Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So Much...

June 13, 2009 -

Rev. James Dobson, the politically influential, conservative evangelical leader of nonprofit group Focus on the Family, has given a green light to some video games while offering warnings about violent an sexual content as well as possible game addiction in regard to others.

Dobson's comments appeared in his newspaper column in response to a question from a parent about their son's video gaming:

Depending on the particular games in question, you may have a valid cause for concern... two University of Michigan researchers concluded in 2007 that violent media, including television, film and video games, pose a significant public health threat...

Furthermore, some video games add unhealthy sexual themes and profanity to the mix, not to mention that the American Medical Association estimates one in 10 video gamers is addicted.

Of course, not all video games are problematic. Certain sports games, for instance, can be loads of fun. Some can even be educational...

I’d advise you to put clear limits on the amount of time your son will be allowed to spend with video games... Insist he avoid the troublesome ones altogether...

GP: Dobson is referring to the 2007 Huesmann-Bushman study.


Comments

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Er, the Bible is pretty violent media...

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Dr. Dobson has always (in my book) been pretty level headed. I'm sorry he's been misled by the flawed studies, but he gives some good advice for parental monitoring. Don't assume all games are bad, but keep a reasonable limit on time and content.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth." -James Dobson


Yeah, completely level headed. Sane even.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

The sane, levelheaded, monogamous homosexuals are either not paid attention to by our media, not out there, or otherwise not screaming out about who they are. The latter two are what is socially acceptable and desirable, as the people that are the loudest are usually not on the up and up (I.E. politicians), or at least that is what we are taught to believe.

You can hang the man based on his ignorance, or attempt to teach. It's hard to find positive, gay role models. Not because they don't exist, but because they aren't parading around like blithering idiots.

He can only make decisions based on the information he has and who he is. Apparently, he's gotten new information on video games and made a statement about it. Unlike Thompson, who will lump super mario world in with manhunt 2 uncensored, this guy seems to be willing to listen.

If you're just interested in blowing off steam, that's fine. But this guy's shown himself to be receptive to change, so why not finding out how to make contact with him and writing him a polite letter about this issue?

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

So just because he says something slightly sane on the issue of videogames, I should throw away the decades of homophobic content he spoke to parents which likely led to the deaths by suicide of many gays and lebians in America? Pardon my french, but Fark that Shiat, it doesn't work that way. But nice to know that you really don't know shiat about how significantly stupid your acceptance of the man is. Really.

Just because he says one thing positive about my interest, doesn't mean I have to throw away the decades of deadly ignorance. That shiat don't fly.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

so why not finding out how to make contact with him and writing him a polite letter about this issue?

Because he is old and will die soon.

 

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Yeah, he's also in power and apparently is sympathetic to video games, considering the games mentioned in the full article.

GP is awesome at slanting their excerpts of articles. I'll give you a hint if you haven't read my other posts here: He talks about america's army.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Evangelists are in power now? That has to be the U.S.A.s worst kept secret I suppose.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Nice try. Here's a bit of a semantics lesson:

When I say "In power" in this instance, I do not mean that he rules the world, nor the U.S., nor even a state, nor even a city, a town, or a neighborhood. We can say that these are extremes and absolutes. He doesn't even rule the people in his congregation.

However, he does influence their opinions. Most people in power get very very rigid for fear of losing that power, he's shown himself willing to say things that some of his congregation very likely disagrees with.

So he's in power, not afraid to use it, and is stepping out from the safety of his crowd, when he could just stick with folks like jack thompson and whats-his-face from westboro, and get all the praise he wants.

And here's a lesson on human nature!

People are like dogs by nature. While often much more complex than it first seems, for a person to do something there must be a reward. From scratching their ass (the itch stops) to not doing it in public (it offends others, which generally makes less good things happen) to leading a congregation.

There's a whole lot of negative that can befall him from him or his congregation perceiving him misleading them. If there is no positive/reward/benefit to him changing, he's going to sit on his hands and take no risks. He took a risk, and while it wasn't a complete "come when called" (as far as dog commands go), he took steps in the desired direction.

So while we can't control the actions of others and actions of people reacting to him, we can ourselves provide praise and encouragement for him to take a few more steps towards us. Or we can bludgeon him so that he steps back, away from us, towards the side that provides him more benefit.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

I'll be honest with you, I'm replying without reading that.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

It seems the poor old man mistook the word Homosexual for Homosapien.  An honest, yet dumb, mistake.

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I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

And the bible is STILL violent media.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Oh, there's no doubt; and while we're on the subject, it's also pretty sexual. However, even the Bible is treated with discretion in the church, and even parental guidence. I hear you have to be like 21 in the Catholic church before you can read the Song of Solomon (no offence if I'm wrong).

Point being, it's not out-and-out hypocracy as long as we regard everything with the same standards.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

I remember that book being mentioned in my Old Testament class. I believe Judaism has regulation on it too, or it may be Judaism you're thinking of.

 

I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

That is startlingly lucid and reasonable for Dobson.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Its nice to seem some level headed response from them, the more clear/sane and coherent they are the less silly and dismisable they are.

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

I wouldn't say that calling the sorts of sexual themes we see in games 'unhealthy' is level-headed.  If mild sexual themes are 'unhealthy' then the human race - which needs a lot more than mere suggestive sexual themes in order to survive - is doomed.

As for profanity, I never heard of anyone having health issues from overindulgence in profanity.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

Well sexaul content of any kind for kids can be some what questionable then again it can go over there head still theres nothign with saying 'HEY LISTEN'*dives and grabs shotgun...oh sorry....auto matic responce...* watch what youer kids do, whitch all this boils down to.

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

There's also the adolescent way it is typically handled. Other than the Mass Effect thing there aren't many games that I can think of that handle the topic in a truly mature way. Of course, hopefully videogames aren't one's sole source of information regarding these things.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

he's probably talking about prostitution. which (due to STDs) is very often an unhealthy practice

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

In one of the only two states in which prostitution is legal (Nevada), it is heavily regulated, requires background and frequent (weekly) STD checks, has laws which prohibit prostitution outside of brothels or encouraging others to join the practice, and MANDATES condom use for intercourse for its customers.

STDs are always unhealthy. So is working with liquid metal, or digging for coal- that's why you set down precautions for them. A smart business keeps their employees safe and happy as their customers.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

A smart business keeps their employees safe and happy as the government forces them to.

Fixed.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

I think what you meant was:

"A smart business keeps their employees safe and happy as union groups bitch at them to, lest they be threatened with pointless, whiney legal action supplemented with mafia-style threats".

Re: Evangelical Leader: Some Games Are Okay. Others, Not So ...

You must do things differently in the U.S.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
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Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
 

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