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CSI Takes On Grand Theft Auto 595

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the let-the-indoctrination-begin dept.
Tycoon Guy was one of many to write "Looks like another 20 million viewers will be fed the 'video games promote violence' story tonight. Today's CSI: Miami episode will feature a group of kids who are inspired to go on a city-wide crime spree by a game that looks suspiciously like Grand Theft Auto. From the description: 'Delko witnesses a bank robbery and the CSIs soon discover that the culprits are playing out the action from the videogame 'Urban Hellraisers' on the streets of Miami. As they score points for each crime committed, the CSIs must discover what consists of getting to the next level in the game in order to stop the culprits before they strike again.'"
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CSI Takes On Grand Theft Auto

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  • Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XorNand (517466) * on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:03PM (#14083206)
    I don't think that the debate isn't so much about whether video games inspire people to go on crime sprees (which is only the aspect that the CSI episode seems to address). Most of us agree that they can. Just like a violent movie, booze, extremely stressful situtation, etc. can push a person already with a few screws loose over the edge. The question is: Do video games make killers? And if so (and that's a big if) where does the line between social conditioning and personal responsiblity lay?

    Anyhow, I wouldn't be in such a hurry to throw up your arms over this show. Knowing CSI, I doubt that they're going to devote much airtime into exploring the social and moral issues surrounding the debate. The focus of the show isn't the same as Law & Order, which is a bit more far reaching.
    • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoodleSlayer (603762) <[ryan] [at] [severeboredom.com]> on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:07PM (#14083255) Homepage
      I think most of us will agree that video games are no more likely to inspire kids to go on a killing spree any more then violent TV Shows and Movies or an episode of "Barney & Friends."

      However unlike the aforementioned Video Games have been noted in studies for reducing the subject's likelihood of displaying violent behavior, because the game serves as a release mechanism.

      All this is is scapegoatism led by asshats like Jack Thompson.
      • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yppupcinataS.> on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:14PM (#14083336) Journal
        I don't know about you, but "Barney and Friends" is MUCH more likely to send me on a killing spreee than your average violent video game.
      • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by p0rnking (255997) on Monday November 21, 2005 @03:14PM (#14083890) Homepage
        If TV (and other media) doesn't inspire some people to commit crime, then explain this http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,975 769,00.html [guardian.co.uk].

        "Four years ago, Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan's first crime wave - murder, fraud, drug offences."
        • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ThosLives (686517)
          The culture already had to change to accept television, so I would say that television is orthogonal to the crime, not the cause. There might be crime that shows up because of TV (you can't steal TV's without TV, for instance), but that's not helpful for this discussion.

          After all, was crime nonexistant before faster-than-foot communications?

        • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet.hotmail@com> on Monday November 21, 2005 @03:51PM (#14084231) Journal
          If TV (and other media) doesn't inspire some people to commit crime, then explain this...

          Well, if we grant the assumption for the moment that it was exposure to television that caused the crime wave, would you care to comment on what aspect of television was responsible? Was it cable news that caused a crime wave? Was it exposure to Barney? Was it the introduction of televangelists? Was it violent entertainment? Was it horror movies? Was it McDonald's commercials?

          Or did it have nothing to do with the television itself? Was it the influx of foreign cable company employees?

          Was it the major cultural shift that drove Bhutan to permit television in the first place? Was televion the only new thing to happen in Bhutan?

          Also, how can we reconcile the article's statement "...a culture, barely changed in centuries..." with "there were no public hospitals or schools until the 1950s, and no paper currency, roads or electricity until several years after that. Bhutan had no diplomatic relations with any other country until 1961, and the first invited western visitors came only in 1974"?

          • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by yali (209015) on Monday November 21, 2005 @04:49PM (#14084789)

            Fortunately, there is more evidence than Bhutan. Like this nice review [psychologicalscience.org] of hundreds of controlled experiments and long-term outcome studies.

            As a sidenote (not direct response to parent poster), I find it kind of amusing that people (a) gripe about there not being any controlled experiments, when in fact there are plenty, and then (b) ask for the ultimate uncontrolled nonexperimental test by saying "well why don't we see hundreds of GTA killers in the streets?" when they're presented with the controlled studies that they insisted, in the first place, were the only acceptible evidence.

            Oh, and just because research supports a causal relationship between consuming violent media and behaving aggressively, that does not mean that ergo we must limit access to violent media, especially with adults. After all, we don't limit most forms of speech (short of direct incitement). It's just that you need to frame your defense in terms of the First Amendment, not by ignoring available evidence.

        • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rpdillon (715137) * on Monday November 21, 2005 @04:06PM (#14084373) Homepage
          Well, you touch on the heart of the debate and treat as though the resolution were a fait accompli. Here is another section of the article:

          Every week, the letters page carries columns of worried correspondence: "Dear Editor, TV is very bad for our country... it controls our minds... and makes [us] crazy. The enemy is right here with us in our own living room. People behave like the actors, and are now anxious, greedy and discontent."

          This is in direct contradiction of one of my beliefs, and even some beliefs that are taught to even the youngest members of our society: personal responsiblity. The TV didn't make these people do anything, they did it of their own volition. The lesson we teach our children is to think on their own: "If little Johnny jumped off the bridge, would you jump off too?" We reinforce this mantra time after time in various ways: your decisions are your own; don't blindly follow what you see others doing.

          And yet, I find we continually want to blame some outside source for the stupid things we do. This is simply a new form of the fundamental attribution error, except it is on a much larger scale.

          What this really all leads to is two camps. There are those who believe that we can prevent crime by isolating people from the evils of the world (as seen in this article; I like to call it the "Garden of Eden syndrome"). Once the idea has been put in someone's mind, it then requires an internal filtering process to occur: is the behavior I saw others engage in in appropriate for me? But if the idea never reaches you, then you don't have to filter anything yourself....you can simply rely on someone "greater" to decide what you should see.

          I don't hold to that. I believe this comes down to freedom and choice. I should be free to see and read all kinds of ideas. With that freedom comes the responsibility to filter appropriately and determine how to act. If others wish to blame their poor behavior on those around them, the TV shows they watched or the games they played, they are free to do that. But, in the end, their behavior was the result of their choices, and it is better to stand up and take responsibility for your own actions than to push that responsiblity off on someone who doesn't even know you exist (the maker of the game, the creator of the TV show, etc.)

          That is my philsophical take on your post. From a logical perspective, you (and the article) are making the fundamental logical mistake of post hoc ergo propter hoc: just because the crime occurred after TV was made available does not mean the crime was caused by the TV's appearance. I think the post above mine treats this topic better than I can, though I thought I would point it out as an aside to my main point.

      • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209) on Monday November 21, 2005 @03:29PM (#14084029)
        I think most of us will agree that video games are no more likely to inspire kids to go on a killing spree any more then violent TV Shows and Movies or an episode of "Barney & Friends."
        So what's the problem? If people aren't inspired by fiction (as you state), then anything CSI says about videogames will be taken as fiction by its viewers and have no influence on public policy. Right?

        Now, you could argue some viewers won't distinguish CSI from reality, but then you'd have to admit the possibility of the same for GTA.

        • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by KarmaMB84 (743001) on Monday November 21, 2005 @04:36PM (#14084669)
          My god, no. The problem is that people are so used to seeing things that they think CSI investigators (supposedly) really do In Real Life(tm). CSI bombards people with science "facts" all the way through the show. People will see them investigating videogame induced crime sprees and murders and they'll assume that such a thing must be backed up with fact just like other things on the show. When CSI causes juries to stop accepting evidence that isn't a forensic smoking gun, it's hard to tell what it can do to the typical couch potato voter who will gladly vote for the next guy that wants to ban video games cause CSI says they cause crime.
        • apples and oranges (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ender Ryan (79406)
          Violent video games are in no way analogous to shows like CSI. CSI is presented as a being an accurate portrayal of forensic science. Games like GTA are not presented as being accurate portrayals of gang life(or whatever).

          More importantly, the types of influence in the case of violent video games and inaccurate television programming are completely different. It is easy to misinform a person. To do so, you simply lie. Given a lack of evidence to the contrary, many all too trusting people will believe

    • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:11PM (#14083300) Journal
      Knowing CSI, I doubt that they're going to devote much airtime into exploring the social and moral issues surrounding the debate.

      There lies the problem, IMO. The average viewer only sees "games = killing spree", they don't get any exposure to the rest of the argument, and the rest of the media reinforces this.

      I guess it's not really a big thing, but it still does seem to outline the mass-media view on the issue, that is likely to be taken in by many people.
      • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jmp_nyc (895404) * on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:50PM (#14083685)
        It's good that we've got so many morally upright people in this country to make sure that people understand that modern secularized entertainment is solely responsible for the proliferation of violence in our society. After all, there would be no violence or crime if people only read the Bible like God intended.

        Of course, most of these people haven't read the Bible sufficiently closely to notice that it's chock full of sex and violence, much of it downright gratuitous.
        -JMP
      • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Krach42 (227798)
        Well, the same thing is happening with second hand smoke, and happened with recycling.

        Now, everyone is convinced that recycling is the best thing we can do (even though many recycling methods waste more energy than they save. Recycling rarely saves energy, it saves simply landfill space. Though metals are easily recyclable, which is why they PAY you for it... when they start paying you to collect paper, plastics and glass, I'll jump on the recycling bandwagon...)

        And worse, everyone is starting to blindly
    • by dsginter (104154) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:12PM (#14083312)
      Knowing CSI, I doubt that they're going to devote much airtime into exploring the social and moral issues surrounding the debate.

      Knowing CSI, I think that they'll devote more time exploring the intricacies involved in the "reverse algorithmic" required to make that 320x200 security camera zoom in 3000x with perfect clarity.

      If nothing else, CSI is good for scaring criminals into thinking that this kind of technology actually exists.
      • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        I'm not sure about practically, but theoretically it is possible to refine the data from a security camera significantly. You have two main advantages:
        1. You have multiple frames to work with. You can do inter-frame interpolation to pull more information out of stills. Ever wondered why a lower resolution is acceptable for moving pictures than stills? It's because your brain does this.
        2. You know what people, cars, etc look like. If you have n images that could have been degraded to look like a pixelated
        • What would be really cool is if the crew of one of these shows was smart/interested enough to actually produce "enhanced" camera shots as they would look coming out of one of these experimental image reconstruction algorithms. You know, crazy mis-prediction artifacts, blocking, pseudocolor, hokey text overlays. Heck, go nuts and have the reconstructed license plate have a character that could be an 8 (40%) or a B (60%).

          Doing this would cost the producers almost nothing, greatly increase the versimilitude

        • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:3, Informative)

          by macthulhu (603399)
          I work in video production, and I've actually assisted the cops in trying to get usable information off of security tapes. Even DV at 720x486 is pretty worthless when you blow it up. If the information isn't there, the information isn't there. I like CSI and its ilk, but that always drives me crazy... The same way Hackers drives all of you CS guys crazy. There's some "enhancement" that you can do, but you are limited by the number of pixels in the original.
      • Dialogue (Score:5, Funny)

        by paranode (671698) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:37PM (#14083557)
        "Hey what's that in his hand? Can you enhance that so we can read the writing on that note?"

        "Absolutely! I'll use my 3D modeling software to virtually reconstruct the note based on the camera footage and flip it over."

        "I think it's in an envelope, though."

        "No problem, I'll just turn on the thermal imaging X-ray subroutine that comes with the camera footage. It will detect the ink and construct an image for us."

        "Okay but can you hurry up a bit, we have about 60 seconds until some plot event happens that will render the suspect uncatchable."

        • You left out the stupid use of the word "digital" [photo.net]:

          Sure enough, the feckless dramaturge later shows us a technician clattering away at the keyboard of a laptop, by which time we are able to see that the shadowy figures in the distant window, though still barely resolved, may be up to no good. "That's about as good as I can get it... in analog," says the technician.

          "What about...digital?" Asks the redheaded crime-fighter, portentously.

      • by Space cowboy (13680) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:42PM (#14083606) Journal
        The problem with CSI is that it's not just the bad guys that believe it...

        Consider a jury: 12 people too stupid(*) to get out of jury selection wonder why the scientific evidence is so bad. They compare it with what "scientists" say on CSI with all the flashy graphics that seem so convincing, and conclude that the real evidence is not compelling. Reasonable doubt surfaces and joe bad-guy walks.

        One of my father's friends is a reasonably-high-ranking policeman back in the UK, and there is a genuine concern that people's expectations of phorensic evidence is being pushed too high by programs like this.

        Here's a use for 'mythbusters' - get them to take a CSI show's flashy effects, and then compare to the real world... Some points:

        • When you're searching for fingerprints (a computationally-intensive task) you don't put every image up on the screen - you don't even store imagery, you store an encoding of the fingerprint and compare encodings (numbers). In reality it's done by humans, not computers.
        • You can't zoom-in infinitely, or even much. Why people think crappy security cameras are "better" than their personal digital zooming cameras is beyond me. You can't "clear up" an image when it's zoomed-in, you already have all the data. The best you can do is some thresholding/sharpening/convolution operations...
        • Results take days or weeks but definitely not minutes.
        • There are not unlimited manpower resources to throw at every problem.
        • Cameras cannot see around corners without the aid of a mirror.
        • The reflection off someone's eyeball is not sufficient information to read a car numberplate.
        • There is usually more than one place in a city where a given tree type grows.
        • The city databases are not (a) completely correct, and (b) anywhere near as pervasive as portrayed.
        • ... ad nauseum.


        CSI is a fantasy - an enjoyable fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless. Just once it would be nice if their technological approach failed (the database was wrong, the drivers licence pointed them in the wrong direction, etc.) but no, they're perfect. It would be nice if fingerprints were shown to be not 100% accurate [cbsnews.com] as well (it might trigger some debate!)

        Simon

        (*) I don't really think jurors are all stupid, some of them are true servants of the state, but some of them... sheesh.
        • by garcia (6573) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:52PM (#14083707) Homepage
          Consider a jury: 12 people too stupid(*) to get out of jury selection wonder why the scientific evidence is so bad.

          While this is off-topic, I'm surprised you were modded up with that flame of a comment. I'm no fan of jury duty, along with everyone else, but it is that duty that gives some people a fair trial. In a time of lessening freedom I'm surprised that anyone would talk like that!

          If you're talking about the hardships [lazylightning.org] that certain counties place on their jurors, then we're discussing something else entirely.
          • Several months ago, a Canadian radio program brought in some "experts" from law enforcement and the legal profession. The problem as they describe is not that the evidence is faulty, it's that the expectations of evidence is elevated, and what is considered "reasonable" in "reasonable doubt" is blown out of proportion.

            Jurors begin playing lawyer, asking for evidence and trails of evidence to ensure that there was no logical possibilty that the evidence was tainted. They'll also ask for DNA evidence, fin

        • by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:54PM (#14083722) Homepage
          I'm a bit confused, if video games don't influence kids why should we be worried about a TV show influencing adults?
          • Clever, mostly correct, I think the difference is percieved authority - People tend to take situations in "real life" crime drama as theoretically plausable, while video game players are more acutely aware they are playing a game.
        • I wish that I still had the reference, but I recall reading an article describing how chemistry classes are seeing an influx of students who all want to be like the cool cats they see on CSI, and have no real appreciation of the work that's actually done by real forensic pathologists. Once they find out what's really entailed, the immediately seek to drop the class.
        • by Infonaut (96956)
          which you raise is this:

          Just once it would be nice if their technological approach failed (the database was wrong, the drivers licence pointed them in the wrong direction, etc.) but no, they're perfect.

          The American worldview at present is a curious mixture of faith in higher powers and faith in technology. Americans tend to believe that our sophisticated technology will always prevail. We like bright, easily-discerned lines and are very uncomfortable with nuanced ethical decisions. It's obvious in our

    • Re:Eh... so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Deathlizard (115856)
      The question is: Do video games make killers? And if so (and that's a big if) where does the line between social conditioning and personal responsibility lay?

      I remember back in the 80's the movie industry had to basically kill off the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie series because people were screaming "Freddie makes killers because he makes killing people too much fun!". I've yet to see anyone even remotely emulate Freddy in any way, or Jason, Mike Myers, ETC for that matter.

      If it's true that people are em
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <{elmuerte} {at} {drunksnipers.com}> on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:03PM (#14083216) Homepage
    Will it include a Jack Thompson kind of lawer?
  • In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:04PM (#14083221) Homepage Journal
    C-SPAN2 today will air an episode of Head of the Class 2005 where the students form a representative government that really is more interested in padding their pockets than in protecting their constituents.

    We have to accept that the media has nothing to report on. They HAVE to report on games that may entice teenagers to murder, and the fiction media has to make it fact.

    It isn't like Sharon quit the Likud or gold hit a 18 year high or GM is cutting 30,000 union jobs that it should have cut 20 years ago or even that Intel and Micron are colluding on flash memory. I know there's no real news out there for fiction-media to mimic.

    The lady watches a lot of Law & Order (SVU primarily) and whenever I'm on the couch watching the show, all I can think of is "criminals are stupid" and "these cops are walkin all over people's rights." Then I realize it isn't reality -- but I do believe that a majority of viewers THINK this is real life. It isn't anywhere near what happens in the situations presented.

    Wasn't it the Miami ADA who complains about how they have problems with getting guilty verdicts because juries expect DNA and other CSI-style evidence? Is this CSI pandering to the local legal authorities in pushing what may be a big issue for them?

    I, for one, welcome our new "this is reality and you better accept it" overlords. The positive thing about shows like this is that it only helps in destroying the media regimes that exist today.

    BTW, the advertisement to the right of this article is a GTA:LS for the PSP ad. Funny.
    • Umm.. Minor point I know. The issue with Micron wasn't with Flash memory. It was with SDRAM. I know this because when Micron layed off 10% of its work force in 2003 the entire flash group got axed. Flas wasn't making money at all.. Of course, the company that bought all Micron's flash assets made tons of cash and now flash is a total cash cow..

      Good old Micron.. The thing they are best at is making bad decisions =) (Lehi.. Flash.. SRAM.. QDR.. etc) I watched Micron just sit on some of the best products it h
  • if GTA only imitates "reality" in their violence, and there HAVE been cases of copycat murders imitating GTA, is there any problem with a TV show imitating the reality of GTA-inspired copycat murders?

    Because gamers censoring CSI is in no way different from lawyers censoring GTA.
    • "Because gamers censoring CSI is in no way different from lawyers censoring GTA."

      Thats actually a really good point.

      But we all know not to take television seriously, I mean, a writer would claim that you could hack 1024-bit encrypted RSA in 10 seconds to make sure the plot kept going.

      The news makes it sound like "hackers" are at fault for all the ills of the computing world, when really most are just script kiddies exploiting cheap flaws in badly written software.

      I've also heard that medical doctors and law
    • And, if a crime is committed in the real world solely to reproduce/parody/satirize actions seen in a popular movie or game, shouldn't those actions be protected as free speech? Why should it matter whether the action actually occured in a physical or electronic form if the said action itself is illegal in itself?
    • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:15PM (#14083348) Journal
      Umm, if you think there is no diffrence between gamers bitching about CSI and Lawyers seuing and getting legislation made against GTA, you myfriend have a very distorted view of the world.

  • by illtron (722358) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:04PM (#14083224) Homepage Journal
    Every time I read something like this, it makes me want to carjack someone's Infernus, back up over them with it, then go on a huge hooker shooting spree.
  • by IAmTheDave (746256) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {ds-evademanesab}> on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:04PM (#14083225) Homepage Journal
    Shows often hop on a hot-topic issue to prompt more viewership. This move is relatively unsurprising. What will be interesting to see is if the game is actually blamed, or the show exhonorates (sp?) the game, dismissing what the kids emulate and acknowledging that personal responsibility is capable of dettering anyone from a mass murder spree, GTA be damned.

    (Sorry for the poor spelling.)
  • Hollywood Vendetta (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:05PM (#14083228) Homepage Journal
    Hollywood has decided that games are a threat to their business, not just the next wholly owned subsidiary. They see that they can't control the game medium with their distribution monopolies and promotional control, so they're attacking it. They thought they could make a fortune off game music, but failed to change their bizmodel to pull that off. So now they see gamers and "pirates" as their enemy. Which consensus will now appear in Hollywood products generally. How long before the Internet itself becomes the target, beyond just P2P filesharing?
    • by grungebox (578982)
      This seriously is one of the most inane comments I've read on Slashdot in a long time, and the only reason it's modded so high is that vitriol speaks louder than rationality. I mean, your contention is that Hollywood wants to destroy the game industry because it is a "threat to their business"? Is that why the number of movie tie-in licenses is on the rise in the game industry (a recent Wired article talked about this)? Is that why Warner Bros has started forcing game publishers to meet certain quality stan
  • Art is imitating life again?

    Seriously though, the people who believe games induce violence will not be changed and those who believe it doesn't won't be changed either. The few souls who don't have an opinion might be changed but I don't think there are very many of them left.

    --

    On another note, I never watch this show, but now I will just to see what it shows...
  • And now... (Score:5, Funny)

    by daranz (914716) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:05PM (#14083232)
    Somebody needs to go start killing people, and say that he was inspired by gruesome scenes in CSI. Right back at them.
  • by ArsSineArtificio (150115) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:05PM (#14083234) Homepage
    As they score points for each crime committed, the CSIs must discover what consists of getting to the next level in the game in order to stop the culprits before they strike again.'"

    Couldn't the CSIs just check the walkthrough?

    • Couldn't the CSIs just check the walkthrough?

      Actually I get the feeling they'll do EXACTLY THAT. And I bet it'll be the long hair-computer-nerd who'll say something like:

      "Guess what!" (smiles blatantly) "Here is a detailed walkthru of the game, telling us how these kids are gonna rob the next banks."

      "So, am I a genius or what?"
  • This isn't a problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@tpno-c[ ]rg ['o.o' in gap]> on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:06PM (#14083245) Homepage
    As long as they portray it as bad parenting and idiotic kids acting out bits from a video game. Or a book. Or a movie.

    It's not that video games don't inspire mentally unstable people to do stupid things. That's a given. Mentally unstable people could find inspirations for their actions from a box of rice crispies.

    It's how you portray it.
    • by garcia (6573) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:36PM (#14083537) Homepage
      As long as they portray it as bad parenting and idiotic kids acting out bits from a video game. Or a book. Or a movie. It's how you portray it.

      Well sadly, TV episodes based on activities that happen elsewhere in *reality*, aren't always true to the way it really happens and even go so far as to completely misrepresent the way things are. Take for instance the recent episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent (5/8/05) that included a bit on geocaching [geocaching.com] that misrepresented it as cache containers being buried and requiring a shovel to retrieve.

      geocaching.com (the largest of the cache listing services) had to post something about it on the main page because of all the parks districts that might become offended if they believed that cachers were out in the woods with shovels:

      Geocaching was featured on Law & Order: Criminal Intent this evening, May 8. Contrary to the creative license taken by the show's writers, we strictly do not list caches that are buried.

      The TV shows will take whatever liberties they can to make it sell well, regardless of the possibile outcomes for those that actually partake in the *real world* activities.
  • by jenkin sear (28765) * on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:06PM (#14083248) Homepage Journal
    That sounds like a great episode.

    In fact, I'm going to create a video game where you are a forensic pathologist, and you have to travel around a city trying to track down a gang of teenagers who are acting out scenes inspired by the latest episode of CSI... you must figure out what the crazy wrapup / plot twist will be in order to stop them. I bet the video game would be a hell of a lot more interesting than their show- and probably about equally gory.

  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by vjmurphy (190266) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:07PM (#14083257) Homepage
    A popular television series is using a plotline based upon bad information to enhance its ratings during sweeps month? Tell me it isn't true. Next thing you know, they won't be throwing their main characters into bikinis and making them kiss!
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:07PM (#14083258)

    As they score points for each crime committed, the CSIs must discover what consists of getting to the next level in the game in order to stop the culprits before they strike again.

    Simple...just put a big sign over a warehouse that says 'Pay-n-Spray', fill the warehouse with cops, and wait. ^_^

    Seriously, though, I will be watching this episode tonight, even though I usually avoid CSI: Miami like the plague (I would rather perform an appendectomy on myself with a rusty grapefruit spoon than sit through David Caruso gibbering and capering onscreen for an hour). After all, we have to be familiar withh the propaganda if we're going to fight it effectively, no?
  • by technopinion (469686) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:07PM (#14083259)
    Anyone stupid enough to need a videogame to tell them how to commit crimes is stupid enough to get caught pretty quickly.
  • As long as I have my Unity [www.otee.dk] engine and a computer in front of me, I'll make the game I want to make and will be uncensored. The rest of the world can shove off. Don't be scared, folks, the Indies will make it all right.
  • CSI:Miami, a TV-show with violent content, is going to go up against violent content in the video game industry? What do you kow? The vultures are beginning to eat each other! Of course violent games and TV don't make people into killers! Now excuse me as I go strap on my StormTrooper armor, grab my handy blaster, and lay waste to some people at the supermarket...

    • CSI:Miami, a TV-show with violent content, is going to go up against violent content in the video game industry?

      Um, not - they just want viewers. In the grand scheme of "follow the buck", they aren't trying to make the world a better place or to make some profound social commentary: They're just doing whatever gets the viewers so they can please their advertisers. You know - Just like GTA is just trying to sell games, and they aren't actually trying to get you to kill cops and hookers.
  • by Anonymous Meoward (665631) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:08PM (#14083275)
    Will the episode be sponsored by a producer of hot coffee?
  • by SengirV (203400) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:10PM (#14083296)
    I've never seen so many white gang members in my life as there are in the CSI universe. Are tehy afraid of offending anyone? EVER?
  • ...they've been watching too much CSI.
  • ... is Monday Night Football.

    Don't these overlap on differeing networks? And if so, is anyone really worried that those who might actually read to far into a crime drama wouldn't be watching something more banal anyways?
    • Also, Tonight's Monday Night Football, which runs on ABC, is a huge rivalry game between the Vikings and the Packers. No one will be watching CSI (on CBS) anyhow, at least not in the Midwest.
  • Hours spent watching TV has been decreasing for the last decade, owing to alternative time-wasters in the form of the internet and video games. It makes sense that TV would get out their big ole tar brush and paint up their new competition.
  • by ewg (158266) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:18PM (#14083381)
    Angry viewers count just as much in the ratings as any other kind of viewers. If stirring this pot motivates you to watch, it's money in the producers' pockets.
  • they make the game's graphics look as advanced as their crime "analysis" software, 3d effects and all.

    Of course, silly me, this is one of them "videogames", so it must look like old PSX and sound like an Atari2600.

  • I think it sounds like a great TV episode, it's just too bad that ignorant people will take it to mean that video games promte violence in EVERYONE. It's a very small portion of video game players that actually become violent in a certain manner due to something they witness in a game.

    The problem is parents who buy a game that's unsuitable for their mentally challenged or disturbed children. They wouldn't buy them beer or let them drive at 12, why would they buy them something like GTA?
  • The broadcast networks (save ABC last season) have been bankrupt of good ideas for new shows for years now.
  • "Killer Instinct" or whatever the crappy fox crime drama is did the same plot a week ago (Yeah, I watched it. I was flying on JetBlue and was curious about this particular POS. It was craptacular).

    Expect this same "Viloent crime spree videogame inspires real killers" to pop up in Law and Order next.
  • by div_2n (525075) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:21PM (#14083414)
    After I played GTA (can't remember which one) at a friend's house for a couple of hours, I found myself thinking about ramming into other vehicles and stealing their cars. I'm really not joking. Of course, I also once pointed at a cop checking for speeders during my Quake years and yelling audibly, "Look at that camper!!!" Again, I'm really not joking.

    While I neither rammed other people's cars nor pulled out a rocket launcher to teach the cop a lesson, I certainly KNOW that games can bleed into reality and if the person is just messed up enough in the head already, I don't doubt they could live out the game.
  • by TheFlyingGoat (161967) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:22PM (#14083420) Homepage Journal
    Before anyone complains about this, keep in mind that it's just television. You know... make-believe, just like the video games. It would be unfortunate for people to make predictions about how this CSI:Miami episode will affect people considering those critics would be the same ones arguing with Jack about how the games affect people's behavior.

    I'm surprised this even made Slashdot. What next... a detailed analysis of how the last Numb3rs episode was incorrect? How TV shows glamorize things that aren't glamorous? It's TV... it's about ratings, not trying to change how people think.
  • by gregor-e (136142) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:22PM (#14083424) Homepage
    GTA is satire. Made all the richer by those who don't get it and end up looking like the total goofs they are for taking satire seriously.
  • by Dr_LHA (30754) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:27PM (#14083457) Homepage
    The entire episode is spent using forensic evidence to track down the killer criminals, and the episode ends in a carjacking followed by an almighty car chase involving 20 police cars and the criminals.

    Unfortunately, just before the police are about the catch the crooks, they drive down an alley and pass through a floating police badge, costing $500, and the police promptly forget about them, causing a massive 20 car police pile up followed by period explosions for 5 minutes in which 500 police and innocent bystanders are killed.

    However, the criminals later are found standing aimlessly outside a local hospital after a misguided attempt at a stunt jump landed their car in the river, which was unfortunate as they were unable to swim.

    And life goes on in Vice Cit.... Miami.
  • Meh (Score:3, Funny)

    by GarfBond (565331) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:36PM (#14083542)
    Personally I will love CSI if they have the kids yelling GIVEUSATANK or NOPOLICEPLEASE when I'M HORATIO AND I'M ALWAYS MAD/David Caruso start coming after them. Hey, it'd even set up a crappy cliche line for him to say.

    I don't think the writers will be that awesome though. Tis a shame.
  • by CynicalGuy (866115) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:40PM (#14083586)
    They should make a CSI episode about a killer who commits crimes based on stuff that he's seen from watching CSI.
  • As a gun owner (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodBlessTexas (737029) on Monday November 21, 2005 @02:52PM (#14083704) Journal
    and as a gamer, I'm happy to say "Welcome to the club." We're another group of generally law abiding people who get demonized for the stuff the batshit crazy minority does in our name all the time. And our paths are pretty well connected. I was told repeatedly by the media that it was guns and Doom that caused the shooters in Columbine to go on a killing spree. As Chris Rock says, "What ever happened to crazy?" If all 80,000,000 gun owners in the US were crazy (that's 1 in every three people), the streets would truly be running red with blood like I've been told they would by every anti-gun group. But they don't. How many gamers are there in the US? If the violent content of video games was truly a problem, wouldn't we have more of these violent episodes, not less? Of course, the true issue with Harris and Klebold is that Harris was a pure psychopath. He didn't want to shoot up his school for revenge. He wanted to kill them because he felt nothing but contempt for them. He wanted to be known as one of the greatest mass murderers in US History. So says the psychological profilers who examined his writings. So, it wasn't the game that caused him to be murderous, it was his disgust and contempt for people he saw as beneath him.
  • Bad season for CSI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FullCircle (643323) on Monday November 21, 2005 @03:07PM (#14083830)
    The only one I've seen this season is the first episode of CSI:NY.

    Within 2 minutes they pulled out a fucking tricorder and I turned it off.
    I complained about the image enhancements for years.
    I complained about pseudo-science for years.
    Star Trek tech is just too much.

    All CSI's are off my (short) list of watchable TV now.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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