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Should video games be “on the hook” for Sandy Hook?

3 Comments

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No more dead children!

Haven’t you heard it before? Video games cause violence. Games are responsible for young men taking up arms and shooting innocent victims to death. Do video games make easy scapegoats for covering up the real issue or is there more to this debate then what gamer’s are willing to admit?

Same Old Song

There have been countless debates over the decades dealing with the issue of whether or not violent video games are the catalyst for “gun rage” in young adults. Everything from Mortal Kombat to GTA and just about every major first person shooter has been a target of this criticism. Is it justified? I guess it depends on who you ask. At E3 2012 several game designers expressed their distaste for “ultra violent” video games. In an article from a news site called Salon, they quote Waren Spector as saying this:

“The ultraviolence has to stop,” designer Warren Spector told the GamesIndustry website after E3. “I do believe that we are fetishizing violence, and now in some cases actually combining it with an adolescent approach to sexuality. I just think it’s in bad taste. Ultimately I think it will cause us trouble.”

The same site also reports that Antwand Pearman who is editor of the website GamerFitNation is calling for a “Day of Cease-Fire for Online Shooters”. He also had this to say.

“We are simply making a statement,” Pearman said, “that we as gamers are not going to sit back and ignore the lives that were lost.”

Here is the link to the site: 

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/19/shooting_renews_argument_over_video_game_violence/

If video games are to blame for the increase of violence in young men then movies ought to share a fair amount of that blame as well. Our films are ripe with sex, violence, and killing. The gaming industry is obviously just chasing Hollywoods coat tails. How many shoot ’em up films have we had come out in the past few years alone? Too many to count. I think the main difference between film and games is that games by default attract a much younger audience. 

Who is to blame?

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How responsible are they?

I’d like to think that the real person responsible for any gun violence would be the offender. He/she committed the crime so why put the blame on someone or something else? You have to also understand why people get so up in arms over video game violence to begin with. History shows that they have many reasons to. 

In 2008 a 17-year old was accused of killing his mother and shooting his dad because they took away his copy of Halo 3.

link:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/12/boy_killed_mom_and_shot_dad_ov.html

Last year a couple in Osaka, Japan killed their 3-year old because she threw away their gaming system. This is what the woman had to say:

“Even when we scolded her, she didn’t listen,” said Tanaka, “so we put her in a bag.”

link: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/04/3-year-old-killed-gaming-system_n_844569.html

A 13-year old kid from Oklahoma allegedly shook his his 9-month old baby sister to death because she wouldn’t stop crying while he was playing video games.

 

link:

http://www.imperfectparent.com/topics/2011/08/23/13-yr-old-allegedly-kills-infant-over-video-game/

The list goes on and on. With stories like these it’s understandable why gaming is an easy target. There seems to be some mental health issues in a lot of these cases as well. Many of us  have had kids cry while were engaged in an intense COD match, or even had our games taken away from us by our parents when we were kids yet we didn’t resort to such violence. Just like guns are regulated and some people should never own one, maybe games should be treated in a similar fashion. 

Lets start with the console makers. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are the “bread and butter” for any major video game company that looks to make a profit in gaming. They represent the first line of defense when it comes to the responsibility of insuring that parents have all of the tools needed to regulate content they don’t want their children to be exposed to. Parental controls are present in all three gaming consoles. As a parent you can filter out the content that you deem inappropriate for your child’s age. I think this needs to be taken one step further though. Parental control advertising should be present on the packaging of the console and should also be the first action that you are prompted to take once the console is turned on and skipping this step should not be an option. How about making  a california ID requirement for anyone looking to play an “M” rated game? 

Next up, game publishers like Activision and EA should be more aware of who they are marketing their games to. I would say they should be more conscious of the content they allow their developers to put in their games but to them the money speaks louder then their moral ethics. 

On the developer side is were i will say that these guys should be more conscious of the content they put in their games. I’m sure they are pressured by developers to come up with the next “big thing” in gaming but someone has to have a big enough “pair” on them to say enough is enough with the shooting and killing in games.

Retail is up next. Games should be displayed by their content rating. Games rated “E” for “Everyone” should be on one display while games with an “M” rating on another. Make it easy for parents to see. Second, “M” rated games should be treated like alcohol. No ID no sale! 

Last but not least, the parents need to be more aware of what they are letting their kids play. Don’t just take their word for it. Research the game. Educate yourselves about the different ratings and the content they may include. How bout if the parents actually sit down with there kids and actually observe the first hour of two of the game to make sure its up to their standards. We all play a part in this. 

I will speak briefly on gun control. Gangsters, thugs, murderer’s and every other piece of garbage that can get a gun illegaly will do so regardless of the laws in place. The every day citizen should have the right to buy and keep a firearm in their home or on their person in order to protect his/her home. I think it might benefit our society if everyone who qualifies was able to carry a gun on the street. Yeah just like wild west. How likely would someone be to “car jack” someone else or rob a store if they knew 9 out of 10 people they came across had a gun? This is just a thought but maybe teachers should be required to carry a firearm in school. It’s sad that i’m even talking about this but i’m tired of hearing about students being shot dead by some sicko who decided they wanted to end the lives of someone else because their pain was too great. Lets just do a better job of regulating who can own a gun and give out much harsher sentences for gun violations. I’m not saying that it is an easy fix by any means but we need to start somewhere. 

Enough is Enough!!!

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The gaming industry DOES glorify killing. If you disagree, punch yourself in the throat!

Now i’m talking to you gamer’s out there. Every time video games get blamed for violence you see the immaturity of an already immature industry rise up. Listen, i understand your frustration with the major media networks who point the finger at your favorite games and say that its causing our young men to become animals but you have to see it from their perspective. How many games have come out in 2012 that glorify shooting and killing? How bout the last few years? 

1. Call of Duty

2. Red Dead Redemption

3; Battlefield 3

4. Hitman 

5. Gears of War

6. Uncharted

7. Max Payne

8. GTA

9. Crysis

10. Rage

Now all i did was list the big shooters of the last few years. My point is that every time someone outside of the gaming industry peeks his/her head in all they see is shooting and killing. If a parent were to look at a trailer for Max Payne what would they see? A scene were a man walks into an office space holding two guns opening up fire on the people in the room. Now we know that Max Payne is simply giving the “bad guys” what they had coming to them but your mom probably doesn’t. Congress doesn’t. Now us “Believers” like to quote a bible verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:22 which reads: “Abstain from every form of evil”. Another translation says stay away from the “appearance” of evil. What am i trying to say? Video games are filled with violence for the sake of violence. Don’t think so? Why do shooters sell so well? Don’t you dare say its because of the story! When a person sees a player in-game get his “top” blown off and is rewarded with a few points for accurately squeezing the trigger on his virtual sniper rifle he feels a rush of adrenaline. He wants more. He craves it. 

 Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller recently introduced a bill that would allow the National Academy of Sciences examine any link between violent video games and media, and violent acts by children as reported by news site, Politico. 

link:

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/sen-jay-rockefeller-wants-shooter-games-and-violence-studied-85298.html

People in the gaming industry seem to be in a rage about this. Why? Yes i understand it feels like the government is just picking on the industry again but it has to be more than that and you have to see that by now. What is more important to you? Gaming or the safety of our young people? Just for a moment entertain the thought that violent video games could be having a negative effect on a certain percentage of our population. Isn’t that worth looking in to? I believe it is. Movies should be looked at in the same manner as well. Anything that could potentially stop another Sandy Hook incident is worth a shot. Listen, if video games are to blame then i believe the truth will eventually come to light. If they are not then the light will shine on that as well. As gamer’s you have to be more open minded though. There is a reason why countries like China, Australia, Brazil and Germany have banned several video games from being sold on their soil. Sometimes you have to look at the greater good. If the trade off for eliminating certain games means we have fewer violent incidents then it would be worth it. Hear my heart. All i’m saying is lets keep our options open. The violence in our country goes way beyond video games. Our society is just screwed up plain and simple. Video games just take all the heat because they appeal to children just by the nature of what they are and anything that even remotely seems like it can hurt our children will be scrutinized. 

Closing

Man is wicked. I hope you have realized that by now. We love violence and we are becoming more and more desensitized to death and killing. We enjoy the things we shouldn’t and don’t enjoy the things we should. Video games are just one drop in the bucket of reasons why we are the way we are. We live in a God-less country and yes i said God. We are self-indulgent and could care less about what happens to another human being. Our problems are far greater than a damn video game! Lets not let what happened at Sandy Hook happen again. Lets do anything and EVERYTHING we can to prevent it. Even if that means giving up the things we love. As always, i want to know what your thoughts are on the matter and i also want to know what makes Wii U MAD?

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What if this was your little girl?

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3 thoughts on “Should video games be “on the hook” for Sandy Hook?

  1. Yes, America, give up your freedom of choice, and developers, give up your freedom of speech, and retailers, don’t market anything violent to kids. FUCK! THAT! NOISE! It should be up purely to the parents to decide. I’ve been playing shooter games since I was fucking 8 years old. Do you see me on the news? No, you don’t. What ever happened to just being crazy? In the 80’s=90’s it was “THE ROCK AND ROLL IS MAKING OUR KIDS GO CRAZY!”, and now it’s video games. The devil in 1080P. What did Jack the ripper have? Books? What did Charles Manson have? Pong? What did Timothy McVeigh have? Super Mario Brothers? This is bullshit. There were killings in Jack The Ripper’s time, and there are killings now. That will never change, at least not in my life time. I can’t stand these people that say “OMG THE VIDYA GAMEZ IZ MAKIN’ OUR KIDZ GO CRAZY!”. God damn people can be stupid.

  2. Isnt it worth looking at all sides? I personally don’t think you can blame videogames without blaming film and television. But until this debate gets a nail in its coffin we have to be open to suggestions. No one needs to give up any freedoms.

  3. Pingback: Screw the gaming industry! This is not a rant its the TRUTH « WiiUmad GAMERS

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