video games and violence: a well-reasearched study

Posted: October 9, 2007 in third world life
Tags: , ,

You always hear this.Violent video games=violent minds=violent acts. According to this bit of news I read, Alfredo Lim orders his wards to study the effects of video games on the minds and psyche of the youth. This is a result of a complaint filed by Philippine Alliance Against Pornography (PAAP). Instead of focusing on the Herculean task of ridding pornogrpahy in the internet, the group headed by Etta Mendez, trains their narrow sights on so-called video game violence. Why they choose to crusade against this and not on internet pornography is beyond me. I mean, the last two letters of the group name stand for Against Pornography, right? You don’t have the balls to punch the dad, so just go afterhis puny niece instead. That’s the only thing I see here.That or former MTRCB chair has nothing to do these days. The scissors-happy Etta Mendez was the chief who spliced or cut various films with nudity and even gave some of them a rating of X. Regardless if it has artistic merits or not. Thus, she earned the nickname Etta Scissorhands. Among those films who got the X are the following:

  • Schindler’s List
  • Belle Epoque
  • Bridges on Madison County
  • The Piano
  • And if I’m not mistaken, and I’m too lazy to be bothered searching in google, she was the same MTRCB chairman who deleted the suicide scene in Baz Luhrrman’s rendition of William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet. This woman thinks she’s that better than Mr. Shakespeare.

And here’s my Saturday mayor (I atend Saturday clases in PNU), ALfredo Lim, who at a some woman’s whim and a chance to hog the media spotlight and enhance his tough guy  image, orders his cohorts to study the effects of video games. Hurray for a presidential loser, who never made any splash as a senator, and whose only known accomplishment is to spray paint graffiti on drug users/ pushers’ wall saying that they are “shabuwista, durugista, etc.” Finally, he seems to be working on something that would make parents happy.  While I agree that students shouldbe banned from playing from 7 AM to 6 PM to discourage them from going there in school hours, I have nothing but violent reaction for this brouhaha. Inquirer Oct. 3/1756 MANILA – Minors may soon be prohibited from playing violent video games in arcadesand amusement centers in Manila after Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered his officials to study the effects of such games on children.1. The thing is… Who’s going to study this?Government officials? Do you have any idea how ancient these people are? These are people who are like your mom and dad who never understood your hairstyle, fashion, your lingo and your acronyms like OMG ad LOL. The only hairstyle they know is barber’s cut. How can one hope for an unbiased result on their study? These are people who decided that getting a civil service was a good idea.  These are people who will cringe at the sight of anything that involves some character hitting another. Super Mario Bros. will be deemed violent for tramping on those poor things, even if those poor things are the minions who work for an evil monster called Koopa. Hell, I’m sure they will think of Tetris as a clever subtext for pre-marital sex.

Tetris Screenshot : Take note of the yellow block. With their Freudian background, they will see it as a phallic symbol out to defile the purity of women. The orange one that is about to fall is another phallic symbol and the formed blocks on the right is an image of a bed with a guy with a woody.How will these people understand the joys of these games if they can’t even understand your uneven haircut and eyeliner?Again, this formula surfaces…Violent video games=violent minds=violent acts

“While the usefulness of the Internet in cyber education is imperative (naks, me nalalaman pang imperative ang gurang na ‘to), what bothers me is the cutting of classes by students and the playing of war games, which is not good in the proper upbringing of our youth,” Lim said, adding that it may cause the children to eventually develop violent tendencies.

2. You know what? Violent games have been aound for decades. Even these officials have played them at one point in their boring lives. But the difference is that they were never on screen because video games were not invented yet or still had to improve.

Lim’s researchers should include in their Review of Related Literature in Chapter 2 the origin of Counterstrike. Back then we had a game called baril-barilan or bang-bang where the objective of the game is to shoot your opponent with a plastic toy gun, a make-belive gun in the form of a stick, or with your fingers held up like a gun. Ammo was unlimited which did not require cheat codes or blastingill-placed crates. Hide meant moving your ass behind a wall, behind a tree or up in the roof, instead of moving around with arrow keys. It was basically the same idea as Counterstrike, but it was never banned. You never heard of anybody complain about how it turns the youth into criminals or anybody ordering  for a thesis about it. So, tell me Etta, it is okay to play a game with the same premise, as long as it does not appear onscreen?Resident Evil can be traced back to the old game called aswang-aswangan where the ‘it’ person is a blood-thirsty zuvembie had to run after everybody and pretend to bite them, with or without transfer of saliva. This was  done in the speed that rivaled 100 m dash records. No one bothered playnig them stiff.  No one thought of playing the game where zuvembies dragged their feet and the other player is armed with a gun, till Resident Evil (or its video game predecessors) came along. Back then, everybody had to run away. Now the game has been improved in storyline (a thing that was not present in aswang-aswangan) and strategies. You get to become a STAR agent with a body build you can only dream for and an array of weapons at your dispatch. It looks like our government would rather see us run like madman than actually face them with a shotgun. Well, that was the strategy the government used when they pulled out the medical team in that war-ravaged Middle East. So, what they’re trying to say is that it is okay to run away than actually shoot your way out of a tripped out mansion?Look at these undead. Don’t tell me you’ll pray to God for a fucking shotgun when you see them, instead of hoping that your feet carry your overweight cholesterol-filled body.What is the harm in this game? For one, it is very unlikely for the youth to grab hold of a gunin a normal scenario. And when was the last time you saw a real zuvembie? So, the chances of this scenario ever happening is as high as RP basketball team winning the Asian Games and finally maknig it to the Olympics.I think Lim has a reason to fear this game. With his looks he can easily be mistaken for an undead.If violence is a reason for banning games, then no games would ever be played. Take bahay-bahayan for instance. Kids play as ‘dad’ and ‘mom’. Now that’s a subtext that more blatant than Tetris. Then you have hagarang-upo, a game that is induces the likelihood of one getting ‘it’ for a very long time, which makes them target to name-calling and earnig the nickname bagoong. Psychologists will agree that this may foster lonely thoughts and force one into being Emo.  Got news for you. Violence has been around for thousand of years.

Here’s an excerpt from one of best-selling deity-penned literature.

15 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, 16 therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. 17 I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.’ ”

This is from Ezekiel 25:15-17 which was written thousands of years ago. Read the rest and tell me that it does not foster thoughts of vengeance.3. If violence on screen is bad, how about movies then?  

Some time in the 90s, a movie about a gun-wielding hero was made played by Eddie Garcia (Atsay Killer, May Lamok sa Labas ng Kulambo, Boyong Mañalac). He reasoned with his pistols and sucker-punched the bad guys when they talk back. He didn’t fight terrorists like in Counterstrike, but he did had his share of kills. Yes, this bio flick had its share of cinematic tinkerigs, but it still was based on a true story and based on an actual non-virtual reality person. If that still does not sound familiar Mr. Lim, you can take one hard look at the mirror and see what I’m saying.Oh yeah, I forgot, they’re violent too according to Punyetta Mendez.I forgot that she knows a lot better than Mr. Shakespeare. Former Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) chair Henrietta Mendez, noted that unlike movies and TV shows, video games remain unregulated. She said the games influence players because they are “interactive.” “Children might think their world is really violent, so they learn to be violent and no one is regulating them.A game called Sniper, for example, teaches a child how to be the best sniper and how to shoot the enemies in vital parts of the body to ensure death,” she said. “The more people you hit, the higher your score will be and you are even rewarded for it,” added Mendez.The PAAP also reported that violent games encourage players to be good at hitting or killing a computer-generated enemy with guns or explosives.

If this is the case, then our real problem is not violence, but in-your-face stupidity. Who in their right frame of mind will think that way?Ask the youth this:

______ 1. What would you most likely get if you kill someone?                                       A. reward points             B. jail term

Only a born idiot would answer letter A. This was her line of thinking when she gave Bridges of Madison County an X-rating. To her when Filipinos see the aging naked body Meryl Streep, they will be prompted to perform sex crimes. So, when one sees sniper violence, one would be compelled to buy a gun (never mind where he’ll get the money) and do the same. 

4. How will the researchers establish the relationship between video games and violence?

It is easy to prove that allowing students to play during school hours encourages them to cut classes. Peep through an internet shop and you would not need statistics. Count the heads in school uniform.But how will they prove that video games is related to crime? Let me guess… Statistics. So let me present to you some data I have complied from NSO. That’s National Statistics Office to you, Einstein.Take of the following data on crime from 2003-2005. Yes, it does not include 2006 and 2007 yet. The NSO guys still have this one hell of a backlog to clear. You might agree with me that the trend on crime rate is on a downhill. Despite what media tells your face, the Philippines is becoming more of a peaceful place for its inhabitants. Crime is going down! We’re just getting more creative in disposing of bodies –like putting them in suitcases. But that’s another thing.If you think I’m maknig this up, check this link: NSOHere’s a graphical representation of the data. See the shortening of bars? That means crime is going down despite of the rising popularity of video games. What’s more alarming is the stat below.See how road accidents have risen in the years? Are we to ban cell phone because it encourages driving while on the phone? Should we impose stricter quality compliance rules on car manufacturers since mechanical deffect has soared more than a hudred percent? I don’t know, you’re the fucknig mayor. Oh yeah, I remember…You lowered penalty charges on traffic violators! I think I see your line of reasoning, Lim. Nothing amounts to a slap in the face than charging P 500 to a dead driver for driving under the influence of alcohol.   We can play with statistics all we want. Pearson r, Spearman rank, etc. But why would I waste my time doing so? Lim is going to pay somebody with tax money to compute for these statistics that I have presented to you people.

Lim says, “While the usefulness of the Internet in cyber education is imperative, what bothers me is thecutting of classesby students and the playing of war games, which is not good in the proper upbringing of our youth,” he said, adding that it may cause the children to eventually develop violent tendencies.

5. This line again. Violence is bad for the youth.

Is violence that bad to the youth? Somebody once ordered for the ban of showing cartoons that featured gigantic super-electromagnetic robots. This is the same thing a dictator once said. Marcos banned Voltes V in the middle of the series! Till my high school and college life, I never saw the ending of the series. It left a gaping hole in my heart so big it made me think about writing poetry. After some time, years after his death, the ending was shown and on the big screen –take that to your grave, dictator! In the end, who proves to be right? Till this day Voltes V thrives in the hearts of fans and in pirated DVDs, while Ferdinand Marcos is rotting in hell, with not enough fans to vote his wife into presidency. Is he still in the ref or has he been buried somewhere in the depths of Pasig River?  In my thirty-one years, I have never had anybody slashed in the form of the letter V. Not even in my thoughts did it ever come across to cut a luncheon maet into V (well, not till now). As I write this, all searches for playmate slashed into V mertis zero results in  NSO.So if we’re going to base things on statistical data, it seems that being a dictator is even worse than watching some cartoons. Between the youth who playvideo games and being a politician in the mold of a dictator, we know who is treading thin ice.Using this same argument, I think I am not being too bold to declare that nobody has ever killed anybody in the same Counterstrike fashion. It is an unlikely scenario. For one to own a gun is a very hard. It takes political connections and a boxing championship belt to acquire one to twenty guns.  And of course money. Money teenagers will find hard to get their hands on. They even have to lie about a school project to be able to have video game money. And besides, for a gamer to have such money in his hands, the first thing that will come to his mind is whether to buy a PS 2 or XBox. Or if lucky, PS3.Ask any gamer this question. If you had money to buy any of the two, I bet they’ll answer B (or C if they prefer another game console).Whoever will answer B is a psycho even before he played video games.

A game called Sniper, for example, teaches a child how to be the best sniper and how to shoot the enemies in vital parts of the body to ensure death,” she said. “The more people you hit, the higher your score will be and you are even rewarded for it,” added Mendez.

Let’s go back to the stats game. I know it’s too big an assumption to make, but correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t actually heard some teenager assassinate anybody, but I haveheard of one assassination in the airport that involved a dictator.You know of something more dangerous and deadly? It’s not Snniper, it’s a primitive toy/ weapon since the time of David. It’scalled a slingshot. A playmate of mine missed a shot and took the right eye of our playmate. He was aiming for the left. So if getting hurt is what we’re trying to avoid, Punyetta is looknig at the wrong  place.

6. They won’t actually gun somebody down, but they might foster this violent thought and punch somebody to the crotch.

That’s quite a jump from sniping somebody to throwing a sucker punch. If punching people’s crotches is bad, then we should stop maknig a hero out of a high school equivalency graduate who made a career of sterotyping Mexicans as punching bags. We should just totally ban everything and let’s all wear helmets, pads, and live in padded homes. Which makes me think –that’s where Lim and Mendez belong –in a padded cell. That will match their designer straightjackets.

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Comments
  1. Dan says:

    Dude, You need to listen to NOFX, haha! Especially for that very last part. Nice rant btw =)

  2. POGING says:

    video games just only a games wag nyo isisi kng anu man ngyayari sa mundo ntn sa ang mga larong games ok!!!!!maraming prolema ang bayan ntn bago ntin yan unahin ok gets nyo………….

  3. bryan says:

    Violent games have been around for decades. here is absolutely no evidence, none, that playing a violent video game leads to aggressive behavior”.

  4. emoboy says:

    Hi, i’ve got pictures of my new emo haircut
    at http://tinyurl.com/59ps64

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  6. junji says:

    Video games work both ways, but I like your rantings; specially the part about Marcos, may he be cursed. But let’s see statistically how many of us play the shooting game and actually shoots at people, even though we have guns at home. Then if video games are really that violent why don’t they also stop the airsoft and paintball war games.

    If there’s a petition I’ll support you dude!!!

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