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Eamonn

Clockwork Orange & Video Games

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I don't like violence. I don't like horror movies or blood and gore. I don't care if it is only make believe, when it comes to the "Bloody bits" I'm a real woozy and close my eyes.

I have never liked video games. Mainly because I was never very good at them and this really frustrated me. I would much sooner play Monopoly or Scrabble. I haven't spent much time playing video games, the only one I ever really played was Zelda. I was almost at the very end of the game when the wire to the handset broke and by then the system was just old to be able to get a new one.

Back in the 70's there was a big out cry when the movie a Clockwork Orange was released. Things got worse when a bunch I think it was 3 young lads went out and killed someone in London. The defense claimed that they had watched the movie repeatedly and were reacting or copy catting what they had seen. This opened a dialog about kids seeing violence in movies and if I remember correctly led to a tightening up of how movies were rated in the UK.

The other week our local news had a story about how someone had spray painted graffiti all over our county capital. They had sprayed a synagogue, a church and a monument of some local hero on a horse. The media wasn't sure if this was a hate crime or just kids. They had sprayed three letters. I think there was a G ,a W and one other letter. About a week later the police caught the offenders. Three young 15 year olds. They claimed that the letters were from the video game Grand Theft Auto.

I have seen some of the ads for video games and they seem to be out of control. The level of violence is outrageously high. Kids spent hours and hours playing these games which as far as I know (Not playing them myself) allow them to become more violent. Some of these games have lots and lots of different levels and kids can spend weeks and weeks playing them.

The quality of these new games is so far superior to that of what was available a few years ago. People killing each other and bashing the heck out of each other in high quality video and surround sound.

Clockwork Orange was a very frightening movie, the music made me think about Bach in a whole new way!! But the idea of our kids holed up in their bedrooms killing and hurting people for weeks and hours on end, is just wrong.

I know that the games are rated and parents should be aware of what their kids are up too. But in this age of super fast information, it is becoming really hard. Not that long ago I was shocked to find songs that OJ had downloaded on to his computer that were full of four letter swear words and the lyrics seemed to be all about disrespecting women and police. When I found them I deleted them and told him that we didn't want, need and wouldn't have that sort of thing in our home. I'm not sure if he really understands why, he does understand that he can't have that sort of stuff.

Of course the argument could be made about the music that I listened too when I was young.

Maybe we older people are guilty of allowing this sort of stuff to be marketed. Maybe we are scared that saying no to this stuff will be seen as taking away some right to something.

I do know that I don't like it and it's not coming in my home.

Eamonn.

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I remember it well. But I thought it was Beethoven, not Bach. Do you remember when Tipper Gore raised similar concerns regarding the music industry?

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A Clockwork Orange has warped my mind so that "Singing in the Rain" has violent connotations to this day for me.

 

I don't like gratuitious violence in movies, videos, songs, etc. but in some movies, like A Clockwork Orange it is necessary to the movie. Also, movies such at that did not glorify violence - quite the opposite.

 

Many people get upset about sex in entertainment and to a lesser extent violence. I can't fathom why seeing a man get hit in the testicles elicits a humorous response.

 

In today's world, with such massive media exposure via TV, radio, MP3, DVDs, movies, email, www, etc. parents do need to keep informed about what their children are viewing. A computer in a childs room is not a good idea.

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Yes of course it was Beethoven.

I do feel that we need to trust our children. Of course at times when we do this trust will come back and bite us in the tail. However I do feel that not trusting them isn't an option. One of the things that makes Scouting so good and different is that we do trust our youth members. We, the adults are there to train and support, but if we don't trust them everything falls apart.

I have had way too much time on my hands and have been stuck in the house for a while. I have been really surprised and taken back by the amount of trash that our kids are exposed to even on TV.In fact it has been a real eye opener for me.

As most of you know my son OJ, is 16 going on 17. I like to think that he is a good kid. Not an angel, but a good kid. I bought him his own computer because I was being cheap, I thought in the long run it would be cheaper than buying an endless stream of video games. I hoped that he would use it to help with his school work. So far I like to think I was right. I did set the content tools at a very safe level. Of course he might have found a way to get around them. I don't know.

I really prefer that he has this computer, which he uses to IM, his pals, do school and some Scout stuff on, then be holed up in his room killing people in a video game. I know when I was his age I sneaked copies of Playboy Magazine and it wasn't for the quality of the written articles, so maybe he has found a way around my content settings. I do at times use his computer and I have never found anything other than the bad choice of down loaded music on it. To be fair I have and do like Working Class Hero, by John Lennon which does use the "F word" twice. Still some of his stuff was just swearing for the shock value. Still it's a double value on my part.

Eamonn

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Hi Eammon - like you, I'm disgusted by what passes for (family-rated) programming on the televeision these days; the coarsening of our society comes in a large part from these 'shock' things that are foisted of on us in the name of entertainment. And the news is no better; why in the world some poor person thats just had a member of their family killed in a house fire NEEDS to be immediately interviewed and edited is absolutely beyond me...

We don't watch a lot of TV in our household, read a lot instead, and honestly I don't think we're missing much (except for the odd looks we get when a 'Survivor' reference comes up and are clueless)

 

Buffalo3 (about OJs age) watches what he wants on cable (-movies) when he gets the urge, but spends more time on the video games in and around homework and Scout stuff etc. He seems to go in spurts with these things, and when he's done with one just parks it. He seems to have the same fascination and intense application with learning computer programming or calculus or whatever else; I think that's something of a kid thing that we've forgotten...

And I marvel at the depth of detail these guys will exhibit when discussing a game that they're all familiar with; if we'd shown that level of concentration at that age we'd be astronauts! There's something that they are developing that we don't quite understand, when that focus is shifted to the real world these boys will suddenly show an ability to learn thats impressive.

 

I'm a little more concerned about some of the forbidden fruit aspect of things; that by making a fuss over something we add to the importance of it in our children's minds. Lots of what we think is truly evil slides right off as not quite comprehensible (unless I'm deluding myself) and falls away until we call their attention to it. I do what I can to try and find better things to do than watch TV, rather than just police what's in front of him. As the lad grows, he's exhibiting a fairly level head and I'm more interested in seeing him develop in his own directions than just blindly follow along with whatever Dad thinks... Maybe this is where that Adult Association thing starts paying off??

 

To end this meandering, I'd like to encourage folks to look for the good in these kids; it's there and we don't always see it. Look for opportunities to deal with them on an equal basis; while not always appropriate or possible, it sends a good message across. And remember that they're changing a lot and we're just moving along; last year's problem child might be next year's SPL!

 

Sorry for the long post but this is pretty important...

 

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I taught for several years in a Junior High School with students that had problems, mostly academic. I also had several that had behavioral problems. Part of my job was to monitor their grades. When problems occurred, I would call a meeting of the student's parents and teachers. After the usual defensiveness of the students and sometimes the parents, the focus on the problem(s) was enough to generate corrective action. These kids were considered by other teachers to have the worst behavior and sometimes, I stumbled in on things that were more difficult but still they were understandable and containable.

 

Kids naturally want to become independent and they use that drive to learn about their world. They try out different things, just as if they were in a clothing store. They look in the mirror and gaze at their reflection. They want to know if it fits and if they look good in it. When an adult with a good sense of what looks good directly explains how others perceive it, then most kids back off the extremes.

 

If there is a pathological problem involved, then the knowledge between what is good and what is bad becomes confused and talking and focusing doesn't have the same impact. Involving a professional with knowledge about the specific problem may be the cure. The majority has the usual set of disturbances but also has interested parents to take notice and help them adjust when off course. The majority find their way in life simply because they have good intelligence and/or some guiding principles that help them make the right choices. (*Based on observation over a period of time of many students.)

 

All are sexual beings, including the kids. That aspect of life is, at the very least, confusing. A person is taught a set of principles and then their body points their minds in directions that are contrary to those principles. What is happening during early growth is physical and cannot be fixed, nor would you want it fixed. It is best to acknowledge what is happening and to explain the process(es).

 

There is a good reason to deal directly with it. The reason is that movies, games, music, and magazines will do it for you and do it very badly if you deny it exists. These other forms of entertainment are designed to deal with sexual growth and development simply because they can make a large profit by using that knowledge. They are not in the business to focus on control or minimizing abuse but the opposite. Also, there isn't a way to block access because it is everywhere. (*Blocking computer access to bad choices has more to do with making a statement than stopping it but it is still important to state it.)

 

A parent can still deal with the problem. Encouraging and helping kids to be involved in Scouting, Church, sports, dance, music, and academia are fun. Most activities have standards that must be adhered to which brings about good character development. It isn't the elimination of the bad things but in the learning about the good choices that exists. Sexual 'stuff' will always be there but the time and the effort spent dwelling on it can be minimized. Slowly, most will learn about other parts of life that will capture their interests and will take them into their occupational pursuits. The principles that you encourage them to learn will remain even when the choices they make don't align. That is a secret that can be added to the Big Book of Parental Knowledge.

 

FB

 

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Hey Eamonn,

 

Was any of that music you deleted by Eamonn? That has to be the most cuss filled music I've ever heard.

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