Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

January 13, 2011 -

Another editorial on violent media has made its way to the Internet by way of Sandiego.com's Pop Goes The Culture Blog.

While the author admits he has not played video games since the days of Pong and Atari, he makes some interesting points about music, movies, talk radio, and video games.

First he talks about how the media claims that the Tucson, Arizona killer "got fired up listening to angry talk radio programs." He calls this "incredibly silly logic" and believes that people who listen "to Rush Limbaugh – and you yell at the radio, or you call in and agree with him" it gives you an outlet to express your anger.

Next, he talks about music and the repeated calls to ban it. He recalls a teenage friend whose mother wanted him to get rid of all of his rock albums because they contained satanic music if you played them backwards. Fast-forward to the 80's when a few teenagers killed themselves after listening to heavy metal (Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne). He points out that, in the absence of metal, perhaps these teens would have killed themselves after listening to Sonny and Cher or classical music. Would politicians want to ban this music too, he ponders.

Next he talks about Mafia II and the talk in Europe about banning the game. That talk comes from Sonia Alfano, whose father was a Sicilian journalist that was killed by the mafia. He compares Mafia II to a scene in the 40-Year-Old virgin where one of the main character's odd dates drives drunk:

Just imagine sitting in the theatre, as everyone laughs wildly at that scene – and you lost a family member to a drunk driver. Should the studio have considered that before keeping the scene? Absolutely not. We’d end up with no movies, songs, or video games.

While he takes a long time to get to it, his point is that if we ban everything we think is offensive or even dangerous, we ended up with nothing. Consumers and parents in particular can make those decisions with their wallets, not by having politicians inch us further into a nanny state where every form of media is a trigger, and therefore too dangerous for us or our children to have access to.

Here is how he ends his column:

If video game makers are pulling in millions, they aren’t going to change things; but it’s one of the few things adults do have control over. You can decide what video games they bring into the house.

If you feel Mafia II is violent and you don’t like the language, don’t buy it. If your family was killed by the mafia, well…you probably represent .0005% of the population. I’m sorry for your loss, but the world doesn’t revolve around not offending your family.

Comments

Re: Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

Re: Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

as for the arguement about stuff that is satanic when played backwards, isn't the lord's prayer backwards also satanic?

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

My favourite quote :

"In the 80s, when a few teenagers killed themselves while listening to heavy metal (Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne) – those same debates cropped up again.

Well, if metal wasn’t around, those same teenagers might’ve killed themselves listening to Sonny & Cher records (bad example; you hear enough of Sonny Bono, you’d want to kill yourself)."

Not video-game related, but I lol'd.

Re: Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

Bingo, this guy hit the nail on the head. It's so refreshing sometimes to see a non-gamer speak up for games to show that there are still some people in this world who aren't media-following sheep.

Re: Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

Amen.  Nobody has the right to go through life never being offended by anything.  :P

 
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IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
 

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