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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | January 24, 1999
   

"Come And See The Violence Inherent In The System"

"Help, help, I'm being repressed!" The debate on computer game violence continues...


From : The Hand
Subject : video game violence and its effects

Contrary to your readerships standard of logic, scientific studies show that violent media does greatly elevate aggression in children, and slightly increases adults aggression. J. B. Funk made a report on his research into the issue, "Reevaluating the Impact of Video Games" in Clinical Pediatrics, which concluded that video games were not responsible for severe psycho-pathology, but did noticeably increase violent behaviour in children.

The National Coalition on Television Violence did a sort of survey on surveys, and found that 9 out of 12 scientific studies on the effects violent games have on normal children concluded that there were harmful effects of some kind. Reports on other types of media--such as television--show similar, and often even more damning results.

There is a philosophy in American culture, which has been upheld repeatedly in the courts (although inconsistantly where minors are concerned), that you cannot condemn a harmless activity mearly because it will cause a harmful activity. While the validity of this "means justify the ends" morality is a seperate issue, I believe some wax to obfuscate the truth in an attempt to avoid making this cold soulless argument. If you believe the violence caused by video games is justified out of principle, then make that argument, don't try and change the issue to avoid it.


From : Aidan Hancock
Subject : The End Of Violence

Murray Christian has hit the nail on the head by rightly bringing the concept of psychological relativity into the argument. Every person lives in their own reality-tunnel, seeing the world in a slightly (or majorly) different way.

Because we spend a lot of our time in the reality-tunnel known as online quake, we are under no illusions that this is the only reality that is possible. Thus we all know that pixel-based 'violence' is utterly different to real world physical violence.

However, people who read the Readers Digest and believe every word of it lack this sophistication (one could make the argument that their mindset is medieval.) To these people their reality-tunnel is the only 'real' one, and they think that they are actually seeing an objective, 'true' picture of the world. This is why they behave like they do in this, and all other, cases.

Personally I think that the experience of using online Quake personas can be psychologically healthy. Most systems of self-improvement from ceremonial magick to neuro-linguistic programming cite the use of alternate personas as a vital tool in personal development.

So next time you're quaking take even greater enjoyment in that stunning rg hit and fountain of gibs- you're actively demonstrating the fact that you are psychologically more advanced than most of the domesticated primates we call 'people.' And that means that the future is ours, not theirs.


From : A.J. Filiatreault
Subject : Help! Help! Come see the violence inherit in the (videogame) system!

The only game that have affected me are games that rely on stealth (Theif the Dark Project, etc) that give me the urge to scare the Cr*p outta people by sneaking up behind them with out a sound.

OK, sure, I think about how kewl it would be to see my teacher mauled by the Doom guy and a chainsaw, but that doesn't mean I'm going to come in the next day with a gas powered chainsaw and ACTUALLY TRY IT!

People think of us gamers as mindless drones that recieve signals from "The EVIL Games" that could be influenced by anything! Now it's insulting that Congress thinks I'm as controllable as a lightbulb, because It's not like "Damn! Gotta hide this game from the parents!". They know I know the freakin difference between Reailty and fiction. I've known that since I can remember!

The only thing I've had to hide from them were the strippers in Duke 3D. Besides that, they don't care. They know I'm responsible enough to handle the games. Now if you excuse me, I'm going to go jump of my roof with a soda can in hand screaming "DO THE DEW!!!!!"


From : Shahar Eldar
Subject : Thief is in my head!

I know it's not just me (Gestalt being a good point) but thief has affected me greatly. I can't remember any game since Doom that scared me that much (Half Life is the lone exception) and caused me to do these things in real life. buut one other thing I think that developers seriously need in their game is the leen feature. whenever I'm through with a long game of thief (I'm playing it over now on the hardest difficulty) I'll go back to Half Life and ALWAYS find myself pressing the use button in a futile attempt to lean around corners....

maybe this is the next innovation in FPSs where in addition to leaning, crouching and the Shift-makes-you walk button you'll be able to lean around corners

I know I often try and lean to look around a corner (I mean, I literally move my head as if I think I'll be able to see round the side of the monitor or something...), and being able to actually make your character lean in Thief adds a lot to the gameplay. It's ridiculously simple, but it really helps the immersion and atmosphere being able to crane your neck to check for guards round a corner.


From : Ormy
Subject : violence in computer games

Some say, "Those who cannot distinguish a real person from a pixelated one have a real problem," and they are right. But with this in mind we face a real problem in the future, graphics are becoming more and more realistic. To get to my point, what if they become so realistic that we cannot define a solid border between video game graphics and real life? Scary eh.

The line between realism and games is obviously becoming more blurred over time, but except the "interactive" movie type games I don't think we'll ever see games that are so realistic you can't distinguish them from real life, or at least not for a long time. Artists simply don't have time to put that much detail into their art, models and maps! An infinitely detailed game would take an infinite amount of time to produce, unless the computer could create it by itself...


Quake RIP?

Is Quake dead? Or does it just smell funny? And if so, does that explain why everything in the game is a strange shade of brown? PlanetQuake investigates...


From : CHUCK REED
Subject : Quake Development

We are still developing Quake and Quake World Mods. Our Mod - Super CTF recently took 5th best capture mod of 1998 - telling me that there is still a Quake audience. And we still write for that audience. (Thank-you all of them, we love you!)

Quake lacks a lot of the fancy network magic that Quake World and Quake II have in them. But it is a much more robust medium to develop on. There are just some things in Quake that you don't want to do in QW or Q2 because it raises issues with lag. Which more or less makes Quake best suited for LAN's or local ISP clients.

I think Quakes disappearance is much like that of the Space Shuttle. Old news fades fast. While the audience shrinks, some people still love to watch the shuttle take-off and land. It becomes a part of them. There must be an audience of 5,000 + Quake diehards out here. Surely some website is catering to them.


From : Qris
Subject : Mail Bag Comments on the Death of Quake

I'm sure Gestalt got flames galore on his comments of moving on from Q1 [ nope, not a single one actually .. weird ] and they may have been well deserved, too. Q1 has a bit of life left in it, probably more than you realize. Ignoring something doesn't mean that it is dead, nor does it mean that you can get more to jump on your bandwagon of one "reporter."

I must admit though, that PQ seems to do a fine job of ignoring the ongoing changes in the Q1 mods (Jeez, could you ignore the Requiem mod a little harder?) and all of the great new maps coming out for Q1.


Quake I is not being ignored - as long as there is news, PlanetQuake will report it. The problem is that the hardcore Quake fans seem to be so convinced that we're ignoring them that they decide to ignore us back.

SuperCTF? Never heard of it. Mail news@planetquake.com when you release a new version and I'll post about it. But I've never even heard of the mod before. Same goes for Requiem - I've had about two stories from them in the last few months. Either nothing much is happening over there anymore, or they're just not bothering to send the news...

I know a lot of people are still playing Quake, and I'm sure a lot is still going on (though obviously not as much as for Quake II), but if I don't hear about it I can't post about it - simple as that. There's no point going underground and trying to ignore us, then accusing us of ignoring you!


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