N.J. Gov: violent games must be examined

Republican Chris Christie says reducing gun violence in US will take a comprehensive effort that includes parents speaking with children about violent games.

Reducing gun violence in the United States will take a comprehensive effort that includes parents discussing violent video games with their children. Speaking to CBS This Morning today, Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he forbids violent games from entering his household.

"We've got to talk about violence in these video games," Christie said. "I have four kids at home; I don't allow Call of Duty or these other [violent] games in. We have to start talking about that as parents."

Talking about gun control is not enough, Christie added. He said the subject of mental illness, which carries a stigma in the US, must also be discussed in the wake of last month's deadly elementary school shooting in Newton, Conn.

"You look at what happened in Connecticut; that young man was obviously mentally ill," Christie said. "He needed to be getting treatment, and I think there's such a stigma about mental illness and mental illness treatment in our country because we don't talk about it. It's an illness just like anything else."

In addition to addressing violent games and mental illness, Christie said if gun violence in the US is to be reduced, substance abuse and its link to violence must be put under the microscope. The governor pointed out that a woman in Camden, NJ decapitated her infant child and then killed herself when she was high on crack.

"So talk about all of it," Christie said. "I think we need to do things in all four of those categories."

Violent video games have been the subject of much discussion following the schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut last month that left 20 children and six adults dead. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre stated in December that violent video games are partially to blame for the shooting rampage.

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller also entered the discussion when he introduced a Bill to Congress that would direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate how violent games and other such programming affect children.

Additionally, US Vice President Joe Biden will meet with representatives from the video game industry this month to discuss the role of violent games as part of a wider task force looking into the role of violent media in mass shootings. The task force is also set to look at access to mental health and disability services, and meet with parent, teacher, and education groups.

Biden will also meet with representatives from the NRA, victims' groups, hunting groups, and gun owners to discuss possible policy changes to reduce gun violence, including proposed legislation to ban assault rifles.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
1432 comments
Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Was there even a video game involved in Sandy Hook???

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

Since obesity is one of the number one killers in America I think this guy ought to think very hard on eating less doughnuts for breakfast before worrying about anyone dying from Zombie hunting games.

b0sse
b0sse

This guy's reasoning must be examined, if you know what I mean.

srpatterso
srpatterso

Yes, because clearly there were no murders, mass or otherwise, prior to the invention of the PC and violent video games.

Oh. Wait.

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

The good news:  No laws will be passed that change the games being made because they are repeatedly being shot down in court.

The other good news:  More parents will take a stronger stance on what games their kids can play.

More good news:  At least SOME kind of research will be done that provides evidence one way or the other.  Most likely, it will lean toward what gamers have been saying for years in response to the knuckledraggers blaming our hobby instead of their gun fetishes.

The bad news:  Some parents will continue to not give a crap and let their 5 year olds play Aliens vs Predator without even looking.

route151
route151

IMO can be such an offense if it does not align with what the other's (IMO) may be.  Is it as simple as thanking the other for having the trust to share their opinion?  Is that what respect is?  In one's search for meaning and being able to identify; is the simple act of mutual respect, the "grease" that allows civilization to carry through.

But then what is trust?  With-in myself, it's self-reliance through honesty with my self.  With the other... can I put my trust in you to accept that I am me, not you; as you are you and not a reflection of myself.

lewishim666
lewishim666

Some body needs to make Chris Crispy Cream watch the violent video games video featuring foamy the squirrel by jonathan Ian Mathers over at illwillpress.

sabresieben
sabresieben

Sure guvna', as soon as you make it illegal to sell 2 liters and devil dogs to whales.

SpardisJX
SpardisJX

I think Christie needs to worry more about his carb intake then he does violence in video games.  Give me a freakin' break.  Just another overpaid politican trying to make a name for himself.

XanderMercury
XanderMercury

Hey, at least Gov. Christie sounds a little more rational than these other anti-violent game politicians. He doesn't just blame video games, and he does put more pressure on people to examine and act upon these issues without jumping to conclusions such as more legislation or more censorship.

I'll admit, I've warmed up to Christie a little since his work with President Obama during the hurricane recovery. He's not that bad of a politician, and he makes more sense than others. :p

earthnuggets
earthnuggets

Videogames blamed first, mental illness second. Of course.

hotpugz
hotpugz

Governor Crispy should realize that the real danger is all the double bacon cheeseburgers he's been violently shoving into his pie hole

lewishim666
lewishim666

This MFer Chris Christie has to be the biggest A-hole ever. He is trying to shut down the state school in vineland, nj a place for mentally ill people to stay and get treatment. Now he's saying "You look at what happened in Connecticut; that young man was obviously mentally ill, He needed to be getting treatment" This guy is an A-hole and should not be aloud to make any decisions about anybody's well being. This whole thing about blaming video games for the violence in this country is just a cop out for idiotic bad parents like him. They are avoiding the real issue which is that they aren't talking to their kids in the first place. It's easier to blame something else instead of taking responsibility for your own actions. Parents aren't paying enough attention to their kids. It has nothing to do with violent video games. It's bad parenting.    

zintarr
zintarr

Thought number one...treat crazy people like they are crazy. 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

its seems no matter what side of the political fence people are on, they STILL don't get the correlation between guns, violence and media (video games, movies etc).  Simple fact is, certain troubled people kill and hurt other people.  Thats it.  Not guns, movies or even video games are too blame.  People have been killing each other for stupid reasons since man stood upright.  Last I checked, there were no guns, movies or video games in the stone ages...this is nothing but a hollow political blame game for votes and power

sieg6529
sieg6529

Of course parents need to talk with their kids about violent video games.  That's called freakin' parenting.  If you think your kid is mature enough to play such a game, let it be so.  If not, restrict access.  Parenting 101.

metamoss
metamoss

I respect that he understands that kids probably shouldn't be playing rated M games, and that he didn't mention any banning. It still sounds like he believes video games are part of the issue. The truth is that our culture has been violent for years, and video games just reflect that. Taking violent video games out would not solve this cultural problem.

The other proposed option, banning guns, doesn't seem like a great option either. It's kinda hard to ban something that is as widespread as firearms are in the US. Sure, the law abiding citizens would give up their guns. Those who are less inclined to abide by the law would find ways to keep them. So... that would leave us in a worse situation than before.

Here's an idea. How about in Gun-Free zones like schools and theaters there is one armed guard? Just one guy posted in the school/theater on standby just in case some maniac wants to violate the Gun-Free zone. The way Gun-Free zones work now makes the innocent people helpless against any crazed guy with a gun.

Rohan233
Rohan233

Shut up you RepubliCON Chris Christie..., you and you're Right Wing corporate buddies want to focus the attention away from Gun Control and regulation, and blame it on video games? fuck off, The NRA is the real problem here, and they pay you to do their bidding. We know how the system works you corrupt lap dog

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Heh parents talk to their children lmao.

They don't do that, your a silly republican.

Zignoff
Zignoff

Hell we recently had some moron blaming DYNASTY WARRIORS for the sandy hook shooting. DYNASTY WARRIORS PEOPLE!, A game based of the Romance of the three kingdoms era. No guns, no schools, , no killing children, no gore, hell, and hardly violence for that matter :P

I may take this personally as a fan of these games, but that's because I actually PLAYED them and know what their content is. While the RotK era and books are more real and grittier, the games themselves are focused on the, Heroic, and self sacrifices, the loyality and family, Honor and justice, and doing the right thing even though you may not like it.

Yes you have the small betrayel here and there, but the games are based on very light hearted fun beat'em up hack and slash. With bad english voice acting that makes you laugh half the time cause it's SUPPOSED to be bad.

To even ATTEMPT to connect these to things together is by any means a true stretch of a closed moronic mind who has no idea what the games content is and should stupid his journalism cause he sucks at it and should be ashamed.

Tanares
Tanares

I love it, one of the few republicans I actually like. Not ban, not control, but discuss it with your kids like every parent should be doing. There need to be more men like this guy in office.


DBZKING1234
DBZKING1234

Maybe you should examine your diet Chris. Obesity can lead to major health problems. Much more dangerous than playing a violent video game.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Imagine a world where not a single gun exists. Nobody has guns at all. Now answer the question: Would incidents like Virginia Tech and Newtown happen to the same level? You can have mass stabbings, but unlike a gun, enough people can overpower a madman with a knife. You can't stop a madman with a gun.

mad0days
mad0days

So it's not ok to play violent video games but it's fine to wage a real life violent wars against various foreign countries and replay the highlights on television?  Remember 2003 when every television station was showing'shock and awe' during the invasion on Iraq?  Disband the NRA and make FOX and it's sister channels illegal and you have a problem solved.  When the last nutcase shot up theater during the Batman movie the TV stations didn't call for a ban on guns, the next day they decided to talk about banning masks at movie theaters.  So I guess masks and video games are the root of the problem.

The last time I shot my friend in the head during COD I called him up to make sure he was ok... and he was... and we drank beer to celebrate...

XtC86
XtC86

Corrupt politicians should be examined more like it -_-

XtC86
XtC86

Lol microsoft you're a fucking joke xD

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

What do violent games/movies have to do with gun violence?  Nothing.  We watch the same movies and play the same games in Canada and other countries, and we don't have this gun violence epidemic.  I think America needs to look at it's collective mental health and the ridiculous attitudes it has around guns.  We have guns in Canada, but we know when to use them.

trollkind
trollkind

 I was getting my angry on when I read the headline but after the first paragraph, I'm with Chris Christie and a lot of people. Talk with your kids about their games, don't just be glad they are out of your hair but you know where they are, because you don't really know where they are or who they are communicating with.

At 12 I couldn't really explain to my mom why I was cutting up humanlike figures with a chainsaw in Doom or what I was feeling because I was feeling pretty much nothing. You're not doing any harm to any living being. You learn to dissociate or rather your emotional intelligence isn't really developed then. I had no problem with watching violence back then, by around 18 I was a pacifist and the news are enough to make me cringe nowadays. I still play Battlefield and other shooters, without ever feeling aggression. Frustration, yes but you have to learn to handle that anyway.

I have a bigger problem with some of the players of said shooters. The amount of abuse some spew at each other, offensive account names, unattended children crying in the background, "oops, forgot to fetch my kid, let's finish this first though.", overexcited "HAHAHHHHAHAAAA IN URFACE!!1!!!" kids but when it's kids, at least I can hope, they too simply grow up at some point. For that you need perspective though and that includes being aware that your shooter buddies aren't the only people in the world but a small (thankfully very diverse and mostly mature) section of humanity. So, yeah speak with your children, tell misbehaving people in chat off, without giving them troll satisfaction and getting riled up yourself.


Something I also find more concerning is how most games are now godlike power simulations. Of course, you've always been powerful in video games, sometimes outright playing gods, like in Populous but those game usually were harder, to pad out their play time. Now you are killing enemies by the hundreds, kills are elaborate cruel executions, nothing can stop you and your powers. Guns can give you that edge and "power" over others, let you project death and harm to others with ease. I think it's not so much about the depiction of violence (though I could very well live without the executions of f.e. the next Splinter Cell) but how power is translated to the player, hammering X to thrust a dagger into the eye of an enemy is linking the in-game act to an action of yours and is rewarded in the game.

We should rethink what's necessary to make a victory over an enemy satisfactory without celebrating cruelty (but, but ... vengeance and, and ... you play a cruel character) and give the player's actions context if it's a realistic game ("Last of us" is an example of violence done right) and avoid making the protagonist an almighty, unstoppable killing machine but make him/her vulnerable too ("Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" are awesome examples).


MMA Fighters are a good example, they can (proclaim to) hate each other before a fight, and beat each other up but if it was a great and fair fight, they usually hug, the victor may raise the arm of the loser in appreciation of the effort and good scrap, they may become best friends through the experience. Violence, competition, fighting in itself is in our nature but we need to learn to handle it and the emotions that come with it, if we want to be a part of this society.

As for school shootings, there'll always be people, who snap and go on a rampage but a lot of them probably wouldn't have if they ever felt taken seriously or found an understanding ear and they would be a lot less deadly if they hadn't access to firearms. (Arming everybody isn't the solution either, there would just be a lot more shootings in the heat of the moment, it's not the Wild West anymore and thank god for that)

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

Blaming guns and video games for violence is like blaming a fork and food for you being fat. The problem isn't the amount of guns/video games or food/fork. It's YOU. What ever happened to just plain crazy?

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

I don't think he is saying to ban video games. Just talk to your kids. 5 year olds shouldn't be playing Borderlands, CoD or w/e else. I think he is saying it's up to the parents.

EvilWaterman
EvilWaterman

The parents should be the ones who need a talking to. Why are they buying their kids over aged games??


Moorons

draco934
draco934

when did Augustus Gloop become govenor of New Jersey?

rann89
rann89

This is guy is riding his PR from Sandy a little too hard now. And video game/violence studies have been done a thousand times over. The results won't change just because you keep doing them, that's the beautiful thing about science.

PotHeel
PotHeel

Because taking away the Xbox of a nutter is going to prevent him using an assault rifle.

sunyatanada76
sunyatanada76

its just diplomacy, all words and no action define our culture.  Nobody wants to take any responsibility

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

Such a study would be an entire waste of money and time anyway. Let's just say that the results are true; that video games do increase violence. The fact that this is a free country means that nothing can be done about it. So suck on that, Christie. LET FREEDOM RING!

scaperat1
scaperat1

I bet cookies, candy, cake and a super-sized Coke are allowed in his home.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

It's funny. Every time someone looks back at videogames as a scapegoat, they act like no one's ever thought about it. They act like no one's ever said "we need to take a look at what this ULTRAVIOLENCE is doing to our potential voter's larvae".

People have examined this. People have argued. Nothing has come of it. Our spawn are hurt a good deal more by an insidious cultural undercurrent that holds the ability to right all wrongs through force above the ability to reason. The problem is endemic to the United States itself, and I have little confidence we'll ever find a solution.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

Could have just stopped at, "Parents need to talk to their kids."

scaperat1
scaperat1

Examine? Examine your weight problem, Christy. I used to like the guy, but I guess that was the games clouding my mind.

Codebreaker-X
Codebreaker-X

Screw Christie. Since when does he care about children? He sure didn't care when he took funding away from education in NJ. Also, what about the fracking situation Governor Christie?

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

I played video games for all my life. I am now evil. Look at my profile picture, can you see it? All worlds are now belong to me.

IGFGAThrawn
IGFGAThrawn

It has nothing to do with games (only a handful of wackos were violent game players before they went off the deep end). It also has NOTHING to do with gun control. Parenting is failing (as you can see from all the child neglect stories rapidly appearing on the news). And if they're that crazy, then NOTHING will stop them from going out and causing damage. You do know that the shooter in Connecticut actually went to 3 other schools, but couldn't do anything because there were armed guards outside? That is just one way to avoid repeats of Columbine and Newtown. And if someone wants to kill someone that badly, gun control laws will NOT stop them. They WILL find a way to illegally obtain them, which means instead of handguns, they'll get AK-47s or other assault rifles instead.

And what if they can't get guns...then they'll resort to knives, which generally means the victims will suffer a LOT more than if they were shot...and then what, will they put a ban on knives, too? How will we eat and cook, then?

Also, there actually WAS a gun ban a while ago...for 10 years, even. Most of which happened during Clinton's watch as president. And Clinton himself, and his defense team, admitted that the ban had NO effect.

botsio
botsio

he's not an expert i forgive he's talking from a lay mans perspective so guys forgive him!

playtaion999
playtaion999

BITCH PLEASE! In the philippines, even 3-15 years old plays gta san andreas, and they even know how to trigger hot coffee through mods !!!

Enilamoht
Enilamoht

So many other countries are filled with kids who grew up with the same games and are exposed to the same or even higher level of on screen violence, yet these other countries have much lower gun relates crime rates and concerns. So stop blaming fiction and examine the real world instead.

Gater29
Gater29

You know what? Screw 'em. They aren't going to change anything. Way too many people enjoy violent media. They are never going to be able to realistically change anything, so who cares what they think. Obviously they are among the minority.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

stop with the giving evil people scape goats. video games films or any media they have blamed real life voilance on don't make evil people do what they do. people do not go out and kill because of a video game. most people that kill are just evil people and need to be locked away from normal people getting on with there lives.

Goyoshi12
Goyoshi12

It baffles me how many people don't actually read the article and just go off on assumptions based on a headline and a picture.