Stop blaming everything on video games!
I´m having a really hard time trying to grip and process what went down at a gay club in Orlando (Florida, USA) yesterday. Even so, the sad fact still remains. Because 50 people are dead, and plenty of more people were wounded during the worst mass shooting in America´s history (I´m afraid that more people will die due to serious wounds…). I´m not going to go into any details about the Orlando shooting here though, as it´s not our area of work (so to speak). Nevertheless, I have added news sources to the terrible event at the bottom of the page (my thoughts and prayers go to the Orlando shooting victims and their friends and families). So you will find everything you need to know about the Orlando mass shooting via those links.
However, I do intend to take a swing at those who took advantage of this terror act by smearing E3 2016, games and Gamers. So that´s what I´m going to focus on in this OP piece. And I´m going to start off by sharing my thoughts on what people such as Mattie Brice (independent, medium-agnostic game design), Jonathan Blow (independent video game programmer and designer), Jonathan McIntosh (“Pop culture detective”), Justin McElroy (Polygon Editor-at-Large), Bob Chipman (freelancer film critic, gaming commentator, screenwriter, produce) and Jed Whitaker (Destructoid writer) has said about the Orlando mass shooting. And before I even start, I want to point out that I find it to be really disgusting that people use great tragedies such as this to push their own agenda (it´s very disrespecting towards the victims, their friends and family).
It´s 2016, still it´s like the 90s all over again
And with that said, I´m going to jump into this sea of madness and try to come on top of it. Well, for starter. All of this made me think about the days (2003) when Jack Thompson (he was a Florida attorney at the time) went out on a crusade against violent video games (mainly Rockstars “GTA” series). So in a way, it´s the same old “blame everything on video games” agenda once again (not to mention the early 90s when games such as “Mortal Kombat” even ended up in court due to it´s violent content). However, this time it´s much more tasteless than ever before. Because this time anti-violent games (and pro-gun control and anti-gun) people used the worst mass shooting in the history of America, to push their own agenda and beliefs on to others. And they started to do so just a couple of hours after the Orlando mass shooting took place.
And just to make matters even worse, sites such as The Wrap (Phil Owen) and The Verge (Chris Plan, The Verge Co-founder and ex-Polygon employee ) published one article each (“Orlando Shooting Puts E3’s Shooting Games in Crosshairs” and “How do you sell violent games after a tragedy? Pretend like it didn’t happen”) where they tried to sell the narrative that the Orlando shooting was caused because of violent shooter games (as seen in the pictures and links down below). However, the Gaming community didn´t buy into what they were trying to sell to the masses, thus comments and tweets such as this:
A reality check for the blind and ignorant
Sure, I understand where the anti-gun and pro-gun control people are coming from (especially due to the recent Orlando mass shooting event). However, bad and evil people have existed since the dawn of time. And people of that sort will always find the ends to their means to get what they need in-order to execute their evil deeds. So in my opinion, I think that there should be more focus on tracking down the bad guys BEFORE they even get a chance to do any harm to anyone. And taking away the good people´s guns just to stop the bad people in their tracks, is not the right way to do it. Besides, criminals and terrorists don´t care all that much about laws and restrictions. So I believe that there has to be a combination of better check ups on suspicious people, mentally ill and potential terrorists, And more crack downs on those who sell weapons on the black market (the public should also be more aware of things around them, so that they could alarm the authorities BEFORE something bad happen).
I also believe that hate preachers that project hate towards a group of people (the wish for their death), should be dealt with. So quite frankly, I don´t understand how people such as Jonathan Blow can state that video games make you a mass murder in times such as this. Because not only is it ignorant and stupid, it´s also not helping anyone (creating even more anger and hate isn´t going to solve the problems of violent crimes). Instead, I think that we should all unite (no matter if you´re a Gamer or not) and try to find a solution to this global problem, because far too many people have died due to violent acts as of lately (R.I.P Christina Grimmie). It would also be a good idea for each person to spread more love than hate where ever he or she goes (the world would be a much better place for everyone if love were a central point of everyone´s life).
And with that said, what´s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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