Friday, April 20, 2012

The Game Didn't Make Him Do It

I was hoping to avoid this, but when a mass murder drops the “video game” bomb, it’s difficult to ignore.

Anders Breivik, the person who planned and carried out that mass shooting spree last July in Oslo, Norway, came out to say that he played World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. Specifically the later to work out tactical maneuvers to dodge the cops after it was all said and done.

And while he honestly contemplated using video games as a scapegoat, he turned around and decided to be truthful. How thoughtful for someone who killed 77 people. The games didn’t make him do it. He had long planned out and wanted to go on this spree for a while. Video games didn’t have a part in the “why did he do this.”

So thank you Reuters for FINALLY publishing an article that exposes this issue.

We are a society that wants answers, and we want them now. If someone does something bad, we want to know “why”. And the easy response is to blame a mental condition spurred by violent video games. Before that it was music. And before that it was television. And movies. And theater. And books. And art! It’s a continuous cycle of “what’s popular now in entertainment” that takes the blame. Poor art. What did it ever do?

So many people play video games that it is difficult to see the correlation. It’s like saying “everyone that has murdered a person, wore shoes. Therefore, everyone that wears shoes is a murderer.” Of course not. But that’s the type of reasoning that has been applied for centuries with entertainment mediums.

Are there the odd ducks in the universe with real mental issues that would cause concern? Sure. And there have been people influenced to do things because they didn’t have the mental capacity to understand otherwise. But that doesn’t mean ALL video games and ALL people are bad. Think of the whole before you think about pointing fingers. The easiest answer is more than likely not the right one. It’ll probably be years before we figure out why Breivik did what he did. All of the answers to any question take time to research.


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