I just love it when outraged people jump to conclusions and find the easiest scapegoat to blame any time a tragedy occurs. When are people going to understand that video games don’t cause people to commit murder?
An elementary school was shot up just the other day on Dec 14th, 2012 in CT. At the time, their top suspect was Ryan Lanza, who they quickly found out was an avid fan of Mass Effect. Well that was all the information they needed. Clearly Mass Effect was to blame for the incident. Within hours, posts of outrage began flooding Bioware’s official Mass Effect fan page on Facebook, calling the game “evil” and demanding it’s banning from the market. One particular comment struck me as funny – “God help protect us from all the evil our society promotes.” I hate seeing God invoked anytime someones personal agenda is threatened. “God save us from these evil abortion doctors,” “God protect us from all this evil gay marriage.” Why does anyone assume He would pick sides like that? But that’s another matter altogether…
Seriously though, do these people even know what Mass Effect is, aside from being Satan’s blasphemy, wrought by an evil game developer, whose sole purpose is to bring suffering to the world around those who play it? Are they aware that the game is about saving people and protecting the innocent? And an excellent point in fact is that there is a mission where Commander Shephard goes to a biotic training academy – a school – and actually saves the students from a shooting incident very similar to the one we’re talking about. I’m reminded of when the first Mass Effect was slandered as “pornography” by author, Cooper Lawrence, who had never even played the game. How can you condemn something when you have barely even passing knowledge of it? Look, I understand that parents are upset and are grasping for something that will help make their world sane again, but try to think rationally. This is how The Holocaust started. Remember? Hitler blamed the Jews, a bunch of people agreed that Jews were bad and then it was all downhill from there. Instead of arbitrarily placing blame on others, why not trying finding out the true cause.
The point is, video games don’t cause people to kill others. Misguided upbringing and emotionally disturbed individuals kill people. I’ve been playing video games literally since I was 2 years old. Many of them quite violent. I have never fired a gun in my entire life, nor do I have any desire to. I haven’t even ever been in a fist fight before. In fact, I would consider myself a pacifist. So if video games make people killers, where’s all my bloodlust? I was brought up in a very nurturing and caring environment and was taught right and wrong from my parents. And that’s where the problem lies. When a tragedy like this occurs, we should be looking to the people surrounding the individual as the cause.