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Old 10th Aug 2005, 10:12   #1
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The blue market - now and then

http://www.bit-tech.net/columns/2005...nd_then/1.html

Is society eroding? Are we about to collapse under the weight of our own porn collections? Let us know your thoughts.

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Old 10th Aug 2005, 10:33   #2
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Ahh, pornography, a topic close to my heart.

I think the main problem could be that most non-gamers believe that games are for children. Even though we have an 18 cert slapped on a number of games, they are still seen as toys. People have simulated sex acts with Barbies, Action Men, Lego and Sticklebricks (though you have to squint to get the full effect) for many years, but when someone hacks a computer game to provide an equally unarousing visual display, the world (of non-gamers) goes up in arms. Why? As stated in the editorial, non-gamers just don't understand (or even fear) computer games, and therein lies the problem.

This will all blow over in time, and in 20 years time we can be 'enjoying' full Roman orgies in Duke Nukem Forever.
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 11:52   #3
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Why is it Chris' columns are always full of inuendos?
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 13:29   #4
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"Graphic Violence vs Graphic Nudity" would be a fantastic GD topic..... Can I start a thread? And maybe a poll? Pleeeeeeeease?
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 14:08   #5
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I still think the real issue here is that politicians were looking for publicity. As that tomshardware article stated.. nudity in mods has been around since the mid/late 90's. Porn is easily accessable all over the net. The game in which society attacks, has extreme graphic violence that makes the "porn scene" blanch in its presence. You have games like 50 cents new game coming out, where the associated image used to give a quick preview to the game is 50 cent standing with his foot on another gentlemans neck holding his arm locked and a gun to his head. All the while the expression on the guys face is utter fear pleading for his very life.

All of this just doenst match up. Its like a giant jigsaw puzzle with none of the pieces fitting together. Why isnt online pornography attacked? Why isnt violence attacked? Why arent these graphic images of gangster-rappers unleashing pain upon others attacked? Because they all require a lot of time, work and money to address and resolve. The investment / return ratio isnt very attractive. The hot coffee scandle was ripe for the picking and got some much wanted PR for certain officials.

I'm not much for conspiracy theories.. I usually try to think the best of people and give them the benefit of the doubt. But this is the only way I can make sense of this madness.

P.s. for the images i'm reffering to.. here are the links.

http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/5...ns.html?page=5

http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/5...ns.html?page=2

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Old 10th Aug 2005, 14:15   #6
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I was going to post my typical response to this, but when you said "blighters" I decided to ask something instead.

Is this a big deal in Europe? You're right that violence in video games is accepted more than sex, but I've always felt that's because of the size of the American market. The "violence is OK, sex is not" mentality has pervaded almost every aspect of American entertainment, and even in Canada we're much more open to sex (heh heh, "open") in the media. If what you're saying is true in your country as well, then I hate to say it, but Britain has more in common with the US than I thought.
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 14:46   #7
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Nothing wrong with the US, per se.
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 15:33   #8
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In my experience we're a hell of a lot more accepting of sex in the UK than the US seems to be. I've only heard complaints about that GTA mod from American news sources, haven't seen anything in the UK media about it.
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 15:48   #9
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I'm pretty sure it's *mostly* a US sensation. But, let's keep in mind that my dear, sweet country is plagued with a population that is uniquely divided. We are almost at two distinct, separate populations now sharing equal space, with one side fervently believing one view and the other fervently opposed. Often times, the opposition is simply because the original side thought "this way", so it must be wrong and avoided at all costs. Even better, we only seem to want to argue the extremes of each side so as to clearly differentiate "us" from "them." Don't want to sound like we actually LIKE the other side, or have something in common, ya know...

In the case of pornography, we have the "eroding away at morals" belief that eclipses probably half of this country at the given moment. Remember, we're not into shades of grey over here right now...it's all polar. Black or white. So if you aren't part of the "it's smut that should be banned" you have become part of the "Every 6 year old should have a nudie mag" whether you meant to or not. The reverse is also true. So whichever stance you take, you have 49-51% of people listening intently and rallying behind you, while the other 51-49% are protesting next door...it's a publicist's wet-dream and nightmare all in one.

Thanks to media sensationalism and general public stupidity, the US is a hotbed of "for" or "against." So those of you who think your countries have a more well-rounded and healthy view of sex, you're probably spot on.
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 16:34   #10
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not all are like that. I myself as well as a lot that I know are in the middle somewhere. I'm not for nudity for youngsters nor am I against nudity in general. I believe parenting has a major role to play here.. or the lack there of in modern United States.

I believe the ESRB should be followed strictly. GTA:SA should not have been sold to anyone under 17. If a parent comes in to buy it for their child, it shoudlnt be sold just as a parent cant buy tobacco for their children. I worked at gamestop last fall when GTA:SA came out. We sold TONS of copies.. a lot to parents who had their little kids with them screaming for the game. We warned the parents.. they didnt care. Instead they said "Its ok my child knows better" or something along those lines.

The only way to satiate the extremeists on both sides is to leave no choice to the parents. That way you dont get grannie turning around and suing a year down the road. And you also cant have someone saying "my child sholdnt be exposed to thsi!".. well maam.. they arent exposed to it unless you are exposing it to them, and in this instance.. it would now be illegal. It forces the parents to take responsibility and not hide behind a scape goat.
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 16:48   #11
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This is retarded. It's ok to beat a cop to death with a dildo, chop up some paramedics with a katana, and run around torching innocent civilians with a flamethrower, but you can't have sex with your girlfriend?
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Old 10th Aug 2005, 23:49   #12
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Clinton's Site: Her Response to ESRB investigation

"But the fact remains that the company gamed the ratings system and enabled pornographic material to get into the hands of children."

The current rating for the game is M and the want to change it to AO. The only difference between these two ratings is a year and graphic sexual content and nudity. I know that by age 17 in America or at least in New York State every child has taken a fairly graphic health class, which has clearer diagrams and descriptions of sexual acts than the GTA:SA mod. Also to comment on Clinton's words, at the age of 17 I didn't considered myself a child anymore I considered myself an extremely horny man, I might still be. All I believe this is a move by her to gain publicity, but it doesn't make me want to vote for her, instead I want to beat her with a dildo.
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 00:20   #13
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It's fine for Hollywood to glamourise violence.. it's OK to allow our kids to grow up thnking that having an attitude like Eminem's is OK too... but lawdy!! God preserve us from SEX in video games!!

Pathetic.

People have some perverted, and skewed opinions it would seem. Why are people concerned about such trivia as SEX.. yes.. capitalised like that... not just sex, but SEX.. heaven forbid. It's fine to have every convenience store have a 20 strong sentry of chavs, ready to give you **** every time you so much as try to buy a pint of milk.... it's OK that our bebefits system is being played like a musical intrument by the above, and any other low life, pikey who feels that actually working for a living is a mug's game... yeah.. all that is fine, because of course... that will have no effect on our nations morality, attitude, and ethics.. no sir... non at all... but WE WILL NOT HAVE ANY OF T H A T FILTH IN OUR VIDEO GAMES!!!


I tire of this country at times. Everu last one of us desires sex.. wants sex.. CRAVES sex... all of us.. male, female, old, young... gay,. straight... good, bad... all of us. We should **cking celebrate **cking, not censor it.

However.. i'm clearly wrong, because those that clearly know better than I do deem it fit to be censored, and instead, rap artists spreading anti-social behaviour that's endorsed and backed up by international marketing machines seems OK, even tho it's generating a culture of chavs who think Eminem is cool (when patently he's a w****r) and that having an attitude is OK.
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 00:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroubledMind
it doesn't make me want to vote for her, instead I want to beat her with a dildo.
I second the quote, If i could vote for her i still wouldn't!

About 50 tupence's game WTF?! I can't stand the man at the best of times, for all the fake self image he gives out all the time, and now to find out he's getting a company to make a game about his fake self and fake life is just a joke. The fact he's influencing violence is nothing new to rappers and games alike i just don't like the fact it's all a blatent lie that he's done it all!

one last comment: 52 pence's sucks compared to the likes of Led Zepplin, fleetwood mac, ELO, ACDC.... I could go on. Those days were filled with real original music! (im 19 btw) Music today is mostly built on lies and full of the smelly stuff! IMO!!!

/rant mode over
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 04:48   #15
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All the hype over "sex" in videogames is two things.

1. Hillary (I'm a dumbs**t who thinks everyone needs to raise everyones' kids but their own) Clinton is looking to crank up her visibility in the media, probably to take a run at the Presidency in a couple years...
2. The USA is probably one of the more uptight contries when it comes to the human body and sexuality.

I am a US citizen, born and raised. I love the US, and wouldn't want to move to another country. But. We are probably one of the few countries where a woman in a thong bikini, or topless!!!!!!! would have more cops around than a convenience store holdup. Not to mention all the nutcases screaming "think of the children!!" Well, guess what, the kids have probably seen more than what that womans showing in the latest Rap/Hip Hop/"rock" music video. Failing that, they're watching late night cable, and getting to see near full frontal nudity.

Sheesh. I think potentially, too, part of the problem is all the people who scream the loudest at a little nipple showing in a FMV segment of a game (not that I can think of any), or a skimpy bikini bottom, are also the ones who were raised when a "skimpy" swimsuit didn't go below the knees. On a man. And had a tank top with no sleeves.

We've had cases of people in the US who have had their kids nearly taken away because they felt there was nothing wrong with being nude in their own homes. They weren't doing anything to the kids (those kind of people should have their genitals slowly removed by a hydraulic piston), they just didn't see a need to wear clothes in their homes. With the blinds closed.

This is another, easy, high profile, can't defend against it, issue, that our politicians love. If they went after the music video people, they'd get the "First Amendment"/"It's art" argument. Well, I feel that videogames are also art, and even more, they're "interactive" art. Music videos, you sit and drool, until the next one comes on. Video games, you can decide, do I kill the hooker and get my money back, or do I steal a fire truck and put out fires (GTA3/GTA:VC) Having read the same Econimist article (via Slashdot), I think they are correct. Give it 15-20 years, and people will look back on this and laugh. Of course, by then, the politicians will have a new "easy issue" to go after for "corrupting" the kids....

Or our X-ist overlords will have arrived....
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 08:43   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiljoi
This is retarded. It's ok to beat a cop to death with a dildo, chop up some paramedics with a katana, and run around torching innocent civilians with a flamethrower, but you can't have sex with your girlfriend?
correct, but we all know that'll change when they make a hotkey for applying a condom :P

Despite the fact that I don't think games like GTA:SA should ever be made, let alone sold, this is just stupid. People need to just get over it, realize that "You must be at least 18 to enter/view this site" doesn't mean a freakin' thing and realize that if a kid wants to look at pr0n, there are fifty zillion websites out there for it, and they don't need to buy a game and then apply a hack to it to get some pixellated content.
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 08:49   #17
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I should say right up front that I'm one of those dorky religious types, so I've been accused of being backward and prudish, and people have ridiculed me about the whole "S E X is BAAAAD!!!" thing, so take what I say however you want keeping that in mind.

A lot of comparison has been drawn on this thread between the issues of sex and violence in popular culture. This seems to me to be a sound comparison as neither sex nor violence is necessarily a bad thing. While it seems common for people to assume that sex is inherently good while violence is naturally evil, I think it's important to point out that both have a time and place that they are appropriate. There are (obviously) times when sex/nudity are innapropriate and (just as obviously) times when violence/death are appropriate. Or rephrased: There are times when you should wait until you get home to get romantic and times when you should take forceful action to prevent something worse from happening. There is a time and a place for both sex and violence, which brings me to my second point.

It seems from the content of previous posts that most people here agree that neither sex nor violence beyond a certain limit are appropriate for children, although there seems to be some disagreement on what that limit should be. Rather than pointing to the level of violence that our culture accepts and say that we should be similarly accepting of sex, would it be unreasonable to suggest that perhaps we have allowed violence to gain validity outside of its limited scope of appropriateness? The reason I don't endorse pornagraphy is because by its nature it takes sex out of the time and place that it is appropriate and makes it available to anybody who walks by. Yes, children are being exposed to more of this sort of thing at an ever younger age these days, either by late night cable tv or the internet or at school or the movies or whatever, but does that mean that we should just accept then that these things are out in the open and that it's all part of living in these changing times? There are some things kids shouldn't have to worry about.

Taking the same argument a step further: does the fact that a child has grown into an adult therefore make inappropriate sex/violence (that is, outside of their appropriate time and place) more "ok" simply because of the age of the viewer/participant?

Maybe I am a backward prude for thinking that GTA:SA doesn't belong in the hands of a kid. But then I've been saying since I gave up GTA2 that the series unduly glamorizes and rewards wanton violence. Why is it any surprise that some sex is slipping in there too? After all, look at all the free publicity its gotten the game. But like I said, I'm a dorky religious type, so nobody has to agree with me.
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 15:33   #18
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I agree, for the most part. The only thing that gets me is that little "games like this shouldn't be made." I'd like to say it needs to be "games like this shouldn't be made available to children," but as we all know, the current rating/restrictions system prevents jack ********. Personally, I'm glad they make games like this. I can't speak for anyone else, but games like this really help me get rid of frustrations. It's an outlet. I used to do it with football when I played, then with swordfighting (I know, geek), and now with video games. If i didn't get to relieve myself this way, who knows what would happen? At the same time though, I can tell that it affects me, because now I'll be walking around somewhere and think "That's be a great place to drop the bomb, and wait for the DT's to come through," but I'm old and mature enough to know what this is, and not listen to it. If nothing else though, it gives me good ideas for gaming maps, which I need to start making. Meh, that was kind of long, sorry for all the talking.
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 15:56   #19
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RynoRFC,

Your point is well-put and spot on. I do agree with a lot of what you've said, and maybe we do need to re-evaluate the saturation of violence in our culture. However, I think the issue here is balance...and since we seem to love our violence so much, perhaps we need to put the scales in order (even if it's a gross excess of both) with something that is more life-affirming.

Honestly, I think we're getting to the point of total input overload in our society...so many things have reached such an extreme that we have to satirize them for our entertainment anymore. It's no longer gripping or entertaining to watch a cop chase now that OJ did his Slow-mo and "Cops" has been playing for years...now the role of 'civil hero' has become so commonplace and trite that we're instead playing the criminal just for a change of perspective.

We live in a world that inundates us with (mis)information constantly, often much more than we need to know. There are no "far off" places to dream about anymore, no "amazing things" in a distant land. TV, music, and videogames have left the realm of fantasy to join us in our own reality, and made it so uninteresting that we now have to spoof it to even make it worthwhile.

Honestly, I would hope that this boredom with reality would urge most people to then pursue more intellectual and academic ends, learning to expand upon the concepts so that they can evolve us as a whole towards something new. If all we desensitize is violence, then people will look for the next extreme to push it to, because they crave sensation and feeling.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but just that maybe you're right that we need to roll back some of the violence, or we need to figure out what effect that only throwing out one particular aspect of the human mind has on our society.

Dammit kiljoi, now I'm rambling too.
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Old 11th Aug 2005, 16:23   #20
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Ryno, you're 100% correct that the argument shouldn't be "It's OK for kids to see this because they've seen it already on TV." And it's true that there is a level of appropriateness that applies to sex, violence, drugs, and any other controversial topic regardless of the forrm of media it appears in.

The problem here is the incredible double-standard that is applied to these topics. The idea that violence and sex is OK in movies, and violence is OK in video games, but sex is not OK in video games, is a demonstration that the video game industry is being singled out. Let's take a movie like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which has lots of violence and at least one (I haven't seen it) sexually-themed scene. In North America, this movie was rated PG-13, meaning that anyone over 13 could see it without parental accompaniement. But if they release a Mr. and Mrs. Smith video game, it would be rated M even if the content were identical. Remove the sex scene, and suddenly it's a PG video game again, even though the violence is just as bad as it was before.

I'm a raging liberal, and as such, I disagree with any kind of banning or censorship of creative material. I don't think children should have had access to games like GTA from the beginning; the violence that's been in it all along was never intended for kids, and the M rating showed that. If a movie theater let a minor into an R-rated movie, they could be fined a LOT of money for doing so. But there is no similar punishment for selling M-rated games to minors, and that is where the real problem lies.

Parents need to realize that not all video games are for kids, and since most of these parents don't play video games themselves, that's not easy to teach them. Video game stores need to be held accountable for selling games to minors, because they are the only ones in a position to enforce the ESRB.

I'd like to see the ESRB adopt the MPAA content ratings. Parents may not understand the meaning of an M rating on a video game, but they sure as hell would understand a big RESTRICTED label.
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