The NIU shooting on Valentine’s Day was a horrific event. There is no denying it, just like any other time someone gets it into their heads to use a gun to commit heinous acts upon others. Violence, particularly gun-violence is a plague on America that everyone should worry about. So is Jack Thompson.
In a time when we’re looking to save the country’s economy, streets and foreign policy after a steady, plummeting decline there are more important things to worry about than the imaginary causal relationship of video games and violent behavior. Thompson is back on his crusade after sounding just a little sane with his comments during the Fox “SEXBox” scandal surrounding Mass Effect. Thompson is wasting the American people’s tax dollars by demanding inquiries and full disclosure on the shooter’s video game habits.
Thompson said, in a letter to the university’s public safety department, ”Pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request production of copies of all documents that reveal Steven Kazmierczak’s play of violent video games, including but not limited to the use of his computer to play Counter-Strike, which he apparently, according to the New York Post, used to rehearse for his Valentine’s Day Massacre at NIU.”
So this means that Thompson is wasting Illinois tax dollars to pursue a cause that he was already making assumptions on Fox about before any reports were made about video games being involved. The government isn’t the only party wasting their time with Jack Thompson. Jack is wasting his own time too. Showing exactly how good his sense of humor is, he chose to demand a debate with a guy pretending to be Samuel L. Jackson.
Even Illinois’ Rep. Robert Pritchard (R) has gotten into the argument. The Republican official from Illinois has come forward and stated that “[Gun control] doesn’t seem to impact the kind of gun violence that goes on.” Which is confusing to me because as far as I know the government hasn’t even tried that option yet. He continues, “I think video games [are] a part of the problem, television, movies. Just a whole culture of violence.”
Of course a Republican rep. would say making guns harder to get a hold of is a less efficient answer than getting rid of video games, TV and movies. But if we get rid of television, Jack won’t have a forum to reach everyone with his unclassified hate-speech.
To the rescue comes GamePolitics.com and more impressively MSNBC. Thompson, responding to GamePolitics comes off as boorish and rude. Responding to MSNBC he is simply litigious. Interestingly enough, Thompson feels that he can say whatever he wants about the hard work that video game developers put into entertainment, but MSNBC is charged with libel when they say something less than flattering about him.
Thompson is standing up with Lyndon LaRouche. LaRouche believes that there is a conspiracy among video game makers, particularly Microsoft, to kill more youth than Hitler. With company like that, it’s doubtful that Jack Thompson will continue to have his opinion heard and taken seriously.
Fortunately, the rest of the world has scoffed at Thompson this time around and places like GamePolitics.com are forced to find imaginary enemies again by reading too much into Barack Obama’s statements promoting change and responsibility “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.” It’s more important to counter-point the violence argument than it is to attack someone who indirectly and inadvertently intimated that gamers are lazy.
What the violence in video games argument comes down to is comparable to Freudian interpretations, but not in the way you might think. Reports from his roommate confirm that Kazmierczak had stopped taking his medication and was unstable in the first place. So saying that violent video games cause violence based upon the actions of unhealthy individuals are skewed studies. In comparison to Freud, most of his studies that confirmed human nature to want to kill your father, sleep with your mother while wetting your bed due to repressed dreams of thinking about having sex with other people was confirmed through his studies conducted on patients in the loony bin he ran.
It’s true for the crazies, so it must be true for the rest of us. It’s been said before, and it will continue to be said until blaming video games for spontaneous violence becomes as passé as blaming demonic possession for epileptic seizures: Don’t blame video games for violence just because you don’t understand them.
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