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Old 01-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by SLVR JDM View Post
I don't think they are making them out to be a scapegoat, but I think there are ramifications for all of the time people spend playing FPS games. If nothing else it desensitizes people to the violence involved in such acts. For the overwhelming population, it isn't going to cause someone to flip a switch and going on a shooting spree ala FPS games. In some very rare cases it might contribute to someone who is already mentally unstable to be more comfortable going off the deep end in a "blaze of glory" if they have done it a million times in in front of the TV.

I think the overall point is that it isn't helping things to have this level of violence (real or not) in our culture. If they try to pin the entire thing on FPS games, that will be just comical.
The National Rifle Association had an entire week following the tragedy in Sandy Hook to craft a response that reflected the complex, difficult and long-overdue conversation taking place around the nation regarding gun ownership, the availability of high-speed weaponry and mental illness in the United States.

Instead NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre stood up at a press conference this morning and announced the real culprit behind mass shooting in our country: videogames.

Videogames, LaPierre said, are part of a "callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people." Other members of the cultural Axis of Evil include music videos, the TMC horror movie double-feature "Splatterdays," the 1994 film Natural Born Killers, which critiqued the media glorification of mass murderers, and the 20-year-old videogame franchise Mortal Kombat, which features no guns.

"In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior, and criminal cruelty right into our homes," said LaPierre. "Every minute, every day, every hour of every single year."

We've seen this movie before. Every time the firearms lobby is taken to task in the wake of some horrifying gun crime, it trips all over itself to deflect the public's outrage to videogames, TV and film. Never mind that there's no scientific evidence correlating violent videogames and real-life violence.

"If videogames contributed to violence, we'd expect the Netherlands and South Korea to have the highest rates of gun related-violence - since they play they most violent videogames per capita," says Christopher Ferguson, the Department Chair of Psychology and Communication at Texas A&M International, who has spent years researching the psychological effects of violent videogames. "But the rates are actually quite low," said Ferguson.

Ferguson calls the NRA's statements "surreal." He's conducted studies on media violence that range from several hundred to several thousand participants, and the correlational findings not only fail to show a link between gaming and real-life violence, their outcomes found that gamers had less depression, less frustration, less fighting, less weapons carrying, and fewer arrest records.

Despite results like this, LaPierre plainly hopes that if he blathers on about pretend gun violence long enough, we'll all forget that the very real violence that crashed into a quiet Connecticut town last week would not, and could not, have happened if the troubled perpetrator didn't have ready access to guns.

The solutions to the mass shootings offered by the NRA press conference, which at times bore more resemblance to the first round of a brainstorming session, included exactly zero measures dealing with the numbers or types of guns available to Americans. Their preferred answers include: more armed guards in schools (a measure that didn't prevent the tragedy at Columbine), the creation of a national database of the mentally ill, and nebulously addressing the "moral failings of the media" and the games, movies and other media that LaPierre deemed "the filthiest form of pornography."

LaPierre's NRA researchers even managed to dig up a videogame titled Kindergarten Killer, a 10-year-old Flash game set in a school that allows the player to fire weapons at both students and, for some reason, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This is an especially ridiculous demonstration of LaPierre's point, not only because Kindergarten Killer is an amateur game that pretty much no one ever played, but also because its gameplay features students firing back at the shooter with firearms of their own. It is actually the vision of the world the NRA says will save us: the one where all of us are armed and ready to take down potential mass murderers, wielding bullets against bullets in a firearm version of rock-paper-scissors.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said LaPierre at the conference, a line that it's not too difficult to imagine hearing in the voice of Duke Nukem.

The tragic, hilarious irony of the NRA is that its solution to gun violence - more guns - is ripped straight out of the shoot 'em up videogames that they decry for their moral turpitude. Except while gamers seem to have no problem telling the difference between a fantasy world where every problem can be solved with more ammunition, and the real world, where nuanced problems required nuanced solutions, the NRA isn't quite so lucky. And as long as they continue to promote their first-person shooter approach to gun violence in America, neither is anyone else.

As a firearm owner, I'm not a big fan of the NRA and this is one of the reasons. The author of this article is clearly anti-gun, but it was a quick google search that portrayed the ridiculousness that LaPierre is going on about in reference to the video game industry.

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Last edited by evolved; 01-11-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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