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Jam Stunna

Stephen King defends gamers

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I'm surprised this hasn't been posted yet:

Stepen King Blasts Anti-Gaming Bill

He added, "If HB1423 becomes law, will it remain law? Doubtful. Similar legislation has been declared unconstitutional in several states. Could Massachusetts legislators find better ways to watch out for the kiddies? Man, I sure hope so, because there's a lot more to America's culture of violence than Resident Evil 4."

Nice to see someone famous actually calling out stupid legislation against videogames instead of supporting it.

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Stephen King pretty much is speaking the truth. Popular culture is always the political whipping boy; every generation demands a scapegoat. It was jazz music in the early twentieth century, then rock and roll, then television, then metal, and now we're up to video games. It's always easier to blame "moral decay" in a society on its culture rather than the serious underlying problems. It takes less effort.

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The entire full article is one giant lump of win. I would have never expected Stephen King to stand up for video games and gamers, but he sure did one hell of an article for EW on it. He also made a damn good point about something else related to it, too.

"It was too easy for critics to claim — falsely, it turned out — that Cho Seung-Hui (the Virginia Tech killer) was a fan of Counter-Strike; I just wish to God that legislators were as eager to point out that this nutball had no problem obtaining a 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Cho used it in a rampage that resulted in the murder of 32 people. If he'd been stuck with nothing but a plastic videogame gun, he wouldn't even have been able to kill himself."
Stephen King is one of the reasons I love the state I live in for.

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He wrote dozens (more like hundreds, amirite?) of books over the years, some of which must have come under fire for content of sex and or violence, if not religiously sensitive (demons, witchcraft, misuses of science, etc..), so it should be no surprise that he would see the same sort of thing happening to another form of entertainment.

The thing I don't get, though, is why movies, TV and music are given what are pretty much carte blanche for content, and yet video games are still raked over the coals for every single little thing. When was the last time you heard about a bill going through the US government that wanted to restrict the sale of music to people? Or what TV shows they could watch? Or books to read? I don't think there's been so much as a blip on the radar for those media in decades.

Yet video games, even though they have been around for roughly 30 or so years (more if you count some of the really early stuff running on college computers bak in the 60s and 70s), are still counted as a non-media. They don't get the same rights and freedoms that other forms of entertainment do.

And for that matter, why don't the other media look at video games and say "hey, that used to happen to us all the time. We should go over there and give them some support."

I suspect it has almost entirely to do with money, of course. Why have people buying something that isn't yours...

The entertainment industries should look out for each other more. They've all been there before.

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The thing I don't get, though, is why movies, TV and music are given what are pretty much carte blanche for content, and yet video games are still raked over the coals for every single little thing.

I believe that it's because in the video game you control the main character, and you choose what you do (yet I wonder what they expect you to do in a game where you have to kill zombies to survive). But yes, I get your point, and I agree.

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The thing I don't get, though, is why movies, TV and music are given what are pretty much carte blanche for content, and yet video games are still raked over the coals for every single little thing.

This is just my view, but I really think that videogames are still quite strange and new to a LOT of people, and they still see that videogames are something for kids. Then they suddenly see that "Oh my god, there are zombies and blood and sex and all these bad things happening in videogames even though videogames are for kids" (which of course isn't so). They don't get that theres a rating system just like in the movies, and the people who would buy Resident Evil 4 for their kids would never take them to see an R-rated movie.

But yeah, that's my two cents. And I spent it here instead of buying candy. Yeah.

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He wrote dozens (more like hundreds, amirite?) of books over the years, some of which must have come under fire for content of sex and or violence, if not religiously sensitive (demons, witchcraft, misuses of science, etc..), so it should be no surprise that he would see the same sort of thing happening to another form of entertainment.

The thing I don't get, though, is why movies, TV and music are given what are pretty much carte blanche for content, and yet video games are still raked over the coals for every single little thing. When was the last time you heard about a bill going through the US government that wanted to restrict the sale of music to people? Or what TV shows they could watch? Or books to read? I don't think there's been so much as a blip on the radar for those media in decades.

I really hope you're kidding.. Because there's so much recent furor over banning books from libraries (the typical sexual/violent content), schools wrangling over legalizing certain types of books, to Hollywood being rung by its MPAA standards (which is why so many conventional movie types are so heavily promoted while the more risque indy projects are still struggling and don't nearly get the same type of backing), to music being strictly controlled by corporations, etc etc.

And don't even get me started on the Nazism of radio today, trying to flatten out alternating opinions and any type of edge.

Yeah, Videogames do get the dose of criticism, but it's not as bad as some other medias are getting it as I see it.

Yet video games, even though they have been around for roughly 30 or so years (more if you count some of the really early stuff running on college computers bak in the 60s and 70s), are still counted as a non-media. They don't get the same rights and freedoms that other forms of entertainment do.

Except in the context of games having relatively realistic violence and serious plotlines and ability to show distinct sexuality (no, the extremely polygonal games of the 90's mostly don't count IMO) is becoming more evident since around the Playstation 2 era, so it still is a pretty new medium as far as how it's represented. Books and movies never had that type of transition period as apparently sudden as videogames did, it seems. Even in the PSX era, most games were the typical 'good beats evil' epics or were just simple adventure/action titles. Games, since the PS2 era or so, really has stepped up with the riskier game plotlines and more games lets you play the antagonist or an anti-hero nowadays. I think that specific aspect frightens some non-gamers. Not the 'Flame hero beating evil empires in Suikoden' of the past. I seriously doubt even the most ardent videogame haters are really looking at those types of old archetypes.

And for that matter, why don't the other media look at video games and say "hey, that used to happen to us all the time. We should go over there and give them some support."

I suspect it has almost entirely to do with money, of course. Why have people buying something that isn't yours...

The entertainment industries should look out for each other more. They've all been there before.

I disagree actually. The industries are what's ailing the each media type. The more bureaucracy and control over things, the worse it gets. I hope videogaming, other than the standard ESRB, doesn't get wrangled in politics like all the other medias (especially movies and radio) has been. If anything, there should be less of a dog collar on various media.

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I can see why he defending violent games. We writes violent and guersome novels. Any type of violent media whever it be games or novels gets a lot of scapegoating. Novels are still being scapegoat for a bunch of bullshit, you know.

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I can see why he defending violent games. We writes violent and guersome novels. Any type of violent media whever it be games or novels gets a lot of scapegoating. Novels are still being scapegoat for a bunch of bullshit, you know.

And I suspected printed media will be the scapegoat for much bullshit to come; it has been for hundreds of years, which I'm sure Volitare could tell you if he was still alive today.

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I really hope you're kidding.. Because there's so much recent furor over banning books from libraries (the typical sexual/violent content), schools wrangling over legalizing certain types of books, to Hollywood being rung by its MPAA standards (which is why so many conventional movie types are so heavily promoted while the more risque indy projects are still struggling and don't nearly get the same type of backing), to music being strictly controlled by corporations, etc etc.

I'm sorry to hear that your country is going down the toilet. Maybe you could move to Canada, where the idea of censorship is, quite frankly, unheard of. Hell, our laws on sex are also a bit more liberal. Not to mention that indy and local musicians get a bit more airplay because of a government policy requiring a minimum amount of Canadian content.

And don't even get me started on the Nazism of radio today, trying to flatten out alternating opinions and any type of edge.

HEY! No Godwinning this thread! Again, sorry to hear your country is going to shit.

Yeah, Videogames do get the dose of criticism, but it's not as bad as some other medias are getting it as I see it.

Maybe I'm just not hearing about this sort of thing. It's not on any news sites I frequent (non-gaming ones), and it's not in any papers I flip through. Could you cite some examples of this? Who, what, and why are they getting into trouble? What kind of trouble?

Except in the context of games having relatively realistic violence and serious plotlines and ability to show distinct sexuality (no, the extremely polygonal games of the 90's mostly don't count IMO) is becoming more evident since around the Playstation 2 era, so it still is a pretty new medium as far as how it's represented. Books and movies never had that type of transition period as apparently sudden as videogames did, it seems. Even in the PSX era, most games were the typical 'good beats evil' epics or were just simple adventure/action titles. Games, since the PS2 era or so, really has stepped up with the riskier game plotlines and more games lets you play the antagonist or an anti-hero nowadays. I think that specific aspect frightens some non-gamers. Not the 'Flame hero beating evil empires in Suikoden' of the past. I seriously doubt even the most ardent videogame haters are really looking at those types of old archetypes.

So because some writers thought up new material (and tried different ideas, people are afraid. Then those people must be idiots for fearing something new and that they don't understand.

As for books, I think that you'll find that there have been sudden changes in what books have done. What has been written int he last few hundreds years has shifted around so many times that it would be difficult to get a rough idea of how things have developed. But to say that games have done so more and faster is, at best, a shaky statement. Games may have used all kinds of shades of gray for characters, motives and plots, but most, if not all, of those same shades have been done not only in book, but movies, comics, television and pretty much any other form of entertainment. Why is it that there are shows and stories from decades ago that are far more intense than games, but only the video games get the criticism. It's because they're newer, and it's popular to rage against them.

I disagree actually. The industries are what's ailing the each media type. The more bureaucracy and control over things, the worse it gets. I hope videogaming, other than the standard ESRB, doesn't get wrangled in politics like all the other medias (especially movies and radio) has been. If anything, there should be less of a dog collar on various media.
Sometimes I think you're just an argumentative bitch, and sometimes I think you're one of the smartest person here. This last bit? The latter.

QFT.

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I'm sorry to hear that your country is going down the toilet. Maybe you could move to Canada, where the idea of censorship is, quite frankly, unheard of. Hell, our laws on sex are also a bit more liberal. Not to mention that indy and local musicians get a bit more airplay because of a government policy requiring a minimum amount of Canadian content.

Either the censorship situation is actually great like it apparently is in Canada or down the fucking drain and Nazi-wrangled like in Australia (at least with videogames) or even teased at a total ban of certain games like in China and a lot of European nations struggling with the idea of banning games even more than America is. That and it's somewhat unnerving that even in Japan, they were teasing around a very American-esque idea that games featuring little girl characters = pedophilia. If that kind of backlash goes back to Japan, I think that's troublesome.

Maybe I'm just not hearing about this sort of thing. It's not on any news sites I frequent (non-gaming ones), and it's not in any papers I flip through. Could you cite some examples of this? Who, what, and why are they getting into trouble? What kind of trouble?

There's that big issue that was floating around concerning MPAA controlling every digital medium with a James Bond style explosion device (sarcasm, but is it really?)

I wonder if it's an American thing for there to be monthly book banning considerations in schools. Some of the trashier reads that are basically novel-porn I can agree, but they sometimes aim to take off literary classics.

In the radio front, there was that whole mess with Imus, Opie and Anthony and all the 'shock jocks' getting pulled for what they are supposed to do: Doing silly crap that isn't technically illegal or barely so, but not enough to try to totally squash the first amendment and to give fodder to the reasoning that Janet Jackson is the reason why the Superbowl was the catalyst for excessive censorship in media.

For those radio cases, disciplinary action, I can understand. But grilling them in other media forms like it's some news to say 'outrageous' things when it's their job to do so, or to hold the slight racist twinge that most people in real life have anyway, to actually banning them from radio or even threatening legal action against them is just excessive.

So because some writers thought up new material (and tried different ideas, people are afraid. Then those people must be idiots for fearing something new and that they don't understand.

As for books, I think that you'll find that there have been sudden changes in what books have done. What has been written int he last few hundreds years has shifted around so many times that it would be difficult to get a rough idea of how things have developed. But to say that games have done so more and faster is, at best, a shaky statement. Games may have used all kinds of shades of gray for characters, motives and plots, but most, if not all, of those same shades have been done not only in book, but movies, comics, television and pretty much any other form of entertainment. Why is it that there are shows and stories from decades ago that are far more intense than games, but only the video games get the criticism. It's because they're newer, and it's popular to rage against them.

I think it was always popular to rage against books and certain types of movies except NC17 types of films and outrageous indy movies typically never make it to theaters. Also, books just has lost that cultural relevance with the younger audience like it used to 50, 60 years ago. TV as a medium, as censored as it often is, at least moved on to cater to the more complex tastes of teen audiences, not to say they don't pander a lot towards the 'totally stereotypical sex and violence' crowd.

As for games, the only risqué game in the playstation era, I can really only remember Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat and Fear Factor (that old lesbian action game series). I mean, having a female in the lead is just not a factor at all (yes, even voluptuous ones), violence should never have been an issue to begin with, and some premises will always get the criticism when it comes down to sexuality. I agree there's a lot of originality and deviant setups in games now, but I find it difficult to name many of them before 2000 or so. Back then, every FPS games had you as the hero. Now, you can play as the terrorists or Nazis all the time. Now being an actual bad guy who kills heroes is almost vogue rather than being a teasing anti-hero who is actually a total softie inside.

I think it's all relative really. Videogames just are that much more relevant to our lives today than any single form of past media, so the criticism aimed at games have more in stake and it simply is just more relevant as a topic.

Sometimes I think you're just an argumentative bitch, and sometimes I think you're one of the smartest person here. This last bit? The latter.

It's just that I got burned out by the various entertainment industries basically trying to tweak the way people buy and enjoy things too much. I think some form of censorship is always necessary. Like, you should never have a game that goes out of its way to sponsor illegal activities directly (hence, why GTA and other games are so sensationalistic and/or comedic) or has real propaganda against America (like, Taliban sponsored) or anything like that.

Like I said before, ESRB should basically be it. And maybe even a game developers' union that can counter something like the EA forcefully acquiring companies all the time or trampling on game developers' most basic rights as laborers. But if it goes to MPAA/FCC lengths, I think that's dangerously close to media fascism.

PS- Though FCC touts itself as a Federalized group now, it started being a regulation group for radio and now it has a strangling hold on much of TV media and especially Radio. It'd be beyond terrible if the Federal government gets hold of games. It can only go down hill where some senators are actually horrified at the relatively tame combat sport like mixed martial arts (because Boxing isn't totally brutal too).

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And I suspected printed media will be the scapegoat for much bullshit to come; it has been for hundreds of years, which I'm sure Volitare could tell you if he was still alive today.

So true. The scapegoating of video games is just really mellowdrama compare the the shit printed media (including newspapers, comics, etc.) had to suffer.

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Stephen King is being all appreciative because he gets secret nods in Silent Hill.

:J

If completely ripping off his entire career and putting it in an Adrian Lyne film qualifies as a secret nod, then I guess it does all begin on Bachman Road.

By the way, The Mist is what Silent Hill should have been.

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Here in Brazil things are pretty crazy. On one side, we don't have the levels of craziness that seem to plague the USA in that regard. On the other side, our government and justice system has some really dumb people.

One judge recently decided to randomly ban EverQuest, because it "leads to heavy psychological conflicts since the player can be issued good and evil tasks". He also banned Counter-Strike, claiming it was "guerrilla training".

Makes sense to you? Me neither.

To stress out how dumb things are, here is a list of games that were banned in Brazil.

- Doom

- Postal

- Mortal Kombat

- Blood

- Duke Nukem 3D

The catch? Only one version of each game was banned. Postal 2, the Doom sequels, everything besides those specific games were left free.

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