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Newtown Boy Asks Kids To Dump Violent Video Games

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NEWTOWN ——

Like many other 12-year-olds, Max Goldstein was a veteran of the video game killing fields.

He played "Call of Duty" after school and on weekends, enjoying the thrills and challenges of cyber combat.

Max, a lacrosse player and student at Newtown Middle School, said he had even read articles about the numbing effect of violent video games. Still, Max said Wednesday, he didn't feel the games were harming him. His parents, like so many other parents, allowed him to play.

Everything changed, however, with the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. Now Max has started a movement called "Played Out."

His stepfather, Craig Mittleman, is helping him get a bin from a refuse company that will be placed outside the Newtown Youth Academy sports center within the next several days.

Max has his pile of video games ready to dump, and he will be encouraging other kids to do the same.

Max announced his idea to hearty applause Wednesday at a meeting of a new group, Newtown United, at the public library on Main Street.

Taking advantage of the national spotlight on Newtown, the group of parents and other residents is trying to stem gun violence by speaking out and pressing lawmakers for change. They discussed how to increase the size of the group and get its message out.

Max said outside the meeting that his change of heart didn't come right after the mass shooting on Friday. It was actually this week, when he attended the funeral of his friend's brother, Daniel Barden, one of the victims of the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary.

As he listened to the prayers and songs, it hit him, Max said, "how real this was." He didn't want to kill, even in the illusory sense of a video game.

His mom, Roberta Mittleman, said she had initially prohibited Max from playing violent video games, but gradually succumbed. After all, Max is an A-student and a gentle kid and she didn't see any real harm in it.

As with everyone in Newtown, Friday's massacre changed everything for her, as well. The shooter, Adam Lanza, was a fan of video games.

"I don't believe it's a root cause, but it's a contributing factor," Roberta Mittleman said.

The slogan of Played Out, Max said, is, "Choose not to play."

Copyright © 2012, The Hartford Courant

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I love this!! I have a 12 year old son, he won't touch these types of games, we have Cabela's game hunter but have rarely played it. We don't hunt but I have taken him out "plinking" at the range and outdoors.

But we don't see the "entertainment" in simulated shooting living things, at all! I hope others will follow.

Way to go Max!!!!

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This nonsense really has to stop. By nonsense I mean, the blaming of violent video games. This crap started with Columbine and it just won't stop. At least they don't blame heavy metal music anymore.

Millions and millions of teenagers, male and female, play violent video games in this country, and how many of them are mentally disturbed, kill their mothers with her own gun, then go shoot up a school? It's not the games that are the problem, it's the people playing them.

I couldn't care less if your kid or anyone else's kid doesn't play them. I couldn't care less if this kid threw all his video games in a wood chipper. THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.

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But we don't see the "entertainment" in simulated shooting living things, at all!!

This is passive-agressive and condescending towards those who enjoy video games that include violence. That's unnecessary.

If a human being cannot separate fantasy from real life, they are the problem. Acting out the violence simulated in a video game in real life is no different than acting out the violence that you simulated in your head or that the neighbor's dog told you to do in the name of satan. It's the person that's the problem. Their mental wellness, not that of the video game.

Correlation does not imply causation.

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Now if memory serves, people told me about a game years ago "Grand Theft Auto", where rapes occur.

So were do we draw the line, or do we?

Should freedom allow games to get into the hands of young children that depict forcible rape, wife beating, verbal abuse? How do we assure young impressionable kids won't get them, play them? What guarantee do we have that this won't desensitize these young kids into thinking this behavior is okay in real life?

Pretty slippery slope for those in our community who demonize guns but then turn a blind eye and deaf ear to some of the violence and filth depicted in some films and video games. Certainly an amount of hippocracy in my opinion.

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Now if memory serves, people told me about a game years ago "Grand Theft Auto", where rapes occur.

So were do we draw the line, or do we?

Should freedom allow games to get into the hands of young children that depict forcible rape, wife beating, verbal abuse? How do we assure young impressionable kids won't get them, play them? What guarantee do we have that this won't desensitize these young kids into thinking this behavior is okay in real life?

Pretty slippery slope for those in our community who demonize guns but then turn a blind eye and deaf ear to some of the violence and filth depicted in some films and video games. Certainly an amount of hippocracy in my opinion.

There is a rating system in place for both movies and video games which prohibits children under 17 from purchasing an M rated video game or seeing an R rated movie. Now if their parents allow them to see the movie or get the game for them, that's at the parents discretion and that's where the blame lies. Not within the game itself.

Again, if one cannot separate fantasy from real life, that is the fault of the person, not the fantasy.

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Now if memory serves, people told me about a game years ago "Grand Theft Auto", where rapes occur.

Additionally to what RockyRaccoon said: it doesn't.

There is no rape in Grand Theft Auto, there's not even sex on-screen (occurrences are only referenced in dialogue - where it is, to my knowledge, always consensual).

And again, there is just no sound evidence that violence in fiction (movies, games, etc) causes a rise in violence in real life... here's a graph that shows the number of crime victims per 1000 US citizens together with the release of some particularly violent games:

(note again that correlation doesn't mean causation; the fact that the rate is sinking isn't caused by the release of the games, it's simply a coincidence)

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This is passive-agressive and condescending towards those who enjoy video games that include violence. That's unnecessary.

If a human being cannot separate fantasy from real life, they are the problem. Acting out the violence simulated in a video game in real life is no different than acting out the violence that you simulated in your head or that the neighbor's dog told you to do in the name of satan. It's the person that's the problem. Their mental wellness, not that of the video game.

Correlation does not imply causation.

You don't understand. Because mentally disturbed people cannot separate reality from fiction, we must ban ALL THE THINGS. It doesn't matter that the overwhelming majority of people who play video games, watch Tarentino movies, or listen to death metal don't go around killing people.

Guess what? Drunk drivers kill people, so maybe we should ban alcohol and cars!

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:sleepy: I play video games, I must want to shoot people. I like Scorsese movies, I must be a gangster. I occasionally smoke pot, I must be a drug addict. I listen to Led Zeppelin, I must worship Satan. I read Steinbeck, I must be a communist.

Every generation has a boogeyman that scares the earlier generation. None of those boogeymen turn out to be all that scary.

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You don't understand. Because mentally disturbed people cannot separate reality from fiction, we must ban ALL THE THINGS. It doesn't matter that the overwhelming majority of people who play video games, watch Tarentino movies, or listen to death metal don't go around killing people.

Guess what? Drunk drivers kill people, so maybe we should ban alcohol and cars!

We can all agree on one thing

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You don't understand. Because mentally disturbed people cannot separate reality from fiction, we must ban ALL THE THINGS. It doesn't matter that the overwhelming majority of people who play video games, watch Tarentino movies, or listen to death metal don't go around killing people.

Guess what? Drunk drivers kill people, so maybe we should ban alcohol and cars!

You know what, I absolutely agree.

And when you consider that 99.9% of legal gun owners, even those with the assault rifles which i don't see the need for at all, are responsible and careful and help reduce crimes and feel better protected. It's the same logic that applies.

I understand that video games don't "cause or lead to" violence in general. But it also stands to reason that any repetition of a certain behavior will eventually have an effect on that person, right, that;s why in grade school the teacher have you do that same exercise over and over.

I don't oppose these games, I just don't condone them.

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Reminds me of this movie. :couch:

Evil Ed (1995)

The guy is a mild-mannered film editor. He is ok until he is assigned to cut a series of infamous slasher films and is driven murderously insane by the miles of extremely violent footage he edits.

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Reminds me of this movie. :couch:

Evil Ed (1995)

The guy is a mild-mannered film editor. He is ok until he is assigned to cut a series of infamous slasher films and is driven murderously insane by the miles of extremely violent footage he edits.

Sounds like a cheesy version of Videodrome. Which is an awesome movie. Long live the new flesh!

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Kudos to this boy who is at least trying to make a change.. he is willing to give it a try....I'm sure he feels he needed to do something about this tragedy... and this is his way of saying he wants to help others....

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I really highly doubt a 12-year-old on his own, came to this conclusion. Whenever kids insert themselves into hot-button political issues, there is usually one or both parents standing behind them giving them a nice, hard shove.

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