Posted on May 8, 2009,

Columnist Targets Violent Videogames for Promoting Acceptance of Torture


Just a minute, I’ve got to adjust my soapbox before I talk about comparing playing violent videogames with accepting torture.

As the battle over torture rages through the media, Huffington Post columnist Kari Henley has taken the opportunity to  blame the acceptance of torture by some US citizens on violent videogames and other media. She insinuates that you can’t have both videogames and morals in her post “America Doesn’t Torture… We just play Grand Theft Auto “.

“I believe if we are going to truly come to terms with abiding by moral codes against extreme acts of violence, we first have to start in our own living rooms to explore the increased levels of violence we witness on a daily basis that serves as news or entertainment. We say we “don’t f**#$ torture,” yet Grand Theft Auto is our favorite video game.”

After raging on about the depravity of popular adult television series and movies, Henley once again lashes out at mature rated videogames labeling them trainers designed to turn children into killers.

“And what about these modern X-Box and online video games? While I happen to enjoy the “G” rated Wii, over 11 million people are spending their time engrossed in the World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto where the point is to go around and kill people in a calculated way. Tell me again why this is supposed to be fun and relaxing?

According to the research oriented Warrior Science Group, watching violence is a technique used in the military to train soldiers to become killers, and video games do the same thing: “Every time a child plays an interactive video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex skills as a soldier or police officer in training.”

The games Ms. Henley mentions are for adults who should be able to separate reality from role-play. The games industry has worked hard to uphold a ratings system to encourage this. Miss Henley is clearly using the torture debate as a platform to promote her agenda as President of the Board of Directors at the Women & Family Life Center. She’s also showing how woefully ignorant of videogames she is. Thanks Kari for removing any lingering doubts.

To be fair the article does mention that “those most in favor of torture are churchgoers.” We all know how often that group plays GTA. Doesn’t quite hold up her argument does it.

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2 Comments on Columnist Targets Violent Videogames for Promoting Acceptance of Torture

Michael Harris

On May 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Yet another person who doesn’t know what the feck they’re talking about.

Can we have a law forbidding people from reporting on subject matter of which they have no understanding? It’s decades overdue.

havoc of smeg

On May 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

i’d be annoyed too, if it werent for one thing.
we all will have forgotten about her in a months time, just like that se xbox woman, or that senator who thought niko bellic raped people.

just anouther nutjob taking 2 + 2 and somehow getting 63.