Nader loses his mind, compares game developers to child molesters

Brendan Sinclair,

“We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment],” [consumer safety advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph] Nader said. “Television program violence? Unbelievable. Video game violence? Unprecedented.” He added, “I’m not saying he wants to censor this, I think he should sensitize people that they should protect their children family by family from these kinds of electronic child molesters.”

Sorry to see Nader adopting a ridiculous Jack Thompson-level of rhetoric on this issue.

  • Yes, pitiful rhetoric, especially when these politicians intentionally ignore the huge elephant in the room.

  • Wow. He didn’t just compare them: he outright called them child molesters. Ridiculous.

    I’ll readily admit that there’s filth in the video game industry (just as there is with any other form of media), but the fact that they’re games does not means that parents get to abdicate their responsibility for being aware of and understanding what their children are doing for fun. At this point, a parent can’t reasonably claim ignorance of the fact that there’s violence and other such things in video games. If they’ve failed to take an active interest in knowing what games their children are playing and don’t understand the ratings system well enough to let it do the policing for them, then the only responsible action is to not allow the child to play questionable games at all.

    But all of that is tangential to the topic of violence in video games translating to real world violence. Violent video games are harmlessly being played by so many people at this point that I’d find it hard to believe a conclusive causal relationship has not yet been established. Why not go after martial arts, wrestling, boxing, American football, hockey, or other sports that regularly involve physically attacking other people? It’s because people know that violence in those sports does not necessarily translate to violence off the field or out of the ring. People will eventually wise up and realize that video games are no different.

    The people that commit the atrocities we’ve been hearing about are disturbed, and that’s why they did what they did. Not because a certain hobby they enjoyed is the magical scapegoat that explains away everything they did while absolving us of our responsibility to identify and help these people get the treatment they need before it becomes a problem. Even disturbed people can enjoy some typical, everyday hobbies without those hobbies having any sort of correlation or causal link with the violence they commit.

  • Colin Jensen

    Objection your honor: it has not been established that Nader’s mind was ever in his possession.

  • Anon

    I’m a game developer, and I’ve been in the industry for over a decade. The 50 million kids playing Call Of Duty on xbox live and screaming racial slurs clearly aren’t being influenced at all, and I’d like to testify to the fact that the management of large publishers have no clue of this non-effect correlating with sales. They would never explicitly design products around an addictive and destructive mechanic, no sir.

    • jacksonsquire

      While I’m no fan of Call of Duty and the perpetual sameness and complete lack of intelligence it personifies it’s not Activision’s fault the players shout insults at each other. That’d be like blaming the NFL or the MLB for racial slurs at a football or baseball game.

      Perhaps Activision could work harder at bringing awareness to the worst-of-humanity that occurs during gameplay of its signature product, but it’s hardly their fault.

  • Byrn

    I would put it out there that Nader has always been insane.

  • I get sad thinking that my cousin voted for this guy. I get sadder when I remember how much good work this guy used to do as a consumer advocate.

  • Dave

    Check out his full interview on Democracy Now. There is much more to the statement than is expressed here. The interview is just after the MLK tribute, also excellent.

  • AverageOne

    Oh great! Another brilliant insight by Ralph Nader. Next, he will be telling us that we should simply place a tax on violent video games, like we tax many things which have negative consequences but that we as a society have decided to tolerate to some degree. “We tax gasoline (global warming), cigarettes (cancer), alcohol (driving deaths), why not video games (spree murders),” Ralph Nader might say. What a crock!

  • David Renner

    Looks like Ralph hit a nerve and rightly so…. There’s no way any of these “games” make a positive contribution to any child’s development. These shooter “games” have little imagination and little potential for any positive effect on player.

    • Edwin

      And yet another person misses the point in my opinion. The games you try and use in your example are adult games with adult ratings. One has to question if it is the games industries fault if parents let their kids play games not designed for their age group. When the US also refuses any kind of legally binding age restrictions on games unlike most other countries it does not help.

      Yes shooting games are violent but so is Apocolypse Now. I would allow neither to be watched or played by my young daughter. It’s this novel concept called parenting…