GTA, Rap Blamed for Gang Problem in Maryland County

January 30, 2008 -
Officials in Wicomico County, Maryland have blamed violent video games and rap music for what they say is a burgeoning gang problem.

As reported by the Delmarva Daily Times, Wicomico County Gang Resistance director Dan Dougherty told a community meeting on Monday evening:
Now you turn on the TV and see carnage ... Extreme raw violence is making an impact on our young people, and we're growing an acceptance for it.

In Grand Theft Auto, you score points by killing cops, stealing cars and beating prostitutes. In the '80s and '90s, you didn't have video games, you didn't have the violence in the media, you didn't have the Internet. It creates a lack of respect for life and makes violence acceptable.

Comments

@ Shoehorn:

The reverse is opposite


Was that intentional?

lol bill i know.
pong came out in 1972 so...
Hell you cant even say that the videogames back then weren't violent
Doom 1993

and the internet was invented in 1989

Why good sir,(Dan Dougherty) you fail.

I'm going to say it again. Grand Theft Auto has points. No, it's not the "OMG my score is 12524935823452" kind of points, but they ARE points.

They're a score, as I've been able to find, that is derived from your accuracy, kills, money, and destruction. It may be only 1 point per kill, but most "score" driven games out there are based on multiples of 100, or even 1000 for their basic value. And very, very few of them peak with a rating of 'Godfather' at their topmost value.

No, gamers may not care about their GTA score/rating, but it is there. To say it isn't is just ignorant. Yes, it's just as ignorant to think the presence of this rating, or the game itself, is the root cause of violence. That doesn't change the fact they're right on this one, small facet.

@ Paulrus:

I...think you missed some important points somewhere in all these comments, but I honestly can't figure out what from your response...it had nothing to do with GII's idiotic drivel.

I will say this, though. You're barking up the wrong tree (and you should know this, if you've been around here for any appreciable length of time) by pointing out the CORRELATION between GTA-style games & rap music, and violent members of society. NO ONE is going to be "inspired" by GTA to go kill a cop or steal a car or beat a prostitute to death. If someone were to play a game and then go out and do one of those things, that person had some serious, serious psychological issues pre-existing, that had nothing at all to do with the game.

In such a situation, the game would be a simple, generic trigger that could have been any of a hundred things (like, say, a violent movie? Or hell, watching the news?).

Thank you, Jeffy. I now do.

"In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet. It creates a lack of respect for life and makes violence acceptable."

Which is why there wasn't any violent crime or gangs in the 80s and 90s... oh, wait...

When will people stop using media as a scapegoat for these problems?

*sigh*

"’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet."

You didn't have teh internetz back in the 40s and 50s either. Or the middle ages for that matter. But look at how many people died back then.

What? We didn't have video games in the 80's and 90's? Same for Violence in the media? Hmm my memory must be really bad.

Violent Movies:
Predator, Running Man, Red Sonja, Terminator, Total Recall. The list goes on and that is only one actor.

As for video games? One word, Arcades.

This is just another example of uninformed mindless drivel from someone trying to shift blame to a “soft” target. Wake up people!

@Dun1031

"Violent Movies:
Predator, Running Man, Red Sonja, Terminator, Total Recall. The list goes on and that is only one actor."

How dare you forget Robocop!

I would have listed Robocop but the govanator wasn’t in the movie and I was just going to list one "actor".

BTW, the internet started in the 70’s and gained popularity in the late 80’s early 90’s. I wish people would at least use google before making such mindless claims. Maybe I’m wishing for a bit much.

So we didn't have video games or violent media until the turn of the century?

GTA awards points for killing cops and prostitutes?

The internet is the breeding ground of gang violence?

So many things wrong so little time.

"In Grand Theft Auto, you score points by killing cops, stealing cars and beating prostitutes. In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet. It creates a lack of respect for life and makes violence acceptable."

Methinks that Don's only proper source of info regarding this matter is Jack Thompson.

How fortunate for our ancestors that violence was invented after the year 2000 along with games and movies.

Conclusion: another village politico talking out of his arse. What's new.

At least they aren't calling for legislation on video games and rap music.

They seem to be focusing on real crime prevention techniques, like community watch and such.

@E. Zachary Knight

Regardless, that remark about how video games and the internet is corrupting the youth was uncalled for.

@ E. Zachary Knight

True. However, how long do you think it will take? It's only a matter of time before the ill informed and narrow minded take it upon themselves to save everyone from the Evil media.

I fully support what L42yB says.

couldnt have said it better

WHERE THE FUCK DO PEOPLE KEEP GETTING THIS IDEA THAT YOU GET "POINTS" IN GTA FOR DOING ANYTHING!?

Ladies and gentlemen, I know that many were raised with the idea that getting a star if you're good is commonplace. Yeah, you kill a cop or two, see if you survive at all.

And what is this guy talking about with "oh, you didn't have this stuff in the 80s and 90s..."? Yes, and I'm pretty sure violence against our fellow man existed prior to that even. Hell, I truly believe organized crime would have been blamed on GTA if it was around at the time. My god...

Yet again using any excuse to avoid putting the blame on parents, the real reason for the gang problems out there. They never spend time with their kids, so they're spending time with people who know will be around, whether they be good or bad. That's why you have so many teen pregnancies because of parents not teaching their kids about safe sex.

From the article:

"Dougherty spoke -- at times shouted with fury -- to a packed Delmar Town Hall"

Angry person, has he been playing video games, lol?

We also see again the complete disregard of facts and display of ignorance regarding the game:

"In Grand Theft Auto, you score points by killing cops, stealing cars and beating prostitutes."

Untrue. There is NO reward for killing police officers or beating prostitutes in GTA. The reverse is opposite, you are noticed by the police who escalate the efforts to catch you the more bad things you do.


"In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media"

In the 80's and 90's, you DID have video games, and you DID have violence in the media! As pointed out earlier, look at all the Schwarzenagger and Stallone movies! It seems that if they grow up with it, it's fine, but once it's something that is new for the younger generation and they are not familiar with it, IT'S EVIL! IT'S CORRUPTING THE YOUTH!

Thank god thats the only ignorant county in this state

"In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet."

AND PEOPLE STILL KILLED EACH OTHER IN GANGS!!!

Jesus Christ why are supposedly smart people so goddamnb DUMB?!

Gang violence was at its' peak in the 1980's and has gone down since then. How about they actually do something, like give DC more money to create a better community and that way the violence doesn't spill in Maryland?

No videogames in the 80s and 90s, eh?

Epic fail.

You're actually punished for killing police in GTA, after all if you manage to survive long enough they send SWAT after you, then the Army. Having police chasing your ass everywhere you go is tough enough, but when you get helicopters and SWAT teams shooting you with machine guns and the Army trying to run you down with tanks. I wouldn't say it's actually much of a reward.

Anyway, I don't bother taking anyone serious anymore as soon as they claim you "score points" in GTA.

Also, I like how they make it sound like you're forced to do all of that. Killing police, beating hookers, attacking civilians, etc. It's all optional. Stealing cars for the most part can be optional as well, though some missions require it. But still my point stands.

Also, if the FBI reports/studies are correct then violence was obviously worse back then since they've said it's been on a decline for a while now, at least among minors.

@Trevor

Parked cars aren't really that hard to steal since every idiot in Liberty City/Vice City/San Andreas leaves their car unlocked with the key in the ignition.

Yes, sure... Let's completely disregard drug trafficking, turf wars, and using youth groups to recruit new members. A videogame caused all these problems. Right.

Back in the 80's and 90's, they had a different boogeyman; it was called gangsta rap.

It is common knowledge that Hitler trained on Command & Conquer and 2Pac. You gamers make me sick with your ignorance. Video games and Rap are the cause for all violence, and you won't admit it.

(oh and Hello Godwin)

If there weren't videogames in the 80's and 90's what the hell was I playing?

The LA riots, Genghis Khan, Hitler, WW1, WW2...


were all caused by videogames and rap music.....damn we all love the blame game dont we Maryland??

Note to law enforcement:
Stop blaming entertainment, get off your asses and do your damn job...and get your facts about games and the internet straight while you're at it.

Now you turn on the TV and see carnage … Extreme raw violence is making an impact on our young people, and we’re growing an acceptance for it.

In Grand Theft Auto, you score points by killing cops, stealing cars and beating prostitutes. In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet. It creates a lack of respect for life and makes violence acceptable.


/facepalm
/headdesk
/headdesk
/headdesk
/headdesk
/headdesk
/headdesk

Ok, I think I did enough brain damage to make me finally understan what was said... nope, not yet.

/headdesk
/headdesk
/headdesk
/headdesk

Seriously, having lived in the 80's and 90's, I'll have to say there was plenty of violence, and plenty of gang violence then.

"In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet."

Firstly, this person needs a history lesson. Secondly, are we to assume that no crimes have been committed in the '80s and '90's? Sorry Dan, but you fail.

No video games in the 90's is a riot. Especially since GTA first released in 1998.

Does this idiot remember New York City in the 70's?

Wait... if there were no video games in the 80's and 90's... then what the heck did I spend my youth doing? My life is apparently a lie.

this guy obviously never heard of this game then:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Race

i think i hear the fog horn of FAAAAAAIILLL BOOOOOAATT

"In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet."

Did this guy just wake up from a 20-30 year coma? Someone should tell him the story of Pong, the legend of Pitfall, and the history of Missile Command.

Never mind. I now know they never existed, he just told me they didn't. Forget my memories; they are merely implanted in me by the evil and vile video game industry to make me defend them.
Or not.

For the last time, GTA does not award points for killing cops or beating prostitutes. The vast majority of games do not award points. The closest most games come is experience points, game money, or skill points. Its been a while since I played a game that counts a score for the sake of a score. Maybe we should make a PSA informing the general public that killing cops in GTA is a bad thing in the game.

Ah... ignorance at it's finest.

If I remember correctly, gang violence reached record highs in the late 80's and early 90's. Thus the creation of extreme drug posession penalties putting away gang members for 5-15 years. Could the possible return of gang members to the streets after long incarcirations because of poorly designed criminal proceedings play a hand into the problem? Or the fact that once you get outside of the pretty tourist areas of DC, it turns into New York, circa 1970? No, social woes, a flailing economy, a cutback on after-school and cultural awareness programs have played a far, far bigger hand in this than some digital bloke running around a mock city who HAS THE OPTION to assult prostitutes to get the money he paid them back. At the same time, there is a penalty incurred, the all knowing police are now looking for him a little more actively, unlike your police department which is apparently too concerned with putting together little shindigs where they feed uninformed bull to citizenry that you encourage to 'brainstorm' about ways to be better neighbors. A simple suggestion, how about being better informed police officers? If your entire department believes that video games are the reason these kids are joining the gang vice the incentive of getting filthy rich off of stolen goods and drug money then mayhaps the problem lies not with the people, but with the law enforcement?

@the people saying there are no points in GTA

to be completely fair here, while your correct in that there are no points, as i recall (and i never played much GTA it's not my type of game) when you kill people, they do drop money which you can then pick up, it's really not much of a stretch to call the in game money "points"

@ tony selby

Police never drop money though if I remember correctly, so they can't claim that you gain anything, positive anyway, from police really other than maybe a weapon.

@ MonkeyFace

Exactly, Space Invaders, Defender, hell even Pac Man has an element of violence. It's harder for me to come up with games from the old days that didn't have violence of some kind. And what media is he talking about? Is he talking about film and television? I grew up in the 70's and there was plenty in both. Don't forget some of the nastiest horror films originated in the 70's.

O.o?

Are we talking about the same 80s and 90s? I wanna know where this person lived, because obviously they were living on another planet or Bizarro World.

@ Tony

Points are a reward for accomplishment and a measure of ones skill. Money in GTA was a game mechanic or tool to progress in the game. It's like saying cars, or the ability to run in GTA are the same as points.

"In the ’80s and ’90s, you didn’t have video games, you didn’t have the violence in the media, you didn’t have the Internet."

This comment right here makes any point they were trying to make invalid. I was born in the 80's and as a two year old was kicking ass on my grandmothers 2600, in the 90's I was surfing the internet and watching violent movies and TV shows. I doubt that GTA has anything to do with the Gang Problem, lack of parenting and positive role model in the gang members lives yes I can see that being attributed to it. But video games?

As someone who lives in MD, I call bullshit.

----
Papa Midnight

The heck, there was a whole bunch of violent movies and the like back in the 80's and 90's. Hell, when I was a kid (in the 80's) I was afraid of CABLE TELEVISION because I was worried about the bloody movies some stations tended to play randomly ._. .

(I should mention that I've always been a bit of a wimp. Ha, ha. And when we actually got cable, there was fun to be had. I just avoided scary movies.)

Man, i must have imagined all those games I played back in the early to mid 90s!
 
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