It’s the end of the world and video games are to blame

by manylaughs on December 21, 2012

Photo courtesy of NASA.


It’s the end of the world, today. When the Earth blows up or the great meteor slams home or armed chickens exact their revenge, you know who will be to blame, don’t you? Video games, of course.

On December 19, two days after saying there was a need to prohibit military-grade weapons, Senator Jay Rockefeller took swift action attacking the core cause of gun violence in America by  introducing a bill “to study violent games impact on children.” Guess that bill on the ban of military-grade weapons will have to wait while the more critical issue of video game violence is investigated.

Following Senator Rockefeller’s lead, Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association, blamed the “callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry” of video games for the rise in violence in America. He also accused the movie industry as sharing in this blame, but we all know it’s video games that are the root of all evil and the true source of violence in America.

The usual gaming culprits were to blame, of course: Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Combat, plus a few overlooked ones the NRA managed to dig up for all the gamers out there who have missed them, or, more likely, dismissed them. And how nice of Mr. LaPierre to find this gem called Kindergarten Killers for us. Every gamer will be sure to put that one on their must-play list, now.

After pointing the finger of blame squarely at video games, Wayne LaPierre made a rather modest proposal that would’ve made Jonathan Swift proud, suggesting the true solution to violence in schools is bringing more guns into the schools. Mr. LaPierre, along with the great visionary, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, recommended armed guards in all schools.

No doubt the investigation into video games will have to proceed before anything is done about those military-grade weapons Senator Rockefeller mentioned, and no doubt the investigation will be long and very, very thorough. Besides, the NRA has the solution to the endemic, societal violence stemming from video games – more guns. There’s nothing more to be done, here.

But perhaps a little money could be saved for American taxpayers. Perhaps there’s a report out there Senator Jay Rockefeller could reference. Perhaps he could talk to Professor Craig Ferguson, department chair of psychology and communication at Texas A&M International University. In an interview with ABC News, Professor Ferguson said, “If we are serious about reducing these types of violence in our society, video game violence or other media violence issues are clearly the wrong direction to focus on,” Ferguson told ABC News. “Video game use is just not a common factor among mass homicide perpetrators.”

Maybe the answer is to look outside the US. Other countries produce violent video games and even violent movies. What’s the effect on their societies? Japan, for instance, produces some of the most violent video games in the world, and their movies, well, they give a whole new meaning to the term blood splattered.

Let’s take a quick look. In the US there’s about 3.7 gun homicides per 100,000 people per year. In Japan, well, it’s about zero per 100,000. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there were so few homicides from handguns in Japan, it’s statistically zero per 100,000.

That’s so weird, isn’t it? If Senator Rockefeller and Mr. LaPierre are correct about video games causing violence – and why would anyone doubt them? –  Japan must be a statistical outlier. The fact that Japan has some of the most restrictive gun ownership laws in the world surely doesn’t factor into the equation. That couldn’t possibly be a factor in their low-rate of gun violence, could it?

But does it really matter? The end is coming, soon. Much like Senator Rockefeller and Mr. LaPierre, we’ve been told by supposedly well-informed people that according to the Mayan calendar the world is over, today.  An exploding Earth’s core, a meteor strike or chickens with assault weapons (Their constitutional right.) will put the world out of its misery.

And when the world ends you’ll know exactly who is to blame. That’s right – video games.



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