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Coopersville

Penn & Teller Bullshit! - Video Games Episode

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Seeing as how this is a forum for discussing a once-controversial game, this episode is especially topical, and maybe some of you will take special interest in it.

PART 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS2HeQYOQsw
PART 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19cQX4gLmG8
PART 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o2ygCRpxKw

They make fun of Jack Thompson a bit, and their closing speech, along with their footage of that nine-year-old trying to operate a real gun really hit it home. I've been a fan of Penn & Teller Bullshit! since the first season, and that's probably the best closing of an episode that they've done, imo.

It also made me really want to play Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway again.

PS: What was it like firing a rifle for the first time, BBG?

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Heh, never watched that show before, but that was pretty good. Pretty much sums up everything the gaming community has been saying for the past decade or more.

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It's just a pity that the "family conscious" crackpots won't be watching that because the naughty language could cause our society to crumble or some such nonsense. Otherwise they might actually learn something.

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The problem with this sort of show is that it will only be watched by people who already agree with its conclusion. In the quest to steer public opinion towards something reasonable, ultimately it seems that there is no more efficient replacement for intellectual osmosis: the gradual, oh so gradual seeping of knowledge from reputable science to the public.

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Coopersville said:

PS: What was it like firing a rifle for the first time, BBG?

I can't answer for BBG, but the first time I fired a gun it was scary as hell. It is absolutely nothing at all like a videogame. The first time I fired a shotgun in a videogame, I killed an imp. The first time I fired a shotgun in real life, I went deaf for 30 seconds. :p

This is a really good episode of Bullshit!, so thanks for sharing. :)

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Snarboo said:

The first time I fired a shotgun in real life, I went deaf for 30 seconds. :p


Heh, I'd been messing around with a friend's 110 shotgun for an hour or so when I was, I dunno 12 or 13. These are not particularly powerful shotguns and are known as "rat guns" or sometimes "ladies shotguns". Anyway, his dad gave me his 12 bore to see what the difference was like. Different enough to knock me back, lose my balance and fall over. LOL. I quickly got the hang of it though. :)

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I happen to love this show. I have yet to see this episode. This show is a Libertarian-oriented, late night, pay-tv show. Not many people watch this, or care to, for that.

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...and now I've watched it. Some good points made in a manner that the people who need to have the points made to them will not watch.

The last few seconds said more than the rest of the show.



I didn't realise that Penn and Teller were still going. I used to watch their magic show years ago.

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Again, can't speak for BBG, but the first time I fired a rifle, I was pretty nervous... it wasn't scary per se, but the idea of any number of things going wrong at the range. I was 12 years old at the time, and it was at a Boy Scout camp; for the next four years I remained in Boy Scouts, I returned to that range every summer I was there, it really is a lot of fun after you get over the initial jitters. my accuracy wasn't the best, of course, but I managed to make hits within a 4-inch diameter, which isn't bad at all. Well, now I'm 21, and with the state of affairs in my country, I'm giving serious thought about owning a handgun and taking training for it (which would only be about a couple hours... guns are pretty easy to use).

Anyhow, real life guns are nothing like virtual guns in video games. Even the "realistic" shooters are a very far cry from the real life experience of firing a gun :P

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I remember when I was in Boy Scout camp and it came time to go to the firing range. I sat that one out because at the time the thought of firing a gun gave me the jitters. I've fired pellet guns, BB guns, paintball guns, and have loosed many arrows in my day, but I've never actually fired an explosive gun before.

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I've never even held a real gun in my life.

My housemate, on the other hand has just come off a year in the army reserves (Australia's equivalent of the National Guard, if I understand rightly.) And so I asked him recently what it was like to fire a 'real' weapon.

And he said a similar thing as most people here. That firing an assault rifle is absolutely nothing like playing a FPS, in terms of recoil, flash, handling etc etc. (He used to be a tournament Counterstrike player, and he has played a lot of FPS.)

He actually said to me that the biggest surprise to him was the sound that the weapon makes. He said it is much shorter and sharper that you would expect, a really hard 'crack' rather than a drawn out explosive sound like he expected from all the movies and video games. And a lot louder too.

just off topic a little, he also said that he was kinda disappointed by how 'soft' the army reserves were. His words: "You have to be a total F***tard to get thrown out of the reserves. About the only way you could get thrown out was if you were stupid and unthinking enough to actually point your weapon at someone.

'Course he did grow up in Soviet Russia, so his standards of 'soft' are probably a little different from the average.

For anyone interested, the two weapons he trained on were the Steyr AUG and the FN Minimi

And on topic, I have watched a lot of Penn and Teller. And I agree with their conclusions more often than I disagree. But at the end of the day, their opinion is just that: an opinion. Like this one. They are very entertaining tho.

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I fired a six-shooter a long time ago when I was really young. I can't say it was particularly memorable. As a matter of fact, I don't know if I felt anything at all. I did fuck up that soda can, though.

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Kyka said:

just off topic a little, he also said that he was kinda disappointed by how 'soft' the army reserves were. His words: "You have to be a total F***tard to get thrown out of the reserves. About the only way you could get thrown out was if you were stupid and unthinking enough to actually point your weapon at someone.

I have a friend who was in the Navy...Gulf War vet back in '91 or whatever. He was railing about how these days in the military they have all these regulations enforced on them so that they don't cause psychological damage to the recruits (um, hey...how are they supposed to train them then?). One of them being that they give recruits these cards that if they're feeling threatened or whatever they can hold them up and the drill sergeant has to back off. Well, he told me of a story he heard where one guy out of training was out there on a ship in the Gulf (the current war) and they went on alert or something and their CO started drilling them. Well, this guy had one of those cards for some reason and pulled it on his CO...let's just say he didn't have a very good day after that.

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Aside from firing hunting shotguns and some more firearms from somewhat questionable sources, I had formal training in the G3A3/A4 assault rifle and the good old Model 1911 .45 ACP handgun, as a reserve officer.

True, firing any real weapon is nothing like in FPS. The hunting over-under shotguns have a decent but manageable recoil, unless you weigh less than 60 kg or something. The G3 assault rifles actually have more or less the same recoil as a semiauto shotgun, in semi-auto mode, and much less than a normal (non-repetitive, non-semiauto shotgun). In a prone position with the weapon locked onto your shoulder, you sometimes can only tell that the weapon actually fired by the bolt movement, as the firing sound is really so muffled that you think you're shooting blanks, and the recoil is nearly non-existent!

The noise is also louder but shorter and "drier" than what you hear in movies, unless you happen to fire against an echoing canyon, of course. With assault rifles, on distant targets, you hear first the short "crack" of the muzzle and then a loud hissing sound of the air displaced by the speeding bullet along the way.

With handguns, in practice you'll need two hands for consistent accurate shooting with anything but 10m marksmanship air pistols.

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Maes said:

With handguns, in practice you'll need two hands for consistent accurate shooting with anything but 10m marksmanship air pistols.

That's not true. I know for a fact that the only way to hold a pistol is in one hand, down to the bottom right of my field of vision and angled towards the centre of my FOV (where, BTW, I have a strange green cross on my retina). ;)

Yeah, the sound of real weapons, particularly rifles, is... I want to say disappointing compared to games and movies but I actually find them quite satisfying. They are most definitely not what you hear in games and movies though.

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Enjay said:

The last few seconds said more than the rest of the show.

Pretty much my sentiment. Saw it coming, though. As soon as he fired off one shot he didn't want to touch it any more.

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Even after a relatively jokey show, I was impressed with the message at the end of the program.

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Ah the old argument arises again. I've always rather liked Penn, and Teller for what he's worth. But it's preaching to the choir. The first videogame I played with real violence was Curse of the Catacombs or The 7th Guest in 93, followed shortly by Doom. So I was around 8 years old. I've been playing violent games, including first person shooters *OMG* and even GTA OMFG! ever since. Been shooting since I was 13, bought my first rifle shortly after I turned 18. Still haven't gone on a shooting spree, or wanted to. I think there have always been people who wanted to kill other people for no real reason, and they will always exist.
I don't think violent videogames necessarily have anything to do with it. If I would blame anything I would say it's a combination of our increasingly narcissistic culture which is combined with the increase in the teaching that we are all special and wonderful and none of us can fail that may contribute to it more than anything. When you're taught in school that you can do anything that you want, and you are just as special as everyone else it seems to breed a sense of entitlement. If something doesn't go your way, or people don't treat you as an amazing person it creates a sense of resentment.
And once again, there are just some people who will ultimately short circuit, and that's going to happen no matter how great the parents are, or how many drugs they pump into the kid. Ultimately it's up to the parents to pay attention to their kids, listen to them when they need to talk and take an interest in their life.
And lock up your damn guns if you have kids. If you want to have a handgun for protection at night, keep it on you, don't leave it loaded in the closet 24-7. And maybe check in your garage to see if your kid has been making pipebombs. But personal responsibility is for suckers at this point, much easier to blame videogames and the media for lack of communication within families. Hell, people used to go watch Christians killed by lions, Gladiators kill each other, and public witch burnings, and hangings for entertainment. I'd say we're slightly more civilized at this point.

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Jello said...
Ultimately it's up to the parents to pay attention to their kids, listen to them when they need to talk and take an interest in their life.

Unfortunately this is where the problem lies. I have noticed over the years that there are more and more kids with divorced and neglecting parents. I think this may be contributing to some of the problems.

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Read an article recently about some new upcoming ban on violent games in Germany. It included screenshots from Crysis, SoF and some WW2 shooter. It is now July 2009.

I have in front of me a gaming mag from December 1994. It has an article about violent video games. It includes 6 screenshots from Doom 2 and 2 screenshots from ROTT. Mortal Kombat and Quarantine are also mentioned in the text.

Now since the old article is from a gaming mag it focuses on debunking retarded statements from preachers of censorship (mentioning plans for such censorship in Australia). The thing is, those arguments are the same as the ones used 15 years later in the other article.

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Jello said:

The 7th Guest


Hey, I've got that sitting around here somewhere and never finished it!

*loads that shit up*

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Maes said:
With handguns, in practice you'll need two hands for consistent accurate shooting with anything but 10m marksmanship air pistols.


Argh....there's air pistol marksmanship contests? I could never stoop so low as to use an air pistol for anything at all, ever. If big muzzle flares and loud noises aren't for you, take up .22 shooting so you can keep some amount of dignity.

Speaking of which, I don't know what this talk of firearm sounds not living up to their expectation =P I don't remember the gun sounds in doom being loud enough to send a shockwave through my guts. In fact, I don't know a single game where the gun sounds have been accurately loud enough! As for prone-shooting, I avoid it when I'm out - a bench rest shot is easier, and is as effective as firing from the prone position. Not to mention lying face down in the mountains in BC is tantamount to drowning yourself in snow =P

To comment on the video, I thought it was pretty amusing, save for the crying kid at the end - that wasn't cool at all. When they mentioned Jack Thompson, I was sorta surprised that they didn't attack him for sending gay porn in a court filing a while back - maybe they thought it was too easy =P

Oh well, as to the point of the video, I'm not sure we can absolutely say that video games cannot be linked to real life violence. That's not to say I think we should ban violent video games - I'm just saying that I believe that there are children that are motivated by what they see in video games, particularly the GTA series. Obviously that's the kid's problem, not the game, but still. Just take a look at all the middle class white kids trying to be 'gangsta' these days, smoking pot and stealing cars. Anyway, good video, though Penn needs to stop cussing for the sake of cussing.

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Danarchy said:

I have a friend who was in the Navy...Gulf War vet back in '91 or whatever. He was railing about how these days in the military they have all these regulations enforced on them so that they don't cause psychological damage to the recruits (um, hey...how are they supposed to train them then?). One of them being that they give recruits these cards that if they're feeling threatened or whatever they can hold them up and the drill sergeant has to back off. Well, he told me of a story he heard where one guy out of training was out there on a ship in the Gulf (the current war) and they went on alert or something and their CO started drilling them. Well, this guy had one of those cards for some reason and pulled it on his CO...let's just say he didn't have a very good day after that.


Now this IS bullshit, read moar snopes.com

From what i've seen (admittely not a great deal, mind) training in the British army at least is actually a lot more tougher now that it used to be. Back in the days of the empire the enemies they fought were generally not trained at all ("they only had spears" is largely PC revisionism though) so they were not too worried about training soldiers to always move from cover to cover and stuff like that. These days it's more a question of numbers too, as ruthless as it sounds army recruitment is way down, so they have to keep the ones they get alive for longer. This has resulted in some areas of training previously only given to special forces now being given to all soldiers.

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Well, I was just repeating a story I heard, but still...

1). You're talking about the British military, I'm talking about the American one. Things could be different.

2). You're also talking about warfare a century ago vs. modern warfare. I'm talking about warfare 2 decades ago vs. current techniques. Sure, there used to be the philosophy that soldiers were expendable pawns which has changed to the idea that soldiers can be made into individual killing machines. That view pretty much changed after WWI, though. Just because there has been a large increase in soldier training between 1900 and today doesn't mean there can't be a slight slip.

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Visplane Overflow said:

Argh....there's air pistol marksmanship contests? I could never stoop so low as to use an air pistol for anything at all, ever.


Yeah :-(

In general, air guns (or rifles) can be fun, cheap to operate and easier to legally own (as in my country). Some of the best ones can come near the power of a .22 Short cartridge, and be quite accurate. You can even hunt small game or practice vermin control with them, without alarming a whole city block ;-)

The 10 metre air pistol contests however are about as unexciting a gun related activity can get. Hell, even airsoft is more exciting. If any you expected the slightest badassedness factor to be present since there are guns involved, you'll be scaldingly disappointed: even the shooters look totally nerdy, and the guns look totally gay.

Damn, this got me so depressed I gotta shoot me some vermin.

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Hey i fancy an airgun too, only because there's not a zillion hoops to jump through to own one. Don't think i've ever heard of a good air pistol that's not massively expensive, mind. Also for some reason the pistols in the UK are considerably reduced in power compared to rifles, though god knows why as a pistol is inherently less accurate than a rifle anyway, having a pellet that drops out of the end pathetically must make it impossible to hit anything you aren't standing next to.

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Air rifles can be powered by cheap and powerful piston-spring combos, or precompressed air reservoirs, as well as CO2 cartridges. Also, they generally have longer barrels to accelerate pellets for a longer time, and impart them a steadier rotation which increases flight stability. Air pistols typically use precompressed air or CO2 carts, with nowhere near the power of an air rifle, due to smaller sizes/energies.

In general, handguns are always less powerful and less accurate than rifles, especially at cartridge/ammunition parity (a .45 Long Colt cartridge was much more powerful and accurate when shot from a Winchester lever-action rifle than from a Colt Peacemaker revolver.

This also holds true for airguns, with no exceptions (unless you're comparing a really worn out spring-piston rifle with a precompressed air 5.5 mm revolver).

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