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The Game of Shifting Blame

Video Game Violence: Guilty or Guiltless?

In the last few weeks, the U.S.  has once again been struck by a horrific tragedy.  A tragedy whose impact and weight cannot be ignored. In the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, answers are being sought after for the reason for this tragedy. Was it the accessibility of firearms? Was it the shooters mental state? According to President Donald Trump (I call him Donny for short), it’s video games! I swear Donny and Jack Thompson (Remember him…? Yeah, he is a dipshit, disbarred and disgraced.) are fucking pen pals.

That’s right folks it’s 1992 and 1999 all over again! Video games are once again called up to question: do video games influence violence? Is the realistic violence twisting youth into mass shooters? It may come as a surprise to some… especially since my recent article, that I do not think that video games can make a psychotic mass killer as much as smutty games will turn people into a serial rapist. Now a mentally disturbed person that is indulging in some various media, and because of their disjointed view of the world, may see messages in games or movies that would provoke or intensify their insanity. But that’s not that media’s fault that caused the individual’s insanity, as much as the person’s deteriorating mental state was already a preexisting condition. Mental issues in mass shootings tend to be overlooked, as they are hard to define to an audience and when it comes to the mass media… it’s not an attention grabber such as “Video Games Create Super Solder Maniacs”.

While I think that serious attention should be granted on how we sell and distribute games with violence and sex, it should not be regulated by government intervention. It’s imperative that video game industry leaders show some concern on this issue and so far it has been taken seriously by the industry but, due to recent government fumble-fucking, we have achieved less than nothing on the issue. Oh, sure talk was done but no real action was taken. A dog and pony show for sure to distract other noticeable issues, such as gun control.

A kid with a NES Zapper isn’t going to become some legendary marksman and Doom will not suddenly train you to become a one-man army. Games aren’t teaching kids the mechanics of handling firearms and dealing with nuances such as “shooters fatigue” (your trigger finger gets tired or you just cannot hold up the weapon anymore). You can play “Call of Duty” until your eyes bleed, but you won’t become Audie Murphy.

Video games have been attributed to such horror stories such as a mother who was so addicted to World of Warcraft her 3-year-old daughter died of starvation because of neglect. (And a tragedy that hits hard on a personal level from raising my niece.) Even the recent school shooter (I refuse to use his name) attacked his own mother when she took away his video games.

During my time in the Navy, I saw video game addiction become so intense for some sailors that they were given Bad Conduct Discharges because they wouldn’t show up to their assigned duty for over a month. (Dishonorable Discharge isn’t as common as some would think). I saw one sailor whose wife openly cheated on him and she didn’t make it a secret while he was glued to his games. Both of those situations, believe it or not, happened when Halo 2 just came out and playing on Xbox Live exploded. What’s the point of those anecdotes…? Just simple examples of how gaming can affect the individual; but was it video games that caused the individuals mental instability or was it a mere outlet/symptom of the condition?

Games can have an impact on lives for the good; such as rehabilitation for stroke victims and those with cerebral palsy and even Tetris is helping veterans with PTSD. Those are just a few of many wonderful applications for video games in society. During times of great crisis when true compassion and real action are needed, knee-jerked responses by hotheads wielding their newest scapegoat are unneeded and unwanted.


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Russell Davis

About the Author: Russell Davis is the Lead Programmer and Co-Owner of Reject Force Entertainment, and also portrays the eccentric rich tycoon Ramblington Babblington in Run on the Bank. A 2D side scrolling shooter design in homage of old arcade and 8-bit console games for Android that's currently in development. We strive for only the quality lunacy. If you want to support Run on the Bank, visit us at our Patreon, and thank you for reading! Become a Patron!

One Comment

  1. Thanks for writing this. Here I thought the video game violence debate was dead and gone. When any kid can turn on the TV to see any sort of violence, it seems hollow to single out vids. The difference is, the old farrs that raise these debates don’t like or understand video games. They’ll all die of old age soon, though. And we can be in charge.

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