Posts Tagged ‘video games’

I know this wont be of interest to most of my followers, but I know SOME of you are into video games and gaming.  Heather and I have finally started putting more work into our other blog, Very Busy Gamers, and have set up a Youtube channel as well.  We plan to do some “Let’s Play” style videos and will likely be posting other game-related content too.

If you’re interested, head over to our page and check out what we have so far.  It’s a work in progress but we’re going to be updating it pretty often now.  So far we only have videos up for Bioshock and Alan Wake, but we’ve already got enough content saved up for another week worth of videos and we’re making more every day.

If you’re NOT interested, or the sound of our voices drives you insane, that’s fine too.  No hard feelings.  🙂

I’m subscribed to Gun Nuts and I have even linked to a story or two they’ve written in the past I think.  I even like the author, Gabby.  She has written some good articles on both Gun Nuts and her own blog, Armed Candy. Unfortunately I have to disagree with her on today’s post. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“I will begin by saying that I have never found any excitement or enjoyment in video games. Therefore, it would not change my life, in the slightest, if every game were to suddenly self-destruct. But since some people seem to appreciate playing these games, I will attempt to avoid offending those delicate sensibilities.”

First of all, having never enjoyed a video game, I feel that Gabby may be a little biased; I can forgive that part.  But the logic that video games cause violence because some people can’t tell the difference between a game and reality feels misguided. That’s like saying someone who doesn’t understand coffee is served hot is a victim when it burns them. We no longer blame the individual if there’s an organization or industry we can pin it on instead.  It seems that everyone is always looking for an excuse.

Sometimes mental health issues are not caused by corporations, objects we own, or actions around us. Blaming video games is easy, but why not look at the individuals? We all have the capacity to understand right and wrong. Sometimes people are just evil or severely impaired.  If 99% of all gamers are good people, can we blame the video games?  Condoms are 99% effective as well, but sometimes that 1% somehow manages to get the spotlight.  Should we regulate condoms as well?

I don’t like that gun violence occurs at all. I hate it. I lock my guns up and follow strict safety precautions every time I handle a firearm. I don’t want anyone to die from a mistake on my end, especially myself. However, I don’t expect the government to regulate my firearms for me. Just like I don’t want them regulating my video games. I’m a responsible person. If they begin to control one, they’ll come for the others. Restrict video game makers’ 1st amendment rights and they’ll follow suit with ours. Maybe gun-blogging will be regulated next?

Or, maybe they’ll just go straight for the 2nd amendment. Oh wait . . . They’re already doing that. We’re fighting a daily struggle to keep our right to bear arms in this country. As a gun owner and blogger I understand the 2nd amendment fight. I don’t see why any group of people should have to fight to keep the rights they’ve already been given. Rights that our forefathers fought and died for.

This used to be the land of the free but now its only free if you jump through all the hoops. Its only free if your actions offend absolutely nobody. At what point do we drop the word “free” from that phrase? Its time to end the invasive, regulatory government that we’ve allowed to come into existence. We need fewer new laws and more enforcement of existing laws. Enforce the video game rating system better if need be, but don’t restrict what can go into a video game. Don’t restrict our creativity and inventiveness.

Maybe I seem irrational or “bitter” as I’ve been called in the past. That’s fine. I have an opinion and I’m fighting for it just like my fellow gun-bloggers, Gabby included, do every day. If, however, you agree with me, let me know in the comments. Of course you’re allowed to disagree as well. Ill listen to your thoughts and opinions. Everyone has the right to express them and I won’t stop you. I’m interested to read what everyone has to say.

**  Gabby, if you’ve somehow managed to find your way to my side of the blogosphere and read my post, please don’t take my comments personally.  I enjoy what you do, have great respect for you, and consider us on the same side (as far as guns are concerned).  I just have a strong affection for video games and will fight for them as long as I can.  **

I know the name of my blog is “Backyard Shooter” and I normally write about things related to gun rights and shooting in general.  Lately though, just as our Second Amendment rights have come under fire, the rights of those of us who play video games have also taken a hit.  It seems there are those in the pro-gun crowd that would start taking away rights that gamers have while calling those after their rights “gun grabbers” and “socialists”.

Senator Lamar Alexander, you can’t attack another group of people just because your own group is looking bad.  Video games are protected under the First Amendment as freedom of speech.  Just as pro-gun activists slam the anti-gun crowd for trying to destroy the Constitution, I have to call them out for doing the exact same thing.  What’s good for one is good for the other.

If you care about your rights as a gamer, or your rights as a citizen of The United States of America, please click here to help the Video Game Voters Network spread the word to lawmakers that we, as gamers and U.S. citizens, refuse to let our rights be infringed.

This is the message they want to be seen by our lawmakers:

I am writing today to respectfully encourage you not to allow video games to become a scapegoat in the ongoing national debate over violence in the United States. As a voter, constituent, and avid video game player, I am concerned with the efforts of some to paint my choice of entertainment as the cause of recent tragic events.

I would like to share some key facts about video games and those who play them. The average video game player is 30 years old and the average game purchaser is 35 years old. In addition, women 18 and older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent), and 29 percent of game players are over the age of 50.

I believe that parents, not politicians, are in the best position to determine entertainment choices for their families and, according to the Federal Trade Commission, parents are involved in the purchase and rental of their children’s games over 89 percent of the time. Also, according to the Entertainment Software Association, 91 percent of parents monitor the content of the games their children play. It is very important to help parents and caregivers ensure that the computer and video games children play are appropriate and parent approved. However, the video game rating system is already doing a great job by providing parents with detailed video game content descriptors and parental controls available on all video game consoles.

In addition, through partnerships with retailers across the nation, the video game industry has the highest level of retail enforcement of any entertainment form. Instead of blaming video games – which numerous studies have shown do not incite violence, but instead help to advance technology and society – we should be discussing new solutions that strike at the heart of the real problems we face. I completely stand with the American people who are rightfully demanding action in response to recent tragedies. What these events require is serious debate and serious solutions, and blaming video games and gamers is neither.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

We are more than just consumers.  We are members of a worldwide group.  Just as gun owners feel a camaraderie with other gun owners, we feel the same sense of belonging with members of the gaming community.   Stand up for your rights because this is starting to look ugly for the entire country and I’m afraid every part of the Constitution is going to come under attack.  It is unacceptable to persecute a group of people in order to prevent your own from suffering.

We are a nation of once-free people.  Now we’re a country of people who can’t responsibly make decisions for themselves.  Our founding fathers are writhing in their graves right now as they watch what a mess we’ve made of this great country.  It’s time we stop looking for blame and start trying really hard to find a solution.

I am an avid gamer and firearms enthusiast.  I will defend the rights of all people in this great country to the best of my ability.  Will you do the same?

Just to keep things light, here’s a humorous image

I get sick of the media and gun rights advocates trying to push the blame for gun violence onto video games.  I’ve played games my entire life and I own 5 firearms.  I’ve yet to do anything violent in my life.  A lot of people even say I’m too much of a pacifest.

Well just to spite those hating on gun related video games, I’m posting a list of all my favorite games (in no particular order) that feature extensive firearms use.  Let me know in the comments what some of your favorites are.

1)  Medal of Honor (the games from the original WWII series) – These are the games that hooked me on first person shooter games.  Storming the beach on D-Day, fighting the Japanese in the Pacific, these were just awesome games.  You got to take the role of a member of the Allies and fight against members of the Axis with a variety of weapons from the time period.

2)  Call of Duty – The original games were set in WWII, and I’ve always loved that time period. The new games are still great though, especially the online multiplayer. Nothing better than signing in and competing against a group of fellow gamers.  Real people elevate the competition far higher than AI ever could.

3)  Grand Theft Auto – I started playing Grand Theft Auto 3 on the PS2 years ago.  I was far underage for a game that centered on mafia life.  Guns, drugs, murder, these are the exact things that those against video games and guns point to.  I’ve logged hundreds of hours in Liberty City and just as many in that tropical island known as Vice City.  And even a few as a gang member in San Andreas.  Carjacking people and trying to outrun the cops as long as possible was always one of my favorite personal challenges in each of the games.

4)  Duke Nukem 3D – This game was fantastic.  I spent many hours playing on the N64 with my friends.  The campaign was great but the best part was playing co-op against the bots.  Setting up trip mines while trying to hold a room as long as possible, all the while listening to Duke’s entertaining commentary.  Not appropriate for children, but I turned out just fine.

5)  GoldenEye 007 – I never owned this game but a friend of mine did.  The N64 was awesome as a kid.  The controller with 3 grips always confused me but the games were fun.  And the poor graphics did nothing to slow the gameplay.  GoldenEye 007 is the “third best selling Nintendo 64 game” according to its Wikipedia page.  I was never good at the multiplayer (probably because I didn’t get to play often) but it was fun to play regardless.

6)  Syphon Filter – This was the first game I ever played on the Playstation.  My step dad had it when he first moved in and he eventually started letting me play now and then.  I wasn’t good but I was only 10 or so at the time.  The game centered on stealth and as a result I always had a tough time playing, but it was great regardless.

7)  Killzone – The first game in the series was the only one I liked, but when it came out it was one of my favorite games to play single player.  The campaign was fantastic.  Fighting against the Helghast (Once-human beings that have became altered and stronger) on a foreign planet with an arsenal of futuristic weaponry might sound like a Halo game, but it’s not.  This was PS2’s “console specific” flagship.  Sony never had many games that were specific to their consoles, but this was one of the best in my opinion.

8)  Fallout – Set in a post apocalyptic alternative future, you play as a survivor trying to find your place and settle the violence that consumes everything around you.  The only two games from the series that I have played are Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.  I prefer 3 over New Vegas but I really like both games.  There was a healthy variety of armor and weaponry from the past, present, and future.  Being able to choose your own path in the story was also pretty exciting.

That’s all I can really think of right now.  I know I’ve played other great gun games, but the ones above stand out in my mind.  These are the games that hooked me.  I’ve been a gamer my whole life and I don’t see that changing any time in the future.  And before you go saying I am advocating for children to play such games, I am not.  It’s up to parents to determine when their child is old enough and mature enough to play games like these.  I probably shouldn’t have played the games I played when I was so young, but I don’t see how its had any adverse effect on my life whatsoever.

And on top of that, I’m a very friendly person and law abiding citizen.  Sure, I speed now and then when I’m trying to get to work, but I don’t think it was Grand Theft Auto that caused that.  I have also shot a few thousand rounds of ammo through my 5 firearms, and none were ever endangering another human being.  I am a very responsible gun owner.  Safety is extremely important to me.  I make sure that every person who handles my guns knows exactly how to operate them safely.

I’ve probably murdered several hundred thousand people in cold blood during my video game rampages.  And just as many on the battlefields of WWII.  But I do not approve of killing another human being.  There is a distinct different between killing a video game character and killing a living breathing person.  Nothing the media tells me will ever change my mind on that.  It’s only people who have no morals who think it’s ok to kill an innocent person.  Those people would still find it ok if they hadn’t been playing video games.

Let me know how you feel about this subject.  I’m interested to hear what others have to say.

Looks like the NRA decided to pass the blame just like everyone else seems to do now days. While I don’t think the NRA or guns or the 2nd amendment or anything like that are what caused the Connecticut school shooting, it certainly wasn’t “violent” video games and media.

I’ve been a gun owner for 2 years and a gamer for about 19.  Of those 19 years I would say that all 19 were filled with games containing “violence”.  But all the cartoons I watched were also violent.  Just look at Tom and Jerry . . . Tom experienced bone crushing injuries on a regular basis, almost all of which would’ve killed a human had we tried them.  Should we ban cartoons too?  No there’s certainly another issue underneath all of this.

Why does everyone in america have to pass the blame and point fingers?  Why can’t people just defend their position on issues and support ideas they believe in?  What’s so hard about that?  Maybe we should work on teaching our children to be responsible human beings who know the difference between killing a guy on a tv screen and killing a living breathing human being.

You could easily argue that we shouldn’t have to kill anyone anywhere, real or not.  But then you have to define what “violent” really means.  Is it as vague as any physical violence?  Or do people just have a problem with the killing?  If they start with one aspect of controlling or censoring video games and media, much like our gun rights, the other parts collapse quickly behind it.  Take away a 30 round mag and next they come after the 20 round mags.  Stop allowing human death in video games and then you wont be able to show human death in movies.  A lot of classic movies would never have been made if that were the case.

Millions and millions of people play games in the Call of Duty series every day.  Millions.  This is a game that literally pits one human against another to see who can use a firearm to kill more people than the other.  It’s a bit more complicated (and fun) than that but you know what I mean.  With all of these millions of people playing such horrific games every day, why aren’t there MORE shootings like the one in Connecticut?  If games are the cause of our violent way of life in america, shouldn’t that be the case?

C’mon people.  The tragedy that happened in Newtown is a horrible horrible thing.  Everybody wants to find out who is to blame and make them suffer.  But we can’t because Adam Lanza shot and killed himself.  Stop blaming my guns and my games.  Support mental health research and funding.  We need to get these people help.

If you want to do something good, support and defend what you believe in and don’t point fingers.

Chad Kennedy
Gamer: 19 years
Gun Owner: 2 years
Law Abiding Citizen: 22 years