Entertainmenthas been a soft target of the media since decades.
Be it comics, Hollywood,rock and roll, rap music or video games. It is no surprise that the latestvillain that stimulates people to commit crimes is the violent video games. Itis no surprise that media raves and rants about the evils of video games toinsinuate the masses and intimidate the gaming industry and comes up withclumsily manufactured outrages like the ones listed in some articles.Letus study a few cases which was much talked about during the period the crimehappened. AdamLanza was the man who took lives of 27 in the Sandy Hook school shooting onDecember 14, 2012. After killing hismother, he drove to the school with the mother’s guns and shot 20 kids and 6 adults..
The NRA ( National Rifles Association) was quick to blame it on video games. Unfortunately,his brother Ryan was mistakenlyidentified as the shooter because Adam had stolen the ID of his brother and waswearing it. The media eventually realized its mistake but the damage had beendone. News travels faster than the speed of light. Ryan was accused of the massshooting and the media and virtual lynch spared no opportunity to seek hishead. They probed into Ryan’s profile and found that he “liked ” Mass Effect, avideo game they were pretty sure had guns.
The effect of media reports are such that the mobbelieves everything wi thout giving it a second thought or waiting for furtherinvestigation.a stretch. As a result Mass Effect facebook page was flooded withthreatening messages and accused the creators for aiding and abetting violentattacks on innocent lives. For months Ryan had to prove his innocence. Andeverywhere he was looked at with suspicion.
Our media is adept in blamingeverything and anything but the criminal.Anothermedia created myth that video games were turning players into killers is theDawson college shooting in the city of Montreal. The shooter – Kimveer Gill.The media instantly pointed finger at the video game Super Columbine MassacreRPG, because Gill simply happened to mention to like this game. An in-depthlook into his private life revealed a lot of facts which were actually thereason behind this action. Gill had posted in a Web site called Vampire- Freaksmore than 50 fotos of him in various poses holding a rifle. Below one foto hehad quoted – ” Lived fast, died young.
Left a mangled corpse.” Below anotherpicture Gill wrote – ” I think I have an obsession with guns.” Another captionhe said –” anger and hatred simmers in me.” He has written that he was lazy and hatedwork, school and life. Hours before the shooting he wrote in the website thathe has been drinking whiskey since morning and he described his mood as “crazy”and “postal.
” A neighnour who lives across said he was a loner and hardly hadany friends. It appears that Gill had a psychological problem and had acriminal bent of mind. He just happened to like the game but otherwise had anobsession for guns. But the media claimed that video games stimulated the crime.
OnApril 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered their classmates andteachers at Colmbine High School. This time along with the violent video games,media pointed fingers at the gun industry, pharmaceutical companies, school bullying.Five years down, the FBI and psychiatrists have reached an entirely different perspective.Thepsychiatrist believe that the reasons are simply inexplicable. Harris andKlebold had been planning for an year to terrorize the entire nation . They wantedto eclipse the carnage of the Oklahoma City bombing. They wereendeavouring to create an impact sodevastating that the entire nation would shudder at their power.
Thepsychiatrists studied the facts that Harris and Klebold were radicallydifferent individuals. While Klebold was hot tempered, depressive and suicidal,Harris appeared sweet and soft spoken. But inwardly Harris was cold,calculating and homicidal. While Klebold had self harming tendencies, Harriswanted to hurt others.
He was diagnosed as a psychopath. And unlike psychoticindividuals, psychopaths are rationaland fully aware of what they are doing. Harris’s website posts were full ofhateful messages. They concluded that Harris was the mastermind behind theattack and had he survived and escaped, there is no telling what he would havedone. But the media to grab attention and response from the public immediatelyattacks the screens and controllers for the crime done by an individual who hascriminal tendencies.Themedia scrutiny of mass shooter’s gaming habits ignores base rates and leads toconfirmation bias. Considering the fact that 97% of teens play video games withviolent content, finding these games in a shooter’s home isn’t really evidenceof anything.
In fact, studies linking violent games with even mild acts ofaggression remain controversial and have been rejected by every US court toconsider them; the US Supreme Court has described these studies as beingsignificantly flawed.Thereare millions of boys out there playing these games. Not everyone is turninginto a mass murderer. In 1950 the boogeyman for the media was comic books.Every time there is new medium, it is pointed as the source of horriblebehavior.
Its comic books ; its rock n roll music; rap music; its video games.Scientificresearch and international and domestic crime data all point toward the sameconclusion: entertainment does not cause violent behavior in the real world. Violentvideo games may have small insignificant influence on a person’s aggressivenature, emotions and thought, but it’s a weak and meaningless link that makeslittle difference in the real world.Finally,as the families mourn for the loss of their loved ones, the real reason is notuntreated mental illness, comics, guns, or video games. The real reason for anawful behavior remains unknown.