Violence in Video Games and Violence in Real Life

Introduction

 

I know I am a little late with this commentary in regards to the school shooting that happened a few weeks ago. For those of you are not aware, there was a shooting on February 14th, 2018 in Florida at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

 

According to Wikipedia:

 

Seventeen people were killed and fourteen more were taken to hospitals, making it one of the world's deadliest school massacres. The suspected perpetrator, 19-year-old Nikolas Jacob Cruz, was identified by witnesses and arrested shortly afterward. He confessed, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. 

 

This has happened more and more in recent years and it seems that there is no end in sight. 

 

Discussion

 

There have been many arguments, made by many people in regards to these shootings. Some are advocating for more guns, while others, are calling for better gun laws. Queue the vinyl scratching sound, as the above sounds like a broken record. 

 

Now, President Trump has gone on record, blaming the shooting on video games. 

 

Forbes Article - Trump Blames Violent Video Games For School Shootings -- Here's Why He's Wrong

 

The above talks about why it is wrong that he said that. I think they are correct in their assessment but I wanted to put in my view as I am not an American, I am a Canadian from Montreal. 

 

The argument above has been made numerous times over the years and it is not the first time. Remember the whole controversy with Mortal Kombat and the blood? I remember reading at the time that violent video games should be stopped and not sold anymore. 

 

How did that turn out for you?

 

During the same period of time, I remember there were groups that found Garfield and Bugs Bunny too violent. Garfield was too violent because he would kick Odie off the table in the opening scene. Bugs Bunny was too violent because of the Coyote. He would jump off cliffs and it was thought, kids would follow suit. 

 

I have been watching these shows and playing video games for pretty much my whole life. Not once did I ever have a violent tendency to kill or injure someone.  

 

I know friends that play violent games like Wolfenstein II, Assassin's Creed and Overwatch, just to name a few. They never went on a violent tangent. In fact, they are some of the best people that I know. So the argument that violent games cause people to go ape shit and kill people is just not true. 

 

Now, there are many people in our society that have mental issues. These range from Schizophrenia to Depression.  If these conditions are not treated properly,  you do not know what they can do. They can decide to kill themselves or kill other people. They can also possibly decide to keep it to themselves and suffer in silence, but the possibility is there for violence. Anything can trigger that behaviour, from watching a couple kissing on a park bench to seeing something on the news that they find wrong. To pinpoint it on video games alone is very short sighted. 

 

Like many that seem to make laws nowadays and this includes my country and province, laws are passed by people that never dealt with the law that they are enforcing. For example, here in Montreal we had a Pitbull ban on breeds that were in the Pitbull family. So anyone with one of these dogs would get euthanized. Everyone, that has ever had a pet in their life would know that you cannot put all dogs in one boat. Looking at it from this narrow lens is just wrong. 

 

The same exists for video games. The people that want to pass these laws, probably never played video games. Their only exposure to video games is what is in the news. For example, Swatting and deaths due to playing video games too long. 

 

For those who do not know what Swatting is, here is an article I wrote a while back on the subject. 

Swatting - Why is this is Thing?

 

I get it, video game players are often in their bubble, but to blame an epidemic of gun violence on video games is very short sighted.  Should new laws be passed? Yes, I think there should be new laws for Swatting. I think it is a despicable activity. 

 

What it comes down to is a scape goat. The law makers make money off the back of gun manufacturers and the NRA. So, of course they will try to find any scape goat for the violence. The issue also stems from people having a short memory. It is starting to change but the strategy for a long time was to, weather the storm and then people will forget about how pissed they were. 

 

I think that citizens in the U.S. are on the right track to continue to add pressure for better gun laws and eliminating them altogether. I personally think, guns are not needed in society. We only think we need them but we do not. I know many will give their points about how in some situations guns are needed. I just do not believe that.

 

The only way to change the mentality of the people in charge, is voting for people that have your values and policy positions. Yes, I get that the choices are not always ideal, but if we choose for that instead of the party of affiliation, then society would be a little better off, in my opinion. 

 

What do you think? Am I wrong? Do you think that games are to blame? Let me know below. 

 

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