Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

November 11, 2010 -

A discussion between two writers on the Perpetual Post website caught our eye because one of the scribes, even while expressing an aversion to violent videogames, doesn’t think the government should be in the business of limiting a child’s access to them.

In her part of the article, Molly Schoemann says that she “can’t really stomach violence of any kind—even videogame violence,” and recounted a previous experience playing Army of Two in which she was reduced to being “huddled in a pile of rubble,” where she “refused to shoot anyone.”

Schoemann also believes that violent games do have some sort of impact on youngsters, writing, “Can you really tell me that the experience of playing a videogame in which you rampage around shooting other people happens in a vacuum and has absolutely no influence over the way in which a child thinks of violent behavior and its consequences?”

But even with those two feelings in the back of her head, she is not looking for government intervention. As she wrote:

Granted, I am not sure that I am particularly in favor of laws restricting these games from being sold to minors either. For one thing, I don’t think this would really do much in the way of keeping them out of the hands of children. For another, a child who is otherwise well-rounded and grows up in a loving and supportive home is ideally receiving enough positive influences in his or her life to combat any tendencies toward violence that might be awakened through videogames or other media sources.

Ultimately, it is the children who do not grow up in loving and supportive homes whose potential for violence we need to worry about – and their access to violent videogames is among the least of our concerns in that case.


Comments

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

She comes across as a strong pacifist, but yet doesn't support unnecessary censorship on violence? Good on her.

 

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James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

Sounds like she just does not like conflict in any form.  Will not take a firm stand on any point that is clearly against someone else else she might be forced to defend herself.  ie Wishy washy

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

I'd also remind Ms. Schoemann that video game violence is not violence. No one is getting hurt. It's important to make the distinction because there is enough real violence to go around. When we fight against pretend violence we are in effect wasting our effort on a non-issue. As a Quaker and a devout pacifist (who has, incidentally, brutally murdered thousands of zombies, cowboys, cops and generic Russian/Arabs in games like Left 4 Dead, Red Dead Redemption, GTA IV and CoD MW), I think it's important to keep our eyes on the ball. Hint, the 'ball' is not inside any video game. It's out here in the real world where REAL PEOPLE get hurt and killed. Ms Schoemann comes to that conclusion despite the fact that she seems to confuse violent game content with actual violence. I guess that's good, but the journey from 'video games are horribly violent' to 'let's concentrate on real violence' seems a little disjointed.

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

“Can you really tell me that the experience of playing a videogame in which you rampage around shooting other people happens in a vacuum and has absolutely no influence over the way in which a child thinks of violent behavior and its consequences?”

If Molly Schoemann means to suggest that video game violence makes my kid more accepting of violence, then I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it has absolutely no influence in that way. On the contrary, it illustrates why real life violence is bad - because in real life, real people are the ones in pain, spurting blood and dying in agony. In a game, the blood is just coloured pixels - no one gets hurt. My daughter understands this and it gives her a point of reference that she wouldn't have if she was kept protected from images of violence.

Does seeing violent content influence how my child thinks of violent behaviour, sure, but not in the way Molly Schoemann thinks it does.

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

It sounds like she's talking to a strawman there. I don't think anyone (at least from what I've seen on sites such as this one) who is opposed to the law is indifferent about kids playing violent games. Many kids are mature and settled enough for it not to affect their behaviour, and it's up to their parents to decide if they are.

What we take issue with is the suggestion that violent games are inevitably harmful to kids (they aren't), that studies prove this (they don't) and that parents and the industry can't protect kids without government intervention (they can).

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

I'm indifferent to kids playing violent games.  So, that's one.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

If it did happen in a vacuum, it likely would have some unfavorable influences.  But it doesn't exist in a vacuum.  That's why it's not dangerous.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Blogger Hates Violence, Yet is Against California Law

My cool book.  You are now in it.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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