In Germany, Politician Urges Ban on “Killer Games” as Gaming Mag Fights Back

Although last week’s report of a Dead Space ban may be spurious, violent video games continue to come under fire in Germany.

GamePolitics has heard from several European gamers who have cited anti-game comments made by Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (left) to Zeit Online. Herrmann, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), refers to violent games as Killerspiele (killer games). Big thanks to ECA forum member felix-reichert who has very graciously provided a translation of the interview:

ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Herrmann, which "Killergames" have you played to come to the belief that they must be banned?

Joachim Herrmann: I personally don’t play, but I have watched them [being played] extensively. I am shocked how the player is driven towards gruesome violence. He, so to speak, becomes a criminal himself and kills others to obtain money or to collect points. The more gruesome the killing the higher the score. We don’t need something like this. Such games are unbearable.

ZEIT ONLINE: Obviously you are talking about the GTA-Series. The most recent GTA is rated 18. Why shouldn’t adults be allowed to play these games?

Herrmann: From a cinema-owner I can expect that he actually only lets people over 18 years in. But if we’re talking about Computer games its different. If an 18-year-old has a game, the next day he’ll pass it to 17-, 16- and 15-year-olds. I don’t believe that there’s an entitlement for these games in our liberal society. The protection of children and the youth must be a priority. Its not about the playing [of these games] alone. There are numerous studies that explicitly prove: the more intensive teenagers engage themselves in these games, the higher the danger of them imitating this [behavior] in reality.

ZEIT ONLINE: Media-scientists haven’t found common ground on that issue, though.

Herrmann: The criminologist Christian Pfeiffer provided corresponding evidence from his studies at our expert-round in Berlin. Of course not every player becomes a violent criminal. But even if games only cause a rise of a certain percentage in youth-violence it is reason enough to outlaw them. In other fields we also have clear bans, I’m thinking of child pornography.

ZEIT ONLINE: Still, the problem isn’t that these games exist, but that children can still acquire them in spite of the German age-restrictions.

Herrmann: That is one of the problems. But the bigger the danger of such games getting to the hands of children and teenagers the more the state has to intervene. It is also forbidden for everyone to trivialize the crimes of the national-socialists.

ZEIT ONLINE:  However the [indexing] that exists today is in fact equivalent to a ban. For example indexed games can’t be advertised.

Herrmann: That’s not enough. Games that glorify brutal violence must generally be banned in penal law.

ZEIT ONLINE: The penal law already outlaws glorification of violence. A Bavarian draft for a new paragraph didn’t find consent in Bundestag [German parliament, a bit similar to the House of Reps]. Also after six years of discussion the youth-protection-law was changed – and some say it wasn’t even tightened. Do you really think a ban is possible?

Herrmann: We won’t peg away at that, we want to continue this discussion. With the totally insufficient changes of the youth-protection-law this isn’t concluded for us.

ZEIT ONLINE: The games-industry would call such a ban unconstitutional.

Herrmann: I’m very much hoping for a change of opinion there. Even today there are manufacturers that completely abandon the violence field. They want to make intelligent games, educational games, and many other fascinating things.

ZEIT ONLINE: But a number of manufacturers earn their money with games containing violence.

Herrmann: There’s massive pressure from U.S. manufacturers. But we also do not have a different weapons law than America for no reason – over here not everybody can walk around at will with a firearm. We mustn’t let certain aberrations of American society gain influence here.

GP readers Soldat Louis and David Ziegler report that in the wake of the Zeit Online interview, German magazine PC Games called on gamers to conduct a massive mail campaign to CSU leadership by way of protesting Herrmann’s implication that violent game players are potential killers. The CSU responded with a press release calling for an urgent ban, and dismissed the gamer protest.

Apparently some younger officials of the CSU and other parties have voiced opposition to Herrmann’s proposed violent game ban, which is an interesting development.

 

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177 comments

  1. Sebastian says:

    "People should be allowed to entertain themselves however they wish unless it poses a danger to themselves or others."

    So… you basicaly want to ban every kind of sport, motor racing, skydiving, hunting, drinking alcohol, eating junk food or having unprotected sex, etc.?

  2. lumi says:

    Give it up, dude.  You already hit the nail on the head when you called this clown out for trying to support Hermann using statements and topics that weren’t actually a part of the article.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Pistol-grip pump-action Shotguns. (Not other pump-actions, mind you).

    And they weren’t just banned in Bavaria, but nationwide. German states have considerably les autonomy – especially when it comes to legislation – than american states.

  4. bpm195 says:

    Saying this is a non issue because there are worse issues is like when a drunk driver complains the cop should be catching real criminals instead of manning a checkpoint.

    If the gaming community as a whole ignores valid claims against us rather than fighting them we look just as bad as Jack Thompson.

  5. Use common sense ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Considering the fact that youth violence has decreased based on federal statistics over the past decades, its hard to support your statement, especially considering since we moved from immovable pixels to….. well, you know.

    Yes, there will be part of a generation who gets influenced by this, no doubt. Lets tally the count over to several dozen cases over the past 10 years of some kid killing another from video games, or any form of media.

    Now compare to lets say…..; cigarettes, alcohol, cars wrecks and high Cholestorol and years of domestic abuse and you clearly get a number of preventable deaths that are hundreds, if not, thousands or millions of times greater than deaths by the "entertainment mediums".

    The news and politicians use the newest forms of popular media to further their agenda or push beliefs on people using shock value.

    I am not calling you out, it just seems insignificant to "protect the children" from something that less likely to prone them to violence than them growing from abusive parents.

    C’mon, coconuts kill 100 people a year!!!

  6. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "What the blank did you expect, genius, when the industry told the vast majority of Americans to stick their concerns in their ears?  Jack Thompson"

     

    The Constitution doesn’t bow down to popular and/or ignorant opinions.  For a so called First Amendment lawyer you sure as hell don’t seem to know a lot about it do you?

  7. DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wrong again, Mr. Thompson. He said it was a fake poll.

    Literacy: 5,000
    John Bruce: 0

    Come back when you’ve passed middle school both physically AND mentally.

  8. bpm195 says:

    If you disagree that him saying that being getting points for killing people more gruesomely is a strawman, then refute my argument that there are games that reward you for more gruesome killing.

    And calling for ban on violent video games is to say it’s just as bad as child porn. The studies biased to the right, claim that games lead to psychological issues and violence, which if true makes the developers of violent games as bad as child pornographers. I find the studies to be insufficient, but somebody that sees the studies as adequate can logically opine that violent games are as bad as child porn.

  9. Afirejar says:

    5) I ignored the notion of being rewarded for being rewarded for more gruesome killings because that’s simply ignorance and I see attacking it as a strawman. The more imporant issue is being rewarded for killing.

    I don’t care what you think is the more important issue. If you don’t want to talk about, what whas said in that interview, that’s fine with me, but don’t pretend you’re talking about what was said when you’re actually talking about what you think should have been said. This is just a waste of time.

    As far as child porn and violent video games go is the idea of outright banishment. At least in America child porn is the only form of data that is banned, and he wants to add violent video games to this list. To me this makes him seem more logical in that he recognizes just how extreme an actual ban is. He makes a very bold statement that generally goes unsaid.

    As far as child porn and violent games go the idea clearly isn’t to convey, how extreme a ban is. The idea is that video games are just as bad. Comparing violent games to child porn is neither bold nor a new idea, and it has become no less insulting since the first idiot came up with it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m pretty sure his actual intent is to get violent games banned period, but he’s settling for less because on all out ban would never fly in the US.

  11. bpm195 says:

     1) The important thing is that the research is inconclusive. It’s just as bad to cite sources for either side of the argument as their hasn’t been enough done to determine it either way. The important thing is he has specific research, which puts him far above other people that want games banned.

    2) What is glorifying violence? To me it would seem like any game that could bring the protagonist glory through use of violence would qualify under this. With this in mind it doesn’t make sense to me that a great deal of violent games aren’t banned in Germany.

    3) Banning other things is a different issue, each with their own unique factors. Video games are easier to ban because they aren’t as deeply engrained into society. Furthermore, the logic behind banning video games is that they’re worse because they’re encouraging people to think in like a murderer. While I disagree with him, he’s of the view that if even one nutjob goes on a violent rampage in imitation of a video game then it’s reason enough to ban them. While extreme, it’s not an illogical stance.

    5) I ignored the notion of being rewarded for being rewarded for more gruesome killings because that’s simply ignorance and I see attacking it as a strawman. The more imporant issue is being rewarded for killing.

    However, to take this to a really gameplay intensive level you are rewarded for killing efficiently. In any deathmatch one of the important things that leads to winning is killing your opponent faster than they can kill you. So if your opponent shoots you in the head and you shoot them in the foot, in many games they’ll get the point and you won’t. Furthermore, players are frequently encouraged to go into melee because the weapons do more damage and you won’t be wasting ammo. There are also games where you get a guaranteed kill from killing an opponent from behind in melee (i.e. Halo, spies in TF2). On top of that, it’s common in action games to award you with in game currency for killing your enemies in rapid succession. While I highly doubt he meant is on this level, your score is dependent on how you kill people.

    6) I’m talking about research into youth being impressionable. It’s undisputed that children learn from the enviroment around them. It’s as logical to think that a child will learn something from a book as they will from a video game. I write off the argument that youth aren’t impressionable as crap. The study he sighted I doubt has any real weight, but I’m not convinced either way.

    As far as child porn and violent video games go is the idea of outright banishment. At least in America child porn is the only form of data that is banned, and he wants to add violent video games to this list. To me this makes him seem more logical in that he recognizes just how extreme an actual ban is. He makes a very bold statement that generally goes unsaid.

  12. face777 says:

    I think the lists of those polled is only available to you if you are a victim of an international conspircay ring which my or may not include the US Open golf champions… how long is that list now, Whacko?

  13. face777 says:

    ahh, you mean it is a typical exampe of American humour? Right, most educated people over here prefere a degree of wit, but carry on… easy to see why someone might have said such a thing, even if the comment was in jest given most American attitudes *personally encountered* towards the war.  It is still a sensitive subject to many nations in Europe.

  14. Afirejar says:

    I was carded, when I tried to buy Quake back in the day and had to talk my parents around to have them buy it – and back then it would have been legal to just sell me the thing. This isn’t even that big of a problem in the US, and selling an M-rated game to some kid in the US doesn’t get you a fine of up to 50000€.

  15. Afirejar says:

    1) He wasn’t. Pfeiffer does "research" by starting with the conclusion, and then trying to manufacture enough evidence to support it.

    2) You have to understand one thing: Glorifying violence is enough for a ban in Germany already. He want’s to ban even more stuff. We’re not talking about introducing laws, where there are none. We’re talking about taking one of the most stringent set of laws of any democratic country and change it to censor even more.

    3) Take issue all you want, but he’s right. If you want to completely ban one thing solely because some kid might get his hands on it, you might ban everything else just as well, from cigarettes to cars.

    4) No comment on this one.

    5) I don’t recall the last time my score in a deathmatch depended on the way I shot guys. Did you even read the interview?

    6) The research these guys mention, isn’t disputed. To be disputed, it would have to exist. If Jack Thompson came around and gave one of his talks about the scientifically proven causal link, would you believe him? Why do you believe, some random guy from Bavaria would know better?

  16. JustChris says:

    This was even before the killer was identified. At this point of uncertainty, the killer may as well be a stranger from outside the campus, or a professor flipping out on people (crazy disgruntled employee).

  17. E. Zachary Knight says:

    They never released that. Nor did they release the questionaire, the methodology or any relevent data gleaned from the study.

    They just released the results stating that ~60% of Americans were for government regulation of games.

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  18. Dark Sovereign says:

    Majorities can be persecuted too. Persecution flows from the top down, not the bottom up. That said, they usually aren’t.

  19. JustChris says:

    So which one are you really for? Just keeping M-rated games out of the hands of minors, or toning down the content? Regulating the content of a product and regulating the distribution of a product are two very different things. Make up your mind. You keep flipping back and forth between your intentions, just to suit the topic being discussed.

  20. Afirejar says:

    As long as you don’t go hunting with a pump-action shotgun with a pistol grip, you’re fine – they only banned this single type of gun.

  21. sortableturnip says:

    [Patrick Stewart voice]

    From this day forth all lavatories in the kingdom will henceforth be named "Johns"

    And, from this day forth, male masturbation will henceforth be named "Jacking off"

    [/Patrick Stewart voice]

  22. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Regarding the 60% thing that Jackoff brought up, how large was the group that was polled?

     

     

    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007) Just to name a few…

  23. Anonymous says:

    60% statistic again, Jack?  Unscientific study, asking folks what to ban, not if something should be banned, if memory serves correctly.

    But, we already know you love fake statistics, or reading things to support yourself.  You also love re-reading laws, combining them together to "support" your positions, and then repeat them over and over until someone else prints it without fact-checking first… then you start quoting them as a "reliable source".

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock… career about over, Jack.  And stay out of Wisconsin.

  24. Zevorick says:

    I was talking TO Jack Thompson! I was telling HIM to read and to realize it’s not an issue of SELLING the game. In other words it’s not the fault of the game developers. Miscomunication is key as of late isn’t it?

  25. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

     "But even if games only cause a rise of a certain percentage in youth-violence it is reason enough to outlaw them. In other fields we also have clear bans, I’m thinking of child pornography."  – This is reasonable?

    To compare video games to child pornography is reasonable?

    One exists purely in the realm of fantasy and make-believe.  The other one deals directly with real human beings in the real world.  I don’t see any way in which this statement is "reasonable", just more fear-mongering tactics.

    Child pornography results in well-documented physical and mental damage to the child.  It’s blatantly illegal under the law to display or depict such explotation of a chlid, and with good reason for an actual living, breathing human being is being abused by another living, breathing human.

    With video games, even the most violent, you have a non-living digital character harming another non-living digital character.  In may be gory or unpleasent but at the end of the day no one is actually harmed.  There’s no basis for this comparison at all.  Especially since there has been no proof that youth-violence has ever been caused soley by media, so that entire statement is without merit.

    Reasonable?  I couldn’t have thought of a more unreasonable comparison.

  26. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Didn’t he also send the Bar a picture of a bombed out building and said it owdl look liek that, thinkign adding "figuratively" would somehow make it not seem like a threat?

  27. Kincyr says:

    I’m a whacko?  Excuse me.  Dennis McCauley reported in the last four months that more than 60% of the American people want Congress to regulate the content in video games.

    Dennis reported that nine months ago, moron. Anyone who thinks nine months ago was in the last four months is clearly a whacko.

    60% of them, which you say is a minority, a dying breed

    like how you call Christians "a minority, a dying breed"? You claim that you’re being persecuted for your beliefs, yet only minorities can be victims of persecution. 78.5%, a vast majority, of U.S. citizens are Christian.

    Oh, and by the way, that poll wasn’t scientific, as at least 300 million U.S. citizens were not asked.

    岩「…Ace beats Jack」

  28. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    True, but it doesn’t help that case, at all.

    Owning an M rated game doesn’t automatically mean they’ll let a minor play it. It’s like he wants to ban cars because one MIGHT crash and kill someone.

  29. Anonymous says:

    There’s one i forgot to mention:

    6. A couple months ago, the US marshals paid you a visit because you compared yourself to terrorists, saying that your mistake was not killing hundreds of people to get the word out.  Then you turned around and said that the US marshals were part of "T3H C0N$P1R@CY"

  30. HalfShadow says:

    Find yourself a dictionary. A nice big heavy one; hard-cover would be perfect. Look up ‘irony’ and ‘sarcasm’. Then club yourself unconscious with it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Nail on the head right there.  It seems to be an issue most people attacking games have.  They tend to not realize that developers merely make the games and sell them to stores.  After that it’s the retailers that need to monitor the ratings.

  32. E. Zachary Knight says:

    It may have been a translation issue, but I don’t think he meant to just give it away. He probably meant that an 18 year old would let younger kids play his copy.

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  33. E. Zachary Knight says:

    It was a non scientific opinion poll. The questionaire was not published. The full data results were not published. The methods of gathering the opinions were not published. The only thing published from that "study" was the results. Hardly definitive proof.

    So you are advocating censorship now? A while back, you said that you didn’t advocate the censorship of speech. You just wanted to keep adult games out of the hands of minors. Now we find out that your opinion has changed. Now you want games censored.

    Again, Read my post above. Once the game reaches the retailers, it is out of the games industry’s hands.

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  34. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Also, I have seen you compare yourself ot Batman.

    I’ll have you know he was nearly banned completely thanks to people like you, people who said the exact same things you do about video games.

  35. E. Zachary Knight says:

    The VIdeo game industry has done everything it can do. They cannot force every lazy store clerk and ignorant parent to follow the ESRB labels. They have posted the information. They have advertised the information. That is all the games industry needs to do.

    IF you have a problem with a lazy Best Buy employee selling your "15" year old son a copy of GTA, then don’t shop at Best Buy. Complain to Best Buy. Once the game is at Best Buy the situation is out of the games industry’s hands.

    Also, the FTC has said that credit cards are a valid form of Age verification for online sales. It was pointed out to you and you still ignore it.

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  36. Anonymous says:

    II *hate* fucking pretentious Yanks who make statement such as that.  The war started in 1939, LOOOOOONG before and many millions of casualities before the US joined

     

  37. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Did already, and guess what,. I don’t see that happening. I don’t know of ANY 18 year old who would spend 50 to 60 dollars or ANY hard earned money on a game and simply give it away.

  38. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Perfect example is being on TV not even a day after the Vteh massacre sayign the shooter was a gamer. Before even a body coutn was given and I bet even before the families got the news,

  39. Chal. says:

    "That’s censorship, moron, and that is what Americans want because the moral midgets in the video game industry, like the porn-to-kids idiot Strauss Zelnick, won’t get serious about their age ratings."

    What the hell constitutes getting serious to you, Jack? The game rating system already gives more information than movies, books, and comics, and the ESRB has done a bunch of PR spots explaining their rating system. The MPAA would do well to emulate them.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Yes you are a whacko, and i’ll tell you why:

    1.  Every murder that makes the news always has something to do with video games, at least in your little world

    2.  You think that everyone who does not agree with you is somehow part of a massive conspiracy to discredit you, when in reality, you’re doing a pretty good job of that by yourself.

    3.  For some reason, you thought that walking out of your own disbarment hearing would get you aquitted

    4.  Most of your court submissions consist of random pictures too numerous to post here, none of which have any bearing whatsoever on the case.

    5.  You’ve broken fax machines before by spamming them so much

  41. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Yes, it is censorship, however, if the people who did say they wanted it knew anything about what they were being asked about[My guess is they didn’t. I know I was never personally included in such a survey] They know this woudl lead to movies, television, music, and all other forms of media.

     

    Also, obviously they didn’t ask 60% of ALL American,s as I was never asked if I wanted the government to intervene, which would have been moot anyway as I don’t

  42. Cheater87 says:

    Jack the 60% were prob the parents who are TOO DAMN LAZY to look after their kids so they want BIG BROTHER to. 


  43. Zevorick says:

    "From a cinema-owner I can expect that he actually only lets people over 18 years in. But if we’re talking about Computer games its different. If an 18-year-old has a game, the next day he’ll pass it to 17-, 16- and 15-year-olds."

    READ you nitwit Jack Thompson.

  44. bpm195 says:

    1) He was fair on that one.

    2) Given the ban mentioned ban on glorification of violence this follows naturally.

    3) I take issue with his analogy.

    4) That’s the whole reason there’s a debate.

    5) I don’t recall the last time I scored in a DeathMatch by using diplomacy.

    6) The research is disputed. It’s undisputed that youth are impressionable, but it’s widely debated how impressionable they really are.

    The most important thing he said is :

     "But even if games only cause a rise of a certain percentage in youth-violence it is reason enough to outlaw them. In other fields we also have clear bans, I’m thinking of child pornography."

    While I disagree with him, his logic is sound. Moreover he recognizes constitutional issues and is clear about the issue being interactive violence and not video games in general. It does detract from his argument that he used a bad analogy, but his stance is otherwise clear and fair. While I disagree with him, he’s reasonable.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Of course you’re right, JT, that’s why you’re about to be disbarred permanently in less than 2 weeks right? (tick tock)

    Oh but of course, your disbarment is just another part of "T3H C0N$P1R@CY" against you, just like GP, Janet Reno, The Florida Bar, every gamer ever, Kotaku, Penny Arcade, President Bush, Judge Tunis, the US marshals, and everyone who’s ever even hinted that your views might possibly COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY BOGUS. Amirite?

  46. hhhhhhhh says:

    I’m a whacko?  Excuse me.  Dennis McCauley reported in the last four months that more than 60% of the American people want Congress to regulate the content in video games.  That’s censorship, moron, and that is what Americans want because the moral midgets in the video game industry, like the porn-to-kids idiot Strauss Zelnick, won’t get serious about their age ratings.

    So, the American people (60% of them, which you say is a minority, a dying breed) want the government to shut this little charade down.  What the blank did you expect, genius, when the industry told the vast majority of Americans to stick their concerns in their ears?  Jack Thompson

     

  47. The translator says:

    They already left the state of which this guy is minister of the interior.

    They came to the more liberal Hesse, which isn’t that difficult, because as everybody in Germany will tell you, over 50 years of undisputed CSU-reign in Bavaria have left their marks in the definetly most conservative of the 16 German states.

  48. tttttttttttttt says:

    Actually, what is most interesting is that Hermmann completely dominates this give-and-take. He is right, of course, in noting that since the video game industry is not serious about not selling 18 and over games to minors, then, fine, Germany will ban them outright.

    That is going to be the consequence of an industry that substantially ignores its own age ratings.  I have been predicting that for nine years now, and it looks like it is eventually going to come to pass.  It may take one more massacre, and then, presto, the calls for bans on the games outright will be deafening.

    Don’t blame me when that happens.  I warned all of you.  Hell, I warned the nitwit Strauss Zelnick.  Jack Thompson

     

     

  49. Anonymous says:

    He, so to speak, becomes a criminal himself and kills others to obtain money or to collect points.

    To collect points…

    collect points…

    points…

    points…

    Is this starting to tick anyone else off as much as me? It’s obvious this guy doesnt know what he’s talking about, there havent been points in a shooter since about 1999 (and no, The Club sucked, so it doesnt count)

  50. Canary Wundaboy says:

    Im not even going to write a long-winded argument, this guy is right-wing, Christian, and German. His opinion simply doesnt matter. He is part of a dying breed….the old-fashioned Christian right-wing technophobes. Bring on the geek revolutions!

  51. GryphonOsiris says:

    I would say that Jack-o the Wacko should move to Bavaria to be with this like minded spirit, except I think he would take offense to the legal prostitution in Germany, not to mention there are a few anti-Nazi laws that ban people like Thompson right off.

     

    "The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame"
    Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames.
    gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

  52. hayabusa75 says:

    Did this son of a bitch just place violent video games in the same context as child pornography?  I can’t believe the interviewer didn’t respond to that!

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  53. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Here’s the other side of the PC zero thought coin, Zero thought Moralisim,  you already make it annoying for mature games to be sold why not make it clearer that blacklisted games can not be sold or displayed  to minors instead of authoritarian bans that bans the right of a adult to behave as they chose to in a reasonable manner.

    instead of behaving like adults they are acting like children…ah moralists…gotta love them…

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  54. Zaruka ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    yea let me go get my  glock and my assult rifle and walk down the park …uhh i hate people who this that we all carry guys in the USA no we dont if you dont  have a lincence you get put in jail. heck even if you have a gun lincence you need one to carry one which is hard to get i know my buddy being trying to get one forever. took him a couple weeks even to find a forum to sigh up for it. plus they get a serial for that gun that means if they find that gun a crime. they can look you up and put you in the slammer before anyone knows it. so i say gun policy works very well not all the time since some people are not respoble enough to lock up their weapons.

    Thanks

    Zaruka

  55. BlindJustice15 says:

    As I’ve said before, this is a human rights issue to me. People should be allowed to entertain themselves however they wish unless it poses a danger to themselves or others. This guy needs to be fined, deported, imprisoned, heck something needs to be done to make an example out of this guy. Tell politicians that this crap will not be tolerated.

  56. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    "By the by, is it just me or does this guy look like a German version of Jack Thompson?"

    It’s not just you. I was thinking the same thing.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  57. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    *pats Kurisu on the back* Aww, no worries. I wouldn’t, either.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  58. Jack Hollow says:

    What can be said that hasn’t been said a million times in defense of the medium of video games and pointing out the obvious holes in the "the children can get their hands on this stuff" reasoning? Amongst all his other flawed reasons of course. It’s like talking to brick walls when it comes to these types of people.

    By the by, is it just me or does this guy look like a German version of Jack Thompson?

  59. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What sound argument?  All the guy did was list your usual "top 10" list of why video games are the Devil.

    1 – Studies have shown video games cause violent behavior in teens (while he at leasts cites the name of the person that did a study on it, I can’t seem to find the study so I havn’t a clue what it actually says)

    2 – Video games that show brutal violence should be banned outright because they are violent

    3 – Adults shouldn’t be allowed to have the violent video games ’cause kids will eventually get them (might as well ban guns, alcohol, cigarettes, violent movies, provocative books, porn, etc. while you’re at if you think this is a sound argument)

    4 – Oh, will someone think of the children?!

    5 – Violent video games reward players points for committing violent acts in the game (often worded to make it seem that the more violent/heinous the act, the more points the player gets)

    6 – Teenagers are so stupid/impressionable that they will attempt to act out anything they see in the game (not only are statements like this insulting to teenagers, who often aren’t the out-of-control savages most people think they are, but it is also disproven by simply looking at the numbers ie number of copies of GTA sold vs crimes that maybe-kinda-sorta were influenced by it)

    I mean, seriously, where does this guy produce a "sound argument" for his stance?

  60. BlackIce says:

    They banned Shotguns.. In Bavaria? Again, in Bavaria?

    That’s one of the best hunting grounds in Germany.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  61. bpm195 says:

    While I disagree with his conclusion, Herrman produces one of the most sound arguments for banning video games, and it’s a shame to see it be widely ignored, or bastardized in any attempt to counter it. The only thing I really take issue with is his Movie theatre analogy, as he doesn’t recognize that the same issues of an adult buying games and eventually them getting to children apply to any item children are prohibited from purchase.

    Also, on the notion of how other nations view America as a bunch of gun toting maniacs, what do you expect? Guns play a bigger role in our society than any other western Nation. It’s true that we don’t all own guns, but we make such a big huff about it that it’s just about as fair as assuming an Englishman drinks tea.

     

  62. Afirejar says:

    For those of you that care about an explanation for this behaviour: Bavaria has elections for its state parliament in three weeks. This is cheap fearmongering to get some additional votes. It’s disgusting and ultimately pointless, but it’s what German politicians do. After the Erfurt shooting, they banned pump-action shotguns, because the perpetrator had one (mind you, not "shot someone with it", just "had one"). CSU regularly scores above 50% in Bavarian elections, so I don’t really see any possible gain – all conservative types, that would find a video game ban appealing, already vote for them anyway.

    I haven’t decided yet who to vote for, but at least it’s an easy decision who to vote against.

  63. Zevorick says:

    @_@

    All I know is when you work the Prison yard, a shotgun pump is the best way to end fights before they start. There is a program in Huntsville where they take troubled teens to the various prison units to show em what it is like (Generic Scared Straight program). Usually they get the inmates in on it by making a few of them get into a little scuffle in the court yard during rec to show kids how dangerous it is. Unfortunatley the coordinators neglected to tell my friend who was working the yard that particular day, so when they started arguing he pulled out his shotgun, cocked it, and told them to stop it before anyone gets hurt (since there were kids around he was taking precautions to protect them). It sure as rain stopped the "fight" and nearly scared the inmates half to death. Of course, this was years ago when they were actually allowed to have such guns in the yard. As far as I know the only people that are allowed to have guns are those in the towers and a few high ranking people. Kind of unrelated to the story, but funny nonetheless.

  64. Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If it weren’t for the U.S. in WWII, all those germans would be speaking german right now.

  65. Eville1NSI ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Depends on the caliber of the gun. I don’t know anyone who can hide a 45 without looking Shady in baggy clothes to begin with.

  66. BlackIce says:

    You’ll all notice that there is opposition from within his own party. The Bundestag isn’t, unlike most European Nations, full of shit.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  67. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    I’m thinking this may be the root of all this.

    Germany’s past, at least in the 30s and 40s is painted with violence, and now they’re so scared of being viewed as violent once again they keep trying to eradicate violent media.

     

    ANd again, his potshot at the USA was just uncalled for. I NEVER carry a concealed weapon of any kind

  68. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    ….. Just How hard is it for you to grasp a simple concept.

    The game industry itself, developers and whatnot, are not responsible for the sale of their product. That is the retail end, and more often than not, a retail clerk who sells a game to a minor with no parent present is terminated and their boss is written up. Gamestop has that policy, Wal Mart has that policy, Best Buy has that policy. Hell ,the worst offender is Target, and as far as I know hardly anyone shops there anymore.

    The game industry merely makes the product, the retail industry is what sells it, and hardly have I ever seen the ratings ignored. If a parent doesn’t notice the posters that are literally almost everywhere in Gamestope and Wal Mart that advise them on game rating,s how is the parent still absolved of responsibility?

    Of course you endorse sexual abuse of children so I guess absolvign parents of any responsibility at all is in your best interest.

    And if the ratings are being ignored, how come the ratings are on both sides of the packaging, on the manual and disc itself, ANd o nthe game startup screen, sometimes with a voice reminding you of the rating, and posters in the stores ,yet on a package for a DVD of say, Hostel, I practically need a magnifying glass or a UV light to find the rating on those boxes?

    Oh, sorry, I forgot, your brain can’t handle all these concept.s Sorry if I gave you a migraine.

  69. Anonymous says:

    that far-right/far-right anti-free speech bullshit is exactly what makes CryTek want to pack up and leave

  70. Eville1NSI ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "Herrmann: From a cinema-owner I can expect that he actually only lets people over 18 years in. But if we’re talking about Computer games its different. If an 18-year-old has a game, the next day he’ll pass it to 17-, 16- and 15-year-olds. "

     

    Oh you mean like they can with the DVD when the MOVIE LEAVES THEATERS?

  71. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    By extensively, he likely means he saw one commercial for GTA involving a police chase or a bank robbery

  72. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Never thought I’d see anyone worse than Thompson in that this jerkass actually has the political power Thompson wishes he had.

    And what the fuck is up with some Europeans having this superiority complex over the United States? I’m not saying all are like that, but the goddamn international bashing is little more than adults calling eahc other silly names on the playground.

    There are worse places than the USA, and other places aren’t perfect either

  73. DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Watched them played extensively… my ass. He makes so many idiotic assumptions and generalizations that it’s not giving him any credibility.

  74. JustChris says:

    Such a draconian law, the one that outlaws the glorification of violence in media, would need a police state to efficiently enforce it. And almost nobody wants that, right?

    Also, games require suspension of disbelief on all counts. No sane person expects any game company to condone the acts that are in the games that they make/distribute. We have successfully suspended our belief that killing is bad in books, movies, and TV shows. But then, people say it’s because books aren’t interactive but games are? What about other interactive activities that glorify violence, like paintball or the age-old "cops and robbers" kids used to play? We have done very well as a civilization to get by with these things around.

    If we have crime in real life, you could expect criminal themes to creep their way into everything that’s recreational. What Herrmann is proposing, removing all violence in media, is almost an impossibility. It’s the social equivalent of to creating absolute zero temperature around an environment that has anything but that.

  75. Dante says:

     Does he know how many people coconuts kill each year when they fall in the peoples head?

    About 100.

    So how about banning coconuts and palms?

  76. Juergen Mayer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    An example for social sciences against video games from Germany: http:http://www.erziehungswissenschaft.uni-tuebingen.de/Personal/Dateien_Huber__Guenter_L_/Vortraege_Huber__Guenter_L_/index.html

    Huber, G. L. (2008). The world according to players of "killer games" – a constructivist approach to player thinking. Presentation at the Conference of the Center for Qualitative Psychology on "Epistemologies in Qualitative Research“, Oulu, Finland, February, 29 – March, 2, 2008

  77. H3PA80R says:

    Yeah you´re damn right about that. But the main problem is that none of that politics have ever spend just one minute an play one of that games by them selfs. How can they blame something what they don´t know? I´m pretty sure that not one of them ever see such a killer game with his own eyes. And I´m pretty sure that the CSU defently want to ban the development and selling them in stores! 

    I´m sure, cause i life in bavaria.

    Cheers

    H3PA80R

  78. N3l5on says:

    I think it’s only a political reason why he said, that he wants to ban these games… he won’t do that, I’m quite sure!

    But I’ve another question! Have politicians notion of “Killer Games” in other countries? In Germany definitely not! (ok there are some exeptions, but not much…)
    I remember, that i’ve seen a video, in which a german politician is talking about World of Warcraft, but the game he described was Battlefield 1942…

  79. Anonymous says:

    Not the first Bavarian politician to go after the "GAMES KILL" vote without knowing jack, won’t be the last, won’t make a difference.

  80. Afirejar says:

    A 16 year old in Germany needn’t get beer from an 18 year old friend, he can just buy it himself, whereas in the US (at least parts of it, I don’t really know), the 18 year old would still be 3 years too young. This difference in standards is fascinating.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Thousands and thousands more young people been killed because of alcohol related deaths.  No doubt many got beer or alcohol from their 18 year old friends.  Should we ban beer?  Eh, you nazi asshole?  Yeah, suggest to germans that they ban beer.  Good luck.  Fucktard.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Funny thing is:

    1. Most of the extreme violent games have already massive restrictions in Germany.  They can only sold from under the counter, cannot be promoted or advertised and are not allowed to be even mentioned their in magazines. Doom 3 would be D***3 or something.

    2. We also have a rating system. Games are rated as 12+, 16+ , 18+ and the like. But shop owners often don’t care about this and sell them regardless of age and law.

    3. There are often special german versions of games. Here are some examples: dead bodys vanishing after a short time, no blood, green blood, no ragdoll physics, bots instead of humans (i remember playing Halflife and came around a corner just to overhear a conversation of two bots what they want to do after their shift or something. Totally ruined the fun.), Cutscenes altered and/or cutted, no nazi insignia and swastikas (even if you are playing AGAINST nazis. Note:2 years ago there was a young man sued for having a button with a outcrossed swastika)

    4. The kids are smart enough to get the games imported from Austria or just suck them from the net.

     

  83. Afirejar says:

    Hmm, that’s interesting. When he’s writing about it, he seems quite reasonable and moderate. Pfeiffer must be the only person on the planet, that grossly misrepresents his own research. The man should stop giving interviews and talks.

    On the other hand, I just came across a paragraph, where he blames bad grades on violent media. Apparently, consuming violent content causes serious emotional distress, which causes kids to lose sleep, which in turn leads to bad results in school – they can’t concentrate and memorize stuff because they didn’t get enough sleep. I’d really like to see the questions, this survey is based on (they weren’t published), but I highly doubt, that "How do you sleep at night?" was one of them

    EDIT

    OK, geht this: Development of criminal behaviour and assorted factors in this behaviour over the last ten years.
    Youth violence is down, consumption of violent media is up – Pfeiffer’s own data. Now, what to make of this?

    On the one hand, it is possible, that consumption of media does not affect violent behaviour, so that the two trends could develop in opposite directions. As this hypothesis is theoretically and empirically questionable, another explanation seems more appropriate: Had media consumption developped as positively as the other factors, we could possibly have seen an even bigger decrease in violent behaviour; i.e. the excessive media consumption could have had a limiting influence on the development of violent behaviour.

    Remember, how I mentioned earlier, that he seems to start research with the result?

  84. Thomas Lostbob says:

    “And no, the comparision is not valid. The CSU might be a party full of conservative, censorship-endorsing pricks – but they’re not Nazis just because the’re german.”

    If you would ask me what the greater threat for freedom and peace in Germay is, the Nazis or the CSU? I´d say the CSU, because most Nazis are already dead.

  85. Sebastian says:

    "They tend to outlaw or shun things that remind them of WW2 and Germany’s involvement."

    Wrong.
    Be assured, there is plenty of remembering going on in Germany. The Holocaust and WW2 are extensively covered in school for multiple years, on numerous occasions. There’s not a single day of the week without a documentary about some aspect of the Nazi regime or the war on some TV channel, there are many commemoration days, mommorials and public ceremonies for the war, the Holocaust and their victims – and yes, it’s made very clear that the Germans were the bad guys.

    So in short, the whole "Don’t mention the war!"-theme is utter bullshit. Instead, the restrictive laws regarding Nazism and, for example, displaying the swastika in public, were enacted to prevent Nazis from ever coming to power again. It might suprise you, but today’s Germany is one of the most fervently anti-facist countries worldwide (just ask Daniel Goldhagen).
    I’ve got a principal problem with any law restricting free speech, too. But please, don’t go around telling this "the Germans don’t want to be reminded about the war"-bullshit.

     

    And no, the comparision is not valid. The CSU might be a party full of conservative, censorship-endorsing pricks – but they’re not Nazis just because the’re german.

  86. Quiggy says:

    There are different customs on different boards, and some say that once Godwin’s Law is invoked that side loses the argument.  Sometimes they’ll even lock the thread.  Others don’t do anything.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog comments.

  87. Anonymous says:

    "Godwin’s Law – Any message board conversation that goes on long enough will eventually draw a comparison to Hitler or Nazis. This usually means you lost the argument."

    Losing the argument has nothing at all to do with Godwin’s law, which is strictly a statistical statement about the likelihood of Hitler or Nazis being mentioned as an online discussion gains more posts.

  88. Duffy says:

    Godwin’s Law – Any message board conversation that goes on long enough will eventually draw a comparison to Hitler or Nazis. This usually means you lost the argument.

    However, in this case we are discussing Germany and they do have a lot of laws influenced by Hitler and the Nazis, the article mention one of them. The comparison is valid and is an interesting point in the german governments way of thinking. They tend to outlaw or shun things that remind them of WW2 and Germany’s involvement.

  89. Haggard says:

    What was that law again? Something about every internet discussion eventually leading to a mention of Hitler.

  90. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Despite that, he is right.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Eh … Herrmann dosn´t represent the position of whole germany. There is no relation between the past of germany and this nonsense from J. Herrmann. I´m sure that the majority will be enraged because of his claim. Casually I know some german "Killer Game"-Players and they would support this campaign against "Gamekillers" like Herrmann, if the would live in Bayern. Unfortunately they do not, but they will do their very best to aid this campaign!

    So long.

  92. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Too bad Stalin killed for the hell of it. Should’ve made better use of his resources.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  93. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    GP: Attention, Shadow Darkman…

    I’ve removed the remark you made here.

    Don’t post anything like that again, or I will ban you. Please follow our comments policy.

     

  94. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    He’s like a plague, isn’t he? Tries to sweep across the nation, and eventually the world.

    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007) Just to name a few…

  95. Anonymous says:

    Firstly no crimes are commited since  by definition they involve REAL humans, and again nobody is killed since there is no los of life.

     

    If I may add to this point, the "humans" in these games are little more than graphics controlled by computer data; they’re products of machines, and nothing more. That’s why most gamers are quicker to cap some random faceless thug in GTA: THE THUG IS NOT REAL. There is no moral barrier to stop the player from pulling the trigger. Blow his head off, loot his pockets, be on your way, no harm done.

    Replace the random thug with a live human, and that moral barrier appears. That’s somebody’s loved one; if they die, you will have to live with it for the rest of your life. You’ll have to live with the guilt of taking another person’s life. You’ll eventually have to face that person’s friends and family who only know you as the person that killed their friend or relative. You’ll serve time in prison, and maybe come out with a criminal record and a tarnished name that’ll haunt you until the day you die.

    Believe it or not folks, but gamers DO have a fully functional sense of morals and reality. It’s just going to be winter in hell before politicians and media pundits realize it.

  96. the translator says:

    Your point about all gamers being male was a problem of translation.

    In german, the gamer (der Spieler) is a male noun, so I just translated it like that.

    Would have probably been better to translate it like this:

    "one, so to speak, becomes…"

  97. NovaBlack says:

     

     

     

    ‘he , so to speak, becomes a criminal himself and kills others to obtain money or to collect points.’

    ok so since when were all gamers male? point number one in which he shows his clear lack of understanding, lack of research and bias..

     

    But the bigger the danger of such games getting to the hands of children and teenagers the more the state has to intervene.

    Once again, see the point above. The ‘danger’ is purely speculative at best. Tell you what Ban all smoking and alcohol, with proven dangerous effect,  and have PROOF of the relationship between games and violence,  then come back to me with that one.

     

    ‘That’s not enough. Games that glorify brutal violence must generally be banned in penal law.’

    um … they MUST? firstly, who says they MUST? and does he mean ‘all media forms’ that glorify brutal violence must generally be banned in penal law’ or just games? if so .. please explain the the difference.

     

    ‘If an 18-year-old has a game, the next day he’ll pass it to 17-, 16- and 15-year-olds’

    As somebody who ‘personally doesn”t play’  i find that bizaare statement very hard to swallow. Firstly how would he know? and secondly, as somebody who DOES play MANY games.. i have NEVER played a game, then ‘given’ it to a 17, 16 or 15 year old. WHY WHY WHY would i spend up to £50 on a game and the next day GIVE IT AWAY???

     ‘The criminologist Christian Pfeiffer provided corresponding evidence from his studies’

    If by ‘corresponding’ he means there was a corellation, then his point is moot. that means nothing. Just becase violent people are drawn to violent media does NOT mean there is a causation type relationship running the opposite way between violent games CAUSING violent behaviour.

    It is also forbidden for everyone to trivialize the crimes of the national-socialists.

    ok.. thanks for the random fact that had nothing do do with the question. Why try and associate nazis with games for some strange reason?

     

    I don’t believe that there’s an entitlement for these games in our liberal society

    Thats fine, and as a parent that eould be your right. It isnt your right to tell me what i can and cannot have access to because ‘you dont believe’ in it.

     

    ‘ I personally dont play but i have watched them being played extensively’

     
    right… so that makes you an expert then? so because i  watch formula one, i can engineer/race/ build formula one cars? Sadly no.

     

    There are numerous studies that explicitly prove: the more intensive teenagers engage themselves in these games, the higher the danger of them imitating this [behavior] in reality.

    Actually there aren’t many that show a causation atall. And for every one that allegedly does, there is another proving the exact opposite. The research area, as stated by the interviewer , isnt one with a global agreed conclusion.

     

     

    He, so to speak, becomes a criminal himself and kills others to obtain money or to collect points. The more gruesome the killing the higher the score. We don’t need something like this. Such games are unbearable

    Im sorry but if you are talking about GTA, thats ONE game. Dont try and pretend that ALL games are like that. And please quit with the points thing, and can i just ask.. how on earth does the player ‘ become a criminal to kill others’. Firstly no crimes are commited since  by definition they involve REAL humans, and again nobody is killed since there is no los of life.

    Additionally i HATE how a game is portrayed as 2 lines of ‘ its a game of killing raping pillaging etc’ despite the fact that (if it is GTA he is talking about) that is just a very small part of the ‘game’ , and in the context of a far larger very complex and actually quite sophisticated narrative. Its like saying the godfather is about ‘ shooting people for fun’. Its not. Thats a GROSS  misevaluation of the purpose behind the film based on the inclusion of a particular event (shooting) in the context of a far larger story/purpose.

  98. Jackalman says:

    You do realize I’m talking about the word’s conveyed meaning and context rather than the literal meaning.

  99. Afirejar says:

    Yeah. You do realize, that a German newspaper will interview a German politician in German, right? Quit blaming him for some guy’s translation of his words.

  100. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Excellent point.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  101. Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, if this guy wants to have everything that is potentially harmful banned, then there is only one thing to do: We must kill everything on the planet.  Plants?  You could choke on them.  Burn them all.  Animals destroy living plants to eat them, get hurt, and kill each other for food, territory, and mates, so we need to kill them too.  Lastly, humans are the source of a ton of bad stuff.  We are responsible for killing animals, plants, and each other, not to mention we’re totally responsible global warming (I invoked global warming, so I must be right).  I say we just tell every country with long-range missiles to launch a worldwide coordinated strike so that we kill every form of life on the planet and end all suffering.  Problem solved!

    Of course, what I have suggested in the above paragraph is lunacy and should never be attempted.  My point is that the only way to end potential harm is to end all life.

  102. Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *sigh*

    Once in a while, it’s a good idea to return to the basics of the argument, rather than addressing the specific points.

    These people talk about banning violent media, but they really don’t understand the full ramifications of what they’re saying. Violence – in all its myriad forms – is a cornerstone of storytelling. From the bloody slaughter known as Macbeth, to the comical violence of the Three Stooges, to the sanitized violence in the Star Wars movies, to gruesome movies like Saw and Hostel, it is difficult to get away from violence as a key element in storytelling.

    Conflict is one of the most basic elements of storytelling (both fictional and true). While it is possible to tell stories that don’t involve any sort of conflict at all, those stories are few and far between, and most are generally uninteresting to the masses. Soap operas and sitcoms THRIVE on conflict. And violence is the most easily-grasped form of conflict – it is direct, easily-understood, and generally has a swift conclusion.

    Attempting to ban violent media completely (yes, I know nobody is talking about banning ALL violent media, but Herrmann comes much closer than anyone else I’ve seen, even moreso than Thompson) would essentially cripple creativity altogether. There are very few story elements that are so critical to so much. Even cartoons have a great deal of violence – heck, even DISNEY cartoons have a lot of violence (although Disney usually casts the violence-prone characters as villains).

    So, we’re not actually talking about banning all violent media. But if there’s not a hard line drawn, it starts getting harder and harder to justify the ban. How much is too much? What constitutes, "too violent?" For any law of this nature to be fair, it would have to be written so that the same items were banned no matter who it was that was following the law to determine what SHOULD be banned. Is such a law even possible?

    And if he really wants to ban violence, he should start working to eliminate Soccer/Football. Man, you fans are a bloody bunch! 😉

  103. TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I guess if politicans are going to say that Violent Videogames (even sex games) are going to make gamers more voilent, then we should all pull the Discrimination card saying that these statements are discriminating to our culture.

    much like how saying the N world is offencive to Affrican Americans.

    That will be the only way we would be able to show our voice in a strong way.

    Also how is seeing someone play these games makes people know if the gamers are going to be violent at all????

    Perhaps we should all just chill out even the politicians and Anti-gamers.

  104. Azhrarn says:

    Well said.
    He certainly could have said it better and above all more balanced (this is one sided and slanted against the US)
    But the right to bear arms in the US something that many europeans probably feel is a little over the top.
    Not to say that Europe doesn’t have its share of problems. (just take the rapid rise in knife crime in the UK for instance, or the violence commited by young people in French sub-urbs.)
    But societies are different, and what works in one does not by default work in another.
     

  105. Anonymous says:

     This time. But Palin supports it and McCain hasn’t come out against it, so if the christian conservatives ( sorry, republicans) win, that might not hold.

  106. Dark Sovereign says:

    And yet, the suits were successful, because they violated the separation of church and state. If the suits had failed, you might have had a point.

  107. the translator says:

    In America many people "wear religion on their sleeve", so to speak.

    Or, to make it simple:

    In Germany (as in France, etc.), it is more of a private matter. The fact is that there are loads more atheists (or at least people not practicing their religion) in Europe (especially Germany), then in the US, which of course leads to less religious influence in all fields of society, including politics.

     

  108. Dark Sovereign says:

    You’ll have to explain what you’ve seen that indicates that religion is less separated here than in Germany.

  109. Anonymous says:

    You’ll have to explain that to me in some more detail.

    Granted, church and state aren’t completely seperate in Germany. For one there is the "church tax" (which you can only get away from if you drop out of church – lutherian or roman-catholic) which the state collects for the churches.

    Then there is religion-lessons in public schools, and the churches can decide who teaches them and who can’t.

    But basically thats it.

    Religion and the church might not be legally seperated from the state as much as in the US, but in public life, in stark contrast to the US, it plays almost no role. It has no significance whatsoever. The party might be called "Christian", but they already debated to drop the "christian" out of their name, because basically it is just a label that says nothing.

  110. Anonymous says:

    "Personally Geoff, judging from how US politics looks from the OUTSIDE, I’d say the german seperation of church and state (which I might add is just as lodged in their constitution as it is in the US one) is more succesful."

    That’s exactly why you can say something like this because you are on the outside looking in.  Just like the ignorant politician in question here.  I have lived a substantial amount of time in both countries and can assure you that separation of church and state is much more firmly in place in the U.S. than in Germany.  In fact I will go as far to say that in Germany it feels like there is no separation at all.  I can in no way see why you would claim it to be "more successful". 

  111. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    What part of OK, EZK? I have a friend who lives there too.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  112. Jarmne123 (forgot password) says:

    Anyone notics that when ever there talk about Games being banned in other countries, JT always thinks he can help out?

     

    Jack, You live in America, Not Germany or Thailand. And stay out of Canada We Canadian Gamers don’t want you here.

  113. Oz says:

    "I don’t believe that there’s an entitlement for these games in our liberal society."

    The entire point of a liberal society is to ensure maximum freedoms to everyone, these games DO have an entitlement in a liberal society, they have EXACTLY as much entitlement to exist as his precious little bible.

    What he is describing is a nanny state, a facist society. These conservatives have no clue about what freedom and liberty really mean. They think they are promoting these ideals, but when they go deeper into what they want, they describe facism.

  114. Paul T. Farinelli says:

    It’s funny how JT makes it sound as though the rest of the country is as obsessive about this issue as he is. Sure, alot of people don’t want video games in the hands of kids, but most down to earth people realize that the affects on them aren’t as major as ass-hats like Thompson make them out to be. Most people have bigger things to worry about in this world.

  115. shady8x says:

    "You could have Jesus himself come down and say gaming is alright, and he’ll just shrug and say Jesus’ gone soft."

     

    He is a christian, why should he believe what some jewish guy tells him?

  116. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No, you’re pretty much correct.  Religion plays a huge role in American politics with both parties.  In order to become President, the candidate pretty much has to prove his religious cred otherwise he’s got no hope of getting elected.  Hell when Kennedy became President it was a MASSIVE issue (so massive, it warrants the all caps 🙂 ) that he was Catholic.

    You misunderstand what I ment by the political parties having Christian in their name, though perhaps I didn’t word it properly.  Here, I’ll clarify a bit; you don’t see very many American parties advertising their religious point of view directly in the title of their respected party.  While it doesn’t mean their spiritual view isn’t important or central to their platform it is a little less…abrasive I guess you could say.

    For example, you see two guys walking down the street.  One is wearing normal street clothes, the other has a huge cross around his neck and is wearing a "Jesus Saves!" t-shirt.  Now which one would you think is the fanatic?  The one with the cross obviously since he is advertising his spiritual viewpoint to the world.  Just because he’s advertising it, though, doesn’t mean he is actually the fanatic.  For all you know, the normal looking guy might be the one more willing to kill you in the name of Jesus.

    So when I see a political party advertise their religious leaning right in their party name, I figure that that party is a little fanatical.  Now I’ve grown up in a different culture so I’m also on the outside looking in as it were, but why would someone want to place the word "Christian" in the name of their political party unless they wanted to go "Hey, look at us!  We’re all Christians and our political viewpoints are all based on Christian principals!"

  117. Afirejar says:

    If you’re interested in an external point of view: Religion seems to be much more important in American politics than it is in Germany. Also, "it’s less important, because no party has "christian" in its name" sounds like a really ridiculous argument.

  118. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hmmm, I stand corrected then.  It’s just that with many foreign countries, Europe in particular, I constantly see a lot of parties that place their religious identity right in the title of said party.  The only US party I have found that does that is the…CHRISTIAN FALANGIST PARTY OF AMERICA.  Yeah, I’ve never heard of them either until I Googled it.

    Of course you can always make the argument that, despite the lack of religious titles in the party names, religion plays a heavy role in American politics. 

    Honestly, I’m surprised the evangelicals havn’t formed their own party yet.  (Yes yes, "It’s called the Republican party".  We’ve heard it before. 🙂  )

  119. gs2005 says:

    When I joined the Republican party in 1988, they were not the "right wing christian sympathizer" group like they are now.  The Republicans USED to be for smaller government and other things, but right wing christians managed to hijack the party and now you’ve got the situation like it is.  I switched to the Libertarian party because I still believe in the voting concept.

    There was a video on MSNBC recenly interviewing people on why they were with the Republican party and most of the people they interviewed either (1)were just plain ignorant or (2)were talking like things were still in 1988.

  120. Zevorick says:

    Aren’t they called republicans?
    Bazing!

    Take a look at his language and counterarguments. You aren’t going to convince him no matter how much logic and proof you bring to the table (I didn’t see the interviewer actually provide hard evidence to counter his arguments so from a debate standpoint the “old guy” won imho), it still won’t change his mind. You could have Jesus himself come down and say gaming is alright, and he’ll just shrug and say Jesus’ gone soft.

  121. Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And even then, that game really isn’t that violent for an M-rated game.  If it weren’t for the cutscenes, it very well might’ve been rated T.

  122. BlackIce says:

    If, on the off-chance Mr. Thompson is still reading this page, I’d like to answer his question. Here is my answer: Because you’re full of shit?

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  123. Zaruka ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    that why you should not listen to poles that

     

    1 could be bias

    2. dont have how many people they poled

    3 say that 60 percent of the pole said they wanted to ban with it

    Jack jack jack dont worry be happy so you can relax in two week have some free time ya know go on a vaction and leave us and the gaming indursty alone

    and plz if you have vaction plz plz dont go to oklahoma.\

    Thanks

    Zaruka

  124. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Bet you five Jack’s part of that.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  125. Zerodash. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "conservative Christian Social Union"

    I stopped considering the man rational right there.

  126. Afirejar says:

    You won’t find a link to Pfeiffer’s work anywhere. His studies are never ambigious, never leave any doubt and never provide anything but clear proof, that video games are somehow at fault. I think, his results are unique on this planet. There is never any talk about correlation, never any "needs further study", just clear absolut proof. As far as I know, he has never published any data whatsoever or said anything about his research methods except in the vaguest terms.

    Also he pushes for abolishing the independent USK, and replacing it with a state-controlled ratings institute. As the nation’s leading "expert" on video game violence, heading a crime research institute that already does a lot of "research work" in this area, his real agenda isn’t hard to guess.

  127. Azhrarn says:

    Personally Geoff, judging from how US politics looks from the outside, I’d say the german seperation of church and state (which I might add is just as lodged in their constitution as it is in the US one) is more succesful.

    Yes you have political parties founded on religious ideals, those ideals will however be just that.
    the Church has no political power, but that doesn’t mean that a party can’t hold themselves to religious ideals, that’s not what that seperation of church and state is about.

  128. Brokenscope says:

    You do realize that it is perfectly legal to form a Religious political party in the United States as well.

  129. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Anyone got a link to the study Christian Pfeiffer did?  I havn’t been able to find anything and I’m curious as to what sort of "revelations" this study produced.

    Also, nice attempt to try and shift the blame to US gaming studios.  It’s not like Crytek has ever created a violent game before…

    "Christian Social Union party"…ok, it’s Germany and as far as I can tell from that they don’t have the same laws in place as the US for seperating church and state.  Nonetheless I’ve never been one to trust a religious organization with a political agenda or vice-versa.

  130. Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The most important word in his sentence is "certain", not "abarrations" or "American".

    If somebody had said "We mustn’t let certain aberrations of European society gain influence here." I don’t think you would have reacted that strongly.

  131. Jackalman says:

    It’s so funny the way he mentions "aberrations" considering how wonderful some Germans turned out in the last century

  132. Zevorick says:

    No society is perfect. America has it’s own problems and crimes involving guns is certainly one of them. That being said, if you take away guns then people will just grab knives/machetes, and i’d honestly rather be shot in the arm than cleaved with a machete. Also, he COULD have said it nicer, but what do you expect?

  133. Brokenscope says:

    "We mustn’t let certain aberrations of American society gain influence here."

    Yes, that which is not European is wrong, disgusting and backwards.

  134. JustChris says:

    If he expects to get points for crazy displays of killing, he should only be thinking of "Devil May Cry 4".

  135. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know I can get more points or any points in GTA if I perform more gruesome acts in game.

    Now, I don’t see how this guy can sit there as a "cinema owner" and not see the similarities between parents allowing kids to play these games and parents allowing kids to watch mature rated materials in theatres or in the comfort of their own home when such movies come out on DVD.

    Looks like it’s no different in any country, parents are too irresponsible to watch over their own kids and rather have it banned instead through the means of complete ignorance and propaganda.

     

  136. Zen says:

    Hmmm…other races are savages (other than Germans).

    America is causing all of this pain and suffering.

    The government should step in and enforce these beliefs.

    Um…"Who is Hitler" Alex?… Really/? I’m wrong? Sure starts to sound alike to me.

    I have nothing against Germany…most of the people alive today had nothing to do with their history and are good people just as myself as a white person had (and has) nothing to do with racism and slavery (and try to be nice to people).  But this guy is getting a bit uncomforting with his views on liberal banning of media that he doesn’t agree with and the amassment of government power to do it with while his own views and beliefs are free to go as they please.

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