Challenge Match: FSBlueApocalypse vs Heike: "It Is Just A Game; Right?"

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posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 10:52 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Playing "M" Rated Video Games Has a Direct Negative Impact on Minors"

Heike will be arguing the pro position.
FSBlueApocalypse will argue the con position and will open the debate.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

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Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

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Each debater must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

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Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.



[edit on 11/9/2008 by semperfortis]

[edit on 11/12/2008 by semperfortis]




posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 02:15 PM
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Video games have come a long way since Pong. The first video game consoles could put a dozen or so pixels on screen at any given time. Current video game consoles can create living breathing worlds with seemingly endless boundaries, as seen in games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Far Cry 2. As technology progressed, games moved from simple ideas such as Pong and Pac-Man, games took players to far off worlds of fantasy and Science Fiction. In addition, as a result of new technology, games were able to show off things much more complex than before. Perhaps the biggest controversy to hit the industry was a triple whammy of new, and at the time ultra violent games. The early 90’s saw the release of classic PC First Person Shooters ,Doom and Quake, along with the classic arcade fighter, Mortal Kombat. These three games, more than any other led to the creation of the modern video games rating system that is in effect today. While there is one rating higher than M, AO(Adults Only), it is seen as an equivalent kiss of death as an NC-17 rating is for a film, and as such no mainstream game has been released with that rating.
First, allow me to define what constitutes getting an M rated game. The M(Mature 17+) rating can be given out for any of the following reasons, high amount of sexual content, gore, high amount of violence, adult themes, language, etc. These games aren’t designed for younger children to play, and studies have shown almost all don’t. However, one group does stand out, boys in the range from 13-17.
What games is this group most likely playing? A particular favorite is First Person Shooters(from here on out referred to as either FPS or FPS’) such as Halo or Call of Duty. Action games such as God of War and Devil May Cry. In addition, the mother of all controversial series, the Grand Theft Auto series is a favorite. If news reports are to be believed, these games are transforming your 14 year old into a carjacking killer with no sense of remorse.

Sadly sensationalist media has blown this idea that children are being corrupted by video games has been blown out of proportion. Of the several news reports I can think of include Fox News outright lying about the content in the game, Mass Effect. In the game, if a player forms a relationship with a specific female character in the game the ending of that relationship will be them having sex. The scene showing this was done very tastefully and the most you see if one second of a CGI butt cheek. Fox News’ description was that the player could choose to have sex with anyone in the game at their choosing and fully control the actions of the character during sex.
In addition, news reports would have you believe that kids are becoming addicted to video games and that they are basing crimes of missions. However, I ask you this, how many times do you hear of these reports documented on the news? Already there have been cries to take Grand Theft Auto 4 off store shelves because a group of teens were reportedly going to base a robbery off a mission. I ask you this, Grand Theft Auto 4 has sold almost ten million copies since its release in April. If it truly was a tool to turn people into violence, shouldn’t more people already be turning into criminals?

Simply put, almost every major study done on the subject has shown that minors are not directly affected by playing M rated video games.



posted on Nov, 12 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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Member Quit Fight Club

[edit on 11/12/2008 by semperfortis]



posted on Nov, 12 2008 @ 01:01 PM
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In the finest tradition of Fight Club

Fighter FSBlueApocalypse did not want to win in such a manner.

Fighter Heike is stepping in to complete the debate..

I am impressed yet once again with the professionalism and pride in Fight Club!!!

Way to go

Semper



posted on Nov, 12 2008 @ 04:39 PM
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Everyone able to read this debate wants to think that he is the captain of his own ship; the master of his own mind and body. The great majority of us are inclined to reject this topic out of hand because it implies that we are, at least partially, not in control. “No TV show or video game is going to determine how I feel!” we cry, “or tell me how to think or influence how I act.” If we accept that video games can have a negative impact on children, we must then also be open to considering what impact years of television, movies, Dungeons & Dragons, and the video games we now play as adults have had and are having on us. For those of us who are parents, it also calls into question our own judgment and actions if we allow(ed) our children to play those video games. It is an uncomfortable topic with unpleasant ramifications, and to some extent the deck is stacked against me – none of you want to believe that video games (or television and movies) can have any significant negative impact on anyone, least of all the kids who are "safely at home" playing harmless video games.

There is, however, plenty of evidence for the idea that external stimuli do affect how we think, react, and act. “Desensitization” is not only an accepted therapeutic method for helping people recover from phobias and other fears, but a well-known phenomenon brought about by recurring exposure to unpleasant stimuli. Repetitive exposure to the “virtual” violence of video games desensitizes players to real violence in the same way that exposure to media violence has been shown to desensitize, blunting negative reactions and inhibitions against aggression in viewers of violent movies and television shows (1) This desensitization is likely to be somewhat more intense for players of video games, since they are actively involved in what is happening instead of just passively watching it.

Can it really be that easy? Can violent video games desensitize people to real violence to the extent of affecting inhibitions and behavior? Yes, they can, according to the U. S. Military – both the Army and the Marines use video games in the training of soldiers who are going into combat.

If simulated violence can help soldiers react better in combat situations, what do violent video games do to children? Past theories have suggested that children begin to have a fair grasp of the difference between reality and fantasy at around age 8, but newer studies are showing that nearly 1 in 5 (19%) 11 and 12 year olds still do not have a firm grip on what’s real and what isn’t.

Seriously, though, how bad can it be? Are we talking Wile E. Coyote in pancaked mode, sounding like an accordion as he staggers around after having a mountain dropped on his head? Some fake blood? Heads rolling? Just what does an “M” rating mean?


MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
(2) The ratings guide goes into further detail in its glossary, which informs us that M titles include “depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts,” non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity,” and “explicit and/or frequent use of profanity.”

This isn’t your grandmother’s blood and gore, either. It doesn’t look like ketchup any more. Newer CGI-based creatures and people in movies (think Jurassic Park and Godzilla) are easily perceived as “real” while one is watching the movie, and new video games use all of the same technological advances and improvements. The blood, gore, and mutilated body parts look real – more real than they ever have before – to the point that those awful drunk driving wreck videos we used to have to watch (usually right before lunch!) in high school aren’t likely to make any of today’s high school students want to throw up. They’ve seen it before, the last time their destruction and mutilation of a “virtual” opponent was accompanied by all the appropriate blood, gore, and guts.

We instinctively and intuitively know that the children of WWII, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Palestine, as well as other armed conflicts all over the world, have been affected negatively. We refer to them as innocents (when someone isn’t calling them collateral damage) and we know they shouldn’t be exposed to the horrors of war and violence, or sex and profanity. How, then, can we fail to realize that exposing them to the horrors of virtual war and violence, as well as “frequent profanity” and “depictions of sexual behavior,” also has a direct negative impact on children?



posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 04:15 AM
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With respect to added Desensitizing to video games, studies have been published numerous times on the subject in by organizations such as the Harvard School of Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine that have cited there is no concern able link between violent video games and aggressive behavior. In addition, studies that have claimed to find links have been criticized for their methodology. They often take events out of context and just expose the violence itself. Imagine being presented the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan” with no context to it. It is the same idea with video game violence.

In addition, with the US military, video games are only part of a much larger program for recruits. In addition, many of those “Video games” involve far more than a mouse and keyboard or a gamepad. In fact, America’s Army, a FPS that the Army has admitted is blatant propaganda to try and get recruits for the Army has been consistently one of the 10 most played games online in the United States every year since its release since 2002. Now, why then are we still seeing severe troop shortages if so many players are being exposed to this.

Fair enough that it is a T(Teen) rated game. Let’s go with something meatier, the undisputed king of First Person Shooters since its release last October, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Throwing out the PC demographic which is almost entirely older gamers, let’s look at the console side. If you know someone with a Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3 this game is most likely in their collection. It’s no secret if you log into a game, you’ll run into at least one or two players who are obviously 13 and just learned about swearing. Now, let’s compare a 14 year old playing this game to getting the same kind of desensitization of a soldier preparing for the battlefield. A soldier would be learning how to use combat tactics such as taking cover and camouflaging. That 14 year old boy is just having fun running around and shooting at anything that moves.

The military is going to have clearly defined goals by making its soldiers play video games. Not only does it desensitize them, it allows snipers to gain greater appreciation for the affects of trajectory and the earth’s rotation affect on a bullet, among other reasons mentioned earlier. That is how they achieve their desensitizing of their recruits through video games. On the other hand, most underage who play the games view it as simply recreation.
With your point about children being able to tell fantasy from reality, most studies on video games with minors show that it isn’t until they are 13 or 14 until they begin to play most violent, M rated video games. In addition, many states have been enacting laws that children must have a parent present when purchasing a M rated game.

In addition, youth crime is at all time lows across many of the parts of the country. While yes, some school shootings have been committed by people who played various violent games, once again this is an example of sensationalist media looking for a scape goat for the crimes.

In addition, I must say, from someone who’s played the Grand Theft Auto series since I was 13, those same drunk driving photos make me cringe. There is still a clear barrier between the virtual world and the real thing.

Also, I fail to see the comparison of a child who has seen the horrors of war with their own to eyes to someone who plays a game for a hour or two a day. Of course a child who is soaked in that atmosphere is going to become desensitized. But to bring their plight on the same level as some 15 year old playing Call of Duty on his daddy’s plasma screen TV? I won’t even bother.



posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 07:43 PM
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I remind my esteemed opponent that our debate topic is “Playing "M" Rated Video Games Has a Direct Negative Impact on Minors,” not “Playing violent video games turns teenagers into criminals.”
 
How should we define “direct negative impact?” The relevant definition for impact states that it is an influence or effect. Negative we understand, and the meaning we want for direct is probably “without intervening persons, influences, or factors.” So, to paraphrase, I need to convince you that “M” rated video games, in and of themselves without intervening factors, have a negative influence or effect on minors.
 
We must also consider the scope of our argument. Can the general negative influences of video games, irrespective of rating, be included as part of the effect of “M” rated video games? I think that it is fair to include the negative effects of video games in general as part of the influence which may be attributed to “M” rated games, especially since my opponent has already mentioned games which are not “M” rated.
 
Let us first consider the overall impact on minors of playing video games. Regardless of content, playing video games in general has been linked to decreased physical fitness, obesity, and health problems normally seen in sedentary adults such as postural disorders, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The time spent playing video games has also been shown to correlate inversely to school performance – that is to say, the more time kids spend playing video games, the worse their grades are likely to be. Video games have also been linked to decreased social skills and addictive behavior (doing anything to get the video game “fix”).
 
In addition to the above, there are more specific concerns and effects associated with “mature” and usually violent video games. A 2005 study on violent video game exposure concludes that

chronic exposure to violent video games specifically—and not just frequent playing of any video games—has lasting deleterious effects on brain function and behavior.
(1)
The Bartholow study depends not on dubious links between video games and criminal behavior, but stands upon scientifically measured changes in brain activity and function. According to their data, violent video games cause specific and measurable changes in the brain which correlate to being desensitized to violence and lessened inhibitions against aggression. These altered brain responses were also able to reliably predict an increase in aggressive behavior.
 
My opponent assures us that he, and many other youngsters like him, have been playing these games for years and have not been out en masse shooting up their schools, stealing cars, dealing drugs, or beating up little old ladies for their purses. I concede the point. Should this, however, be our yardstick? Is this a good measurement for whether or not they have been affected negatively? How may we assess whether or not, and in what way, these teenagers might have been different had they not been playing these video games for years? The Bartholow study and others strongly suggest that they would be less aggressive, more socially adept, more empathetic and compassionate, more trusting and less likely to view the behavior of others as potentially hostile, better at conflict resolution and problem solving by means other than aggression or violence, and be getting (or have gotten) better grades in school. (2)

My opponent further claims that young boys playing Call of Duty and similar violent video games are just having fun. Here’s a nice screenshot from one of these games. Does this look like “just fun” to you?



A quick google images search reveals many screenshots that are equally as disturbing or more so - some I found showed characters who appeared to be very human spewing blood or having body parts blown off. Studies aside, common sense tells me that spending hours a day shooting realistic-looking people who bleed, lose body parts, and blow up in fountains of spectacular gore are going to have some effect, and it isn’t a positive effect.

Furthermore, even my opponent admits, and seems not to understand the implication of his own statement, that these young boys are learning to “shoot at anything that moves.” Shooting anything that moves is just having fun? Let us fervently hope that none of these young players have access to a gun when they’re in the mood to have some fun. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be something that moves.



posted on Nov, 16 2008 @ 09:02 PM
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I'm gonna need my 24 hour extension



posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
Let us first consider the overall impact on minors of playing video games. Regardless of content, playing video games in general has been linked to decreased physical fitness, obesity, and health problems normally seen in sedentary adults such as postural disorders, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The time spent playing video games has also been shown to correlate inversely to school performance – that is to say, the more time kids spend playing video games, the worse their grades are likely to be. Video games have also been linked to decreased social skills and addictive behavior (doing anything to get the video game “fix”).


Minors who play video games that much often have other issues they are dealing with. Video games provide the "Escape" they are looking for, the same that high school rejects often made up the vast majority of people playing Dungeons and Dragons years past. What these studies don't take into account are other factors that could be causing them to play video games so much.



The Bartholow study depends not on dubious links between video games and criminal behavior, but stands upon scientifically measured changes in brain activity and function. According to their data, violent video games cause specific and measurable changes in the brain which correlate to being desensitized to violence and lessened inhibitions against aggression. These altered brain responses were also able to reliably predict an increase in aggressive behavior.

The study shows that, as I said, they see out of context photos that are monitored. I would like to see what results they get when invested in a story or see if a personally horrific accident affects them. In addition, it makes no real prediction as to whether or not

Here is a link to another study done as a rebuttal to to that study and others like it
www.pcworld.com...

The image provided would seem to indicate it coming from a survival horror game. If done right, those can be of great fun as they do an excellent job of mood setting and tug at your sense of fear.



A quick google images search reveals many screenshots that are equally as disturbing or more so - some I found showed characters who appeared to be very human spewing blood or having body parts blown off. Studies aside, common sense tells me that spending hours a day shooting realistic-looking people who bleed, lose body parts, and blow up in fountains of spectacular gore are going to have some effect, and it isn’t a positive effect.

Furthermore, even my opponent admits, and seems not to understand the implication of his own statement, that these young boys are learning to “shoot at anything that moves.” Shooting anything that moves is just having fun? Let us fervently hope that none of these young players have access to a gun when they’re in the mood to have some fun. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be something that moves.


This last part seems something of a slippery slope argument and a "For the Children" cry. As I said, juvenile crime is on the downhill and also as I said, the games while looking real, don't offer much in the way in realism in terms of how to carry a gun.

Simply put, video games are the newest form of entertainment in the world and have exploded in popularity. The video game industry will most likely surpass Hollywood as the biggest in the world with in 5 years, and it is a medium many do not understand. While the average age of gamers has risen to their 20s, it is still seen as something of "Kids" stuff.

Just as movies would make us into gangsters and make us escape reality, or that Elvis would turn the nation into abunch of Sex starved degenerates with his Rock and Roll and hip swiveling, video games are going into that period right now.



posted on Nov, 18 2008 @ 01:26 PM
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What these studies don't take into account are other factors that could be causing them to play video games so much.


Why they play the games “so much” is not germane to this debate. The question at hand is, does playing the games have a negative impact?


Here is a link to another study done as a rebuttal to to that study and others like it


The studies I have referenced were done by researchers, funded by universities. Your study is funded by a magazine that caters to computer users and gamers. That’s like having the drug companies fund FDA trials on .. wait, never mind, they DO that. Okay, it’s like having Folgers and Maxwell House fund a study on the long-term effects of coffee drinking. What kind of answers do you think you’re going to get?


This last part seems something of a slippery slope argument and a "For the Children" cry. … As I said, juvenile crime is on the downhill and also as I said, the games while looking real, don't offer much in the way in realism in terms of how to carry a gun


You are the one who brought up the idea that these video games “teach a kid to shoot at anything that moves,” and I admit that your lack of concern about saying that concerns me. My dad taught me to shoot a real gun when I was eight years old. He also taught me gun safety, gun handling rules, and impressed upon me the seriousness of handling such a weapon and the appropriate uses of it. The phrase burned into my brain was “Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to kill.” Oddly enough, in spite of having several marksmanship trophies for target accuracy with a real gun, I do very poorly at FPS games – I can’t seem to point and shoot fast enough.

Children playing FPS games get a lot of exposure to “point and shoot” tactics but no understanding of the dangers or responsibilities of how to handle a real gun. What happens if a child who has been blowing away people in games gains access to a real gun and tries to use it?

Socratic Question #1: Isn’t it healthier for children to be outside actively playing, riding bicycles, skateboarding, etc. than to be sitting in front of a video game?

Again, you are focused on one issue and one issue only. I have already conceded the point that video games do not turn teenagers into criminals. Even if there is a measurable and statiscally significant increase in criminal behavior, it would be only one small piece of the total negative impact video games are having on children.

The drug companies want us to believe that their drugs are purely beneficial. The companies selling bottled water want us to believe it’s better than tap water. Pillsbury wants us to associate home baked cookies and cakes with love, not with childhood obesity and diabetes. And the companies who are annually enjoying millions (billions?) of dollars in revenue from video games want us to think they are harmless fun.

Australia:

video games allowing teenagers to show off in street races and crash for fun are contributing to a lack of responsibility when they drive real cars, police and experts say.
Source 1

Saudi Arabia:

… study revealed that 90% of the juveniles were affected negatively by video games and sought to imitate these games in reality.
Source 2

USA:

Their results indicate that violent video games may play a role in the development of negative attitudes and behaviors related to health.

Source 3

Unfortunately, video games are not harmless, and experts, researchers, educators, child psychologists, and pediatricians from all over the world are trying to tell us this uncomfortable truth.

We can clearly see with our own eyes that our young people are not turning into spree killers, serial killers, or even car thieves in great numbers, and this “common sense” approach is what the people who profit from the video game industry want us to focus on. Video games do not turn teens into killers, therefore they are harmless, is the fallacious logic the electronic entertainment industry wants you to accept.

What they are desperately hoping that you will not see is the truth – video games are negatively affecting the physical, mental and emotional health; the intellectual achievements; and the attitudes and behaviors of the people who play them.



posted on Nov, 18 2008 @ 11:37 PM
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Why they play the games “so much” is not germane to this debate. The question at hand is, does playing the games have a negative impact?


I feel it is important to the debate. If not for the games being there, these other factors would be pushing kids into other outlets for escapism. It is a chicken and egg issue. Do the video games suck kids in or do kids gravitate towards them as a form of escapism due to other factors in their lives? If you're familiar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a tenant of their "religion" is that the decline of Pirates has lead to Global Warming. While there certainly a [decline in Pirates had gone hand in hand with an increase in Global Temperatures, are the two linked? The act of playing the games themselves do not affect them, however. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry put forth this study which argues for the child's preexisting conditions which lead to them playing the game
www.aacap.org...



The studies I have referenced were done by researchers, funded by universities. Your study is funded by a magazine that caters to computer users and gamers.


I must say, I posted the wrong link, though it was helpful to me. Also, in the previous link, that wasn't the full study, but rather an interview about the findings of an independent study. However, if it's a study done by a University you desire
news.illinois.edu...



You are the one who brought up the idea that these video games “teach a kid to shoot at anything that moves,” and I admit that your lack of concern about saying that concerns me.


I did not say they "taught" them to shoot at anything that moves. It was simply an offhand comment about typical player behavior in a game.



Children playing FPS games get a lot of exposure to “point and shoot” tactics but no understanding of the dangers or responsibilities of how to handle a real gun. What happens if a child who has been blowing away people in games gains access to a real gun and tries to use it?


Then it would be just as tragic as any other of accidential gun violence done by kids and teenagers in this world. Granted, the arsenal usually covered in FPS tends to severely overmatch anything a common household would contain, unless you're one of the people on this board going ballistic about Obama's support of renewing the Clinton Automatic gun ban. Still, as I've said, most minors playing these games are at least 13. By then they should either know the basics of how to handle a firearm or know well enough to stay away.


Socratic Question #1: Isn’t it healthier for children to be outside actively playing, riding bicycles, skateboarding, etc. than to be sitting in front of a video game?


Sure, it's healthier and its good to be active, but the same could be said of kids who do nothing but sit in there room and study.




Australia:

video games allowing teenagers to show off in street races and crash for fun are contributing to a lack of responsibility when they drive real cars, police and experts say.
Source 1

Again, chicken and egg problem. Are these teenagers going out and doing these things because of the game, or are they simply attracted to that particular genre because it represents part of what they do?


Saudi Arabia:

… study revealed that 90% of the juveniles were affected negatively by video games and sought to imitate these games in reality.
Source 2


This is the same Saudi Arabia that has thrown performers off stage for having women who are too revealing, among other known forms of censorship of media and entertainment. Just as you would naturally question my source from PC World, I have to call this into question.

I'm not sure if this next part counts towards my images or references, but I present the infamous Fox News "Debate" about the game Mass Effect.



Notice, the child psychologist admitted she never played the game. How much time did Fox give the video game expert before simply dismissing him? Nevermind, as I said in my opening, grossly misrepresented the content of the game as I said in my opening and was espoused by the game expert. Then you once again go to a panel of people, none of which vouch for the game and bring gaming down as "Kiddy." Also, I would also like to note once again, the average age of a gamer now is in their mid to late 20s, and many older than that as well. So yes, some people's dads are playing Mass Effect.



posted on Nov, 19 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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I feel it is important to the debate. If not for the games being there, these other factors would be pushing kids into other outlets for escapism.


So .. what is it that you are actually saying here? If not for video games, these same kids would be doing drugs or something worse, so instead of determining whether or not the video games directly have any negative impact, we have to measure them against what the kids might be doing if there weren’t video games? The same brand of “logic” says let children chew snuff and smoke cigarettes because if you don’t they’ll do something worse like huffing dangerous chemicals or using illegal drugs. A functional family and good parenting should prevent a child from being “pushed” into doing any of the above, but regardless, it’s not the topic at hand. Under discussion are the consequences of kids playing the games, not the possible consequences of what they’d be doing if they weren’t playing the games.


this study which argues for the child's preexisting conditions which lead to them playing the game


Shall we then also hold alcohol blameless for brain and liver damage because pre-existing conditions and other factors drove people to drink it? Shall we refund all the settlements paid out by diet drugs because people wouldn’t have taken them if they hadn’t had the pre-existing condition of obesity? What led to them playing the game is not the topic nor the issue, and for that reason I will not address it any further.


However, if it's a study done by a University you desire news.illinois.edu...


From your link:

some violent games do not necessarily lead to increased real-world aggression. But he and Skoric concede that other types of games and contexts might have negative impacts.


And here we are again at “some violent games don’t lead to real-world aggression,” i. e. violent video games don’t turn teenagers into criminals. Why do you keep on presenting evidence for the one (minor) point you’ve already won? The negative impacts of video games, as we are seeing, are many and varied. Real-world aggression and criminal behavior may be the ultimate adverse outcome – as implied by the word “some” in the quote above – but as the top end of the Bell curve of outcomes, it would be seen in only a tiny percentage of cases.

Then we have your experts admitting that “other types of games and contexts might have negative impacts.” Yes, thank you, we’d noticed that already.


… most minors playing these games are at least 13. By then they should either know the basics of how to handle a firearm or know well enough to stay away.


Should being the operative word in that sentence. But if most minors knew what they should know, we probably wouldn’t be having this debate. Parents who haven’t bothered to control the time their child spends playing violent “M” rated video games probably haven’t educated them on gun safety, either.


Sure, it's healthier and its good to be active, but the same could be said of kids who do nothing but sit in there room and study.


I know of children who play video games while riding in a car, eating, or going to the bathroom, who refuse to attend a party or event because they’d rather play their game, refuse to eat because they’d have to leave their game to go to the dinner table, miss sleep over video games, and cut school in order to go back home and play video games. How many children do you really think there are who exhibit that kind of obsessive behavior towards studying?

If there weren’t video games to play, what would these kids realistically be doing? Let’s see .. there was TV when I was a kid, but no video games. I played outside, went for walks, caught some crawdads and tadpoles, chased fireflies, built a hideaway “fort” in the woods, read books, rode my bicycle, went to the zoo, went swimming, and watched some television. Yep, that sounds much worse than playing violent and/or sexual video games. Doesn’t it?


Are these teenagers going out and doing these things because of the game, or are they simply attracted to that particular genre because it represents part of what they do?


In the article, they state quite clearly what they mean:

the games made teens think they were invincible … Video games can have a negative impact on young drivers because it increases their complacency and their indulgence in risk-taking behaviour


I think that the officials and experts are being quite specific in stating that they believe the video games are causing these behaviors.


Notice, the child psychologist admitted she never played the game.


And this is relevant how? A person doesn’t have to actually watch an XXX rated movie to know they don’t want their kids watching it. That’s the point of the ratings system, isn’t it? I can read the content associated with the rating (violence, blood and gore, sexual content) and decide that it’s not appropriate for a child without having to play it myself.


Also, I would also like to note once again, the average age of a gamer now is in their mid to late 20s, and many older than that as well. So yes, some people's dads are playing Mass Effect.


Okay. And are you claiming that this is somehow a good thing? What activities are these 20 year olds giving up in order to continue their teenage addiction to video games? Are they not going to college, or are they once again playing video games when they should be studying? Are young dads playing video games instead of playing with their kids or interacting with their wives? Are they having tardiness problems at work due to staying up all night playing video games? In my opinion, this not only supports the idea that video games have a negative impact on minors, but implies that the negative impact continues well into adulthood and may be a permanent or very long term effect!

Let us now delve a little further into my 3rd reference from the previous post, which you did not (could not?) respond to.

Video Game Study Reinforces Negative Impact on Youth


Brady and Matthews offer what they consider proof positive that violent video games negatively affect a players' blood pressure and lead to uncooperative behavior, permissive attitudes toward violence, alcohol and marijuana use, sexual activity without condom use and hostile social information processing.


I don’t know about you, but I would definitely call that set of effects a “negative impact.” Some of those attitudes and activities could lead to poor health and, taken to the extreme, even death.

As was also stated in the video you linked us too, we know that exposure to "virtual" violence is desensitizing, as is exposure to sexual conduct and sexuality. Most parents wouldn't let their 13 or 14 year olds see "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "Debbie Does Dallas," whether or not they've seen the movies themselves. It makes no sense that we, collectively as a society, understand and agree that violent and adult themed movies, and even magazines like "Playboy," should be kept from minors, but we don't seem to understand that these "M" video games contain the very same types of objectionable content and that they, too, should be kept from minors for the very same reasons!


Although youth growing up in violent homes and communities may become more physiologically aroused by media violence exposure, all youth appear to be at risk for potentially negative outcomes, according to the researchers.


How much more clearly can it be said? ALL youth appear to be at risk for potentially negative outcomes . Not just the ones who don’t have good parents. Not just the ones with hypothetical pre-existing conditions. ALL youth.



posted on Nov, 20 2008 @ 03:09 PM
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In closing, first I would like to thank Heike for taking up this debate voluntarily. Also thanks to the judges for taking their time reading this.

The purpose of this debate was whether or not M rated video games have a direct negative effect on minors. To do that, it has to be shown that the games are causing the various negative affects Heike is arguing they do. However, as I feel I have demonstrated, that video games are simply not the cause of their behaviors. They are simply a medium for those teens to focus other issues in their lives.

As video game consoles and PCs become more powerful, developers will always push the boundaries. For every controversy that M rated games attract, they also bring works of art such as Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid 4.

Video games are the newest form of mass media entertainment. They've gone from being considered novelty items sold as Toys R' Us to soon being the biggest part of the entertainment industry. Many in older generations can not understand the beauty and power they allow to the player. As such, they are going through the same witch hunting phase that movies, rock music, and other forms of entertainment have all gone through.

As numerous studies have shown, the links between video games and negative behavior disappears once greater controls have been put in place. Just as everyone thought we were going to spend all our time in the movie theaters or how Elvis was going to make this country spend its time on lovers lane, the taboo will eventually pass.

M rated games such as Bioshock and Metal Gear Solid have sweeping story lines that make profound comments on humanity in a way that could only be done with the medium.



posted on Nov, 20 2008 @ 08:48 PM
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My opponent and the electronic entertainment industry would like for you believe that video games are just the next “thing” for parents and adults to get worked up about, no more dangerous than rock ‘n’ roll, western movies, or Saturday morning cartoons. This, too, shall pass, and in another 20 years or so we’ll all be laughing about the video game controversy just like we now laugh about the terrible “consequences” of watching Elvis bump and grind or listening to the Beatles.
 
Unfortunately, the video game industry is protecting their annual multi billion dollar sales, not your kids. They really don’t care what the games are doing to young people, just as long as people keep buying them. And, like the pharmaceutical companies and the food companies have done before them, they will try to hide the effects and negative consequences from the public for as long as they can. Twenty years from now I think it is more likely that people will be looking back at their teenaged obsession with video games in the way that adults today look back on their teen drinking, smoking, and drug use. Probably today’s teenagers will survive and eventually “snap out of it,” but in the future they may be saying to themselves “Why did I do it? Why I couldn’t I see what I was doing to myself, and what it cost me?”
 
In America today, video game sales are at an all-time high. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high. Childhood physical fitness is at an all-time low. Children are suffering from health problems that we expect to find in sedentary adults. Children and teenagers who play video games, especially "M" rated video games, are displaying social maladjustment, poor grades, school absenteeism, obsessive-compulsive behaviors similar to addiction, and are showing changes in brain function and response.

Study after study has proven that children who are exposed to violence and sexual content in movies and television shows become desensitized to both - despite the entertainment industry’s efforts to deny the information - and new studies are beginning to demonstrate that video games which are violent, bloody and gory, and/or contain sexual content have the same effects.

In a video game, children can be whoever they want to be. They can become powerful heroes who mow down the bad guys and eliminate all of their problems with cool high-tech weapons. In a video game, they can escape their bodies, their acne, their environment, and all of their problems. Video games, especially games that allow them to engage in behaviors which they are not mature enough to engage in in real life, can be seductive, addictive, and make reality seem dull, boring, and filled only with frustration and problems by comparison. We are actively fighting - although perhaps not entirely winning - a war on drugs, and doing everything we can to keep from losing our children to that escape route. But we haven’t yet realized that the children who are sitting in front of the game console and the computer are becoming lost to a virtual reality of violence and sex, trading away their innocence and childhood for the CGI worlds that let them be someone they can’t - and shouldn’t - yet be in reality.

The pale-skinned, obese teenager with the dark bags under his eyes and wrist braces for carpal tunnel who can’t climb a flight of stairs without getting short of breath, has few if any real friends, no activities, poor grades and poorer study habits will be the first to tell you that his beloved video games are certainly not having any negative impact on him. After all, he hasn’t hurt anyone, stolen any cars, or been in any trouble. What negative impact?



posted on Nov, 21 2008 @ 06:18 AM
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Now it's all up to the Judges

Semper



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 03:21 AM
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We have a WINNER!!!!!


It’s just a game judgment 1

Heike vs. FSBlueApocalypse.

Interesting debate and one that had many angles to approach from. Heike subbing in didn't seem to slow down her down. FSB had an advantage of an extra time to research his side but it appeared he didn't use it to full affect.

Heike approached it from a very clinical standpoint, which was to be expected given her position. I thought she used her sources in a more efficient manner and used the comparisons to the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries well.

FSB had some holes he could have worked at but seemed to focus on his own side rather than picking apart his opponents. This is generally a good approach in a debate of this nature but it didn't work out for him this time. I think further use of his character limit and the Socratic questions may have helped him but he inexplicably didn't go that route. There were also some studies that he could have used to further his side. The recent one about video games improving doctors hand eye coordination comes to mind.

I also thought that heike did a better job of sticking to the actual subject matter. FSB tried to move the debate in a direction that would have benefited his side but heike remained focused on the core issue and won points for that.

Overall, Heike is the winner.

As an aside, I think in the future, FSB should try to utilize the tools given to him in the debates. Better use of external material and the Socratic questions would go along way to strengthening his positions. I hope to see him continue debating, he seems like a solid fighter.



I have to say this was a very interesting and well fought debate. Both fighters put on a great argument for their case and one that was very much drawn upon generational lines and personal experience.

A couple of things that I must note right off the bat.

Many studies were referenced throughout the course of the debate. This phenomenon is relatively new, as such the studies into the "long term" effects of minors playing "M" rated video games are by definition impossible to quantify. There are obviously many studies from qualified sources on the subject but their validity is hard to gage, and they are often contradictory. This shows me that behavioral science has yet to get a firm grip and understanding of the subject. Thus for the purposes of judging this debate I will choose to disregard them entirely and consider the debate a "push" at the referenced study level.

There was an overt attempt of misdirection from the debate topic from both sides.

FSBA attempted throughout the debate to equate and define "negative impact" as "criminal behavior."

Heike attempted to introduce and associate the general pitfalls of teens playing ANY video game to enhance her position on what is a much narrower topic.

FSBA's first two post were intellectually strong but lacked the necessary citations to back up what were valid opinions.

I did not agree with Heike's declaration that deck was stacked against her and saw it as an obvious and transparent attempt to position herself as the underdog within the debate. The simple fact is that games like movies have an age rating for a reason, and the debate was about minors engaging in an activity that has already been determined inappropriate for their age. Thus the cards were in fact stacked against FSBA and not Heike at the outset of the debate.

However, as the debate developed, Heike gained the upper hand. She exposed FSBA's false logic that one can assume that minors who are negatively affected by playing M rated video games do so as a direct substitute for real life delinquent behavior or a pre-existing phycological condition.

Yet Heike never managed to put FSBA away.

Whilst FSBA kept driving the point that M rated video games are this generation's witch hunt equivalent of Rock n' Roll and violent movies, Heike kept coming back with pleas of, as FSBA put it, "for the children." This further reenforced FSBA's point that her argument was based on a generational gap.

Heike's closing statement demonstrated this tendency to side step the narrow nature of the debate topic:

The pale-skinned, obese teenager with the dark bags under his eyes and wrist braces for carpal tunnel who can’t climb a flight of stairs without getting short of breath, has few if any real friends, no activities, poor grades and poorer study habits will be the first to tell you that his beloved video games are certainly not having any negative impact on him. After all, he hasn’t hurt anyone, stolen any cars, or been in any trouble. What negative impact?

In the end, I believe Heike was unconvincing in showing direct causality between M rated video games and negative behavior in minors.

FSBA needs to improve his technique and provide more citations. His intellectual argument was strong enough to overcome these shortcomings in this debate because of his personal experience and familiarity with the topic. He might not be this fortunate next time.

I make FSBA the winner.



Heike is the winner of this one.

Regardless of who’s right, Heike seemed more convincing in citation, rebuttal and detail, whereas FSBlue came across as an expert in PC-gaming but a rather lazy debater in his first two posts. Lazy because of the first source cited, which linked to a gamers-blog on PC World (as if that’s any credible source for his position) and his later sources did not pick out the relevant snippets as external-source-quotes. This diminished the otherwise interesting and consideration worthy ideas he did bring up. Heike led the debate the entire way and argued with quick-witted logic and a subtle irony. A pleasure to read. While FSBlue showed that playing M-rated video-games does not necessarily lead to crime, Heike convinced of its negative impacts.


Heike by split decision...

CONGRATULATIONS to both Fighters!!!

Semper



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 10:17 AM
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Thank you to all the judges and readers, to FSBlueApocalypse for letting me pick up the other side of this, and to Semperfortis for setting it up for us.

My first win!


And, FSB, well fought .. you had me scrambling at times. And although I still freely admit that even "mature" games are not turning all or even most of our kids into criminals, I really do believe that they are having negative effects that we aren't really seeing yet .. but will in the future.





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