Wayne County prosecutor a bit late with violent video game warning.

Wayne Country Prosecutor Kym Worthy has made a bit of a laughingstock of herself on the Internet. The Detroit area lawyer apparently felt the need to put out a list of the Top 10 Violent Video Games because Jack Thompson was too busy fighting to keep his law license down in Florida, but she managed to produce a list that is, well,  less than current:

Grand Theft Auto topped a list of the top 10 most violent video games that Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy released on Monday, urging families not to buy the items for children during the holiday season.

The video game “absolutely glorifies” carjacking, Worthy said, and encourages shooting, running over pedestrians and other violent acts.

Other video games on the list make a sport out of buying and selling drugs, show children witnessing the murder of their father and Rapper 50 Cent being involved in the drug underworld.

Please do not buy these video games and bring them into your home,” Worthy said. “It desensitizes (children) to violent acts.”

Now in her third year of releasing the list, Worthy said it is necessary to bring these games to the public’s attention.

So what constituted this list of such notorious titles? The folks at Game Politics provides an annotated list:

1. Grand Theft Auto (last released on consoles 2004; PSP, 2006)
2. Manhunt (2004, we assume they mean 2007’s Manhunt 2)
3. Scarface (2006)
4. 50 Cent Bulletproof (2005)
5. 300 (Feb, 2007)
6. The Godfather (PS3 – March, 2007; other versions, 2006)
7. Killer-7 (2005)
8. Resident Evil 4 (Wii, PC 2007; other versions 2005)
9. God of War (2005; we assume they mean 2007’s GoW2)
10. Hitman Blood Money (2006)

Wow, that’s quite a list… of outdated games… several of which suck.

“It’s no wonder we’re seeing the crimes we’re seeing lately,” Worthy said, adding there are many more violent games than those on her list this year.

Yeah, it’s all the game’s fault. Doesn’t have anything to do with bad parenting (e.g. perhaps looking to see if that game is rated M for Mature before buying it or, for that matter, giving a shit about your kid’s welfare in general) or the crushing effects of urban poverty or the just general shittiness of the environment a lot of kids grow up in. All the game’s fault.

It doesn’t help that a recent University of Michigan study on violent media made the rather dramatic claim that exposure to violent media in general, and video games in particular, was a health risk second only to the effect of “cigarette smoking on lung cancer.” That seems a bit overblown to me and there’s already some criticism of the study, but it’s been getting plenty of exposure on the gaming blogs and it’s only expected that the anti-video game folks out there would jump on it.

Still, it would help Prosecutor Worthy’s image if she was at least warning parents about games their kids might actually be asking for this Christmas instead of two or three Christmases ago. Better still would be if she just encouraged parents to not buy M rated games for their kids. It reinforces the usefulness of the rating system and encourages parents to pay attention to what their kids are consuming. Requires less research on what the hot trends are as well.

5 thoughts on “Wayne County prosecutor a bit late with violent video game warning.

  1. Here is the actual study, after some searching I found the link to the full text.

    I plan to actually review the study and the stats associated with it later. When I do I will post up the results, maybe in a cross-analysis post rather than a 50 page comment.

  2. was a health risk second only to the effect of “cigarette smoking on lung cancer.”

    :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:
    As if anyone without an agenda is gonna believe that…

    Oh and my computer struggles to run some of those games (can’t do hitman), meh muthabored don’t do AGP

  3. Hey, that reminds me of the days playing Drug Cartel on my TI-83 in high school.  I made the big bucks wheelin’ and dealin’.  Shrooms, pot, coke, you name it, I dealt in it (ok I only dealt in the 5 drugs offered in the game, but I did it well I tell you).  I became King of the Cartels I can’t tell you how many times.

    Funny how things like that get over looked by the stupid politicians.  And what happened to the days when porn was the big thing to go after?  Do they not care that it only takes a few clicks of the mouse for anyone to get a porn on the web?  Oh and from what I remember, you could get porn on calculators as well, I was just never that desperate.

  4. It has been brought to my attention that there are a bunch of games he missed.

    1. Adventure (last released on consoles 1982; Atari 2600) **watch out for the duck that tries to molest you.
    2. Drag Racer (1983, Atari 2600)teaching kids about illegal drag racing)
    3. Plaque Attack (1981, Colecovision) Plaque “murder” simulator.
    4. E.T. (1983, Atari 2600) drunk aliens encourage kids to drink
    5. River Raid (1982, Atari 2600 dangerous “bombing run” simulator)

  5. This isn’t the study I’m most interested in reading. There should be one ready for final publication in the new year. I remembered reading about it, and laughing because, fourty-something percent of parents did not realize there was a rating system in place for games.

    I think that says it all. Lets face it – these kids are not being raised by media-savvy parents. I’ve heard all sorts of nasty predictions about what games will do, but… I’m still more worried about the parents. I guess I feel like I wouldn’t be comfortable if I were under the care of someone who didn’t understand the effect of TV, a book, or a board game – much less a modern combination of any of those three.

    However, it will NOT get better with each generation. Those kids need to learn some basic skills in media studies, and I see very few parents really following up to do that for their kids. The ignorance will be systemic. The thought of that bothers me.

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