Here we go again; video games blamed for creating a generation of murderers and rapists. It seems that whenever authorities and academics have no idea how to handle increasing violence in society they pull out the dog-eared script from their top draw, call up the media, and run the same old lines that video games are to blame for murder, robbery, assault, bad manners, climate change, Lara Bingle and the failure of our Olympic swimming team to win gold.
They said the same thing about the literary work of Emily Bronte in the 1840’s, dancing in the 1950’s and rock music in the 1960’s. Today NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione blamed the soaring knife crime on violent video games.
The simple fact is that violent people perpetrate violence. These young criminals generally commit these random violent crimes because they are predisposed to it; inflicting pain on other people provides them with whatever it is they need – pleasure; self-worth; social acceptance from their peers.
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In the first episode of Mad Men, the deliciously complicated American drama set in a fictitious advertising agency in the 1960s, “new girl” Peggy Olson goes to a doctor to get a prescription for the contraceptive pill.
Fresh out of secretarial college, wide-eyed and eager to fit into her new and sophisticated surroundings, Peggy is encouraged by her colleague Joan to see Dr Emerson, a swaggering and leery middle-aged, male doctor in standard issue white coat and stethoscope.
Poised at the end of the examination table, cigarette in hand, Emerson is suggestive and familiar; a pompous fountain of abrasive, misogynistic and downright creepy “advice” that goes something like this: “There’s nothing wrong with being practical about the possibility of sexual activity… at the same time, we have to make sure that it’s not going to turn you into a strumpet. But the fact is, even in our modern times easy women don’t find themselves husbands.”
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