Published on July 23rd, 2012 | by Fernando Da Costa1
The Mass Killer – Video Games.
Well Gamers, this is a very sad time as tragedy has struck in America; namely, Colorado. Yesterday, before the midnight grand opening of The Dark Knight Rises, a shooting occurred that saw the death of 12 people, with about 50 injured, some critically. First, I would like to say that Hard Reset would like to extend their deepest sympathy to everyone affected by this disgusting action. There is absolutely no reason for such a thing to occur and why I, as a human being, have started to lose faith in our species. But now you wonder, why is it that I am writing about this sad news on a gaming site? Well, there is an article on the internet that I stumbled onto thanks to a fellow Hard Reset writer and it turned my stomach.
I sat here, after reading the article, wondering if it would be in good taste to write something about these sad events. I then came to the conclusion that yes, I have to say something because I felt that it’s an outrage what that article had said. Pat Brown, a criminal profiler, has placed some of the blame on video games, stating that they played a part in this action. She did stress that video games weren’t the sole reason for such an act, but she did go on to say that the killer, who shall remain nameless for this article, had his already demented mindset further influenced by games and, more directly, shooters. Pat Brown went on to state;
““He’s probably prepared for this for a long time, just obsessing over it, gathering his weapons. [He] probably spent a lot of time in his apartment, playing one video game after the other—shooting, shooting, shooting—building up his courage and building up the excitement of when it’s going to be real for him. And it’s made his day.”“
Video Games are entertainment; it doesn’t teach or cause a person’s mental state to blow out of control and think killing is alright.
Guess what? I agree 100% with this quote and I believe that she is correct. He most likely prepared for this disgusting act a long time; obsessing and fantasizing about it. But this stems from mental disorders; this is the cause of something neurological and psychological. A game is an innocent product that a company puts out for our entertainment – as well as generate cash to put food on their table. How could you hold a game company’s brain-child responsible for the madness that occurs? They are releasing a product with the intent of entertaining and they can’t be held liable if the person that purchases the video game has some sort of mental disturbance.
I do think that he sat in his apartment, playing games, but I don’t think that was what made him realize that shooting someone is, in fact, a simple act. In my opinion he is just a kid that enjoys first-person shooters, but because he was so broken from reality already and obsessed, he played games to pass the time until he, himself, could muster up that courage, uninfluenced by his game. Hell, we don’t even know if he was a huge gamer, so how can someone like Pat Brown make such an assumption?
This wasn’t all that Pat Brown had to say; she also went on to say this;
“This has been something he has really been into. And now we’re going to find, probably on [Facebook] or anybody who knows him will say, ‘Yeah, he did have a lot of interest in that. He was always playing the video games. And I’m not saying video games make you a killer. But if you’re a psychopath, video games help you get in the mode to do the killing.“
Although I agreed with the first comment; I feel that now, things have become bullocks. There are books that are out today that fully depict and describe how a murderer, or rapist, prepares and goes about raping/killing an unsuspecting female. I don’t remember the last time that I have heard books being attacked or used as a scape goat for a crime. I might be mistaken, but I personally don’t remember any. Right now the fact remains that video games, I feel, are unfairly attacked because they are visual. Just remember, some books speak on how to attack someone in vivid detail; imagine how that impacts on the mind of a psychopath, who can picture it because of the words.
My conclusion is this; video games, or any sort of entertainment shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat for disgusting actions. It’s really unfair to attack entertainment and yes, I get that young children that play a violent game might not know better when he sees the character beat up a female. But that is why a rating system is in place; not only that, but it is the parents duty to teach an innocent child, whose brain isn’t as developed, to know what is right and wrong. I’m only using video games as an example, mind you; any sort of graphic entertainment can translate badly when put into the hands of a child that is only 7 years old. But not because they are a psychopath; because they just haven’t learned the ways of the world and don’t understand what is right or wrong.
Now, I want to close this by saying that I think we should all say a prayer for those that lost someone in Colorado. But I think, instead of blaming pop culture and entertainment; we should try and pay more attention to our neighbours and friends. A psychopath isn’t hard to spot; the later they are spotted, the more chance that their mental disorder can evolve. And just note, they do not need the influence of gaming or any sort of media to do so.
R.I.P to all the victims and again, Hard Reset is truly sorry for your losses.