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speaking of video games

A new phrase has been coined: Killographic.

It pertains to video games that portray "graphic depiction[s] of brutal violence."

Get it? See, pornographic is for sex and killographic is for....oh, nevermind. You understand.

The problem is here is that most pornography is made with real, live people and video games aren't. I'm sure David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family understands that. He just doesn't get it.

Remember Frogger? Did you ever make the frog purposely get hit by a car just to see him splatter? Killographic!

Are you one of those people that made the rides on Rollercoaster Tycoon go so fast that your visitors were flung from the coaster cars to their death? Killographic!

Hell, even on Tiny Toons Adventure, tiny Bugs Bunny (Buster?) dies and when he does, a little halo appears above his head as his ghostly shape rises to bunny heaven. That's animal cruelty. It's a horrible potrayal of death as a game. Killographic!

Sure, the games that the research center list as "killographic" are games meant for mature players. And yes, they do contain graphic violence. Against animation! The horror!

On the other hand, look at the games they recommend. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is one such game. Look at this picture! Just look! Luigi is about to pound Mario on the head with a mallet! If that's not Killographic, I don't know what is.

And SimCity 4? Why, you can set fire to your city! You can make a volcano explode or have lightning bolts strike a neighborhood. Death, destruction and mayhem - family fun for all. Killographic!

What's the difference between the simulated violence in Backyard Wrestling and that in SimCity?

Sorry for being so cynical, but killographic is just a stupid word, used to scare parents into taking away their kids' video games or not even buying them at all. News flash: most of those games are rated T or M. The little kiddies shouldn't even be playing them.

Oh, silly me. That would be putting the responsibility in the hands of the parents rather than the video game industry. Everyone knows that parents aren't responsible for their kids do. The entertainment industry is. Instead of shouting from the mountain top that some video games are bad, bad, bad, perhaps someone should be educating some parents about keeping an eye on what your children are buying, playing and watching. We'll make a movement out of it and call it Parentgraphic: The almost realistic display of parents taking charge of their children.

Too horrible to even think about for some people, I know.


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I'm completely with you on this one, Michele.
The only way any of these games exist in the first place is that people purchase them. If there's no demand, the games go away. If anyone out there doesn't like any of these games, do not allow your kids to have them!

All this whining about how movies and video games are destroying our society just drives me up the wall. The only way to make our society better is for each of us to strive to live an ethical, decent life and teach kids right from wrong by our own example - not just with words.

Yet another reason to ignore the National Institute on Media and the Family.

Instead of shouting from the mountain top that some video games are bad, bad, bad, perhaps someone should be educating some parents about keeping an eye on what your children are buying, playing and watching.

Ummm...that's what NIMF is doing, Michele.

Really, you want parents to do a better job of monitoring their own children and being involved in their entertainment choices? Then doesn't it stand to reason that watchdog organizations like this are actually a valuable tool to help parents do just that?

I think we can all agree that the graphic depiction of two naked people screwing with abandon in a video game would certainly be considered "pornographic" by most community standards. So I don't think use of the term "killographic" is that far off the mark. And in terms of what my kids are exposed to in a video game, I see a BIG difference between Mario hitting Luigi over the head with a cartoon hammer, and some guy beating a hooker to a bloody pulp with a crowbar.

I for one am darned glad that someone is taking the time and making the effort to look closely at these games and give me, as a parent, some helpful information about them. I took a look through the survey and it seems like the writers are not necessarily advocating government regulation of the video game industry; rather, they are advocating more parental involvement in video game purchases, as well as supplying them with specific information about the games. I don't see how that's a bad thing. I have found the ESRB ratings system to be helpful, as well as the information provided by groups like NIMF.

Curt, my point was that these games aren't meant for children. The simple solution, when you are buying games for your kids, is to check the rating and then pick up something age appropriate. I'm certainly not going to buy my ten year old an M rated game and then complain to the video game industry that the game was too violent.

Most of the parents I know that complain about the violence are the same ones who bought those kids the games in the first place. I don't need a media watchdog group to tell me that something called Vice City is not a good idea for a ten year old.

What the heck was wrong with the term "violent"?

Don't forget one common manuver in The Sims. When a Sim is part of a love triangle and causing unhappiness to two households, the player often has the Sim go swimming, and then the player sells off and erases the pool ladder. The Sim keeps swimming until he exhausts himself, and drowns. There must be fifty ways to kill a Sim off.

The Washington Post Magazine had an article two years ago where a 12-year-old girl described this to her father. He was shocked.

haha, im still laughin about that SIMs comment. A firend of mine made a scenario with THE SIMS on her computer where me and three of our friends had a bar-b-que in the "backyard". One of the beloved sim characters ate a flaming hamburger and he, himself, caught fir and died and left another SIM to weep mournfully overthe grave of the silenced sim. anyway...
The point not brought up that, to me, makes some ulterior sense. We, as mammals, are simply highly evolved, maybe kids need to have some sort of outlet where they go on a cartoonish killing spree. That can get way out of hand, but it truly all relys on the parents to actually pay attention to their kids in the first place. If a kid is acting out and being violent, i would be very reluctant to point at the video game for fault, yet the parent is the one who deserves the blame. It's as big as a parenting-cop out as Riddelin. "uhh, i don't wanna wathc the kids, they are too active,...let's diagnose em with ADD and get em a few video games, that way i have time to take a bath"

What the heck was wrong with the term "violent"?

What's wrong with the term "violent" is that it's been defined down to the point of meaninglessness. Media watchdogs use the word "violent" to cover everything from "two cartoon characters yelling at each other" to "Steve Buscemi getting fed into a wood chipper in 'Fargo'". It's a similar to how the word "rape" has been rendered meaningless through repeated abuse (if "thinking about having sex with a woman who doesn't like you" is rape, what's the word for, uh... rape?).

I have a hard time getting mad about these media horror stories, though. If it hadn't been for a CNN story on how horrible and awful "Grand Theft Auto" was, I never would have heard of the game. Four sequels later I'm still hooked.

Also, I have a vague hope that if videogames come to be seen as "adults only", they'll get even better.

"killographic" is the metrosexual of the video game world. it's a stupid bastardization of an existing word, yet people will now use it in droves, because it's the cool new word.

and i don't agree with dan. violent still works. if you're unsure about the amount of violence, there's always those weird things... what are they called... adverbs. extreme violence. mild violence. see how easy that is?

and dan? that rape analogy? what the hell was that? "rape" is meaningless? dude. rape is rape. how is there even a question about that?

I'm a little alarmed that watchdog groups can tell all parents what is best for their kids to watch and play with. Really, is it that far away from "don't read this book" or "don't listen to this music"?
Honestly, if you want a run-down on what games are about, there are a bajillion web sites reviewing games. If your child wants "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City", if the name doesn't give it away, perhaps looking at the game's box or reading a review will help.

I've long prefered the term carnographic, myself.

Shouldn't that be cideographic?

Gee, am I still allowed to play pong?

Mikey: Redirect your horror at radical so-called 'feminist' scholars, not at Dan. They're the ones who redefined the terms such that mixed-sex workplaces and colleges became near-uninhabitable in the early 1990's. It's an old fight, long since won by the good guys and girls on both sides (less quid-pro-quo harassment; less spurious claims; less tension in general). Monica Lewinsky sucked all the life from that issue, anyway.

I'm guessing Dan just brought it up as a throwaway example of the harm maliciously-redefined terms can do.

Anyway, my congratulations to you, Michele - because that was the best rant I've read outside a "Corsair the Rational Pirate" post on Korea. Bless you and keep up the good work!

dude. rape is rape. how is there even a question about that?

Sure, rape is rape. And thinking about having sex with a woman is rape. And having sex with a perfectly willing woman who later regrets having had sex with you is rape.

Do I need to offer more examples? I thought my meaning was clear enough.

"Kill Bill" is violent. "Reservoir Dogs" is violent. "Terminator" is violent. "Bugs Bunny" is violent. See where we crossed the line from sanity to insanity, there? If you answered that question "yes", I'm afraid you don't have a promising career in Media Watchdogging awaiting you.