Hated Thing Number Four: Blaming Video Games (THIS IS A LONG ONE)
I will be the first person to stand up and say that we need stricter gun laws in America. I recently read a statistic that stated that 30% of all of guns seized in Toronto, Ontario are illegally bought on the black market or via other illegal means. Seventy percent of guns seized in Toronto, Ontario are smuggled in from the United States.
We have so many guns that other countries are smuggling our guns in.
I grew up in a family of gun owners—except the only difference between my family and Nancy Lanza’s family is that my parents are both retired police officers, and the only guns they owned were the ones issued to them while they were in the NYPD—handguns like my Dad’s Glock or my mom’s revolver.
And even then they kept them locked up in a safe that I don’t even know the combination to today.
Gun control is necessary to stop the trend of violence we have seen these past 20 years.
And again, I will gladly be one of the louder voices in that debate.
BUT I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE BLAME VIDEO GAMES AND MOVIES.
I participated in an independent study that was entirely about video games and the culture surrounding them during my senior year at Binghamton University.
I wrote a paper refuting the idea that there is a positive correlation between violent video games and violent actions. I sited psychological studies, discussed the obvious media bias against video games, and stated the most CLEAR FACT that everyone manages to overlook:
97 PERCENT OF YOUNG BOYS PLAY VIDEO GAMES. THAT IS A SHIT TON OF PEOPLE. AS POSITED BY THE PSYCHOLOGIST CHRISTOPHER FERGUSON, STATING THAT VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES ARE A MASS MURDERER’S SOLE MOTIVATION OR TIPPING POINT IS LIKE “BLAMING THE KILLING ON THE FACT THAT HE WAS WEARING SNEAKERS.”
Ferguson also points out the inherent racism in blaming video games—when inner city kids drive by a playground and spray it with bullets, NO ONE EVER calls video games into the spotlight. They blame their culture, or gang violence, or the failing of our education system. Never games.
But when it’s a white male from a middle class family, well then IT’S GOTTA BE HALO.
Listen, I love Chris Matthews (sometimes). He’s the liberal’s version of Bill O’Reilly (except with facts) in that he screams his darn head off and acts a fool more than half the time. But when I’m sitting at my kitchen table a mere hour ago, munching on an egg sandwich made by my own, game-playing hands, I almost choked on burning-hot unfertilized chicken egg when I heard his guest say this,AND I QUOTE:
"If your kid goes into the basement and plays Halo for three hours, you might want to make sure he doesn’t have a problem."
So, let me get this straight. A bright but socially challenged and notoriously awkward kid who was incapable of having a job/doing anything social for his entire life, did nothing but sit in front of his computer all day and hails from a broken albeit “normal and happy” suburban Connecticut family, a kid who BY THE WAY has a history of emotional detachment and an alleged inability to feel physical pain goes into a school and commits the unthinkable, and OH FUCK IT LET’S BLAME HALO.
I understand the need to grasp the motive for something so completely horrible. So unthinkable. So unimaginable. But turning, ONCE AGAIN (like we did after Columbine and Aurora) towards violence in our cinematic and video game cultures does nothing more than raise this cheap scapegoat to a higher, undeserved level.
There are just too many people playing these games nowadays to blame them. That would be like the Republicans blaming abortions on thongs—EVERYBODY WEARS THEM, you don’t have a greater likelihood of aborting a fetus because you wear a string up your ass.
It’s stupid, it’s cheap. And the victims of such crimes deserve much more than that.
Dylan Klebold. Eric Harris. Adam Lanza. James Holmes. All disturbed, “weird” people in their own way. All of them dealt with their own problems, be it bullying, or autism, or anxiety or a detachment from reality and emotional connections.
All murderers. Some gamers.
What about the Virginia Tech gunman? Not a gamer.
Or the Binghamton gunman? Not a gamer.
Mental illness. Familial troubles. Chemical imbalances. An inability to grasp reality. The accessibility of guns that are used on battle lines and ammunition aimed at doing nothing more than catastrophic destruction.
Those are what’s to blame. Not video games.
I hate when people blame video games.
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