Steal cars and kill prostitutes for points The fourth instalment of the popular Grand Theft Auto video game has become the fastest selling title of all time in the UK. In its first five days on the U.S. market, GTA:VC sold 1.4 million copies of Grand Theft Auto. Entertainment Weekly rated it No. 1 on its 10-best-game list for 2002.
But unlike most video games, where the player represents a hero struggling against evil, Grand Theft Auto invites players to pose as a vicious criminal named Tommy Vercetti. Tommy earns money for his crimes, which include running over pedestrians, hiring and then murdering prostitutes, and killing other gangsters with guns, Uzis, swords and Molotov cocktails.
Unsurprisingly, the game has its critics and protestors. Real life crimes have been linked to it.
Well, MeFiers, is a society ever justified in banning something like this video game?
posted by orange swan
on Dec 24, 2002 -
Caution: Violent metaphors can blow up in your face.
This one (see paragraph two)—which I discovered a day or so before the D.C. snipers were apprehended—struck me at the time as a particularly unfortunate demonstration as to why, especially considering this ad agency is based just outside Washington. George Lakoff, an undisputed Heavyweight Metaphorician of the World, turns the tables and uses human metaphors rather neatly
to think about 9/11. And apparently, there are workshops
that teach how to make nonviolent metaphors more vivid and, the logic goes, make violence less attractive. So, the explosive question: does hostile language encourage conflict or reflect it? Peace out.
posted by micropublishery
on Nov 30, 2002 -
Mike Males, Ph.D.,
professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, author and pro-youth advocate, thinks kids are getting a bad rap these days. He is very fond of pointing out
that poverty and grown-ups are the biggest threats to teens today. His latest book, "Kids and Guns", is available for free online (HTML version
on his homepage, PDF version
at Common Courage Press). He even knocks
the drug policy reform movement for making the same "save the children" diatribes as their opponents. His site isn't exactly the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but I haven't been so engrossed by something on the web in a long, long time.
posted by botono9
on Oct 13, 2002 -
Bowling for Columbine
tomorrow. I know muckraking Michael Moore
is a touchy subject
but I found his first feature since Roger
insightful in its stubborn search for an answer to the question:
"Why is America so violent?" Other
Subtle he isn't, but when the news is as stark
as it is today, maybe subtlety is beside the point. I hope that even some of you
who aren't predisposed to agree with Moore will give this film a chance. Did I
mention it's also entertaining as hell?
posted by muckster
on Oct 10, 2002 -
Now, this is just odd... The case, which has shocked France, came to light on Saturday with police saying the 19-year-old man had been beaten with a baton, burnt with an iron, raped, had his nose smashed, his ears half torn off and starved.
I have read of some strange stories of people taking advantage of others, though this strikes me as odd. Again, those questions of WHY
smack you in the forehead!
posted by Kodel
on Sep 2, 2002 -
Does anyone even care anymore?
14 Dead in apartment building bombing
by missile launched from American-made Israeli-owned F-16.
Is there any way out of this half-assed occupation, or will both sides continue to blame each other indefinitely while making no progress towards a political solution?
posted by zekinskia
on Jul 23, 2002 -
Bowling for Columbine
Michael Moore, the visionary documentary maker, has the big hit at Cannes this year with Bowling for Columbine. Ostensibly a film about guns and violence in America
posted by Niahmas
on May 24, 2002 -
He needed it to cut an onion.
Under normal circumstances I would have shook my head and said, "Oh, those silly americans". This story, however, is about my 12-year old brother who's facing a 1 year expulsion after bringing a (small) kitchen knife to school for a science assignment. Zero tolerance - or zero interest in what's best for the kid?
posted by mschmidt
on Apr 6, 2002 -
As the violence in the Middle East escalates, and Arab anger grows over American support of Israel (especially among the masses), is another oil embargo possible
Oil may be the Arab world's daily bread, but it's also its only weapon — if, say, Arafat is killed or Israel goes too far in its incursions into Palestinian territories, popular sentiment in the already-shaky local regimes could force Arab governments to put up a show of defiance to calm their constituencies.
posted by Rastafari
on Apr 4, 2002 -
A Grand Narrative
"When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world." Thomas Friedman looks for an angle and finds a story! What role, if any, does narrative consciousness
and social psychology
play in the Middle East? (via blogdex
posted by kliuless
on Mar 8, 2002 -
Be careful how you sing "My Way"
After being ridiculed for an off-key version of My Way, the irate singer kills one heckler and wounds another. Philippine karaoke bars have begun to remove the song from their playlists as this was the climax of several violent incidents when this song was played.
posted by Lanternjmk
on Feb 19, 2002 -
A Plea For Realism
This is the first time I have seen an on-line or paper eminating from the Arab states and serving the Arab/Muslim community suggest a new approach that is peaceful for bringing about a resolution the the chaos that has marked this past year in that area of the world.
posted by Postroad
on Dec 31, 2001 -
"It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't World War III"
Watch the Browns/Jaguars game? Maybe it was a bad call, but throwing plastic bottles full of beer
? Anybody who knows me knows I speak out loudly and firmly against the ridiculous sports culture we have in this country. This incident makes me ashamed to be a Clevelander, even a transplanted one. What is it that gets people this riled up and stupid?
posted by starvingartist
on Dec 17, 2001 -
"Movie Mask Player
is software that gives you the choice to watch any movie at your comfort level. If you don't want to hear profanity, view graphic violence, or see nudity or sexual content in the movies you watch, then mask (remove) those scenes with Movie Mask. You are now in control over the movies you choose to watch." I can't wait to see what it does to the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan."
posted by KLAX
on Nov 27, 2001 -
RAWA's gallery of graphic videos showing the Taliban's violence
Records that detail racial cleansing or life in a prison camp are often criticized because their graphic nature is sensational. Chernenko praised Solzhenitsyn's Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
because it avoids cruelty. The Rape of Nanking
is controversial because of its graphic detail. Is it socially irresponsible for the RAWA to release taboo graphic videos or is it a painful truth that should not be affected by de facto
posted by alex3005
on Oct 10, 2001 -
Another thoughtful article
Open the Washington Post to it's editorial pages, and war talk dominates:
Henry Kissinger: Destroy the Network.
Robert Kagan: We Must Fight This War.
Charles Krauthammer: To War, Not to Court.
William S. Cohen: American Holy War.
There is no column by Colman McCarthy talking peace.
posted by mapalm
on Sep 14, 2001 -
Anti-Arab violence going in Australia:
It's not just in the US - In Brisbane, a schoolbus packed with Islamic children was damaged by stones and bottles and there had been abusive calls to mosques. In Perth a mosque was defiled with human faeces and obscenities were shouted from a car doing wheelies in its carpark. The Australian Arabic Council today said a hotline for people to report racist attacks had been swamped by calls. Unconfirmed attacks included children being physically harmed and racially vilified at school. Muslum women being spat on and had their veils pulled off.
posted by Jase_B
on Sep 13, 2001 -
A repulsive article
concerning protests and at a mosque outside of Chicago today. Thousands of rubes seem poised to act of their narrow conception of
what an "American" looks and acts like.
posted by ryanshepard
on Sep 13, 2001 -
A mosque in Irving, TX came under gunfire in the early hours of this morning just before Muslims gathered for the early morning (first) prayer of the day.
posted by adnanbwp
on Sep 12, 2001 -
A new national effort to reduce verbal violence and gossip. The goal is to promote the value and practice of ethical speech improving our democracy and building respect, honor and dignity.
posted by semmi
on Sep 8, 2001 -
seems to be societies new legal LSD. In the 60's acid could cure anything. If you were feeling down, tune in turn on and drop out and everything will be good. Timothy Leary
was a huge part of this whole "acid culture", but as Hunter S. Thompson so eloquently put it "He crashed around America selling consciousness expansion, without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all those people that took him seriously." In the end the acid culture failed, but we have yet to learn the lesson that everything can not be cured with a magic pill or some powder, you can't just add some water and cure societies problems like making instant soup. Could this belief in drugs that Tim Leary promoted during the 60's have lead to the overmedication of children today? Those old acid heads that have since become working stiffs that have kids still believe in the back of their minds in "better living through chemicals" and allow doctors to over prescribe their kids chemicals such as Prozac
. Do you think that there could be a connection between this overmedication and school violence?
posted by bytecode
on Sep 1, 2001 -
U.S. reports steepest annual violent crime drop
Incidents of violent crime plummeted nearly 15 percent in 2000, the steepest one-year drop since the federal government began keeping track in 1973. Last year's data continue a trend that began early in the last decade. From 1993 through 2000, rapes dropped 60 percent, aggravated assaults fell 52.5 percent and motor vehicle theft dropped 52.4 percent.
posted by frednorman
on Jun 13, 2001 -
Texas student kills self after holding class hostage.
I brought that up in order to bring this up
: the Colorado Governor commissioned ten people to get together and write up a 200 page report about what actually happened at Columbine, and then tell everybody what we're supposed to do about it. I'm reminded of that scene in The Matrix when Neo notices DeJaVu the black cat. And for those tired of talking about this pathetic school shooting crap, I can sympathize. Here's a cute story about Thud the dumb grey cat
posted by ZachsMind
on May 15, 2001 -
File this under "funny but sad." You must have a look at few of the video clips of these boys in action. The whole squalid environment reminds me of Gummo. I understand it's just mindless fun but....is this the bottom of suburbia or the frightening norm?
posted by davebush
on May 15, 2001 -
Columbine parents sue game makers
Claiming computer games partially at fault for Colombine killings, parents of victims have brought a law suit against game makers...will this be viewed as unprovable cause of the shootings or bring about a study of relationship between violence and games?
posted by Postroad
on Apr 25, 2001 -
"School bullying called widespread."
This one's a real gem. Not only are the results of the study overly predictable, but the article is full of other great realizations, such as how "bullying is [...] unacceptable behavior," and how there is a "possible connection between bullying and violence."
posted by CrayDrygu
on Apr 25, 2001 -
Apparently exposure to violence in media caused the Columbine massacre.
There's a best-selling book, readily available in nearly every book store in the US, which includes descriptions of genocide, wars, deliberately-caused plagues, mass killing of children, cities being put to the sword, and which portrays those responsible for these crimes as heroes!
Clearly it establishes a culture of violence and should be suppressed. The success of this book (the best selling book of all time, which is regularly given to children!) makes clear that the publishing "industry will not effectively regulate itself, and that court intervention is necessary to keep violent [books] out of the hands of minors."
No question about it: there should be a class action suit against all publishers of the Bible.
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Apr 22, 2001 -
Riots in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati city police have this odd habit of killing unarmed young black males. In November, two men were killed. One was shot, another was crushed or suffocated while already in police custody and, according to witnesses, not resisting. Several weeks later a policeman shot and killed a twelve year old out joy-riding. Saturday night an officer chased down and shot a nineteen year old he 'thought he recognized' as someone with outstanding traffic warrants. Every time someone is killed Cincinnati city council promises to look into the matter but does nothing. Today someone decided to take action, even if it was in a destructive and politically impotent form of action.
posted by krakedhalo
on Apr 10, 2001 -
justifiable? i'm sure that both sides have their own reasons. but, honestly ... all the fatalities. how can there be any possible rationale for the loss of so much?
posted by a11an
on Apr 10, 2001 -
Kids' bad habits blamed on movies
I too sneered and thought this was going to be another attack on media as the root cause of all problems. But the stats suggest a correlation that should be given some serious thought. Not talking about guns and school shootings but rather smoking and drinking. But then what of dope?
posted by Postroad
on Mar 26, 2001 -