School Shootings and Videogames! (Let’s Point Fingers, Bitches!)

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I had to include this somewhere…

Here it goes again. You know what I’m talking about. There’s been a school shooting and its time to blame the video games! Now, because one of my hobbies is studying history, I find it hard to ignore the irony in blaming video games for gun violence when I can open up a text book and point to a million different reasons for it . And yeah, that includes our own constitution here in America if you want to get ‘microscopic’. Do we really have to pretend like America wasn’t born and bathed in the blood of many since before it’s official declaration in 1776? Don’t take my word for it, look it up. I’m not surprised, however, because the only thing we’re better at in the USA other than foriegn occupation is avoiding ownership of our own (usually government’s) bad actions. Everyone knows what happened in the 1940’s Germany, but how many History Channel shows focus on the The Trail of Tears? We’re blind to our own bullshit! And now, whenever there is a mass shooting of any kind we all turn to the media to tell us who to blame, and often it points its fingers at another form of media. I’m not suggesting that culture isn’t partially to blame when we analyze what makes crazy people crazy, but I’m also not going to get behind this idea that video games reinforce violence when I can pull out a history book that proves that violence prevails with or without modern technology and media.

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Graphics so good they’re almost real… almost right?

Where do we get our obsession with guns from anyway? I think I have a good theory, hear me out. We’ve been at “war” since I was old enough to understand the voting process. We’ve been involved in “war” unofficially and officially for my entire life. Perhaps that’s more to blame for my generation’s violent outbursts and savage acts of gun violence than “Duck Hunt“? The other day I posted on Facebook a guide to help women avoid being raped by a surprise attacker. A well meaning  friend commented that I wouldn’t need to know any of the written techniques, if I (or any woman) were  equipped with a license to conceal and carry. Has it really gotten to the point where I shouldn’t leave my home or be in my home without being armed? Let me take this moment to assure my more worried readers, “Duck Hunt” didn’t condition me to be scared within my own home, the news has though. “Duck Hunt” also hasn’t encouraged me to be a gun owner, but I could probably look to the news for that as well. Let it be known, that I hate the news. I hate it all, because here in the states it seems to fill me with irrational fears. Please take this time to note a stark inverse, despite the fact that I’m not a Double F flat tummied buxom babe– video games, especially women in video games, have empowered me and not brainwashed me.

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Yeah, the original FPS in all of it’s glory.

Video games are not to blame for why I am riddled with fear of other countries, fear to travel abroad, fear to go out at night, fear of strangers, fear that I’m going to be strangled and raped walking up to my apartment. I fear people with guns, I fear people with knives, I fear people with cars. I hear about other countries where the people don’t lock their doors even after they’ve been robbed. I remember seeing people who lived like that  in Bowling for Columbine. A quote in the documentary, about that in particular, struck me deeply and never left me. The Canadian put it as follows, “You think as Americans the lock is keeping people out of your place. We as Canadians see it as when we lock the door we’re imprisoning ourselves,”. In Canada the news stations are held much more accountable for what they broadcast, as a result the news is more honest and less scary. I believe that the citizens feel a lesser need for guns, gun violence is down, and people aren’t generally as frightened of each other like we are here in America. I don’t want to live in a cage! But I also don’t want to be murdered and raped just for looking out of place! There has to be a way to present the ugly in this world without sensationalizing it.

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These are almost ALL of my fears wrapped-up in one graphic!

I sat in my living room the other day and watched a CBS special on Andrew Lanza. Lanza was the man who in cold-blood shot school children in Newtown CT. CBS delivered a thinly veiled message practically begging parents to become paranoid wrecks. The story cited that Lanza locked himself away for days in a basement– alone– GAMING. All joking aside, fuck you CBS. Fuck you because that’s pretty normal here in America. The story also mentioned that he had an “extensive game collection”. Well CBS, so do I, please analyze me for my copy of Wall-E on the Wii, or how about Rayman Origins! Let’s take a moment to think freely and understand that not all games are violent.   It’s been studied and proven that the only way video games will enhance dangerous behavior is if the person is already predisposed to that sort of behaviors (see Sherry, 2001; Ferguson, 2007). Theoretically, a  normal person can lock themselves up and play games 365 days a year and the only results will be possible “neckbeard“, unemployablity and definite lack of “girlfriend”.  If gun murder really was the result of intensive gaming our death rate by guns would be much higher than 4.8% per 100,000.

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Don’t get me wrong, this is scary, but not deadly.

I wonder what is more striking for parents who aren’t familiar with video games and war. For that matter, not just parents, anybody really. Is it really how violent games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor are? Or is it that these games are too true to life? What gets me all fired up about this is that, once again, the games up for debate mirror real life. I don’t see anyone getting pissed off at Wall-E,  Rayman, or most other cartoony platformers. Ratchet and Clank utilize guns, did you know? I did however notice 7  Navy Seals in the news getting rammed for ‘releasing military secrets’ after Medal of Honor dropped. (I wonder what kind of secrets they really could have released since that game was total garbage. It couldn’t have been anything too good…)

They never ever point out that violence is just one of our many cultural norms being reflected in these games.  I have some questions and they’re radical ones, so brace yourself. Ask:

  • Are you really offended by the violence in these rampantly popular first person shooter and war games?
  • Or, are you mortified that we’re bringing the wars that are currently being fought on other land’s soil into our living rooms?
  • Do we feel affronted when our children are exposed to violence of such a nature?
  • Or, are we abashed that children are seeing a watered down version of gruesome reality?
  • Do you find it uncomfortable explaining to a 13 year old boy that when one soldier shoots another soldier, in real life, that he doesn’t get to respawn and play another game?

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Fuck you, THIS is ‘Murica Game-Land!

Who did the media blame before the 70’s when video games were all just Combat, Space Invaders, and Pong? If you guessed comic books you’d be correct! I doubt that many of my readers are old enough to recall 1954, but that was the year Fredric Wertham published The Seduction of the Innocent. ‘Seduction’, was a critical review of comic books. It was a bogus answer to the why-are-the-youngsters-so-violent question. He analyzed Wonder Woman, citing her lasso of truth as an innuendo for lesbianic bondage. Batman and Robin were secretly gay lovers (I know what you’re thinking: that’s where those rumors originated!). If you can do the math, that’s making Batman not just a homosexual (God forbid!), but also a pedophile (Now seriously, God FORBID). Superman, not so humorously, was pinned as fascist and “Un-American” (It’s 2013 and we’re still scared of immigrants).  The publication, naturally, sky rocketed to best seller status. It led to parental panic that comics–not bad parenting or maybe mental illness– were the cause of teenage delinquency! Does that sound familiar? Before it was video games it was cartoons, before cartoons it was movies, before movies it was comic books, and before comic books they blamed masturbation! Fuck these quacks and talking-heads trying to point fingers at just about everything… except the individual’s mental state, or the shitty work regimen most of us are slaves to, to shit faced teenagers who we are forced to go to school with, or fucked up spouses, or to neglectful parenting… for example. Sure, you may cite a fluke where they mention these issues, but they’re rarely the bread and butter of the story in the case of major networks.

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Independents for the Legislation for the Regulation of Shitty Sonic Games .

 Fuck this country’s backwards moral loopholes. I love America, I love freedom, I hate that stand-out wackos are not held truly accountable  as long as we can point the finger at an innocent bystander. Imagine that the next step,  every state will require us to exchange fingerprints and personal information when purchasing or trading in games. Florida back in 2008 implemented that  into law! Yet, we can order a gun over the internet without a background check if we’re in a lenient enough state? Let’s get one thing straight, games are not illegal paraphernalia, and are not accessories to crimes.  Let’s stop mentioning them when trying to paint a picture of the disturbed young mind. My greatest fear here is that the older generations just don’t understand the changing entertainment industries, and the younger generations don’t have a voice everyone is willing to listen to. This mentality will prevail as long as we allow fear to cloud our judgments over the willingness to learn about the materials in question.

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Pay close attention. Breaking NEWS ahead!

These analysts and talking-heads don’t actually play the same video games they brutally dissect (SHOCKER I KNOW!). They just blindly attack because they know that parents and grandparents watch the news, and they know that parents especially tend to be too busy providing a life for their beloved children to monitor every game they play. The major media outlets are playing off of just another fear, and they’re not even doing a very good job of it! Take a look the following link at the end of this sentence, it boggles me that major channels get away with this shit! After intense analysis and hearing violence being pegged at creative inventions I’ve loved all my life (e.g. games, comics, cartoons), it’s my professional opinion that news stations are pining for hysteria. They no longer care about actually making a change in the world. They aren’t interested in educating the masses and exposing corruption. Watergate’s publicity would never happen in 2013! These major stations and papers are only interested in exploiting controversy, making money, and forcing people’s undivided attention through fear. After all, are you going to be giving them ratings by enjoying the outdoors, exploring other countries, seeing with your own eyes that people are still people– even in the lands we occupy? Today it’s video games, tomorrow who knows.

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I feel you bro.

Shooting people when not in fear for your life is unforgivable. If you ask me, shooting innocent children is the most heinous of shootings. I hope there is a punishment beyond death awaiting these murders– especially the cowards who kill themselves to escape justice. Aside from that, I understand that police, and any other authority for that matter, are purely reactionary. There is no way for anyone to be anywhere without knowing that they have to be there in the first place! (Did that make sense?) I understand the comfort of being a conceal and carry, but I don’t want to live in a society where I’m made to believe, simply because a first person shooter is the best selling game in the world, that I should have to carry a gun on me to go to the mall or the movies or the fucking diner. You should be comfortable enough with your own body to protect yourself with a gun, but certainly without a gun too! It’s just not true that the rise in FPS popularity is going to cause more mass shooting– or cause need for greater gun regulation. Entertainment to a degree does perhaps dictate our culture, but it undeniably also reflects it…

  • It’s not possible for me to encompass my entire beliefs of this issue in one post. It’s long enough already if you ask me. But perhaps, I’ll return to it. Please comment and share, I’d like to know how people feel about this issue as well.

4 thoughts on “School Shootings and Videogames! (Let’s Point Fingers, Bitches!)

  1. Sir

    While your argument is logical there is some issues that I find pressing.

    First you assume that America is bathed in blood and that is one of the reasons we love our guns. This is far from true, we love our guns because it’s the very thing that gave us our freedom from England.

    That is the fundamental reason why “Gun Nuts” such as myself want to keep all guns legal. We are scared of the Government and what they can do. We are scared of a police state. The whole reason why we are given the right to bar arms is for overthrowing an oppressive Government if need be.

    It’s the same thing as blaming the Video Games and Comic Books for the violence. There needs to be a reason for it according to some people. So they point the finger at things they don’t understand. 90% of the people against Guns have not even held one. It’s the same thing as the attack on Video games. 90% of the people against them never even plays them.

    I love my Video games, I just got off “Eve online” and saw this on my Facebook page. I want my right to keep my firearms that I already own, and I want to play my games in peace. I agree we shouldn’t have to arm ourselves to feel safe, and I don’t go walking outside my door with a gun all the time. Gun violence is not as much as all the talking heads want you to believe. You even stated this. In my opinion 350 deaths a year (According to Dianne Feinstein) from the “assault weapons” does not compare to the thousands killed by knifes, handguns, and just about any other type of murder weapon used. The ONLY reason they want to ban the AR-15 (which Adam Lanza DID NOT USE, he used handguns) is so they can start a ban on ALL guns!! Once they show that is not working, they can go back and say well now we need to ban all guns.

    Too many people play Video games, and too many people own guns. Only a FEW do things that result in murder. So them saying Video Games and Guns causes murder and death is like saying anyone that uses a toilet is a mass murder.

    • It’s Miss, I didn’t say that we love our guns because of war, you misunderstood. I’m implying that our violent tendencies have stemmed from way before technology had any basis in our reality. That was just an example. If we want to point to our obsession with gun culture, we have to examine our obsession with war and our fear of each other. It’s only natural.

  2. Just so you know, duck hunt is not an FPS, and even if it was, it wasn’t the first…. It’s a light gun shooter ; ) and it turned me into a squirrel killing lunatic wielding a bb gun and my honed shot from all the duck hunting practise!

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