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Passions in Poetry

Video Games--Misunderstood?

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CloudedDreams
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0 posted 01-01-2003 01:07 AM       View Profile for CloudedDreams   Email CloudedDreams   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit CloudedDreams's Home Page   View IP for CloudedDreams


I hate this... Media, government, my neighbors down the street... they all complain about how video games are warping our minds and teaching us to kill. Oh, so does this mean if I play Grand theft Auto that I will be a killer and theif? NO! I believe that parents have a large portion in this. at an early age, children are to be taught what is real and what is not. they should also be taugh what is wrong and what is right. I was taught these many things, and i know  that if I shoot someone, i am not going to get 300 points, and that they really are dead. People are ready to blame anybody, but they never look at themselves. Some games are violent, and at times explicit, but if we are taught morals and guardians evaluate whether a child/teen is mature enough to handle a game. I can shoot a sniper in a game, but does that make me more likely to shoot down a person in real life?
Games improve reading, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes, but not actual gun-combat skills.

Yes there will be tommorrow, but will you be there to greet it?

Stinky Twinkie
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1 posted 01-01-2003 01:12 AM       View Profile for Stinky Twinkie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stinky Twinkie's Home Page   View IP for Stinky Twinkie

Excellent! I agree 138%.  Good vent.

-Stinky Twinkie-
Ron
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2 posted 01-01-2003 07:27 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Some games are violent, and at times explicit, but if we are taught morals and guardians evaluate whether a child/teen is mature enough to handle a game. I can shoot a sniper in a game, but does that make me more likely to shoot down a person in real life?

Maybe the right question to ask is why anyone would want to shoot a sniper? If someone has been taught morals and is mature, how could they derive pleasure from the vicarious taking of human life? Is violence really something to be enjoyed?
Kosetsu
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3 posted 01-01-2003 03:41 PM       View Profile for Kosetsu   Email Kosetsu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kosetsu

Perhaps not, Ron. At the same time, humans are naturally violent creatures.  The majority of society enjoys seeing violence, so violence appears in entertainment.

In the end, it all comes down to perspective and circumstance. Say that sniper is willing to kill and capable of killing ten, fifteen, twenty innocents. Can you honestly say that you wouldn't take the shot if you knew you could take him out and put an end to the death he could and would cause?

I honestly believe that it would take a great deal of maturity to be able to make the decision to kill one person in order to save the lives of five, ten, fifteen or more.

As for morals...I don't think morals can be taught.  They can be pressed upon a person, but it up to that person to decide what their own morals are.  I know a pair of twins who, despite being brought up exactly the same by the same people, have entirely different morals and standards.  They chose them on their own, not because they were taught that "This is right, and this is wrong," but because they chose what felt right to them.

-Adam
Midnitesun
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4 posted 01-01-2003 04:49 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Yes, games can improve eye-hand coordination and some skills. I'm not convinced they are actually the cause of violence, but rather a reflection of what already exists. However, I do believe they tend to make light of a serious flaw in humanity's approach to disputes. I do think they often glorify the worst of our collective insanity.
Recently, there seems to be an increase in the number of youth who have acted out some horrific and self-destructive movie scenes, as well as violent gaming scenarios. I do worry about this, as it does seem to implicate the gaming and movie industry. But it also seems to me that GI Joe's and Barbies have done their share of damage too.

Rather than placing blame, I'd like to see us spend money and energy promoting conflict resolution techniques that don't require fists and weapons. I don't see many games or movies that even try to approach the world's problems from this angle.

[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (01-01-2003 04:53 PM).]

Local Rebel
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5 posted 01-01-2003 07:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Perhaps one of the things misunderstood here is that one of the principal methods of military training is simulate, simulate, simulate.

Army psychologists have said such games are training kids to kill...

quietlydying
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6 posted 01-01-2003 10:38 PM       View Profile for quietlydying   Email quietlydying   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for quietlydying

ron, i was about to post, when i realised you took the words right out of my mouth.



nicely said.  i agree fully.

/jen/

'i don't care if it hurts, i want to have control.  i want a perfect body, i want a perfect soul.'  [radiohead]

quietlydying
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7 posted 01-01-2003 10:51 PM       View Profile for quietlydying   Email quietlydying   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for quietlydying

a few more things.

how do games improve reading?  the most reading you'll ever have to do is 'number of players' and 'choice of murder weapon'.

games also increase levels of illiterateness, obesity, [which lead to obesity-related illnesses], agression, violence, etc.

/jen/

'i don't care if it hurts, i want to have control.  i want a perfect body, i want a perfect soul.'  [radiohead]

Kosetsu
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8 posted 01-02-2003 02:01 AM       View Profile for Kosetsu   Email Kosetsu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kosetsu

quote:
how do games improve reading?  the most reading you'll ever have to do is 'number of players' and 'choice of murder weapon'.

games also increase levels of illiterateness, obesity, [which lead to obesity-related illnesses], agression, violence, etc.


I'll take this piece by piece. First, many games have complex storylines and plots, most of which require the player to read in order to learn the plot. Of course, there are people who play games simply for the violence and pay no attention to the story, but just the same there are people who go to a movie to see the big mandatory conflict rather than pay attention to the rest of the story. Even those games that lack any storyline whatsoever tend to have complex instructions and such, which must be at least somewhat understood in order to play the game.

I fail to see how videogames increase levels of illiteracy. Perhaps they do less to promote literacy than a good novel does, but most games require some degree of literacy to understand, unlike most movies or television shows.

As for obesity, perhaps so. But the same could be said about sitting around reading books all day. Even spending a few hours writing rather than a few hours playing basketball could be said to "promote obesity". It's the person's decision. If a person doesn't motivate themself to exercise, it won't matter whether videogames or novels are the "cause" of it.

I'll take aggression and violence together, and honestly, I don't see these either. I've been playing videogames all of my life, and many of them have had a good deal of violence in them. I've been exposed to violence through television and the news, as well as in personal life. Funny how I'm a pacifist. The general concensus seems to think I should be roaming the streets about now raping and murdering like the heartless beast that such things should have rotted my mind into. Again, it all comes down to the person. People have to choose to be violent. They have the choice to be peaceful. Most simply ignore that choice.

-Adam
CloudedDreams
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9 posted 01-02-2003 10:06 AM       View Profile for CloudedDreams   Email CloudedDreams   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit CloudedDreams's Home Page   View IP for CloudedDreams

wow... go Adam! I say that yes, most games do have something to read, and some games, the ones with complex plots, take not only reading, but being able to get an idea of what's going on.  
My PlayStaion controller is in no way related to a gun. I don't think I'll be able to find the X button on a sniper weapon. And if we are able to take our anger out playing video games, Isn't killing a couple thousand of polygons better that an actual person?

Yes there will be tommorrow, but will you be there to greet it?

Ron
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10 posted 01-02-2003 12:09 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And if we are able to take our anger out playing video games, Isn't killing a couple thousand of polygons better that an actual person?

But that's precisely where I start having serious problems with this whole issue.

There are three ways to deal with anger.

One way is to suppress it, something most of us do on an almost daily basis. Your boss is a jerk, your teacher is an idiot, and your parents just don't have a clue. But as reasonably intelligent humans, we quickly learn that expressing our anger at authority figures usually carries a price. So we swallow our anger and let it become a dense knot of dissatisfaction lodged uncomfortably just south of the sternum. Contrary to common wisdom, suppressing your anger isn't necessarily unhealthy. Most of the time, your boss turns around and does something nice or your teacher gives you a good grade or your parents tell you how proud they are and all the anger that was swallowed melts into nothingness. Suppression of anger only becomes unhealthy, I think, when it becomes constant and the lump continues to grow.

The other common way to deal with anger, and the one suggested here, is to redirect it. When I was a teen, and later in the Marines, I used boxing to that end. I'm sure violent video games would serve the same purpose, and probably with a lot fewer bruises than I suffered. Unfortunately, redirecting anger is just another way of suppressing it. That's fine as long as the knot in our guts melts from time to time, but when the anger is allowed to continuously grow, the redirection has a terrible tendency to grow with it. For most people, hitting people while in the ring or shooting imaginary snipers is a harmless diversion. But for those who cannot rid themselves of their anger, it is a step in the wrong direction. As the anger escalates, so too does the violence, until gloves and little buttons are no longer enough. What was a diversion for most becomes a path for a few. Tragedy ensues, and people suffer.

Both suppression and redirection of anger necessarily depend on other people to help us melt the lump of anger in our gut. I get mad at my boss. He does something nice. The anger dissipates. But if I get mad at my boss over and over and over, and he never seems to do anything to counter-balance my anger, something is going to eventually blow.

I believe there is a third way to deal with anger, one that doesn't depend on others. I believe it is the only way that truly works.

The first step is to stop trying to control other people. I'm guessing that 98 percent of the anger in this world is a direct result of wanting someone else to do (or be) something and having them refuse to cooperate. This is particularly true, I think, in close relationships. I want her to call more often. I want him to send flowers for no reason. I want more respect. I want to be trusted. Anytime you allow your happiness to depend on the actions of another human being, I guarantee you will eventually be hurt, disappointed, and angry. This is particularly ironic, I think, because most of the time what you think you want isn't really what you need. You don't really want flowers for no reason. You want reassurance and security, and that will NEVER come from someone else. Wanting something from someone else usually reflects something missing in yourself. Deal with that, instead, and stop putting your destiny in someone else's hands. When you stop trying to control people and let them be who they are, you'll rid yourself of most reasons to get angry.

The second step is to stop letting other people control you. This is even tougher for most of us than the first step. Why are teens, as a group, often more angry than adults. A large part of it, I think, is because they feel as if they have no control over their own lives. If you absolutely positively NEED that job or that friendship or that relationship, then you have lost control of your own life. And nothing, I think, is more likely to lead to anger than that feeling of helplessness. The alternative, of course, is to have enough confidence in yourself to know you can get a better job or a better friendship or a more fulfilling relationship. You may ultimately choose to do none of those things, but giving yourself the option by believing you can will restore your own sense of control.

Finally, I believe the only real way to deal with anger is to learn to understand other people. Learn to recognize their imperfections and appreciate them for who they are. Your boss is a total jerk? WHY is he a jerk? I guarantee if you learn to see his motivations and desires, his insecurities and frailties, if you truly gain a deep understanding of who he is, you will no longer be able to be angry at him. You might still well disagree with what he does, but your understanding will temper your anger. That little knot just below the sternum will fade because of YOUR actions, not because of someone else's.

In my opinion, video games, most movies, and most television are all a complete waste of time. But in moderation, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Humans NEED to waste time, maybe just as much as we need to eat and sleep. I don't think video games need to be justified beyond their simple enjoyment, and they most certainly should not be used for anger management. To paraphrase a common slogan, video games don't kill people. People kill people.
CloudedDreams
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11 posted 01-02-2003 02:51 PM       View Profile for CloudedDreams   Email CloudedDreams   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit CloudedDreams's Home Page   View IP for CloudedDreams

how can you not let people control you if you have no choice but to be controled?
Skyfire
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12 posted 01-02-2003 07:59 PM       View Profile for Skyfire   Email Skyfire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfire

I just love how that guy from the FBI came to my highschool last year and taught us about how the FBI conditions people to kill without remorse... Not surprisingly, violent video games were on the list of conditioning exercises.

Just one question:  Why the heck would you want to spend your days inside playing a GAME instead of being outside?  Geeze, it's no wonder kids these days dont' know how to entertain themselves. Before you bring up the obvious, yes, I spend a lot of my time on my computer. Unfortunately. You think I enjoy it? Occasionally, but most of my time on this stupid thing is because of school work. Video games ARE rather anti-social, everyone has to admit that one.  
Sorry, I'm just sick of people saying that video games are useful. Yeah. Useful to get kids out of parents' hair, and allow the parents to neglect in their parenting duties.  I just don't buy into that one.
Ron
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13 posted 01-02-2003 08:06 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
how can you not let people control you if you have no choice but to be controled?

Seems that way sometimes, doesn't it?

But we always have choices, even if we don't always like what those choices are. Ever spent the night in jail? Signed your life away to Uncle Sam for four years? No matter how limited your options might feel, you still have to make the decision how best to deal. Sometimes, the best choice is simply to exercise patience, knowing "this too shall pass." With an end in sight, that's often enough.
CloudedDreams
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14 posted 01-02-2003 08:07 PM       View Profile for CloudedDreams   Email CloudedDreams   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit CloudedDreams's Home Page   View IP for CloudedDreams

I am sorry, but there are online games in which kids/adults interact and meet other people. It is not only kids who play video games, lots of mature, successful people play video games. Video games open a new world to people. Many people become friends by simply discussing video games. i myself met my best friend by discussing games and then learning more about each other. Video games also bridge the gap between generations and ethnic groups by bringing them together at conventions, meetings, chatrooms, and like mentioned earlier, online gaming.
Opeth
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15 posted 01-03-2003 07:41 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

In the 50s, they blamed Elvis and rock'n'roll.

It is easy to play the blame game.
hush
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16 posted 01-03-2003 12:54 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I agree with Ron.

Video games are, essentially, a waste of time. They are a fun, sometimes consuming waste of time, but that is essentially what they are.

Wasting time is also essential.

There's no need to justify it beyond that.
Opeth
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17 posted 01-03-2003 01:08 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Hush said,

"Video games are, essentially, a waste of time. They are a fun, sometimes consuming waste of time, but that is essentially what they are."

~ In your opinion, of course.
Local Parasite
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18 posted 01-03-2003 02:00 PM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

So because they create no tangible, real life benefits, they are a waste of time?  Are video games the only form of entertainment that has such results?

I agree that video games are very unfairly considered by people as a "waste of time."  It's a form of entertainment - if it entertains and makes you happy, that's a real result, isn't it?  Know what NES stands for?  Nintendo Entertainment System.  You can't say something is bad because it doesn't do a bunch of stuff it never claimed to do anyways.  I couldn't complain that my car sucks because it doesn't know how to make me breakfast.

I'd say playing video games does about the same as reading fictional novels - fiction won't enrich your life any more than playing Final Fantasy will.
Opeth
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19 posted 01-03-2003 02:05 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

My daughter loves the Final Fantasy series. I'd rather her play that then watch the boobtube, which she hardly watches at all. Btw, by playing RPGs, like Final Fantasy (series), she is actually reading instead of just watching and she went ahead and created her own strategy guide, which she intends to submit to gamefaqs.com

She also love to read Harry Potter books.

I would say her playing these games is not a waste of time.
Brad
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20 posted 01-03-2003 08:03 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad



If we see video games as a drug, doesn't it follow that they aren't the essential cause? Personally, I don't enjoy them -- interesting for fifteen minutes and then I go to the bar(My fingers start to hurt.). But we are still, I mean we, responsible for our actions on a drug, on a video game, on the internet. People kill people and if it's not video games the people who will kill will find something else.

Going to have to develop this idea a bit more sometime soon (Got it from Ron by the way), but it seems Clouded Dreams is right. Video Games aren't the problem, aren't a problem, just are.

Ron
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21 posted 01-03-2003 08:15 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I'd say playing video games does about the same as reading fictional novels - fiction won't enrich your life any more than playing Final Fantasy will.

Depends on who you're reading, LR. The difference between fiction and literature is defined by enrichment. Read a good book, say, by Tolstoy or Hemingway, and you'll walk away with a better understanding of humanity. Good books have depth and truth. Bad books are shallow and show us only stereotypical caricatures of ourselves. That's why I lump most television and movies with video games. Each is generally shallow and offers little legitimate insight.

There is nothing wrong with simple entertainment. Everything we do doesn't have to enrich us. But I also believe some forms of time-wasting entertainment are intrinsically healthier than others. Media that both distorts our understanding of human nature and simultaneously insulates us from society while we enjoy it is always going to fall pretty low on my list.
Kosetsu
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22 posted 01-04-2003 01:43 AM       View Profile for Kosetsu   Email Kosetsu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kosetsu

Some might argue that being insulated from society could be a blessing, particularly to teens and children. Think how many times these days teens are pressured by society to act a certain way, do a certain thing, wear certain clothes, go to certain places.

Isolation is not always a bad thing. With society the way it is, I can't honestly see why anyone would want to be near it. Growing up, I kept to myself. I occupied myself with videogames and fantasies. Call it as you will, but I wouldn't be the same person I am now if I hadn't occupied myself with such things.

Through videogames, I learned concepts I would not have learned from playing outside with the friends I might have had. I learned sacrifice for the sake of others, such as when Palom and Porom, the child wizards, turned themselves to stone to save their friends. Through the characters of Final Fantasy 6, I saw the devastation of a planet, and the will of its people to survive. I learned through them determination, undying hope.

Basics, of course, but these things kept me thinking. Why? Why would someone let themself die in order to save someone else? What could possess someone to continue on when they have nothing left?

Of course, there is the point that many games don't possess such underlying themes. Indeed, some are merely about picking a weapon and seeing how many kills you can rack up. For the last couple of weeks, I've been playing Counterstrike with some friends. It's a 1st person shooter game, multiplayer...you divide into two teams, Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist. The former's job is to either plant a bomb or keep the CTs from saving the hostages. The latter's is to save the hostages or defuse the bomb. The game never ends. As soon as one side loses, the game reloads, and the players continue as if nothing happens. Players rush blindly into crossfire, knowing that if they fall, they'll simply be respawned next round. This, I do not think is healthy...but even this is not so harmful as I think some people might believe.

None of the people I have ever played with have ever lead me to believe that they could not distinguish reality from fiction. Most of them have never held a gun, and those that have are limited to hunting rifles or paintball guns. As has been said, playing a game where you shoot a gun won't teach you to shoot a real one. For that matter, most videogames even use flawed methods of holding a weapon, simply because it looks cooler (one case being using two handguns simultaneously...doing so would be difficult, let along inaccurate). Videogames don't teach you about recoil. Most don't require you to lead a target.

Maybe videogames do have some influence on people. Big deal. So do television, books, music, junk food, and any of a thousand other things. 99.5%+ of videogames have no restrooms to be found, anywhere! Tell me, when was the last time you saw a gamer refuse to go to the bathroom, claiming that no such thing existed? Maybe try to hold it until an exciting point in the game is passed, or until one is at a point where one can pause...but never completely neglect the duty. Still...if videogames can affect one's perception of reality so easily...

Call it an over-exaggerated example or even a crazy one. The principle is the same. Violence is so common in the modern world, one can expect to see it as easily as one can expect every house to have a restroom. If videogames can make people more violent and aggressive, why isn't there also a huge increase in people refusing to use the restroom?

-Adam
hush
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23 posted 01-04-2003 03:26 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Yeah, I'll concede that storyline RPG's have more merit to them than most other video games. In fact, over my winter break, I decided to get my playstation out and have a third go at Final Fantasy 7.

I am wasting a whole lot of time. Yeah, there's a storyline, but you know what else there's a lot of? Time-consuming battles, levelling up, chocobo racing, and the ever-time-consuming goal of defeating that ultimate weapon thing. Hours and hours of my life will be pumped into a controller before I beat the game again. I could be doing much more useful things with my time, rather than squandering it.

But I'd rather squander it, at least some of it. I never said that gaming systems aren't entertaining. They are. But they rarely do more than entertain. What are the real-life applications of limit breaks and magic points? I spend so much time on those trivial, non-applicable features to advance the storyline (while it is very good and very mature)- time during which I could have read maybe three or four hefty novels, worked off my freshamn fifteen, built a house with Habitat for Humanity, or so many other useful things.

But I don't feel like being useful right now. I feel like pushing some buttons, getting some new magic, and killing some more enemies.

On hand-eye-coordination, I have this to say: nobody, and I mean nobody, could beat me at the old SNES Tetris Attack game. I got so good at lining same-colored boxes up together and planning sequences that the freakin' controller couldn't keep up with me.

Put me in a gym with a ball and I'm utterly helpless to catch it.

Other than seeing a rainbow-grid of moving pixels instead of a blackboard at school, and giving me big-time dork bragging rights, that game did nothing for me. In fact, the distraction it provided, simply by my constant yearning to play it, probably had a serious impact on other areas of my life. But, hey, I loved wasting my time on a stupid little puzzle game.
fractal007
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24 posted 01-06-2003 09:51 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

"Some games are violent, and at times explicit, but if we are taught morals and guardians evaluate whether a child/teen is mature enough to handle a game."

Who decides what is right and what is wrong?  Besides if people want video games they will get them.  I know.  I just came from the child/teen years you describe.  

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

 
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