Channel nine looking for comments about games

Hi there,
My name is Lucie, I am putting together a story for A Current Affair Channel Nine. I am looking for anyone who has played Hitman, Manhunt and has an opinion on whether they are violent or not. I would also like to find a kid and a parent who have an opinion on these games. Ideally I am looking for someone who thinks the classification laws are fine and people should be able to play these games just as they can chose to watch a violent film.

It would be great to get an opinion from people in the know and I would like to find someone who could be itnerviewed for the program who has a good knowledge of these games.

Any help would be much appreciated at lmcgeoch@nine.com.au or on (02) 9965 2304

Pantmonger's picture

quote:Ideally I am looking for someone who thinks the classification laws are fine and people should be able to play these games just as they can chose to watch a violent film.

No offence, but the cynic in me thinks that the stories your program runs are usually geared towards the negative on this kind of issue. Your ?reports? could only in the most rare of circumstances be classified as unbiased. Given that for the most part they are targeted at the knee-jerk, ill-informed and scapegoat blaming demographic I find it hard to believe that your report would show this industry and these games in an unbiased light.
You are specifically targeting games like ?Hitman, Manhunt? because they are in the media at the moment and for some reason I don?t think your program will show an in-depth analysis of the psychological studies that indicate predisposition of action guided by media rather then media instigating action.
As such will be receiving no assistance from me.

Pantmonger

bullet21's picture

I agree with Pants, to often a time have i seen society blames its ills and imperfections on the violence contained in entertainment mediums. I have also think you will have extremely biased views. I might help but only if you can somehow proove that it will be a fair... it will take a hell of a lot of convincing.

CombatWombat's picture

It seems more like you're after someone to fill a role for a script. I'm sorry if this is not the case, but this is the way it reads to me.

I support games being able to allow the player to express themselves, but I don't support games that force the player to be violent for the sake of violence. There doesn't seem to be much room in what you're looking for for a view like this... There's some great stuff out there - why not compare and contrast some different types of games? Most of your viewers will have already made up their minds on stuff like Manhunt. I really don't see there being any value behind rehashing the same old arguments again and again.

Major Clod's picture

I played manhunt on my Xbox for about an hour. I found it quite distasteful and rather boring too. I can't help but wonder if you are using Hitman and Manhunt simply because of their titles?

Blitz's picture

I would assume they are using Manhunt, because it was recently "linked" to a murder in the UK, and Hitman because it received bad press from Victims of Crime organisation (or something along those lines).
Although i highly doubt that Lucie will return to read this thread...
I will be extremely surprised if you manage to find someone who's is of the opinion that those two games are not violent. Hitman, it is generally impossible to finish a mission without making the "hit" (killing your target), and although i've never played Manhunt, it is my belief that it is not entirely possible (and probably quite dull) to complete the levels on stealth alone, and when stealth fails, you are up with a violent confrontation.
It may also be difficult to find someone who thinks the classification laws are fine and also actually gives a damn about the classification laws. I would think most people either would be wanting an R rating introduced, or would be morons who would rather games be banned altogether due to their corrupting influence...
If one good thing could actually come out of this story, perhaps it might be that parents would pay more attention to their kids, and what their kids are doing/playing. Take some of the responsibility of bringing their kids up instead of letting TV/Movies/Games do it for them, and then blaming them for doing "a bad job".
Hey, you never know, maybe they can fit in this story how stupid the lack of an R rating is! :P
CYer, Blitz

Maitrek's picture

This is the definitely dumbest request I've ever seen...I can see where a comment like this would come up in the middle of the report and I doubt anyone here is stupid enough to put themselves in that position.

You might as well have said this -

'Hi I'm looking to produce some propaganda that is designed to incite a fear and hatred of a group of people so that viewers of the program feel they have to watch this program again and again every night to make sure that they are ever vigilant and aware of all the crazies out there in the world, otherwise they may one day get attacked by a bunch of malicious computer game playing kiwi-apple wielding islams that are infected by a human form of the calici virus'

Pfft, go perpetuate this crap misuse of an information medium elsewhere.

Rapid's picture

I can see where this is going. You will probably end up with something like "calling for a tougher restriction (or even banning) on this type of games".

farmergnome's picture

OWN3D!

luciejean's picture

quote:Originally posted by bullet21

I agree with Pants, to often a time have i seen society blames its ills and imperfections on the violence contained in entertainment mediums. I have also think you will have extremely biased views. I might help but only if you can somehow proove that it will be a fair... it will take a hell of a lot of convincing.

Understood. I I would still be interested in anyone who has an opinion on thse games whatever it might be. We have no view at all, we don't play thse games nor do we pretend we know anything about them. That's why we were hoping you guys could tell us what you think.

TheBigJ's picture

I have to agree with Pantmonger as well. The people on this forum are Game Developers. As developers, we are often frustrated at the way the media (mis)represents our art form. I have a strong opinion on this matter but I will not give it to you because I cannot trust the nature of your story.

I don't mean any offence, I just feel that perhaps this is not the best place to find your interviewee.

Maitrek's picture

Ahhh - I think I got up on the wrong side of bed this morning...

quote:I would still be interested in anyone who has an opinion on thse games whatever it might be. We have no view at all, we don't play thse games nor do we pretend we know anything about them. That's why we were hoping you guys could tell us what you think.

I don't know if alot of people here have played those games either unfortunately...maybe people have played Hitman moreso than Manhunt (Hitman was actually interesting in regards to it's game design and execution, whereas manhunt is not). Pantmonger would be leading you in the right direction - talk to some psychologists and look at some reports and research, there was a major australian study into this kind of gaming released a few years back - I can get the title and publisher/author etc for you if you like. Getting a proper educated perspective is a far better way of communicating with your viewers - especially given the sensitivity in this subject area at the moment that would naturally give rise to overly biased and unresearched perspectives (due to recent headline grabbing events related to the games you are focussing on).

Shplorb's picture

The [url="http://www.gdaa.asn.au/"]Game Developers Association of Australia[/url] would be a good place to start. They have lobbied for changes to the classification system.

You also shouldn't really be looking for a 'kid' to interview either, as these are games aimed at a mature/adult audience. Although I guess that depends upon whether or not you think that someone 15 or older or a baby goat is a kid. =]

TheBigJ's picture

Oh, I'd just like to add one more point:

quote:We have no view at all, we don't play thse games nor do we pretend we know anything about them

Don't you think a good way to start working on this story would be to play the games? How could you possibly write an unbiased story about a game you know nothing about?

Mick1460's picture

The oddest thing is, that when this report is aired, I can just see the 'reporter' saying, "We made an attempt at contacting people in the game development industry but they where ALL unavailable for comment"

Its interesting that Manhunt was the first to blame for that killing in the UK. No one has really mentioned how this guys mother was killed in a car accident when he was very young so he went to live with his father who is a long distance lorry driver. He was heavy on drugs and lured the 14 year old victim to a park to steal his money to pay for a drug fix. Being 17, he couldnt get a gun, so he murdered the 14 year old by hitting him over the head with a hammer and then stabbing him.

So of course, the evidence is clear, the game Manhunt caused him to do that - gimme a break.

Mick

TheBigJ's picture

Guess what? Manhunt had nothing to do with it. Fresh from the press:

quote:New Twist In Manhunt Murder Row
New details have emerged concerning the murder of Briton Stefan Pakeerah, which the British tabloid press have blamed on the influence of Rockstar title Manhunt ? leading to many chain stores removing the title from shop shelves and calls for all violent games to be banned.

It now transpires that the 17 year old murderer did not own a copy of the game, which should not be sold to those below the age of 18, but that 14 year old Stefan did.

Ironically it is primarily the victim?s family that blames the game for influencing the murderer and they have indicated that they are ?saddened and disappointed? that the game has almost sold out across the UK, in the wake of the controversy.

Investigating police though are satisfied that the game has nothing to do with the murder, with a spokesman commenting that, ?We haven?t connected the game with the murder and we?ve already made that statement, but some sections of the media chose to ignore it? the motive was robbery.?

Mick1460's picture

Well, would you look at that.

Game Developers win again.

Get off our backs and raise your own kids

Malus's picture

quote:We have no view at all, we don't play thse games nor do we pretend we know anything about them.

I do actually believe you when you say you have an unbiased view towards games.

Unfortunately you, the media, have a strongly biased view towards ratings and as such I can't see the report being overly friendly towards our industry and its views.

Given the reaction (ratings) negative press for the games industry gets its going to be hard to find someone from this site eager enough to be attacked, mis represented or blamed.

I do however wish you good luck, I truly hope you take the hard way out and prepare a well researched, informed and engaging report, one worthy of the title "journalism".

Me109's picture

Whoot! I think the media is responsible for violence in society.. they're the ones determined to show the worst of humanity on prime time TV.. right when the kiddies need to see that crap.. and guess what? Man hunt sold out after the Tabloids reported it.. dosent take much to figure out whose responsible for promoting violence..

still journalism is commercially driven spawn of satan that deserves nothing more than to be spat on for its hipocritical, ill informed, puss ridden, irresponsible and, wait for it, idoitic statements....

Oh yeah I should leave the ABC and SBS out of this.. cause theyre the only ones who still practice respectable journalism..

hahahahahahaha.. suck it hard commercial tv

MoonUnit's picture

Many people mentioned that perhaps the media itself is to blaim for showcasing violent acts on television, something which should be even more acessible to children then games (as games have rating and thus are supposed to only be obtained by people in the right demographic). The interesting fact is whilst games narrate a fictional violence, showing the real thing on afternoon television is considered acceptable. If "the following scenes may offend some viewers" satisfies the media, then ratings satisfy me.

good luck with your report but im afriad youll probaly end up with someone who'd rather be on tv and yell "hi mum" then provide you with a proper argument.

anotherslave's picture

i have a strong disgust for media programs, news, current affairs so i will spare you all and stop now.

Brain's picture

quote:Oh yeah I should leave the ABC and SBS out of this.. cause theyre the only ones who still practice respectable journalism.

Certainly hoping you're not including the 7:30 Report in this...

tbag's picture

Hell i'll be interviewed (I've played Manhunt enough to know its crap) aslong as i can promote products that have nothing related to the story... or if i can have a brown paper bag over my head, or have it blurred or something and whinge that gamers and games arent responsible for violence.

***Barrys freshly squeezed goat juice, its the other kind of milk!***

Actually, why not do an article on how much gamers are negative towards the press. For example, check the above posts. Thats some pretty funny stuff.

Anyway, if it is to blame, shouldnt we be seeing kids running around on drugs, throwing pokeballs at each other whilst holding chainsaws and drinking each others blood while commanding aliens to invade earth and summon demons? Exactly, if your going to blame the video games industry, why not point our fingers at the movie industry while we are at it. Check out something like Lord of the Rings, there have been hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people killed with knives and swords, so therefore Lord of the Rings is to blame [:)].

Anyway, aslong as my face was blurred and i could whinge about how games are not responsible, i would be happily interviewed.

But then again, remember what happened to Homer Simpson? He was interveiwed trying to prove he was innocent, then the interview aired on TV showed Homer talking about her 'sweet can' and it proved him guilty. But then again, if i watch the simpsons i probably kill others just like itchy and scratchy... [:o)]

Which brings me to another point, itchy and scratchy. It contains quite a lot of violence, and im sure a few of the violent killing shown on that are similiar to some murders that have been committed. So i guess we should all go and sue Matt Groening...

Anyway, i've had my fun whinging [:)].

(NOTE: Im happy to be interviewed aslong as my guidelines are met, im not some idiot whos gonna get paid off or told to read a script, if so i will kick cast members severely... oh but wait i've been playing Manhunt, oh well looks like im guilty i go to jail and have to pay $50,000 in legal fees... Go straight to jail do not pass go, do not collect $200)

cas's picture

Although I agree with alot of you guys, I believe there can be some debatable points that can be raised on this topic.

for example:

- movies you merely watch violence whereas games you roleplay the violence - is this step too far? what about good old cowboys and indians? (at this point in time and with this current technology I personally think it's ok)

- just what are the limits to games? How far will we go? Will a game ever be allowed (not developed) on the shelf where you rape women/men? how does this compare to killing? is it just a friendly competition?

- roleplaying parents having babies with the glorious 'AI'?(Sims) & Barbie seperating from Ken.. WHAT THE!

I'm too tired to think about all the questions possible.

More curious on what else you guys could raise that has two sides...

I've never had a problem with violent games and if hitman and manhunt are found to encourage violence in society then does simcity encourage a person to be like Mr Trump? or how about jumping in sewer pipes to look for gold coins becuase Mario did it... If so then I say give out free strip poker games to women!!!

[|)]cas

Kezza's picture

Sorry Lucie, I doubt you'll find people here who want to fill in the things you want in your program (it sounds very suspicious given the games you have selected).
Most of us are of the opinion that we make a game for a target audience (same way as in the film industry), and games are rated accordingly.

If you're interested in making a more interesting story, it might be worthwhile trying to take a look from our perspective. Here's a few things you should think about if you're interested:
- We don't make violent games for "kids", we have ratings like the film industry
- How many parents would let their "kids" watch kill bill? Or House of a thousand corpses?
- Is it the film industry's fault if those children commit crimes afterwards.
- Is it right for people to say that "the game made him do it" when he's not even old enough to buy the game?

Probably not what you want,
but i can still hope.

Neilb's picture

Right on Kezza- most people wouldn't take their 9 year old brother/cousin/nephew to see "Kill Bill" but quite a few play or buy games for them that they shouldn't. Games are still regarded as being primarily for kids when the majority of publishers are actually aiming for the 15 - 35 market.

As a parent, you should know that there's bad stuff in the world (ie: volvo drivers, serial killers, nuclear weapons, george w. bush, the french, the sims) and it's up to you to make sure that your kids don't access it. You wouldn't tell your kids to play on the highway or play Manhunt. This is another case of people not being able to take responsibility for their own actions and blaming it on someone else.

I think if anything needs to be classified better it's the news. What with images from Abu Grabi(?) prison, violence in Sudan and Little Johnnies ugly mug - it's enough to seriously disturb any young mind.

Kezza's picture

Easy everyone, don't give her a hard time.

Shows like CA aren't really informative journalism, they're entertanment... but we (as an average demographic) aren't part of thier target audience.

For example, I personally enjoyed Farenheit 9/11 alot. As a rather cynical university student I'd say I was pretty close to exactly the kind of people Moore was aiming at as a target audience (except maybe for the american democrats party).
However it was in no way an unbaised account, nor was it at all hesitant to hint to or attempt to make links of corruption or conspiracy from material that could be entirely circumstancial. Moore certainly didn't do much in admitting anything good that bush has done (surely there's something, even if small).

All i'm saying is this, if we say Michael Moore is alowed to take a baised entertainment style potshot at bush... it would be hypocritical of us to say that we should be above getting the same treatment for someone else's entertainment.

Maitrek's picture

quote:Actually, why not do an article on how much gamers are negative towards the press. For example, check the above posts. Thats some pretty funny stuff.

Actually you should rephrase that to why 'game developers' are so negative towards the press. The fact of the matter is, I don't feel like the game developers owe any particular favours to gutter jourlism...all they have ever done for us is claim that we are making people kill other people; which, quite frankly, makes me sick.

I might as well get this off my chest because I'm hiding behind a keyboard and I won't feel so bad about being brutally honest. While it might be nice to think that a program like this may allow us 'to tell our side' or something like that - there are a few things I feel I have to point out.

First off, the program is only being run in the first place because there was some british tabloid BS about some kid who played manhunt getting killed by some drug addict. I don't think gaming should constantly be associated with murders in the public eye. It reminds me of my rally-driving as well, the only time rallying gets a mention is if someone dies (what a way to celebrate the sport)

Secondly there is no side of our story to tell, we just make games, there is not even the slightest statistical difference between the murders per 100,000 non-gaming population and murders per 100,000 gaming population.

Thirdly, perhaps you should do a story on what games are good for? Ever heard of a LAN that donates proceeds to charity? Probably not, because you haven't done your research nor does it seem you are a gamer.

Lastly, it doesn't matter what we say, in twenty years time gamers (and ex-gamers) will be in every corner of the journalistic profession, they will be running for parliament, we will have grown up and be filling the roles that are currently filled by a group of people who have had no exposure to gaming - furthermore there will be no difference in the ability of a gamer to fulfil these roles as an adult, and the whole issue will disappear off the radar.

THAT'S the end of the story.

Daemin's picture

Actually a friend of mine had a LAN at his church where all proceeds went to some refugee appeal thing. Although you can still say that no large LANS give to charity.

TyKeiL's picture

well, just cause i think i had a different point of view.

i dont particularly have anything against the medium of journalism or anything its just another activity people partake in to fill out there lives(in my opinion)

this is however a good oppertunity for someone, who is into games, and also into public relations, to get a word in or even mabe put on telly to show there worth.

promoting there own career in the (if hated, but needed) public relations side of he gaming industry. promoting there product or medium

there is the chance of coming off like homer, but without taking chances how is anyone to rise above the rest?

find the positive in things people.. oppertunity comes a knocking to promote , yourself, your fav medium, your product, and sumea. why give it the flick.

Maitrek's picture

Good point - however I don't see how us saying stuff infront of a camera is going to represent our cause in a good way.

As I stated, a thorough well-researched and objective report would be far better than us encouraging some tit-for-tat 'debate' between two uncompromising and ill-informed parties who cannot see the logic that is loosely associated with both sides of the argument.