Snipehunter's picture

Prof: Game Industry Barbaric, Continually Chooses Violent Themes

Prof: Game Industry Barbaric, Continually Chooses Violent Themes -

A McGill University professor has slammed the video game industry for producing violent games.

As reported by the Montreal Gazette, Prof. Michael Hoechsmann said:

The game industry is not doing us any favours by continually choosing subject matter and adventures that involve guns, violence and warfare.

Hoechsmann was responding to a reporter’s question about Army of Two, a third-person military shooter set for release in March. 

[Game Politics]

*sigh* Really? I mean, that's were we are in this cultural conversation, name calling? Well in that case, I guess I'll just have to fire back, "Yeah, but you're a poo-poo head!" I mean really, why don't you just be honest with yourself Professor Hoechsmann and say, instead, "I hate games! I don't understand gaming and gamers and I'm afraid of them!" It would be a more honest answer... Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

Do Gamers Enjoy Dying in First-Person-Shooters?

Do Gamers Enjoy Dying in First-Person-Shooters? - Ponca City, We Love You writes "Brandon Erickson has an interesting post about an experiment on players' emotional reactions to killing and being killed in a first-person shooters (FPS) with a group of students who played James Bond 007: Nightfire while their facial expressions and physiological activity were tracked and recorded moment-to-moment via electrodes and various other monitoring equipment. The study found that "death of the player's own character...appear[s] to increase some aspects of positive emotion." The authors believe this may result from the temporary "relief from engagement" brought about by character death. "Part of this has to do with the intriguing aesthetic question of precisely how the first-person-shooter represents the player after the moment of death," says Clive Thompson. "This sudden switch in camera angle — from first person to third person — is, in essence, a classic out-of-body experience, of exactly the sort people describe in near-death experiences. And much like real-life near-death experiences, it tends to suffuse me with a curiously zen-like feeling." An abstract of the original article, "The psychophysiology of James Bond: Phasic emotional responses to violent video game events" is available on the web." Obnoxiously this alleged scholarly research is not available for free, so we'll just have to speculate wildly what it says based on the abstract.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[Slashdot Updates]

This one really brought a smile to my face. I could have - and have for some folks out there - told you this a long time ago. I used to describe it as "positive anxiety" when I was a younger designer and I was trying to use jargon as a way to lend legitimacy to what I do. Eye-wink Jokes aside, the idea that a game (I will glaze over the erroneous assumption the study makes about this being FPS only phenomena) generates this type of anxiety/relief loop is a very old one to any designer - hell any gamer - that's ever bothered to analyze his or her own feelings while playing... Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

Obama Campaign Theme: Video Games as Metaphor for Underachievement

Obama Campaign Theme: Video Games as Metaphor for Underachievement -

Unlike rival Hillary Clinton,  Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama does not have a significant track record with regard to video game content issues.

His speeches, however, often contain a reference to parents making their children “put away the video games.” For Obama, video games seem to serve as a sort of metaphor for underachievement.

The Illinois senator repeated the theme last night in a victory speech following his big win over Clinton in the Wisconsin primary. As reported by the Washington Post, which carried a transcript and video of the speech, Obama said:

I know how hard it will be to alleviate poverty that has built up over centuries, how hard it will be to fix schools, because changing our schools will require not just money, but a change in attitudes.

We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.

A day earlier, speaking to a college crowd in Youngstown, Ohio,  Obama made similar remarks. The Youngstown Vindicator reports:

[Obama called for] investments in early childhood education to close the achievement gap, but with an added emphasis on poetry, music and art, not just academics. Obama admonished parents to do their part by turning off the television, putting away the video games, and instilling in their children a desire to get a good education.

Nor is this a new theme for Obama. GamePolitics reported on similar comments as far back as April, 2006.

[Game Politics]

You know... I've been a hardcore gamer for so long, that I only vaguely remember the times when I wasn't one as a sort of "age of myth and legend." I mean, I remember that there was a time when we had no video games, and I know I was alive back then, but what was it like? I'm not so sure I could actually tell you. Why do I mention that, you ask?

Well, in the event that you weren't just asking sarcastically, I'll tell you... Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

Food... or FUD?

Check out this article. What the hell is wrong with the world?

Here's the crux of the article: France and a few other countries in the EU want a complete ban on GM food. I'd love to be able to tell you why, but I can't. Read the article, you'll see what I mean. Literally at no point is a REASON given for the fear, uncertainly and doubt that obviously spurs this move. Is the GM corn dangerous? The article says the EU itself says no. Is the GM Corn some sort of ecological risk? I wouldn't know, the folks calling for the ban seem to have supplied no reason what-so-ever for their call to ban this stuff. Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

The Parent's Television Council wants to censor your games

This is a rare one for me: I'm gonna talk about a topic in the news without linking an article. You know why? I don't want the PTC to get back links from me. They're not worth it.

Here's the deal: Right now, as I type this, the Parents' Television Council (political action group) is calling for game legislation that would limit and restrict the distribution and content of video games. On top of this, they're actively targeting politicians that the Entertainment Software Association have made contributions to for slam ads and ridicule. Read more»

Syndicate content