Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joe Biden to 'concrete' connection between virtual games and real violence.

 So, I decided to go browsing gaming news sites, including Gamasutra, and came across this...

 Opinion: Meeting with Biden is a mistake for the game industry


Kris Graft brings up several points, both about the violence debate, and the games industry itself, that I've thought about myself, and would like to do my own write up of sometime, and I commend him for speaking up about them.

As to the matter itself...I'm going to take a hard line stance on it.
This is a not a time for concessions. There will be time to discuss the nuances of how video games depict violence once video gaming is not being vilified.

Also, I figured I would address this to Joe Biden, too. Although, in all likelihood, he will never read this, and furthermore, I'm not an American citizen, so why would he even give a shit?

Anyway, my initial thoughts on this, spurred perhaps by reading about the Southington game burning, is this...

We need to stop educating people that video games cause violence, we need to start educate people that just because people play video games does not make them violent.

Mr. Biden...

For a start, and for clarity, this is not a debate of "Do video games cause violence?" this is a debate of "Do video games cause violent crime?'. Specifically, mass shootings.

Millions of people play video games everyday. Millions. Hundreds of millions. One person goes on a shooting rampage. One person, whom I am yet any collaborative evidence, even actually played video games.

Yet people take this as empirical proof video games cause violent shootings.

People are not asking the question "Do video games have some influence on violent crime, and even if it does, is it even significant enough to be worth vilifying an entire media?". No, they start out with the conviction that violent video games DO cause violent crime. And you go around asking themselves the question "How can I prove my belief that video games cause violent crime?".

And I have my concerns, you are one of these people.

Millions of people around the world play video games everyday. Yet the only place in the world were mass shootings like this are prominent, is in America.

Have you considered the fact at all, that the problem may not lie with video games, a global industry, but with your country and it's policies?

And have you also considered just how arrogant your country looks to the rest of the world, because of it's apparent ignorance to that fact? The unfortunate implication of an attitude that America considers itself at the center of the universe, if not America is the entire universe.

Video games are also a victim in these cases of their own success and growing cultural presence...millions of people play video games. And with that comes the chance that video games are ever more likely to find their way into the home of a future mass murderer, simply because of their growing ubiquity in our society. Like radio and television before it.

And then there is the fact that you have never taken an active interest in video games before. That the only reason you are taking an interest now is because of the recent shooting.

You are judging an entire industry, an entire media, based purely on face value. A face value that is distorted by mass media, hysteria, and attention seekers. You have never, as far as visible, taken any time to attempt to learn more about the games industry from a personal level.

Or that perhaps, you are merely having your attention directed to video games because the media said you should. The same media that has also never attempted to learn about the games industry from a personal level. Or perhaps, you already held the conviction video games are a cause of violent crime, and have been derisive of it from the start.

And this has done nothing but generate negative empathy.

That at the end of the day, you are asking the people making games about virtual people with virtual guns, to stand in a room next to the people making real guns and selling them to real people.

If there wasn't an unfair connection between real and virtual guns before, there will be once these talks of yours are over.

And even if your logic proves true, that video games cause violent crime, let me ask you this...

If all video games cause violent crime...does that mean all violent crime is caused by video games?

So in the event that not all violent gun crimes are caused by video games, wouldn't it then be the safest course of action to deal with the one common factor violent gun crimes have in common?


That's all I can write atm, hopefully I hit the major bulletpoints I had in mind.

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