I find it hard to believe we’re still having the chat about violence in video games. Every time I think we’ve sorted it out, another story pops up that claims our children are being turned into violent, bloodthirsty lunatics because they’re playing games that involve firearms.
So-called experts claimed that Adam Lanza was “emulating a violent video game” when he committed the heinous Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. Police didn’t hesitate to point out that a search of Lanza’s home revealed, and I quote, “thousands of dollars’ worth of violent video games”.
Further evidence included the fact that, before the shooting, Lanza destroyed the hard drive on his computer. According to the experts, it’s quite clear that he only did this to hide which horribly violent games he’d been playing and with whom…
Yeah, okay, so what you’re telling me is that Adam Lanza was so ashamed of the fact that video games made him kill that, before embarking on said killing spree, he took the time to destroy his hard drive and hide all the evidence… But he decided to just leave the “thousands of dollars’ worth” of actual games lying around the place. What a tremendous theory!
Ladies and gentlemen of the court of public opinion, please, before you judge we video game enthusiasts as a bunch of mindless, bloodthirsty killers, I implore you… Take a step back and look at the big picture. Given that most games these days cost anywhere between 80 and 100 bucks, to own over a thousand dollars’ worth involves having 10 or 12 games. I have about 35 at my place and at least half of them involve large amounts of killing. To this day, I have murdered precisely no people in real life. Neither have any of my intelligent, kind, forward-thinking gamer friends.
If a search of Adam Lanza’s house had revealed a few grand’s worth of Callaway clubs in his garage, would we be blaming the sport of golf? What if he was right into jigsaw puzzles? Would there be advocate groups screaming for them to be banned?
Truth be told, nobody knows why this lunatic did what he did and we probably never will. Blaming video games is convenient, it’s sexy, it sells papers and it whips the ignorant public into a frenzy… so much so, that I almost feel ashamed to admit that I enjoy gaming as a legit form of entertainment. I get to chat with my overseas and interstate friends, I drive cars, I shoot aliens, I rescue people and I assassinate people. It’s my way of unwinding and I’ve been at it for about 30 years now.
Yes, some video games are violent. Of course they are! But so are some movies and a whole bunch of books. I mean, has anyone here read any Shakespeare?! You wanna talk about violent and dysfunctional? Holy crap!
All I’m saying is… People who play games are just that… People who play games. And I’d be forever grateful to you all if we could bear that in mind.