Once again this week, we open up with a shootload of reader e-mail
on another fan-bloody-tastic editorial. Dru's
editorial on Gaming and Violence provoked thoughts among many
readers, and those same readers were considerate enough to write
in! Hear their opinions!
From: Michael Turitzin
Subject: Dru's excellent editorial
In his article, Dru manages to make several generalizations
which are obviously false. For those who have not read this article,
I will sum up its major points:
Younger generation = tolerant
Older generation = ignorant warhawks
Politicians = foolish
Media = bloodthirsty
He states, "Far more tolerance than has been shown than the
generation older than us, who propel us into conflicts against
the new enemy Communism, or the new enemy Iraq, or who managed
to divide a whole country for many, many years." Has there ever
been a generalization more blatant? I don't recall the "older
generation" having supported these conflicts -- members of the
generation, yes, but most definitely not the entire generation.
Just as the "younger generation" is not composed entirely (or
even close to entirely) of "tolerant" people, the "older generation"
is not composed of intolerant people. Dru states that he plays
Quake with people of all ages but then goes on to say that only
the "younger generation" is tolerant. If the "Quake community"
is tolerant, how can some members of it not be? From Dru's statements,
it would sound as if he has had very little contact with members
of the supposed generation he berates.
Dru's "politician examples" are hardly convincing. In another
generalization, he claims that politicians are, in fact, not "honourable
gentlemen" (I do wonder where he got this quotation from) but
"complete fool[s]." Wow. I was not aware that an entire group
could be summed up in one sentence, but Dru has most definitely
done so very effectively! Dru's attacks on the "older generation"
and "foolish politicians" sound no less ignorant than arguments
claiming today's young people are somehow worse than they were
in the past. I don't think I even need to comment on Dru's further
generalizations regarding the media. One should not attack stereotyping
by stereotyping (as Dru has managed to accomplish).
While I do not necessarily completely disagree with Dru's argument,
it could definitely have been presented in a more intelligent
manner. I have, by the way, noticed many racist comments in online
games of Quake.
Hellchick: Allow to begin my mailbag comments with a serious
statement - I also disagreed with a major portion of Dru's argument.
One of the things he stated was that you will never racist or
chauvinist remarks on any Quake server. This is blatantly wrong.
I've seen both, more of the latter because I'm female. While I
agree with his point, I wouldn't have take the same path to get
there. 'Nuff said.
From: Roger Norris
Subject: Roger Norris
It is a difficult thing for someone who enjoys
playing violent games to take a step back and look at how those
games might be having a negative impact. I'll try my best to be
First of all, it is important to realize that playing violent
video games DOES influence a person's behavior. Playing these
games tends to increase a person's aggressiveness. However, this
does not mean that violent video games should be held responsible
for such extreme cases as school shootings. Video games may affect
one's aggressiveness but they have not been shown to affect one's
judgment, and judgment is the key issue here. These school shootings
were not the result of sudden aggressive impulses but were pre-meditated
attacks, which cannot be attributed to the effects of such a small
influence as a video game.
Another issue addressed in the editorial was the cohesiveness
and tolerance of the gaming community. While there is definitely
progress being made as far as tolerance goes, I don't think we
can give credit for that to violent video games. This generation
as a whole is much more tolerant than any of the previous ones
simply because of education and communication advances. The tolerance
of the gaming community might be slightly higher not because of
the games themselves, but because of the new medium for communication
that the games provide. Oh well, that's enough ranting for now...back
Hellchick: Well said, Pyro. We could extend this argument
to people in the military - they're trained to kill, so isn't
that desenitizing them to violence? Food for thought. Now if you
don't mind, I have to go desensitive myself...
From: Daniel E. Bozym Jr
Subject: Dru's Editorial
The man hit the mark.
The bandwagon on this 'Video Game Violence' issue is bigger
than a Ford Excursion. In a society with a Democratic media, they
must tell everyone how (insert item here) is corrupting our environment;
or breeding people into mindless killing machines.
People never believe politicians on issues of tax, money, laws,
or so forth. Why believe them about some video game? I'm not saying
all politicians are dirty scowndrels and dishonest; but that the
general public is all divided about other issues. Why do they
stand alltogether on the video game one?
Can't we all just get along?
(and if you all stand real close together, i can snipe yer candyass'
with 1 rail shot!)
Hellchick: If Sexecutioner won't say that all politicians
are dirty scoundrels and dishonest, then allow me to stand up
and do it for him!
From: Rudy Melero
Subject: Gaming and Violence editorial
Are computer games being put to blame for the violence in America?
You guys are getting off easy- granted, every now and then some
fool in Congress is going to come unglued at the violence in his
district and blame id, or Epic, or 3D Realms, or anyone. But trust
me, computer games are a passing fad in congress. I'm sure some
of you are angry that the pastime that you love is under scrutiny,
well join the club. And we've got a good forty years on you.
Members of the NRA have been through this crap for much longer
than you guys, and we've had it a lot worse. You may think it's
horrible that congress wants to take away the right for you to
do what you love most- yeah, it is horrible. But you're not the
first, EVERY single time a violent crime is commited in America,
the NRA takes the blame. And why? Because guns are our pastime.
And now you guys are feeling the same thing. Congress is trying
to keep you from doing what you love, because some idiot spoiled
it for you. Welp, we've already 'bin there, and it sucks. But
believe me, you ain't seen nothing yet.
I am the NRA, and a fragger-
P.S. This response isn't meant to tell
people how great the NRA is, or how evil congress is- just that
you aren't the first ones. Oh and, please excuse my grammar.
Hellchick: Oh my GOD - he's a Quake player AND an NRA member.
RUN! Run screaming for your lives! Actually, I wonder if Rudy
ever saw my idea for an NRA
Subject: Quaker Politicans
I just finished reading
Dru's excellent editorial. I can't agree more to what he says.
At 17 years old that puts me at a junior in high school. Catholic
High school, now I wasn't catholic educated all my life, and I've
had my share of putdowns and racial slurs courtesy of public education
(I just went to bad schools, nothing personal). I also wear a
trenchcoat to school, and I'm a white male. Couldn't find a better
person to believe was in the trenchcoat maffia right? Wrong. I
vehemently oppose what the trenchcoat maffia stands for and I'm
always offended by the crud accusations made by the immature minds
of CCHS (in fact I'm sitting next to one right now). All it would
take for me to get suspended is for one of these comments to be
overheard by our powermad prinicpals.
After what seems like an eternity I finally asked the administration
if CCHS could start a club devoted to Online Gaming. They said
yes and our second meeting is tomarrow night. It'll be interesting
to see how long it lasts.
The Black Baron
Hellchick: Indeed. And to see the looks on the collective
faces of the administration when they find out you guys are using
the Catholic girl skin.
From: Mike Salzman
Subject: violence editorial
When politicians condemn violent games, all they are trying
to do is get public support. The smart politicians see a golden
oppurtunity here to win the favor of the public. Let's assess the
When someone see's a small clip of a guy exploding it looks
bad -- This is great for the media, because it takes no time.
The media loves things that get reactions out of the public that
they don't need to try and explain. They always srcounge for "footage"
of something, if there's no footage, the dumb masses (say it outloud
and you'll get the subtle comment, hehe) are un-interested.
The majority of voters do not play violent games -- Therefore,
they can condemn something they know nothing about and look good
for "saving the children" while not turning off too many voters,
they gain more than they loose.
I could go on about how people are so ignorant, and have too
much say in things they know nothing about, but I wont.
Later, I need to go run over a puppy or pop some little kid's
baloons. (j/k, don't take that seriously, ugh, I can't believe
I even needed to say that).
I, personally, happen to think that, while living in Canada,
mind you, that the various governments and media outlets seem
to run with anything bad they can find anywhere. But that's my
opinion. I also have another opinion, and that's that violence
in games is fine, mm'kay? But I suppose it all depends. BTW, Hellchick
says we'll have a rebuttal on this next week, so I can look forward
to sorting through a lot more e-mail. Yippee!
From: David Perry
Subject: Dru's editorial on violence
Dru's article is rather clear-headed, if short, in dealing with
the never-ending video game violence debate. However, I must take
exception to one of his statements. He says that if you connected
to a Quake server, "you would not hear a single racist joke, or
chauvinist remark, or any similar sort of insult." In my personal
experiences with Q1 deathmatch and TeamFortress, this isn't always
the case. From time to time, I've run into someone who goes around
calling people "niggers", which is almost universally unacceptable
these days. Much more often you'll hear someone call another player
(or his tactics) "gay" or "fag". Perhaps these literary experts
are from a different area than me, but where I live, homosexual
and bisexual people are still people, not less- than-human aberrations
as the above taunts would suggest.
Don't get me wrong, this sort of thing is the exception, not
the rule. But it happens often enough to reflect badly on the
online gaming community, and give Mr. Politician more fuel to
power the political bandwagon.
However, in all fairness, Dru did say he was playing Q3A, not
Quake or TF. Maybe Q3A players are more civilized or something.
Nothing like curved surfaces to bring a group of people together.
Thanks for your time,
Hellchick: Like I said, not only have I heard those same
terms, but I've heard a few directed at me based on my (perceived)
gender. I once thought about calculating all possible permutations
of the words "bitch", "whore", "slut",
and a few that I think are too strong even for PQ's mailbag. Of
course, most of those came from ME, but you didn't hear that.
Subject: Gaming and Violence Editorial
In a recent editorial Dru said "I can guarantee you however,
that if you connected to a server, you would not hear a single
racist joke, or chauvinist remark, or any similar sort of insult."
If only this were true. I have been on several servers where
"nigger", "cunt" and other racial or sexual put downs. When I
said that such language was offensive the originator proceeded
to insult me, and other players on the server either didn't say
a thing, or told me to shut up.
The Quake community is not as cheerful
and happy as Dru seems to think it is.
These past two letters were singled out because I feel that they're
sadly true. While we'd like to think that everyone's enlightened,
and everyone's fair, it's just not what's happening out there.
A few, not the majority, are just plainly being dicks, and there's
not a hell of a lot we can do about it, except say "Don't be a
dick, dude." It's kind of a sad statement on the community sometimes,
that we're not as sensitive as maybe we should be. In addition,
if you're offended by any word printed in the mailbag, including
the above examples of a harmful racial slur, please e-mail feedback
with your opinions, keeping in mind that all letters included
in the PQ Mailbag are the property and opinion of their authors,
not PlanetQuake. Thanks.
Hellchick: They are also not the opinion of PQ's employers,
any subsidiaries, our mothers, the guy who delivers our office
products, or Jesse Ventura. But if they piss you off, hell, I'll
take credit for 'em.
On to more letters on the next page, including people who want
to go home!