Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

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J. DOe
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Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

In the article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/26/games.childrens?gusrc=r..., Will Wright (creator of Sims) says that "he believes that fears over the negative influence of video games are merely symptoms of a generation gap." Although he seems to mostly be referring to the purported effects of violence in the games, I was disappointed that nowhere in the article was the possibility of video game addiction mentioned as one of the possible "negative influences" on children.

This article also states that "His comments came as the government this week opened its review into the effects of video games and the internet on Britain's children." I hope that this review will be well-balanced and complete, plus that it prompts other governments to learn from the results and perhaps even do their own reviews.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

lizwool
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

Hi John, Thanks for the post! Here is an article (a true story) that was written about the Sims game. The author (a gamer) begs to differ with Will Wright. Here is a link to the post - http://www.olganonboard.org/index.php?topic=1947.0 Liz

Liz Woolley

J. DOe
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

In the article mentioned in the original post, there is an interesting quote from Will Wright who says that "I'm interested in how gaming can get people more involved in the real world". It is ironic since many people, including myself, often use video games as an escape from the real world! A thread that discusses this further is at http://www.olganonboard.org/index.php?topic=4744.0. Thank you, Liz, for giving the link to the other thread. I am amazed at how Professor Peter Ludlow and his Alphaville Herald were treated, i.e., having all mention of his newspaper banned and having him thrown out of the game by closing his accounts, when he tried to document the seedy underside of this virtual on-line world of things like child prostitution. IMHO, Maxis and Electronic Arts behaved in this virtual world in a similar fashion to how many dictatorships behave in the real world, i.e., try to avoid any negative views of their supposed "utopia" by trying to control the freedom of any press that is reporting on any negative aspects.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Gamersmom
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

There seems to be a lot of focus on whether violent video games can cause kids to be violent. The evidence has been conflicting, though seems to lean more towards an absence of ill effects on kids. Unfortunately, this debate seems to always overshadow the debate about addiction. I always wonder if the reason the evidence is conflicting on the violence issue is that they are seeing the violence that occurs when a kid is deprived of their game of choice, i.e. it's not the game that causes the violent behavior, but the addiction and withdrawal.

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The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

squeakie
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

I just want to say that "The Sims" and "The Sims Online" are two separate games. The horror story Liz posted was about "The Sims Online." You can only play "The Sims" with one person, yourself, and how your Sims characters' lives play out are totally up to you. I don't like having the unreal (more sinister) options of vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc., in Sims 2 but I adore the weddings, babies, teaching the Sim toddlers things, etc. Also, one of the very last things in Mr. Wright's article is "He said the industry should not just churn out games full of graphic violence." I don't think he fits into a category with other violent game makers. My opinion. And I don't think he was saying all video games do no harm to children, he was only speaking for his own. Well, that's the way I interpreted it. Debbie

"Failure is an event, never a person." -- William D. Brown

squeakie
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

One more thing, sorry ... Sims 2 has a pause button and a save button, PLUS when I play Sims 2, I know without a doubt that I am still 100% me, whereas some games you could get wrapped up in (especially multi-player) where you start believing your character is you. This isn't the case with Sims 2. Just thought I'd point that out too. Debbie

"Failure is an event, never a person." -- William D. Brown

Gamersmom
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

His comments came as the government this week opened its review into the effects of video games and the internet on Britain's children. The investigation, which is being headed by TV psychologist Tanya Byron, called for evidence from parents and children. "I really want to encourage children and young people to have their say about the internet and video games - what they love about them, what they think the risks might be and their ideas for the future," said Dr Byron. I did a search on Tanya Byron and found this website: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations/conSection.cfm?consultationId=1510&dId=829&sId=4924&numbering=1&itemNumber=3 Again, we have a chance to make a difference here, especially our members from the UK. This psychologist is leading a government review of the effects of video games on young people and there is a place on this website for people to comment to her directly. This is the kind of opportunity OLGA members should take advantage of at every opportunity. This woman needs to hear your stories. There is a special section of the website for people under the age of 18 to post their comments also, so if any of our teen members are reading this, she needs to hear from you too.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

J. DOe
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

I agree with Gamersmom that this UK government review is an excellent opportunity for us as a group to make a difference. Unfortunately, since I am not a child (at least not physically :) ), young person, parent or somebody who works with children, it seems that they are not interested in my opinion. However, if you, Gamersmom, think that this is important enough, to help make sure that the appropriate people who are eligible to participate are informed about this, I suggest cross-posting that Web site URL in at least one or two other appropriate forums (e.g., OLGA Member Discussion (Gamers), Member Community Forum, etc.) and/or add a Shout message about it.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

John of the Roses
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

Recently, OLGA has had a large population of teens post on the site and attend meetings. Although the grammer of these hopeful youth is sometimes poor, the points they make are astounding and my opinion are very valid, cross-generationally. I appreciate the participation of any age here, our disease knows no age barrier, our hope knows no limit.

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

satyag
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

I just saw this thread for the first time. Don't know how I missed it before but I am certainly going to add my voice.

whitetiger34
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

I agree with Debbie. The Sims and the The Sims online are very different. I would never consider the Sims a violent game. The Sims online might be a different story though...

shiva
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

to me, a game is a game ...

John of the Roses
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

Great to hear you say that Max!

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

cucciola
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator
"shiva " wrote:

to me, a game is a game ...

actually; I know what I am going to say might sound blasphemous - but I believe the Sims 2 (espeically the latter) is a actually an educative game - I have a saved game somewhere; I must be really bored out of my wits andh ave nothing to do (in fact I have not loaded my saved games since I started term)
I know that the ways characters in Sims develop are based on well known psychological theories.
Why educative? -> simple, when I used to play the sims,esp the two; and I have a teenage sim whose life I purposefully ruin (like not having him go to school etc), to see how it goes; a thought hits me - which is - yes I can experiment with these characters' life; but definitely not with mine, since I have only one, whereas I can create as many sims I want and experiment to see what happens if I do not send this one to school or to work or if I get this one to cheat with his wife and so.
I can learn; that like a teenage sim; if I do not attend classes and stay at home; grades will fall.
I can learn; that I have only one life; and I must not be like that stupid sim with red hair who never went to school and had a bleak future when she reached adulthood.
Also; I learnt that to be a full human; its not just bread and water; I need other things - I need friends; I need love and affection; I need aspirations.
Yes; there might be no need to have been playing the sims to know these things; but many people seem to be unconscious that there are other needs besides food and drink, and a sim character shows us that we need to take care of ourselves as humans; besides ourselves as machines.
I do not know about sims online, though; but it scares me a bit.

squeakie
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator
"cucciola " wrote:

yes I can experiment with these characters' life; but definitely not with mine, since I have only one, whereas I can create as many sims I want and experiment to see what happens if I do not send this one to school or to work or if I get this one to cheat with his wife and so.
. . .
Also; I learnt that to be a full human; its not just bread and water; I need other things - I need friends; I need love and affection; I need aspirations.
. . .
I do not know about sims online, though; but it scares me a bit.

Thank you so much for posting this response. I also get ideas too from TS 2 on different ways to relate to my husband and kids (like I never would've thought to tickle my real life kids, my Sims kids love that). I was beginning to think I was strange LOL but anyway I am also like you, so glad I never got into Sims Online. Debbie

"Failure is an event, never a person." -- William D. Brown

John of the Roses
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Re: Video games do no harm to children, insists Sims creator

But, as Debbie so eloguently relates, Sometimes a game is not just a game!

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

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