The Misinformation about violent video games, and who really is to blame
I was reading an article this morning, and I realize that the guy I am about to reference is clueless. But first I need to explain that the following quote is pulled from a sad story out of Louisiana in the United States, where an 8 year old boy killed his grandmother with a gun presumably after playing Grand Theft Auto IV.
“Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’, a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred,” a release from the sheriff’s office stated.”
First of all, you do not get rewarded for killing people on that game. It is not as if you get a gold sticker in school for murdering someone in a video game, I never have and hopefully never will hear of such a program in schools, so I don’t see how anyone gets any sort of reward from this outside of entertainment value. In fact the only star you get is in the game is where you can get up to a six star wanted level, which by the way, is hardly a reward. Maybe in other games there is a reward system that is screwed up in that way, but Grand Theft Auto only rewards you for completing missions. Anything else is just meant for fun, which is really is a lot of fun, but it also requires responsibility to since some of the depictions in these games are illegal in the real world.
I can go on a rant here, but I don’t have all day. However I just think that law enforcement needs to understand that the games do not reward you in any way to commit senseless murders outside of the story line. These types of games are meant to be free roaming games, and meant to be fun. And without any type of proper education about the games content the behavior to the child, it can lead to some horrible circumstances, and it has in this case.
And to me this mainly falls on the parents for purchasing the game, or allowing the game to be played by an 8 year old to begin with. Young kids don’t understand the fact that this is set in a fictional world, and meant to be used as a way to get a kick out of life and in no way is meant to replicate the real world.
I would never let my nieces play this game at that age, it isn’t an appropriate game for them to be playing or any child that young to play. Maybe in their teenage years when they can understand the differences from real world and the fictional worlds, and I know that they understand it, but until then there is no reason to let them see the stuff in these types of games.
I will end the piece like this, how can the game kill anyone as it is? It can’t, there were additional means available to the kid and the other kids who have done this in the past. The parents and law enforcement can blame the game all they want but the real question is, why wasn’t the gun secured in a safe place? I can’t believe this hasn’t been asked yet. The game definitely is a negative influence, but the game can’t kill, and it cannot make real guns available to these kids. It just doesn’t add up to video games killing real people, it is merely a small factor but it surely isn’t the only one.