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Critics vs videogames vs rating board

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I just had to get this off my chest. If I rant sorry but this is driving me crazy.

How is it that a movie like saw1-4 or hostal 1 or 2 can come out of the theater and receive a R rating when it depicts so my gore and horror that even makes me feel that watching it isn't right at times and everyone calls it entertainment. Noone ever criticizes these sorts of movies for anything and they just pass on through. I mean just look at the scene in these hills have eyes where the young girl gets raped... these movies are riding on shock value to sell tickets, thats there job but then lets look at the opposite

now lets look at the videogames side of things... they are critisized at every angle with every release. GTA is been a huge target... ok every release almost from rockstar has been lol but then comes Manhunt 2... it gets a AO rating and gets banned from selling from major retail stores. Now arnt these the same stores that sell these unrated versions of the above movies? yup pretty sure. Videogames dipict viliolence yes but not in a manner of what those in the theater do and yet they are so much more criticized.

I cant wait for the day for all this to blow over. Its just like any new meduim that get national attention though... remember the music industry and the parental advisory sticker?


could have made so many more points but just a little rant on my part of how an avid videogamer feels about things right now.
post #2 of 33
It's easy. The videogames that are criticized are designed to make murder and rape fun.
post #3 of 33
I hate to point out the obvious, but films are passive entertainment, videogames are active entertainment. In a game you are the one responsible for the violence, and (in most games) rewarded for the violence.

Though I do agree that the likes of Saw/Hostel/Hills Have Eyes and all the other crappy, sleazy, boring nonsense they're showing these days could do with the equivalent of an "AO" rating.
post #4 of 33
It's even worse when nudity is concerned, you hardly ever see that in games no matter how high a rating they get. There was a game I played not too long ago called Fahrenheit, which does feature nudity and I was surprised because it happens so rarely. Not only that, it was tasteful nudity as part of an adult storyline and it made me wonder why more games aren't made like that.

However, I was in a rental store one time and saw a mum with her son who couldn't have been more than 8 with an earring and I overheard him saying he already had Vice City.

So I think it's a case of lazy parents who seem to think it's up to the government or the games publishers to look out for their kids because they can't be bothered doing it themselves. Unfortunately the rest of us have to suffer as usual.

If they are so concerned over video games, they should have just two sections, adults and kids and mark the adult boxes in red or something and put them all on the upper shelves. This way it's easy for parents to see which games are suitable for young people and those which aren't.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

It's easy. The videogames that are criticized are designed to make murder and rape fun.

Rape? Depictions of rape are exceedingly rare in video games, aside from a few obscure, primarily japanese games and a very old pornographic atari game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

I hate to point out the obvious, but films are passive entertainment, videogames are active entertainment.

Well, in light of an ever-increasing number of studies that discount the influence of video game violence on behavior and little evidence that they have a significantly distinct impact from violent films, it's not clear whether that matters. \
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's even worse when nudity is concerned, you hardly ever see that in games no matter how high a rating they get. There was a game I played not too long ago called Fahrenheit, which does feature nudity and I was surprised because it happens so rarely. Not only that, it was tasteful nudity as part of an adult storyline and it made me wonder why more games aren't made like that.

The core of the problem is that pretty much every single game developed outside Japan is designed around the batshit crazy US morality. You'll also notice that all characters in all games tend to speak English (occasionally "appropriately" accented when the character appears "ethnic" enough)... because subtitles would just be too hard to comprehend, or what? I understand this even less than I understand mass murder being appropriate for younger people than breasts are.

This unique set of values is revealed reasonably well in passing (although in another medium) by This Film Is Not Yet Rated.

But while we're on the subject of breasts, consider the Oblivion rating brouhaha. On the off chance you are not familiar with the case, it was about the characters being built on top of a fully nude upper body texture. The nipples on the texture were not accessible from the game at all as the game glued underwear on top. It took an user-installed mod to inspect the full texture. IMO, the fact that this didn't close the case shows that ESRB is broken beyond hope, no matter what moral agenda it's supposed to be pushing. If the gamer installs that mod, he could have installed another mod with user-created content. Obviously there is no limit to how questionable (or illegal!) content one could put in a mod.

I heard from someone in the game business that the texture artist at Bethesda Softworks who created the nude texture is a woman. Not that it should have anything to do with this... but a good amount of commentators accused developer sexism as lower body textures weren't complete. She made the texture complete because it was the obvious thing to do to create quality work. Probably made it easier to get the rest of the textures to fit just right.

Fahrenheit is great because it's the one exception where the game was developed without the usual compromise, then censored for US release, and the rest of the world received the full version.
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If they are so concerned over video games, they should have just two sections, adults and kids and mark the adult boxes in red or something and put them all on the upper shelves. This way it's easy for parents to see which games are suitable for young people and those which aren't.

My thoughts exactly, but the fact is Microsoft, Sony, all major US retailers and many others have first committed to tremendous self-censorship in what they allow to be published on their systems or sold on their shelves, then outsourced that censorship to ESRB, and ESRB appears broken beyond any reasonable standard. My guess is that this combination will hold games (as a medium) back maybe 10-20 years, but obviously we can never know for sure what exactly would have been created.

Witness this monster: raping a whole medium for decades and still not completely gone at 60 years.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Rape? Depictions of rape are exceedingly rare in video games, aside from a few obscure, primarily japanese games and a very old pornographic atari game.

Well, in light of an ever-increasing number of studies that discount the influence of video game violence on behavior and little evidence that they have a significantly distinct impact from violent films, it's not clear whether that matters. \

Ok... picking up hookers and "slapping them around"... close enough...
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Ok... picking up hookers and "slapping them around"... close enough...

What game are you referring to?
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

What game are you referring to?

GTA:SA?
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Well, in light of an ever-increasing number of studies that discount the influence of video game violence on behavior and little evidence that they have a significantly distinct impact from violent films, it's not clear whether that matters. \

Eh? First, there's a clear consensus among psychologists who study this that violent video games do affect behavior. I'd like to see these ever-increasing studies that you're talking about. Second, the two clauses of your sentence seem inconsistent - there's an extremely well-established link between films/TV and psychological/behavioral consequences; to say that video games are not significantly distinct seems to me to say that video games also have an influence on people.

Here's a summary from the American Psychological Association that addresses some of the issues brought up by the original poster.

Quote:
However, studies by psychologists such as Douglas Gentile, PhD, and Craig Anderson, PhD, indicate it is likely that violent video games may have even stronger effects on children's aggression because (1) the games are highly engaging and interactive, (2) the games reward violent behavior, and because (3) children repeat these behaviors over and over as they play (Gentile & Anderson, 2003). Psychologists know that each of these help learning - active involvement improves learning, rewards increase learning, and repeating something over and over increases learning.

And I just want to point out that being aware of this research in no way necessitates that one be in favor of regulating video game (or TV) content.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

GTA:SA?

Where in the game? Are you referring to the fact that since it's a free roam game you can rob and kill any kind of bot on the street, some of which are hookers? If so, then it's no closer to "rape" then when you kill one delivering pizza on a moped.

Are you aware that GTA:SA also has an entire series of missions where the objective is specifically to protect hookers from abusive men? Are you aware that GTA:SA also has a prominent ongoing girlfriend plot line, where you are rewarded for taking a series of girlfriends out on dates where you have to recognize their individual preferences, spend most of the time talking and maintain the relationship over time to avoid getting dumped? Even when a girlfriend does invite you in after the date, which only happens if you've earned it, the sex cut scene goes as far as to reinforce the importance of mutual sexual gratification. And all that is in addition that stuff in the normal plot line.

But, really, carry on believing that GTA:SA advocates something approaching rape despite the fact that it actively promotes the extreme opposite in multiple areas of the game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Eh?...

If you don't know what I'm referring to then you obviously haven't followed the subject which means the attitude you've entered with is unjustified, as was that attitude's influence on your subtle but important misinterpretations of my post. If you want to pretend my dismissal of your post is somehow a demonstration of its validity, feel free to do so.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

If you don't know what I'm referring to then you obviously haven't followed the subject which means the attitude you've entered with is unjustified, as was that attitude's influence on your subtle but important misinterpretations of my post. If you want to pretend my dismissal of your post is somehow a demonstration of its validity, feel free to do so.

The only thing I'll pretend is that I think you know anything at all about this topic. No one who does could ever write what you did.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

The only thing I'll pretend is that I think you know anything at all about this topic. No one who does could ever write what you did.

Says the guy whose knowledge of the subject is apparently limited to the first google hit, which he somehow believes he used to contradict a post that his bias caused him to misinterpret. Well, BRussell, welcome to the great video game violence debate where contradictory studies come out every couple months and are subsequently widely reported and debated throughout tech media and online communities. That you've posted in a couple tech forums for so many years and yet aren't aware that there's a faceted ongoing debate is really extraordinarily strange.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Where in the game? Are you referring to the fact that since it's a free roam game you can rob and kill any kind of bot on the street, some of which are hookers? If so, then it's no closer to "rape" then when you kill one delivering pizza on a moped.

Um... I've heard (correct me if I'm wrong) that you can have sex with a hooker then kill her and you get your money back. Is there any other kind of bot that you can have sex with then kill and get your money back? Some programmer deliberately added that touch. And plenty of "gamers" think it's fun.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Um... I've heard (correct me if I'm wrong) that you can have sex with a hooker then kill her and you get your money back. Is there any other kind of bot that you can have sex with then kill and get your money back? Some programmer deliberately added that touch.

Well, typically when you kill any bot of any kind it drops some amount of money. After a hooker gets out of the car you can kill the bot just like you can kill any of the other ones on the street and just like you could whether or not the bot got in the car in the first place. At that point it's basically just another bot on the street. If you kill the hooker, the bot drops money. If you kill the man next to her, the bot drops money. If you kill the guy working at the food stand on the other side, the bot drops money. Killing a hooker after sex isn't something ever advocated by the game and is simply one sequence of actions that someone realized was possible due to the free play nature of the game.

In contrast, the game actually specifically advocates and rewards the fostering of relationships and the protection of women throughout multiple prominent, long-running plot and mission lines.

GTA:SA in particular is really a classic example of activists totally misrepresenting something in order to fool people into providing stronger support a position they advocate, appealing to the emotional and prejudicial reactions and relying on the fact that most of their supporters wouldn't bother to actually look and see for themselves.
post #16 of 33
Oh. Ok.

Still, there's too much mrder and violence in videogames and not enough (non-chauvinist) sexuality.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

not enough (non-chauvinist) sexuality.

In a more recent game published by the GTA folks, Bully, you play a teenage boy who defends nerds and, in addition to giving flowers to girls and kissing them, you can also do so with one of the other boy characters. That actually was a deliberate feature, and it also generated a little controversy, as you might expect.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Says the guy whose knowledge of the subject is apparently limited to the first google hit, which he somehow believes he used to contradict a post that his bias caused him to misinterpret. Well, BRussell, welcome to the great video game violence debate where contradictory studies come out every couple months and are subsequently widely reported and debated throughout tech media and online communities. That you've posted in a couple tech forums for so many years and yet aren't aware that there's a faceted ongoing debate is really extraordinarily strange.

Says the guy who thinks people should get their information about this type of research from tech forums and online communities to the guy with a PhD in the relevant field who makes his living conducting and reviewing relevant research. There are always interesting debates about every empirical question, but the state of the research on this is absolutely clear, and not how you characterize it.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

What game are you referring to?

True Crime Streets of LA has scenes of rape in them but not participating. I was pretty shocked to see it to be honest. You get a call on your radio about a rape in progress and when you run to the scene, you find a guy lying on top of a girl (fully clothed) and you basically have to kill/apprehend him.

That's not the kind of thing that I'd like to see more of in games as it's fairly pointless gameplay-wise.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Says the guy who thinks people should get their information about this type of research from tech forums and online communities

Uh...no. Really, BRussell, misrepresenting posts, and in such an obvious way? You're better than that. \

Regardless, the vast majority of my career has been in academic librarianship at major academic libraries focusing on emerging research technologies, which makes it particularly ironic that you, bragging about a run-of-the-mill PhD in an unrelated specialization, think your limited knowledge of information resources and academic research overall is at all interesting or relevant.
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to the guy with a PhD

Well, maybe you should act like it, starting by not jumping to conclusions without having even a superficial awareness of a subject.

And what are you even arguing against? My argument was comprised of 3 parts:
1. That there continue to be studies released casting doubt on the causal relationship between video game violence and behavior
2. That there is little evidence that they have a significantly distinct impact from violent films
3. that the combination of points 1 and 2 suggest that "it's not clear" whether it matters that "films are passive entertainment, videogames are active entertainment"

The part of this argument you've primarily addressed is part 1, which you've somehow wrongly interpreted as:
a. an implication that there is no research suggesting a link between video game violence and behavior
b. an implication that I've taken the stance that there is no link between video game violence and behavior

Furthermore, in arguing against part 1, you simply pretended there aren't studies with a range of conclusions, which is frankly stupid.

You briefly argued against part 2, somehow wrongly believing that the statement was being used as support for part 1 rather than support for my conclusion in part 3 that "it's not clear" whether it matters that "films are passive entertainment, videogames are active entertainment."

In short, you completely misinterpreted the argument, proceeded to argue against your completely wrong-headed interpretation using nothing more than an old summary that popped up at the top of a lazy google search and, since then, have done nothing more than lash out and try to insult me.
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who makes his living conducting and reviewing relevant research.

No, you very clearly don't. Statistics? Sure, IIRC. Something to do with some area of behavioral psychology? Maybe. Anything approaching even a passing familiarity with research on this particular subject, video game violence? Very obviously not.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

True Crime Streets of LA has scenes of rape in them but not participating. I was pretty shocked to see it to be honest. You get a call on your radio about a rape in progress and when you run to the scene, you find a guy lying on top of a girl (fully clothed) and you basically have to kill/apprehend him.

Interesting. That's similar to GTA missions where the goal is to defend women.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Regardless, the vast majority of my career has been in academic librarianship at major academic libraries focusing on emerging research technologies, which makes it particularly ironic that you, bragging about a run-of-the-mill PhD in an unrelated specialization, think your limited knowledge of information resources and academic research overall is at all interesting or relevant.

This is a thread about violence in videogames. You're starting to sound obsessed.

Incidentally, I think a PhD in behavioral psychology (if that's his specialty) should know more about the topic than an academic librarian in emerging technologies. But maybe that's just me.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

1. That there continue to be studies released casting doubt on the causal relationship between video game violence and behavior...

In arguing against part 1, you simply pretended there aren't studies with a range of conclusions, which is frankly stupid.

Um... there are studies saying that video games don't affect behavior. There are studies that say videogames do promote violence and cause behavioral changes.

Which studies do you think get more sponsorship?
post #24 of 33
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Originally Posted by tonton View Post

This is a thread about violence in videogames.

Yeah, no kidding. Apparently it's also a place for a few of you to demonstrate how quickly you jump to conclusions based on misconceptions and flawed assumptions
Quote:
Incidentally, I think a PhD in behavioral psychology (if that's his specialty) should know...about the topic

About the research on video games, particularly in light of the him making it clear he's unaware of the variety of studies? Having knowledge of a related subject and little to no familiarity with the research on the subject at hand absolutely does not.
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about the topic than an academic librarian in emerging technologies.

Huh? I never claimed it did. What are you even talking about? I quoted the part of his post it was a response to.
post #25 of 33
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Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Which studies do you think get more sponsorship?

I don't know, but neither do you. Yet you are alleging, without any supporting evidence, much less any sort of detailed analysis, that the variety of studies and conclusions is nothing more than a PR stunt by video game publishers? Strange.
post #26 of 33








Recent study:

Most kids 'unaffected' by violent games


Quote:
Video games will only make children more violent if they already have a tendency towards aggression, a new study has found.

A Swinburne University of Technology study of 120 children aged 11 to 15 revealed children prone to worrying, neurotic behaviour and predisposed to aggression were likely to be more aggressive after playing violent video games.

But for the majority of children there was no difference in behaviour, according to the research published in the Psychology, Crime and Law journal.

The study monitored the behaviour of children from 10 schools in eastern and southern metropolitan Melbourne before and after playing the violent video game Quake II for 20 minutes, Swinburne's Professor Grant Devilly said.

Prof Devilly said only children predisposed to aggression and more reactive to their environments changed their behaviour after playing and of those only some showed more aggression.

"They were a little bit more aggressive anyway in their interaction with life," he said.

"The majority of people did not increase in aggression at all and we're not the first people to find that."

The study found that children predisposed to aggression who were relaxed before playing became more aggressive afterwards while the more hyperactive children became less aggressive.

Prof Devilly said much of the research linking aggressive behaviour to violent video games had been unconvincing.

"It's the only message parents have ever received and it's just not accurate," he said.

The study showed aggression linked to game playing depended on a player's mood and predisposition to aggression, he said.

"You've got to basically read your own kid. If you have a quite hyper kid they will come down after playing a bit, but for the rest of kids, the vast majority, it makes no difference at all in their general aggression rate," he said.

Ah, so as usual it comes down to the parents. Logical to me. If you are a parent of an aggressive child, don't buy these games. If your kid buys the game, get rid of it. If anything by a sports game (a la soccer or football) and play it with them. Make them understand that aggression won't earn points in sports (& life in general), only penalties.

By the way, I never played Outlaw Volleyball, but hell, it sure looks like fun.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Recent study:

Most kids 'unaffected' by violent games


Ah, so as usual it comes down to the parents. Logical to me. If you are a parent of an aggressive child, don't buy these games. If your kid buys the game, get rid of it. If anything by a sports game (a la soccer or football) and play it with them. Make them understand that aggression won't earn points in sports (& life in general), only penalties.

By the way, I never played Outlaw Volleyball, but hell, it sure looks like fun.

"Video games will only make children more violent if they already have a tendency towards aggression, a new study has found."

Now take out the word "only", and you'll find that the sentence is still true, based on the study.

"Video games will make children more violent if they already have a tendency towards aggression, a new study has found."

Now let's assume the children we're talking about have a tendency toward aggression, and we'll change that qualifier to the general qualifier "some", just to simplify. The statement is still true, based on the findings of the study.

"Video games will make some children more violent, a new study has found."

Do you deny this?

No one ever said that videogames make every child more violent.

The fact is that if they make one child more violent, it's a problem.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

I don't know, but neither do you. Yet you are alleging, without any supporting evidence, much less any sort of detailed analysis, that the variety of studies and conclusions is nothing more than a PR stunt by video game publishers? Strange.

Ok, I agree. The statement I made was conjecture.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Uh...no. Really, BRussell, misrepresenting posts, and in such an obvious way? You're better than that. \

Regardless, the vast majority of my career has been in academic librarianship at major academic libraries focusing on emerging research technologies, which makes it particularly ironic that you, bragging about a run-of-the-mill PhD in an unrelated specialization, think your limited knowledge of information resources and academic research overall is at all interesting or relevant.
Well, maybe you should act like it, starting by not jumping to conclusions without having even a superficial awareness of a subject.

And what are you even arguing against? My argument was comprised of 3 parts:
1. That there continue to be studies released casting doubt on the causal relationship between video game violence and behavior
2. That there is little evidence that they have a significantly distinct impact from violent films
3. that the combination of points 1 and 2 suggest that "it's not clear" whether it matters that "films are passive entertainment, videogames are active entertainment"

The part of this argument you've primarily addressed is part 1, which you've somehow wrongly interpreted as:
a. an implication that there is no research suggesting a link between video game violence and behavior
b. an implication that I've taken the stance that there is no link between video game violence and behavior

Furthermore, in arguing against part 1, you simply pretended there aren't studies with a range of conclusions, which is frankly stupid.

You briefly argued against part 2, somehow wrongly believing that the statement was being used as support for part 1 rather than support for my conclusion in part 3 that "it's not clear" whether it matters that "films are passive entertainment, videogames are active entertainment."

In short, you completely misinterpreted the argument, proceeded to argue against your completely wrong-headed interpretation using nothing more than an old summary that popped up at the top of a lazy google search and, since then, have done nothing more than lash out and try to insult me.
No, you very clearly don't. Statistics? Sure, IIRC. Something to do with some area of behavioral psychology? Maybe. Anything approaching even a passing familiarity with research on this particular subject, video game violence? Very obviously not.

Your knowledge of this issue, apparently based on internet forums and being a librarian, is laughable. It is exactly equivalent to a creationist or global-warming-denier challenging an actual scientist in biology or climatology.

The state of the research on this is very clear, there is no trend in the research showing no effect - exactly the opposite - and you have provided no evidence to the contrary except your personal claims. If what you say is true, you should easily be able to show me a psycinfo search proving me wrong. No, media and online forums don't count, any more than dmz's Christian websites count as evidence against evolution. Any of the dozens of APA or APS journals would be fine.
post #30 of 33
Dakota Fanning makes a movie depicting a pedophile rape scene, and it's considered 'edgy' and independent.

The GTA games allow you to recover health by implied sex with a prostitute, OMG ALL VIDEO GAMES ARE EVIL!!11!!

Horror and violent action movies are routinely shown on broadcast TV during daytime hours, with barely any editing.

Show a nipple or have implied monogamous sex and YOU'RE RUINING OUR CHILDREN!!

Now you tell me what's wrong here.

You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
Reply
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
Reply
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Your knowledge of this issue...

Grow up and stop continually insulting me and misrepresenting my statements just because you can't handle the fact that you are absolutely dead fucking wrong about the body of research on this subject.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

"Video games will only make children more violent if they already have a tendency towards aggression, a new study has found."

Now take out the word "only", and you'll find that the sentence is still true, based on the study.

...no...

Now let's assume the children we're talking about have a tendency toward aggression, and we'll change that qualifier to the general qualifier "some", just to simplify. The statement is still true, based on the findings of the study.

...I won't deny that you are re-arranging the study and it's conclusions for your own purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

No one ever said that video games make every child more violent.

The fact is that if they make one child more violent, it's a problem.

The study indicates that if a parent has a child with this behavior ("children predisposed to aggression and more reactive to their environments") they should monitor their choices as to what video games they purchase for them (if any). Of course I think it's the parent's responsibility to decide what is right for their child, not the ratings boards. But more and more parents don't do what parents should do anymore.

So if anything, blame the parents.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Grow up and stop continually insulting me and misrepresenting my statements just because you can't handle the fact that you are absolutely dead fucking wrong about the body of research on this subject.

If I was so "fucking wrong," you'd have simply proven it by now, rather than doing what you always do. If you had just tried to discuss the research evidence, then I wouldn't have had to respond to you at your usual level, and you wouldn't have gotten all teary-eyed.
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