CNET News.com readers reacted en masse to Charles Cooper's Friday column. Here are some edited excerpts. What's your opinion? Join in the discussion in our Talkback forum.
X-Rated? PG-13 or R maybe
Posted by: Jim Harper
While I understand your point, I don't think the Bible deserves the "X-rating" that you speak of. I've read much of the Bible and even the racier parts are not graphic enough for any ratings board to grant it an "X-rating" (at least these days).
It's always the same
Posted by: Jani M?kitalo
We've seen this same thing happening before. Every time something new appears in youth culture the older or more conservative people don't --or won't -- accept, we get this....This will eventually blow over too. At the latest, when video gamers are old enough to be entering positions of power.
The Bible is X-rated? Definitely Not.
Posted by: Brian Manchester
While I do agree that blaming video games for violence can be a cop-out, my common sense tells me that when I spend hours and hours consumed in some activity, it will affect the way I think. I experienced this when I was involved with the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. After playing for many hours, I sometimes had to remind myself that I was back in reality.
Gratuity is the key
Posted by: Christopher Hall
You're dead on, but remember that even lessons in morality can be misconstrued and misinterpreted. Any form of information transfer has the chance to affect the way one thinks, it's just a matter of how that information is processed. I think Coop hit the nail on the head when he says to blame it on the stupidity of a sociopath in the making. All this needless finger-pointing won't get anyone anywhere.
The blame should fall on the retailer
Posted by: A.B.
Any title that is labeled Mature or for adults 18 or over should be criminal to sell to a minor. The game publisher should not have liability, the retailer should. If the kid doesn't have ID to prove they are of age, you don't sell it. The retailers have to be held responsible either through fines or jail. And if a certain retailer is obviously bucking the rules, then the game publisher should do it's best to keep their titles away from that retailer as punishment.
Posted by: Steve Grant
I agree the problem is parenting. I wouldn't go so far as to say parents should be made to pay - in criminal or tort liability. The scariest part is how many people think they can dictate the way other people live - because of religion or anything else -- and try to put people in jail who disagree. I wonder if the people doing this realize, after they go after something they disagree with, something else will come that up that "needs" to be regulated, taxed, controlled of otherwise interfered with by the government. It is an endless battle. Unfortunately, coming out, publicly, in support of something that is hyped as "helping chldren", provides a great deal of publicity, which politicians love.
Judges will decide
Posted by: Len Bullard
A culture coarsens or unifies according to many, many forces at work in a given time period, a phenomenon sometimes called the zeitgeist. Today it is games and a decade ago, it was the appearance of increasing amounts of so-called pornographic content in prime time television. The effects of that one have yet to be analyzed but I think anyone can make any case they want to, based purely on a single incident.
Hate, Defensiveness not the answer
Posted by: Guillaume Uys
I believe God has given us the capacity to differentiate between good and evil, between fantasy and reality. Therefore, I do not believe should be any more or any less surprising that the alleged BTK killer was a church -going man, and even in a leadership position at his church. At the core of it, I believe he has the same mental defect that causes any other serial killer, whether allegedly influenced by games or whatever other medium, to disconnect fantasy from reality and making the decision to kill.
Video Games Kill?
Posted by: David Langdon
This is just like the gun control issue. Guns aren't the problem. It's the people that use them. The same with video games....Society wants to put the blame on things instead of the people. It's the people, not the games, that do these things.
The Bible! Give me a break!
Posted by: Kevin Dauster
It's clear from this article the guy has never even read (the Bible.) If more people did read it then maybe this poor kid from Alabama might have had a decent childhood.
I believe the author's point is...
Posted by: James Fee
I believe the author is just trying to make the point that all of this is about context. He uses the reference of the Bible and its contents to prove the point that you can take things out of context and show that it is something it is not. Games are just games. There are very few things in life that cannot be taken out of context and twisted, the Bible included (Crusades anyone!).
Posted by: R Hartman
Fuzzy thinking. That's what this article is. Is there really a comparison between the activity of reading classical, best-selling literature (the bible) and the playing of a modern video game, regardless of content?
Your examples prove just the opposite
Posted by: Bob Blanchard
It takes an incredible blindness, Mr. Cooper, to fail to see how our society has indeed been pushed toward lasciviousness and violence by our ever-deteriorating entertainment culture. Sure, Greta Garbo's sultry moves are tame by today's standards, which proves my point. We've continually lowered the bar, and there's no end in sight.
Posted by: Matthew Good
I believe that everything in life affects who you are: music, video games, religion, etc. The real problem is that for many it's easier to just blame someone else...I happen to agree that politicians are just grandstanding. When this all blows over they will find something else to jump on and not even think about this issue again.
Common to Mankind
Posted by: Marc Leblanc
I believe violent behavior is a propensity mankind shares. It's not something that is unique to one group of video gamers or to a religious group either....Since there is violence in humanity, it is found in the Bible, but this book is trying to unite mankind and lift all men under the umbrella of and toward a loving God. Violent video games do not serve this purpose in any way shape or form.
How do parents fit into this debate?
Posted by: Dwight Stickler
Parents; if you don't want your children acting out the things that they see in violent video games or other forms of violent expressions--don't spend the money providing your children access to it. Was that so hard to figure out?