At the front of the Newtown conflict is the murder weapon. I had a discussion with my coworkers the other day about how easy it is to have access to weapons with the proper licensing. Adam Lanza, the shooter, got his weapons from his mother, a gun enthusiast. President Barack Obama has made gun control one of his top priorities. I've never had a gun, and the closest I've ever been to one was when a local police officer came to talk to our class about safety. Instead I want to talk about something more personal to me but relevant to guns: videogames.
I want to address the criticism videogames have received for featuring weapons. Media like videogames have played a role in exposing children and teenagers to the ideas of weapons, murder, etc., but I believe society also act as a factor in exposing everybody to these forms of violence. We live in a world surrounded by war, crime, and danger. I don’t mean to belittle the positive aspects of society, but I find it unrealistic to believe banning violent videogames will cause unfortunate events like Newtown to cease. There’s no connection between violent videogames and violent actions: one only needs to look at poorer countries ravaged by war. People there likely don’t have access to games like Halo or Call of Duty, but they’re still living and fighting in a world filled with combat. Even if we didn’t have these videogames, people just have to look at the news to find the sounds of gunfire and images of destruction.
What I've found fascinating about videogames, whether I’m stomping on Goombas as Mario or assassinating Grunts as Master Chief, is that they give people an escape from reality. People can escape the problems of the real world and give them the ability to face virtual dilemmas that they are more apt to fix. Violent videogames appeal to people who want to be able to fight against something they could not in real life. The Call of Duty series places characters into wars, from World War I to the second Cold War in 2025. Average people, who normally would not have opportunities to combat the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., now have the chance to fight against the villains they hear about on the news. I’m arguing that videogames are violent because life outside the game is similarly violent.
I don’t think we should make popular videogames the scapegoats. There are other important issues, such as the treatment of people suffering from mental illnesses and the ease of access to guns. People who believe ridding society of videogames featuring weapons are avoiding the real problems that demand our attention. Rather than change the games we play, we should focus on improving our society to discourage people from becoming influenced by tragedies and wars around the world. I’m confident we’ll find the best solution to save as many lives as possible. Until then, I’ll be playing Halo 4.
Where I found some more details:http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/school_shootings/index.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/17/ten-country-comparison-suggests-theres-little-or-no-link-between-video-games-and-gun-murders/