Wednesday, April 15, 2009
New argument in the old video game/causation debate
The issue of whether there is a causal connection between violence on television, movies and, more recently, video games and actual conduct of people exposed to them has been the source of a vigorous debate for years. Now comes news of a new counter-argument: violent video games that encourage you to engage in criminal conduct are good because they allow children "to obtain the fulfillment of their fascination with that lifestyle without being in it." This statement comes from TV's "Judge Mathis" who is marketing his own video game to compete with popular game "Grand Theft Auto." "I know that the most popular game out there is Grand Theft Auto IV and I know that a lot of young video game players like the (virtual) action of criminal activity," said Mathis. "In this game, we're giving them that action and adding the option of living a mainstream, successful life." "I see this game as a way for young players to be part of the glamorous thug life that is so popular in the hip-hop culture without them actually indulging in the life," explained Mathis. "Video games allow you to obtain the fulfillment of their fascination with that lifestyle without being in it. We're not going to stop the violent genre of video games like Grand Theft Auto, so instead you try to engage it in a way that allows them to obtain the fulfillment they're looking for but also give them the choice of going the mainstream successful life." For more on this story go to Prof. Jonathan Turley's blog here and here.