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Sen. Lamar Alexander: Video Games a Bigger Problem Than Guns - VIDEO


Because "video games affect people."


Writes Jed Lewison: "To repeat, those words came from the lips of a United States Senator. A Republican United States Senator, to be precise. Supposedly, he's one of the brightest bulbs in the Senate Republican conference. The first President Bush thought he was so smart that he appointed him to be Secretary of Education for the entire nation. And yet despite (or perhaps because of) these illustrious credentials, Lamar Alexander babbles forth this nonsense without the slightest hint of embarrassment or self-doubt."

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  1. I'm assuming the good Senator has data on all the deaths that have occurred while people were playing video games?

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 31, 2013 11:15:46 AM

  2. The biggest factor in gun violence? Access to guns.

    Posted by: db | Jan 31, 2013 11:23:09 AM

  3. Here is the thing. Even if video games increase violence, there are many countries that buy the same, if not more, video games, but have almost no gun deaths. The difference? The number of guns. Period.

    Posted by: Eric | Jan 31, 2013 11:23:33 AM

  4. Dumb politicians like said senator are the biggest danger to us all.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jan 31, 2013 11:24:11 AM

  5. Dumb politicians like said senator are the biggest danger to us all.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jan 31, 2013 11:24:11 AM

  6. Stupidity affects people most of all.

    Posted by: Bravo | Jan 31, 2013 11:26:29 AM

  7. @ERIC ABSOLUTELY! The "region-coded" market for DVDs, Video games and movie distributions cover ALL of North America. So Canada has all the same games, new movie releases and DVDs that the United States has. LAMAR ALEXANDER and those of his opinion are demonstrably, empirically, plainly WRONG.

    Posted by: mvecera | Jan 31, 2013 11:34:16 AM

  8. Clearly the video game lobby isn't paying as much as the gun lobby.

    Posted by: Steve Sando | Jan 31, 2013 11:34:41 AM

  9. Were the kids in Sandy Hook killed with a Sega cartridge? But yeah....guns don't kill people, video games kill people.

    Posted by: RandyN | Jan 31, 2013 11:54:46 AM

  10. I wish when a senator says something like this, he gets recalled or censured. Can you imagine in your current job, taking a very important issue that all your coworkers are fretting over, and then just talking out your ass.

    No proof, no reason, no logic. To me, if I had oversight of that job, I would call this man into my office and grill him on his job. Clearly this is just some idiot who bought his way in.

    Posted by: Fensox | Jan 31, 2013 12:16:43 PM

  11. Poor old man doesn't understand technology is all

    Posted by: Will | Jan 31, 2013 12:32:31 PM

  12. He makes a point about desensitising kids to violence via video games. He's not entirely wrong. Granted, you need gun access to turn it to reality, but it wouldn't be wrong to start there and keep kids from WANTING guns at all. Wonder if there's any data on the occurrence of violent crimes along with increases in video game violence?

    I think everyone here should be smart enough to realise he's not talking LITERAL (aka, killing with a video controller). That argument is as dumb as what you're attributing to him.

    Posted by: Isaak | Jan 31, 2013 1:15:48 PM

  13. Okay, apologies but I have to step in this certain discussion. The Senator does bring up an interesting and valid point. Video games do help in hand-eye coordination. Especially in regards to the "Shoot em up" format. As if the military doesn't realize this can help their need for future soldiers? The video games, granted, are based on fantasy or a "virtual reality". The only difference is hoping the parent or guardian instills a sense of teaching children the difference between reality and fantasy.

    Look, I used to play video games a LOT in my time. Until one day I just got bored of it all. And never went back to it again. (Oddly, I still have the regular XBox and games till now. Just never got rid of which I should.) Playing games like Medal of Honor does bring out a sense of escapism and hostility. (I'd get so involved in the game that I literally started calling the virtual enemy"The Germans" some really hostile names. Much like the derogatory "F" bomb hurled at us many times. But I digress.) Pilots that are trained use virtual scenarios to practice their craft before they can move up the next step. Basically, a video game. Just more tutorial. In this aspect, I feel the Senator does bring up an interesting point. But I also feel that one needs to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Sadly, not everybody can.

    So, yeah, I'll defend the Senator's comments to a point. Just my two cents. Have a good day everyone.

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jan 31, 2013 1:38:24 PM

  14. @ Isaak I completely agree with your comment. I'm sure the Senator wasn't talking in literal terms. But about the desensitizing of violence that vid games do instill.

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jan 31, 2013 1:40:07 PM

  15. The math just doesn't add up. Millions of copies of violent video games are sold a year, as well as millions of people got to see violent movies. Why aren't there millions of shootings?

    Posted by: Edd | Jan 31, 2013 1:43:13 PM

  16. which means they're probably more concerned with eliminating gay marriage in the sims.

    Posted by: Satyr Troll | Jan 31, 2013 1:43:33 PM

  17. video games schmideo games. I've spent more hours than I'd like to admit playing some bloody, violent first person shooters, and I have never ONCE considered walking into a school, or theater, or college, or mall, with a real weapon and opening fire.

    I don't even own a gun! For that matter, I wonder how many gamers own guns at all!!

    Posted by: Lucas H | Jan 31, 2013 1:57:31 PM

  18. (In my best Mommie Dearest voice): "NOOOOO SOYYYY SAUUUUCE EVERRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Posted by: Lucas H | Jan 31, 2013 2:23:16 PM

  19. OOOOOOOPS I totally posted that last comment in the wrong thread.... thats what happens when I keep more than window open, dangit!

    Posted by: Lucas H | Jan 31, 2013 2:24:25 PM

  20. hey all. there was another school shooting.

    this morning

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 31, 2013 3:20:16 PM

  21. hey all. there was another school shooting.

    this morning

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 31, 2013 3:20:18 PM

  22. By all means, don't address the actual means of murder, Lamar. It might actually work, and then you'd have to find something else to solve.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 31, 2013 3:49:57 PM

  23. @LUCAS H I bought a bottle of soy sauce in my grocery shopping today.

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Jan 31, 2013 4:47:15 PM

  24. Thank you "Mickyflip" and "Isaak" for the thoughtful comments. Sen Alexander is not one of the crazies. Is he conservative? Of course, look at the state he represents. It's not WEHO or SF or Palm Springs or Manhattan. But these games are dripping with blood spatter and gore. Young people who regularly play them are desensitized to violence, and studies have shown it. The Senator correctly noted the First Amendment issue.

    Also note he didn't rule out voting for universal background checks which the NRA once supported before doing a 180. For a Republican, he is about as rational as they get these days which I realize isn't saying much. The bill will need a few GOP votes so dissing Sen. Alexander may not be a good idea. Also, when Towleroad starts hating EVERY non-Democrat reflexively like the nutter far right blogs do to Dems, and progressives, reasoned discussion goes out the window.

    Posted by: Contrarian | Jan 31, 2013 8:08:06 PM

  25. For 20 years now I've been burning my SimCity cities to the ground when I get fed up with all the whining and complaining about taxes, then all the whining and complaining about the lack of services when I drop the tax rate.

    For some mysterious reason, that has not translated into criminally anti-social behaviour. It's a miracle!!

    Posted by: agcons | Jan 31, 2013 8:17:01 PM

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