Burning Video Games Is a Really Bad Idea
If anything, they help us deal with violent urges, Liel Leibovitz argues
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 9, 2013 8:00 AM CST
Jack Schooner, 16, looks at Grand Theft Auto video game at GameStop in Palo Alto, Calif., Monday, June 27, 2011.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – The Newtown shooting has America understandably on edge. "But are we really hoping to purge our collective soul by demolishing copies of Halo 4?" asks Liel Leibovitz at the New Republic. The town of Southington, Conn., originally planned to do just that on Saturday, though the event has since been canceled. Past cultural bête noires—from comic books to gangsta rap to television—have seen similar burnings, but video games are a unique case. They're not consumed, they're played. "The digital violence we witness on-screen comes from our own hands," Leibovitz writes.

That may sound scary, but as all gamers know, the experience "has more to do with our thumbs than it does with our minds," resembling contact sports more than watching TV. What's more, it's "not fundamentally different than what previous generations have done, when sticks served as swords or hands as pistols." It's play. Then, as ever, it helps people deal with intense experience in a safe, sublimated way. "By confiscating and burning their games, parents risk extinguishing a critical outlet—and creating the very problem they were trying to avoid," he writes. Click for Leibovitz's full column.

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Jan 10, 2013 4:21 PM CST
and what do the people at westbro have to say about this?
Jan 10, 2013 3:36 PM CST
This same argument goes on all the time in regard to pornography: does it encourage "acting out" what one sees on the screen, or does it help to sublimate the urge to act out. In regard to both violent video games and pornography, the science on this question is unclear. We should not consider banning either one, then. I believe that the Bill of Rights deserves at least the same amount of respect as an NFL official's call, which can only be overturned if there is "incontrovertible visual evidence." "Upon review, there is not incontrovertible evidence that pornography or violent video games lead to criminal behavior by those who partake in them. The First Amendment stands as written."
Jan 10, 2013 3:12 PM CST
If the phrase: "correlation does not equal causation" means nothing to you, then you have no right to comment on the hypothesis that violent video games result in real world violence