Anyone versed on current events will likely be familiar with the story of the shootings at a US Navy Base in Washington recently.
These stories are always laced with tragedy as lives are lost, families destroyed and difficult questions asked – the prominent one often being ‘Why?’
Frequently that question is never answered, but that doesn’t stop unhealthy doses of hyperbole, accusation and wild claims being thrown around.
Gaming has become an all too frequent target for the ignorant and irresponsible to point at when tragedies strike. The Daily Mirror has continued this trend with today’s front page.
There we have it folks.
Call of Duty is the latest target. Grand Theft Auto has had its share of shots from the mainstream media (as I am sure it will again now the fifth instalment is out). Mass Effect was the target of Christian groups because of it’s ‘homosexual content’ (but apparently a relationship with aliens like Liara or Thane was fine…).
I, like fellow Lolocausters Bouncy, Dr Hamhock and AHDVD, have played a multitude of games with adult themes; as have our friends at The Mature Gamer Podcast, the Gamescast and the Monday Movie Show. To my knowledge none of us have been driven to steal a car after playing Grand Theft Auto, or hack an alien to pieces with a chainsaw following a session on Gears of War.
But there we have it. This is the world we live in and the ignorance many gamers must endure. The idea that gaming might be a healthy past time that allows people to unwind, enjoy new experiences and even (*gasp*) socialise via online gaming is such a mind bending concept for some that it almost seems over looked – but when someone who happens to play video games (as millions of people around the world do) commits a horrible crime the pitchforks come out with alarming speed.
I’m not the first gamer to pen this type of frustration driven prose, nor will I be the last. But as long as this ignorance is tolerated, it will endure. And, sadly, too many people with power to change these views are uneducated in the ways of the gaming world themselves; or simply do not speak up for a past time enjoyed by so many.
One day gaming will get its champion. Until then, ‘attacks’ like this will dog the industry.