A broader perspective is needed to judge best response

Lee Koo, thank you for inviting a discussion about video games and violence. Your comments, that I have quoted below, are germane to an even broader discussion of society, the actions of individuals sharing the space on the planet with each other, and responsibilities. While I do not necessarily think your expressed views are "wrong" (in fact they are spot on in my opinion), I think they are "incomplete" with regards to the real world choices, consequences and responsibilities of individuals. You wrote:

"I ultimately hold the parents responsible for what their children are exposed to. I think it is our role as parents to monitor our children's play, and it is also our duty to educate our kids on the differences between games and reality, in case they are exposed to these violent games beyond our supervision."

In the real world that we live in and go about our business every day, each of us makes daily decisions that have consequences for ourselves and frequently for others. We do not live in an idealized world in which all children are given perfect upbringings by parents. Huge numbers of children are not even reared by their parents or a parent, and of those who are, many are raised by parents with woefully inadequate skills or discipline to turn out healthy well-rounded children. That is a fact of the real world. The "nanny state" canard gets bandied about whenever some people want rules and regulation to protect themselves from the consequence of the bad behaviors of others. That is the foundation for most rules of society (the exception being that some rules are created for ill-intent and not societal good).

Whenever folks claiming libertarian or conservative perspectives start complaining about the "nanny state" and government intrusion, their arguments almost always exist in this incomplete view of the real world. In the real world nobody always makes perfect decisions that do the most good and harm the fewest. The disregard for the harmful consequences of everyday life choices of individuals doing their own thing, going their own way, living life the way they want, and all the other libertarian idealist phrases that get bandied about are what I mean by stating that your view is "incomplete".

I will leave it up to trained professionals to debate the degrees to which violent images and action influence the behaviors of those without the personal traits that protect the majority from turning into violent serial killers or psychopaths. Just from anecdotal evidence of observing the actions of small children who have been watching violent cartoons or playing video games I think there is some influence on undesired behaviors. What is important, and I appreciate that you shared your opinion, is that going forward people in our society need to have a bigger and more realistic view of the circumstances in which other people are living and developing. The "nanny state", meaning our elected, assigned or defacto public policy makers, can offer interventions and rules that protect you and me from people who will make decisions that harm us.

The arguments and discussions (like this one) need to be made about the degrees of intervention, costs versus benefits, and ultimately value decisions about giving up one freedom to be free to do another. Because we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people we will never all be satisfied. But, it would be a great thing indeed if we eliminated the romantic libertarian notion that every individual ought to be free to live however he or she chooses - and do this in a vacuum of ignorant bliss about the consequences to others.

To bluntly sum how this relates to your question: reality is that many children will not be raised as you claim you think they ought to be raised, and if this lack of parenting results in violent behaviors that harm you or your loved ones, what if anything are we fellow citizens to do to protect us from being harmed by them? Access to violent video games likely CONTRIBUTES to, but it is obviously not the sole or even major cause of violent behavior as the sensationalist attention seeking CNET headline incorrectly implies was the opinion of 58% or the respondents. (bogus headlines is another story you should address in your forums!).

This is the discussion that should be had about EVERY rule or law we impose on others. And frequently there will not be tidy resolutions or agreement about the merits, but making the effort is what civilization is all about.

rotarep0