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“We often played the game together, and I firmly believe that the violence inherent in that game never had any negative impact on (my son’s) ability to understand right from wrong or feel empathy, or that it made him want to act out those matches of gunplay in real life. But what it did do, absolutely did, was make him an expert in firearms, or at least how these real-world weapons performed in a virtual setting. His ability to discuss the difference between, for instance, an AK-12 and a Remington R5 wasn’t just about how they looked or which one his friend used, but delved into a level of detail that was, for me, chilling.” – Brian Crecente in Guns, games and violence: The real questions you should be asking [at]


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  1. Your son learned something worthwhile from a Video Game and it scares you, Ben? Laughable.

    • OMG. My child goes to government schools. He’s not supposed to learn anything other than the State approved propaganda. OMG.

    • What’s really over the top is that his kid learned something worthLESS, and yet he’s still worried about it.

      If the author is worried about his kids outlook on guns, and violence in general, maybe he should take the time to teach his child, rather than just writing about it on the internet.

      Progressives: Passing the buck on to society since… well, always.

    • Other than visual recognition of some firearms, his son didn’t learn jack shit. The fire-rates, methods of operation, functional differences, situational effectiveness, capacity etc, are entirely arbitrary and confined to the virtual environment they are in. The game designers are making a game, and adjust and/or improvize as needed for the purpose of game-play, and so video-game guns have NO non-cosmetic connections to reality.

      His son knows no more about guns and how to operate/maintain them, than a kid who plays Grand Turismo knows about operating and maintaining sports cars.

      • You are entitled to your opinion. If the kid knows the essential difference between a shotgun and a rifle, he knows more than his father. I would hope you actually have something better to do than nitpick over my comment not meeting your standard of technical knowledge required to remark the kid learned something “worthwhile”, but maybe not. At any rate, I would agree with your assessment that the kid likely did not learn the finer points of real weaponry from the game, but he still knows more than the moron who sired him and that is worthwhile.

        • That particular game tought him that the Bushmaster ACR with a 9″ barrel is the most accurate, stable, and powerful gun on the face of the earth. Consequently, in the game its the most popular weapon in the universe…. Not so much in real life…… I agree with the assessment that the kid didnt learn crap…… Maybe good sight picture and situational awareness, but crap about guns.

          • I have some male second cousins who played these kinds of games and their interest in knowing about firearms factually was piqued. They wanted to know more and voluntarily took it upon themselves to learn by scouring the Internet and reading gun mags and so forth. Now they have all reached or passed age 18 and they all own AR-15s and the oldest has bought a Sig Sauer Pistol ( I forget the exact Model).

            So, I know these video games can play loose with detail, but I cannot imagine there are not other boys and girls whose curiosity is aroused by the video game experience and who learn facts as a result and become informed gun owners.

            BTW You’re observation about learning good sight picture and situational awareness is likely spot on.

    • With all the literal wanking he must do while be cucked, and metaphorical wanking he does all over everything else, I’m not surprised whatsoever. 😉

  2. Wiling to plop your son in front of the electric babysitter all day, but then piss yourself when he learns something from it? Yeah, that sounds like a liberal to me.

  3. So let me get this straight, it didn’t have any negative impact AND it was educational as well?

  4. Tyrants always fear access to information. God forbid the kid learn something and form his own opinion based on what he has learned rather than on what some hysterical and irrational adult has trained him to believe.

  5. The new puritans, same as the old. I thought we won this one back in the 90’s. Video games, movies, and rap music are fantasy products, like board games, books and fairy tales. If your child emulates them it means you are a terrible parent, as even this guy begrudgingly admits.

    Here is what he is really thinking; “Holy crap, I’m a clueless parent! I did everything the opposite of my parents out of arrogant spite, and now I can’t tell if this kid is normal or a psychpath… better prethink up an excuse in case he goes Adam Lanza on me…”

  6. His mess of an opinion is full of contradictions. First he states that playing kill-die-kill video games is harmful and affects the players, then he states that his son wasn’t negatively affected.

  7. OMG! Don’t let him ever play chess; he may get the idea that he needs to kill the Queen.

  8. Can’t get my 16 yr old nephew off his xbox one. On the weekend, he’s binging on k–cup coffee, pizza, and long hours of Fallout 4. *(Which as a 40yr old man, I have to say is very cool…But , I’m a bit slower now. Sticking to Minecraft, or Terraria. )* My other younger nephew whos pre-teen, is a Nintendo fanboy. Monster Hunter series, Pokemon, Zelda, etc…On occasion, Terraria, Minecraft, RTS fav.–Supreme Commander:Forged Alliance. Seeing that my middle-aged bro is a PC DYI hobby guy, and cobbled together some fantastic PC gaming rigs. Intel I-7’s, duel ATI video cards, multiple HDs, heat-sinked gaming memory, liquid coolers, awesome 100 fps on 3d action games at 1080p+…A techo-nuts dream systems…Like my brothers, his kids, and including my 70 yr old dad. Who loves RTS pc gaming on his AMD quad-core system. We all love this tech stuff. I wish my grandfather was alive to see this sci fi stuff he dreamed of come true…Anyway, I don’t have any trouble with kids and action games. I believe it’s the DNC/common-core crap, the liberal fuzzy-logic stuff and left-wing political agendas they ram down our kids throats…That’s the problem….

    • My son is also a gamer, PC master race and never misses the semi-annual steam sale. Built his own rig, and he’s starting college this fall for computer engineering at has first choice school.

      He did build an AR based on an 80% lower. But he liked building the AR more than actually shooting it.

  9. Sounds like this guy and Kuntzman need to go on a date together. They can trade PTSD stories and compare bruised shoulders.

  10. “”Omg my son learned different parts of cars playing need for speed! Hes going to run away from cops now!!!!”

  11. …And let’s not forget the “Ganga sta Rap ” lifestyle behavior…I don’t scapegoat tech, or music. But there are groups of Hollyweird, and the Criminal element of the Gangasta rap crews. Who are from real life drug gangs, The means streets….And they are trying to sell a lifestyle to teens that whatever they were involved in was cool…..

  12. “But what it did do, absolutely did, was make him an expert in firearms, or at least how these real-world weapons performed in a virtual setting.”

    Then you should’ve let him play Madden, so he could’ve been the next Super Bowl Champion Coach in the NFL.

    Because that’s all it takes to become an “expert” in real world things, right? A video simulation and some times to kill… Not hard work and years of real world experience or anything.

  13. Moderation in all things. Forty five years ago we didn’t have any electronic games or gadgets, so my sons played outdoors most of the time. They did play “cops and robbers, cowboys and indians” and such like. Later, they took their .22 bolt action rifles into the woods… never had an “accident” or turned to crime. Now their children are prohibited from having rifles, and spend an awful lot of time playing with the virtual stuff. They are not as healthy generally as their fathers were. And that’s just plain sad. Don’t suppose that some time playing the video games is all that bad, but kids need to get outdoors and use their muscles and their own imaginations to be healthy in body and mind.

  14. MEH. What a weenie. My eldest played Dungeons & Dragons. And paintball. Ended up in the army shooting “gasp!” guns. Turned out OK. Hey Marty McFly learned to shoot from 7/11. Maybe you need to be a good parent instead of a puzzy…

  15. His kid can talk indepth about the in-game differences between those weapons. It is highly unlikely that kid could talk with any depth about their real world function at anything but the most surface level.

  16. You missed the best part of this. Ben Crecente previously wrote about how wrong Jack Thompson, a notorious ambulance chasing attorney who was disbarred for harassing people after they made a donation to charity he previously promised to make but backed out on, and for attaching gay porn to court documents (no, really), was when he said video games caused violence.

  17. This is what that conversation probably sounded like:

    “Dad. You don’t get it, the AK-12 has an ROF of 750, but the R5 is only 600. Sure the R5 has SICK hip-fire accuracy when you add on the foregrip and laser attachments, but the AK will out DPS it all day.”

    Yeah… that’s a conversation that translates into real world gun performance… he should be really, really, worried…Especially when the 1.3 patch nerfs the AK and makes him have to start using sniper rifles to stay competitive…he may get evil ideas about looking at far away objects in real life!

    • Well, they only nerfed the AK because it was seriously OP. And nothing wrong with a sniper rifle. You don’t have to camp with it if you practice your quick scoping against bots. Besides, with the right sniper you can easily get multiple kill on zombie maps.

      Yeah. I’ve got a 12 year old boy, too. 🙂 Gotta love it!

  18. “bring with it a level of knowledge [about guns] arguably unnecessary for young teens”

    Is he saying other video games give necessary knowledge for young teens? When will my knowledge of the first 150-300 pokemon come into play? I never got all the way through any donkey kong or mario games, am I missing valuable life lessons?

    • Obviously never heard of Duke Nuke’em. Some very funny stuff in that game. Loved the strippers.

  19. Just like watching surgery on youtube makes you a surgeon.

    This dope. There is so much separation between virtual and the real world. Your son doesn’t know dick about firearms, he knows about hey they were coded in Call of Duty.

  20. But what it did do, absolutely did, was make him an expert in firearms, or at least how these real-world weapons performed in a virtual setting.
    Thank god the kid did not play World Of Tanks!
    Hey, my kid loved to play Rome Total War, Barbarian Invasion and guess what she learned?

  21. The author is Brian Crecente not Ben. He used to head back in the day. He seems to have changed his mind on the game violence issue. He used to fight (via articles) people who stated “violent video games are murder simulators”.

    He makes some good points along the way. Videogames absolutely normalize firearms. Although in game performance wildly varies from real life. I would argue his son hasn’t become an expert as much as a novice. The novice usually knows a lot of information (calibers/capacity/power/recoil) but has little practical experience.

    • “violent video games are murder simulators”.
      To some degree I suppose they might be crude combat simulators; but then again what were our little Desert Fox Afrika Korps plastic play sets in the 60s?
      I blew up your tank! No, your puny gun can’t penetrate the frontal armor of a German tank!

    • True, but they *are* being normalized to firearms, and that’s a big-ass *WIN* in our book!

  22. Of course, when he says his kids is an expert on guns, he means relative to himself. That means the kid knows which end the bullets come out of.

  23. In regards to the guy that authored the anti-gun article, I will simply reply with this oldie, but goody: Morons, morons everywhere.

  24. There is a conversation at the top of the comments section of the polygon link, neither of them is right, but the argument they are going back and forth about really is a key to what this article is really about: Are video games teaching children that it is ok to be violent with guns.

    They banter back and forth about age, cars and drivers licenses vs. “gun licenses,” and some other things, but most importantly is that one of them thinks there is no “public movement” about reckless gun use, but supposedly we do for cars? Therefore we should attach all kinds of extra things to the ownership and use of guns.

    Here’s the argument that I would LIKE to inject into the conversation, both between those two posters and to the author himself, why don’t you TEACH YOUR KID TO SHOOT AND BE RESPONSIBLE WITH GUNS. There is a huge amount of passing the buck on to “society” or game developers for “inciting violence” in our youths, I say that parents need to actually look at themselves and figure out what they aren’t doing for their child’s enrichment, and for most of them on the video games vs. gun issue, is taking their kid out to learn about guns in the real world.

    • Are video games teaching children that it is ok to be violent with guns.

      I believe it’s the exact opposite. Violent video games allow for a release of anger and frustration within a virtual world instead of in the real world. If teenager males and young men are inside playing video games they’re not outside causing havoc in the community.

  25. Here is what I learned from video games. If you eject a magazine that still has cartridges, those cartridges magically jump back into your inventory into a fresh magazine. If you run chaotically around the battlefield, it is unlikely that you will get shot. 🙂

  26. I think there is a disconnect, that video games such as described help foster. Just as I think there is a disconnect with our food system. A disconnect that charities provide. A disconnect that our insurance based healthcare system fosters.

    The action and the end result are separated, and the greater these disconnects are fostered, the greater the effect of separating actions and personal responsibility.
    This, this is what is wrong with America.

    • He probably just *THINKS* he reproduced but is actually caring for the spawn of some bad boy biker whose testosterone got his girl all hot and bothered during a girls’ night out while he was eating Domino’s pizza and watching a tape of The Vagina Monologues.

  27. “…His ability to discuss the difference between, for instance, an AK-12 and a Remington R5 wasn’t just about how they looked or which one his friend used, but delved into a level of detail that was, for me, chilling.” – Brian Crecente

    – Your kid knowing about real stuff in the real world is bad?

    “What sort of impact do gun games have on children in terms of their future support of gun ownership?” This is only a concern if you’ve already decided the kid should have one particular opinion on this, facts be damned.

    — There’s a word for tailoring the available information to fit your pre-determined conclusion. Oh, yeah, “propaganda.”

    — Manipulating someone’s entire environment over time to implant the behavior you want into them has another name. Oh, yeah, “brain washing.”

    — Doing this deliberate warping to a child in your care, I think has yet a third name. Oh, yeah, “child abuse.”

    So, the kid encountered and mastered a set of facts about the world you’d rather not acknowledge exist. Who’s the warped one here?

  28. I don’the know guys. I played CastleVania pretty obsessively for months. I quit my job at the power plant, bought a whip, and have been hunting vampires ever since. Sure I am broke now and get arrested for screaming “Nosferatu” at people at the mall and throwing holy water on them, but the game said this is an important mission. And what the game says must be reality right?

    • Hey, I read Monster Hunter International and then went out and bought a Glock 20 for vampires and werewolves and such. However, I haven’t hand loaded any silver bullets. Yet.

      • You have to use silver bullets for those. But whatever you do, don’t use aluminum mould. Silver melts at ​1763.2 °F, aluminum at 1220.58 °F.

  29. I’ll admit I’m actually a little worried about my son in aan actual car, after seeing him play Need For Speed, but I’m sure I can teach him to drive safely. I already taught him to shoot real guns safely after years of FPS games and Nerf guns.
    All you need is enough moral fiber to take a firm tone and clearly explain real stuff has real consequences. Unfortunately like Kuntzman, this marshmallow parentv suffers from severe lmf.

  30. It’s the same thing that was said after Columbine: video games are murder simulators. The difference being that, twenty years ago, it was Doom that was the culprit. It’s the same song and dance where the half-wits would rather blame a game or gun or whatever rather than the wretched steaming pile of cat crap who did the actual killing.

  31. went to a machine gun shoot about three weeks ago in Iowa. A young lad came with his father and grandfather, the young lad having a list of guns he wanted to fire, semingly from videogames he had played. After shooting these guns with real world saftey constraints, he was unimpressed. Same venue, a young lady with her parents got to shoot full auto as her firs time shooting a firearm, and her reaction was well worth the drive, and the entry fee. I do not think she will ever be a “anti”, I’ts all about how you start them.

  32. Video games is what started me with guns. I grew up with hunters and a FUDDish Dad(He only owned hunting rifles and shotguns, but didn’t care what other people owned or wanted). I was used to the standard Remingtons and Mossbergs.
    Whenever I’d buy a new video game I’d go through the instruction manual and read about all the guns included in the game and their little blurbs about them. That lead me to buying a Janes guide on small arms, and that lead me to where I am now.

    • Huh, sounds a bit like me, only I grew up in a gun-free environment. Didn’t stop me from wanting an AK-47 from the day I knew what it was. LOL!

  33. What have video games taught my son? Battlefield 1942 has taught my son map reading, navigation, and the basics of flying aircraft. He can now identify by sight a number of WW2 tanks and planes (he loves the Spitfire and Mustang). Unreal Tournament has taught my son about teamwork when we play the games together.

    I think the big difference is my son is supervised when he plays the games. When he gets upset, it is Dad’s turn to show him how its done. We often discuss tactics and equipment. The funny thing is he is willing to explore the “perks” and “bonuses” more than I am.

    • Funny fact: Knowing too much about real world weapons and tactics can actually harm game performance by preventing one from exploiting the virtual systems to their fullest extent because they’re loathe to do something realistically stupid.

  34. I played video games as a child, now I want to be an Italian stereotype plumber, eating mushrooms, shooting fireballs at an evil Dragon overlords to save the princess!!!!!! Something has to be done!!!!!!!!!

  35. I would have likely never gotten into firearms if not for video games. Thanks, Dad, for playing Dark Forces and Doom with me when I was ickle! You got me thinking about firearms and I as an adult continued to learn, then acquire, and then practice with them.

    To the Polygonad: What were you hoping your son was going to pick up from videogames — that people get extra lives when they die? That the law doesn’t apply to heroes? That women are sex objects oppressed in a rape culture? You are the adult — if you don’ t want your son learning about firearms from photorealistic shooters, don’t let him play realistic shooters! You buy the games, you set the rules. There are legions of good modern video games out there without real world firearms. Now, if he has an affinity for weapons, let him pursue it responsibly and with supervision. You may just find yourself with a future gunsmith, SWAT cop, FBI agent, or Marine on your hands. Or maybe he’ll just have a hobby. Maybe it’ll amount to nothing. But regardless, you are the adult and it is your perrogative what kinds of games he plays.

  36. I love that he seems to understand this has absolutely no bearing on reality, but feels the need to whine about it anyway.

    I thought only millennials did that. Maybe this guy is one of those?

  37. BREAKING: after playing a flight simulator for a while, Little Timmy expresses rudimentary knowledge of aircraft operation. Parents confused as to how this occurred; not sure where Timmy learned that “jets are faster but not as responsive.”

  38. The biggest problem these games have with respect to real guns is that the kids who’ve been shield from the real thing tend to not give them the proper respect.

  39. Danny you gifted writer. How many times do you and Bobby boy use the term OMG. Is your target audience pre-teen girls? Maybe you’re just dumbing down for your readership. WHAT EVS.

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