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Violent Video Games Luring Kids to Church ?!?


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#1 (unregistered)

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 09:02 AM

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#2 Jason Panella

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 09:20 AM

The shocked smiley face on the thread heading is great! ohmy.gif Oh my!

Maybe some of these churches could use Doom 3 instead; it'll tie into their message better. ("Hey kids, see how you're fighting demons in Hell? We don't want you to go there.")

#3 opus

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 10:07 AM

I know that the high school group at my church would have Halo parties from time to time, but I doubt that they were used as some sort of explicit ministry/outreach tool. Rather, I think they were just something to give church and neighborhood kids something to do on week nights.

#4 opus

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 10:53 AM

QUOTE (Alan Thomas @ Oct 19 2007, 10:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can accept that much more readily than the "making it hard to go to Hell" BS. Still, I'm surprised it's not a PR problem, given the rating of the game.

FWIW, I don't know if the Halo parties were "sanctioned" church/outreach events. I think it was a matter of having a couple of XBox consoles in the basement, the doors being open, and the youth pastor (or intern) just hanging out with whoever walked in, be they church kids or kids from around the neighborhood.

#5 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 08:23 PM

Alan Thomas wrote:
: I absolutely *love* the comparison they make to churches using gambling--bingo--to lure in other audiences.

Well, if the focus is on the gambling, I guess that's an interesting comparison. But count me among those who, like GetReligion.org's Doug Pulliam, wonder where this reporter has been for the past decade or two:
But something about this story seemed so unfresh, especially when it compared this trend to bingo games in churches during the 1960s . . .

I think if the NYT did a little research it would find that violence and the big screen have gone hand in hand with many evangelical Protestant church groups. And the justifications are the same for churches showing films like Braveheart and Gladiator (feel free to help fill in this list for me, readers). Church leaders want to attract young men, the films portray good versus evil in a way that we like and, hey, what’s wrong with a little violence anyway? . . .
And let us not forget The Matrix. Let us NEVER forget The Matrix. Which, of course, has more in common with video-game culture than either of those historical battle epics do.

#6 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 10:57 PM

This seems to be the closest we have to a thread on this topic:

- - -

Join the Supreme Court debate: Would you ban ultra-violent video games?
I've always heard that it was tough for lawyers to go before the great minds of the highest court in the land, but my heart really went out to Zackery P. Morazzini, a deputy state attorney general for California who got stuck trying to make the state's case before a room full of skeptical, often smart-aleck Supreme Court justices.
You get the feeling that being a lawyer before the Supreme Court is a lot like being a guest on David Letterman -- you're often just a fat target for barbed questions and sly humor. Morazzini had just gotten warmed up, trying to explain why he wanted the court to restrict kids from buying these "deviant, violent" video games when Justice Antonin Scalia jumped in, archly wondering "What's a deviant -- a deviant, violent video game? As opposed to what? A normal violent video game?" Morazzini struggled but he couldn't escape Scalia's trap: . . .
Los Angeles Times, November 4

#7 theoddone33

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:13 AM

This seems to be the closest we have to a thread on this topic:


Yeah it's a big deal in the game industry, though "ban" isn't the right word. I personally don't see it as a restriction of freedom of speech, though every court that's considered it has (so far) disagreed with me. The big question is how far the difference between minors and adults goes when it comes to the first amendment... so far exceptions have only been made for obscene content rather than violent content. If the SCOTUS decides to create a new exception it will be interesting to see how far beyond video games it goes.

But even aside from first amendment issues the law in question has huge problems. The video game industry already has a voluntary rating system which is enforced through retail partners. I was going to call it a "perfectly good" rating system, but then I remembered that I actually do have a number of problems with it. However it does address the same issues, making the CA law a bit redundant.

The other problem is that the CA law in question is extremely vague. I'm oversimplifying it I'm sure, but it boils down to "if common sense dictates that the game is too violent for minors..." then it will be enforced. Common sense is great and all, but there's no solid basis for legislation here. Video game retailers cannot follow this law because they have no idea which games qualify and no way to find out until after the law has been enforced.

Anyway, the oral arguments in the case were pretty interesting. I think a lot of us expected the SCOTUS to reject it outright, but more than one justice was actually quite sympathetic to the law's goals. It will be a couple of months before their actual decision comes out... I think people still expect it to be struck down, but perhaps by a more narrow majority than previously thought.