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Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

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  • Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

    I don't know if folks have read about or have seen the news on the Battlefield 2 player that went to his school in Finland and killed a bunch of teachers and students last week. His screen name was NaturalSelector. Apparently that was more than just a BF2 nickname for him.

    I have pretty strong feelings about BF2/PR being a great game and a great experience for serious gamers that enjoy the realistic combat experience and teamplay. I think PR is the latest evolution in games and game community that makes people with my gaming experience smile. I started playing paper wargames in 1978, starting with SPI / SSI magazine and moving on from there. When the x286 computer came out with a COLOR screen with 16 colors, computer gaming really started. I used to suffer through games on my Apple II PC with a real floppy disk to boot from to play Gettysburg back in the 1980's. To me, today's graphics and games are just amazing compared to the good old days of dice, rules and statistic sheets.

    PR gaming should be a fun but serious experience, not an arcade game and certanly not something that takes people to the extremes like the guy in Finland. The main point of TG is the teamplay, so I think there is fundamentally a huge difference between what we are doing here with PR with the BF2 game engine and what arcade game teens do with BF2 as a "video game" that they use as a "theme" for just more first person shooting. I am sure the kid in Finland was sick and had many other problems, but what we do here as a gaming community is the extreme opposite of his world. This is a community and what we do is a team effort type of activity, not just to play and shoot and get asorbed in the game for the sake of the shooting and killing (on the screen).

    I have a 1 year old, and my wife now thinks BF2 is a potential cause of problems with my son, because dad plays once or twice a week and there is now some media created link between BF2 and the shootings in Finland. She is from Finland, and was very upset with the news of the school shooting and the fact that the killer was a 7-day a week BF2 player.

    I wanted to get some thoughts from this mature group of PR players on how you see BF2/PR in relation to having a growing son. I think it is like anything else - something you explain and teach the relevance of to your son, not something evil like my wife thinks. I think the promotion of teamwork in a fun and realistic game is more important than the running around and shooting things aspect that most kids do in games like BF2.

    Thoughts on this with PR players with kids would be appreciated.

    TMAN
    Last edited by TMan; 11-11-2007, 01:41 AM.
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

    We had a huge discussion on this kind of thing back during my undergrad years in one of my political science classes. The professor forced us to watch Bowling for Columbine like michael moore was some kind of god to him, and then procceded to try and point out all the things that were to blame with kids who turn violent. Needless to say, some of us countered with unflappable logic and he backed down.

    The thing is this: video games are exactly what you make of them. A young child doesnt have the knowledge of the world to understand that the little pixelated men on the screen arent real. They believe in the boogeyman and santa claus, so of course if they see death on screen, it becomes real and something of a trauma to them. As they get older, their logic centers grow and they have a much larger functional knowledge of the universe. They understand the difference between reality and fiction and can make the distinction that video games are not real.

    Now, this is not to say that things like video games, television and movies are not influential. If someone is predisposed to having a violent nature, things of this sort are going to push that person a little further in the right direction. Video games provide practice with hand eye coordination, movies and TV can give creative ideas for causing trouble, etc. But there are always signs. Most of the time, people write them off or dont notice them.

    Rule #1: If your kid is acting depressed and being evasive about it, remember that they are your kids! Tell them that if they dont want to talk to you, you can take them to a psychologist to let their problems out and you'll never hear any of it because its private and protected. But how many times does your kid have to be in a horrible mood for you to stop writing it off as a "bad day"?

    Bottom line is that parents need to be proactive in their childrens lives. Your kids do not function on autopilot as soon as they can dress themselves and make a sandwich on their own. They still need your guidance and influence to let them do the right things. The common trend in most kids who commit these kinds of acts is that they didnt have proactive parents. Some of the parents were apathetic to the situation completely. I grew up with military parents. I shot my first gun at age 5. I've been playing "violent" video games for as long as they've been out (one of my early favorites was a game called "chopper" for my Apple II-C, in which you fly a 6-pixel helicopter to rescue little 3-pixel hostages. I spent most of my time strafing and killing them instead). I listened to death metal as a teenager, had my down periods, experimented with drugs, love violent movies. I was the short kid at school, I've been picked on because of my stature since my first day of kindergarten. So according to all these people, I should be some closet case serial monster waiting to explode and kill my entire workplace, right?

    Wrong. I'm now a nurse and i'm working on my doctorate in nursing. I save people's lives for a living. I've been in a grand total of 4 fights in my lifetime, and 3 of them were defending myself (the fourth was when some drunk guy decided he was going to slap my girlfriend in a bar...that didnt end well for him.). I hate the use of violence as a means to solve a problem. Why? I was rasied by proactive parents. They pounded good values into my head. When I had a problem, they stepped up instead of writing it off as "a phase". They were always involved in my life and made sure that the decisions they had influence over were the right ones, and didnt hesitate with the punishment when I made bad choices. It's that simple.

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    • #3
      Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

      I'm always saddened when the media immediately blames video games for stuff like this. Every guy in my school plays Halo 3... does that mean they are all going to come back to school and shoot at people? Of course not. You seem to already understand the point I want to make, parents are the factor that decides if the kid will be violent towards others or normal. As you said, make sure he understands that the people in the game are not real, and focus on the teamwork aspects more so than the shooting/killing part.
      Watch your fire, be safe.

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      • #4
        Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

        I've written quite a few papers for several classes concerning video game violence and the motivations of school shootings.

        It's a big interest of mine.

        To sum it up: Parents need to be more active in their kid's lives. It's not only irresponsible, but illogical that the parents of the columbine shooters had no idea about what their sons were up to. They had videos, they had a whole arsenal, they had been building bombs, and THE COPS KNEW before the PARENTS DID.

        If you want to read further on such things, there was a book written by a slashdot.org journalist named Jon Katz back in 1998. This was shortly after the columbine shootings. It tells the story of all the media uproar after columbine, and it follows the lives of 2 gamers who grew up in less than perfect environments. The book is called "Geeks" by Jon Katz.

        It's probably one of the best books written in the past 15 years
        Skud


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        • #5
          Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

          Skud and Ferris you both said it. Be there for your kids and be active in their lives. Do things with them, experience life with them so that they can see how you react. That's a parents chance to impart their values onto their kids. You are right beside them as they grow into young adults.

          I really haven't read up on this kid from Finland but where were his parents when he was BF2'ing 7 DAYS A WEEK !?!?!? Except for a beating heart and working lungs there's just about nothing a person should do every freaking day ! Come on ! Again, I dont know anything about this other than this post from TMan, but if his parents were more involved in his life would it have all come to this ??

          I have an eleven year old daughter. If had a son.... d*mn, we'd be side by side in here on the TG server. I'd be right there with him. But as it is Im keeping my daughter playing in the band, and playing lacrosse, and she's not going to kill anyone with either of those. Tho the lacrosse ball is pretty hard.

          The good part of this thread if there is one tho is hearing about shooting with dad's when we were younger and our old Apple IIc's and 286's.

          My father was actually served on the USS Arizona, yes that one, the one at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, he hunted, he was a deputy sherriff. I hunted all day with him as a kid only to come home and sit on his lap watching the old TV series World at War. I grew into a young person with a love of guns and military history.Eventually I met TMan as a kid... we grew up play those old board games as a kids. (I still got my old dice, TMan, do you?) After highschool a stint in the reserves, the dawn of the PC and more gaming on computers. Remember F-15 Strike Eagle ? Decision in the Desert ? Crusade in Europe on the IIc ?

          All that exposure to guns and violence, sure. But I was raised right.
          Yes, parents need to be there. Be proactive buy spending time with your kids, be part of their lives and impart the good values you were raised with onto them. Raise them right and I bet they wont walk into some place with a gun and start shooting.

          The most valuable education a person gets come from their parents.
          Last edited by Warlab; 11-11-2007, 10:36 PM. Reason: spelling...

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          • #6
            Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

            Father-son type gaming is probably the best thing you could do if a kid likes video games.

            First FPS I really played? Americas Army. Who got me into it? My mother's boyfriend. Even better- He didnt let ME play all that much until I was 13, so he subtly enforced the Teen rating. From then on We would play all the time together. It was great, and it built a good bond between us. Now he's older, and really doesn't play games anymore, but I talk to him every week or so about what games I'm playing, especially PR.

            We used to watch MST3k and Mail Call together. Oh, and James bond Marathons on Christmas.

            You'd be surprised how much you and your kid will have in common. Simple things like him and I doing the dishes together most nights ensure that we have time to talk.

            Really, the possibilities are endless.

            When did I shoot my first gun? When I was 16 taking a gun safety course with my mothers boyfriend. We're both 4H certified.

            If you take a look around, you'll see alot of us had bad teenage years. Myself included. And they're not even over. If anyone is "expected" to gun down my school, according to the media, it should be me. Will I? Never. That'd be emo. You all know what I mean. It just does not cross my mind to do such a thing.
            Skud


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            • #7
              Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

              I bet that kid acted like an idiot in the game as much as he did in real life. Anyone like that who joined the TG server would just end up getting kicked for not playing in the rules.

              If anything PR promotes discipline and thought to your actions not unjustified violence


              If you find yourself in a fair fight, then you have obviously failed to plan properly.

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              • #8
                Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

                Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                You'd be surprised how much you and your kid will have in common. Simple things like him and I doing the dishes together most nights ensure that we have time to talk.

                Really, the possibilities are endless.

                When did I shoot my first gun? When I was 16 taking a gun safety course with my mothers boyfriend. We're both 4H certified.
                What is a 4H certificate? I agree with your point about fathers and sons having lots in common, though I take after my Mum more than my older brother, who takes after my Dad. Definetely spending time watching films, playing sports, going paintballing etc can really help. I also agree that this Finnish guy shouldn't really be playing 7 days a week, sometimes when I get a new game I will play it a lot more than usual for perhaps 4-7 days but after that it's back to normal, and if I do play every day it's never very long, Sundays are always a busy day, and so are Fridays.
                |TG-Irr| westyfield

                Sig pic by Sonic, avatar by Chalcas. Thanks!
                Irregular since 2007.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Battlefield 2 Player in Finland

                  The media will blame anything and everything they don't like or fully understand for certain problems in society.

                  "Even the biggest n00b can like, tell RL from a game! This is like DX-5000 graphics y'know?"
                  Before the effect one believes in different causes than one does after the effect.

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