Sunday, June 04, 2006
Wars Don't Kill People, Video Games Do
In the next major election year, one of the hot topics is going to be violence in video games. My guess is Ms. Clinton is going to make it a key issue in her campaign. The republicans will play along, so as not to lose out on the stupidity gap.
I attest there is no bigger smoke and mirrors issue today than violence in video games. In fact it is so smoke and mirrors it is like banning smoking naked in the mirror (which I don't do).
For those of you who don't know... here is the premise:
Billy plays Grand Theft Auto, thinks it's all good fun, and then decides to grab an uzi out of his dad's closet, carjack some old lady, and get going for real. He dies in a pool of blood after taking out half the town of Middlefucknowhere, Arkansas.
The theory that 'violent video games lead to actual violence' is thus proven when someone in real life tells this exact same story as an alibi. They shoot someone (or many people) and then their lawyer tells them to make a 'GTA plea' to get out of the electric chair.
Well I'm not. These are real articles below, not jokes.
Video Games In Congress' Crosshairs
GTA Causes Killing Spree
Kids Get Aggressive After Video Games
Hillary Clinton Seeks GTA Probe
The video game industry is bigger than movies nowadays. How many video games do you think Hillary or all her soccer mom friends and supporters have ever played? That's right, zero. So where is the real link between video games and violence? I don't know, but I am willing to do a philosophical investigation.
Here we go...
There are definitely things called video games, and there is definitely something called violence... is there a link between them? There was definitely violence before video games came out in 1970. There was even violence before pinball machines, the predecessors of video games, came out in 1890. And I would be willing to bet there was violence before board games (or bored games as I like to call them) came out in 10,000 BC. So video games are in fact not the historic root of violence they are made out to be.
I don't know why people today are so violent. But banning assault weapons again seems more likely to me to curb the problem than banning video games. But more importantly, I would speculate that people are so violent because their leaders are so violent. Our President started a war with two 3rd world countries in the past 4 years that has killed thousands of innocent people quite violently. The supposed cause of this war was planes slamming into to WTC. The Saudis who did it were believed to have learned how to fly the planes with video games. But apparently were not inspired by the games themselves. They saw the strike as retaliatory in nature... caused primarily by how aggressively our government was taking over their region.
But surely video games must have led to some of the most violent acts in recent history to be causing such a fuss?
Did video games inspire Hitler to wipe out the Jews?
Did video games inspire the pilgrims to wipe out the Native Americans?
Did video games inspire Pizza Hut to stop making Priazzo?
No. Those terrible things happened for other reasons... namely money and FUD mixed with stupidity.
So I guess video games are not to blame?
No. I guess not.
So what do we do about it?
Well my idea is to throw George Bush Jr. in jail (gitmo comes to mind) and show people that any kind of violence is truly wrong and maybe little Johnny won't go postal and kill his Junior High School classmates when they pick him last for the dodgeball team. It is more plausible than saying Quake 4 has made Billy shoot the TV because he thought it would mutate into a Strogg and saw off his limbs and turn him into a cyborg. Not even little Johhny is that dumb or crazy. And if he is then he probably got that way by watching the most violent thing I've ever seen or heard, namely The Evening News.
I think this video game banning thing is going to happen. It will be like tobacco and alcohol to play cool video games. Possibly even like 'drugs'. Most people who vote do not play video games like I do... 4 to 8 hours per week. Quake 4 is currently my favorite. I love the FPS genre. People who do not like these games probably suck at them. Once you get hooked... there is nothing better. In my 20's I would get high and play for days. Now I drink a beer or a scotch and play for hours. I don't see what the big deal is. I have played video games from the 1st generation (Atari 2600) to the ultimate game machine (PC with dual PCI-Express video cards). X-Box and whatnot are okay but you cannot beat a fast PC with dual video cards. Consoles are for crack babies. And all that.
But I digress. Let's say you don't like video games. Let's say you are like Hillary and find them a completely adolescent heterosexual male tasteless waste of time akin to whacking off. Why not ban it?
Because it's wrong to ban stuff you plainly do not understand just for political advantage. That makes you just as dumb as the kid who wants to kill his friends because he saw it on a video game.