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Censorship Entertainment Games

Lieberman Weighs In On Grand Theft Auto 225

Posted by simoniker
from the begin-again dept.
Thanks to Yahoo/Reuters for its article discussing Senator Joseph Lieberman's comments regarding Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto at a recent women's forum at Dartmouth College. Interestingly, Lieberman, a Democratic presidential hopeful and long-time proponent of views on this subject, comments: "Video games have gotten better over time", but continues: "There's a couple out there that are horrendous... You ought to see one called Grand Theft Auto. The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again." Although this isn't the specific goal of the game, he continues: "I call on the entertainment companies - they've got a right to do that, but they have a responsibility not to do it if we want to raise the next generation of our sons to treat women with respect."
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Lieberman Weighs In On Grand Theft Auto

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  • by bluGill (862) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:41PM (#8088704)

    I have to agree with him. I've played Grand theft auto, and I belive people should be horified about the kind of guy they are playing. Horified that they can find in themselves the type of person who would do that, even in a game. Never mind that it is a game and they can recignise the difference between a game and real life, they can do that in a game.

    It isn't right to make that type of game illegal (unless someone proves byond all doupt that it really does lead everyone to bad behaviour...), but that doesn't mean it is right to enjoy the game.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:55PM (#8088902)
      Don't be stupid. The guy in the game is amoral. He does only what you make him do. You make him hit a woman, and kick her until she bleeds to death, that's your affair.

      What you have to worry about is the fact that people choose to make him do those things, over and over again. And then cry about how nasty the programmers are.

      All the programmers have done is made a realistic environment in which a variety of things can be done.

      What scares me is how many of the self-appointed moralists in the world have clearly picked this game up and immediately gone around slaughtering women instead of following the game's plot.
      • by smoondog (85133) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:13PM (#8089154)
        Don't be stupid. The guy in the game is amoral. He does only what you make him do. You make him hit a woman, and kick her until she bleeds to death, that's your affair.

        What you have to worry about is the fact that people choose to make him do those things, over and over again. And then cry about how nasty the programmers are.


        Yes, but can you give her flowers?

        -Sean
      • Women Only (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nick_davison (217681)
        "The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again."

        Has he actually ever seen GTA? Beyond someone giving him an outraged briefing?

        There is absolutely no difference in reward between assaulting a male and assaulting a female. You can't assault them differently, you don't get more or less money, there is no difference.

        Now, were it to only allow you to assault a given gender or race, that'd be on
    • I'm also glad that he doesn't simply cry "BAN ALL THE GAMES," but I think that it's not that game companies responsibility to raise children. Parents should decide if a game is appropriate for their children, leaving those of us who are older than 18 to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to play violent games like Manhunt or GTA.
    • by paradesign (561561)
      I dont want censorship of anything. Guidelines and laws pertaining to its usage, sure, but those are already in place. Technicaly no person under the age of 18 is allowed to buy a M rated game, and is that way for a reason. GTA is rated M, so what are we worried about. Enforce the laws we have now before you make new ones.
      • Re:NO (Score:2, Interesting)

        The ESRB is not mandated by law. Mein Lieberman raised a stink about this back in the early 90's over Night Trap and Mortal Kombat. To get the Fuhrer to calm down, a voluntary board was created to place ratings on games. A salesman at EB who sells a child an M-rated game is in no more trouble with the law than a clerk who sells tickets to R-rated movies to kids. These are not laws - they are guidelines.

        And that's the appropriate way to handle things. That way, the community can pressure stores to enforce th

    • by TheLink (130905) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:42PM (#8089622) Journal
      Uh the game doesn't require mass murder to "complete". When you're killing lots of people it's usually a "war" - they aren't really civilians - they're armed, they'd shoot you if you don't shoot them. Sure there are the optional kill gang member missions, but they actually make the game _harder_ to complete - since they'll always shoot at you after that (which makes it harder to do some missions).

      There's plenty else to do with GTA3. You could be doing stunts with cars or planes. You could be an ambulance driver. Or a cab driver. Or a fireman. Or a cop. One of the hardest missions was the optional ambulance mission. Complete it for infinite run.

      In the first GTAIII you could fly the dodo, do loop the loops, fly behind the mountains. You could get on the lighthouse with a boat too, if you know how :). In vice city there are motorbikes, helicopters and other stuff to play with.

      If Senator Lieberman actually played GTA3 and the only thing he found out about GTA3 is attacking random women on the street for the few bucks they have, then it reflects poorly on him or the company he keeps.

      Just because you can rip heads off dolls/action figures don't make em bad toys.

      Think of GTA3 as cops and robbers. And you do get to play both (but mainly the robber - hey it's called GTA for a reason ;) ).

      I'm not saying GTA3 is suitable for all kids or people. But I know a few kids and many adults who'd be fine playing it.

      But some Senators may need parental guidance.
  • rewarded? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:44PM (#8088744) Homepage Journal
    wtf?

    sure you CAN do that but there's a good chance the cops will lock you up if you do, wasting the mission you were currently on - PUNISHING the player rather than rewarding. and there's no distinction between a woman or a regular other character walking on the roads in gta in this aspect either.

    maybe it's just HIM that enjoys beating up women in gta(thus getting a 'reward' from beating them up).

    shouldn't it be illeagal for them to lie about such things? soon he has a memo 'full of names of people who enjoy watching women beaten up'?
    • It's worth noting you can do everything he mentioned to a man as well, but given that he's speaking at a women's conference, why would he bring that up?
  • by Txiasaeia (581598) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:45PM (#8088752)
    You have no idea how much I hate men because of what I've learned in GTA! I'm able to gun them down with an Uzi, run them over with a car, or even take out a chainsaw and cut them to pieces! In fact, I think I'm going to go take out a few masculine vagina oppressors RIGHT NOW!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...I think that would be a good title for a best-selling book.
  • What he's missing: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scumdamn (82357) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:46PM (#8088762)
    Grand Theft Auto has always made any type of killing rewarding given the person has some cash on them. But killing people always comes with risk and doesn't make enough money to make it a viable way of going through the game. In fact, it becomes boring. Most of the time you'll really want to drive through town without even denting your car or attracting the police. The most reward comes from role playing your part as a bad guy and killing other bad guys! Imagine that...
    • by BigBir3d (454486)
      Expcting a US Senator that reads the paper and watches the news, but does not play video games (in my own haven't RTFA estimation), to intelligently comment on the content and intent of a specific game, is a bit ludicrous.
  • Perils of Pauline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StocDred (691816) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:46PM (#8088780) Homepage Journal
    So since gamers of the 80s grew up with games where you're constantly saving princesses, does that mean that generation is respectful, helpful and courteous towards women? Absolutely not. These bullshit arguments are always easy to deflate when you invert them.
    • This is a little skewed, actually. Most of the games which involved saving a princess either didn't involve the various actions involved in being kind to the royalty in question (Saving the princess in Super Mario Bros, for instance, was something that simply happened once the game was finished: You didn't give her flowers or compliments, open doors for her, listen to her complain, etc), or weren't popular. Besides, from what I observed, such games also promoted a misogynistic attitude. Most of the peopl
  • by fireduck (197000) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:47PM (#8088786)
    Here's probably the biggest right-leaning Democrat to come around in a long time and has a major history of criticizing the entertainment industry. So when he goes to write a book, what's the first title he thinks of? Joe and Hadassah's Excellent Adventure. Granted a staffer/lawyer/publisher convinced him to change it to Amazing Adventure, but still. One side of his mouth he's criticizing games for teaching our youth to denegrate women, on the other side he's parodying (and giving tacit approval) of a movie that glorifies being stupid. I just wonder about this guy.

    And then, since he was sorta surging in one of the NH polls yesterday, he claims he's doing well, because... he's "got joe-mentum". that sounds like something Jon Stewart and co-horts at the Daily Show would come up with.
    • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure doesn't glorify being stupid. The main thrust of the story is that yes, they start out stupid, but if they don't get smart, fast, the whole world is doomed. How does that glorify being stupid? They just needed a push in the right direction--Rufus just gave them the time machine. He didn't tell them what to do with it.
    • If Lieberman does well in NH, it will be because of right-leaning independents and Republicans voting in the Democratic primary. They like him because (a) he's about as close to their positions as you can be and still call yourself a Democrat and (b) as a mini-Republican, he has no chance of beating Bush. The Democrats, especially in NH, aren't going out to vote for Lieberman.

      My prediction: if the Democrats lose the presidential election, he'll do a Zell Miller, whine about how much his party sucks, and re
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:49PM (#8088802)
    Doesn't the senator from CT know that you can do the same thing to men of all different ethnicities in GTA3?

    There's no discrimination here. GTA3 is a utopia of equality, where all cultures and genders can be run down with cars, thrown the ground, beaten, and shot at point blank range with a shotgun.

    He should really have played the game before making such careless comments.

    Really.

  • by AndrewHowe (60826) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:50PM (#8088817)
    ... and sometimes dem virtual hoes need bitchslappin' to the floor.
    This is bullshit. You can ice guys in GTA too, so it's an equal opportunity slap-em-up.
    • Yes, that's an important point, and one that many people seem to miss. It's horrible behaviour in general, not horrible behaviour against women exclusively.

      Sure, it's probably not good to have a role model who's like that, but this idea that people can't think for themselves is starting to get ridiculous.
  • by IRNI (5906) <irni.irni@net> on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:51PM (#8088828) Homepage
    When you hit a woman in a game, you get jumped by a ton of other guys and beat down. We want reality in games right? :)
    • by Jerf (17166)
      Played GTA3? This can already happen.

      The unrealistic aspect is that your guy has 100 HP to the standard-man-on-the-street's 15 or so, so your guy can do a lot of things most people wouldn't, and survive the resulting beatings. But that's because it's a game; game chars are often overpowered that way because frankly, playing a real human being sucks.

      (Some day perhaps it will be viable; but many has been the time I jump off of something only to discover that it was farther to the ground then I thought, beca
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:55PM (#8088897) Homepage Journal
    "You ought to see one called Grand Theft Auto. The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again."

    There's a game out there, it's a very popular game, it's called Crazy Taxi. You are a taxi driver trying to get people from point A to point B. Wanna know what happens if you run over somebody? Nothing! People magically jump out of the way! If you bang into another car, *bang*, nothing really happens. So, in playing this game, you develop reflexes that cause you to drive in a straight line, and not care about pedestrians as they don't cause you any problems.

    In GTA3, yeah you can kill some little old lady, but you're not being rewarded for it, you're being rewarded for making the game significantly harder for yourself. If you go driving through the streets in GTA just like you are in Crazy Taxi, and you drive towards a pedestrian, they don't magically get out of your way. They get squished, just like in real life. And when you drive over them, you start having to worry about police, just like real life. Run over somebody in viewing range of a police officer, and he will try to arrest you, and if he succeeds you lose a lot of things that you have acquired so far. Just like in real life. If you try to get away and wreck your car during the chase, you can cause devastation of vehicles and people's lives, just like real life. The result? Reflexively, you avoid running over pedestrians like mad. In a split second, if somebody darts out in front of your car, you're going to swerve. (That happens to be the right thing to do.)

    So I have to ask you, Joey, what is really better? Avoiding showing adults realistic consequences to the choices they make, or sanitizing the game of all 'disturbing' violence and instead using video game influence to teach you that nobody can be hurt?
    • sanitizing the game of all 'disturbing' violence and instead using video game influence to teach you that nobody can be hurt?

      Very well put!
      They allready succeeded in doing it to cartoons, and I'm convinced it is doing infinatly more harm by brainwashing kids into a "no consequences" worldview.
  • Heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by GigsVT (208848) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:56PM (#8088906) Journal
    He just needs better researchers.

    He should have referred to the mission "Waste the Wife", an assination mission where a guy wants the wife dead, and hires you to kill her.

    I hereby volunteer to be a researcher for his propaganda department. It'll be hard work, playing those games all day looking for things that can be spun for a specific demographic, but I'll suffer by somehow. :)
    • He should have referred to the mission "Waste the Wife", an assination mission where a guy wants the wife dead, and hires you to kill her.
      Yeah...that one actually sticks out in my mind, because the wife seems more or less innocent (I don't remember if they mention why she's wanted dead) and genuinely horrified that this maniac keeps bashing into her car...I don't think she begs for mercy, but does say "Oh my god!!!" a few times. (Plus, it's not an easy mission, usually you have to swap cars halfway throug
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hookedup (630460) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:01PM (#8088995)
    It's about playing to the audience. I'm sure these women would not have cared if Lieberman went on about the whole "kill the haitians" remark in the game. He knew what would get them on his side.

    I hear next week he'll be speaking at a pedestrians meeting. :)
  • Thank God (Score:2, Redundant)

    Finally, someone has admitted (and I would say emphasized) that they have the right to do such things. Huzzah to Lieberman for at least leaving censorship and "stricter video game laws" out of it and merely decrying the video game itself. Rare to see such politics these days.

    --Stephen
    • Finally, someone has admitted (and I would say emphasized) that they have the right to do such things.

      Meanwhile, I worry about repercussions of a statement like that. Maybe it's because I read Slashdot.

      So here's a politician who says someone has the right to do something, but in practically the same breath says that the thing is wrong. How long will it be before some politician (I wouldn't put it past Lieberman himslf) says that the rights themselves should be eliminated? And this is an election year

  • by polyp2000 (444682) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:04PM (#8089038) Homepage Journal
    I've recently discovered the joys of GTA Vice City. Its taken me a while because initially I was put of by the gratuity of violence. That kind of thing is not really my bag. However I do find the game highly entertaining and enjoyable due to the whole atmosphere of the game. I still get a personal feeling of guilt when I "accidentally" run someone over. There is a "lot" more to the game than just killing innocent passers by, and treating women badly.

    Violence has been around forever, we all know this. For years people have complained that certain movies and videos have made people go out and do things they shouldnt. The usual argument is, to suggest that it should be the parents who control the exposure of children to these things. I agree very much with this standpoint, but the problem is there are a lot of parents out their who do not follow this logic. And quite often children find ways around their parents rules.

    What can realistically be done to ensure that parents take the responsibility for exposure of unsuitable material to minors?
    • What can realistically be done to ensure that parents take the responsibility for exposure of unsuitable material to minors?

      Not too much, because for as long as there has been violence, there have been people who are simply trash. They reproduce for sake of fashion, entertainment, or forgotten drunkenness rather than any form of responsible child bearing. Often, they care so little, that the dillema to them is whether having a kid gets them a better break on the Earned Income Credit. Otherwise, they wo
  • by SyncNine (532248) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:11PM (#8089125)
    Don't forget kids, GTA killed your wife, shot your dog, repossessed your house, shattered your septic tank, stole $2 billion from Metallica, stole your girlfriend, and is the single cause of all the evils in society. Honestly. I'm not kidding.

    On the serious side though, this game is rated M, that means your children, the kids that Lieberman is so sure are being desecrated by this game, are the same children that should NOT be playing the game. That's what the M rating is for.

    So before you allow the government to control your children for you, why don't you try to raise them yourselves. How about you take an active interest in their life? Maybe keep tabs on what they're doing and what games they're playing. If your kid likes to sacrifice woodland animals, don't buy him GTA, and if you notice he's got it, find out how he got it and take it away from him. There is no substitution for good parenting, and allowing the government to parent for you is a surefire way to end up in a 1984-esque society.

    GTA doesn't kill people. GTA doesn't teach people to kill. America's Army (the game) is just as efficient a society demoralizer as any other violent game, except it's sanctioned by the US. You'll note you never hear people complain that AA is too violent. It's ok to be violent when you're killing commies and nazis, but it's not ok to be violent when you have the ability (note, have the ability - there is much more to GTA than killing women and cops) to do things society frowns on.

    In AA, you could kill your team-mates. That is just as demoralizing.

    --- What preceeds is nothing more than opinion. If you take it for more than that, it is your own fault.
    • Don't forget kids, GTA killed your wife, shot your dog, repossessed your house, shattered your septic tank, stole $2 billion from Metallica, stole your girlfriend, and is the single cause of all the evils in society. Honestly. I'm not kidding
      /me puts this to a country tune.
      p.s. that bastard has a wife and a girlfriend. serves him right for getting it all taken away
    • Don't forget kids, GTA killed your wife, shot your dog, repossessed your house, shattered your septic tank, stole $2 billion from Metallica, stole your girlfriend, and is the single cause of all the evils in society.

      Get a steel guitar and a fiddle and throw in something about crashing your pickup truck and I think we've found the next Country Western Hit.
  • by superultra (670002) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:15PM (#8089176) Homepage
    Ok, to contextualize: I am no fan of Lieberman, nor of censorship.

    Yet, I'm surprised that gamers, from fanboy populated forums to print media, generally have this completely defensive attitude to any kind of censorship or even discussion of violence in video games. It's as if we've been "Pavlovically" trained to automatically shriek "First Amendment" whenever we hear someone talking about excessive violence in games. I really have yet to see some intelligent discourse on why violence in games is acceptable. Why is that we can simulate purposeless murder on mass scale like exhibited in GTA and its ilk, but most of us would consider it abhorrent for a game to have a player able to enact even one simulated rape or pedophilic sexual encounter? What makes the simulated shooting down of 30 innocent people in a video game more socially acceptable?

    Basically, what we haven't done is build up an apologetics of sorts for video games. We have no choice but to shallowly cite the First Amendment and quickly blame parents when people like Lieberman challenge us because we have yet to collectively think of anything better to say. Instead of developing a system of apologetics, our response is to release crap like Manhunt. What kind of piss-poor answer is that? It's not answering the cultural call to explain the violence, it's pushing back, but harder. That won't ever work and does nothing but to reinforce the idea that video games have "made" us violent. Sure, Lieberman and likeminded politicians would be saying the same thing even if we had an intelligent system of apologetics for video games (they are, after all, politicians), but I think it would, in general society, rob Lieberman of credibility nonetheless.

    So, who's up for the challenge? Why is GTA's mass murder "better" than simulated rape?
    • You can play sim-sex-conquest all you want in some European countries and Asia (esp. Japan).
      • You can play sim-sex-conquest all you want in some European countries and Asia (esp. Japan).

        Can you think of any specific examples? I've heard about a few Japanese games, but those seem mostly bathroom fetish oriented.

        Honestly, it is mostly intellectual curiosity at this point, it's interesting seeing what cultures will allow. If it runs on a console (as opposed to a PC) I'm sure it has to be semi-illegal or at least unauthorized, I get the feeling the console makers won't license anything along those
    • To address just one part of your post, it's not violence. No-one gets hurt. Remember Magritte's "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" [uwrf.edu]? It's not real, it is a depiction of violence.
      Games have long used ideas from films, but films have done darker stuff than any game to date.
      The explanation for the violence has to come from elsewhere, I'm afraid.
      Do yourself a favour and watch a Tom & Jerry cartoon some time. Then repeat after me, "Cartoon violence is not real."
      What worries me are the people who cannot seem to dis
    • by (trb001) (224998) on Monday January 26, 2004 @02:12PM (#8090041) Homepage
      What makes the simulated shooting down of 30 innocent people in a video game more socially acceptable?

      Basically, we as a society are desensitized to seeing acted out death; that is to say, watching someone die but they don't really die. Movies, tv shows, games, etc, all show people dying in front of us, but we know they aren't really dead...it's just a virtual world or the person is acting.

      Sexual crimes, on the other hand, we have not been desensitized to. American society is becoming less sensitive to sex (see Britney, Christina and half the women falling out of their dresses on the Golden Globes), but we aren't comfortable with sex to the point that we'll expose people to it and say "That's alright, it's just fake".

      In addition, rape and pedophilia are most definitely considered 'icky'. We don't like seeing, hearing or talking about them. Death is more okay, mostly because it happens in legitimate forms all the time ("Grandpa died of old age yesterday"..."Fluffy died from being hit by that car"). Sexual assault doesn't have to happen, death does, so it doesn't take the same toll on our psyches.

      --trb
    • I think one reason to defend the violence in gta is that video games should be held to the same standards as movies and other media. Movies containing scenes of violence equivalent to those in gta are common and there is no uproar when one comes out. Therefore, not allowing these scenes in gta discriminates against video games as a medium. Although there are movies depcited rape and even pedophilia, such scenes are typically controversial and are much less acceptable socially than scenes of violence, so we
  • One reason I voted for Nader in 2000 is I feared what would become of free expression with Joe Lieberman and Tipper Gore in positions of leadership and Frank Zappa not around to help in the fight.

    This year, my vote is there for the Democrats to lose, but if Lieberman is the nominee they'll need to do a lot of work to win it.
  • We can't have the corrupting influence of video games infiltrating our society.. What happens when a violent video gamer makes it into public office.. Why we could have WAR as a form of making profit or something... absolutely horrendous!!!
  • by quantax (12175) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:22PM (#8089285) Homepage
    Thanks to Yahoo/Reuters for its article discussing Senator Joseph Lieberman's comments regarding Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto at a recent women's forum at Dartmouth College.

    It should come as no surprise that hes making these comments at a women's forum, and making a particular point of how this game 'promotes' abusing women; this always pisses people off. He negelects to mention you can get 'rewarded' (if getting a couple points and cops chasing after you is a reward) for assaulting anyone/thing in the game. By Lieberman's logic, any of us who've play GTA should be beating the shit out of each other right about now since we never learned respect for other men/women. Honestly, this strikes me less as an honest swipe at GTA rather than a thinly veiled attempt to win over women voters by appearing to oppose an 'misogynist' video game, and so portraying the game in a rather singularly unpleasant light that it promotes abuse of women. Same old 'anti-misogynist' rhetoric we've been hearing for years in this PC world.
  • OK I'm not american and I don't live in America, so all this election circus it's just entertainement for me;
    well maybe it's just because I don't know enough about US politics, but I could even think that sen. Lieberman is doing his crusade against violence in videogames (he started yelling against Mortal Kombat AFAIK) just because 1) to be against violence always sells, 2) people who play videogames are usually young and they can't vote (I know there are plenty of grown up videogamers around, myself for
  • by duffbeer703 (177751) * on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:27PM (#8089355)
    With rights come responsibility.

    The classic example is that screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre and inciting a panic is not protected speech. Everyone agrees with that.

    Asking videogame producers to use due judgement and produce products that are socially responsible is not censorship and is not wrong. The videogame industry is moving towards the same inane and worthless content that network television and cable is moving towards -- taking Liberman's advice may be helpful in the long run.

    • "The classic example is that screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre and inciting a panic is not protected speech. Everyone agrees with that."

      Your example is flawed when comparing to video games. Screaming Fire in a crowded theatre will more than likely cause a panic and get people injured.

      Making a violent video doesn't cause people to get injured nor has it been proven to cause people to start blowing people away. Your analogy makes the assuption that yes violent video games make people more violent.
      • I don't think that either of us are in a position to say "violent games are good/bad".

        If exposure to things via TV or computer doesn't affect the human thought process, then why are billions of dollars spent on advertising each year?

        Repetitive advertisments help induce people to enlist in the military, pay too much for cars and sign up for the new AOL 9.0.

        When you think of it in that context, is it completely unreasonable for someone prone to violence to be affected by repeated exposures to depictions of

    • The classic example is that screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre and inciting a panic is not protected speech. Everyone agrees with that.


      No they don't.
      Well maybe they agree that it isn't protected speach, but not that it shouldn't be.
  • by darkmayo (251580) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:29PM (#8089393)
    Its funny when you realize that these people think that videogames is for kids/young adults. A medium that was once targetted primarily to youths has now grown just like the orignal target audience has. We are pong generation all grown up we have jobs we have families and dammit we want our f'nin video games.

    Are we going to let our 5 year old play Manhunt.. probably not, but should we have the government decide what we can play and what we should not. Hell no.

    If Lieberman has a problem with violent video games then get the retailers to be more strict in enforcing the ratings. Video games should be classified like movies are classified, get rid of the game specific ratings and adopt the movie rating system. So then parents will have a better clue what there kids should play..

    "Hmmm rated Teen.. what the hell does that mean.. rated R, well that means my kid isn't going to watch this."

  • I've heard this one before; almost word-for-word. When Joe came to visit $MYSCHOOL several months ago, he gave us a little talk about the wonders of modern technology. Sadly though, he didn't seem to have a very firm grasp on the essentials of the processes occurring- he threw out a lot of vague buzzwords (including, repeatedly, the dreaded innovation.

    Of course, not all technology is benevolent, so eventally Joe started up with his harangue about the resplendent evils of video games.

    "You ought to see o

  • It's not going to encourage ANY behaviour except what the player WANTS to do (except maybe those related to the plot)....but then again, if you didn't like doing this, you would have never bought the game...it's not like the name of the game could be any give away...

    What this guy doesn't understand is that games like GTA and specifically violent games are GOOD for society. It is a way of escape...it's not going to encourage violence in the real world...

    In reality, these games allow mature adults to relea
  • I come to you today, not just as a Sociologist, or a Video Game developer, but as a citizen, a future father, and a voter.

    Stop making videogames out to be worse than they are.

    There is no excuse for this rampant inflammatory rhetoric. The sky is not falling, Iraq is not full of loose nukes, and Mario is not teaching your children to abuse prostitutes. Night Trap featured significantly less violence than a child would see watching U.S.A.'s up all night, Mortal Kombat's fatalities were no more realistic th
  • Just ignore him (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gamgee5273 (410326) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:44PM (#8089644) Homepage Journal
    Lieberman is clutching at anything he can to try and get votes right now. Now he's pandering to women's groups that he typically would avoid like the plague.

    Whenever he wants to complain, he pulls the GTA card and claims that it's anti-women. Funny how my wife doesn't see that when she watches me playing the GTA games...

    Here's the key: keep the rating system and educate parents so they get off their asses and pay attention to the ratings. The next time I see a parent buying Vice City for their 10-year-old, I swear I'm going to start flinging other games at them until they pay attention...

    I'm still undecided on which Democrat I'm going to support for President, but I know damn well it will never be Lieberman. Media whore bastard...

  • Hold on a minute... (Score:3, Informative)

    by (trb001) (224998) on Monday January 26, 2004 @01:53PM (#8089751) Homepage
    Okay, I'm currently playing through GTAIII for the first time, and I can (as most of us can) that you kill, maim and pillage many, many more guys than chicks. I don't think I've come across a single mission, as a matter of fact, where you were supposed to kill a chick. Yeah, you can grab a hooker, go somewhere private, watch the car bounce (while you two sit in the front seats, not moving), and afterwards beat the hell out of her, but that's the limit so far for violence towards women. Every OTHER missions is "go kill this guy that's been following/dealing/stealing/snitching on me". In all fairness, this game is much more geared towards killing men.

    --trb
  • Ok... I hear you. It's M rated, you should take an active interest in your kids, etc. etc. etc. This is a very shallow arguement that does not take the rest of America and the world in mind, only your little corner. I'm all for personal responsibility, but let's call it like it is, not like we view it to be.

    Here are the facts:

    1. Half of all marriages end in divorce.
    Many, many of these have kids. One parent tries to woo the kid by giving them what they want. The other does the same. Pretty soon the
  • "...except for that inconvenient 'free speech' part of the First Amendment."

    Um, sorry, he won't be getting MY vote.
  • Responsibility (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tanlis (304135)
    What happened to the days when parents took responsibility for what their children played or watched? Or even teaching them that things you see in a game aren't real and that the actions shouldn't be reproduced?

    Perhaps if parents spent more time with their children explaining why these things aren't things you practice instead of working so hard to afford that shiny new Lexus SUV than maybe we wouldn't have as many concerns.

    I don't ever remember my parents sitting down with me and telling me that I played
  • but I really don't agree with everyone making such a big deal over GTA. I have a lot of respect for Lieberman, but I really don't like how he skews things. He makes it a point to focus on women (like men's lives are worth less somehow?) being beaten for a reward. But, as others have mentioned, other than the small amount of money on the woman, there is also a risk of being caught by police. So there are drawbacks to doing that action.

    I have a respectable job and a Masters in CS. I am (hopefully most w
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Once again, it's wrong to virtually beat a virtual woman, yet no one's saying anything about beating up the males.......

    Equal beatings for equal pay.
  • Idea! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jukashi (240273)
    I want a GTA mod where the player is rewarded for attacking Joe Lieberman, pushing him to the ground, kicking him repeatedly and then ultimately killing him, shooting him over and over again.
  • by Captain Beefheart (628365) on Monday January 26, 2004 @02:56PM (#8090669)
    I don't know if Lieberman's statements are outright disingenuous or merely the result of yet more incompetent research about this game, but he grossly mischaracterizes this element of the game. No, GTA3 won't be mistaken for Barbie Horse Adventure anytime soon, but you don't get "rewarded" for brutally murdering a woman and mutilating her dead body. If you kill a pedestrian, which requires no more amount of violence than it would in real life, then they drop whatever money they had on them, the amount of which is a tinkle in the bucket compared to what you can earn even by driving people around in (violence-free) taxi missions.

    You can choose to kill them with a bat or sword instead of a gun, and the result is appropriately gruesome enough for most normal people to either opt for a cleaner way to do it, or to just not do it altogether. You can be brutal, but there isn't a significant benefit, and it often gets you in trouble with the police--a fact that these people always fail to mention whenever this subject comes up.

    • I happened to play GTA3 for an hour this morning and ran taxi missions- I only killed four people and they were all pedestrians. I made eleven thousand dollars only running taxi missions. I didn't receive any reward for running over any of the pedestrians. I was merely trying to meet my deadlines. I also have enough sense to know that these are videogame representations of people, not real people, so there wasn't any need to actively avoid them when they wandered in front of my taxi. Is that bad?
  • ...so long as exposure to the video game is not the *first impression* those kids receive.

    If that's how kids are initially learning how to make contact with the outside world, then they're almost certainly going to end up the misanthorpic violent psychos Liberman claims to fear. If they've already learned, though, that other people are actually worth something from time to time, then I really don't think these things have quite the impact so many say they do.

    Still, his statement was pretty well spoken. He
  • Its pretty outrageous that all the condemnations we see of games in the mainstream media are coming out of the mouths of people who haven't played the games themselves. Not only are players not really rewarded for beating women, but there are no distinctions in the game between beating men or women. No distinctions between beating young people or the elderly. Grand Theft Auto is completely equal opportunity in its gratuitous violence.

    Joe now seems to have a little more respect for game developers' first a
  • "the entertainment companies...they have a responsibility not to do it if we want to raise the next generation of our sons to treat women with respect."

    Excuse me, isn't this the definition of Parenting?

    Perhaps it's no coincidence that we don't see Liberman's name in the Headlines all the time.

    Dolemite
    _____________
  • by Experiment 626 (698257) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:02PM (#8093097)

    Apparently Sen. Lieberman is not at all bothered by the fact that you can beat up and kill male characters in the game too.

    This reminds me of something I saw earlier today. I was in a conference room and saw leftover presentation materials from an earlier meeting, on the topic of crime prevention. The statistics included such facts as "82% of society will be victims of violent crime in their lifetime" and "3 out of 4 women will be victims of violent crime in their lifetime".

    This irritated me. If the percentage for women is 75% but the overall is 82, then for men it must be nearly 90%. But of course the presentation did not say anything about this; 3 out of 4 women being victims of crime sounds much worse than 9 out of 10 men.

    Why can't a society value all human life, instead of taking this attitude as Lieberman has that crime against women is bad, but crime against men would be fine?

    • The statistics you quote are funny, and, as you pointed out yourself, false. They are based on a comparison between the number of crimes in a 40 year period compared to the number of people whose lives overlap that same period. Since many crimes happen in high crime areas, these statistics don't give an accurate portrayal of reality since there is no attempt made to distinguish unique victims. That means if you have ten people and there are nine muggings, you could pull a statistical analysis and say that e
  • Libellous? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andy Smith (55346) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:06PM (#8093152) Homepage
    You ought to see one called Grand Theft Auto. The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again.
    I won't comment on the violent games issue itself, but on a purely factual, objective level, couldn't this sort of quote be seen as libellous?

    While the comment itself is true, in context it is being presented as a synopsis of the entire game, ie: this is what the game's about, isn't it horrible? That harms the reputation of the game, the developer, the publisher, and to some extent the millions of perfectly well-balanced people who play the game.

    Someone convince me that this isn't libel.

    Libel with malice too, it seems.
  • by Zed2K (313037) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:56PM (#8093689)
    This isn't about video games. This is about a candidate trying to get women voters to vote for him.
  • "You ought to see this one" - Senator Joseph Lieberman
  • He is no different than the ultraconservatives who protest against music.

    People are afraid to speak against him because they will quickly be labeled as "antisemites" for daring to criticize some asshole who happens to be Jewish.

    Don't take it from me, read what another Jew [freeman.org] has to say about him.

    LK

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

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