of aggression or killing innocent civilians is somehow less objectionable when soldiers put themselves at risk makes no sense to me at all.

    The core issues are:
    1) Killing civilians
    2) Wars of aggression
    3) The borderless, open-ended war on terror

    None of these issues changed with the introduction of a new weapon of war. This trend of focusing on drones is a distraction.

    •  There is a difference (5+ / 0-)

      When you are facing an enemy on a battlefield, you are putting yourself at risk and thus your actions are more understandable in the case of a mistake.  Society is also more reluctant to risk the lives of our young adults for reasons we aren't in support of.  

      Drones do not have any of this.  They can easily be deployed to places we aren't aware of conflict.  The pilot is never in any danger, unless you count carpal tunnel.  The low moral cost that comes with drone usage increases the likelihood of their overuse.  There is much less attention on them, which means almost no oversight even when used to assassinate teenage Americans who have never shown an indication of supporting terrorism.

      •  So you're against cruise misiles? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The same dynamic exists. Zinn made the same argument about bombing decades ago. This is a reality of modern warfare for the last several decades. It's not something new exclusive to drones.

        It's hard to argue drones aren't getting attention given the hyper-focus in the media and blogosphere.

        You wrote: "when used to assassinate teenage Americans who have never shown an indication of supporting terrorism."

        When did this happen?

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          I am against warfare except in self defense or the assistance of allies altogether though.  Perhaps it conflicts with the prior statement, but I am not opposed to the usage of cruise missiles or drones in nations we are at war with.

      •  You are ignoring the high rates of PTSD (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hawkseye, DSPS owl, KenBee

        reported by drone pilots.  There are a whole roomful of people who work with the drone pilots. The drone pilots aren't the ones who make the final call. The subjects are placed under surveillance for a while before any action is taken. The affinity of those under surveillance with the drone operators makes the final act on order significantly difficult for the drone operators. Your theory of low moral cost and the only effect on drone operators is carpal tunnel isn't based upon reality.

        •  It is very different (0+ / 0-)

          I don't disagree with what you are saying, but physically there are no soldiers losing their lives flying drones even if the PTSD rate is comparable.  You can give counseling to a soldier, but you can't bring him back to life or grow him new arms.

    •  What kind of country do you want us to be? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The kind of country that kills people whom the government decides,with no oversight is or might be a threat, or the kind of country where rule of law takes precedence and every one of us knows that we can sleep safe in our beds, safe from fear of being assassinated by our own government?
      I vote for the latter.  And I CAN vote for the latter because I know that my government, whether I vote for it or not, CANNOT kill me because I disagree with it.
      Beware precedent.

    •  Spot On (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, louisprandtl

      Couldn't have said it better.  The fixation on drones is an annoying distraction from the more pertinent and pressing issues which you enumerated.

    •  I'd guess bombers kill more innocents too. (0+ / 0-)

      Many more.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:41:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drones are part of a slippery slope (0+ / 0-)

      The real start of this was probably when Reagan tried to assassinate Khadaffi via F16, and killed some children and others instead.

      That was the start of the US attacking / assassinating without trial or any legal formalities at all in countries with which there was no declared or undeclared war.  

      Clinton did it too -- to save his @ss from impeachment, he killed some innocents in a factory, again in a country the US was not at war with.

      Bush the 2nd expanded these sort of attacks, and now Obama has expanded them again.

      Drones do make it easier, and therefore are even more likely to be used than F-16s or whatever.

      •  I'm just not happy with the idea that we allow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rizzo, shaketheworld

        politicians to kill people, even our own citizens, without any sort of oversight.  They say there's oversight, but then they don't say what it is.  "There has to be immenent threat" that is not actually immenent.  

        Threats can be manufactured by our government when they want them - see the Iraq war for example.  

        Eventually we will make killing so sterile and anonymous that there will be very little consequence.  And with media outlets that don't even bother to investigate any more, what are the chances that any secret killings are going to stop?

        This is bullshit.  We've turned our heads away from any real moral judgments that have to be made in favor of strawman arguments like debating if we can allow gay kids in the Boy Scouts.  The media loves to talk about that shit.  Not so much outrage about death from drones.  

        What happened to the Woodstock Generation?

        One more thing - If you think that this won't change things, just think about this - Do you actually believe that if we had drones in the early '60s that Castro would still be alive?  Don't you think it is a little to easy to justify that kind of killing now?

    •  The only difference is drones appear to be... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, DSPS owl, shaketheworld

      ..."budget friendlier" than other options, especially if the focus is narrowed on the very short term such as an annual appropriation. Longer term the very real and unavoidable total costs are the same: creating more enemies and reinforcing current resentments against the so-called Developed World.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:19:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  wars (7+ / 0-)

    should be fought by those that initiate them.  Up close and personal.  But that just isn't what we do now.

    War and killing is big business and as long as people tolerate the profiteering that goes on it will continue to be a huge money making enterprise.  

    When the drones are turned on Americans in America then maybe things will change but by then it is probably too late.  That 20 gauge isn't going to do you much good against a smart bomb.

    Yes, I am psychic...or was that psycho? I always forget which.

    by Farradin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:46:28 AM PST

  •  I wonder what McNamara would say? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:48:48 AM PST

    •  A movie worth renting. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, BOHICA, lyvwyr101, Egalitare
      •  Definitely. Especially for folks who fought (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, lyvwyr101

        against McNamara during Vietnam.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:09:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Crazy factoid about Ho Chi Minh (3+ / 0-)

          Not to get off on a tangent but I was amazed that I had not heard of this before:

          In the United StatesIn 1911, working as the cook's helper on a ship, Nguyễn (born name) traveled to the United States. From 1912-13, he lived in New York (Harlem) and Boston, where he worked as a baker at the Parker House Hotel. Among a series of menial jobs, he claimed to have worked for a wealthy family in Brooklyn between 1917–18, and for General Motors as a line manager. It is believed that, while in the United States, he made contact with Korean nationalists, an experience that developed his political outlook.

          Hmm... another homegrown guy makes good.


          by FakeNews on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:16:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Transcript: (3+ / 0-)

      Lesson 5: Proportionality should be a guideline in war.

      Interviewer: The choice of incendiary bombs, where did that come from?

      McNamara: I think the issue is not so much incendiary bombs, I think the issue is, in order to win a war should you kill 100,000 people in one night?

      By fire-bombing or any other way?

      [General Curtis] LeMay's answer would be, clearly, "yes."

      [McNamara speaking as LeMay]

      "McNamara do you mean to say that instead of killing 100,000 - burning to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in one night, we should have burned to death a lesser number or none? And then had our soldiers cross the beaches in Tokyo and been slaughtered in the tens of thousands? Is that what you're proposing? Is that moral? Is that wise?"

      Why was it necessary to drop the nuclear bomb if LeMay was burning up Japan? And he went on from Tokyo to firebomb other cities.  58% of Yokohama, Yokohama is roughly the size of Cleveland. 58% of Cleveland destroyed. Tokyo is roughly the size of New York, 51% of New York destroyed.  99% of the equivalent of Chattanooga, which was Toyama. 30% of the equivalent of Los Angeles which was Nagoya.

      [Video goes on to list dozens of cities, with their closest American counterparts, along with recon photographs of the burned down cities.]

      This was all done before the dropping of the nuclear bomb, which by the way, was done by LeMay's command. Proportionality should be a guideline in war.

      Killing 50-90% of the people in 67 Japanese Cities, and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional, in the minds of some people, to the objectives we were trying to achieve.

      I don't fault Truman for dropping the nuclear bomb. The US-Japanese war was one of the most brutal wars in all of human history. Kamikazi pilots- suicide- unbelievable.

      What one can criticize is that the human race prior to that time - And Today! - has not really grappled with what are, I'll call it, the rules of war. Was there a rule then that said you shouldn't bomb, shouldn't kill, shouldn't burn to death 100,000 civilians in a night?

      LeMay said that if we lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals. And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost.

      But what makes it immoral if you lose, and not immoral if you win?

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:08:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It goes back to Aristotle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverleaf, lyvwyr101

    and his notion of catharsis. He thought that we should watch tragedies because they gave us the ability to go through a set of emotions in advance that would otherwise be debilitating in real life. So, we experience them and find a way to put them in their place, so that if and when we face real tragedy we are more balanced people.

    So goes the theory, at least. Does it work the same way with violence? Does going through it in advance help us deal with emotions? It's possible that the games aren't violent enough. I  don't mean that we should find ever new ways of stimulating our lust for blood. I mean, the whole experience of violence should be embedded in the games. The fear in advance of killing. The PTSD afterwards. The flashbacks, the mistrust of others. A system that sends you out to kill, and then doesn't care about you when you get back. Broken homes, scared kids. In other words, the violence should also be the violence to the self, not just the violence to others, as if the self and one's own world isn't affected at all.

    Of course, I'm not serious. And I agree, images aren't reality, and blaming games and movies for gun violence in society is a cop-out. But if there's a problem with games, it's that they don't give us enough violence to make catharsis happen.

    "Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter." (Homer Simpson)

    by mitumba on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:50:12 AM PST

  •  As someone who finds the inherent idea behind (9+ / 0-)

    drones to be pretty cool, in the sense of basically being very sophisticated radio-controlled (and increasingly self-controlled) aircraft (I dabbled in RC planes in my teens), I find the kinds of uses that they're being put to by the military, spy agencies and local authorities to be pretty creepy.

    I mean, as fairly harmless toys of the sort you can buy in your local Rite Aid now (and much more sophisticated versions of which you can buy in hobby stores or build yourself), and for really useful civilian purposes like weather monitoring and nature preservation, I think they're great. And they also have what I view as legitimate military and even law enforcement uses, e.g. on actual battlefields and in pursuit of dangerous fugitives in remote areas.

    But to spy on and sometimes kill civilians in non-battlefield zones who are not actively endangering anyone, that's just creepy, and wrong.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:52:37 AM PST

  •  War is the enemy (7+ / 0-)
    "The enemy," resorted Yossarian
    with weighted precision, "is
    anybody who's going to get you
    killed, no matter which side he's
    on, and that includes Colonel
    Cathcart. And don't you forget
    that, because the longer you
    remember it, the longer you might
    Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?"
    Calvin: "Too few role models."

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:55:26 AM PST

    •  When you get right down to it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, lyvwyr101

      Most people fighting in a war, would rather not be there.

      They're usually there because of economic, legal or social obligations.

      The few psychos who DO want to be there, well, I'm amazed how fast most of the gung-ho guys found ways to get themselves shipped home.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:08:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent piece (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hammerhand, lyvwyr101, kenlac

    A key observation:

    "War is state-sponsored violence. It's acceptable only when it's necessary. The people who carry out that violence are admirable not for the harm they cause, but for the risk they assume."


  •  "Would you really feel any pity.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bernardpliers, lyvwyr101

    ....if one of those dots stopped moving forever?"

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:03:42 AM PST

  •  2050..........The War on Terror enters it's sixth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, Farlfoto, DSPS owl


  •  Do Drones Really Have Atari Logos? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, lyvwyr101

    Or is that photoshopped?

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:13:22 AM PST

  •  Something else missing here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pengiep, don mikulecky

    These drone strikes aren't just a substitute for military action -- they're a substitute for police action. But that actually doesn't help this line of thinking. The alternatives to using drones to go after guys who shoot schoolgirls in the head for the high crime of attempting to go to school are:

    1) don't go after them at all;
    2) send soldiers in to do police work.

    Which is the better alternative to drones? If you think it's none of the above, that's the same as #1 until your alternative is actually workable. If you think it's #2, that's my brother you're sending into a hostile situation -- so excuse me if I'm a little more reluctant than you to stop using drones.

    The idea that taking the risk out of war will somehow make us increasingly use violence as a tool ignores centuries of evidence to the contrary, from one perspective. From another perspective, maybe you're right -- but generals have always, and will always use drones to fight wars. The difference is that the drones are now machines instead of flesh and blood.

  •  Thoroughly agree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, Rizzo, don mikulecky, DSPS owl

    I saw us going to a very ugly place when I first read about armed drones. Surveillance drones are okay in my opinion but armed drones are abominable and there is no defending using them. Having seen a war from the periphery, (I was an airframe mechanic during the first Persian Gulf War), I was horrified with the idea of taking all of the risk for one side out of the equation. It makes perfect sense from a tactical standpoint: The object of battle has always been to kill or incapacitate as many of the enemy possible while taking the fewest of your own casualties. Removing all risk means removing all inhibitions and now it is just a video game, albeit one without a pause or save game function. What's done on that particular screen stays done. There's no reloading or going back to an earlier save game. This has the effect further distancing the operator from his or her targets. If you don't get it right, oh, well, time to go slaughter some more people until you do. It's obscene and it should be a war crime, and in some cases even a capital war crime Period.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:23:45 AM PST

    •  To clarify (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, DavidMS

      I find surveillance drones for the purposes of warfare acceptable. Not for the purposes of spying on civilian populations.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:25:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not only that. Where do we go from here? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What happens when everyone has them?  Eventually everyone is going to have the capacity to direct these bombers from thousands of miles away into American Cities.  Or all around the globe.  Are we going to have drone non-proliferation treaties?  

      How far away are we from someone building a small bomb with a hobby shop kind of device and delivering it into the front door of the Capital Building?  Or anywhere?  Only a matter of time.

      •  not only that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        but, it's just a matter of time until the CURRENT spy network of drones over America is expanded and is equipped with lethal weapons.  Right now they are used for surveillance.  I expect that will change shortly.  

        Yes, I am psychic...or was that psycho? I always forget which.

        by Farradin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:36:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Columbine, Willinois is Right, and New Laws of War (5+ / 0-)

    For me, the most significant takeaway, or perhaps thesis, from Bowling for Columbine was that people imitate their government, specifically in terms of using violence to solve problems.  Remember the scene where Moore interviews Lockheed Martin about their corporate campaign to teach youth the Violence Isn't the Answer?

    I also agree with "Willinois" in that I feel we often exaggerate how significant drones are in keeping aggressors out of harms way.  The American military has enjoyed overwhelmingly unchallenged air supremacy for the past quarter century; the physical risk to American warriors would only be marginally increased if we were using manned aircraft in Pakistan/Yemen versus drones.  And besides, does the risk to the aggressor really impact the morality of his aggression?

    We need to lose the fixation on drone technology and start a broader discussion on creating a legal/ethical framework for how to prosecute a new type of warfare.  We need to accept that even though the concepts of battlefields and warring states are fast fading, that does not give the President carte blanche to kill globally without oversight or accountability.  If we fail to deliberately do so, we run the risk of that "framework" being created ad-hoc by a series of legal & political precedents that nobody entirely understands.

    •  QFT: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Soldier Scholar
      We need to lose the fixation on drone technology and start a broader discussion on creating a legal/ethical framework for how to prosecute a new type of warfare.
      The sad thing about the fixation on drones is that by utilizing the easy emotional and rhetorical charge they bring, it prevents the deeper discussion you recommend.

      "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

      by kenlac on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:13:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two-Handed Engine (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, lyvwyr101, 88kathy, KenBee

    Henry Kuttner wrote a series of stories about a future where humanity was having a hard time recovering from a culture of complete indulgence, where the idea of personal responsibility had been lost. "Two Handed Engine" is a tale of mechanical justice; IIRC a human who kills another finds himself followed everywhere by a robot which at some unknown time will be his or her executioner. In the story, a man who has carried out a killing in exchange for some reward finds such a robot following him. He eventually confronts the person who hired him, and is struck down before he can exact revenge. As it happens, the man who hired him is one of the few with the power to over ride the computers controlling the robots. Having arranged the death of his hired killer, he now finds a robot targeting him - and cancels its orders.

    But he yet feels that mechanical presence dogging his footsteps in his mind. And thus sin and guilt return to the world.

    The title is taken from Milton's poem Lycidias

    ...The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
    But swoll'n with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
    Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
    Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
    Daily devours apace, and nothing said;
    But that two-handed engine at the door
    Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more."

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:34:08 AM PST

  •  killing is immoral, state killing is immoral (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky, DSPS owl

    the fascination our culture has with fake violence did not precede state killing. diaries like yours pointing out how state killing has become back page news are very welcome to me. the silence on the left to the increased power of the state to kill and control dissent is sad. the drones are creating a generation of terrorists. they are probably very cost effective. drop a drone on somebody, kill one extraneous person along with the effort, and how many hundred of villagers burn with hatred? kill a man, label him a terrorist, and those who really know him, like his children, how do they respond? we need all the names, all the bios, we need press access to the kill sites. nothing else will satisfy me that all these guys really constitute an active threat. we need the names of all the collateral damage, not just the guy they were after.

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:49:45 AM PST

    •  Libertarians would argue that it is inevitable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevej, AaronInSanDiego

      that the state will use violence to control dissent when said state has gotten 'too big.'

      I am a classical statist. So I obviously disagree.

      •  even a large state (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        could conceivably either have the best interest of its citizens in mind or have its own power foremost.

        i think the thing we need more than anything about these drones is information on who is being killed. we dont know. those who favor a strong state imagine they are all very bad guys. i imagine there are many innocents.

        i am a classical individualist. the individual can exist without the organization, but the organization cannot exist without the individual.  the state should not incidentally kill innocents for a greater good.

        and i do not trust information that comes only from the killing party.

        war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

        by just want to comment on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:06:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We have 500 gun murders a year in my city. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I doubt many of the shooters were imagining they were drones when they committed them.

    Most of them think of themselves as Gangstas. You really think the drone war caused that?

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:52:08 AM PST

  •  wait till everyone else has drones too. then (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FakeNews, Farlfoto, DSPS owl

    the US will find itself much less in love with them.

    That's always the problem with an arms race---you're never ahead for very long.

    •  the drones in use now are only "viable" on a (0+ / 0-)

      battlefield where air defenses are absent, suppressed or incompetent. We in the US don't have to worry much about drones from other places. For the time being.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:06:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need to start worrying about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Farradin, DSPS owl

        US drones now.

        The manufacturers don't want to have to rely on foreign wars - they want a guaranteed continuous market and have been lobbying at all levels intensely for their use on home soil - note use of past tense.

        •  speaking of manufacturers (0+ / 0-)

          I think they're selling them to other countries now.  
          I think the whole signature strikes thing is crazy..
          Oh! there is a group of them, now they're dead!  
          maybe they were terrorists...  People who simply fit profiles, like riding in trucks with friends could become a reason to die.
          we are bombing so many countries now. Brennan wouldn't even tell  Ron Wyden that he would let the senate know how many countries we are killing people in.  We hope to be safer but in the long run i.e. 5 years,  to many countries we'll be that evil country that bombs them, regardless of payouts to the
          despots in power. When the wind blows these despots over we'll be left with countries and armies who hate us.
          We're not thinking seriously about this.
          No one is going to be impressed with little lefty internet blogger here. But look at  What Stanley McCrystal has to say about them:  
          McChrystal interview


    •  Whatever you do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      do not under any circumstances mention the words "Chickens", "Home", or "Roost."

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:43:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When we turn the drones into public entertainment (4+ / 0-)

    then you might have a comparison.

    That's what was so vulgar about the Iraq invasion -- it was turned into a television show.

    As for the rest, drawing up partitions between various causes of violence is a specious exercise. Violence frequently has multiple causes. To dismiss one and lay the entirely of the blame on another is really just the inverse of the idiotic game the NRA is playing. Some people get their homicidal tendencies stoked from video games, some from movies, and some from becoming trained killers in the military or the police departments. To imply that no one who has ever played a video game that glorifies violence has lost track of the boundary between fantasy and reality is simply ignoring the fundamentals of how human psychology works, and in this case it's doing so to contort the argument towards a different topic.

    Wars are bad things. Violent fantasies are bad things. Easy access to guns is a bad thing. Let's not fall into the trap of ranking them -- it's exactly the kind of trap Wayne LaPierre wants you to fall into.

    "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

    by kenlac on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:09:35 AM PST

    •  ranking is indeed pointless. Both products, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      violent "entertainment" and war(and war is a product, believe me), need to be kept out of the hands of the young and the mentally vulnerable.

      ecstatically baffled

      by el vasco on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:08:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, now that I think about it... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        el vasco, DSPS owl

        ..."ranking" is the wrong word. It misses an important point. Both this diary and NRA positions do not rank the causes -- they exclude causes entirely. That's the real nut of the problem.

        "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

        by kenlac on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:23:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. Causes cause problems for those who (0+ / 0-)

          peddle violence or use it to sell products.  

          ecstatically baffled

          by el vasco on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:46:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Check my comment to you on capitalism (0+ / 0-)

            I don't feel like reposting or rehasing the same points here, but there are the same points, and no one "peddles" violence... well, maybe WWE wrestling, maybe the MMA , amybe the NFL, etc, the sports branch of entertainment may, but in books, movies, TV shows and games where violence may be part of the prose or narrative, it isn't "violence" they are peddling, but the story, which happens to contain elements of violence within.

            Meanwhile, what I didn't bring up in my preivous comments, especially bring up labor, is how much union work there is within the entertainment industry, and yes that includes pamerped and spoiled actors, though if saw the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards that was on a few weeks ago, you'd get more of appreciation for for even SAG, as well as the other unions involved like the Writers guidl, and the Teamsters and AFL-CIO does alot of the grunt labor on films.

            And, again, let's just ignore the police state industrial complex that you guys in "law enforcement" like to peddle, not to mention violence, such as police brutailiy and the harrassment and pepper spraying of innocents like those douchebags who pepper sprayed those OWS protestors already cuffed and subdued.

            Yeah, well talk about fictional violence in media right after we talk about the problems of real violence peddled and conducted by those in "law enforcement."

        •  Ugh... (0+ / 0-)

          This diary excludes what you consider a cause becauses it not one, that little logic fail on your behalf escapes you, and nice slight trying to somehow connect Wayne Lapieree to this, tough you fail miserably on showing the link, but again, my other comment I just made in this thread strings showcases that better.

    •  Warning : severe logic fails ahead. (0+ / 0-)

      "When we turn the drones into public entertainment then you might have a comparison"

      Already is. State sanctioned killing, including the new medium of drones, has always been "entertainment" to distubed and usually conservative minds, whether they be Democrats or Republicans, dare I say, there are some in Obama's employ who I feels derive some sense of entertainment by the drones, as I think many of the remote control pilots who do so without consence may also. I know people like John McCain and lindsay Graham gets their kicks from horrors like this, but going back further from drones, state sactioned killings (capital punishment) and even non -sanctioned killings, (hangings, lynching) havbe been "proud" tradtions of Amerikka's glorious violant and racist past. And we still do it today, the states that still have the barbaric practice of capital punishment still have a viewing area to watch the condemned go to their doom no matter the method.

      "That's what was so vulgar about the Iraq invasion -- it was turned into a television show."

      No arguement there.

      "To dismiss one and lay the entirely of the blame on another is really just the inverse of the idiotic game the NRA is playing."

      Ah, I see... It's not like it can't be that the NRA blaming the video games can just be wrong, it also has to be that  what the NRA lays blame has to take some blame to becuase you said so, and now I'm freaking lost... You do know the NRA has an "enemies list", that upon this night I type this, Lawrence O'Donneell had a great bit of satire poking fun of just whom the NRA sees as the enemy and who to blame for mass killings, would you also like to make the arguement that while Ben and Jerry's  ice cream isn't solely resposible for cases like Sandy Hook, that they shouldn't get away with no blame at all as well?

      What I'm try to say is... LOGIC FAIL. And really, is that the best you can do? Again, you come of as a typical RKBAer's post with that.

      "Some people get their homicidal tendencies stoked from video games" Um no, we don't seriously, we don't. And i haven't seen one case of such, to wit, even given one case, it'd be the exception that proves the rule. In other words : LOGIC FAIL.

      "To imply that no one who has ever played a video game that glorifies violence has lost track of the boundary between fantasy and reality is simply ignoring the fundamentals of how human psychology works"

      To wit, I'd reply, To imply that any one who has ever played a video game that glorifies violence has lost track of the boundary between fantasy and reality is simply ignorant of the facts and wrong, and any one who says they have has serious issues that would need to be address and would manifest whether a game was being played or not, or any activity or not, because anyoen who tells you you can become mentally unstabe just upon playing a gme or habitually playing a game is simply ignoring the fundamentals of how human psychology works.

      You can't "catch" the crazy any more than you can "catch" the gay, and your simplistic yet rudemaentally incompentant yet timely to the 1950s understanding how psychology and both pysiology which go hand in hand, reminds me of the thinking of the past of how psychology of the past was thinking homosexuality was a mental illness than given the right time and treatments could be "cured".

      So what I'm really trying to say is... Logic. Fail.

      "Violent fantasies are bad things."

      Um, no, not really, and if you were half the arm-chair psychitrist you have been trying to portray, you'd know that what psychology would have to say about the subject of fanatsies, be they violent or sexual or otherwise, they aren't inherantly "good" "or evil", and maybe psychologists who have written studies on the subject would point out to have some violent fantasies to some extent are healthy and normal for the average human mind, and become a problem when an attmept to act the fanasty out is made. Again, Logic. Fail.

      "Easy access to guns is a bad thing."

      Just easy access to guns is a bad thing? This is how you can spot an RKBAer, several times in this comment section this person has a huge problem to even dare to say "guns are bad things."

      Why can't you just say that? To afraid of what your guns buddies might say about you back at RKBA HQ?

      Saying guns are doesn't meaning we're coming to take your guns, but atleast ackwoleding that maybe the damn things should have never been been invented, and they are the tool of destruction that are at the heart of the situations, is that so bad?

      Its weird how you are so haedsrtrong wanting to get gemers to admit their products that make up their hobby is so wrong, while of course noone has ever died from an injury from a copy of a video game ever, and yet the worst thing you can say about guns is "easy access to them is abad thing", but never calling out the gun itself as being a "bad thing."

      Typical RKBA clap trap.

  •  I don't entirely agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peace Missile, el vasco

    Countless studies have shown a link between violent vids and real world violence. And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on them.

    This is a true story. A 11 yr old kid who had been friends with my kid, by day his dad worked making drones. Dad was a gun nut too. One day I'm driving the kids somewhere, and from the backseat, this kid says to my kid "suicide is so cool" .  And I thought, oh great a future school shooter.

    Where did that come from? The vids? The guns? The drones?

    It came from all of those things, I'd say.

    •  amen, Rizzo. And remember the real reason these (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      videos are out there:  they make a handful of people a lot of money.  They could care less about the consequences.

      ecstatically baffled

      by el vasco on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:04:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tis true (partly), its a capitalist society (0+ / 0-)

        I, being an unabashed socialist "pinko-commie" , might wish it not not be true or different, but it is infact a capitalist society, and "it" just doesn't mean, Amerikkka, but the whole world is one big global economy based on capitalism despite many nations being declared otherwise, like China, is actually more capitalist in its trades and exchanges with other nations including the US, than one would like.

        Be that as it may, yes, the entertainmet industry, including those works we may regard as art, is a business, and the point there is...?
        Should they work/do you wish them to work for free?

        Not very friendly to labor, are you? In a capitalist society, its labor and the labor movement the 99% depend upon to get by.

        Even in the past, prior to the industrial revolution and electricity, all forms or art and entertainment were made, not for the sheer enjoyment of either the process of the work, or the finished product, but for money, and profit. You wouldn't expect Michaelango to paint the Sistine Chapel, or sculpt David or Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa for free, right?

        Or literature, both before electricity or the printing press, and today, people get paid to write whether its the most brilliant thing ever, or its tripe, some one gets paid to write "50 shades of Grey", and this is a great evil, how, exactly?

        Not to say, I don't have my own crituques in this area, I just state why I have such objections when I do, instead of your hiding behind your fear and paranoia behind "violent media".

        "They could care less about the consequences."

        Who are "they" (and be specific) and what are the " consequences" (again, be specific)

    •  No, they Haven't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, AaronInSanDiego

      The studies have shown a link between violent video games and aggression (aggression as defined in the lab, which is defined far, far, more broadly than just violent behavior.) No study has ever found a correlation between video game violence and violent behavior. None.

    •  Most of the problems with media violence (0+ / 0-)

      could be solved if we did a better job explaining the difference between "Real" and "Pretend"

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:46:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um... no. (0+ / 0-)

      "Countless studies have shown a link between violent vids and real world violence."

      No. They haven't. Next.

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on them."

      And what does that have to do with violent games? Is there any other age inapproriate things you like to declare you won't raise your kids on spontaneously, or atleast until they are of age?

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on violent video games."

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on violent movies and TV."

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on violent literature."

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid to drive an automobile. Until age 16. Or legal age of driving in state of residence."

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on alcohol consumption. Unitl age 21. Unless he wants a kegger at my house at age 18. And
      I can hang out."

      "And I sure as hell wouldn't raise my kid on bjs and handjobs by hookers. Until age 18. And only if I supervise. Extensively."

      These declarations, for example.


      I'm sorry, I got carried away, you made it too easy. Again, another low-information voter who doesn't know or won't acknowledge video games are a medium of content, which has varying degrees of age appropriateness, like R-ratred movies, or TV shows on HBO, and are not just some "kid's toy", which that belief is REEEALLLY getting so cliche its annoying.

      This is a true story. A man on the internet by the username Rizzo told me of a story of AN 11 yr old kid who had been friends with his, by day his dad worked making drones. Dad was a gun nut too. One day I'm driving the kids somewhere, and from the backseat, this kid says to my kid "suicide is so cool", to which I replied, "c00l st0ry br0!"

      Not back to our regularly scheduled debate.

      "Where did that come from? The vids? The guns? The drones?

      It came from all of those things, I'd say."

      Based on what? I don't think the insides on a human being's orifice suffices as credibility to back up such claims, because if it did , my own back orifice would like to strongly disagree with yours.

      Where did that come from? The unicorns? The orcs? The elves at the North Pole?

      It came from all of those things, I'd say. /snark

  •  Life imitates art. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    el vasco
  •  ATARI logo on an instrument of death? :O n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:42:26 AM PST

    •  Well, they did just go into bancruptcy (0+ / 0-)

      So, who knows what desperate people might do for money!!! LOL!

      But I am serious about Atari, they did just filed and got aprroved for bacruptcy. The bad economy effects everything.

  •  I'm not so inclined to dismiss the link between (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shuksan Tahoma, el vasco, DSPS owl

    the media culture of violence and the real-life culture of violence.

    Humans learn by example and interaction. I think there is merit in looking at what examples and interactions are filling people's lives these days.

    •  I KNOW, RiiiGHT? /snark (0+ / 0-)

      Because if we all did, we wouldn't have a freaking huge scapegoat Wayne Lapiere can use to dodge the real issues surrounding Sandy Hook! And we can't have that!

      " I'm not so inclined to dismiss the link between
      the media culture of violence and the real-life culture of violence."

      Then do tell... share the link apparently you found on your own, that apparently all other science has failed to establish. I may not look like it, but I ensure you, I do have an open mind, and will hear anytthing out, once. But repeatedly, after something has been debunked. no.

      "Humans learn by example and interaction." And now you've explained how life works, very good, and the point being? Oh, because humans can learn to be "bad" or whar society might consider to be bad, by example and interaction, therefore, we must strike at the hearts of the enemies of humankind and exterminate andy example and interaction a human can have!!!! We'll keep the human race safe by not letting them live their lives and thusly not having a worth to their lives in the first place !!! (Jim Carrey voice) BRILLANT!!!

      Yes, I mock, but I mock cause I love!

      SEriously, though, when I read between the lines of what you are saying, you really do creep me out, like something out of the Twilight Zone or something, to the point where you think ones only living their lives if they take out all the risks or most of the risks of life out of their life. This seem s like a very conservative... er, something, like that, philosophy, maybe not quite Ayn Randian, there is a word I'm looking for with those who share your phliophy of life... sorry, though, I can't think of it , and sorry I can't subscribe to your brand of phliosophy, either.

  •  So there is 0.0 correlation between media violence (0+ / 0-)

    and real world violence?


      •  The diarist said (0+ / 0-)
        Which isn't to say that America hasn't fallen into a culture of violence. Of course it has. But that culture has nothing to do with fantasy on the small screen or on the big screen.
        That's a pretty clear statement implying a 0.0 correlation.

        I stand by my comment.

        •  Let's just say insignificant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'd say that measuring the effects of fantasy violence on a culture so engaged in actual violence, is like worrying about having too much salt on an arsenic sandwich.

          •  perhaps statistically so, in the whole population (0+ / 0-)

            but for those mentally at risk it could be a huge factor.

          •  I believe a more accurate analogy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DSPS owl

            would be to say, "The amount of arsenic in this sandwich contributed by violent games isn't enough to kill you by itself, therefore the fact that they added that amount to the sandwich is harmless."

            Of course, we're talking about human minds here, not sandwiches. In that case maybe we need to talk about alchemy: two different substances creating a third. Easy access to gun might not equal violent act. Violent video game might not equal violent act. Easy access to gun + violent video game + mind already out of balance = ...

            "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

            by kenlac on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 11:55:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um... no. (0+ / 0-)

              "I believe a more accurate analogy would be to say, "The amount of arsenic in this sandwich contributed by violent games isn't enough to kill you by itself, therefore the fact that they added that amount to the sandwich is harmless.""

              Dude, that doesn't even make sense.

              But thanks for playing (game show host voice) : REALLLY. BAD. ANALOGIES!!! (que wheel of fortune music)

              The analogy that you were trying to butcher made by the previous commentor wasn't too bad, too bad you took a hatchet to it while not getting the point at all. But then again, typical RKBA logic, I guess.

              "Of course, we're talking about human minds here, not sandwiches. In that case maybe we need to talk about alchemy: two different substances creating a third. Easy access to gun might not equal violent act. Violent video game might not equal violent act. Easy access to gun + violent video game + mind already out of balance = ..."

              Again, more pulling artifacts from yonder orifice hinder.

              To even make an equation (which in itself is a very bad analogy) with violent video games = something else leading to anything untoward, you'd have to have facts on yourside to even make a statement like that which you clearly dont, you can have the opnion that they do, but I could have opnion Santas truly does exist, and I'd be no more accurtate with my opnion than yours, so I'd really wish people would just stick to facts, and especially STOP implying your opions whether video games will open the 7th seal of hell and bring for the apocalypse or not is a fact.

              Not to metion you can make and equation  with " + mind already out of balance" and have anything it its place at all and it could equate to possibly a nact of violence being committed, and as gonnabechef posted above, the Manson murders were committed do to music + mind already out of balance  = murders, so what do we do about that, censor musis, ban Beatles albums, only sell Beatles albums to those who get a mnetal health check first? The 995 can live for the 1%, its already bad enough we are doing so economically, but to suggest that society should only conduct itself as though the person sitting next to you is a mental ticking time bomb going off is no way to live , and its kinda the philosophy of the Bush era, the terrrists hate us for our freedoms, so we limit our freedoms,  and problem solved!!!

              Also, I'm guessing you're RKBA, becuase all you seem to bring us is limiting easy access tyo a gun when there is so much more we could do, and I feel we should do, as I mentioned above, and you seem to be dweling on that far to often.

    •  Sigh... (0+ / 0-)

      This is another loaded question that is kinda a setup for a strawman arguement.

      This question is invalid by simply trying to frame the sunject in the best possible light for your side of the arguement.

      Many bullets points to be made here.

      Firstly, and most strongly, correlation IS NOT causation, and even if you were to repond that you know that, well, then the discussion can not go any further than that.

      Secondly, even under correlation, no there is no correlation between fictional violence and real violence (with the obvious caveat of few exceptions to the rule, none of which there is to video games specifically).

      Even the best studies, which often still use shotty pseudo-science, and are often NOT peer-reviewed and retested, AT WORST show a correlation between agression when playing games and that's not determantn on whether the game is violent or not, but because of the competitive nature of the game, especially multiplayer, that these studies to be found in sports and other activites of a competive nature.

      So, so glad that you stand behind the statement, Shuksan, becuase it is more or less right.

  •  when every country (0+ / 0-)

    has armed drones,

    won't we all then be the "bad guys" ?

    just X's on a digital map.

  •  Missing the Point Entirely--Ender (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky, DSPS owl

    The idea that a Hellfire missile launched by a human (helicopter) is somehow more ethical than a Hellfire launched by a machine is ludicrous. (Sounds like a fourth grader's idea of a fair fight.) The idea that we need to examine very carefully whom we target and think about whether we have the right to attack people who are not actively attacking us the conversation we should be having.

    And while I hate to source this author, the most poignant and thoughtful book ever written about "violent video games" is Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game." Training young people to kill via games de-sensitizes them to real violence.

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
      (Sounds like a fourth grader's idea of a fair fight.)
      No, it is you that are being naive and simplistic. Remove the danger to individuals from the equation and it completely changes the public opinion dynamic - which is and always has been a critical factor in both the decision to go to war and how to prosecute the same.

      Without the public opinion pressure there is zero incentive to those that have the power stop a war and plenty of incentive for them to continue it.

      I would suggest that you listen to some fourth grader's when you next get the chance.

      •  Public opinion isn't--and shouldn't--be ethics (0+ / 0-)

        Public opinion was totally behind Bush's totally immoral Iraq war.

        And read what I said carefully; I am not saying the targets are not immoral in most cases. I truly believe our foreign policy is horrible historically. I truly believe that we misunderstand the anger in the Arab world and most of Latin America.

        But I do not believe we have to risk American lives to have the discussions of ethics and constitutionality. I want the President to raise the issues straight up, not play games.

    •  ummm...i disagree (0+ / 0-)

      lol @ the use of the words "poignant", "thoughtful", and "Orson Scott Card" in the same sentence.  Ender's Game is a crappy novel written by an idiot.

      "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

      by GrimReefa on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:49:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pppppfttttt... (0+ / 0-)

      Ya made me spit my coffee out... Your go-to guy on defedning your fear, paranoia and sheer hatred of "violent" video games is....

      ORSON SCOTT CARD?!?!? Orson Scott Card, the homophode? Orson Scott Card, the mormon zealot!?!? Orson Scott Card, the right-wing douchebag, anti-Obama, teabagger Republican? Orson Scott Card, a member of board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage ??? That Orson Scott Card? The very author of Ender's Game the supported and donated to Prop 8 and its legal defense?

      As Peter Venkman said in GhostBusters 2, "Whoa, Johnny, did you back the wrong horse!"

      And besides the fact that there is defiant heavy critism on Ender's Game alone without brining up Card's politics, what the hell does EG have to do with "violent video games"?!? The book is, some would say, low-class sci-fi, about a dystopian future, as alot of the sci-fi at the time was, and among the main storylines were the war with the insect-like beings. How the hell do you get "video games" , from that, especially since Card was planning to release EG as a game, which got  scrapped???

      Not to mention, the first short story was released in 1977, Atari was like barley a year old at that point, and updated in 1991, the year the SNES was first released, your arguement holds very thin.

      To the point of being completely dishonest.

      Also, Ender's Game itself is very, very violent, and yet you defend violence in one medium, from a douchebag homophobe, to shame and suppress violence in another??? Do you also blame Hollywood, too, your head will explode try to defend your contradictoray stances on fictional violence when Ender's comes to theaters this November... oh, you did know it was being made into a movie, right?

      And a game was supposed to come out based on Ender's right? And Card himself holds no anti-violent video games views as yourself does, as he himself worked on a violent game called "Shadow Complex", loosely based on his "Empire" series of novels, for Xbox, right?

      WHAAA???? You didn't? "Whoa, Johnny, did you back the wrong horse!"

      Some points from wiki to bring it on home:

      Critical response

      The novel has received negative criticism for violence and for the way Card justifies Ender's violence. Elaine Radford's review, "Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman," criticizes the novel on several points. She posits that Ender Wiggin is an intentional reference by Card to Adolf Hitler and criticizes the violence in the novel, particularly at the hands of the protagonist.[2] Card responded to Radford's criticisms in Fantasy Review, the same publication. Radford's criticisms are echoed in John Kessel's essay "Creating the Innocent Killer: Ender's Game, Intention, and Morality." Kessel reasons that Card justifies Ender's righteous rage and violence: "Ender gets to strike out at his enemies and still remain morally clean for a killer. Nothing is his fault."[3]

      Main article: Ender's Game (film)

      In 2011, Summit Entertainment financed and is coordinating the film's development and will also serve as its distributor.[18][19] Gavin Hood is directing.[20][21] Filming began in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 27, 2012[22] and is set to release on November 1, 2013 (USA).[23]
      Video game
      Main article: Ender's Game: Battle Room

      Ender's Game: Battle Room was a planned digitally distributed video game for all viable downloadable platforms.[24] It was under development by Chair Entertainment, which also developed the Xbox Live Arcade games Undertow and Shadow Complex. Chair had sold the licensing of Empire to Card, which became a best-selling novel. Little was revealed about the game, save its setting in the Ender universe and that it would have focused on the Battle Room.[24]

      In December, 2010, it was announced that the video game development had stopped and the project put on indefinite hold.[25]


      Cliff Bleszinski, design consultant at Epic Games for Shadow Complex, indicated during an E3 interview that the game runs parallel to the events in the Orson Scott Card novel, Empire, and that the game will dovetail with the sequel to the book, Hidden Empire. Empire is a Chair-owned intellectual property that was licensed to Orson Scott Card to create a series of novels.

      News sources are vast on Card's exploits into trying to stop any and all gay rights and marriage equailality. I don't think I need to delve into that any further.

      "The idea that a Hellfire missile launched by a human (helicopter) is somehow more ethical than a Hellfire launched by a machine is ludicrous."

      WHOOSH!!! Missed the point, entirely. They are BOTH unethical, in thae cases we are talking about, particularly in the case of "kill lists", and the news of Amercians are fair game under these kill lists without due process, cause who needs habeus corpus in those dystopian futures you admire, right?

  •  I grew up watching the Road Runner (3+ / 0-)

    and I have yet to attempt dropping an anvil on anyone's head.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:49:49 AM PST

  •  Mr.Sumner, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    you speak ex cathedra as only a writer of fiction can.  In brief, I strongly disagree with your contention that violent games, videos and films do not influence the wet clay that is the young.  After nearly 3 decades in law enforcement, much of it involving the young and/or the emotionally troubled, I offer my non fiction based observation that a culture that marinates in play violence for entertainment pays the price.

    ecstatically baffled

    by el vasco on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:59:41 AM PST

    •  Then you explain how... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      el vasco, Ace Nelson

      it is that Japan produces some of the goriest pop culture in games and anime possible, yet they only average about 38 gun deaths a year.  

      I've owned violent and gory anime since my teens and I own games where I have to "go to war" with computer or player-generated enemies.  Somehow, it's not turned me into a homicidal maniac, and have no inclinations towards harming other living beings.  Fancy that.

      •  you miss the point. this is not Japan. The USA (0+ / 0-)

        is a mixture of cultures.  The Japanese are a singular culture with problems of their own.   A question:  do you want your young children exposed to violent and gory "entertainment"?  And please explain your answer if possible.

        ecstatically baffled

        by el vasco on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:38:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  WHOOOSH!!! Actually... (0+ / 0-)

          'tis thine that doth have miss thine point. Er InfinityGoddess's, though it would have have been better on Infinity's point to have expanded the discussionbeyond the mere scope of Japan, and as other in this comment section have brought up, gaming is global, Hollywood is global, the record industry is global, and any other deus ex machina you'd like to create and point a finger to and declare the boogeyman for all society's "ills" is all global. And yet... Amerikkka... "FUCK YEAH!" (Trey parker/Matt Stone reference).

          Besides creating their own violent content amongst their entertainment that would make our own blush, and yet they don't have these problems, the world, as it is a global economy, consume the same media we make right here at home, they get the Dark Knight Rises in other nations, Call of Duty is played in many other "1st world" nations, and yet, you'd still like to blame these to appease your own hatred, fear and paranoia of things you are to old to understand or just willfully are unwilling to understand. "Gamephobia".

          Canada... need I say more? Or are Canucks so damn "different" in your narrow and near xenophobic view?

          Reasons why InfinityGoddess or others might focus on Japan is not just for the anime (japansese animation) or manga (japanese comics) the nation is known for and can get extremely violent, way past anything America could ever conceieve of, or the fact that many of these are imported and watched by many in Amerikkka, including Amerikkka's youth, but the fact that 2/3 of the very thing you are complaning about, video games, are infact Japanese, or did you think Nintendo, was a swedish word?

          2/3 of the consoles in America are Japanese (Sony/Nintendo) and thusly without Japan, America would only have on console system (Xbox, made by Microsoft), the portable gaming market, well, consoles and not mobile phones, are completely japanese (Nintendo's GameBoy/DS/3DS and Sony's PSP/PS Vita) and these systems tend to focus on more first party titles made by these japanese corporations than Microsoft does, which Microsoft's is primarily Halo IP and Gears of War IP. many 3rd party companies that produce games for all 3 consoles are still Japanese, though non-japanese companies for publishing or even developing games are on the rise, but still prominant are games made by companies like Sega, Capcom, Konami, Bandia/Namco, Atlus, NIS, Level 5 (I think they are the company that just came out with the Wrath of the White Witch/Ghibli game).

          So discussing Japan when "discussing" violent video games, in if only in the American market, and what to do about them (you still offer no suggestions, do you?), is so very infact relevant, its ridiculous, and kinda makes someone like you foolish to suggest otherwise.

          "A question:  do you want your young children exposed to violent and gory "entertainment"?  And please explain your answer if possible."

          Wow, what a loaded and ad hominem question, which could only lead to a strawman arguement on your end, which then begs the question why would anyone ask this?

          What business is it of yours how others parent, regardless if one was to answer, and even if said answer met with your satisfaction, what kinda loaded question is this and what the hell business is it our yours? And why is it even being brought up, the problem with you anti-gamers/anti-speech advocates is when someone resoundly thrashes your arguement, you move the goalpost, ie, change the subject, so what does young children even have to do with with what was just being discusseds in this thread string? Or are you so uninformed on the subject of video games that you for some reasons don't know or get that its just another medium or art/entertainment, ie, content delivery, and not a "child's toy" as I've seen from so many low-information voters as of late on the subject going across the interwebz.

          Games, movies, TV shows are rated, music is labeled, though books and works of literature are not regulated in any way, including self regualtion. If something you disapprove of makes its way to your child, that your lapse in parenting.

          You know what I don't want my child expose to, firstly, to be snarky, I dare say people like you with your mindset, but to be non-snarky, REAL VIOLENCE including state sanctioned violence, like the drone strikes, illegal and immoral wars, kill lists, and the death penalty capital punishment. In a perfect world, my child would not only never be exposed to these horrors, but would never knew they existed. One can only wish.

    •  el vasco (0+ / 0-)

      I appreciate your experience, and the public service you provided. Maybe I'm just a fiction writer anxious to absolve my own profession—and my own works a certainly not violence free.

      But I just find it difficult to focus on acts of fantasy when we live in a culture inured to real, ongoing violence. How is possible to weight the effect of a video game against a death toll we don't even bother to tally?

      •  as noted by other Kossacks, ranking the harm of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        violent videos as opposed to constant war is pointless.  Both help create a culture of violence and false masculinity.   Have you noticed that the Dodge Ram truck commercials continually hammer home "Guts, Glory, Ram".  ?   It sells trucks.

        ecstatically baffled

        by el vasco on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:43:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  aaaand... (0+ / 0-)

          as other Kossacks more well versed in the subject than those kossacks you mention or youself, note,

          there is no "harm" of such "violent videos" to be ranked in the first place.

          You are welcome to your own opinions, but you are not welcome to your own set of facts.

          "Both help create a culture of violence and false masculinity."

          Wrong again, Bob. Guns create a true real "culture of violence", if anything, what you'd be right in pursuit of, is quelling the culture of guns, if anything. Not that means we "want ta take yer gunzzz", and I believe the best first step in this could be "ammo control", afterall, firearms are as dangerous as any blunt object like a baseball bat, without their ammo, or the clips or magazines that allow for so many rounds to be pumped at one time, that is how these events go from unfortunate shootings to gruesome masacres.

          Also, I'm not sure why "masculinity" is brought up in the subject of pointless wars, did not most women in the Senate including Democrats such as Hillary Roddam Clinton vote for these constant and pointless wars, when HRC voted for Iraq, did she do so becuase she lacked a feeling masculine enough? And putting aside the facts I was going to bring up about how both men and women serve in the US military, and has just been moved to being more equal in that sense (but along way to go) by recent moves by Leon Panetta as he leaves his post for Hagel, making policy what has already been happening with women in combat and the frontlines already, I get that really wasn't the jist you were getting at, which is why I bring up Hillary, regarded by many on the left as being a warhark, or atleast very hawkish on foreign matters,, and, yeah men may be more hawkish, but neither gender has a monopoly on that poitn, and I'd like to make sure you get that and never forget, and I don't have to even bring up easy targets like Michelle Bachman on critising women's warhawk nature, or even other women Republicans, but its best to even make this point with women Democrats, who voted for the Iraq war, who voted for "the surge", who voted for things like the Patriot Act, and the Fisa Act, women seantors who are for those things but oppose videos games like Senator Amy Klobatur for example, and ofcourse, Hillary Clinton. Heck, do I even need to go back further in time and bring up examples like Margeret Thatcher?

          "Have you noticed that the Dodge Ram truck commercials continually hammer home "Guts, Glory, Ram".  ?   It sells trucks."

          Don't know what this has to do with anything that this diary talks about or what we're even talking about here?

          Dodge would have you think they mostly try to sell to "hard working, blue collar workers" which they do to an extent, but they also seem to go after a bit of the redneck audience, particular they type of neck that intersects the "blue collar worker". And? And, well that's mostly what I'd have to say about it, well, other than pointing out that they defiantly burnt some bridges with SOME people looking to buy a truck, with those of us who knows what a right-wing douche Paul Harvey was, and what a joke he was regarded as in the radio industry (this is in reference to Ram's recent Super Bowl ad featuring a radio adddress Paul Harvey made on his radio show years ago.)

          So, other than mentioning you don't like Rams' marketing, and I kinda agree with that, um what else is the point of brining that up?

          The lengths people will stretch to try to think they are making some kinda of point while losing the debate.

    •  oy vey (0+ / 0-)

      "In brief, I strongly disagree with your contention that violent games, videos and films do not influence the wet clay that is the young."

      You can disagree all you want, much like creationists disagree with evolution, your "disagreement" with facts and science doesn't make you or them right simply because you choose to disagree, you have to actually back up your arguement with facts.

      "After nearly 3 decades in law enforcement, much of it involving the young and/or the emotionally troubled, I offer my non fiction based observation that a culture that marinates in play violence for entertainment pays the price."

      Ah, I see, a cop, or we atleast led to believe by taking your word alone that your were/are one, which really is a problem that can't be addressed on the internetz, so I really don't get why its brought up.

      Especially given the facts the most of your colleagues would disagree with that assertion, or atleast put into a proper pecking order comes near the bottam of what really effects crime in society.

      So lets have at this... you're seriously contending (snicker) that video games, or the entertainment industry as a whole, which you are now arguing, is more at fault for the various breakdowns in society particularly violence , than,  oh... poverty, broken homes, domestic abuse, mental illness and lack thereof of proper care, proper healthcare (lack of universal coverage), and of course the biggies, like the crap "War on Drugs" that needs to end, and prohibition on various things from pot to prostituion, whom human trafficing flouriishes because of such prohibitons, and of course the actual tools of destrutions themselves, the firearms and the ridiculous amounts of ammo they spew without having to reload. Yeah, Mario Bros. are more destructive to society than those things... uh-huh. /snark

      Sorry if you leave me with some lack of your credibility of being in law enforcement, because I can surely say, if I was your superior on the force and if I ever saw something than dumb posted by someone under my employ, I'd have to let them go, just on the fact of having no objectivity in reality whatsoever.

      You might what to quite your law enfocement gig and actually work on the otherside, in Defense law, particualrly defense attourney, to maybe gain a new perspective you seem to be sorely lacking.

      The way I see it, while i don't blame ALL law enforcement for various society ills, and having a lawless anarchy  is certainly no way to go, "law enforcement" certainly has its part to place in not only being part of the prblem, but a about course could be part of the solution.

      The police state industrial complex. Highly profitable. Building prisons in the private sector to house state or fedral inmates, many of which (pot users, for ex)shouldn't even be there, and the police state pushing for bills to create new powers for "law enforcement", ie, the Patriot Act, The FISA Act of 2008, CISPA, etc, and pushing for new laws, new punishments, and longer sentences in these privately owned prisons, particularly mandatory sentneces, taking away descretions from the Judicary branch (judges).

      These are all valid things that someone like you should already know plays apart in the breakdown in society and are more important to address a "a link between games and violence", even if there was one, which there isn't. Also, again, other nations of the world, including Canada that as near american as one could get without insulting them, are also "marinated" in the same entertainment.

      One big difference = the NRA.

  •  we are the problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ace Nelson

    If video games and movies were the problem why are we the only industrialized country that has this problem? It is the way we raise our kids, it is the way we were raised by our parents. Guns and kids have a lot in common most people should have none.

    The real issue is that we by the people we elect, and all voters are guilty, allow us to pursue war with out declaring war. An abdication of our responsibility under the constitution. It has been this way since I have been alive, since 1950 no constitutionally wars have been declared.

    All of our culture suffers from to few role models for peace. We have chosen to use guns as the easy way to solve personal problems and we accept that by the people we elect. More people have died from gun violence in America since 1960 than in all the wars declared or not since our founding. The truth is that mankind still holds one foot in the cave and cannot shake our hunter gatherer evolution. Until we transcend the need for killing others and killing for our food violent behavior in America will continue, sadly down the path of more wars, mass shooting and using the gun to solve our problems.

    I see most of you post little sayings at the end of comments. The influence of the twitter world we now inhabit trying to articulate wisdom it a limited character digital universe.


  •  "A Taste Of Armageddon" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner

    As Captain Kirk said to Anan 7

    ...or you might consider an alternative, put an end to it, make peace.

    ego sum ergo ego eram

    by glb3 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:33:46 AM PST

  •  Props for mentioning "Knights of the Old Republic" (0+ / 0-)

    And you're right about the level of characterization.  It's great for a video game.  Unfortunately, it's also better than most of the Star Wars movies, too.

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 11:14:45 AM PST

  •  The depersonalizing anonymity of the internet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner

    has done far more harm to civility and prompted more violent behavior than playing games ever will.  When there is no personal connection to the people you're interacting with, they become less than human and anything goes.

    Which do you think causes more lasting harm each week - teenage boys playing call of duty or teenage girls posting on facebook?

  •  It seems to be a persistant meme (0+ / 0-)

    in the ongoing discussion about this, that we, the U.S. are the only ones that have access to video games, the Internet or movies.
    Think again.

    There is nothing more exciting than the truth. - Richard P. Feynman

    by pastol on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:35:27 PM PST

  •  Guns don't kill people, video games kill people. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spider Jerusalem

    America was doomed when kids started playing EverQuest. And then it was even more doomed when they started playing World of Warcraft. And now it is completely doomed because they are playing <fill in whatever you play>.

    Everything would be just fine if the kids still played <fill in whatever your parents played>.

  •  are drones seeking CA cop "terrorist" or not ? (0+ / 0-)

    request for further info w/links.

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:32:07 PM PST

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