Friday, April 15, 2011

Violence and Video Games

I was on Destructoid today because I was following up with their very high scores of Koei action titles (like I can criticise, I love the Warriors franchises) and they were talking about a recent shooting in the UK and they were ranting and raving about some people in the UK umm...expressing their opinions about violence and video games and how it allegedly relates to shootings.

Now, first things first:  No one blames the perpetrators if they're kids in school, regardless of age.  The law says you can assess morality at the age of 12.  I was able to by the age of 10, and I'm a bit of a misanthrope.  So really, the people who do this are the first people who should be blamed.   

Secondly, and equally important to the first point:  Everyone's afraid of blaming the parents and guardians.  I mean, you have to be absolutely oblivious if your kid is stockpiling firearms underneath their frickin' beds.  Come on here people. 

And teachers and are legal guardians while the students are in attendance.  That  does translate into parent.  Education is a large part of the job, but it's not the only part.  If kids are acting wierd, you need to report it to their parents.  I'm not sure if this actually applied to the case in question, but it did apply to Columbine, where my favourite entertainment came under unnecessary fire. 

Thirdly:  Everyone would rather blame anything else - especially multimedia, whether it's heavy metal music, horror movies, comic books, cartoons, or videogames. 

No one blames books.  I have yet to play a game in which someone is executed by having a pot of molten gold poured over their head (not saying which book, it would be a spoiler).  And Mein Kampf helped spur an entire a nation to murder more than 10 million innocent human beings and start a war that caused the death of another 60+ million.  Sucks to your videogames theory.

I would have hoped that more than just the U.S. would have learned from Columbine.  However, the rest of the world, just like the U.S., pretends it never happened.  Get a clue.  There are psychotics everywhere, and they are either born that way or made that way by the people around them.  If you're going to pass blame, take a look in the mirror and examine the assumed deity within, not its creations.

Okay, so I've said my piece about the people that rail against violent games.  But that's only half of the story.  The other half is that we need to be more civil about our own criticism of these people.  Calling them names is not going to help; in fact, it'll make things worse.  This is because they already look like saints while we look like unkempt cavedwellers - sometimes in the literal sense.

But that doesn't give me license to call them names.  Well, actually, it does.  Yes.  I just said it does.  However, as a potentially public figure for my favourite kind of entertainment, I'm also an ambassador for my culture.  As is Destructoid, so I find their behaviour to be childish and repugnant.  If it's an anonymous forum-dweller trolling about this kind of dreck, that's perfectly fine.  They aren't daily public faces (or, I should say, they aren't on the front page) and, on a whole, don't represent anything more than our version of the people who rail against us because they don't know better - except they aren't in everyone's business.

The moral here is:  Society has to start turning the gaze inward instead of blaming everything but itself when the psychos come out and the people who represent us need to stop acting like children when some ignoramuses make us the target of a BS media stunt.  Sure, they're trying to make their careers off of us, but they'll eventually fail - and fail hard.  Jack Thompson wasn't disbarred for chasing ambulances, after all.

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