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The Deceptive Lobby Against Video Games

Wonder_BusterJun 8, 2018, 1:32:18 AM

As per freaking usual after a school shooting happens, finger pointing and deflection are the first things to be brought up. As per usual with events such as this, the Santa Fe shooting raised the obvious cattle call for gun control for the umpteenth time,because God only knows how important it is for celebrities to tout their support for politics of any kind. Around the same time, video games were once again pilloried by idiots on mainstream and social media, which brings me to the topic of this article. The video game industry has been under scrutiny by the government for over the past quarter century, where games such as Night Trap and the original Mortal Kombat set off a moral panic that eventually culminated in the formation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Both sides of the political spectrum, Republicans and Democrats alike, have done their part on criticizing video games, showing off how little they actually understand them - or their wanting to understand them.

Truth be told, the paranoia exhibited by these individuals is akin to the moral panic that targeted Dungeons and Dragons throughout the 1980s, heavy metal being crucified throughout that same decade, and all throughout the 1990s when animated shows such as Beavis and Butt-Head, The Simpsons, and South Park each drew the ire of media watch groups. However, whereas those moral panics eventually became a laughingstock, the moral panic targeting video games refuses to go away quietly, with moral guardians always finding some self-justification to keep the fearmongering fresh.

What's more, there's violence in other mediums that make even what are considered the biggest offenders in video games look quite tame by comparison. The mainstream media gleefully shows off shocking, horrendous violence on news channnels on a regular basis, with no punishment in sight for them. Rape, sex, incest, and violence, all gratuitous in nature, receive acclaim from critics and accolades from awards shows for television and film. With just a click of the mouse or the touch of a screen, one can observe news stories and videos that trigger the moral guardian crowd. Hell, even Netflix has shows on it that are too extreme even for television and cinema. Yet somehow, without fail, the videos are the first targets to be blamed. Do you see the same disconnect that I see?

The time has come for this moral panic to die and become a memory of how naive we were for letting this persist for so long.

Extensive study after extensive study has been done to find a correlation between video game violence and real world violence. Without exception, no such link between video game violence and real world violence has been found. Although connections between competitive video games and aggression have been observed, it should be noted that there is a clearly defined difference between aggression and violence. Cursing at the game when something doesn't go your way, banging a fist on the desk, and emotional outbursts do count as aggressive behavior. However, none of those things count as violence.

Every single time - every single fucking time - that one of these shootings happens, the modus operandi of the mainstream media has been deflect, deflect, deflect. They always scour for soft targets from the outside instead of maybe, just maybe, realizing that human beings can be cowardly assholes that shape and metastatize their own tragedies. I made no secret in a previous article, "My Take on the Santa Fe Shooting", that the bastard responsible for the carnage was relentlessly bullied. Despite several students confirming that both students and coaches bullied him, the Santa Fe Independent School District vehemently denied that was the case. The timing of this statement, less than a day after the shooting, combined with the backhanded assessment that the students were lying to reporters about the bullying, made it abundantly clear that the SFISD was desparately covering their own ass as fast as possible to avoid a class-action lawsuit.

I leave you with these words of wisdom. These moral panics are nothing more than control trips, created by those who refuse to understand that their fanaticism towardsthe aforementioned moral panic pushes people away instead of bringing more people to the cause. Combining a moral panic with the aftermath of a tragedy such as the Santa Fe shooting is not only slimy and unpardonable, but also how little you care about the sanctity of life when your desire to mold life to your liking outweighs your ability to care about those who are closest to you. And this is the ultimate takeaway, that because we use deflections to say that video games or some other scapegoat are the reason for society's ills, those deflections only contribute to those ills in society, because we refuse to acknowledge that human beings can be despicable towards one another.

So the next time that you insist on using a deflection to a soft target to explain away a tragedy, I recommend that you look yourself in the fucking mirror and ask yourself on how you made the tragedy that much worse.

So until next time, in the immortal words of Edward R. Murrow, "Good night and good luck".


"My Take on the Santa Fe Shooting":


Studies and other articles relating to this topic: