Hey Kids! Let's Play Piss on a Dead Cop!


Haven't tried that one yet? Funny, the folks worried about violent video games seem to think that's what all the kids do. So it must the shopping season as here come the dire warnings about video games.

The Ninth Annual Video Report Card again tells us that violent games can wind up in the hands of kids. But one of the report's scare sites demonstrates the real problem while detailing the cop-wasting options of Postal 2.

In a wonderfully exact and exactly meaningless statistic, Mediawise tells us that "boys as young as 7 can buy these games 50% of the time."

Yes, but who is driving the seven-year-olds to the mall and can we piss on them instead?

NEXT: Low-Powered 'Assault Weapons'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’ve played Postal 2. While it is, in fact, possible to kill a police officer and pee on his body, the game isn’t actually all that fun once the novelty shock value of peeing on things and using kittens as makeshift silencers wears off.

    The game is divided into “days,” and by Day Four or Five, everyone in town, it seems, wants you dead, so you end up running like a trapped rat all over the place.

    I would say that a seven-year-old would do much better with Grand Theft Auto, which has better graphics, music, and gameplay.

  2. I was thinking about this as I picked up Halflife 2, and a question popped into my head:

    Where does a 7 year old get the $54.99 (+tax) to *buy* this game? I think I was 17 before I had that much money to spend totally unsupervised….

  3. Yes, but who is driving the seven-year-olds to the mall and can we piss on them instead?


    Where does a 7 year old get the $54.99 (+tax) to *buy* this game? I think I was 17 before I had that much money to spend totally unsupervised….

    I am absolutely sure that if you had to swipe your damn driver’s license through your PS2 before playing GTA these groups would *still* want to ban it. The “50% of 7 year olds” thing, as everyone knows is just a distraction. These people want to *ban* violent images, not restrict them to adults. Playing the “what about the parents?” card is futility.

  4. Isn’t it better to pee on a digital cop in a videogame than to go burn frogs in the backyard like some of our predecessors did as children? I’ve been a member of the video game generation, and it seems like this is a reaction to parents seeing what their kids do in their own living room, rather than wondering what they do outside.

  5. In regard to blaming the parents, it’s noteworthy that Eminem’s most controversial CD (The Marshall Mathers LP) is full of statements about how parents should stop blaming music and start taking responsibility. I wonder if the outraged critics were really upset by the violence, misogyny, and homophobia (most of it, when taken in context, could be seen as a parody) or whether they were simply outraged that somebody dared to hold parents accountable instead of letting them go for the easy scapegoat.

    To wit, some of the relevant lyrics:

    “When some dude’s getting bullied and shoots up his school
    And they blame it on Marilyn [Manson]
    And the heroin
    Where were the parents at?”

    “Get aware, wake up, get a sense of humor
    Quit tryin to censor music, this is for your kid’s amusement
    (The kids!) But don’t blame me when lil’ Eric jumps off of the terrace
    You shoulda been watchin him – apparently you ain’t parents

    Cause I never knew I, knew I would get this big
    I never knew I, knew I’d effect this kid
    I never knew I’d, get him to slit his wrist
    I never knew I’d, get him to hit this bitch”

    There’s nothing more controversial than telling people to take responsibility for themselves and stop whining.

  6. boys as young as 7 can buy these games 50% of the time

    Okay, but what about the girls?

  7. This is really depressing. I read yesterday that the movement to ban dodgeball from schools is picking up steam. Lawsuits abound.

    These fucking nannies are going to ruin everything. Anything remotely fun is going to be outlawed. All the kids are going to be pumped up full of Ritalin, anti-depressants, and be forced to wear pillows on their heads. Then, all of a sudden, we are going to have a 100 Columbines.

  8. But then they could blame the guns, and gun manufacturers, and use that for a bunch of new laws that don’t stop criminals from having guns, but keep them out of everyone else’s hands. What a great ending.

  9. would this anti-video game be a liberal or conservative issue? i’m asking because on the CBS 11am news (chicago), there were sensationalized stories about how awful video games are, with all of the objections based on moral grounds.

    if this were a strictly liberal cause, i’d expect more talk of obesiety. but the focus was morals.

    either way, this blurred coverage with emphasis on ignorant sensation is why i don’t think there is liberal or conservative bias (ignoring npr and fox, both of which seem ostensibly biased).

    and mr. nice guy – a solution is to get people who take SSRIs to lose those and try some talk therapy with properly accredited and experienced clinical psychologists/psychiatrists – the expensive placebo effect they’re getting won’t get to the root of their problem.

    then get them to admit that U2 and REM have sold out long ago and neither are other than pop bands. and that if you like friends etc., you’re a cultural follower and you’re not one to bitch and whine about how “different” you are and you can’t credibly decry the sheeple.

    that could help those people. usually telling them on the bus is a good way to ensure an audience. 🙂

  10. Wait a minute!
    —Burn frogs in the backyard—

    We wants Names

  11. “a solution is to get people who take SSRIs to lose those and try some talk therapy with properly accredited and experienced clinical psychologists/psychiatrists”

    alternately, you could skip that route and send them off on an adventure.

    or teach them how to box. if they know how to box, teach them how to fly a kite. if they can box and fly a kite, other avenues include skydiving, working for a soup kitchen/free food distributor or taking vows in some religious order.

    i think that’s a far better idea. i am biased against the mental health profession as a general rule, for what it’s worth, but most of the above is free or really cheap, except for the time and effort involved. 🙂

  12. If it wasn’t for media scare stories about violent videogames I never would have known to buy the first Grand Theft Auto.

  13. or play katamari damacy for a few hours. that’s only twenty bucks.

  14. This is really depressing. I read yesterday that the movement to ban dodgeball from schools is picking up steam. Lawsuits abound.

    I agree with this, oddly enough. Physical competition is healthy and good, but kids grow at different rates and mature at different ages. It’s hardly fair to play a game like dodgeball when some 13 year-olds are sprouting chest hair and others still look like elementary school kids. Moreover, having large kids throw things at small kids isn’t going to spark a lifetime enjoyment of exercise (which is phys-ed’s whole point).

    I suggest something more cooperative, like introductory aikido training. It breeds respect and cooperation, and teaches smaller kids how to defend themselves against bigger ones. After all, if the big kid doesn’t cooperate in aikido, he loses a shoulder joint.

    – Josh

  15. dhex:

    boxing is good. swimming (competitive with good coach) is also good. you’re right about those. however, the mental health angle isn’t as poor as most would think: if the individual wants an SSRI, they would benefit from appropriately qualified mental health. if they don’t think they need that, they don’t need the SSRI. you know: lipitor is adjunct therapy to lifestyle modifications. cozaar is there to help you after you do your part in controlling your HTN.

    to prevent the need down the road for such actions, by all means – challenges and overcoming challenges are the best way to build self esteem!

    or just pose like bill bennett does when he quietly spews his violent diatribes against whatever person is there. then he claims that conservatives use reason and not emotion and uses his “watch the tv on mute, which is conservative, which is liberal”…


  16. Drf,
    In my experience it tends to be a conservative issue, although there are plenty of liberals on board as well. It’s just one of those issues that appeals to a large group (“concerned parents”) and doesn’t alienate anyone who can vote yet.

    That’s set to change pretty soon. The fellas my age — that is, the college crowd — grew up with Command & Conquer and Half-Life.

    The time for video game censorship was five years ago. It’s too late to start now. Damn good thing, too.

  17. WP:

    I was always the nerdy, uncoordinated kid in school, but all my memories of dodgeball are very positive. The teachers must’ve loved it, too, because it tired the kids out.

    Yes, there are bigger kids who have an advantage over smaller ones. But, so what? It teaches kids that life isn’t always fair. How they cope with challenging situations with uneven odds is important, not whether they “win” or not.

    These fucking nannies want to shield kids from the harshness of pain and disappointment. However, the womb can only shield the baby for so long. Sooner or later, the kid is going to get a nasty dose of reality. Suddenly, a playground ball in the face doesn’t seem as bad.

  18. {bow} {/bow} my lord (or do you prefer “sir”, grin):

    you got it!!! an excellent bias for the news: surburban middle class, not really well skeptical(or “worldly” or “educated” or ” with high uncertainty avoidance tendencies” or whatever non-mutually exclusive major descriptor you’d prefer) or something concerned mother. it’s soccer-mom biased! that’s the bias in the news!!!!

    it makes sense: the racists getting pissed about the MNF opening. each news story about car accidents ending with “police had no comment about whether drugs were involved” (even no policeman ever mentioned any substances involved)… stuff like that.

    then we could get pat o’brien in on it.

    good cool, Sir Lord.


  19. I was never any good in gym class, but I liked the version of dodgeball where the eliminated people would go behind the opposite team’s side of the court. They couldn’t be eliminated again, but if the team that they were shadowing didn’t catch the ball they could get it and try to nail somebody. This way you had to dodge balls from both sides, and even the eliminated people got to stay in the game, yet it remained competitive. It was fun.

    Of course, something that is even more competitive, more challenging, and more participatory would make far too much sense to be adopted in schools.

  20. Echoing Mr. Nice Guy, I was also a little guy and I loved dodgeball. I was wily and dodged the ball. It seemed like the guys that were at a disadvantage were the big slow guys, the little guys were smaller faster targets.

    Of course, I was a rough and tumble kid. Never got into fights really, but had plenty of scrapes and bruises from playing around outside. Maybe this has more to do with kids not dealing with the normal scrapes of being a kid and spending all their time indoors playing video games instead of falling out of trees and playing Smear the Queer and Red Rover willingly (grew up in the NES era).

  21. or play katamari damacy for a few hours. that’s only twenty bucks.

    That game was the closest thing to rolling up my Playstation 2 and smoking it.

  22. would this anti-video game be a liberal or conservative issue?

    Liberals provide the fear that their kids might grow up to be something other than complete pussies. Conservatives provide the fear that authority will be questioned. Liberal academics produce the pseudoscience which conservative watchdog organizations then sell to the liberal media. Whereupon politicians from across the political spectrum try to ban stuff.

    So basically it’s bipartisan.

    And put me down as yet another person who hated PE but loved dodgeball.

  23. my school stopped dodgeball in the 6th grade and replaced it with volleyball. too many kids getting hurt, mostly by big slowpokes like myself. not on purpose really, but you know how it goes.

    drf – i agree with you, and i fully admit that my sample set (20+ people) is both small and skewed by being in nyc. it doesn’t apply to everyone. and a talking therapy would probably be more helpful, with or without meds, in ptsd type situations. (if the people are interested enough to go)

    but i don’t think it has anything to do with self-esteem. it’s about fear, and a lot of basic metaphysical questions which all of a sudden gained primacy in the wake of what happened in 2001.

    mock combat doesn’t make the question go away, but it helps with the smaller, more immediate fears that people can actually make a difference in. plus doing things you’re afraid of, just for the hell of it, helps open up new vistas of things to be afraid of, at the very least. 🙂

    helping people detox from paxil, fwiw, has further cemented my opinion in the matter. very not good.

  24. In elementary school, we played a game during recess called “Who killed Jackson?”. It was “Kill the man with the ball” without the ball. Everyone yelled, “Who killed Jackson?” and the first guy said, “Billy killed Jackson!” We’d chase Billy like mad, tackle him and dogpile on top of him. Then Billy got to answer the important question of “Who killed Jackson?”

    The funny thing was, we all knew that the Jackson refered to was President Jackson and that no one had really killed him. It made no sense, but was fun. Girls and boys played and no one ever got hurt beyond scrapes and bruises (probably due to a mostly dirt, with some rocks, playground).

    In high school, during organized PHYSED, I fouled a guy with a field hockey stick and he had to have a splienectomy (I was one of those skinny kids but I played dirty to make up for it). The rough and tumble playground games are much safer – and more charming.

    Well educated parents of young children are definitely more sheltering than when I was coming up. A lot of their children are “hot house flowers” who cannot ever be exposed to reality. They aren’t allowed to get dirty, scrape their knees, or run around raising hell. Poor bastards.

    The therapeutic society demands a nanny state.

  25. Girls and boys played and no one ever got hurt beyond scrapes and bruises (probably due to a mostly dirt, with some rocks, playground).

    You didn’t explicitly state your age, but you must be quite old. If this had happened in the past 20 years every single kid in your school would have several million dollars in the bank after the lawsuit over bruised knees.

    Also, you guys knew in elementary school who President Jackson was and that he wasn’t murdered. That means you either went to a Catholic school or a very old public school.

  26. The therapeutic society demands a nanny state.

    That may be the most profound observation made on this forum. Certainly in the top 10.

  27. This is the second article about violent video games I’ve read in as many days. At least this article mentioned actual games. In the Christian Science Monitor yesterday Mary Bissel from the New America Foundation was proposing a “sin tax” on violent video games. In the article she mentions a game called “Life or Death Xtreme Beach Volleyball” which was “killographic” and featured bikini girls who “set, spike, and kill their way to the championship title.”

    Problem being this game doesn’t exist. It’s “Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball” and it really features bikini girls who… well, play volleyball and give gifts to each other. Nothing killographic about it. (The Dead or Alive title is a reference to another game where all the volleyball players are from).

    The same editorial was in the Philly Inquirer a few days ago were she mentioned a “game” called Battle Royale that was blamed for the death of a Japanese kid. Problem is Battle Royale is a movie not a game.

    Gah. I understand the urgent need to protect kids from stuff, but if you want to start putting restrictions on things at least know what on earth you’re talking about.

    Oh, and parents shouldn’t worry about Postal 2. That game is downright terrible. If all the seven year old boys that wanted that game got it 50% of the time, then a seven year old kid with no legs got a sympathy present from a clerk.

    (Now that I think about it, games that rely on heavy sex or violence rarely sell very well…)

  28. Mr. Thoreau,

    39 is not old. Well, maybe oldish.

    I was first educated at Haddonfield Central School (a public school), from September 1971 to June 1976. It was an old school (big, high ceilinged, echoy classrooms), with no air conditioning and no computers but somehow we all learned to read and write and figure.

    A kid stabbed me with a pencil once (I think I started the fight over something or simply by being a pest) and after the nurse dug the graphite out of my chest, he was made to apologize and we had to shake hands. Yeah, it was different then.

  29. “I was always the nerdy, uncoordinated kid…”
    “I was never any good in gym class…”
    “…by big slowpokes like myself”

    I predict the Hit And Run team will be crushed like ants at the next blog dodgeball tournament.

    The Flamethrower -=-=>>>

  30. Flamethrower,
    Bring it. The free market being what it is, we will outsource our jobs to superior foreign talent that will play dodgeball at a fraction of what lazy Americans will demand, with treble the effectiveness. Sure there may be some communication problems due to translation, but y’all are going down. Who’s going to beat us? Those ninnies at the Corner? We’ll have our homosexuals creep out Derb, distract KLo with a laser pointer and piece of yarn and show Simpsons episodes on a big screen to take out Jonah.

    In a somewhat related topic, I played in a kickball tourney a couple of years ago. I was the second pick overall (by the only captain that was female, who happened to be H-O-T). Being picked first by a hot girl in my 20s made up for being towards the end as a kid.

  31. Thoreau: It must depend on where you grew up. I was born in 1975, and I played dodgeball as a kid. Not only that, but when I was in elementary school, getting sent to the principal’s office might get you a spanking with a wooden paddle, in addition to a lecture.
    We had a Nintendo, but I still spent most of my summers and weekends climbing trees, running around in the woods with the dog, catching frogs, and playing GI Joe with the neighbor boy.
    It does seem like children’s recreation has gotten a lot more structured. My husband and I don’t have children yet, but the young children of everyone I know spend most of their time in lessons and sports. Is this a function of class? Do all parents want to schedule their kids’ time this way if they can afford to?

  32. I was a little disturbed to find out how much I liked the new-school ultraviolent games. GTA was the first, I couldn?t get enough of punching random people. All the games I play are rated M. As with all things, I?ll end up being inconvenienced because folks don?t want to parent.

  33. Ah, the days of dodgeball. I was born in 1974, and I remember it well. I was the skinny kid who could run fast (even though I wasn’t really into sports in general) so I was OK at dodgeball – take that, Mr. Flamethrower! I never felt victimized by dodgeball, only by the lousy gym teachers who made no secrets of whom their favorites were.

    tsiroth: You are not the first person I’ve heard saying that. Judging from what older people say, it seems like in the past, parents largely just chased their kids out of the house and expected them to occupy themselves. Today, kids are supposed to be doing something valuable, to build character or something. I suspect that this may be more perception than reality, but I still believe there’s an underlying trend. Parents projecting their fears about wasted time onto their children, maybe?

    And returning to the subject of violent video games, I’m surprised no one has mentioned “JFK Reloaded”. Some of the comments have been utterly ridiculous. I doubt many of these “experts” have seen the game at all. I have seen it, and it’s kind of creepy precisely because it is fairly realistic, and because nothing about it purports to be fair: you’re an assassin shooting at an innocent smiling target, and no one will ever shoot back at you. I have a reasonably high tolerance for violent games, but it made me a little queasy. How many games are there where you hear a happy, applauding crowd immediately start screaming and moaning when you take your shot? That said, comments like “This is a violence-promoting game” are idiotic. The game in no way “promotes violence”, precisely because of its lack of context: you’re in the window, you take your shot(s), and that’s it. If the game were about political change through violence, I’d be more concerned, but it’s not – it’s about one isolated incident.

  34. THis just came out from the Associated Press:

    “WASHINGTON – Video games that have players shoot rival gang members, watch bare-breasted women and recreate the assassination of President Kennedy were criticized Tuesday by advocacy groups that said, at the least, they should be kept away from children.”

    Just as I predicted (and I’m no Criswell). Notice that the “advocates” say that the games AT LEAST should be restricted from children. AT LEAST. These fucking assholes.

  35. maybe the kids make the money to buy the game selling drugs?

    i dunno, the whole thing is fucked.

    “We’ll have our homosexuals creep out Derb”

    i always pictured him as the sort of guy who would be reduced to tears by a chippendales strip-o-gram.


  36. Fabius

    Did you live in Haddonfield or were you from “down the line”?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.