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Old Men Yell at Clouds: Video Game Blame | On The Level: NG+ Gaming News

October 6, 2019


The month of August brought us a pair of stories
that should not have happened and especially should not have
involved video games. They may make you sad
and they may make you angry. But isn’t that half of why we play video games? We begin on the 31st of August, where
Formula 2 driver Antoine Hubert was killed in a high-speed race crash at the
Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The accident is currently being investigated,
but by all accounts it was a freak occurrence that
you can’t blame on any one factor. That is how normal people would respond. Former F1 champion Jacque Villeneuve, however,
is not normal people. In an interview with the Belgian broadcaster
RTBF, he said that the increasing use of racing simulators by younger drivers was making them
more reckless on track. (reading quote) In other words, Jacque Villneuve is basically
blaming video games for Antoine Hubert’s death. And buddy, that’s a take that’s almost
as bad as your hairdo. Almost. Video games have long been
the scapegoat for the ills of the world not just by this knock-off Guy Fieri. They’ve been blamed by parents as the reason
their kids don’t do their homework. They’re held out by old folk as the sign
of society gone awry, usually before they pine for the good old days of milkshake diners
and segregated water fountains. In most of those cases, it’s just old people
lashing out against their descent into irrelevance which is especially the case for
Bleach Brain here. But occasionally, it’s actively harmful
and detracts from the greater evils of the world. Which brings me to America. On the 3rd of August, a mass shooting took
place at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas killing 22 people and injuring another 24. Less than a day later, another mass shooting
took place in Dayton, Ohio killing nine and injuring 27. Amidst the grieving over the lost lives,
people wondered what can be done to prevent these shootings. Yes, whatever can be done to make sure that
guns don’t kill people on such a scale? Hmm? Unfortunately, because it’s a
shooting in America it’s time to spin the wheel on
what to blame this time. I’m hoping it lands on ‘Open access to
guns’ this time. I’ve projected so many
thoughts and prayers into it! So without further ado, let’s spin the wheel! C’mon open access to guns, c’mon
open access to guns… Goshdarn it, it landed on video games. “But the idea, these video games dehumanise
individuals, to have a game of shooting individuals and others, I’ve always felt it is a problem
for future generations and others.” That is Republican House minority leader
Kevin McCarthy there decrying the dehumanising effects of video games. Doing so, by the way whilst sounding like a monotone robot
programmed to be very, very wrong. That reasoning, by the way, the fact that prolonged exposure to violence desensitises people is one that’s trotted out at every moral panic
whether it be applied to movies or combat fighting. Which doesn’t make sense if you think about
it for any more than four seconds. The rise of UFC hasn’t resulted in a wave of gangs triangle choking their way through town. Yes, there are scientific reports out there
that link violent video games with an increase in aggressive behaviour, but these studies have come under repeated criticism for faulty conclusions and publication bias. Indeed, in 2017 a division with the
American Psychiatric Association advised the White House not to make any statements linking video games with violence due to that lack of firm evidence. And we all know how that turned out, don’t we? If they wanted Trump to heed that message they should’ve written it inside of a
cheeseburger wrapper. But the one constant amongst these studies
is a lack of connection between violent video games and an
increase in violent crime. Indeed one study found that popular video
games may actually cause a decrease in violent crime because — and this is true — people
are too busy sitting at home playing video games to go out there and
commit violent crime. But I’ll admit that this is a little cute. By this logic you can also attribute a decrease
in violent crime to other things that keep people in their homes, like
sporting events and TV shows. So on behalf of everyone, I would like to
extend a big old thank you to the true hero out there, Married at First Sight. You are an important part of keeping society
safe. But there is one chart that puts into
stark contrast how much video games don’t cause violent crime. This is the ten largest consumers of video games. And this is the amount of violent deaths per capita in those countries. That spike is basically one big middle finger
from Republicans and gun lobbyists. And that is the real factor at play here. The Republican Party takes millions of dollars
from the National Rifle Association including Senator-bot McCarthy from earlier. So it’s in their best interest to deflect
from discussion around gun control including by laying blame on the blameless,
all until the news cycle moves on and the gun control debate is quashed for another day. And the fact that neither Trump nor McCarthy have mentioned video games since early to mid August speaks volumes about their so called dedication to
protecting people from video games. So whenever you hear someone trying to blame
video games for something it’s a telltale sign that they are trying to hide something,
whether it be their own inadequacy or powerful lobby forces putting profits ahead
of people’s safety. But if the Republicans still insist on blaming
video games, then I can think of the very first game that should be banned:
Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon. If I play that game, I too may be inspired
to commit random acts of deception, sexism and racism. So Donald Trump, you should really ban that
for everyone’s own good. You have the power! And that is everything that has happened in
the world. Ever.

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