Let me start by saying this is not a simple subject to cover. I don’t want to overshadow the victims of recent or past mass shootings. I am appalled, like many others, but as mass shootings have clearly become a problem in the United States, political leaders including the President of The United States, have begun to place a big part of the blame on video games. This is wrong and needs to be addressed, again…
Simply put, numerous studies have shown that video games are not causing people to become violent. I am not remotely convinced that a person that plays a violent based video game, is somehow mentally effected and will go out on a real life mass murder spree. With 100’s of millions of gamers in the world, we would see a much larger number of these violent acts against humanity.
I’m not really sure why political leaders of the U.S, don’t hear about or read up on studies that directly dictate their personal opinions, but that in itself is a travesty. When people are already upset, blaming video games is a dangerous response. I’m sorry to say this, but there are a lot of people out there that take the opinion of their leaders as fact. This could create serious repercussions for all parties around.
What happens when parents start taking away all of their children’s video games? A sudden mass amount of consumers stop making purchases to boycott the gaming industry and cause a major crash that potentially hits all economies. That might sound exaggerated, but it could happen. But wait! There’s more.
As crazy as this sounds to some, there are people out there that try to fight violence with violence… In my mind, that strategy doesn’t make much sense, but in another’s mind, it’s what has to be done.
Imagine a person holding a sign that says “Video Games aren’t the problem!” Then someone walking by sees the sign and decides they don’t like it. Video games are the problem and they brainwash people into hurting others. So, what does he do? He confronts the sign holder and proceeds to physically harm them. Punches, kicks, a knife or gun could be drawn. All this in the name of denouncing violence?
Granted, these are just hypothetical situations, but they are based on situations that have actually taken place the same way. There could be a long list of terrible things that could happen if these leaders don’t educate themselves and continue to place blame where it doesn’t belong.
Now, I don’t personally think parents should allow their kids to play games that are meant for a more mature audience and I don’t think they should be on screens 24/7. I am a parent myself and I can say that it isn’t easy raising my children in a world where technology is so easily accessible. I’m not trying to knock other parents either. I just want to clear that up, as I had mentioned earlier, the possibility of parents taking away video games. I meant that only in part of a possible boycott scenario.
Moving forward, the video game community needs respected leaders of the industry to stand up and speak out on our behalf. We need them to politely and intelligently explain how the government has it all wrong. I wish it were that easy, but apparently it’s not.
While there have been plenty of major video game news outlets speaking out (us included), it simply isn’t enough. I really don’t know what will be, but I can leave you with this little bit of advice. Don’t let anger get in the way of your passion. If someone tells you that video games are part of the problem, you can kindly respond by telling them you disagree. Hear them out and try to explain your point of view. If we allow ourselves to shut out the opinions of others and not allow them to speak, we have no room to speak either. That is when we as gamers, really do become apart of the problem. So, let’s be part of the solution.