Glenn Beck Criticizes Watch Dogs for Promoting Hacking -- "What the Heck is Wrong with Us?"

Popular conservative TV and radio host says, "What are we thinking? We are inviting this into our home and our lives."

Popular American conservative TV and radio host Glenn Beck has spoken out to criticize Ubisoft's recently released open-world Watch Dogs, the fastest selling game in Ubisoft's history. During a recent episode of his show, The Blaze (via Polygon), Beck first called out the game's protagonist Aiden Pearce for being an anti-hero and not a traditional hero like Superman.

"Why must everyone be an anti-hero? Why must everyone break the law? Why can't we have a Superman? Why can't we have somebody who is doing the right thing, does the hard thing? Instead, everybody is an anti-hero," Beck said.

Beck also took issue with the way in which, he believes, Watch Dogs promotes hacking.

"The idea here is they are teaching you to hack and then become the ultimate voyeur in other people's lives--including their bedrooms--by hacking into their phones and everything," Beck said. "This game is teaching people to hack into whatever is docked in your bedroom. What the heck is wrong with us? What are we thinking? We are inviting this into our home and our lives. We are teaching our kids [hacking] for entertainment purposes."

We have reached out to a Ubisoft representative for a response to Beck's comments.

"Yes, it's really hard to avoid [video games] … and then once you start, it's hard to put them down. Yeah, so is crack cocaine" -- Glenn Beck

Also during the segment, Beck said because video games are such a relatively new medium, we don't yet fully understand how they affect our brains, though he said he's sure they must do so in some way. "These games re-wire your brain; we don't even know what they do yet. This is brand new stuff," Beck said.

So if video games are capable of being such a negative force on our brains, why not just stop playing altogether? Beck said it's not that simple. "Everybody wants to talk about guns; everybody wants to talk about Hollywood movies; everybody wants to talk about the guys who made these video games. It's not their fault. Yes, it's really hard to avoid [video games] … and then once you start, it's hard to put them down. Yeah, so is crack cocaine."

It's not just video games that we have a difficult time detaching ourselves from, Beck said. He said people would be more likely to give up smoking or coffee than their smartphones or Facebook. "We're addicted, and we're so fearful that we think we can't [stop]," he said.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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1137 comments
mrfata
mrfata

Totally understandable, i press Q to hack in real life too. LOL

In all seriousness here is another "video game make you do bad things" rant. Everyone knows there is real life and there is fantasy world. And those who say "its the kids who cant" the game is rated M for Mature for a reason.

sotired
sotired

I'm not surprised that Beck can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality. He can't tell the difference between right and wrong either.

cxxal
cxxal

I'm fine with games like Watch Dogs(which means this guy is talking nonsense). However, I hate kids touching those kinds of games and movies. A 12 years old girl once told me she loves watching Saw series, because she loves to see those blood and how people got killed. what the hell.

UberMan5000
UberMan5000

Glenn Beck often confuses fantasy with reality. Let's hope he also doesn't find out that the game was made by the French; he'd become apoplectic.

jeffryclause
jeffryclause

I accuse Glenn Beck of promoting hacking by actually being one.

Dannerfjord
Dannerfjord

This guy is so naive. He clearly has not even watched parts of the game. He says Watch Dogs teaches you to hack. Lawl.

xeno1ith
xeno1ith

Wait until Oculus Rift GUI's become mainstream.  The human brain's ability to distinguish between real life and virtual reality will be stripped away by several orders of magnitude, especially for a young developing brain.  It will be like comparing today's AAA video games to yesteryear's board games.

jeffryclause
jeffryclause

Glenn Beck is the Kevin Trudeau of media, only coming in a close second to Alex Jones as chief bullchitter of conservative talking heads. So for some reason, Gamespot thinks I should give a flying repuglikkan about what Glenn Beck thinks or says.

Does Gamespot even reality at all anymore??

the_ecks
the_ecks

Kevin Trudeau was a hack, sure.... but he did help open my eyes on the subject of the crooked ways of the FDA and big pharma. His book on natural cures actually gave me some hope for cancer and diseases which plague humankind. Glen Beck on the other hand is a Conservative talk show host.... I don't think it gets any lower than his kind. Please, if you're gonna compare Glen to anyone, go for Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, anyone from Faux News.

At least Kevin Trudeau actually felt like he was trying to help by releasing information he felt no one else would find easily on subjects that happen to plague mankind... these other guys, well they are a whole different plague on mankind.

"These games re-wire your brain; we don't even know what they do yet. This is brand new stuff," I guess he'd been living under a rock for the past five decades.

davidpring2005
davidpring2005

Glenn Beck obviously can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Glenn, Its just a game. Its not real. It won't bite you.

The_Corinthian
The_Corinthian

He is not the right spokesperson for this issue however, anyone who thinks a constant feeding of violence in movies and games to children and crazy people isn't going to have a societal effect is ignorant.

crashy_mcsplode
crashy_mcsplode

 Hacking is not a crime. Cracking is. That said, a lot of the activities in watchdogs would be illegal. However the game gives you the choice of being the hero or the anti-hero. If Glen Beck prefers to play games as the bad guy, that's fine but he should present both sides of the story. 

First he says we don't know how these games affect us, then he says they re-wire our brains. Which is it? Games are not like cocaine either, cocaine is a physical substance you put in your body that causes massive chemical changes and devastating brain damage. It can even burn your nose off. The people who get hopelessly addicted to games are usually people with addictive personalities. If it wasn't games, it would likely have been something else. Same for people who become violent and video games are blamed. The games are not the root of the problem. If our mental health system here in America was better and less crippled (mostly by old laws enacted by Reagan and during that era), I imagine more of these people would get treatment before the worst happens. Violence, guns, sex, they're not exclusive  to games. They're in movies, music, media, the internet, television, everywhere you look. There's no one scapegoat.

the_ecks
the_ecks

We have a, "mental health system?"

sotired
sotired

@crashy_mcsplode Even the most loose and innocuous definition of hacking--breaking into systems and/or finding its weaknesses, not for malicious purposes but just for enjoyment--is illegal in almost every meaningful case.

crashy_mcsplode
crashy_mcsplode

Hackers invented the internet. There are white hat hackers, grey hat hackers, and black hat hackers.the white hat hackers are security professionals who work to fix vulnerabilities. Grey hat hackers are the vigilante types who say they are taking down evil people for a greater cause. Black hat hackers just want to steal money.

Another definition I've heard it's this.

Hacking is using an item for something other than its intended purpose to accomplish a new goal.

crashy_mcsplode
crashy_mcsplode

@xboxisawesomer @crashy_mcsplode

Well, he made the first communication over HTTP. He basically invented the World Wide Web. There were many essential technologies before that like TCP/IP, ARPANET and Usenet.

Plazmatix
Plazmatix

This is from the guy who supports the NRA and wants people to own more guns.

xeno1ith
xeno1ith

@Plazmatix 

Riiiight, because everyone who supports the NRA or is a gun owner supports criminal activity.

the_ecks
the_ecks

No... but open carry gun nuts do support fear-mongering, which isn't illegal yet because fox news and the tea-farty exist. I want to exercise my right to bear arms by brandishing katana blades through my local Target. (Not really)

sekkerhund
sekkerhund

I would have fallen out of my chair if he'd said "Batman" instead of "Superman".  :D

Got news for ya, Glenn: 

A:  I was "hacking" over 30 years ago... mostly to get free video games.

B:  Yea, gaming's not new.

C:  John Deere wants their backhoe returned and says that you need to stop digging up dead horse graves for corpses to beat.


I was a kid when the craycrays screamed about Dungeons and Dragons messing up our youthful minds.  Fast forward to today and... well, wait... maybe AD&D really **IS** what's wrong with the world today?!?!?!?  O.O

xeno1ith
xeno1ith

@sekkerhund 

I don't think he's talking about Tetras or Packman.  Some of the newer, graphic simulations in video games are RELATIVELY new.  And, we're reaching more and more realistic virtual end points with every generation of video game engine development.  Wait until Oculus Rift GUI's soon become mainstream, the human brain's ability to distinguish between real life and virtual reality will further be stripped away by several orders of magnitude, especially for young developing brains.

madpioneer
madpioneer

"The idea here is they are teaching you to hack and then become the ultimate voyeur in other people's lives--including their bedrooms--by hacking into their phones and everything," Beck said. "This game is teaching people to hack into whatever is docked in your bedroom. What the heck is wrong with us? What are we thinking? We are inviting this into our home and our lives. We are teaching our kids [hacking] for entertainment purposes."

This has been happening WAY BEFORE this game was even an idea in someone's mind Glenn! The government and it's agencies are the biggest violators of this and getting worse everyday!

The government of America has taught us much worse ways to go about lying, stealing, killing, hacking, power-grabs, murder and on and on better than any video game could possibly accomplish!

He goes on to state that "...... we don't yet fully understand how they affect our brains, though he said he's sure they must do so in some way. "These games re-wire your brain; we don't even know what they do yet. This is brand new stuff," Beck said.

So we don't even know what they do but he insists that they re-wire our brains? Evidence of this please!

Video games have been around since the early 1970s but lately they are just another excuse for all the problems in the world especially with the youth.

I'm not buying it.  Game on!!

Snepstok
Snepstok

Hahahaha.  Glenn Beck......really? 

We're reporting on him now? Why not someone of slight importance?
 

What's next? An article about what Barney and Miley Cyrus think about global warming?

Cuckook

Securator
Securator

To Glen:

Find the F#@k anyone gives.

praack
praack

 he has a valid point though, most adults have an idea of a game vs reality- however children do not, and children will try to mimic what they see in a game. 


so if the game is about hacking and how "good" it is even if it breaks every law ( and mores of common society) they will attempt it. the recent murder attempt by two 12 year olds to prove the existence of Slenderman is an example.


so though the idea of using an phone to hack won't work- it no doubt will lead to many more Script Kiddies coming on to the scene- with the devastation that follows.


and as for the COD and Battlefield examples- well for sane people it is not an issue - but we keep seeing the ones who are not sane causing the problems in society- for them it is training.

Tee_Mal
Tee_Mal

@praack That logic is flawed imo, what about all the horror flicks and the characters that are created for them? If someones insane enough to commit a heinous crime or act it doesn't matter about the media that person consumes, they're going to do it anyway, as for children they should know better by their superiors about whats good and whats bad.


Hacking shouldn't really be frowned upon imo, it can be a fun thing to learn in a controlled environment and it can expose holes in security systems which keeps it on it's toes which in turn benefits us.


BTW, script-kiddies doesn't apply to children, anyone can be a script-kiddie and it implies that they don't really know what the hell they're doing.

the_ecks
the_ecks

He has never had a point. Also, since the crazy people who can't distinguish video games from real life are the ones causing all of the chaos out in the world, why then is there not SOME form of legislature in action affecting who can or should purchase or legally own firearms from a mental health evaluative perspective? Oh that's right... these conservative law abiding gun owners are afraid to be "kept track of" in a database, which even if we did start keeping track of the mentally ill and criminally inclined, we'd still be, " a long way away from stopping ALL gun crimes," so why even bother trying to put common sense gun laws on the table in attempts to keep firearms out of the wrong hands? It is after all, a RIGHT to own a gun, and NOT a privilege. These same people cry blasphemy if we non-christians decide to practice our right to religious freedom, and most have a hard time seeing how all humans are created equal. Just saying, there are more amendments to the Constitution than the 2nd. And when it was written, they didn't have SMGs, or even semi automatic rifles, hell, I doubt they'd even heard of a "scope" as a commonplace gun accessory. Today we have infrared Lazer targeting, and stand your ground laws. Video games and gamers don't scare me one bit. I'm thinking of a way I can use my right to obtain and bear arms as an excuse to own a Nuke. (Snark sandwich)

geoffbman
geoffbman

Get over it Glen. The original Shadowrun was all about hacking. It's been around for years.

Zorakmax
Zorakmax

@geoffbman Own every single Shadowrun book written and still own both Genesis and SNES versions.  I have wondered why a hacking game hasn't been put out before now.  It also seems convenient the targeted titles are always the big releases, never the crap games that are way more offensive: Oh yeah, just another mouthpiece jumpin' on the band wagon of 'games confuse me and therefore they are bad'.

IceQBkid
IceQBkid

Lol what a tool! This game doesn't teach you anything about hacking! It just promotes it that is all. And damn right anti-heros are better, because the world right now is so corrupt and fascist even Superman would have a hard time to not bend the rules. In fact, if Superman were real now he would see the injustice in the world right now and return the power to the people, the majority and not the elite minority. He would pursue justice peacefully and probably end up president since he can't be bribed or killed by the people richer than him. Get your head out of your ass Glenn Beck.


Also, hacking can be used as a more wider reaching term. I strongly encourage people to watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

"Hackers are innovators. Hackers are people who challenge and change the systems to make them work differently, to make them work better. It's just how they think; it's a mindset. ..... Everything is up for being hacked, even skiing, even education. ..... Having the hacker mindset can change the world."

thetaaz
thetaaz

LOL! Im pretty sure most people can tell the difference between games and reality. Or else we'd all be running around committing war crimes (COD et al), swinging over thousand foot falls (tomb raider), and throwing our fists out in front of ourselves and yelling HADOOOKEN!!! hoping a blue blaze will kill our foe...! Oh, wait, i do the last one almost constantly....... woops....!

commando1992
commando1992

Yes, let me pull out the iPhone my parents bought me so I can hack all your dataz. The thing about video games is yes, they are fantasy fulfillment. Because in real life you're not a gruff antihero who can hack things by tapping on his fancy smart phone. And in real life you can't just buy automatic weapons from a store on the street...oh, wait. 



Tora_Kuo
Tora_Kuo

@commando1992 Oh, wait... You were still right about the last statement.  You can't 'just' buy them, you have to jump through 8 million governmental hoops to get a license that costs thousands of dollars to acquire. 


Also, none of our mass-shootings, nor were 99% of all murders with firearms, bought from gun-shops across the nation, committed with fully automatic weapons.


Most firearms related crime is committed with concealable firearms (pistols), sawed off shotguns (illegal in most states anyway), or illegally obtained weapons of various calibers and firing modes. And of course, some so-called 'assault weapons' that are really 'sport/hunting' rifles of insignificant caliber that fire only in semi-automatic that only cosmetically and ergonomically resemble the military burst-fire and full-auto variants.


I do fully agree with the first part of your statement though.

DJMist
DJMist

"These games re-wire your brain; we don't even know what they do yet. This is brand new stuff," Beck said.

Yes... its BRAND NEW STUFF!! Its ONLY 35 years of gaming!!

FuzzyPancakes
FuzzyPancakes

Lol... I don't think video games are like Crack Cocaine in terms of how addicting they are, not that I would really know... because I never tried Cocaine before, maybe Beck would... but when me and my bros went to college we didn't play video games... nor did we really have time to play them... and I really didn't feel like playing them, also many kids there didn't play video games either

maduscg
maduscg

looks like we found the main villain of the next cod game haha.

LtReviews
LtReviews

Hacking is less often as a way to breach security, and more often as a way to secure ourselves.


Google collects all my personal info and tracks me without my consent- yet this isn't considered hacking?


But when I write a script to interfere with Google collecting my data so I can tell Google I'm a 90 year old woman who visits dailymotion 1 million times a day- I'm suddenly a horrible person breaking the law?

branc187
branc187

@LtReviews  Actually if you use any of googles services or have any google accounts you have agreed to let them track your info. Its in their terms of service.

Tora_Kuo
Tora_Kuo

@branc187 @LtReviews Also, tracking is not the same as 'sharing'. They are supposed to be using it for bettering their services, not reporting on you.

mark_unix
mark_unix

Glenn Beck hates your game: 5million more copies sold...

Because the kids that have parents that listen to Glenn Beck, will all do what their parents disagree with (because kids never follow their parents blindly, if they're smart.)

91210user
91210user

Clearly Mr Beck is trying to get our attention by making us react this way. He wants the feedback clearly!

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Glenn Beck is actually a really smart guy, and what's more I don't think he's pure evil like most Fox anchors.

If you watch some of his interviews on YouTube it becomes obvious he's just identified the role of the crazy, ultra-conservative, hyper-caricatured, paranoid, spin-doctor, fear-mongering infotainment clown presenter extraordinaire as an extremely lucrative one.

There are networks out there who will pay a lot of money for someone like Beck, and he does his job extremely well.  That description is probably written right on his contract.

Gr3gSolidus
Gr3gSolidus

@naryanrobinson I'm pretty sure most pundits do the same. I can't imagine people like them getting so far in life while actually believing the insane fringe ideologies they connect themselves too. 

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

@naryanrobinson  Sure, he's smart.  But inciting backward hate purely for one's own personal gain is very evil.

blackbke
blackbke

This weekend I went to the offices of my government's intelligence service. I pointed my smartphone to a nearby security camera to hack it, but it didn't work. I want a refund on Watch Dogs!

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Hmm, my comment is pending, no profanities at all. See ya gamespot, no more hits to this conservative site.

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

There was a time when Glenn wasn't nuts, but it's been a looooong time.

the_ecks
the_ecks

He declares war on natural free thought as a profession. He loves war.