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News Article kicks ass, takes names

BTPBTP Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Games and Technology
Below is a follow-up article to this article which is on the front page of today's Toronto Star that I'm reading right now during lunch. The main article is about groups lobbying for more and better warnings about violent media, even so much as to suggest passing new laws, in an effort to help parents to reduce the amount of violence kids see each day.

The article below, the follow-up, acts as a big WakeTFU to parents that it really won't work in the end. I'm totally giving a standing ovation in my heart with this article. If you need to e-mail someone a message like this, here you go.

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/172363
What you can restrict: children

January 18, 2007
Antonia Zerbisias

You can pass laws restricting TV murder and mayhem to certain hours, demand parental advisories on CDs, ban the rental of blood-and-guts videos and games to minors but you'll never stop violent material from being timeshifted, downloaded, burned, ripped or somehow landing in the hands of kids with access to electronic equipment.

And there's a good chance that kids have that access right in their own rooms – with their parents' blessing.

According to the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, 57 per cent of kids aged 8 to 16 have TV in their rooms while 39 per cent have gaming equipment.

That was seven years ago. Imagine the stats now with computers, mobile phones, PVRs, iPods and other gadgets that can be used to watch, listen to or play entertainment.

So the truth is, yesterday's recommendations on media violence put forward by a well-meaning coalition from trustee, parent, teacher federation, principal and student organizations representing both Ontario's public and Catholic systems, are as realistic as the exploding heads on Nintendo, c. 1985.

Which is to say, not at all.

At their news conference, coalition leaders acknowledged that "legislation is rarely a perfect solution" – and yet they pressed for changes to the laws.

It's not enough that the industry has self-imposed hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. when "programming which contains scenes of violence intended for adult audiences shall not be telecast."

The coalition wants Parliament to amend the Broadcasting Act "to establish a watershed hour of 9 p.m." – to enshrine it in law.

As if that would ever happen under the let-the-market-reign Conservatives.

Besides, how does one define violence?

Does the news count?

What's more, 9 p.m. here is 6 p.m. in B.C. Thanks to timeshifting, fans of CSI in the GTA would have to wait until midnight to see the re-enactment of the latest gruesome murder.

Unless of course they caught it on the originating U.S. channel – and there would be no stopping that since, under the current simulcasting rules, Canadian signals can only replace U.S. signals if the programs play at the same time.

Then there are the U.S. channels such as TBS that are never simulcast.

Get the violent picture?

There's more.

How many children got the latest video game for Christmas? How many dads play carjacker games with their sons? How many moms take advantage of their children's media addictions to do chores or relax?

How many families watch TV movies together? How many of those flicks are family-friendly? How many parents take advantage of the parental controls on digital boxes? How many "POS" – parents over shoulder – are there when daughters are in chat rooms?

As for CDs, well, do kids even pay for music any more?

Exactly.

So when the coalition "strongly recommends" that Queen's Park passes a law for an "age-based classification system for music recordings" it's just pasting a tiny R-rated sticker on a bursting e-dam.

Fact is, you can put great big billboards on these products and parents will still buy them – partly because they're truly unaware of the deleterious effects of so much daily media exposure (of any kind), partly because it's the path of least resistance, partly because parents really want the stuff for themselves.

Where the coalition gets it right is on the subject of media literacy, both for children and parents. There can never be enough education in an age of behemoth merged and converged media corporations that cross-promote their products on multiple platforms.

Some material is already available for download on the Ontario Public School Boards' Association site.

But parental support, and the accompanying research, have been out for decades. In the 1990s, the industry and the federal broadcast regulator spent millions on studies to raise awareness and to formulate codes of ethics.

Still, the problem persists.

Which means the solution lies in one place alone.

The power switch.

You have the power.

Use it.

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Posts

  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    oh hell yes

    Akilae729 on
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  • NaloutoNalouto Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    so what, the article tells parents to control their kids by limiting what the have access too.

    groundbreaking stuff. :|

    Nalouto on
    :winky:
  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    *applause*
    Nalouto wrote:
    so what, the article tells parents to control their kids by limiting what the have access too.

    groundbreaking stuff. :|

    I think what's nice is that this is being presented as actual news.

    Wait, this isn't just an op/ed, is it?

    Delzhand on
  • DusdaDusda is ashamed of this post SLC, UTRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Nalouto wrote:
    so what, the article tells parents to control their kids by limiting what the have access too.

    groundbreaking stuff. :|
    It is groundbreaking, to have this sort of approach taken in a high profile news article.

    Dusda on
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  • fsmith1fsmith1 Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Good article, hopefully some of the 'tards that let their kids run wild will read it and actually do more than snort at it.

    fsmith1 on
  • ArcibiArcibi Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    It's about time something like this was printed

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  • Squirminator2kSquirminator2k they/them North Hollywood, CARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Apart from Hippie Parents, who will undoubtedly dismiss this article as piffle and continue to allow their kids to do whatever they want because they "don't want to stifle the lil' kid's freedom, maaaaahn."

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  • etoychestetoychest Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    As a parent, I can safely say "oh hell yes". I'm in a somewhat unique position in that as my son grows older he's going to have access to a lot fo games and systems that are either brand new or not on the market yet, and also he's going to have two parents that are in touch with the gaming culture and industry as a whole. But that does not mean that our desire to keep on top of our son's exposure should be an unique anomaly. It's parent's responsibility to do so. Even my folks, who are not gamers (though I did get my dad a DS Lite for Christmas) raised me in a similar fashion, keeping track of my friends, what I was in to, and regulating what was and was not appropriate, so maybe it's more of an ingrained behavior after all.

    etoychest on
  • NswyersNswyers Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Girard, the reporter who wrote the original article, has a great big proverbial hard-on for this type of crap. As someone who has finished his BA and is now taking a diploma course in Journalism, I sincerely hope I will never have to resort to such nonsense writing just to keep a job: http://www.thestar.com/search?&q=daniel%20girard&r=

    I wonder if Girard plays San Adreas at home, in secret.

    Nswyers on
  • gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    The question is not how to keep these kids off games, the question is IF violent games CAUSE kids to do violent stuff!

    gneGne on
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  • NswyersNswyers Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    gneGne wrote:
    The question is not how to keep these kids off games, the question is IF violent games CAUSE kids to do violent stuff!

    I've never been a supporter of the side of the fence that says, "Violent games have no affect on the behaviour of children." It's be demonstrated in study after study over the past 60 years of child psychology that violence breeds violence. Just look at some Bandura research and you'll see what I mean.

    Here's the nut: it is up to the parents to teach children what is right and what is wrong. Young kids are a blank slate, a sloppy little sponge. They take what they experience and often renact it, but kids who have been taught by their parents what is right will have that little voice in their head saying, "Is this good? No, no it is not."

    So, by the time one of these little sponges, soaking wet with a decade and a half of experience, reaches their mid-teens, they should be able to seperate reality from the movies they watch or the games they play. When they can't, you look to the person who has had the responsibility of molding their gummy little minds for the past 16 years and say, "What the fuck did you do?????"

    Nswyers on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I have to do story time now.

    Many of you know I'm a Gamestop store manager. We did our midnight openning for Burning Crusade on monday night. This, apparently, is evil.

    7pm, working alone, couple customers hanging out waiting for midnight (they were bored, and were a blast to talk to). Phone rings, I answer... guy asks if we're doing the midnight open for the game. I answer yes, that we'll be ringing folks in early, etc etc... he then asks for a manager. At the time, there was a line about 4 deep, and the second line rang. I asked him to hold for a moment, and took care of the customers and second phone line. I figured he wanted to ask if we had extra collector's editions, or if he could pay for it over the phone.

    No.

    I got back on, and he proceeded to ream me out for 15 minutes about how evil it was for us to keep kids out past midnight on a school night during exam week. We were hurting children by doing this. I asked him if he wanted his child going to this midnight launch, and he said no. When I suggested he tell his son that, well.. then he really let me have it.

    He went on and on about us blaming the parents, how it's really our fault, how just because the parent says no doesn't mean peer pressure goes away (peer pressure for a video game, what in the fuck?), and how it is illegal to keep kids out this late. He discussed filing an injunction, a restraining order, and all sorts of other legal terms that he heard on Law & Order. He also mentioned that the only people there that night would be teenagers and pedophiles.

    He even threatened to get parents together and protest the openning (which I invited him to do).

    What I'm trying to say is that, in the end? This article will do nothing. Irresponsible parents will continue to be irresponsible, politicians will continue looking at violent games as new votes, and all of us pedophiles will have to weather out the storm until we become politicians ourselves and can blame the next media sensation for corrupting the youth of the world.

    Vicious cycle ++

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  • JJJJ DailyStormer Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I wish I was a manager so when I got some crazy bastard I could go "haha fuck you" and not get fired.

    Though, I would need to be close friends with a DM I guess.

    JJ on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'm guessing that's Britain or something? (Didn't follow the link, but "parliament" is mentioned.)

    Unfortunately, American news media is required to do three things: (a) be sensational, (b) reflect popular opinion, (c) perpetuate said popular opinion through fearmongering and various other tactics.

    Which is why you'll never see such an article printed in a mainstream American newspaper or journal.

    Drez on
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  • NswyersNswyers Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    JJ wrote:
    I wish I was a manager so when I got some crazy bastard I could go "haha fuck you" and not get fired.

    Though, I would need to be close friends with a DM I guess.

    No matter what your position is in a franchise, there is always someone above you who can fire you. Even a DM can't save you.

    Nswyers on
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    It's nice to see a publication - any publication - retort the media violence issue by telling parents to actually be parents.

    MegaMan001 on
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  • BTPBTP Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    I'm guessing that's Britain or something? (Didn't follow the link, but "parliament" is mentioned.)
    Toronto Star

    BTP
    Joined: Aug 05, 2005
    Location: Canadeh?

    ;)

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  • gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Nswyers wrote:
    gneGne wrote:
    The question is not how to keep these kids off games, the question is IF violent games CAUSE kids to do violent stuff!

    I've never been a supporter of the side of the fence that says, "Violent games have no affect on the behaviour of children." It's be demonstrated in study after study over the past 60 years of child psychology that violence breeds violence. Just look at some Bandura research and you'll see what I mean.

    Well I didn't really follow all the studies, but I bet there also are studies that contradict that. Atleast from personal experience I was more the agressive type at times where I used to be outside much playing soccer with friends against other unknown groups of kids.
    The only thing I can relate perhaps that I got frustrated a few times playing a game, but you just feel pissed for perhaps 3 minutes and then its over.

    gneGne on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    BTP wrote:
    Drez wrote:
    I'm guessing that's Britain or something? (Didn't follow the link, but "parliament" is mentioned.)
    Toronto Star

    BTP
    Joined: Aug 05, 2005
    Location: Canadeh?

    ;)

    THERE BE DRAGONS everywhere except in the continental U.S. Duh! ;-)

    Either way, my points about American news media stand. I don't read any of the drivel. Good article Canadia!

    Drez on
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  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    gneGne wrote:
    Nswyers wrote:
    gneGne wrote:
    The question is not how to keep these kids off games, the question is IF violent games CAUSE kids to do violent stuff!

    I've never been a supporter of the side of the fence that says, "Violent games have no affect on the behaviour of children." It's be demonstrated in study after study over the past 60 years of child psychology that violence breeds violence. Just look at some Bandura research and you'll see what I mean.

    Well I didn't really follow all the studies, but I bet there also are studies that contradict that. Atleast from personal experience I was more the agressive type at times where I used to be outside much playing soccer with friends against other unknown groups of kids.
    The only thing I can relate perhaps that I got frustrated a few times playing a game, but you just feel pissed for perhaps 3 minutes and then its over.

    Most recent studies show that there is an increase in aggression after playing a video game, but this is not because of violence, but rather competition. It causes a surge in adrenaline, which of course makes you more aggressive. But of course, any sport, or even a chess match can cause these same reactions. No one gets bent out of shape about chess, do they?

    YodaTuna on
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    You know, I had neither a television nor a computer in my room until I went to college. Now that I'm living at home again I still don't have a TV in my room.

    Salvation122 on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    MegaMan001 wrote:
    It's nice to see a publication - any publication - retort the media violence issue by telling parents to actually be parents.

    Yes, agreed.

    Drez on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    YodaTuna wrote:
    gneGne wrote:
    Nswyers wrote:
    gneGne wrote:
    The question is not how to keep these kids off games, the question is IF violent games CAUSE kids to do violent stuff!

    I've never been a supporter of the side of the fence that says, "Violent games have no affect on the behaviour of children." It's be demonstrated in study after study over the past 60 years of child psychology that violence breeds violence. Just look at some Bandura research and you'll see what I mean.

    Well I didn't really follow all the studies, but I bet there also are studies that contradict that. Atleast from personal experience I was more the agressive type at times where I used to be outside much playing soccer with friends against other unknown groups of kids.
    The only thing I can relate perhaps that I got frustrated a few times playing a game, but you just feel pissed for perhaps 3 minutes and then its over.

    Most recent studies show that there is an increase in aggression after playing a video game, but this is not because of violence, but rather competition. It causes a surge in adrenaline, which of course makes you more aggressive. But of course, any sport, or even a chess match can cause these same reactions. No one gets bent out of shape about chess, do they?

    Last night I wanted to fucking punch someone in the face because I kept dying right at the end of a level in Heavy Gunner (Xbox Live Arcade game).

    I felt the same way after stupidly losing a game of chess, once.

    So, yes, I will admit that I feel violent after playing games now and then. But it has nothing to do with the game itself.

    I think Jack Thompson should go after developers that make really difficult games. Difficulty and gamer frustration should be stomped out. Forget E, T, M, and AO. That's not what we need to worry about. We need to put an end to NORMAL, HARD, INSANE, LEGENDARY. Games should be EASY only. No more frustration. No more anger. No more gamer-related violence.

    Drez on
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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    YodaTuna wrote:
    gneGne wrote:
    Nswyers wrote:
    gneGne wrote:
    The question is not how to keep these kids off games, the question is IF violent games CAUSE kids to do violent stuff!

    I've never been a supporter of the side of the fence that says, "Violent games have no affect on the behaviour of children." It's be demonstrated in study after study over the past 60 years of child psychology that violence breeds violence. Just look at some Bandura research and you'll see what I mean.

    Well I didn't really follow all the studies, but I bet there also are studies that contradict that. Atleast from personal experience I was more the agressive type at times where I used to be outside much playing soccer with friends against other unknown groups of kids.
    The only thing I can relate perhaps that I got frustrated a few times playing a game, but you just feel pissed for perhaps 3 minutes and then its over.

    Most recent studies show that there is an increase in aggression after playing a video game, but this is not because of violence, but rather competition. It causes a surge in adrenaline, which of course makes you more aggressive. But of course, any sport, or even a chess match can cause these same reactions. No one gets bent out of shape about chess, do they?

    When I was younger, I noticed I got more aggressive when I played competitive/difficult games.

    Did this have a long-lasting effect on me? No way. I still get frustrated with games, but it hasn't made me a violent person in the least.

    I hold that my parents did a good job of limiting my access to games by making me go outside etc... Not only that, but they were competent enough to teach me at an early age the difference between right and wrong, and that between real and digital.

    I think, if anything, this article is a good counterweight to the knee jerk "porn boxes" articles we've been seeing lately. The article itself is a little knee jerk too, but at least it's out there for balance.

    LavaKnight on
  • ZephosZephos Climbin in yo ski lifts, snatchin your people up. MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    something in me thinks this is actually a pretty dumb article.

    maybe its because now that i'm a bit older i don't really buy into the whole "THE RESPONSIBILITY LIES SOLEY ON YOUR PARENTS" bit.

    Zephos on
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  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Zephos wrote:
    something in me thinks this is actually a pretty dumb article.

    maybe its because now that i'm a bit older i don't really buy into the whole "THE RESPONSIBILITY LIES SOLEY ON YOUR PARENTS" bit.

    No it doesn't, but a lot of parents out there want to take no responsibility. They want a fucking Easy Button that just isn't there.

    Veevee on
  • scootchscootch Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    what blows my mind is that parents would even need to be reminded that they need to be parenting their children.

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  • ToadTheMushroomToadTheMushroom Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Well I saw Aliens at age 7, so childhood exposure to violence is pure bullshit.

    Seriously, I think the notion that a violent game can cause violent behavior is retarded. Fucking retarded.

    If the situation ever arises that someone owns GTA and breaks into a car, he hasnt broken into the car because of GTA, he owns GTA because hes already a fucking car thief.

    ToadTheMushroom on
  • ZephosZephos Climbin in yo ski lifts, snatchin your people up. MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Well I saw Aliens at age 7, so childhood exposure to violence is pure bullshit.

    Seriously, I think the notion that a violent game can cause violent behavior is retarded. Fucking retarded.

    If the situation ever arises that someone owns GTA and breaks into a car, he hasnt broken into the car because of GTA, he owns GTA because hes already a fucking car thief.
    age 2, no joke.

    but i don't agree with your statement about violent behavior. In a sick childs mind, under the right circumstances, I'm perfectly sure that a game or other violent media for that matter is capable of influencing dangerously violent behavior.

    Zephos on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Well I saw Aliens at age 7, so childhood exposure to violence is pure bullshit.

    Seriously, I think the notion that a violent game can cause violent behavior is retarded. Fucking retarded.

    If the situation ever arises that someone owns GTA and breaks into a car, he hasnt broken into the car because of GTA, he owns GTA because hes already a fucking car thief.

    That's not necessarily true, either, Toad. Owning GTA3 and being a car thief are mutually exclusive in almost every situation.

    Drez on
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  • ZephosZephos Climbin in yo ski lifts, snatchin your people up. MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    in regards to the article, really, i think where i draw issue is that its like they are saying 99% of the parents out there have violent crime committing children, when in reality its the other way around.

    there are far more children out there not committing crimes.

    Zephos on
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  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Zephos wrote:
    in regards to the article, really, i think where i draw issue is that its like they are saying 99% of the parents out there have violent crime committing children, when in reality its the other way around.

    there are far more children out there not committing crimes.
    i dont read it that way at all. the article is responding to legislators, who are themselves saying that the problem is so overwhelming they have to legislate new laws. The article is saying, if you think its such a big problem, here's some action you can take that will actually help.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    And you can't discount the acts of imitation we've seen through the years, be they GTA related, or even kids pretending they're X-Men and jumping off of roofs.

    It happens, and to say that media and these acts of imitation aren't connected is a falsehood.

    That's where parenting comes in, in my mind. If your mom or dad tells you that it's ok to play the game or watch the movie, but doing it in real life is stupid, there's a much smaller chance of you following through with the action.

    LavaKnight on
  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Imitation is a little different to my mind. I agree that violent games probably go some way towards engendering violent behaviour, but in cases of imitation it's not the game at fault. Those kids were always going to do something fucked up - they just wanted to choose something to copy, because they can't even be imaginative in crime. Youth of today!

    Æthelred on
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  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    LavaKnight wrote:
    And you can't discount the acts of imitation we've seen through the years, be they GTA related, or even kids pretending they're X-Men and jumping off of roofs.

    It happens, and to say that media and these acts of imitation aren't connected is a falsehood.

    That's where parenting comes in, in my mind. If your mom or dad tells you that it's ok to play the game or watch the movie, but doing it in real life is stupid, there's a much smaller chance of you following through with the action.
    but you also have to realize that the only way the media influences these acts is giving the kids ideas of how to do something they already want to. Kids have imagination and have been doing stupid shit forever. Media doesn't influence them to act out, it just gives them ideas how. They'd still do stupid shit without it.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yeah, that's true. I didn't mean to imply that media was the driving force, but merely, like you said, the idea for doing something stupid.

    LavaKnight on
  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Imitation is probably more of a problem when you have role-models doing something stupid/illegal/immoral. But no-one models themselves after Mario, so we're okay I think.

    Æthelred on
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  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    LavaKnight wrote:
    Yeah, that's true. I didn't mean to imply that media was the driving force, but merely, like you said, the idea for doing something stupid.
    Yeah. And sometimes a movie or cartoon or game will come around that inspires truly insane activity. And for those I say, thank god.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Imitation is probably more of a problem when you have role-models doing something stupid/illegal/immoral. But no-one models themselves after Mario, so we're okay I think.

    It's-a me! I-a gree!

    Drez on
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  • NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Books can be violent and graphic too. I propose a book rating system.

    You never know who could be the next Chapman!

    Narian on
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