Videogames: A Scapegoat for Violence? Still?

Anders Behring Breivik

"Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and my baby fist made me do it!"

Here we go again.

Anders Behring Breivik, the douche who killed 77 people in Norway last Summer, apparently used Modern Warfare 2 to hone his gun skills. He also played World of Warcraft a bunch. Like 16 hours a day sometimes.

Better put a moratorium on these games! Shut down the servers or we’ll all be dead soon! I mean, millions of people play these games, which means, we’re likely to have a million more people go on a rampage! We must stop it now!

Are you kidding me?

Just because he used Call of Duty for “target practice”, doesn’t mean it’s the cause of the problem. Hell, it’s probably not even that good of a target practice tool, anyways. Maybe he should have practiced with a real gun.

Anyways, if these games are to blame, then Sonic the Hedgehog is the reason I like to run really fast. Mario is the reason I like eating mushrooms and sliding down pipes. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is the reason I started skateboarding (ok, that one might be true).

My Two Year Old Loves “M” Rated Games

My point is that the games are not the cause. Cultural intolerance and religous bigotism are, at least in this case.

The news media is leveraging the fact that the killer played videogames in order to spark a debate which will increase their number of readers or viewers, hence generating more revenue for their publication. Controversy gets clicks, and on the internet, click-through rate is king.

Of course, there is no solid evidence disproving the fact that violent games trigger violence, but there is none proving it, either.

TV and movies used to be blamed for this kind of thing all the time, but eventually, this died down, because people realized it was not the case.

I guess now it’s videogames’ turn.

In another ten years or so, I forsee this issue going the way of the dodo, and something new will take it’s place. Perhaps using cell phones will cause people to murder. Who knows. One thing that won’t change, however, is that controversy sells, and I’m sure the cell phone massacre of 2029 will be front page news.

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Scott Charboneau

I'm a full-time accountant, part-time pizza delivery guy, dedicated blogger, and pure blooded Pokemon trainer. I enjoy craft beer, movies, hockey, and watching my three year old son play videogames.

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