Posted on June 11, 2007, William Violence Causes Games
Over the past couple of months, the debate claiming, “games cause violence” has intensified. We can thank special interest jockeys like Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil I suppose. I prefer to thank people instead of blaming.
I have felt personally sickened that many individuals and groups attempted to attach the Virginia Tech tragedy to this debate. I am from Blacksburg, Virginia and currently finishing out a degree. One of my good friends was one of the 32 innocent people murdered. I also mourn the death of the other 31. It honestly completely tweaks my melon that people are looking for so many things to blame. Have we completely forgotten about personal responsibility in society? I understand that it’s human nature to blame, but we have to accept the fact that sometimes it’s o.k. to go ahead and place the blame on an individual instead of everything else. If you want to blame someone for what happened here, blame that bastard Cho. To continually use what happened here for special interest agendas is simply doing a disgrace to the lives of 32 great Hokies we lost that day.
My primary point of this article is that perhaps we need to start thinking about this debate backwards. I started thinking the other day about the concept that violence causes the games instead of it being the other way around. What came first? Car jacking or Grand Theft Auto? It’s not really a stretch to comprehend the fact that the games we see today are a product of our society and not the other way around. Perhaps instead of attacking the video game industry, Jack Thompson and others could actually go after real life criminals. In the end, games are simply a form of entertainment, and in most ways less violent than a random sampling of Hollywood films.
I definitely support keeping violent games away from kids. That is usually the angle these people against games take, but it’s really a farce. It seems to me they are simply trying to make money. The systems are already in place to keep the games away from kids. If you want to prosecute someone, go after the Wal Mart or GameStop clerk selling the rated “M” games to minors. Go after the parents. Living in a free society the way we do, we should not be punished for the minority of people who cannot handle the games properly. Another aspect that needs to be seriously looked into is the actual contribution games have to violent and deviant behavior. I’m sure in nearly any case of violence perpetrated by a gamer you will discover an entire treasure trove of other factors that led to the behavior. I will always refuse to believe that playing a violent game will cause any kind of real life violence. Explain why so many of us can handle the games just fine.
I guess in the end I am simply tired of the nonsense arguments people are tossing out against gamers and the video game industry. If you don’t want games to be violent, then work on making society less violent first. I am far more concerned with real world events. As a society, we really need to get our priorities straight.