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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MattsworknameWhining about games not haaving enought females, thats foolish, cause if the games are good, then the lead will be well known as a result.see alex vance, she wasn't even the playable lead, but she's so well known cause half life 2 was such an amazing game06/30/2015 - 9:04pm
MattsworknameOn the subject of gaming. Im of the opinion that, its fine if there are more FEMALE leads, but if the game itself isn't good? then your doing a disservice by having a female lead cause they wont get any recognition or attention.06/30/2015 - 9:01pm
Mattsworknameandrew, im not as hyped, without the origional cast, I feel it just won't have the same impact . I'll still give ti a shot, but my expectations are low for it. Its a shame we lost ramis.06/30/2015 - 8:57pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIojPUPGhjY IWALVG:GameStop Goes RETRO? Let's Check It Out!06/30/2015 - 8:26pm
Andrew Eisen(Ghostbusters is my favorite movie, if anyone was wondering why I'm so unusually excited for this project.)06/30/2015 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenI am so completely over-the-moon with excitement for the new Ghostbusters movie! It's going to absolutely destroy me if it sucks. Long wait. Fingers crossed!06/30/2015 - 7:00pm
Goth_SkunkAdditionally, the entry really doesn't have much of a point to it. It's just a long, rambling rant akin to what an angsty high-school student would write on their facebook page.06/30/2015 - 6:51pm
MonteAnd most of those viewpoints just so happen to revolve around women and topics that feminists cover, and not actual gaming journalism.06/30/2015 - 6:51pm
Goth_Skunk@DocMelonhead: First off, thanks for using an archive. Second, I would argue that Miss Alexander doesn't know the right women. Given the members of her echo-chamber, I don't find that surprising in the least.06/30/2015 - 6:50pm
Goth_Skunk@Monte: GamerGate does not focus attention on feminists; it focuses its attention on viewpoints it happens to disagree with. The fact that most of those opinions happen to come from radical feminists is a coincidence.06/30/2015 - 6:31pm
Andrew EisenBut hey, we all make bad videos from time to time. I'm certainly not going to hold that single one against her.06/30/2015 - 6:31pm
Andrew EisenAh, okay. I probably don't read their blogs or follow them on Twitter so I've never heard anything they've had to say. The only thing I know about Sommers is the video we reported on a while back and I certainly wouldn't classify that as scholarly!06/30/2015 - 6:30pm
Goth_SkunkAlso, "junior campus feminist" is a young (late teens to late 20's, hence "junior") college student radical activist (see Emma Sulkowicz as an example). This, as opposed to a more mature, scholarly feminist like Sommers.06/30/2015 - 6:24pm
Andrew EisenNo, because "feminisim" isn't a group. There are feminist groups with leaders though.06/30/2015 - 6:23pm
Goth_SkunkDoes Feminism have a leader?06/30/2015 - 6:19pm
Andrew EisenWell, maybe the SPJ Airplay discussion will be just what everyone needed and we'll all live happily ever after!06/30/2015 - 6:16pm
MonteFrankly, for those in it for jounalism, the best thnig they can do is forget GG and find a new Tag. By using GG theybring with themselves all of the baggage that comes with it, and thus no one listens to them. They voices would go farthar without trolls06/30/2015 - 6:12pm
MonteThing is with internaet movements, their is no leadership or membership which means ANYONE can define it and use it as they please. No one member gets to sayhis version is right and everyone else is wrong because his claim is just as valid as theirs06/30/2015 - 6:10pm
MonteGamergate's menaing varies from person to person. Some pretty much allign it with MRA's. Other's do it because they want to defend developers from feminists who criticize their work. This has nothing to do with journalism but gets the Tag anyway06/30/2015 - 6:08pm
DocMelonheadGoth, Take a look at this: It's old, but got a point form the "Gamers are Over" blogger herself: https://web.archive.org/web/20150530072314/http://boingboing.net/2015/05/29/all-the-women-i-know-in-video.html06/30/2015 - 6:08pm
 

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