More Video Game Witch-Hunting
As expected, certain members of the mainstream media have already pointed the finger at video games after it was revealed that Anders Behring Breivik (a self-identified right-wing Christian conservative) was a player of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft before he decided to shoot and/or bomb over 90 people in Oslo, Norway.
It’s unsurprising how this tragedy has re-ignited the ludicrous moral panic aimed at computer games. It’s also unsurprising that there have been no criticisms of his religious and political affiliation, whose influence on his criminal act holds far more plausibility.
Still, regardless of the fact that he’s a conservative, gamer or Christian, his heinous act was arguably the product of a psychotic mind.
It’s ironic that a lot of the accusations levelled at computer games as an agent for violence originate from the Christian Right. If Christian political lobby groups such as the A.C.L. are so committed to subverting intellectual and social progress, I can only wonder why they are tolerated, and why there isn’t a powerful lobby dedicated to mitigating the influence of historical fiction and scientific fantasy in contemporary society (Creationists, and ‘Young-Earth’ folks, I’m looking at you).
A mentally-sound gamer is fully capable of distinguishing between on-screen renditions of violence and actual harmful violence. Additionally, most games are passive activities performed for few reasons other than the enjoyment.
It’s ironic, because this is more than I can say about most religions, whose adherents believe in highly-implausible fairy tales, and read from a book of historical fiction that compels action in the real world with scriptural (and anachronistically-illogical) justifications. All for the approval of an imaginary friend in the sky, and for boons in the afterlife… which probably doesn’t exist anyway.
What right do people such as these have to criticise or question the gamer’s grasp on reality?
If there’s one failing of individuals that I hate foremost above all else in this world, it’s hypocrisy.