| Video Violence: Scapegoat Media
In order to determine a motive for particular crimes, police must investigate the life of the criminal. Often it is found that these criminals found a violent media outlet pertaining to their crime. News and crime inspectors are quick to blame the outlet for the violent acts. The makers of video game Doom were held accountable and sued for the horrible shootings at Columbine. However, even though games are often blamed for these violent acts, there is no proof that they are to blame. Proof actually states the contrary; that video games have no connection to violence, attempts to castigate video gaming has proved fruitless, and video gaming has evolved to become a fully functioning part of society.
“74% of families with school-age children own video game equipment, and school-age children play video games an average of 53 minutes per day.” Given that “89% of video games contain some kind of violence,” If 74% of school age children play an hour of video games daily, and video games were a major cause of violent crimes, then at least 60% of school age children would attempt to commit violent crimes.
Although many children play violent video games without committing crimes, many have tried to impugn the video gaming industry for crimes committed by gamers. One example of such is poor Jack Thompson. He sued Rockstar Games multiple times, because of their wildly popular and very violent game franchise, Grand Theft Auto. “In September 2006, Jack Thompson filed a suit against Rockstar and Cody Posey for the death of three members of the Posey family.” During this lawsuit, Jack Thompson wrote a sixty-nine page complaint which among other things implicated an obsessive playing of Grand Theft Auto in the murder of three of Cody’s relatives. Thompson filed this lawsuit under the idea that “Cody essentially practiced how to kill on this game.” Repeated lawsuits eventually led to Jack Thompson’s disbarment-his discontinuation as a lawyer.
Not only are video games not considered murder simulators by logic or law, but neither are they shunned by society as a whole. A survey of over 2,000 adults showed that more than half played video games. “Another Pew survey this fall found that nearly every teenager — 97 percent — is a gamer.” Video Gaming is even considered a sport in America. The MLG is an organization which awards participants with checks as large as 20,000 dollars for winning tournaments. The youngest participant of the MLG is 6-years old. His young age and immersion in video gaming will not necessarily lead to a violent life. The fact that there are children, who are paid to use these “murder simulators” as Jack Thompson puts it, is proof that video gaming does not lead to violent behavior.
If video games aren’t the cause of the increase in recent violent behavior among youth, we as a nation are called upon to find out what is the cause. We have decided to blame the nearest possible thing that may have influenced the impressionable children.