Stop blaming video games

I like games.

As a 28-year-old male, I’ve largely spent most of my life behind a screen playing numerous types of video games, and some of them have been gratuitously violent for either sake of commentary or just good ol’ stress relieving.

In all this time, I have never experienced aggression or a slide toward depravity. Instances of dying playing “Dark Souls” and its spiritual successor “Bloodborne,” of course, do not count in this regard.

Simply put, I have not gone on a rampage and imbibed on a “culture of death” such as that described by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin following the recent Parkland Shootings. 

The good governor has gone into the political toolbox and pulled out a crosshair to slap onto video games despite it having gathered dust since 2013 when former President Barack Obama called for government research into the effects of violent video games.

None were found, and the issue’s been put to bed until now.

Bevin was reported to have also said, regarding games and this culture of death, they are “garbage. It’s the same as pornography. They have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency. We’re reaping what we’ve sown here.”

This is idiotic and sadly ironic, given the recent smear of the survivors as actors by some members of the Republican party. I would rather not hear a peep about human decency out of anyone’s lips right now unless they’re willing to look at their own party first.

As to this laying the blame for a massacre at the feet of video games, well, this is a pathetic distraction from a serious problem that ignores research and common sense.

First, let’s think about the number of gamers present around the country and in most schools. A Rolling Stone article about the entire issue made a good estimate of how probably 70 percent of the male student body in any given school plays violent video games, so we already have a staggering number.

Now, if Gov. Bevin was right about them being to blame, we would be having deaths spike up to a ridiculous number. Although I would argue we’re past the threshold for acceptable loss of life in any capacity.

There is also the simple fact that this topic has been researched repeatedly since Columbine and again after Sandy Hook. It should be noted after the latter event, Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the NRA, put the blame on video games and called its industry a “shadow industry,” so this isn’t a new dance by any means.

Research largely states that there is no correlation to violent video games and the destruction we’ve seen displayed by the responsible parties. Any signs of aggression are largely fleeting and do not incur long-term personality shifts and were compared in one article to the stimulus one gets hearing an irritating noise.

Studies cited by USA Today have shown that countries that spend “the most on games per-capita have lower gun-related murder rates than the USA.”

So, let us end this idiotic song and dance and get to the real issues that are playing out here in our country.

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