In response to the recent resurgence of scapegoat blaming video games for the various gun violence tragedies across the U.S., Johnny Coconate has some things to say.
I wish I didn’t have to do this. It’s the 21st century people; video games should not be blamed for making kids want to kill people. Last time I checked, guns kill people and video games entertain people. Turns out 100% of people that are shot were shot by guns, not video games. Crazy, right? And unless someone’s killed somebody by strangling them with a controller cord, beating them with a console or cutting them with a broken game disc, I don’t think video games have ever been used to kill anybody. Yet here we are once again, blaming video games instead of guns.
A favorite of gun defenders is the argument that “blaming guns for killing people is like blaming pencils for misspelling words,” which is a great argument if your brain is working at 3% of its total ability. Equating a misspelled word with a dead human being is a terrible fucking thing to do. Misspelled words can be erased and fixed, but you can’t reverse time and stop yourself from pulling the trigger. So stop using that argument. More focus needs to be put on the people carrying out the crime, such as the news media going in-depth about mental illness instead of body counts and survivor stories. But I don’t see the NRA or any Republicans willing to donate money or not cut spending on mental health. They just want to play scapegoat, which they’ve been doing for two presidential elections now, which is why they lost last year and will continue to lose. If you don’t deal with the real problem, then you’re just procrastinating, and as a Jedi fucking Master at procrastinating, let me tell you that the problem only gets worse.
By blaming video games again, we’re back to dancing around the real problem, which I believe is first and foremost mental health and stability, but also gun control. Yes, people should be blamed the most; they are after all the ones that carried out said crimes with guns. But that’s what guns do: they kill. Guns are weapons made for the sole purpose of killing, but that doesn’t mean they have to fulfill that destiny. Think about all the guns in the world. They’re not being fired right now, because otherwise you’d probably hear it. If shooting at a range makes you happy, you should be allowed to pursue that, because the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. I’m fine with people hunting, as long as they have permits and aren’t hunting something endangered. However, hunters shouldn’t be using assault rifles to hunt. One shot, one kill: that’s what a hunter’s motto should be. Not “empty a clip and hope I hit it.” Hunting is supposed to be a sport which requires skill, rules and a sense of honor. Remove the three and you’re left with a bunch of morons overkilling a deer for no reason. There’s killing for sport and killing for food. Killing something just for the sake of killing is serial killer behavior and needs to be treated quickly.
Now to defend the new scapegoat on the block: video games. The first time I played a first person shooter was in the 90s with GoldenEye 007 on N64. Since then I’ve played many a first person shooter. I have not at any point shot and killed anybody, nor do I plan to, even though I consume mass amounts of violent entertainment. Blaming video games for making mass murderers is like blaming Nickelback for the extinction of the dinosaurs; there is no way in hell they’re connected, and just because you don’t like and/or understand something doesn’t mean you should blame it for causing something else. Blaming video games for making our culture more violent? Are you shitting me? Open up a history book and turn to any page, and you’ll wind up with a group of people killing another. Humans were violent long before the invention of video games, film, music, the written word, and probably oral language. Video games as art/entertainment (a longer discussion in and of itself) are a part of our culture, a culture which has been violent for a long time.
If anything, our culture has made video games violent. Games surely didn’t start out violent, but when they got there the money started coming and they stayed there. Has that made us numb to violence? I wish. I feel we’re only numb to strangers getting hurt/killed, because we know nothing about them until we see a piece on the news and lower our heads for the 30 seconds the piece runs. I think it’s always been this way, though. Sure there are stories of strangers helping strangers, but that’s only in times of crisis and disaster. And it’s still not enough. We remember the name of the disaster or murderer instead of the victims. Take, for example, Guinness World Record holder Vasili Blokhin, a Soviet executioner who killed 7,000 Polish POWs in 28 days in 1940, at a rate of one prisoner every three minutes. What video games was he playing? Maybe he was reading comic books or listening to that devil music? Or maybe he was sick. What would you call someone who does such a thing?