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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:05 PM

 

Violent Video Games: First Person Murder Simulators

http://www.ithp.org/articles/violentvideogames.html

First, video game play is active whereas watching TV is passive. People learn better when they are actively involved. Suppose you wanted to learn how to fly an airplane. What would be the best method to use: read a book, watch a TV program, or use a video game flight simulator?

Second, players of violent video games are more likely to identify with a violent character. If the game is a first person shooter, players have the same visual perspective as the killer. If the game is third person, the player controls the actions of the violent character from a more distant visual perspective. In a violent TV program, viewers might or might not identify with a violent character. People are more likely to behave aggressively themselves when they identify with a violent character (e.g., Konijn et al., 2007)

Third, violent games directly reward violent behavior, such as by awarding points or by allowing players to advance to the next game level. In some games, players are rewarded through verbal praise, such as hearing the words "Nice shot!" after killing an enemy. It is well known that rewarding behavior increases its frequency. (Would you go to work tomorrow if your boss said you would no longer be paid?) In TV programs, reward is not directly tied to the viewer's behavior.


What do you think? Is it interesting that first-person murder simulators are the most popular and profitable games of all time in the U.S.?
What's has a greater effect on those who would do violence? The gun or the conditioning?

Should we ban violent murder simulator video games because they glorify gun violence and desensitize future murderers?



Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, one of the most popular games in history.

37 replies, 3904 views

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Violent Video Games: First Person Murder Simulators (Original post)
rDigital Dec 2012 OP
Remmah2 Dec 2012 #1
trouble.smith Dec 2012 #2
Politicalboi Dec 2012 #3
discntnt_irny_srcsm Dec 2012 #4
Atypical Liberal Dec 2012 #6
Callisto32 Dec 2012 #15
Atypical Liberal Dec 2012 #18
Callisto32 Dec 2012 #32
spin Dec 2012 #7
DonP Dec 2012 #20
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #12
NewMoonTherian Dec 2012 #37
Atypical Liberal Dec 2012 #5
rDigital Dec 2012 #9
Atypical Liberal Dec 2012 #13
Callisto32 Dec 2012 #16
rDigital Dec 2012 #24
gejohnston Dec 2012 #8
Callisto32 Dec 2012 #17
gejohnston Dec 2012 #22
rDigital Dec 2012 #10
gejohnston Dec 2012 #11
Eleanors38 Dec 2012 #19
Callisto32 Dec 2012 #14
rDigital Dec 2012 #21
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2012 #23
rDigital Dec 2012 #25
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2012 #26
octothorpe Dec 2012 #27
rDigital Dec 2012 #28
octothorpe Dec 2012 #29
rDigital Dec 2012 #30
Dash87 Dec 2012 #31
rDigital Dec 2012 #33
Dash87 Dec 2012 #35
Exultant Democracy Dec 2012 #34
Ditzydoo Dec 2012 #36

Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:19 PM

1. Over all I don't like video games for me/my kids.

 

People should be enjoying the outdoors.

Inactivity in general is bad for .

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:41 PM

2. everyone has to lose a right because of the actions of a VERY few? Doesn't seem very American to me.

 

fuck that idea IOW.

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:46 PM

3. Let's get rid of guns first

Because I like first person shoot games, and would NEVER own a real gun. And with all guns gone, no more shooting sprees. No one gets hurt on video, and with online teams, you really can shoot your neighbor if they are playing. Maybe in 20 years or so when we ALL handle guns more carefully, we can have them back. I hate this kind of censoring. Why should video game makers give a damn when gun manufacturers and owners don't give a shit.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:51 PM

4. How would that happen? n/t

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:54 PM

6. What about realistic video games that represent violence with knives?

 

Or swords, or bows and arrows? Or just hands and feet?

The problem is the same - desensitization to violence.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:04 PM

15. Does that actually happen?

I've spent most of my life with violent video games, I still find the thought of actual violence repugnant, and can't even stomach watching all that torture/cruelty-porn they put in movie theaters.

I know this is purely my impression from observation, but it seems like blaming the game is putting the cart before the horse. Chances are, people who are disturbed and into gaming would simply be disturbed and into something else that we could point at if video games suddenly ceased to exist.

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Response to Callisto32 (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:15 PM

18. Does what actually happen?

 

Does that actually happen?

What? Violence in video games with knives, arrows, and hands and feet? Yes. Even in Call of Duty under discussion you can "knife" opposing players. There are medieval-themed first-person games where you can hack, bludgeon and shoot your opponents, also.

I still find the thought of actual violence repugnant, and can't even stomach watching all that torture/cruelty-porn they put in movie theaters.

So what would you think about a video game that had the same level of realism of violence as the torture/cruelty-porn that is in movies like Saw, Hostel, etc.?

Chances are, people who are disturbed and into gaming would simply be disturbed and into something else that we could point at if video games suddenly ceased to exist.

As I said before, I suspect it is a bell curve distribution. Right now, only people on the fringe of the curve - the disturbed - are likely to be harmed by video games. But as the realism improves, more and more people may be effected. On the opposite side of the curve are the few who will never be effected.

Anyway, like I said, it's a known fact that humans can become desensitized to stimuli. The more closely simulation comes to reality the more you are likely to have problems.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:15 PM

32. I also shy away from the gory games, so...

My comment was more on the subject of the mere repetition of a facsimile of an action desensitizing one to the actual action. I'm primarily talking about the "main stream" games that are consumed by hundreds of thousands, and trotted out by the politicians when they need something to ban, this week.

If Halo or even some of the more repugnant shit I have seen glimpses of but couldn't give a name for drives you nuts, you must have already been pretty damn close to nuts to begin with.

Sorry if that was rambly.

boys and girls: Never drink and post.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:10 PM

7. Realistic games enable a person to live in a fantasy world. ...

The real world is far different.

In the real world it is politically and realistically impossible to get rid of all guns in this nation at this time. It would be nearly impossible to pass a law to ban and confiscate all firearms and if it did pass it would probably be overturned by the Supreme Court. If those hurdles were overcome, it would be a difficult and bloody task to attempt to confiscate all firearms. The attempt MIGHT lead to the break up of our nation.

In other nations it has been possible to ban and confiscate most firearms First such nations did not have the same gun culture as ours. Second they did not have a law similar to the Second Amendment in their constitutions. Third they did not have 80,000,000 gun owners with 300,000,000 firearms. Forth they usually had gun registration requirements.



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Response to spin (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:01 PM

20. Fantasy vs. Reality with an M1 Garand

A couple of summers or ago, I was zeroing in a new CMP Garand I bought at an Indiana outdoor range.

Two lanes over a guy with his teenage son and his father were shooting black powder, The grandfather noticed my Garand and came over when there was a break to fix targets and asked to look at it. He carried one in WWII in the Big Red One and hadn't touched one since. His grandson came over with him and I offered to let him shoot a clip or two of FMJ surplus.

He loved it. I asked if he wanted his son and the grandson to try the gun his grandpa used?

The son said no thanks, but the grandson couldn't wait to try it. He kept talking about "Call of Duty" and knowing "all about the Garand". When we handed it to him he almost dropped it, commenting "Boy that's really heavy in real life". Grandpa pointed out, "Damn right and with a couple of extra bandoleers of ammo and the rest of your kit, you got a real workout, but you were too busy just staying alive to think about it."

Between the real world weight and the bruises I'm sure he left with from the recoil, he probably learned there's a big difference between fantasy land and the real world.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:30 PM

12. And cake and ponies for everyone!

All are equally likely...

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 11:10 AM

37. Why can't we keep guns AND video games...

and try to find the real cause of the increasing contempt for human life?

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:52 PM

5. Simulations are simulations.

 

It is already a known fact that people can be desensitized to images of violence or pornography by repeated viewing of such images. There was a TED talk a while back about how people's brains are being rewired due to the ubiquitous availability of pornography and how in order to get continued dopamine spikes the viewers must constantly be pushing for newer material, since the old material doesn't "do it" for them anymore - they have become desensitized.

We also know that simulations work. As the article sites, aircraft simulators are very, very effective immersive environments for learning how to fly a real plane. And it stands to reason that the more realistic the simulator is, the more effective it is as a training tool. Which is why aircraft companies and the military have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on very sophisticated simulators that mimic real aircraft cockpits down to the tiniest detail and even move to give a feeling of actual maneuvers of the aircraft.

So I believe it is reasonable to assume that the more realistic and immersive the simulation of violence is, the more successful the simulator will be at desensitizing the players to violence.

I've played the Call of Duty series since the very first one came out. Today the graphics are very impressive, but they are still very obviously cartoonish in a cartoonish environment. They have not even yet approached the "uncanny valley" point yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

So it's hard to say what effect current generations of video games might have. I suspect as the realism improves you will see a bell-curve effect on players, where some are effected early on while the majority are effected later and on the opposite extreme will be those unaffected even at high realism.

I wonder if we can look to movies for any indication of what to expect? We now have movies with very, very realistic, graphic violence. I can watch Saving Private Ryan now and watch the soldier with his intestines spilled all over the beach and the other blown in half with little of the shock I felt the first time I watched the film. I refuse to watch films like "Hostel" or "Saw" or most other "horror" films these days as they are hugely disturbing to me. They are no longer the obvious "supernatural buffoonery" of characters like those from the old Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street series, who clearly had a fictional, supernatural bogey man. Now they are essays in human depravity and entirely too realistic for my taste. I don't want to contemplate some horrific man who tortures hostel visitors in a dungeon because it's all too probable that this actually happens somewhere in the world.

Some day soon we are going to have technology that either interfaces directly with our eyes, like a VR headset, or even directly with our brains, and we are going to have hyper-realistic, hyper-immersive simulations.

If you can't tell the difference between simulation and reality, I can't help but think that will have consequences.



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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:12 PM

9. I don't think the ultra realism matters. Think it's the subject matter that is most important.

 

These games are programming and desensitizing children to indiscriminately drop the hammer on other living human beings.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:42 PM

13. I think realism is everything.

 

If the thing you are "dropping the hammer on" doesn't look like a living human being, then you cannot desensitize the player to dropping the hammer on another living human being.

The less realistic the human being is, the less you are being desensitized about real human beings. Conversely, the more realistic it is, the more you are being desensitized.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:09 PM

16. Strange.

My buddy and I used to play Left 4 Dead a lot as a way to interact over the 1800 miles that separate us. We used to make morbid jokes like "HOLY SHIT IT'S DARK IN HERE, QUICK SHOOT AT ANYTHING VAGUELY HUMAN SHAPED!" or chant "skin-ner-box skin-ner-box." as a commentary on just this implication of desensitization.

I have spent far more hours playing FPS games than on the range, but somehow the range training carries over into the videogames (I bitch about people not having muzzle discipline on World of Tanks all the time) and not the other way around. When I pick up a firearm, I maintain discipline with the muzzle and my trigger finger, and constantly scan for anything vaguely human-shaped...to avoid pointing a gun at it.

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Response to Callisto32 (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:07 PM

24. You're doing it right. : ). nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:04 PM

8. If this is your theme song


you play too many video games

If you are an expert in WoW geography, but can't find your hometown on a map, you play too many video games

If you seriously think a revolver has 75 rounds, takes ten .357 rounds to drop a "bad guy" you been playing too many video games

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:12 PM

17. While those are humourous, I have to do this....

Non sequitur.

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Response to Callisto32 (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:35 PM

22. mostly because I was going for the humor

copying, I forgot the "redneck" guy's name. Listening to the Gothcicles will do that.

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:15 PM

10. Where the hell are the champions of social science when we need them most. nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:19 PM

11. playing "Hitman" while

hanging on MikeB's every word.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:35 PM

19. Well, I taught government at a community college. I'll give it a shot...

The question of imagery, games, movies, books, songs, etc. has come up time and again as it relates to instigating violence and sexual practice (for some reason those two activities are always the indices measured). There is little dispute about the Constitutional questions, beyond age and access. The question remains: Do these media influence people to take similar actions in "real life," thus constituting a causal relationship. The answer is: Slim Pickins.' And I don't think he had much to do with the relationship either.

Of course, this might all change if and when real life (cold 'n' hot, rain and drought, perfume & stink) become indistinguishable with some pseudo-brain, implanted within our own gnarly heap of natural cholesterol. But that time, much as I have speculated on it, is not upon us.

It seems so much of this can be handled by parents dealing with potential psychological dangers, from desensitizing games to Manchurian Candidates, and not by censorship (how is that really going to be managed in a few years, anyway?). As it stands, from what I've seen of most movies, T.V. and video games dealing with war and violence, these things are not very real to me, several firearms in the safe not withstanding.

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:58 PM

14. You're begging a lot of questions, there.....

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Response to Callisto32 (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:31 PM

21. : ) I'm just waiting for the killjoys to show up. nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:30 PM

23. Please, explain to me how this OP meets the SoP for this group. Thanks.

Discuss gun control laws, the Second Amendment, the use of firearms for self-defense, and the use of firearms to commit crime and violence.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:08 PM

25. What's more to blame? Guns or Violent media? nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:25 PM

26. ok. got it ...

violent media is just another sign or symptom of a larger problem at work here.

The decline of human interaction is feeding on itself.

We are alienating ourselves from ourselves.

The worsening economy. The bleak future for the future generations. The ongoing reliance on machinery and technology allowing for less and less societal norms. Manners and decency are losing in the fight for survival of our most basic human needs: food and shelter.
Who can afford to have morals and ethics in this day and age?

It is manifesting in the seemingly random outbursts of violence as One Individual breaks down depending on their own particular genetic code having been nurtured or the lack thereof.


And, I refuse to blame a tool for the actions taken by whomever happens to be using it at the time - unless there is some actual, mechanical malfunction.



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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:40 PM

27. Why stop at violent FPS games?

I often time plays games like Hearts of Iron, Supreme Ruler 2020, Civilization, and in those games I routinely send millions of people to their deaths. Am I desensitizing myself to the point that I risk becoming a Hilteresque dictator?

I was also playing an older game called Cossacks II with a friend the other day. We probably threw thousands of little guys at each other while watching cannon balls rip through the ranks.

The games above (aside from Civilization) are all pretty realistic and meant to seem like real life...

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Response to octothorpe (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:03 PM

28. Civ V is awesome.

 

The unstated main idea of this thread is that controllers would ban guns, video games and chocolate milk if they could. They'll just find some pseudo-science to support their position and start banning away.

They're conspicuously absent from this thread as well.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #28)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:47 AM

29. i need to give Civ V another try with its new expansions..

I found myself going back to Civ IV even after I got Civ V. Which sucks because Civ V has some cool concepts... Maybe I just need to give myself mmore time to get uses to it.

Although I don't recall these feelings while going from civ 1 to civ 2 to civ 3 to civ 4.

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Response to octothorpe (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:55 AM

30. CIV V was dumbed down a bit for the main stream. nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 09:50 PM

31. This is so ludicrously wrong

People do not "identify" with shooting people in video games. I'm sure why that idea is so pervasive.

They are also not "murder" or "war" simulators. The example they used, "Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3," is more like an arcade game than a real war simulator. There's score numbers constantly flashing on the screen, ridiculous effects (like money flying out when you shoot someone), and there's very little attempt at authenticity or realism. There's also a false rumor that the army uses this game to train its soldiers - that's flat out wrong. Playing the game, you would instantly know why.

Grand Theft Auto IV (a series universally hated by these types) is so ridiculous and humorous in its style that no one would ever take it seriously.

Even the attempted "realistic" war games aren't realistic at all, and would hardly desensitize anyone to killing in real life.

I've played both those games, and have no desire to actually touch a real gun. I'm afraid of them.

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Response to Dash87 (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:51 PM

33. Not really. If even one person could be saved, it's worth banning Violent Media. nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Reply #33)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:20 AM

35. That argument is more suited for gun control.

People have been lashing out against "violent media" since it started, yet when was the last time violent media actually killed someone? People even lashed out against rock and roll at the time.

Normal people aren't affected by violent media. I feel like this is a deflection away from the real issue, which is our bloodthirsty, gun worshiping culture, and the ability of people with severe mental illness to get guns. This didn't come from video games or other forms of violent media, and a ban of this material is not the answer. We're a mentally sick society that needs help.

Violent media is also protected by the first amendment. Extreme censorship is never the answer, but gun control might be.

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:57 AM

34. The statistical correlation shows that violence goes down as video game playing goes up.

While correlation doesn't necessarily indicate causation, it would be shocking if video games were responsible for violence at a cultural level considering the statistics.

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Response to rDigital (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 11:06 AM

36. Completely and utterly wrong.

rDigital, you clearly know nothing about video games to make such an outlandish claim, ban violent video games? You're out of your mind.

"People learn to play better when they are actively involved" That is a true statement and there's nothing wrong with getting better at the game but these games have stupid aspects to them that just isn't reliable for kids to pick up on and use things gain from video games in real life.

I'll take CoD:MW3 for example, it might have guns and action but it's not realistic and very very far from to be considered a simulator, it is merely a casual FPS game. This game is regenerative health,instant kill knives and weapons you can get for free and to add to that, skill with the controller or with the mouse no way translates into real life aiming with a gun.

I am a video game developer (I won't say what team to avoid social scrutiny in case this post is seen anywhere outside this site) but video games do not cause people to become violent video games are just way for some people to relax or delve into a fantastical unreal world.

What makes people violent? Bad parenting,bullying,socially inept and poor mental health. People cannot become violent.

Desensitized? People aren't desensitized from games, if you show a 12 year old who plays call of duty 6 hours a week, a gory photo of a dead person, I'm sure they will react to it. When people are subjected to real-life abuse and violence or when they have a mental problem is when they become truly desensitized.

"Suppose you wanted to learn how to fly an airplane. What would be the best method to use: read a book, watch a TV program, or use a video game flight simulator?" This is actually true, a flight simulator gives the person an idea of inside a cockpit of a plane, but some FPS
game can't truly give you teach you to kill because most games are UNREALISTIC, call of duty, battlefield - any shooter in the history of video games are UNREALISTIC when it comes to depicting the act but are probably realistic when rendering the graphics.

"Second, players of violent video games are more likely to identify with a violent character. If the game is a first person shooter, players have the same visual perspective as the killer." This is just COMPLETELY wrong, how is me a 23 year-old game developer is going to identify with a strong soldier?

Time to end this post on a truthful quote
"Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have." - Thomas Hildern, Fallout:New Vegas.

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