Violent Video Game Debate: Bill O Reilly vs A Little Girl

The video game industry covers a wide range of genres, but some of the most popular games allow players to engage in serious simulated violence. At the same time, your local evening news broadcast is filled with reports on violence in schools and gang violence. But are video games (and rap music, and Elvis Presley, and Jazz, and, uhh... flappers?) really to blame for violence among our youths? Culture warrior Bill O'Reilly thinks so, as he told Oprah recently. He has a whole book on this and many other subjects which he ties together under the umbrella of the "Culture War" - basically, traditionalists defending America versus secular-progressives who want drastic changes through undemocratic means. I can't show you the first part of this debate, as it has been removed by the copyright holder. Suffice it to say that a traditionalist like O'Reilly thinks taking away the XBox controller (or Wii remote) and replacing it with a Bible is the right way to lessen violent crime among our young people. Here's a link to a promo that may or may not cover it - I can't get it to play. Now, I won't debate O'Reilly here, in a forum he has no awareness of or interest in. Instead I will present the debate the broadcaster did have with an 8-year-old-girl: [youtube]k8x14cLGh5o[/youtube] Now it is clear that this young lady is intelligent, talented, and - let's face it - adorable. But does her argument hold any weight? She is right that it is hard to blame all violence on video games and rap music, since violence predates both of those items. Her suggestion that religion might be just as valid a cause of violence as popular culture is interesting as well. Note that she doesn't fall into the trap of claiming all violence is due to religion or all religion is violent. Her point seems to be that anyone arguing that replacing video games and rap music with the church will decrease violence should not ignore the numerous, obvious examples of violence prompted by religion. She also points out that she has no reason to believe what is said at one particular church over any other made-up, fictional story. Bill O'Reilly is no amateur, so I'm sure he has some cogent arguments to use against the little girl in this important debate: [youtube]mJjuZg7Mndo[/youtube] That's... interesting. He seems to be saying that video games are bad because... they run on machines, and YouTube runs on machines... uh, and YouTube is bad because somebody put a video of their kid on it...? And video taping a child actor is child abuse? ... Before I award the contest to the little girl, who has at this point completely kicked O'Reilly's ass (rhetorically speaking), I'd like to say the child abuse thing really bothers me. Child abuse is something real, that happens in real world. Children are hurt, abused, and molested by adults, sometimes even their own parents. I know it is a nice, powerful phrase to throw around, that makes you sound important, like "terrorist" and "traitor." But really, Bill? Do you even hear the things that come out of your mouth? Shouldn't there be a Godwin's Law for comparisons to child abuse? I think O'Reilly has made a tactical error here. I don't think he should have responded to the little girl on YouTube - and not because I disagree with him. Now people know that all it takes is a video camera and an Internet connection and you could be picking apart his arguments on equal terms. Although he did not respond to the little girl in a substantive way, he gave her video a place in the sun. Nearly one million people have viewed it now, and not all of them are liberal Democrat dittoheads (is there a term for such a thing on the left?). O'Reilly should know by now that you can't just distort someone's arguments into a straw man. You can't just use ad hominem attacks, although it is really helpful. You need to deny them the ability to speak as well. You need to turn off the microphone.

  1. [...] even been offered a job Ok, so I sat down at my computer just surfing when I came across this Violent Video Game Debate: Bill O Reilly vs A Little Girl – Unsought Input Apparently O’reilly spouting some garbage about how video games should be taken and replaced with [...]

    O'reilly? Shouldn't even been offered a job - FileFront Gaming Forums
    October 18th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

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