So, I was perusing my YouTube channel when I came across an interesting video that was done by a user called ReviewTechUSA, where he made a video about a man who watched someone play the new Grand Theft Auto and filmed his reaction. Here’s a link, I recommend you check it out for yourself. There are all the usual appeals to emotion and the guy who is watching is CLEARLY acting. For real, I refuse to believe that this guy is as offended as he makes himself out to be. And naturally, he comes out of the experience practically traumatized. For real, this dude should be checked out for PTSD. Felt kind of bad for the gamer who was trying to show him this game, because it was clear that he was a jumping board for the man watching to use to say, “oh, look at that! Isn’t that terrible?!” Sure, whatever.
Before we get too far into this, let me say that I am not in any way a fan of Grand Theft Auto. The latest iteration in the series held no more appeal for me than any of the previous entries. Played a bit at a buddy’s house and it wasn’t my cup of tea. But why is this the game that everyone rushes to to show how evil video games are. I mean, I suppose that this game was shown so that they could slap a “it’s like real life” angle on it, to make the case that killing in this game is preparing to kill people in the real world. But if we’re going to talk about violence in games and make a bullshit argument that it makes people violent in real life, there are much better choices out there.
I mean, there are games like Dead Space, where you are strategically dismembering undead monsters that are made from an alien parasite. You are ripping them apart. In the first sequel, they assimilate children and babies. They turn babies into living bombs. If you take out just the head, you can use the body of a baby necromorph as a bomb to throw at opponents. Isn’t that something worth talking about? Just putting that out there.
Or maybe we could look at The Last of Us, my favorite game of last year and one of my favorite games of all time. So, spoiler alert, when you get to the last area, and you find out that Ellie is going to be operated on, Joel makes a conscious decision to screw the entire human race and save her. He chooses to go on a rampage and kill his own allies for the sole purpose of saving someone he loves. He brutally interrogates a man by shooting him, repeatedly, in the groin until he gives him her location. There’s some violent stuff to talk about. So why not talk about that?
The reason is simple – because the geriatric fucktards who watch this kind of news don’t know what The Last of Us is. They don’t know what Dead Space is. They know what Call of Duty is. They know what Grand Theft Auto is. They know what all these things are, because they are told about them. These news outlets, the infotainment media, tells them all about these groups, because they are easy to hate. For real, they are very easy for the general public to hate. Just say that it has people running over little kids (which there was no fucking kid in that game) and stuff like that to get people’s dander up.
I remember a time not too long ago when violent movies were a huge target of the media. These were the go-to enemy before video games because the industry they are today. The late Roger Ebert did a great bit in his review of the film “Elephant” where he spoke of an interview he did with NBC News after Columbine. He gave a very informative analysis of how the media is very much an accomplice in school shootings, and how they should be ashamed of shamelessly profiting off the violence in order to sell their agenda.
What bugs me about this is that these people don’t know anything! For real, study after study has concluded that video game violence does not lead to real life violence. We have seen tons of data about this. These people who deliberately pander to this idea that video games are turning people into the next Columbine shooters are so dumb it hurts. But it’s easy. When you see a game where you have a weapon and it’s ripping another life-form to pieces and their guts are going everywhere, it’s easy to point at that and say that that is the enemy. It is easy and it is lazy. But that’s America nowadays. We want things simple, easy to digest and to not have to think too hard. Because if we did that, we might, you know, learn something. And that would be just too awful for Corporate America, who trades on just how ignorant the people in this country are.
After all, the NRA is trying to avoid bad press whenever there is a mass shooting (I’m not some anti-gun nut, but I am for stricter regulation. We register car owners. I think a gun owner can live with that, don’t you?) and they are coming out in solidarity of guns. The 24-hour news cycle doesn’t have shit to talk about that much, so they need a simple story that they can market, knowing that they won’t have to answer to the gamers who call bullshit on their insipid bullshit. The government is the king of simple and stupid solutions to problems that don’t help anyone. After all, Corporate America owns them, in every way one can be owned. You can’t get elected without them, so it makes sense that we are up to our eyeballs in debt to them.
But at the end of the day, I am sick and fucking tired of video games being the enemy. For real, if you can find proof, ANY proof, that video games cause violence – present it to me. Don’t just say, “how can it not?! Look what you do in video games!” and expect that argument to mean anything to me. By that same logic, I can say that films like Saw and Hostel are compelling people to murder people as part of some twisted game or pay other people to kill helpless victims. That’s why it’s called “fantasy.” This isn’t real life, and half-decent parents are able to give their children a way to tell the difference. Not that you’d know given what pussies the world is making these days.
Until next time, a quote,
“When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.” -Roger Ebert