Article: January 2003 Archives

Go Read a Book

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by Robert de los Reyes, Esq.

On Tuesday, the New York Times ran an Op-Ed piece from a semi-regular contributor by the name of Verlyn Klinkenborg. Reading his past pieces, you get the sense he's an older fellow (I think he lives in the upstate New York countryside). This particular column is about his adventures with the Xbox and Blinx the Time Sweeper. The starting point for Klinkenborg's adventure was simple curiosity. He hadn't played a video game since Pong, but has been reading the news – he knows that video games are now big business. So, he ups and buys an Xbox, a handful of games, and settles in.

Sometimes It's Necessary

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by James Cresswell

When Boris Karloff portrayed Frankenstein's monster in the 1931 film, Frankenstein, immortalizing the oblong-headed, neck-bolted beast from beyond the grave, an objectionable scene was removed. The monster comes across a young girl by a lake, and, surprisingly, she is not frightened of him. He approaches and plays with the girl, at one point throwing her into the lake with a wide, playful grin on his scarred visage. The girl laughs, and attempts to climb out. The monster, though, is enjoying his game, and keeps throwing her back in, until, inevitably, she drowns, leaving the pitiable creature saddened and wondering what has happened to his playmate. The scene demonstrated two things: first, that the monster was amoral, rather than evil, as it clearly showed his lack of understanding. Secondly, it showed the public what has long been considered the most objectionable of all images – violence directed towards children. It's removal from the final cut of the film resulted in a crucial absence of the monster's child-like innocence in his actions, while protecting the public from the powerful horror of the death of a small child. Clearly, though, the scene was crucial to the portrayal of that monster, and its removal transformed him from a confused creature who didn't know any better, to the vengeful beast that crept up on unsuspecting villagers. This raises the issue of whether violent video games can claim the same kind of intrinsic value in their violence.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Article category from January 2003.

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