Violent video game debate goes back decades

video game violence

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings in December, the debate over violent video games is being waged once again.

Just before Christmas, National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre made controversial remarks about violent video games in a public press conference. Over the past week, Vice President Joe Biden invited representatives from the video game industry to a panel discussion about the gun control and violence topic. On January 10, New Jersey governor Chris Christie also noted violent video games as what he believes to be a factor in violence.

“You cannot tell me that a kid sitting in a basement for hours playing Call of Duty and killing people over and over and over again does not desensitize that child to the real life effects of violence,” Christie said.

The topic of video game violence has been going on almost since the day the general public first became aware of video games. In 1976, Exidy’s Death Race became the first video game to spark such discussion. A game which challenged players to run over stick figures with cars,Death Race made national news headlines on shows such as 60 Minutes and created such an outcry that many video arcades removed the game.

Stern classic Berzerk also sparked similar discussion in 1981, especially after 19-year-old Jeff Dailey died of a heart attack shortly after playing the game. Similar to remarks recently made about games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Berzerk found itself criticized by then-National Coalition on Television Violence chairman Dr. Thomas Radecki.

“In this game you’re a stick figure with a handgun,” Radecki said in 1981. “The object is to kill as many other stick figures as possible before they kill you. This type of role-playing practice is certain to have long-term harmful effects on the player. It teaches violent reactions. These games are training the next generation of Americans to be even more violent than our current adult generation, already the most violent in American history.”

According to a FactCheck.org posting on December 20, there were 3.59 gun murders per 100,000 people in 2010, the lowest rate since 1981, the same year Dr. Radecki made his statement about Berzerk and similar video games.

A number of gamers from the 1981 generation of grew up to become lawyers, business owners and doctors. Joel West, the 1982 world champion on Berzerk, is a conservative Christian and father who still plays the classic today. Another notable name who has made a living in the gaming world says despite thousands of hours of gaming, including Berzerk, he did not turn out violent.

Berzerk was one of my favorite arcade games back in the early eighties,” said former Electronic Gaming Monthly writer ‘Trickman’ Terry Minnich. “Today, I own an original Berzerk machine and it is still one of my favorite games. I’ve played every type of game. No matter how bad I am doing, I never kick or punch the machine or throw a controller in anger. I never have and don’t believe I ever will.”

Minnich went on to point out that some members of the early gaming generation, instead of becoming violent, went on to create a major impact on the world today.

“Some of the first geeks and nerds started in that generation,” he said. “The famous ones went on to found Apple and Microsoft and helped usher in the technology we enjoy today. I think that generation turned out pretty well overall.”

The GAG Quartet: le Internet Medley

The GAG Quartet - le Internet Medley

This is totally awesome, they play over 40 internet tunes in one song.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mghhLqu31cQ[/youtube]

DOWNLOAD THE TRACK SO WE COULD MAKE MORE SONGS! (iTunes)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-gag-quartet/id481418983

Gilad Chehover – Drums | Guy Bernfeld – Bass | Or Paz – Guitar
http://facebook.com/TheGAGQuartet

Recording, mixing, pianoing and feminine singing by Eyal Amir (http://www.youtube.com/eyalamirmusic )
Drums recorded by Martial Bouhassira

le Photography – Dafna Sasson
le Second Unit- Tamari Goddard
le Editing & After Effects – Or Paz
le Animation – Tom Trager

J.A. Cares: HappyWorkers

My new year’s resolution was to work harder than ever, that was before my job gave me the boot. Lord Obama called me upset because me being unemployed hurt his job numbers. Obscure Internet called asking why if I was unemployed I was not submitting more. Well the tear bucket is full and this is my birthday month so let’s read some more e-mails.

Misty Pendleton from Galesburg Illinois writes:

I know my time is soon J.A., my job has been laying off people left and right and now that the holidays are over there will be blood, my blood. The strange thing is the people at my company are just so happy and upbeat. It is like they are on some drug and forgot to give me some. How can these people love their job so much? How can they be happy when the end is near? Am I crazy or is everyone else?

It is very possible you are crazy, but since the government recalled my shock treatment kit I cannot give you a qualified diagnosis. However, I can tell you about some people that can act like they love their job but it is all an act.

The Best Buy Carolers

You remember these guys right? They sing to people about what to buy from Best Buy. They look happy right? One reason is because they don’t have to sell those scam bait extended warranties on the street. Did you know they whip you if you don’t sell an extended warranty? Maybe my DVD does not need a five year scratch guarantee.

I have seen the fear in their eyes when I tell them no. They know a beating is coming and the one time of the year they get outside and taste freedom, well, they sing. But don’t fall for it, big brother is watching and if those smiles fade a sniper from across the street will take them out. Just look what they did to Circuit City.

A tale of two Wal-marts

We know War-mart is evil, but how evil are they. First of all, the old lady in the front of the store, she is not an old lady. She was Becky, a fifteen year old freshman from Valley High, but she mistakenly flipped the bird to one of those smiley faces they have all over the store. What Becky didn’t know what that those smiley faces transmit data to Satan in hell and then back up to the Wal-mart mother-ship in orbit. Becky punishment, she was turned into an old lady and placed in the front of the store to greet people, if she steps more than five feet away from the door her Wal-mart brand shock collar delivers a reminder of why she should not disobey her masters.

You know what else Flo’s?

Crap down a toilet. Flo the perky, not sexy enough to sleep with sober, but will do her if intoxicated and deny it till death the next day, is not a real human. See, Wal-mart has another company not many know about called People-mart. People-mart creates pod people that are sold as spokespeople to major companies. Flo is currently one of their top sellers.

Flo is perky and happy and loves Progressive Insurance because she was programmed to, but it is so over the top that her CPU overheats and she explodes after every commercial. This has made People-mart a ton of money.

By the way, the subsidiary of People-mart is Critter-mart and they have created such spokescritters as the Taco Bell dog and the Geico gecko.

Don’t you believe it!

Nobody likes their job, because it’s a job. Maybe they tolerated it or they work high or drunk, but if you see that level of happiness look out, it most likely is a pod person or a People-mart spokesperson.

Now I would tell you about Politician-mart, but they are watching me too.

J.A. Cares: MySpace Angles

MySpace Angles Motivational Poster

It is 2009; we have a black president, a black head of the RNC and a black attorney general. If you did not know this, these three things are the signs of the apocalypse and our end will come soon (2012), but before that time comes, I, your black internet physiatrist, J.A. Laraque am here to care and continue helping the fans of Obscure Internet with any and all issues.

Kandy Preston from Chicago Illinois writes:

Dear J.A.,

My name is Kandy and even though my name sounds sweet finding a date has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. This is my problem. I don’t like to get out so I do my dating online. I try not to be superficial, but I have run into too many men who take pictures of themselves using MySpace angles.

In case you don’t know what a MySpace angle is, it is when you take a picture to hide your fat and ugly. My question to you is why people can’t be honest about their body and their looks. It’s bad enough you don’t know much about people you meet online besides their picture and now their pictures are not a true representation of themselves.

J.A. can you tell me how wide spread this is? Are all these pictures doctored? Is there any truth on the internet?

First let me just say that most girls I know named Kandy are either hookers or really, really….large. Anyway, to answer your question, no, there is no truth on the internet. The internet, like the cake, is a lie.

I myself was unaware of MySpace angles until setup on a date. I learned that the camera can be used to deceive, not only others, but the opinions of the people in the picture. You can take enough of these pictures to where you look at them and think you look good, but you would be sadly mistaken.

Personally, I have seen people make a dating profile using an old picture and truly it sucks especially when it is clearly an old picture. When you see one of those old Motorola brick phone in the background and you are not in some cell phone museum it’s time to update those pictures.

Also, I have come across people whose main profile picture is a head shot but their additional pictures show the body. It’s not quite bait and switch, but I figure it’s best to just let people know what you look like up front. Perhaps these people feel happy that someone clicked on their profile even if only to be shocked when they look at their additional pictures. It’s like that website that tells you to stare at a blank screen then it plays a loud scream scaring the crap out of you.

I wish I had some good news for you Kandy but alas I do not. The internet is full of fail and honestly if you are searching it looking for a date then most likely you are also full of fail. The best thing to do is look at yourself in the mirror, preferably naked. If you feel like you are about to vomit then you should not be concerned about MySpace angles since you are in fact one yourself.

However, if you are hot, for god sakes get off the internet and hit the bar like the rest of humanity. See in the bar there are MySpace angles too, the difference is these angles hide things like financial debt, lack of an education and personality and their STD’s

Have fun!

P.S. I just realized your name is Kandy and you said sour taste in your mouth. I had a great joke to use, but Obama told me to be nice.

Dear Dish Network

dish-tv-network

Dear Dish Network,

Hello. I am not a customer nor do I ever plan to be. Do you want to know why? It is not because your channel lineup sucks and you have less HD channels than local television, it is because of the event I am about to describe.

August 12th – I was sitting down for my weekday dinner which consists of a quarter cup of white rice and two turkey sausages (I am poor and on a diet). My plan was to spend the rest of the night watching television falling asleep to the sweet, sweet sound of Keith Olbermann’s voice. Just as I was taking the first of many unsatisfying bites there was a loud pounding at my door. At first being an African-American, I believed the pounding was the police at my door, but then I realized they would not have bothered to knock.

Setting my bowl to the side I opened the door and a man began speaking to me in Spanish (I live in Miami Florida). I stare at him hoping to scare him away but it does not work. He then began speaking in horribly broken English asking me if I have satellite service. Now while it was getting dark my apartment has a small patio with bright lights shining on a very large dish. You would have to be blind and stupid not to see it. Again I stare at the man bewildered taking a moment to point my eyes towards the dish; he still did not get the hint.

I tell the man I have Direct TV, the best in satellite service, and was about to close the door when he asks am I happy. Am I happy? Let’s see, I am on a diet that sucks ass, I work out everyday just to lose half a pound a week, I have no girlfriend, and my career is going nowhere. So now on a Friday night when I should be out getting tail I am sitting home alone in my shoe box apartment eating bland food only to be interrupted by a man just off the banana-boat asking me if I am happy. I told the man I was very happy.

He proceeded to try to explain to me that he could offer me a better deal. Now maybe I would have listened but my awful food was getting cold plus the mosquitoes were getting in. I told the man I have a ten year contract with Direct TV and if I try to leave they will cut my balls off. I smiled and closed the door and immediately went crying to my bedroom.

About a week later I see my next door neighbor is having a satellite dish put in. I also see the same man installing it. This would not have been an issue except he was installing it on my patio fence. Now I could have complained but I like my neighbors to the extent that if someone was trying to kill me I would hope they would at least dial 911. Because of this I kept quiet and accepted the dish trespassing.

A few hours later I left for the weekend as a storm was coming and I am deathly afraid of rain and lighting. When I returned Monday I found that my satellite service was off. The receiver kept saying searching for a satellite signal. I went and looked at the dish and the wires and found nothing though I admit I wasn’t sure what to look for. Then I called Direct TV and they told me that due to the storm they could not get anyone to me until September 26th. That was over a month later.

Needless to say I was livid. I yelled and screamed and cursed and then unmated the phone because the lady thought I hung up. I begged and pleaded and cried and in the end they told me to suck it up and take it. Now I was about to cancel because I can’t go a day without watching the liberal media and considered calling Dish Network, but then Direct TV offered me three free months of service and a free HDDVR. While deciding what to do I also found out you can watch Countdown on the MSNBC website. It was decided; I would tuff it out and wait until the end of the next month.

Fast forward to September 26th, it was hard and boring but I was able to make it and now I was hours away from having my television back. So the Direct TV guy comes and he speaks great English and goes to work on installing my HDDVR. Then he comes in with a weird look on his face and what he asks me changed my life forever.

“Did you have a Dish Network guy come around here recently?”

The question didn’t make sense. Why would he ask that? I told him yes and asked him why. He smiled and motioned for me to follow him out the door. He then pointed out to me that the cable from my dish to my receiver was cut and it wasn’t an accident. It was high up on the fence and it was cut in a way that unless I physically pulled the wire I would not know it was cut. This was done by an evil, evil godless man who wanted nothing more than to destroy my life.

The Direct TV man told me that this happens sometimes. The Dish Network or Cable guys will come by and offer their services and if you turn them down sabotage your system. He told me to be on the lookout and gave me his personal number to call if it happened again. I would have kissed him if he didn’t look like he would punch me in the face if I did so. I shook his hand and thanked him and ran inside to my bedroom to cry.

Now I am sitting here writing this letter to you to say I hope you die in a fire and then continue burning in that fire once you reach hell. While I got to see my lovely Keith Olbermann on my computer there is no substitute to my 51 inch screen. I feel as if you took a month of my life away and I want it back. I am not sure what to ask for but I would accept the thumbs of the man who did this to me. What will I do if you don’t comply? Nothing, I am too much of a bitch to do anything but write letters during my lunch time at work. I just want you to know you have made a grown man cry…more often than I normally do. You have hurt me more than my prom date that ended up making out with the school janitor. I want you to know I signed a lifetime contract with Direct TV and will tell all my imaginary friends never to order from your company.

Lord Obama will smite you

Fictitiously yours,

J.A. Laraque