This House Would Ban Video Games that Objectify Women
Debate Rounds (3)
I believe that any indie or AAA game that contains unnecessary female nudity or sexual behaviour should be banned, so that we can promote a fair and equal society. To do this, we will use an impartial viewer to review each case. For this to be possible, we would make sure that each popular game was carefully "combed" through.
"Unnecessary" is a very wide term and its interpretation is very much dependent on individual preferences. Instead of debating "unnecessary nudity" I suggest we debate the use of "overtly explicit nudity and sexual behaviour".
I would also like to define the impartial reviewer- are they being payed by the video games industry, through government funding or by some other means?
Looking forward to debating this with you.
The impartial viewer would be entirely government funded, so that we could avoid any "foul play" through bribing from the games industry. I would agree with the motion given, but I think that in some cases necessity comes into play. Sometimes in these games they will use sexually explicit scenes to reinforce a point that they have made, whether it was to strengthen a character or to progress the story. While I agree that the term "necessary" is subjective, we would use many different sources to come to a conclusion about the final product.
I will be offering two main points as the proposition in the second round for this debate. The first will be exploring the morality of these games, and the second will be questioning whether we are giving the youth a good example for them to follow .
Firstly, I would like to call upon the new Grand Theft Auto as an example of how explicit content can hurt and harm society in general. I am of course referring to the strip clubs that one can find around the world. Now, while I am not saying that this is the only example of a game that does this, I think it gives us the perfect opportunity to question the morals that it promotes. The player can pay one of these strippers to give them a lap dance, and is encouraged to "touch" the dancer in an overly sexual way. These scenes are obviously meant to appeal to the male consumers of the game and are there for no other reason. They do not further the story. It could be argued that they give depth to the world, but the other misogynistic remarks that the main characters make, along with the prostitutes that one can hire are going too far. These things promote the "male dominated" society that we have seen in ages past, and do not give the youth of today a good example of how they should treat women in their lives. This links in to my second point. These games are treating women in an immoral way, and it is the job of the government to promote a fair society, one without sexism and discrimination.
Moving onto my second point. It is common knowledge that there will be many children who play this game. While it is the job of the parents to educate them, most of them do not about the sexual content that the games contain. These images can give them the wrong impression of women. It is widely accepted that pornography can ruin relationships, as they give the viewer a false interpretation of sex and love, and these young children are even more susceptible to the effects of it. These explicit scenes work in the same way, and are contributing to this idea that women are "objects", who have no actual character, but are just used for the pleasure of the consumer.
First of all I would like to introduce an impartial system that is in place already.The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) offers 6 different ratings for age appropriateness that are on virtually all games sold in the US and Canada (Other counties have different organizations, PEGI in the UK etc). As well as an overall rating they also provide content descriptors which point out the content that impacted a rating e.g. violence, sexual nature, alcohol use, drug references, crude humor etc. These ratings let the buyer know what to expect from the game they are buying and I would argue that they are the only regulation the games industry needs on explicit content- they provide the consumer with unbiased information about the product they are purchasing while not regulating the content itself.
Pro argues that the sexually explicit scenes are often just there to titillate the male audience, the target group the GTA series are aimed at. Anyone familiar with the series would be aware of the general plot of the games as well as the world they are set in. GTA is not a "sunshine and roses" kind of game where the protagonist collects flowers- it doesn't claim to be that in its advertising campaign or at any other point. It is capturing a particular kind of environment with a particular kind of protagonist and uses explicit settings to enrich that world. Games like "Fallout New Vegas" and "Farcry 3" which fall in the same ratings category use similarly explicit content to paint a picture- strippers and gambling for the first, severe violence for the second. The games do not promote a male dominated society any more that movies such as "Quills" (an explicit piece about the life of Marquis De Sade) promote deviant behavior or Twilight promotes female dependence. They tell a particular story, they don't illustrate an ideal way of life. Limiting their storytelling remit would impede the right to free speech and set unwanted precedents.
Pro's second point refers to the children that may be playing an adult themed game game and the harm seeing explicit scenes may cause. Again: games that use such content are rated as either an M or an A which means that they are unsuitable for children- it is the parental responsibility to ensure their kids don't play them. If we introduce further regulations than the ones already in place in order to make everything suitable for kids it means the end of anything above E, both in the video games industry and the wider media. Certain messages cannot be put across in the E rating nor is it the games industry's responsibility to babysit content- that's what parents are for, to make sure their children play age appropriate content and to educate them about how the world and human relationships work.
In conclusion, I feel that the ESRB rating already used by the gaming industry provides sufficient information for people to decide whether they want to play a certain game or not. Explicit content has its place in games if it enriches the environment- of course it isn't always used as a tool for good but that is why the warning label is there, to help those who do not want to see it steer away. Not all video games are good video games. Not all video games that use explicit scenes are doing so to enrich the gamer's experience. However, a lot of them are and they do not need to be punished and further regulated because of a few bad eggs.
Mycro forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hierocles 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con gave a convincing case that undermined the inherency of Pro's case and pro's only response was to forfeit his response.
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