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The Social Impact of Gaming 465

Posted by Zonk
from the pong-as-social-commentary dept.
"The Bart, The" writes "The Economist weekly is carrying a well considered special report on the current debate regarding morality and gaming." From the article: "Like rock and roll in the 1950s, games have been accepted by the young and largely rejected by the old. Once the young are old, and the old are dead, games will be regarded as just another medium and the debate will have moved on. Critics of gaming do not just have the facts against them; they have history against them, too."
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The Social Impact of Gaming

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  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:49PM (#13252265) Homepage
    Carrying the analogy a bit further, my guess is that (currently) the Slashdot crowd tends to be a younger generation and most of the "old-farts" reject it - try to explain it to your parents or grandparents. So in the next few decades, will the younger crowd accept Slashdot ... or will the average age of /. readers just continue to increase?

    Disclaimer: I'm an "old-fart" - had my 40th birthday [komar.org] two years ago ... ;-)

    • I've been reading since 1997 when I was 18. I'm 26. I would guess it will continue to increase in readership for all ages.
    • I think the younger generation will continue to accept slashdot and that the membership will increase as time continues.

      After all, this site is dedicated to technology, science, and legal and political matters relating to them. The younger generations that have grown up more exposed to technology will certainly be more interested in news about it than some of the older generations.

      On the flip side, however, young people tend to like to do things differently. They like to do something new that defines th

    • slashdot-type media will go mainstream, wireless and mobile and be like a giant IRC of group consciousness or a gossipy party line. I'm wondering if the end result will be humanity as a colony organism.
    • Carrying the analogy a bit further, my guess is that (currently) the Slashdot crowd tends to be a younger generation and most of the "old-farts" reject it - try to explain it to your parents or grandparents. So in the next few decades, will the younger crowd accept Slashdot ... or will the average age of /. readers just continue to increase?

      As a gross generalization, slashdot has people belonging to two crowds that frequently overlap: 1) technically proficient (relatively), and 2) young, very "liberal", a

    • I'm young and I don't necessarily like all the violence in games. Does that make me "old"?

      Rather than this being about young versus old, isn't this about two groups of people who don't really want to listen to each other? I reject the distinction between young and old; they may as well have simply said "cool versus uncool." If the debate continues to be framed by the "cool" in this way, the bickering isn't clearing.
    • I can't believe I'm about to type this, but it's late Friday afternoon, my mind is squishy from the work week, and I can't resist the urge. Here goes.

      In the next few decades we'll be hearing about how only old people in South Korea read slashdot. /ducks

      SiO2
    • As a game playing parent in my 40's I seriously offended by this article! :)

      Games are like everything else, some are good, some are suitable for young kids, some for adults. As long as the game is properly marked without any surprises (porn in San Andreas is not considered a surprise in this type of game IMHO).

      Games are not all evil, the problem is more related people spending too much time on games than on other activities that I see as a bigger problem, combine it with obesity to top it off!
    • Re:An observation (Score:3, Interesting)

      by symbolic (11752)

      I'd be more worried about what kinds of people a kid might come into contact with while playing the game. I joined a clan while playing Lineage 2- one of the members was 12 or 13- seemed like a nice kid. Several others (much older) acted like complete dipshits most of the time, setting an oh-so-wonderful example for any younger members. Over time, I began to notice this kid picking up the same kinds of behavior. It was unfortunate, to say the least, and is a strong indication that parents need to keep a clo
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:51PM (#13252277)
    "Once the young are old, and the old are dead, games will be regarded as just another medium..."

    End of discussion.

    • It's not that simple - games really do have a strong effect in on impressionable youth of all ages. Ah, I remember back in my college days, whenever the latest version of Grade Killer (i.e., Nethack) would come out, it would easily affect my life. I'd sign off all my work with '@', and use a pickaxe to create shortcuts between my classrooms. I'd go around campus killing everything in sight (and eating corpses that weren't my species when I couldn't get to the cafeteria). I'd try to borrow books from ot
    • Sure it is, untrue ad hominem generalizations are a great way to incite. Apparently the editors have no clue as to the age of many gamers.
  • Does this mean civilization will eventually accept all sorts of things it rejected before? I agree that many critics of Gaming do not have the facts on thier side. However the way the argument goes about history and the youth accepting things makes me wonder. Will society inevitably accept things which are not benificial simply because the youth accept it?
    • What society accepts is based on the majority of the population. If the majority of the youth accept something, it stands to reason that society will as well once they grow up and take over the positions of power.
      • Nope, sorry, doesn't work like that. The hippies haven't made dope legal. The punks haven't reduced the state's stranglehold.
        What gets made law is whatever benefits the lawmakers financially or increases their power. Politicians at that level have no ideals beyond selfishness, nor can they achieve that level without ridding themselves of such ideals.
        • by lgw (121541) on Friday August 05, 2005 @04:21PM (#13253148) Journal
          You're overly cycnical. We will always have the worst government that we accept. The hippies accepted dope, but they also accepted a governement that made dope illegal. Anything annoying that our government gets away with, they manage because it's Not Evil Enough(TM) for people to really care.

          We no longer accept a government that descriminates based on skin color, for example. We didn't round up all the muslims in America and stick them concentration camps for the duration of the War on Terror, an action which clear would have been acceptable a few generations ago.

          All of the Evil our govewrnment routinely avoids isn't exactly newsworthy, but you don't have to look back very far to see the government doing things they'd never even try today. And not because the poloticians have suddenly grown ideals beyond selfishness, but becuase the line they don't dare cross has moved. And that line moves because a new generation, with a different sense of acceptability, has taken over.

    • Will society inevitably accept things which are not benificial simply because the youth accept it?

      Society has accepted rap "music", so the only possible answer to your question is "yes".

    • by Socket790 (890231) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:44PM (#13252833)
      What do you mean Gaming isn't benificial? Have you looked at a video game's complexity today as compared to a game like monopoly?

      Modern video games require the player to learn highly complex control sets, multi button combo commands, mission prioritization, teamwork (sometimes), and all sorts of other things that are applicable to the real world. (ever need to learn how to use a new peice of software in a few days for a job? Video games make that easier because you're used to learning new complex systems)

      Furthermore, we have multiple studies proving that video games increases visual accuity, reaction time and hand eye coordination.

      Just because spending hours killing aliens in a video game isn't constructive, doesn't mean that the skills you learn to do it cannot be used elsewhere in a constructive manner.

      As a society, we will accept anything that we consider not detrimental to society at large. If video games make people happy, it's benificial to the society, is it not? Video games also provide many people, myself included with much needed outlets for destructive energy.

      When given the choice between fantasy violence and real violence, perhaps not everyone will choose the fantasy, but it's better to have the option there for those who, without the option of fantasy violence, would opt for the real thing.
    • by Prospero's Grue (876407) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:51PM (#13252919)
      Those are two separate questions. Will civilisation accept things it rejected before? Absolutely, it's done all the time. Particularly in terms of culture; rock music, divorce, racial integration, etc. These are all things that were going to trigger society's collapse - and they didn't.

      Prior to that, it was jazz music, extra-marital sex, alcohol, and so on.

      Now it's rap, games, and homosexuality. It's the same story over and over and over again. Trust me, your kids and grandkids aren't likely to see what the big deal is.

      That's not to say there's a unidirectional element here. Things can happen to turn a society more conservative (usually some calamity). The depression, Second World War, and Cold Wor accomplished an interesting trifecta of pushing back on the more liberal attitudes that had started to emerge about sex, women, alcohol/drugs, and culture in the 20s in North America. 9/11 effectively brought religion back into the field, reversing a rather secular trend.

      In the early 70s you had women wearing jeans studying engineering in Afghanistan. The country became ravaged by war and poverty, and...well...you know how that turned out.

      I'm using very recent examples here, you can study this stuff WAY back.

      I think the overal direction is that when society feels threatened, less will be tolerated, and there will be more conservative pressures. When the society thrives and is prosperous, though, it becomes more liberal.

      Your second question; will society accept things that are not beneficial because youth do? Part of that depends on what you consider "not beneficial" (ie. harmful). If you still hold that rock is harmful, then the answer is yes.

      If you have (sorry to say it) less of an agenda to push, then the answer is no, not really. Drugs never became culturally acceptable just because the youth accepted them. Drugs can be harmful, and so were rejected. Some drugs that were not so obviously detrimental (ie. marijuana) are still the subject of debate.

      You'd never know it to look at them, but people can be remarkably sane, given enough opportunity.

  • While people who were never really exposed to video games do tend to reject or fail to understand them, video games have now infiltrated our culture to the point where it spreads (in some form, anyway. Progress WILL change the face of video gaming as time passes) across the following generations. I doubt we will see the death of video games within even the next 200 years. ...assuming we don't let ourselves be pushed around by old and scared individuals like Jack Thompson.
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:52PM (#13252283) Homepage Journal
    "Filthy" novels, pre-code movies, comic books, Rock 'n' Roll, TV, video games... It's just a long line of easy "moral" targets for politicians to act like they're solving something instead of dealing with the actual problems.

    And it works, generation after generation.
    • by Goody (23843) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:00PM (#13252390) Journal
      "Filthy" novels, pre-code movies, comic books, Rock 'n' Roll, TV, video games... It's just a long line of easy "moral" targets for politicians to act like they're solving something instead of dealing with the actual problems.

      There are actual problems to deal with (i.e. lousy parents who don't know what their kids are doing), but there's a problem with this new crop of games. When I was a kid, a video game was having a little round guy eat dots and avoid ghosts. Most of the games I see advertised today have a bunch of guys driving around stealing cars and shooting people.

      I about flipped out when the neighbor 10 year old wanted my seven year old daughter to come over and play Grand Theft Auto. Yes, it's a parent problem, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Luckily, my daughter knew that game wasn't appropriate.

      Regardless of your age, something is wrong when your primary entertainment becomes a game centered around crime.
    • I think it depends on parenting to a large degree. If parents aren't instlling enough moral fiber in their kids to overcome the influence of video games, then we have a problem...
      Although, keep in mind that a lot of things are cyclical. Developed societies tend to swing back in forth, as a whole, between liberalism and conservatism. It is just the way it is... Whether you see the bible as the word of God, or just a historical book with myth and allegory, there was certainly immorality (Jezebel, babylon etc
      • The bible right now is a conpendium of abherant behavior.

        At other times it was a catalog. ;-)

        Ostracism, literally scribing a name on an yoster shell, was one way it was handled in Greece.

        Excommunication was the way to do it in the Catholic lands.

        In ninth century Iceland, they had a legal system called outlawry wherein you could be declared an outlaw. That meant you were outside the rule of law. You made yourself fair game by doing unto somebody else. That meant that if anything happened to you, you were o
  • by plover (150551) * on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:52PM (#13252291) Homepage Journal
    Heh! The media has finally given me a name: "Digital Native". I kind of like it. Lot better than "Baby Boomer" or "Gen X'er", especially since I was kind of between the two.
    • Digital Native... I wasn't a true "Digital Native" until I got mobile access. Now I "vacation" from my connection when I am out of GPRS range and too far from my computer.

      Hell, one of the requirements for my honeymoon was GPRS connectivity. So even on vacation I'm a native!

      Woot.
  • by MacFury (659201) <[me] [at] [johnkramlich.com]> on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:53PM (#13252296) Homepage
    The funny thing is, youth violence is at record lows with violent video game sales at record highs.

    The correlation that the "think of the children" groups talk about is that...it just runs the opposite way.

    • Absolutely (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alvinrod (889928) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:06PM (#13252445)
      I honestly believe that video games have had an effect on the violence levels in this country. When a video game console hits a price of around $100 at a game store almost everyone can afford one, even less well to do kids in big cities.

      These kids now have an alternate form of entertainment and something to do with their free time other than join a gang or wander the streets causing or looking for trouble.

      Another aspect is that some games can serve as a stress release valve for people. If I'm feeling really stressed out to the point that I almost want to choke someone I can pop in my copy of GTA and take it out some virtual people or property. I honestly believe that I've become a less violent person after playing through the GTA games because I had a virtual world where I could release my anger and agression that wouldn't result in any harm to real people.

      For every stupid person who comits a crime and blames GTA or some video game, just think of how many crimes that same video game might have prevented.

    • by plover (150551) * on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:06PM (#13252448) Homepage Journal
      No, that graph in TFA was stacked. Like any statistic, it's being used to support the viewpoint of the author, and is not necessarily an honest representation of what's happening.

      On one hand you have violent crime going "down". On the other, you have money going "up". But what does this money represent? Money spent on violent games, or all games? Are violent games going for a higher or lower price relative to other games? Are violent games now 1%, 10%, 50% or 90% of the game market? Or look at the other side: prison sentences for violent crimes were increased in the 90s, so there are fewer repeat offenders on the streets. There are way too many variables to draw any meaning from that statement.

      And that's only if you could: this is mere correlation, not causality. This is in no way evidence of video games causing (or not causing) violence. It's just two unrelated charts pasted together invalidly in an attempt to swing the reader's viewpoint to that of the author.

      • But the author did at least say that it is just a correlation. He said that it is possible that violent crime could have swung farther down if it wasn't for video games. What it does show is that video games have not caused the massive epidemic of violence that the media is crowing about. Although, school shootings are indeed up. But that's probably related more to monkey-see monkey-do crimes with the sensationalism of the columbine shootings than anything else, although I am not a sociologist and this
      • There are way too many variables to draw any meaning from that statement.

        However, you can make the following statement: "Either videogames reduce youth violence or the effect of videogames on youth violence is small in comparison to other social and demographic factors"

        Since neither possibility supports regulation of videogames, the conclusion is clear.
  • Good grief. Please not another flame war about GTA and sex vs violence. Let's talk about how gaming improves motor skills, problem solving, quick thinking and working in teams.
  • but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:53PM (#13252301)
    ...games don't have that same rebelious feeling about them that rock music has. You can devote your life to rock and roll and there is a glamour to it. The same cannot be said for video games.

    John Carmack will never, ever be regaurded the same way that John Lennon is.

    Games, while becoming more acceptable socially, are never going to be regaurded as "cool" like rock.
    • Fame goes to those who dance in the lights not the behind the seines characters. Lara Craft has same type of fame as Lennon, if not the same level, but the Carmack's of the world are going to be more like George Lucas as apposed to say Keanu Reeves.
    • not to put too fine a point on it, but as long as he keeps putting his name on utter bunk like doom3, you're certainly right.

      On the other hand, some entities/games/people in the game industry do approach the celebrity status of rockers. Sid meier, Valve, final fantasy - not too hard to find people who know what they are, or have heard those names. In a way, they have become legendary, just like Lennon.

      "Gamer culture" is on the grow, and its not all that unlikely that as an entertainment medium it might on
    • >> John Carmack will never, ever be regaurded the same way that John Lennon is.

      Lennon did not invent rock and roll. Many came before him, many pioneers that languish in obscurity.

      There will be many who come after Carmack.

    • Re:but... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fung_Koo (772472)
      Perhaphs he just needs to meet the Yoko Ono of software.
  • But... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pickyouupatnine (901260) on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:54PM (#13252306) Homepage
    You don't have to dislike games in order to be a critic of their impact on society :P. .. Kids to tend to stay in a lot more than they used to, and I blame it on TV and Games ... on visual media that requires their complete attention - unlike music, which you can listen to and do something else at the same time (though some may disagree)... :) And I'm quite sure I'll be shouting at my kids with regards to playing too many computer games or the type of games that they pick to play. I personally blame it on the consumer. No one's forcing people to buy such games. What they do hush hush... well we used to watch porn in middle school - all hush hush so our parents wouldn't find out. All the same with mature rated games.
    • The answer is to abolish middle school ;)
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:05PM (#13252436)
      > Kids to tend to stay in a lot more than they used to, and I blame it on TV and Games

      I'd like to agree with you, but I just can't. When I was 6 and 7 (better than 40 years ago) we'd play outside all day from morning until the street light came on. Our moms never looked for us, or wondered if we were safe, if someone had kidnapped or killed us. Adam (and John) Walsh changed that for everybody. I seriously doubt that you tell your kids to go outside and play until it gets dark.

  • social bong (Score:2, Funny)

    by qewl (671495)
    I know, like just this last weekend, I was with my friends and was like, "Hey, somebody set us up the bong!"
  • Critics of gaming do not just have the facts against them; they have history against them, too."

    I might agree if I knew what history they are talking about.
    That the moral corrupting specter of two lines hiting a dot of Pong fame didn't destroy the social fabric of the 70s?
    • Precisely. The "debate" isn't over gaming, as there is no debate over Civilization, SimCity, Solitaire or FreeCell. The "debate" is over sex and violence in video games.
    • History being how every generation has some form of media that will destroy it/turn everyone into sexual deviants/cause everyone to become mass murders.

      Every advance in entertainment is labeled as being the reason society will fall.

      Rock and Roll
      Elvis
      Comic Books
      Radio
      Television
      Movies
      D&D
      Rap Music
      Skateboarding
      Long hair

      All of these things were at one point the thing to blame for all ills in society. They all supposedly caused/encouraged immoral behavior.

      THAT is the history we're dealing with.
  • Active v Passive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow@wrought.gmail@com> on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:59PM (#13252375) Homepage Journal
    One of the differences between gaming and music is that (with the exception of those starting their own bands) music is passive while gaming actually requires your participation. The disadvantage of that is that critics equate playing GTA to doing those things in real life. I'm not entirely convinced that this view is entirely without merit, since I could see how it might numb some barriers against behavior. That being said, such extreme examples, assuming that they do exist, would be few and far between.

    The advantage to gaming's participatory nature is that kids and parents can play games together. PLaying games with my stepsons has actually helped to make our bond stronger. It is, after all, something that you can do for either long or short periods of time, is fun, and is shared.

    At the end of the day I think that that is gaming's greatest boon.

    • I'm not entirely convinced that this view is entirely without merit, since I could see how it might numb some barriers against behavior.

      It is my thought that the persons that are affected the way you are implying are the same people who have problems and tendencies that would otherwise be brought to light by other mediums such as violent movies, certain music, etc... In other words, the problem, while certainly influenced by the generic medium is a problem that existed prior to exposure to .

      Just my 2 c
    • One of the differences between gaming and music is that (with the exception of those starting their own bands) music is passive while gaming actually requires your participation.
      Guess you've never been caught in a mosh pit
  • by inexion (903311) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:00PM (#13252383)
    Im not sure that the older generation rejects gaming.....Its just that they dont feel the need to become involved - and dont want to spend the time and effort learning about such new fangled things, hence a lack of interest - not rejection
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummelNO@SPAMjohnhummel.net> on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:01PM (#13252397) Homepage
    The critics of gaming are typically over 40, those who play under 40.

    But as Steven Johnson, a cultural critic, points out in a recent book, "Everything Bad Is Good for You", gaming is now so widespread that if it did make people more violent, it ought to be obvious. Instead, he notes, in America violent crime actually fell sharply in the 1990s, just as the use of video and computer games was taking off (see chart 2). Of course, it's possible that crime would have fallen by even more over the period had America not taken up video games; still, video gaming has clearly not turned America into a more violent place than it was.


    It's a problem that I think comes up every 20-40 years: something new that changes society, and those too old to "get it".

    10 years ago listening to rap music and heavy metal would get you into jail because you'd go kill people. Crime rates drop.

    20 years ago playing Dungeons and Dragons would turn you into a Satan worshipper, you'd kill your parents and commit suicide. Amazingly, 99.9% of all players survived, and those who did kill themselves were in the statistical group who would have anyway.

    20 years before, watching Elvis dance would turn you into a sexual deviant. Somehow, those same parents who watched Elvis's hips were able to complain about Britney Spears and her kinderslut outfits.

    Reading comic books would turn you into a criminal, since it was the preferred activity of juvenile delinquents. (Or, at least the three that were studied.)

    20 years before, and listening to rock and roll in general would cause kids to become pregnant just by being in the room, boys would go on rape sprees, and society would enter total decay.

    20 years before that, and Glenn Miller was dangerous.

    Keep going back, and every era will have something new that the older generation didn't get. The question with gaming is:

    Will it follow the model of comic books, where a heavy handed fist comes down to regulate it into "kid safe"-ness, until decades later where it starts to spring again (mainly thanks to an underground movement and the explosion of interest in manga and anime)? Or will it follow rock and roll, and already be so entrenched that the Jack Thompsons and Hilary Clintons and Leibermans of the world will rage, and ten years later people will wonder what the big deal about was?

    My bet is on the latter - but only if people take the time to educate each other on it. I've sat down with people who came to my office to ask me about the whole Grand Theft Auto games (they know I used to run a web site, now turned into a wiki [gamerspress.com]), and I've explained the rating system, the arguments, what "Hot Coffee" is all about. And 99% of the time, they go "Oh, ok, that makes sense." The 1% of the time they're just looking to steal some of my Triscuits.

    Write to your congressman. We should, in the same fashion as those who set up a web site to protest the broadcast flag, set up a similiar Political Action Committee who's whole goal is to educate politicians on the issue and send them notices when they go for "hearings" and "new laws".

    If we don't, then I can see an age where the gaming industry is regulated like the comic book industry was. And that would be a huge blow to what could be a fascinating new artistic medium.

    Of course, this is just my opinion - I could be wrong.
  • Well, I'm generally a fan of The Economist.

    However, this article did not say much, and maybe that was the point. It pretty much amounted to "Games are neither good nor bad." Not so thought-provoking, really.

    What the article may achieve, partly by being so unopinionated, is a moderation of the hype we get from Hilary (I think she's making shameless use the Tipper playbook here, btw) and other "experts" about games and the way they affect players. Given that the typical reader of The Economist is not a ga

  • The young became old and gave us Parental Advisory stickers to put on certain music packaging. Of course the sticker is worn like a badge of honor, but that's beside the point.
    • Ah, but *their* music is now acceptable! You don't see parental advisory stickers on the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

      No doubt in 30 years GTA and the like will be thought of as quaint, and the teenagers will be playing something that scares the crap out of today's gamers.
  • Age is just a number. Heck, I'm 38, almost 39, and I still am an MMO junkie. If it's a PC RPG, I've probably played it, and most of the FPS, as well.

    I know a few folks in their 60's that play MMOs.

    My father is over 75. He helped design the original hardware and software for the AWACS aircraft. He played a major role in the setting up and turning on of the first dedicated network on the Eastern side of the US. He's seriously old-school computers, the kind of guy that had a subscription to IEEE and actua
  • time out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:08PM (#13252461)
    Games waste time. Games are fun.

    When you get to the point in your life where your time is more valuable than the entertainment/social value you get from the game, you stop playing. That's why young people play games and old people do not: the older you get the less time you have to waste.
  • I'm certain games have contributed to my degrading eyesight, weight gain, back problems, strained my bladder (at times) and reduced my sperm count...possibly an intentional design feature of the games.
  • by The Lynxpro (657990) <lynxpro AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:10PM (#13252477)

    So, does this mean that for G4TV to finally become profitable, it'll take the death of the entire baby boomer generation? Great, that's obviously an easier challenge for them to face than the death of all the viewers who demand style and substance from their television programming! Quick, buy some Comcast shares because the money will be rolling in within the next 10-20 years... :)

  • by aftk2 (556992) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:15PM (#13252521) Homepage Journal
    However, a number of the same folks who listened to the Beatles in the '60s railed against Marilyn Manson in the '90s. Games as a medium may be more accepted in the future, but, if history is any indication, scapegoating will never die.
  • Social Evolution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZeroExistenZ (721849) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:15PM (#13252526)

    Isn't this like how our generation was labelled X, yet we got some leftover values of the more conservative (not in a political sense) previous generation by reflection, parenting, education and what a certain society considers acceptable. (peer influence; you always adjust to your environment or get in an isolated position. Not all are as determined to remain the isolated position or just don't realize they're flocking as it's a normal process)

    Yet, limits are constantly pushed. Remember the 'Rock and Roll' in the 50s,'60s,... It has affected how our society looks, as that yought has grown to be now the 'controlers of this society' (being parents, politicians, artists, idols, lawyers, directors, writers, as anyone else who is part of a society)

    It seems that each generations' concept of which is considered normal, acceptable its limits are being pushed and people get numbed down for what previously was.

    Now I do wonder wherever this is a good thing, as I see the kids these day walking around and idealizing the whole ghetto culture, reflecting of f the media which tries to profit and does so with drawing people to them with "shock value" and probes how far it can go. (turns out.. each time you can go a bit further once people are used to it)

    Yet, each generations' conceptions of what is acceptable will be challenged when they grow older and look behind who's going to follow them up.

  • Some perspective (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:19PM (#13252559)
    I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint. --- Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.

    The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress. Peter the Hermit, A.D. 1274

    The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers. -- Socrates

    Some things never change...

    • Cross their legs???

      Weird.
  • by kaoshin (110328)
    There are three types of people in this world. Intelligent people, morons, and people too stupid to even be called morons! Hillary says stuff like this makes being a parent harder? How about, if there is a game called "Grand Theft Auto", that has been widely publicized for literally forever (since the very first versions of it) to contain very obscene stuff, and you are a religious PMRC holy roller, don't buy it for your little delinquent coke snorting brats. Get of the crack, start parenting full time,
  • oranges.

    If violent video games created a more violent society, then internet pronography would create a more sexual society, no?

    Yet look how prudish the US society has become since the 60s and early 70s.
  • In ancient Rome, the people were kept passive by giving them gladatorial combat to watch and get their 'violence fix'. I wonder if it has occurred to anyone that violent video games might be serving the same purpose, however unintentional?
  • My own paraphrase since I have a shoddy memory:

    Anything invented when you're 18 or younger is ordinary and natural.
    Anything invented when you're 19 to 40 is new and exciting.
    Anything invented when you're over 40 is evil and a crime against nature.

    Sorry for mangling your quote Douglas.

  • The site is slashdotted and the current set of comments don't help much.

    Is the article discussing "gaming" as in board games, role playing games, video games, or as in the euphemism for gambling?

  • Just not in the way's the author was talking about. I've seen some papers and studies that show that video games can be as addicting as narcotics and when I was in college a few years ago I saw more than a few people fail out because of video games.

    That's not to say they would have suceeded any way. I saw a number of other kids fail out due to drinking and drugs or just sheer laziness.

    I've known more than once I'd be playing a game and look up and it was 6 hours later and I had stuff to do.

    From caus

  • ... which, I'm guessing, most of us here already knew.
  • by rworne (538610) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:38PM (#13252782) Homepage
    In America, for example, half of the population plays computer or video games. However most players are under 40--according to Nielsen, a market-research firm, 76% of them--while most critics of gaming are over 40. An entire generation that began gaming as children has kept playing.

    This rings true for me. I'll be 39 this year, and what makes that significant dates all the way back to high school. During my last year or so in HS in 1983/1984, computers were finally introduced to the students (Radio Shack Model III's, Atari 800's and a couple of Apple II's).

    If I were a year older and went to school a year earlier I never would have been exposed to computers. The school at that time had them readily available to play with and my folks would never buy such an expensive "toy". I would have went on through life doing something else.

    So I can easily see why the "over 40" crowd would not understand. That group would have had to wait until college for an opportunity to see a computer and probably only would if they were in the appropriate majors.

    Those couple years were also the years that brought out the home computer revolution. The people who used them extensively were the kids at the time and they used them for games. Those kids would be 40 or under now.

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