OT: A couple of stories I was just reading some things on a few other gaming websites, and I found some things that may prove of interest to the forumites, as they're gaming related. First, an interesting article (slightly offensive language warning) http://my.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3141457 It's primarily a disccusion about console games and not PC games, and there's no specific mention of Diablo 2, but I think anyone here who's played on battle.net can relate. The other story, and one that has enraged my normally peaceful demeanor. A transcript from American 24 hours news network CNN. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Everybody, we are shifting gears. Don`t worry. We`ll take you back to Aruba tomorrow night. You remember that video game called Grand Theft Auto? Some stores actually refused to carry it because it was so violent? Well, hold on to your hats. Now there`s 25 to Life, and the object is to kill cops. That`s right. You get rewarded on this video game if you kill cops. We called the company who`s putting this thing out. It`s called Idos (ph). We called Idos headquarters in California. They did not return our calls. We tried to call them in Great Britain. No response. In earlier reports, when they were asked to comment on this video game, they always say no comment. Tonight, in Asheville, North Carolina, trial attorney Jack Thompson. We`re bringing in the rest of our panel tonight. Jack, bring me up to date. What is 25 to Life? Hey, Elizabeth, can you show me 25 to Life while Jack is talking? And I also want to show everybody one after the next, after the next police officers that lost their life in the line of duty! Now, this is a video game, and you`re seeing at the bottom of this screen, real-life cops that lost their lives trying to protect you and me. Jack, hit it. JACK THOMPSON, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Nancy, there are three cops that are dead in Alabama because of Grand Theft Auto by City, two cops and a dispatcher. So we know that these cop-killing games are leading to these killings because that`s what they are, they`re murder simulators. Xbox, of course, which this game will be available on, along with Sony`s Playstation 2 â€” you have to ask Bill Gates, What are you thinking? Here`s a philanthropist and a powerful man, the richest man in the world, and yet he`s making available to children around the world on Xbox a cop-killing game. The military, Nancy, uses these murder simulators, killing simulatorsâ€¦ GRACE: Oh! THOMPSON: â€¦ to break down the inhibition of new recruits to kill. And therefore, of course it`ll have that same effect on teenage civilians. So the reality is that these games are leading to deaths, and in fact, there`s a University of Indiana study that came out three days ago that showed that kids process these games in the part of the brain that leads to copycatting. GRACE: Incredible! Incredible! I can hardly even focus on what you`re saying, Jack. Elizabeth, please continue showing it because what I`m looking at is the picture of one cop after the next, Dino Lombardi, that we are showing gunned down in the line of duty, Dino! DINO LOMBARDI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, people kill cops. Video games don`t kill cops. GRACE: OK. You know what? I knew you`d say that. Debra Opri? DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY FOR JACKSON`S PARENTS: You know, you are really upsetting me, Nancy, because you used the 1st Amendment to destroy Michael Jackson, and you won`t use the 1st Amendment to protect an entertainment company. Does anybody remember Charlie Chaplin in the early days of movies, silent movies? He picked on cops. He attacked cops. He was such a problem to Herbert Hoover and the FBIâ€¦ GRACE: OK, you know what? (CROSSTALK) GRACE: Thank you for bringing up Herbert Hoover and Charlie Chaplin. OPRI: Can I tell you something? GRACE: When we come back, we`ll be talking about 25 to Life. You`re seeing a line-up of one cop after the next killed in the line of duty. And this video machine is being marketed and sold. It comes out in August on the shelves of stores in your neighborhood. Look at this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) GRACE: Well, Senator Chuck Schumer is asking the video game 25 to Life be boycotted. It depicts street gang violence, killing cops. This is what your kids will be digesting if you buy this for $49.95. You`re seeing at the bottom of the screen one law officer after the next gunned down in the line of duty. To Bethany Marshall. You know, the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled in 2003 â€” I`ve got it right in front of me â€” that video games have nothing to do with violence. Thoughts? BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, I`ll tell you what does have do with violence, strong emotional experiences. And when those kids are gaming and they press the button or the mouse and they actually kill somebody and there`s an emotional charge that does rewire the brain. And another thing that affects violence is lack of parental rules. So a question I have with these games are, Where are the parents. GRACE: You know, Dino Lombardi, I`ve only got one minute left. But in the last Tennessee shooting, where a kid shot two cops and a third person, they had been watching this Grand Theft Auto for days on end. It said life is like a video game. And you`re still telling me this is OK? LOMBARDI: Well, I`m not saying it`s OK, but I don`t support censoring it. GRACE: Yes, you are! LOMBARDI: I`m not saying it`s OK, Nancy. GRACE: We censor pornâ€¦ LOMBARDI: â€¦ and you know I`m not saying it`s OK. GRACE: â€¦ don`t we? We censor porn. Why would we let there be cop- shooting videos? LOMBARDI: We have movies where cops are killed, and we have many instances of people who have killedâ€¦ GRACE: But kids can get this! LOMBARDI: â€¦ who we can show they can have watched such movies. GRACE: Jackâ€¦ LOMBARDI: It`s notâ€¦ GRACE: â€¦ children can get this, Jack Thompson! LOMBARDI: Yes. The 1st Amendment, people who understand the 1st Amendment know does not protect the right of a company to sell an M-rated game to a child. GRACE: Jack, Jack, I`veâ€¦ THOMPSON: Children don`t have a 1st Amendmentâ€¦ GRACE: â€¦ only got 20 seconds. Jackâ€¦ THOMPSON: Yes? GRACE: â€¦ we logged on to buy Grand Theft Auto. We didn`t buy it, but it says, If you`re under 17, click here. That`s all it takes, Jack. Anybody can get this. THOMPSON: Exactly. And there`s no penalty, except in Illinoisâ€¦ GRACE: Boy! THOMPSON: â€¦ if you sellâ€¦ GRACE: OK. THOMPSON: â€¦ a game like this to a child. GRACE: Guys, we`ve run out of time. I want to thank all of my guests tonight, but my biggest thank you, as always, to you for being with us, inviting all of us into your home. Coming up, headlines from all around the world, Larry on CNN. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off again for tonight. I hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 o`clock sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm so sick of the mainstream media here in the US. "Three cops dead by Grand Theft Auto." The disc jumped out of the system and shot people? Or maybe the teens responsible for the shootings had an attorney that suggested blaming it on a videogame? Why would they do that? Certainly not to shift the blame from themselves, and possibly at the same time give themselves an excuse to file a probably fruitful lawsuit against a game company. And of course, it's not the parents' fault for not knowing what kids are playing, just like it wasn't parents' faults for not knowing what kids were watching thirty years ago before videogames, and crimes were being blamed on violent TV shows. Of course it's nothing new for media in the US, where everything a news bobblehead says is fact and anyone that disagrees with them is a terrorist, communist, or other freedom hater. (My definition of mainstream media are the newspapers in national circulation, the major networks' news departments, and the 24 hour news stations.) But I'm hijacking my own thread. Everyone on this forum plays Diablo 2. It's an M rated game, for violence, even if it's "fantasy" violence and not "realistic" violence. Anyone else outraged by this? Sorry, that's huge. But I hope it's a good read.