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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Discussion

1447 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

fillup0
fillup0

@XanderMercury Not to mention he's calling for examination rather than blind blame. Also, he actually controls what his kids can see. Maybe that should be an example to other parents?

The_Hitokiri
The_Hitokiri

@metamoss Actually, notice that he didn't mention any sort of relation or significance of game violence to gun violence? I think what he was saying was "If you think its to blame, fix it in your home first." Otherwise, you're dead on top of the conversation.

Rohan233
Rohan233

@Tanares he's corporate lap dog, don't be so naive he's just trying to protect the one's he truly serves, The NRA. Do you really think parents talking to their children will prevent any insane person to easily purchase a firearm? no, and for all we know the majority of parents do talk to their children about violent video games. There have been 10,000+ gun murders this past year in 2012, how do you know the parents those who committed the murder lead to them discussing it with their kids. Do you think it's that easy to say "Oh son violent games are bad, so don't kill anyone", if someone wants to murder they will murder.

RealFabioSooner
RealFabioSooner

@Tanares I was thinking the same thing. Also, the thing about mental illnesses being taboo is also important. Let's just stop pretending people who shoot at kids in a school are normal. They are not. They're ill, and should've been treated accordingly.

This guy is entirely right -VIOLENT GAMES ARE NOT MEANT TO MINORS, they're rated M for a reason. If I had kids I would probably still let them play some of my violent games, but that's my prerogative, as much as it's this guy's prerogative to deal with it differently when it comes to his kids. If everyone else understood this, we wouldn't have a majority of parents blaming external factors when mass killings happen.

RealFabioSooner
RealFabioSooner

@gbrading Also, while I won't answer the actual question based on this impossible premise, I *can* answer based on a real-world premise: in countries where civilians' access to guns are either prohibited, strongly discouraged or more restricted than the US, the number of homicides by gun is HIGHER - oftentimes *by leaps and bounds*. (Case in point: I live in Brazil. We have 8 times less gun permits and more than 10 times the number of homicides by gun).

So, the answer: yeah, you'd get a dozen less victims in Virginia Tech, Columbine, Newtown and so on. But at the same time, you'd get hundreds or thousands *more* regular victims - and constantly, not just in a one-time massacre lead by a random crazy person. If you're willing to accept that trade-off, please, just send all your random crazy school shooters and your gun laws down to Brazil, we'll send our disarmament campaigns and criminals to yours. Let's see how this works.

You guys need to shake off the news sensationalism around these school shootings. They're shocking, they're terrible, but it's still just a fraction of the actual homicide numbers anyplace. And it's spreading because the killers always get what they wanted: ATTENTION. You wanna do something about it, make the news media step down from all that spectacle. In most of your major cities the same number of kids die every night somewhere and no one batters an eye. It's time to focus on that instead of taking guns away from people who know how to use them and making criminals feel safe.

RealFabioSooner
RealFabioSooner

@gbrading I won't answer the question. It's a waste of time do so, as it comes out of an entirely impossible premise.

I prefer to live in the real world, where if one magically got rid of all existing guns, someone else would re-invent them and produce them again. "Oh I mean they're banned everywhere so you can't produce and sell them again". Drugs are also banned almost everywhere and they're still being made and sold by the truckload. It's wishful thinking.

You'll never get it done in the real world, it's the same as believing society will somehow get rid of crime someday. As long as someone has the urge, he/she will find the means to commit a crime, no matter what preventive measures you put in practice - that's why the concept of punishment exists by the way.

Your wishful thinking is akin to socialism's utopia that you can achieve equality when people are, and will always be, fundamentally non-equal. Try taking all the money in the world and redistributing it equally. Everyone would become a millionaire right on the outset... And most of those people wouldn't be millionaires in a few days anymore, only a few people would make that money grow, and in a few years everything would be back to inequality again.

Not everyone is equally equipped to deal with this - and many more things in life - and they never will be. The only thing that society can do is to try and guarantee anyone will be able to reach one's own potential. The rest is hypocrisy. Same with guns. They'll always exist, and the only thing society can do about it is to guarantee they won't be a privilege of the criminals and/or the state. Otherwise you get the only real inequality that can't be tolerated: that of opportunity.


Zignoff
Zignoff

@gbrading  ...and it's thoughts like that, that most likely lead to 911 actually happening as bad as it did, honestly yea, it's HARDER to overpower a person with a gun, but it is possible,  to not try at ALL and get killed anyway is just.. well I can't even put into words. 

Where everyone does compared to maybe 4-5 dying, well that's just stupid not to try.

trollkind
trollkind

@EvilWaterman Come on, as kids, you have your ways to get what you want. the issue is parents not knowing what their kids play and how they react to it. If a kid is cool with Skyrims harsh world and acts normally instead of lobbing off the heads of every civilian they see, I see no problem with a 12 year old playing that. Or if a kid purely plays a multiplayer shooter for the competition aspect, as long as it's not all day/night long.

The_Hitokiri
The_Hitokiri

@PotHeel Because taking away his assault rifle is going to prevent him from using a pistol. Or a hammer. Or a baseball bat. Or a knife. Or a....... Did you know lanza was carrying 2 fully loaded pistols when he committed the act? You think if the rifle jammed, he wouldn't have kept going with the pistols? How much time do you think it takes to reload a pistol? Or maybe you figure rifle rounds are just that much more destructive to a 5 year old's body.

The_Hitokiri
The_Hitokiri

@Rohan233 @Tanares So whats you're point? You think if you take away the guns, they won't find other ways? Like you said, if someone wants to murder they will murder.

The_Hitokiri
The_Hitokiri

@RealFabioSooner While I'm confused over your tag, you are awesome. Good to see someone from outside the states paying attention. I'll send 2 of our citizens for each member of your family. We'll get plane tickets, first class.

RealFabioSooner
RealFabioSooner

@trollkind @EvilWaterman The "kids have ways" argument is one of the worst strawmen one could possibly come up with in such a discussion.

Think of it this way: criminals will always have the urge or find a way to at least try to commit a crime. Does it mean we should just shrug it off and do nothing to prevent or, failing that, punish crimes? Of course not.

But otherwise, if I had kids, my take on them playing such games would be exactly on the terms you describe. I'm just saying that the "kids have ways" can - and will - be used by people as an argument pro-banning such games. And that's idiotic: if the kids managed to get the games without permission, it just means one now has *two* parenting problems to deal with: your kids playing what they maybe shouldn't, and them stomping on your authority to get there. Both are still a parent's responsibility, not the state's.

Zignoff
Zignoff

@trollkind @EvilWaterman  Kids have ways of getting these things, but it's still the PARENT that has to be the one that stands their ground and not let their child own them. But this also comes down the social society itself, where spanking you kids is considered physical abuse and children are taught to use that as a weapon, or leverage to get what they want.