Robert Grindrod 0

A message to politicians from gamers.

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Since the recent outbreak in mass shootings across the US, it has become increasingly frequent to hear our people in office reapeating the same message; video games are responsible for turning our youth into the sociopathic killers who commit the horrible acts we have witnessed in the last year. These shootings are extremely tragic events that have touched the lives of all of us. To blame a form of media that many of the accusers simply do not know nearly enough about is not only an irresponsible way to ignore many of the real, complex issues facing our society, but it is also completely disrespectful those who we have lost when a politician decides to scapegoat the easiest target to make themselves look better instead of actually taking a long, deep look at every aspect, every nuance of our society in order to create a detailed, well thought out plan to insure the safety and well being of our citizens. History has a way of repeating itself. Throughout time, we have seen people blame, persecute, misunderstand, and fear new art forms. Movies and TVs were attacked in their early days and considered to "rot your brain" or were referred to as "idiot boxes". Fictional books were once considered to be mindless drivel and the pastime of one "in allegiance with the devil". Now, video games are facing the same misunderstanding that it seems all new art forms must face. Many people see games as a pointless pastime for children. Or mindlessly violent nonsense. The truth is however, video games are not seedy, moral-less creations. They are art forms that can tell nuanced, serious, complex stories beautifly realized in living worlds. Video games should have the same freedoms as movies and books. Much fuss has been made that the Sandy Hook shooter was an avid gamer and this is used as supposed evidence of the effects of video games. This claim is completely baseless. There are millions upon millions of gamers in the US. One person out of millions is NOT a pattern. If you examine any group of millions, the likelihood of finding one mass murderer among them is extremely high. For example, chances are, the shooter probably ate a decent number of hamburgers during his life. If we use the same logic applied to video games, we could say that hamburgers turn people into mass murderers. Even though millions of people eat them every day and don't commit any such crimes. This obviously is a rediculous statement to make. However, it is exactly the kind of statement being made about games. This is a message from gamers. Despite common stereotypes, most of us are intelligent, well balanced individuals who live happy healthy lives. Video Games are our passion, our favorite pastime, our creative outlet, and our hobby. Like anyone else, we don't want to see our hobby come under attack from anyone, especially government officials. So we ask you this. Take our argument to heart, do your research next time you speak out, and do not take the easy way out and use our art form as your scapegoat.


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