Friday, February 16, 2007

"Killerspiele" Update (The "I can't believe what some people say" Edition)

Yes, here's yet another update about "Killerspiele". This one, surprisingly enough, was not sparked off by the politicians themselves - even though I do have a few words I'd like to say to Mr. Beckstein ... and he won't like them. This one comes from going through the MangaSzene-forum this afternoon.

There are two discussions about the topic going on in this forum, one in the "news"- and one in the "off topic"-section. The posts which I read and had to write about here were in the "news"-section. I can remember - from a thread I created myself in the old forum - that the person writing these posts is a member of a political party (the CDU even, if I remember it correctly). And I find it only normal for him to defend his party's view on the topic. That's not the problem I have with his posts. No, the problem is his arguments. One of them, especially.

Answering to my own post, he asked whether the discussion would be the same if it were about bullfights instead of "Killerspiele". This, to me, made him look absolutely mad. I think everyone has the right to stand on the topic of "Killerspiele" the way he or she wants. But comparing a computer program, in which the beings suffering are made up of bits and bytes and do neither lead a 'real' life nor feel pain, with a real-life 'game', which I find absolutely disgusting and which makes real animals suffer just for the people's amusement, is more than just a little bit odd.

The man - and I'm quite sure the user is male - is very aggressive which I can understand to a certain degree, as he's the only one defending the party. It's a good thing someone is doing it, because that gives the whole discussion balance, but the way he does it, he's not - from my point of view - doing his party a favour. Most of his arguments basically are from the deepest instincts (the kind of argument you use when you've realized there's nothing qualified you can say). I know those kinds of arguments and I have used them myself, in scientific essays I had to write during my time at university, in forums and even in my blog sometimes.

But he's overdoing it because, I suspect, he doesn't have a lot of real arguments to sustain himself. He doesn't seem very acquainted with computer games and so - unlike the rest of the users posting, who are fans - he's not well equipped with positive or negative examples.

Where he overdoes it a lot is whenever it comes to how horrible the games are. Yes, there is blood in those games and usually it's red. But the games he refers to are for grown-ups (people above the age of 18 are considered grown-up in Germany, as I've already written before) and I highly doubt they'll be easily impressed with red blood. Some of them are quite disgusting and there's a couple of them I surely don't want to play. But I doubt they have such a big influence on the people playing them. That's where the whole "Killerspiele"-issue starts for the parties.

All the bad things, they say, come from the brutal computer games. The same thing, a couple of years ago, was said about videos (that was a long time ago, before the DVD was even created). To most logical thinking people who go through the world with their eyes wide open, the suggestion alone that there's but one reason for the way society has started to decline is ridiculous.

The others who are arguing in that thread mostly claim it's because kids often grow up with nothing but TV, DVD and computer games as examples for their behaviour. That's the real problem, if you ask me. It's called socialisation and it's supposed to take place why a child is still young and easy to impress. That's when the parents should make sure the child learns about what is right and what is wrong in the society (as that differs from society to society). Of course, there's still no guaranty that there will be no people running amok, but maybe our society would be off a little bit better if more parents did that ... or if we finally got workers for the kindergarten who are actually trained to teach the kids right (unlike all other European countries, Germany does not have studied educationists working there).

There are countries around in which even more kids are sent to kindergarten early (in Germany most kids start at kindergarten at the age of 3, in France, for example, they can get in when they're 6 months old), but they don't have all those problems we have.

Another reason for the cold society in Germany might be our 'survival of the fittest' point of view when it comes to work and success. We are told that only the best will survive and that there's nothing really forbidden to achieve success (provided you don't get caught). Kids learn that, too, at school and practice it there. So we've got a lot more mobbing there than any other time in our history (for as long as we've had public schools).

Just because of computer games? I don't think so. Because there's so many unemployed people and kids are basically taught from their first day in school "you can either be the best, no matter through which means, or you can be a looser"? That sounds far more likely to me.

But back to the main topic and the way this user argues. He's always accusing the rest of us to be 'polemic' whenever it comes to the CDU and Mr. Beckstein - and sometimes we have been, we're not too blind to see this and I'm not too proud to admit it - and at the same time he uses even more polemic words when it comes to "Killerspiele" or other things.

Some of his arguments - a lot of them, actually - just don't really fit. Yes, the CDU traditionally has more voters in southern Germany (where I live as well), but that doesn't mean we're attacking the area as a such (and especially I would be attacking myself in that case...). So arguing that Munich is very modern just because there's a lot of nude - or at least top-less - sun-bathing people in the English Garden during the summer doesn't really work. There's a lot of sun in Munich in the summer, it's a very large city, there's a lot of students from all over Europe there and - finally - there's a lot of tourists coming to Munich. I highly doubt those sun-bathing people all vote for the CDU.

Surely people who have been in World War II do not find it amusing to see a game in which their grandchildren can 'play soldier' and rather realistically kill people with machine-guns or grenades. But I doubt those people will like the war movies any better - both brings up the same memories.

I can basically close this blog with the English translation of a motto I've read in another forum once, because here it seems to fit. But first I'd like to point out I like a good fight, provided the other one fighting it does it well. Now, here's the motto:

I don't go into intellectual fights with unarmed people.

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