It's been a while yes. But there's been things happening between now and my last post. I went to Barcelona which was awesome. I had lots of studying for my Health and Safety exams - yes...I'm a gamer, who blogs, is addicted to a sci-fi franchise AND I work in Health and Safety - super nerd. Super married nerd with 4 kids though baby. Awwww yeah.
Anyway. Onto the crux of this post. I wish my first blog back would have been something more jovial, something more jolly, something more festive considering the time of year. But alas, as with some things in life, the dice just didn't roll that way. This is of little to no significance however compared to recent events which have shocked the decent world.
Columbine. Waco. Virgina Tech. Utoya Island. Places of pretty much zero world-wide interest or attention before the tragic events that took place there. We now have the unfortunate requirement to add the name of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton to that rather macabre list.
Being a gaming blog however, it may or may not come as a surprise that this event would be mentioned. Some of the tragedies mentioned above were politically motivated, Waco and the events in Oslo and Utoya Island for example, but as with most of these events the conservative media and the over-reactive elements of society will find a scapegoat. Things seem so much simpler when you can point an angry finger of blame at something or someone and unfortunately video games have bore the brunt of that angry finger for many a year now.
Violent video games will take the main hit obviously, I mean you're not likely to get angry people blaming games like FIFA or Viva Pinata for gun-slinging massacres are you? No.
People will point at video games for many a year to come still, but I feel that not enough is really done in the media to defend them from what is mostly ill-educated, angry and very ignorant people.
Let me take a step back in time to start this lecture. 20th April, 1999, Columbine High School, Columbine, Colorado. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down 12 students and 1 teacher, injured over 20 more and then shot themselves - not before trying to blow up the school with home-made explosives. It's clear that they were something of a pair of social outcasts, but that they had a variety of mental disorders, Harris was a clinical psychopath with a messianic-level superiority complex and Klebold was a depressive who was a follower. Harris masterminded the killings, but thankfully didn't mastermind the bomb building or the death-toll would have been much, much higher.
However, apart from famously blaming Marilyn Manson, the other channel of blame was aimed at iD Software, more specifically Doom and to a lesser extent Wolf 3D.
|Wolf 3D and Doom|
The games, Doom more so, were targeted by an angry society as one of the key reasons why Harris and Klebold committed their terrible acts. Forget the psychological problems involved, forget the social problems involved, they did what they did because they played Doom and wanted to emulate it. Morons.
Let's move on in this grim tour. Let's move forward 12 years to 2011, I'm going to skip the Virgina Tech massacre, simply because I don't know all of the ins and outs and don't want to feed you with misinformation. All I know is that the amazing Counter-Strike was scapegoated for a while. (A Multiplayer game which pits Terrorists against Counter-Terrorists).
In 2011 we saw 2 shootings, firstly one that I mentioned on here a while back - the HMS Astute murder and secondly Anders Breivik's "lone wolf" terror attacks in Norway. Now I mentioned the murder of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, and how the British newspapers blamed Grand Theft Auto for the actions of Able Seaman Ryan Donovan - I went into quite some detail, go back and read if you want.
I'll go into the actions of Anders Breivik shall I? He set a car bomb in Oslo, then went to Utoya Island and killed 69 people. An awful, horrible man (loosest meaning of the word) who doesn't even deserve death, someone like that deserves to be kept alive as long as possible, and to live in a state of perpetual anguish for the heinous crimes he's committed. Him and every paedophile out there. Anyway, going back to the topic this one is slightly more controversial a choice to try and defend. I'll explain.
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare|
|Shepard with the child in one of his nightmares|
"Good job guys. You have blood on your hands that wont wash off"
"BAN THIS GAME"
"Ban this game and the people who created such sickness"
"Burn in hell!!!"
"I'm sure none of these precious children had this game on their Santa list...God help protect us from all the evil our society promotes"
"This is EXACTLY why i do not let my children play MOST video games...i do not want to destroy their innocence with this bulls--t"
"Ryan Lanza, the 24 yr old that has killed 18 kindergarten children, 8 adults and his own mother, was a fan of Mass Effect. What are you and other games of your ilk doing to our society? Think on it."
Hang on..."Ryan Lanza"? Ryan Lanza, the older brother of Adam Lanza the ACTUAL murderer? Oh HE liked Mass Effect? Not Adam? Oh.
Before getting the facts and before even knowing the actual numbers of victims, the angry finger pointers had already leapt onto the angry bandwagon of hatred and misinformed ignorance to spew their misguided judgement onto a game that had nothing to do with the ACUAL MURDERER! Amazing.
As I said, for anyone who actually knows these games, knows that it's not a mindless hack and slash or shoot em up, it's a tactical third person sci-fi shooter, with it's main emphasis being on story, characters, relationships. It isn't sickness, any more than Jules Verne's War of the Worlds is sickness, any more than Star Wars is sickness. Evil? Innocence destroying? No.
It then led me to this painfully obvious thought: do these people think that if there were no video games then murder, mass murder and massacres wouldn't take place? Like these things are a symptom of video games that were non-existent in the harmonious "before-time".
Bonnie and Clyde? The Moors Murderers? Jack the Ripper? Albert Fish? Pol Pot? The Zodiac Killer? Many, many more on top of those as well, what video games were they playing to inspire them?
I for one cannot wait for games to finally be accepted by the masses as just another entertainment medium, not as a wrongly perceived way for innocent people to be turned into murdering psychopathic maniacs.
And on that note, despite all of this, the world is generally a decent place, don't forget that! And if I don't do anything on here between now and the 25th December: Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.