Gangs getting worse, nationwide

A while ago I ranted about how gang-glorifying games (GTA, Saint’s Row) were perpetuating a toxic culture that’s killing people. I got a lot of shit for it. Fair enough. I even thought I was getting that sentiment out of my system.

But then I read an article like this one in the LA Weekly and I feel reaffirmed that games about gangbangers are poisonous and spreading psychic poison.

I’m not going to quote from the article because it’s chock full of critical info about what’s going on. If it’s TL, then DR. But just know that you’re choosing to look away from the really ugly picture here. I’d be really happy if all the makers of banger, bling, gangsta music and videos and games would fucking stop and look at what it is they’re glorifying, because it’s getting much, much worse, and they’re part of the problem whether they admit it or not.

I want more SWAT games, dammit!

  • Alan

Weird thing is, the article points out that police pressure in some ways makes the problem worse.

IMHO it doesn’t have much to do with video games and music – it has to do with economics and social injustice. As the rich continue to get richer, and the poor more and more disenfranchised, you’ll see a rise in gang members who feel they have nothing to lose.

They live in the equivalent of a warzone BUT IT WAS GTA THAT TAUGHT THEM TO KILL!!!

Yeah, what Jasper says.

End the War on Drugs, and then we’ll deal with what few gangs are left.


It is clear to me that the answer is a series of games based on The Wire.

If the cops could jump 30 stories and kick cars into gang members there wouldn’t be any problems.

While this would make gangs less lucrative, it wouldn’t make the reasons people seek out gangs disappear. Kids with no hope, no futures, no jobs, are still gonna be there.

Selling drugs is the backbone of gangs. 90% of gang activity can be traced back to their position as a cog in the drug distribution network.

You get rid of their job selling drugs, they dissolve almost completely. All that bullshit about being a part of something and having a family is just bullshit brainwashing so that they go about their job keeping their bosses rolling in green.

And in video games! I mean where the hell do you think they learn violence from?

Wow, the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title.

I salute your intelligence.


What’s to stop the average gang banger who was selling drungs, suddenly deprived of his income, to seek out other activities to make money? Like more robbery, kidnapping, etc.

Say you take away their incomes from selling and distributing drugs. Now you have generations of kids with no education and no jobs, and not even the slim hope of making it that a career in the drug trade offers. Are they gonna suddenly just stop being criminals when crime is the only thing they know how to do?

Long term, I agree with you, short term there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who are not just suddenly going to fit into the system because you take away their drug money.

Where is the evidence that the rich are richer today, relatively speaking, then they were ten years ago, or 100? I don’t buy that explanation, unless I see some numbers showing an enlarging wealth gap (put in real dollars, of course).

Give em a government funded job at CVS as a delivery boy for prescription drugs silly!

Ok, let’s take a look at census bureau data

Let’s take it over 30 years, look at it in 2006 dollars, and compare the 40th percentile with the 95th percentile:

Year   40th      95th        Ratio    
1976   31,721   110,250       3.5
1986   34,402   135,335       3.9
1996   35,522   152,964       4.3
2006   37,774   174,012       4.6

If you compare the median and top 1%, the rate of expansion of the gap is much wider. Also, I think the tax system in the US is effectively less progressive now than it was in 1976.