Monday, 23 July 2012

Tragedy and Blame

Warning: heavy shit. (Seriously)

So, this isn't really going to be very video game related. If you don't want to read this post then I honestly don't blame you. This will not be a fun post, nor will it be a happy post.

You really can't turn on the news right now without hearing about the shooting in a Colorado theater that has killed at least twelve people and injured many more. The shooter, some asshole whose name I won't publish because it's not about him, it's about the victims, choose to ambush and open fire on a crowded theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

There is nothing more to say other than the fact that this is a tragedy. People have lost their lives in the most senseless way possible. A coward has taken the lives of many, and now a nation reels and searches for answers.

Of course, some of those answers also involve blaming the usual scapegoats, video games included.

This doesn't surprise me, it really doesn't surprise me. That doesn't make it any less idiotic and enraging, honestly.

Now, I do note like many others that Pat Brown has not just out and out said that video games make you into a psycho, but she has said on air that "if you’re a psychopath, video games help you get in the mode to do the killing." which is something I believe is an utterly baseless comment. It harkens back to the news that the Columbine shooters used modded versions of Doom before moving to terrorize the school.

Video games are violent in some cases. Yes. To argue that they aren't when some of the most popular titles in the world right now are first person shooters would be utterly ridiculous and blatantly false. However, to say that playing a video game can get someone, even a psychopath, in a "mode to do killing" would imply that shooting someone in a video game can somehow equate to murdering a living, breathing person in real life.

I cannot comprehend what it is to take a life. People who do so in self defense, or in the line of duty whether that be as an officer of the peace or a soldier take lives with sanction, and they are never the same for it. To take a life simply because you can, or because you want to, means that you, as a person, are one of the most extremely fucked up examples of humanity (a term that I would use very loosely in this case). Playing a game doesn't get you in the mode to go out and shoot up a theater full of families. Claiming to be the Joker in a sick mockery of the series itself doesn't make you any less of a shit-eating coward.

The actions of one extremely disturbed man cannot and does not indicate the mentality of the whole.

Again. This is a tragedy. Let's not make a mockery of it by using it to try and pariah that which we might find strange and off-putting. If you want to know what to blame, then blame the person, blame that fucking coward, don't blame the hobbies that he happened to share with millions of normal people. Let's prove that we're better than that.

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