It’s 2018 – Time To Stop Blaming Video Games For Violent Acts
Video games once again find themselves as the source of blame in another tragedy. The topic is being revisited yet again after the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Which make no mistake, it was a tragedy, but revisiting a debate that’s waged every time a tragedy such as this occurs. That debate centers on the fact that video games specifically violent video games, lead to violent acts such as school shootings.
Video games aren’t the problem, not having a real discussion is the problem
Every time one of these tragedies happen people are quick to point the finger at video games as being the root of the problem. Despite the studies and other evidence that completely exonerates video games from their perceived role in these tragedies. Why does this keep happening? The answer is simple. Because it’s easy. It’s easy to blame video games than to sit down and have a real discussion. It’s easier to point your finger at something and say that it’s to blame.
For politicians, it’s easier to blame video games for the tragedy. Instead of having a discussion that might ruffle the feathers of campaign donors. Because of this questions that should be asked, and conversations that need to be held aren’t. As a result, for everyone but the victims and their families’ things return to normal. When the news cycle finds something else to focus on and people find something else to be outraged about. This results in the tragedies occurring again and again.
What questions need to be asked? What conversations need to be held? Well, the Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has already posted one such point on Twitter.
The US plays the same video games as the rest of the world. And yet, we stand alone in our mass shooting tragedies.
Blaming video games for the violence in the US defies both facts and common sense, and distracts us from finding the real, immediate solutions we need.
— IGDA Exec. Director (@IGDA_ED) February 20, 2018
This is a conversation that I feel people should be having because it’s true. In fact, some places in the world get access to even more video games then we do in the United States. Japan, for instance, sees the release of numerous games that never find their way to store shelves in the United States. Yet these types of events aren’t commonplace there. Why is that?
If you start eliminating the common factors such as video games. Then you’re left with media and other influences that these regions don’t have in common. Also, if people want to blame a form of entertainment for these acts of violence. Then it’s worth pointing out that television and movies showcase gun violence more than video games do. When it comes to video games and acts of violence it’s past time for that conversation to be over.
The fact that these types of tragedies have become a common occurrence in the United States is a tragedy in and of itself. Human history is filled with violent acts and violent people. Many who lived and died centuries before video games were ever invented. It’s 2018 frankly it’s time to stop blaming video games, and past time to ask real questions and have hard conversations. That’s the only way these tragedies can be avoided in the future.
Have thoughts, or comments? Sound off below.