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Stop blaming violent video games

Published: Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 11:40 a.m. CDT

Yesterday, I saw one of my co-workers mow down a pedestrian with a semi-truck. He was able to do this from the comfort of his couch.

Whenever a new “Grand Theft Auto” video game comes out, the media pull out that old, tattered card. Violent video games cause violence.

I can assure you, I’ve been playing video games since I was able to talk, and I have no urge to inflict violence upon anyone.

While watching coverage of the Navy Yard shootings and the attack on the mall on Kenya, news anchors always led right into the release of “GTA V.” One of the CNN anchors pointed out that in GTA you can even rob a bank and kill all the hostages.

The other anchor shook his head in disappointment.

This entire faux debate started when it was revealed that Columbine shooter Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold played hours and hours of the popular game “Doom.” That is incorrect. They didn’t just play “Doom.”

The two were so talented, they actually created levels for the game. They had an appreciation for the art form and contributed back to it. Yes, video games are an art form.

It wasn’t their appreciation and contribution to video games that motivated Harris and Klebold to kill their classmates. It was the fact that one of them was a sociopath and the other was a psychopath.

Yes, there are some games that are brutal and brutality doesn’t make a video game a work of art alone. God forbid any news anchor actually play one these games and realize all the characters aren’t just made of pixels, they have depth. I have yet to play a game that was for the sole purpose of glorifying violence.

What I doubt has ever crossed the national media’s mind when it comes to violence in video games is the hypocrisy behind juxtaposing the criticism of that violence while televising violence under the guise of news. Do I think the media should censor themselves? Not at all.

There’s an age-old question about art. Does art mimic life or does life mimic art?

Those who believe the latter is true, must also not believe in the human will. They must believe we are so influenced by outside factors we can’t discern between a controller and a steering wheel.

Sure, there are some people who can’t tell the difference. Those people have a form of mental illness and should be treated and maybe those around them, in their circle of trust, should keep them close so they don’t go off the deep-end.

I’ve only been around for 22 years. But in that time, there’s been more mass shootings in America than in any other period of time.

I’ve come to a conclusion. It’s not video games or guns, and it’s not the media. Anyone still blaming Charles Manson for Columbine is, frankly, an idiot. These mass shootings are our fault.

Every mass shooting has one thing in common: isolation. In “Bowling for Columbine” Michael Moore asks Charles Manson what he would say to Harris and Klebold if they were still alive. Manson replies, “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d listen.”

Call it the denigration of the family, call it the destruction of social values, but mass shootings have more to do with the lack of proper socialization than anything else. So, next time you see someone who is alone, confused, depressed, angry or isolated, approach them.

Don’t approach them because you think they might shoot someone, or because you have pity for them. Approach them because you don’t want to be alone when you feel like they do.

Now, I’m going to go kill some zombies.

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