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Violent games and moral panics

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Dr Teodor Mitew

on 4 November 2014

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Transcript of Violent games and moral panics

violent games violence in games for and against moral panics cultural anxieties Early modern example of cultural anxiety about the status of the human and the possibility that humanity will be superseded by a superior machinic race Black [2006] EA discussion FPS POV [subjective] Metropolis (1926) During gameplay, the gun is situated at the center of the screen. This convention has aesthetical, ideological, and phenomenological implications. While the avatar controlled by the player is transparent, the weapon that he carries is simulated in great detail, in terms of aesthetic and functioning. In a first-person shooter looking and shooting, tend to overlap. Videoludic gunplay is always performative, whereas cinematic gunplay is purely spectatorial. Bittanti, 'From gunplay to gunporn', p.9 Where film uses the subjective shot to represent a problem with identification, games use the subjective shot to create identification. While film has thus far used the subjective shot as a corrective to break through and destroy certain stabilizing elements in the film apparatus, games use the subjective shot to facilitate an active subject position that enables and facilitates the gamic apparatus. Galloway, 'Origins of the FPS', p.69 fps The Hot Coffee
'incident' are digital games a form of speech? causality vs correlation do digital games incite violence? key issue>> GTA San Andreas [2005] Hot Coffee Mod "There is no doubting the fact that the widespread availability of sexually explicit and graphically violent video games makes the challenge of parenting much harder" Hilary Clinton key debates>> censorship violence Mortal Kombat [2011] 2011 - refused classification in Australia illegal to import, penalty up to A$110,000 witchcraft from to computer games action taken is overwhelmingly disproportionate to the actual influence of the group Ben-Yehuda & Goode 'Moral panics: the social construction of deviance' (1994) Concern >> Hostility >> Consensus >> Volatility >> Disproportionality >> five characteristics of a moral panic>> concern over the behavior of a certain social group the group is designated as dangerous, anti-social, deviant a social majority believes that 'we need to do something' about the danger posed by the group panic rises and fades quickly the debate>> the cultural anxiety surrounding the emergence of a posthuman subject is manifested in the moral panic over the effects of computer games techno-fantasies >>The Thing (1951;1982)
>>2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
>>Logan’s Run (1976)
>>Alien series (1979;1986;1992) technophobia technology as a dehumanizing force a recurring trope>> >>The artificial being: a constructed self - part technology, part organic

>>The ways in which these beings are represented in film and print narratives are a clue to the way a culture deals with this anxiety

>>This shifts over time: Robots give way to near-human cyborgs as technology progresses Rapelay [2006] banned for distribution in Australia should games have a utilitarian role? ESA Games and Violence Report Q: Hostility Disproportionality Consensus Concern Volatility video games cause real world violence and antisocial behavior gamers as antisocial nerds and/or sociopaths gaming should be regulated and its sociopathic tendencies expunged panic reignites with the release of every new violent game how to measure the effects of gaming? moral panics and two cases>> active subject pov 'looking and shooting tend to overlap' distribution access facilitating an active subject position POV construction problem>> gunplay as active subject construction game violence and and therefore protected by freedom of speech laws and if we make this proposition how do we prove it the debate>> the debate>> industry position http://www.theesa.com/facts/violence.asp [2012] ban lifted in 2013 after introduction of R18+ rating
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