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Five News items we Can't blame on Video Games (Broken)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on February 05, 2004   |   Episode 55 (Show Archive)  

WALL OF TEXT EXPLAINED: What you're looking at is an episode of Countdown w/ Defunct Games published before 2006. As you can tell, something has gone horribly awry. I won't bore you with the technical details, but it has to do with the old layout being incompatible with the new. Eventually, we would like to retrofit these old episodes of Countdown, but that will require a significant amount of time. As Defunct Games has only a limited staff, we aren't sure when we'll have the chance to fix this article. If you absolutely need to know what this article said, get a hold of us on Twitter or leave a message in the comment section below. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you will enjoy the episodes created post-2006.

#5 The Battle for Israel It would take far too much room to properly explain why the Israelis and Palestinians are locked in a never-ending fight. You see, both sides want this land, mostly because they both consider it "Holy" land. Obviously there is more to it than that, not to mention decades of talks and developments, but this battle ends up coming down to religion and land. Regardless of who you side with on this issue, you have to admit that it has nothing to do with video games in any form. I mean, let's face it, this debacle started long before anybody had even considered playing Pong in the luxury of your own home. The Middle East is among the most dangerous locations to live right now, yet they are one of the few areas of the world that is not wrapped up in battle between the Xbox and PlayStation 2. Let's face it, Nintendo doesn't make a lot of money from that part of the world, so these people must be fighting over something bigger. #4 Michael Jackson Let's face it, Michael Jackson has been in a lot of video games, including Moonwalker, Space Channel 5, and Ready to Rumble, so it's hard too much of a reach to find a way of blaming video games. But what Michael is accused of, with the fondling, sleeping with kids, and "Jesus Juice", is far worse than anything you could find in a video game. When you think about Michael's current dilemma it's hard to even remember a time when he was moonwalking through his own arcade game. Though there's a video game connection, this is just not something you can blame on video games, no matter how hard you try. Oh, and while we're on the subject, it would be awfully unfair to blame video games for the Catholic Clergy's recent mishandling of children. They don't have the pop culture appeal of the King of Pop, but they do have the King of Kings, and a guy with a funny hat who said he liked Mel Gibson's film the Passion of the Christ. #3 The Economy After enjoying some of the best economic times throughout the 1990s, the early part of the 21st century is proving to be quite the opposite. It started with the bursting of the Internet bubble, and that was only to be followed by a strong economic downturn that would result in a recession. With millions of jobs lost and trade becoming a bigger issue every day, it's probably tempting to blame something for this mess we find ourselves in. But there's just no logical way of blaming video games for this money problem, since they actually HELPED the market! That's right, video games actually helped. Since September 11th, 2001, high video game sales have only helped the industry (and retailers) through these tough times. And if you took the President's plea to "spend money" seriously, then nobody can really complain if you bought a bunch of video games. So there, go ahead and blame Grand Theft Auto III for the violence in our society, but don't blame it for our terrible economy, that's actually somebody else's fault. #2 Gay Marriage It's a topic that has been slowly bubbling up for a few decades, but thanks to several recent court decisions and a few thousand couples getting hitched in California, gay marriage is finally front and center. This is one of those topics that a lot of people have deep opinions about, and a lot of those opinions seem to run down religious lines. Personally I see no problem with treating everybody equal, no matter who they love, but that's just me, everybody is free to their own opinion. Bush wants to amend the Constitution to define marriage, right along with owning guns, the freedom of speech, and the right to vote. In his fight to rid wedding chapels of gay folk, Bush may be tempted to show the ills of their action. Bush doesn't seem to think that gay men and women are born that way, but rather it is a lifestyle choice, something that can be influenced. He can talk about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or Will & Grace all he wants, but one thing he can't blame as an influence is the pure excitement that is Grand Theft Auto III. Games in general may be bloody and violent, but they aren't sexual. Sure there is the occasional romance, but it's strictly guy-girl . and usually, hero-damsel in distress. Bring on the gay marriage debate, but let's leave Mario and Luigi out of it! #1 Bush's War in Iraq In case you missed the last two years, here's a small recap. We send inspectors into Iraq to locate Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). They don't find any and take too long, so we pull them out and go to war. President Bush concludes the war is over and our "Mission is Accomplished", even though another 400 soldiers die after that speech. After searching Iraq for months, the "new" inspectors conclude there are no WMD, and the information for going to war was wrong. This could all be a liability for George W. Bush come November, he may be tempted to divert attention by blaming something else. But no matter how hard he tries, he cannot blame video games for the faulty intelligence that led us to a war that could prove unpopular. A lot of video games have been made about similar situations, including at least one that actually let's you kill Saddam, but blaming those games would be like Bush blaming Saturday Night Live for inspiring his State of the Union Address. There have been a lot of bad things said about video games in the media, some of which is just not true. If kids are involved, most of the media just assumes it has something to do with Doom or Grand Theft Auto III. There's nothing we can do about, but at least we can laugh as some of the stupid quotes said by the misinformed. Here are some of my favorites. "And these video -- they become psychopathic when play these games, these kids. I had my little boy, 8 years old; he stays on a video game for five, six hours. And these are games that they become so obsessed with. These could be young fellows. And I think they are losers." -Bo Dietl, Former New York City Police Detective, on Talk Back Live "When I started looking at the abnormal and looking at the tarot card, the so-called game, there's another game called "Grand Theft Auto III." And if you look at that game, it has all the ingredients of what we're looking at in the terrorist sniper situation. We have guns and they talk about sniping. We have an ex con, and this guy may be an ex con. We have drive-by shootings, we have a van, we have a mission. And you build points and you build reputation by how many people you kill." -Robert Fitzpatrick, Former FBI Assistant Special Agent, On Nachman "There's a very good possibility that it has something to do with these silly video games. "Doom" is one where they teach them how to be snipers with one shot." -Bo Dietl, Former New York City Police Detective, on Talk Back Live "You asked him if he played Grand Theft Auto, the video game. A video game in which you get points for the number of people you shoot. I don't know if there's a moving car? You shoot from a moving car." -Phil Donahue, on Donahue "Well, these could be 17-, 18-year-old, 19-year-old kids that play these stupid video games. And I call them stupid because all they teach you is how to kill people." -Bo Dietl, Former New York City Police Detective, on Talk Back Live


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