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Reason, Symptom, Link or Coincidence? Violence and Video Games

Skye Starlight

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I've heard it before. Mass murderers played video-game. Sandy Hook Massacre? Check. That one in Norway a while ago? Yeah, that one too.

 

Yes, they played video games. That's fact I cannot deny. But there's a limit to what you can infer from that.

 

So you can imagine my annoyance when today I saw this:

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/student-found-weapons-orange-co-elementary-school/nZ8DK/?ecmp=wftv_social_201312470064

 

So, a kid played Minecraft and took a gun, hammer and knife to school. So his father blamed the Minecraft, saying "They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies"

 

He obviously hasn't played the game. That or he's covering his butt with the fact that the gun was his and stored in a drawer.

 

Anyway, the only thing close to what he described in vanilla is swords, bows and shovels. It actually sounds closer to Terraria, because at least that game has guns, swords and hammers, and use them for the purposes of fighting off monsters and destroying things.

 

Now, I know this fandom has many member who play video-games. And I know that most of the fandom are normal, if not kinder, decent, human beings. The fact that anyone would blame video-games for violence is staggering for most of the internet. Video-games can reduce stress and preoccupy you. I mean, who hasn't felt better after destroying a building, car, or killing a person whilst playing a game you enjoy? Yelling for a boss to die, running around shooting everything you see. These mindless acts of violence reduce stress and can in fact prevent you from doing those mindless acts of violence in the real world.

 

But there's a link between these cases of violent crime and video games. I think there is anyway. I'm just not sure what it is. However, I know that video-games can't be the root cause. They might be inspiration, but not motive or means. I mean, who'd kill someone, just to live out their video-game inspired fantasies?

 

I'm not saying they don't contribute, but they sure aren't the problem. Maybe it's the increase in lazy parents who don't care what their kids see or do. Maybe it's the media hyping up all the murders, revealing minute details of how it happened. Maybe it's the idolizing of violence in all media, including video-games. Maybe it's a mental health issue, and playing video-games has been a way for murderers to cope with things like depression. Maybe it's that people with mental health issues, possibly not diagnosed, play video games, become inspired to kill someone and just so happen to have access to a weapon, thanks to someone else? Or maybe, just maybe, it's a coincidence. Maybe there is no connection at all and the people of the world are just crazy...

 

Actually, that last one is kinda true. The people of the world are insane, and only a few of us can see it. I accept that I'm somewhat insane. I live with it every day. I have irrational fears, vivid dreams of either horror or light. I fight, I laugh, I imagine things that could never happen, ever. I doubt a single person out there hasn't once thought of committing a crime, be is stealing something small or killing someone they absolutely loathe. It is only those who act upon these insane thoughts that are caught, but everyone has the potential. Most of us just know better, taught by our parents to behave, to feel guilty for things, although there are less and less of them.

Whatever the reason for these crime, it's complicated, and the media should stop blaming something which has grown to encompass a target market. One which they could make a fortune off of, but don't.

 

Maybe media outlets should learn that the people of our world are changing, and that the media needs to change with it.



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