9.4.08

For The First Time In My Life, I Disagree with Stephen King

Okay, that's not true. I disagreed with his ending of It....and Cujo....and Carrie....and Christine...and Salem's Lot...."The Mist"... Basically I disagree with the ending of [insert Stephen King book or short story here]. But there are several things that I certainly do agree with this Maine-dwelling author of Scots-Irish descent on, like, well, like clowns are creepy; rabid dogs are creepy; vampires are creepy; the phrase "Everything floats down here, Georgie!" is creepy; balloons, in the right context, are creepy; Creepshow is creepy; pigs' blood is creepy; high school is creepy; spiders are creepy; arthritis is creepy; electronic devices and cars that come to life are creepy; bullying is creepy; the song "I Hear You Knockin', But You Can't Come In" is creepy; hotel rooms are creepy; Mainers are creepy; psychopomps are creepy; death is creepy; this warm and fuzzy picture of Stephen King is creepy:


telekinesis is creepy; arson is creepy; physical abuse is creepy; sexual abuse is creepy; fanatics are creepy; doctors are creepy; hauntings are creepy; old, dilapidated houses are creepy; abandoned psychiatric institutions are creepy; walking corpses are creepy; decomposing corpses are creepy; cemetaries are creepy; those cymbal-crashing monkey toys - THOSE are creepy; hobbling people is creepy; being buried alive is creepy; being tortured is creepy; top-secret biological experiments on an island in the middle of Sebec Lake are creepy; flesh-eating, water-dwelling ooze is creepy; Church and Gage are creepy; pet semetaries are creepy - especially when childishly misspelled; aliens are creepy; meteors full of fuzz-growing goo are creepy. These things I agree with.

But I don't agree that kids under 18 need to be playing violent video games. He argues that Carrie and The Shining are violent, but they are also RATED R. They are also over in, like, an hour and a half, and neither is as greusome as some of the video games that have been released since the mid-90s. I understand that he believes that parents should make the decision whether their child should be allowed to play a violent video game, but unlike a rated R movie, a parent is very unlikely to be present in the room and monitoring their child playing Manhunt 2 or Grand Theft Auto 4 every minute. You can't tell me that killing people in a video game for hours on end has a healthy effect on a child's mind. I don't blame violent video games for the rampant school killings...okay, maybe I do. So many of these games have very realistic people killing very realistic people - in really graphic and horrible and very realistic ways. I can't imagine this doesn't desensitize kids, and I have no idea what the effects are - I was playing Nintendo's RPG-esque game Final Fantasy until 4AM some week nights while I was in high school (God, I loved that game!). I don't think a ban on violent video games will hurt anything but the pocketbooks of the CEOs at Rockstar Video Games. Maybe it'll force them to adapt and create some really awesome, nonviolent games.

That said, I can't wait to get my hands on Manhunt 2.

5 comments:

Shannon said...

Creeeepy Mainers...renting a place for you all (to DIE) on Sebec Lake...

Not sure how I feel about the video game thing - I certainly think kids (and adults) are exposed to too much violence in general (when did being a hit man become glamorous?). Then again, our parents were saying D&D would make our generation violent - which so made me want to grab my blade of vorpal sharpness and do some good for the 3rd Liege of Xangtar, in whose thrall I was...uh...yeah. Anyway, that "violence" did us no harm. Still, I'm uneasy with the level of casual violence in some of these games. Certainly wouldn't let MY kid play 'em...

Rev Transit said...

Maine may be creepy, but it also has one of the lowest homicide rates in the country. Probably the most dangerous thing anyone does in Maine is use an automobile.

Of course, if we do all go up there and Shannon does us in, the cops will look back at this post and wonder why we went along with his sinister plan.

The video games have ratings on the boxes. Can't the parents regulate the games that way? I'm not in favor of the government doing anything beyond the ratings and parental warnings.

Thanks, Jo, for pointing out Stephen King's lucky ancestry. I'm not a bit surprised.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

D&D was all in our imagination; generally fighting monsters. The videos that make me twitchy are NOT Tomb Raider or Silent Hill (okay, Silent Hill DOES make me twitchy - it really creeps me out!) or Devil May Cry or even Resident Evil. The ones I would put the kabosh on for kids under 18 would be Manhunt 1 and 2; Grand Theft Auto 1-4; and Bully. These games have normal looking people killing normal looking people.

I realize it's more than video games, but I don't believe a culture that embraces violence as ours does needs another medium to direct at our kids. We see enough shootings and rapes and strangulations on prime time tellie. Couple that with these "reality" shows where everyone is backbiting, manipulating, and hateful.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

Well, Grand Theft Auto could get an NC-17 rating for porn - the "protagonist" gets to have sex with prostitutes, then beat them up to get "his" money back; so that's one down....

Parental permission is currently required in several states to purchase certain games. Legislation wants to ban their sale to anyone under 18. In the case of these two games in particular - Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto - I have no objection to that. They can ask for it for their 18th birthday.

Shannon said...

Oh - I have no problem with the ratings system on games being like the ratings system at the movies: if it's rated R, you don't get in unless 17 or accompanied by a parent; likewise if it;s "M" on a game, you can't buy it unless you are 17. But regulating games in this way and banning them outright are two very different things.