Video Shaming

Germany-BaN-On-Violent-Videogames-2A recent report about the Newtown School shooting has once again brought video games into the spotlight.

While investigators concluded there was no clear motive for the shooting, it is clear that video games are still a common scapegoat.

There has been a timeline of people chiming in about this issue over the past year. 

“And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people,” Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA,said. “Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse.”

LaPierre also said, in the same press conference, that guns should not be the center of everyone’s attention and calls for people to take personal responsibility for the safety of our children.

The NRA is not alone. Republican Rep. Diane Franklin, a law maker from Missouri, proposed legislation to put a tax on violent video games.

A small town, about 30 miles away from Newtown, Conn., proposed an event to collect and publicly burn violent video games. The town later cancelled the event and said they just wanted to bring awareness to parents.

Mayor Robert Dolan of Melrose, Mass., proposed a similar buyback program in his town. The people who opt to turn in their violent video games will receive coupons from local businesses.

On Dec. 19, just two days after the shooting, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) in a statement said, “Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians and psychologists know better.”

Jon Keller, Political Analyst and Blogger at CBS Boston, recently said, “I’m not calling for censorship, or government intervention of any kind. Just good old fashioned boycotting and shaming.”

Keller actually compared violent games to being as harmful and vile as child pornography.

Video games have always been a positive outlet for me and thousands of others. It is always hard listening to people making people who play games out to be anti-social sociopaths.

Video games and gamers have done and will continue to do great things; it is not the charities like Child’s Play that get the media attention, that does not sell newspapers.

Demonizing and shaming is not productive. We all should strive to do better.


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