Blaming video games is easier than blaming ourselves for violent crimes

Video games are often used as a scapegoat to explain how violent tragedy can occur right under our noses. The problem is, these issues are deeper than a single explanation, and studies don't support video games as a reason either. It's time we look at ourselves, not to games for an answer.

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dmonee1983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

I totally agree with this notion, and I have a theory. We will call this the "seen it" theory. Movies are easy to pick on for their violence. The reason being, is that when people site movies for their graphic content, the person attacking the film has most likely "seen it". Even if a peson skims through an hour and a half movie, they can usually get a good grasp of what's happening.
The problem with video games, is that, some of these games can take 10 to 20 hours or so to finish, like a game such as Grand Theft Auto IV. When people, that don't play games, see footage of a game like Grand Theft Auto, all they see is the violence. They are not aware of the narrative, or what drives the protaganist to do what he does.
I've actually heard a newswoman describe Grand Theft Auto as a game thats about having sex with prostitutes, and killing them for points. This is a problem in that, she has never, "seen it." She described one activity in the game that she heard about, and not only got it wrong aobut the points, but wanted the viewer to think, that's all the game was about.
People that attack video games are usually people that don't play them. They hear the word "game", and assume the content level is as simple as checkers or hugry hungry hippos. Only one way to play with no variety and a set of rules. I think we need to change the terminology. Interactive entertainment, is harder to say, but describes the actuality of what we're doing better. I speak with non gamers all the time, that forgot about their early days of playing NIntendo. They think games are void of any story or clear objectives.
To get to my point. All the games that i've played usually put you in the Avatar of a good guy, or a character that want's to do good deeds. Now this has changed a little over the years with games like Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, Fable etc..... But these aren't the games their attacking. They want games like GTA and Call of Duty called to court. Event these games in their single player campaigns deal with stories of redemption and saving the world. These people that want these violent games banned would probably change their tune if they just "seen it". On the other hand, go blame an old classic war film like Saving Private Ryan or Full Metal Jacket and watch them argure their way out of that one. Bottom line is, if it's not games, music, or movies being blamed, then it will be books and paintings.

soundslike1983d ago

Using the narrative as a counter argument only gives the opposition more chance to attack violent games. You need to defend the violence itself in order to break down their argument.

TruthbeTold1983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

That's not true at all. You don't have to defend the violence. You defend the 99.9999% of normal, sane people who would never do such a thing, and put things in a proper perspective.

9/11 happens, rights get tightened and lost.

Shoe bomber, one guy? Now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport as we stand in a 'You are slime until we deem that you aren't' line.

Underwear bomber? One guy. Now we all have to get felt up and have digitally generated porn of our bodies in that aforementioned line.

The kicker in those instances? Regular, every day people stoped 2 and 1/3 of those attacks, and the government, with the laws already in place were in a position to prevent them all had they been competent and diligent enough.

People are sick of this mess. It's like we're all kids again in a giant classroom, and every time some dumbass punches the kid next to him, we all get punished. Enough.

dmonee1983d ago

It's really up to the indavidual to decide how he of she plays a game. Especially Sanbox games that give you freedom to whatever you please. Every game i've ever played, penalize you heavily for random acts of violence. The bottom line, is that developers if they so choose could push the violence bar even further, but responsibly don't. Ever notice how games like GTA and Saints Row never have children roaming the streets, or woman pushing strollers? These things are omitted on purpose, not because they didn't think about it. These issues of violence have been going on long before video games got "realistic".

rpd1231983d ago

I know what you're saying. My parents were kind of upset when they found out I had GTA 4. My dad thought it was about killing prostitutes and police officers. It's understandable why he wouldn't want me to have it. Once I explained the story line he actually thought it was a pretty cool game. People who don't play games rely on outside sources for what a game is all about. Those who have never played Mass Effect probably think it's a game about getting laid because of the whole debacle when it came out. The newscasters had no idea what they were even talking about.

Bigpappy1983d ago

In the U.S, it is sick people having access to powerful weapons and people willing to let them have them no matter who they kill, as long as it does not keep them from their "right" to have one.
Kind of short sighted and selfish, don't you think?

violents1983d ago

Someone will always latch on to an easy excuse. Right now video games are the easy excuse. In the 50s and 60s it was elvis and his hips shaking, in the 70s it was rock and roll. Every generation is going to find problems with something because no one ever wants to point the finger at themselves and say this is the problem. No one has a sense of personal responsiblity any more, they always want to blame society or a video game or mommy didnt hug me enough, or whatever. Face it society some people are just messed up and their isnt anything tangible to blame it on. If video games were the cause of things like this then just throw movies and tv and music in there with it too.

SilentNegotiator1983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

Blaming gun ownership has also become an easy out for the media. It allows us to pretend like no social aspect is involved (since mental illness makes it, "not his fault"), but ignores the fact that restricting gun specs won't make a huge difference (if you're a crazed killer that plans as far as the theater killer and Sandy Hook, you're going to take a clip belt or quick reloaders) and banning them will leave criminals armed and law abiding defenseless.

Either way, the media is trying to curb blame, and viewers like not being blamed.

grassyknoll1983d ago

Well, gun ownership is a problem, the UK had 8 related gun deaths last year, the US had 10000. Factoring the population difference it's a ratio of 300/1. Americans desire to have dangerous assault wrappings in their homes is just bizarre.

SilentNegotiator1982d ago (Edited 1982d ago )

Ironically, you can blame the states with more restrictive gun laws for most of those deaths.

Chicago has the worst rates of gun violence of any city in the entire country, yet the most restrictions. They even unconstitutionally banned handguns all together for a time.

wishingW3L1983d ago

before video games they blamed story-books. People always want to blame their fault on other stuff; if video games didn't exist then they would put the blame on something else...

Root1983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )


The parents of these lunatics, the government and the people that support the laws in question would rather blame something like video games then take the blame themselfs or do anything else about it

Why havent they changed the gun laws for example despite how many times things like this has happened...oh wait...there too busy blaming Call of Duty I forgot /s

Not to sound heartless but at the end of the day if they had changed some laws around or actualy did something about it when the first shooting mascare happened then the connecticut shooting for example, the most recent one, wouldn't of happened would it, in a way the government are the ones to blame, not video games...but then again thats why they blame video games in the first place because they know that they could of done something and it's easier then blaming themselfs

TruthbeTold1983d ago

Well the guy killed his mother and stole her gun, which she owned legally. It was not an automatic weapon. What laws could they have changed that are within reason, and don't punish non-crazy people?

Root1983d ago

Why are guns so easily obtainable then, why can you keep so many, why did they let her have it when she had a mentaly unstable son she was living with

They should ask you who you are living wherever your taking the gun home to and the family should undergo a psych evaluation to determine if something like this would happen.

Is this a silly idea...sure but least then they might of though with her son

"Hmmmm he seems a little unstable, we should reject her from taking this home if he's present"

and then maybe once she found that out she would of got him checked out.

SilentNegotiator1983d ago

We could all live in Happy Magic Land and ban all personal gun ownership. All guns would be gladly given up so not even criminals would get a hold of guns. Everything would be happy because our government isn't at all like the other ones that have done oppressive things (the reason for the 2nd amendment)! Everyone would live happily ever after with no more gun crimes and a government that wouldn't at all be less hesitant to restrict us!

Ooooooor, we could, instead of modifying the law as if slightly smaller clip sizes or restrictive ownership would solve the problem, reach out to people that obviously need help, as they rarely ever go without making clear signs that something is wrong.

And, crazy thought, have security at the institutions that our tax dollars pay for and house our defenseless children.


SilentNegotiator1983d ago


I don't hate the idea entirely, but I also don't like the theoretical idea of being a father with a mentally challenged son and not being allowed to defend him and the rest of my family.

But you're doing more thinking than the "HERP DERP BAN DA GUNS DEY R BAD" people, and I respect that.

cpayne931983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

The thing about gun control is that you have to understand about extra details about a particular area to know what kind of effect completely banning guns would cause. In America, getting guns illegally isnt as difficult as you might think, and a very large majority of gun related crimes in the U.S are done with illegally obtained weapons, don't remember what the actual statistic is though. Banning guns would take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, along with a few potential offenders, but it really wouldn't do a whole lot in stopping criminals, in fact it would probably make crime increase. That has actually happened in a lot of areas.

What I think needs to be done is to get at least one trained armed guard at every school, someone who could handle a situation like this and take him out if they need to. I would also say he should wear normal clothes so he would stand out less.

Slugg3r1983d ago

What you fail to point out is that most of these illegal firearms have been legal first and then stolen/sold/etc forward. The legal guntrade feeds also the illagal one.

vitullo311983d ago

Banning guns would take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, along with a few potential offenders, but it really wouldn't do a whole lot in stopping criminals, in fact it would probably make crime increase

So banning guns = increasing crime? Really...why does a law abiding citizen need a gun for any use other than to go hunting

cpayne931983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

Hmm that may be true. I still think overall guns would keep moving around the black market if we ban them, and that banning them would hurt more than help. I really don't have much of an opinion on it yet, have only scraped the surface in terms of research.

Edit: @vitullo31 a law abiding citizen can have guns to defend himself and his family. The right to bear arms is part of the constitution for a reason. In some areas, if you ban guns you will take away many citizens ability to defend themselves and do little to the criminals. Citizens being less able to defend themselves means more crime. Maybe you think it never happens, but there's been too many incidents to count where someone used a gun to defend themselves in their home or in public. Some of these people would have died if they didn't own one. You will rarely hear these stories on the news because they are interested in reporting people getting killed, not people defending themselves. News channels generally focus on negatives more than positives because that is what gets them the most views.

Tetsujin1983d ago

I blame the media; every time some tragedy occurs, the media always fabricates, twists, then tell "their" version. I remember countless times one big reason a lot of crimes occurs is for people to get their face on tv and to be "known" even if it's a negative light. Yes there's other factors (mental issues, home situations, etc) however the media I blame first for how much they "have" to go on about these situations, and instead of talking about the families and impact on the community they instead go on about the person/people who committed the crimes extensively which leaves a false light for those who want some sort of "fame" down the road.

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