Shout out to Jonic over at Re-Retro. He forwarded this interesting link to me.

It’s a 45 minute documentary on First Person Shooters. You know. The reason you all supposedly come here. I haven’t had time to watch it so I may comment on it later. I do have other responsibilities you know.

I’m fairly certain it’s a serious look at the genre and the whole “Gamer” thing. Be quite an interesting read I think. So yeah. Go. Watch it. I’ll discuss more later when I’ve had time to watch it.

Edit:
Okay so I’ve watched it. I’m about half an hour in and I just can’t take it anymore. It’s a completely negative look on the First Person Shooter and games in general. Basically you’ve got a father who’s worried that his son is playing too much and he’s worried about what he’s playing. Now, he’s got a good start. Father trying to take interest in his son’s activities and trying to be a responsible parent. I give him props for that. But the way he goes about it is just wrong. He takes drastic measures and has the kid rebel against him. Well no sh*t.

It’s very interesting to watch the viewpoints of parents and to see how they perceive these games. They all take an immediate negative stance and all the parents try to take extreme action to stop their kids. Albeit some cases are worse than others. One lady explains as she tried to stop her son by turning of his “harddrive” (heh) and he grabbed her arm, twisted it and threw a coffee table across the room. Obviously the kid has some anger management issues. And then there are other stories of parents who have fought with their kids about the whole gaming thing. I think a lot of the problem comes from not understanding.

These parents don’t really know about the games they just see violence and slaughter and killing and they panic and try to pull the plug. And honestly, how would they like it if they were engrossed in something they enjoyed and suddenly someone came along and tried to rip out of their hands. My father has told me stories of how my grandmother was very much against him playing cards because it was a “devil’s” game or something. Cards for crying out loud. But that’s the way it was. Parent’s don’t understand things and so they react in a way that does not help the situation.

Parent’s need to better understand what the game is about and what’s going on in it. All through-out the documentary I heard wrong descriptions and poor terminology use about the games. These people seem to be very computer illiterate and that even further hampers their ability to grasp the situation. It’s truly sad. People are striking out at things they don’t understand and are only making the situation that much worse. They talk to one guy at E3, one of the CS developers, and he makes a very good point that all through history people have rebelled against things, swing dance, rock and roll, movies, and now video games. These are just the next scape-goat for people unable to control their children.

Now, to be fair, they do raise some good points about these games teaching kids how to “kill”. Or rather, they’re teaching them good tactics. Which, frankly, I find is a great thing. Sure you have the bad eggs who lose it and go off on a shooting rampage and now they’ll be more efficient at it. But on the flip side, you’ll have 5 other kids who didn’t go bad with the same gaming experience going after the kid who has lost it. They’ll know how he thinks and what he’s planning. Games teach people a new way of looking at situations and how to react to them. I’ve noticed that people who game tend to keep cooler heads when problems arise. Of course like I said before you’ve always got the few who just can’t handle anything. But that’s nothing new. You will always have people like this. IE the 14 year olds swearing and screaming at you because they think you cheated. But HELLO these are 14 year old kids. They’re going through a lot. Hormones, puberty, it’s not pretty.

Another thing the documentary brings up is the “flashing lights can cause seizures” warning on some of these games. They make a huge deal of it and they use it as fuel for their “righteous” fire. I don’t know what to tell these people. I’m dumbstruck at their logic here. Games have flashing lights and explosions and a lot of movement. Some kids are more susceptible to this than others. They have seizures. You can’t blame it on the game. And yes while the game is technically the cause, the kid has a sort of a medical condition. Some people have asthma. Are you going to blame the oxygen in the air?

Anyways. Before this posts gets even longer I just have to shake my head in pity at these poor parents who are so afraid of what’s happening in their children’s lives that they can’t take a step back and learn about it and try to understand it before they attack it.

Pity indeed.


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2 Responses to “FPS Documentary”

  1. Cary Says:

    Perhaps they could take a lesson from MY family…my father and I play Halo 2 together via XBox Live a couple of nights a week.

    My dad is 62.

    It’s full-on family bonding :)

  2. Matt Says:

    See!! This is what I’m talking about!! That’s awesome. Parent’s need to get involved in their children’s hobbies. Even if the parent can’t enjoy it they should atleast respect it enough to know that this is what their child enjoys and try not to be so negative. Though obviously this line of thinking has its limits, and should be listened to within reason. A family of crack addicts is not what I’m trying to get going here.

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