The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has finally opened Americans’ eyes on the issue of gun control, but once more people are looking to blame the entertainment industry. Video games seem to be receiving some of the blame for the violence and aggression apparent in our culture. When are people going to realize there are other factors that come into this equation?
The negative attention being given to video games is causing issues with major game developers. Games are meant to be enjoyed, and if they are going to receive negative press, it should be from the people who are reviewing them. The accusations leveled against video games, is that they can cause aggression, and games can exacerbate dormant mental illness.
Adam Lanza, who was responsible for the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary, had a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle on him ,but there was no copy of Grand Theft Auto found in the trunk of his vehicle. However, Lanza was very involved with gaming, and loved to play violent video games. But these games were not played with friends because Lanza was anti-social and suffered from a mental illness.
People who have no interest in the outside world are unable to cope with daily interaction. It is clear that Lanza had no understanding of the difference between reality and fiction. Anyone with a good grasp of reality has the ability to reason, and may also be a fan of Call of Duty, or other first person shooter titles.
If the media is going to label these games as a driving force for the outrageous acts of violence, they need to stop generalizing about them. Whenever a violent video game or even just a video game comes under fire, it’s because people with mental illnesses that have an addictive personality played them.
American culture does thrive on violence. Simply driving on the highway and having someone cut you off can raise the level of aggression in someone. Whether that said person commits an act of violence against the other is unrelated to what video game they played, or if they played one at all. Tackling someone in school and spiking their lunch into the ground doesn’t mean you’ve played too much Madden 13. It means you’re a bully.
Sometimes video games may raise adrenaline because of competition and the need to succeed. Trust me; it can be frustrating to see GAME OVER. However, this does not justify violence. Aggression will always stem from any activity that has a competitive nature to it.
The person carrying out the terrible act, should be the one to blame. Parents with children need to explain to them that these games are fictitious, and should not be acted out in real life. If the parent is too incompetent to carry out such a simple task as talking to their children, then they shouldn’t buy them the game, period.
As I realize this is a very controversial subject, further research should be conducted before pointing fingers and drawing conclusions. If anyone has ever owned a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), as well as a Light Gun, and a copy of Duck Hunt, then it’s probably safe to say the only time you’ve ever had the urge to shoot something was the dog laughing at you for missing the duck.