By Dave Petteys (firstname.lastname@example.org) (April 20, Hitler’s Birthday, and the Columbine anniversary) I am appalled by commentators who ask silly rhetorical questions such as “Why do such things happen?” or “How can we understand these events?” or “What’s wrong with our society?” It’s not rocket science. All they have to do is look around! We have wall to wall violence on TV, in movies -- and in video games.
In many of these games, your avatar is walking down a hallway, shooting to the right and left. Is it much of a stretch to see the connection to the killer walking down a hallway in a school, shooting students to the right and left, exploring the rooms and shooting those he finds therein? Just like a video game! What age and gender group are the largest purchasers of violent video games? The same age and gender group that were the killers at Columbine and Virginia Tech.
Of course the media moguls and their lawyers will huff, “There are no studies connecting media and societal violence,” and they will hire expert witness pimps who will confirm it. But common sense tells us that if society wishes to decrease the violence, it might start with major self-restraint in the media.
To the groups that howl for more gun control, that in itself is too small a piece of the puzzle to be effective. It’s like calling for a ban of table knives and forks to combat obesity. Think what the difference might be if movies and video games were more oriented toward non-lethal sports or constructive problem solving?