Gaming Murderers!

One of the things that really irks me is the press running with stories about people that play computer games committing some awful crime and making the leap that it's the fault of the game.

I read on Sky News earlier (because they are sooo well known for fair, balanced reporting...) about a Vietnamese boy that killed a little girl.  Now, the story does say he killed her for her earrings to sell so he could play his online game, however, the article is mainly about how "campaigners are warning about the dangers of online gaming" and making out that Online Gamers equal Murderers.

Let's take a rough look at this picture.  Of everyone that plays on online games - be it on the PC, Xbox, PS3, Wii or whatever, how many do we think play games online with friends and/or strangers?  Tens of millions? Hundreds of millions? A billion? Sky News uses the line that it's the "latest in a long line of violent crime attributed to online gaming"

I'd like to know how long this "long line" really is... I've been playing computer games - on and offline - since I was 10. My body count so far?


And after double checking, it's still zero. And all my gaming friends, I'm fairly sure that none of those have a body count larger than my own.  Technically, if you count all the female gamers that have given birth over the years, surely the births/deaths number is actually in favour of births?

They've got a "specialist" to comment on the story too, a woman that set up a support group after her son killed himself "because of his addiction to online gaming"  Now, is it just me, or would she have been better helping him BEFORE he died?  These parents that make claims like "My child plays SO MUCH, I don't know WHAT to do..." I have a handy guide:

Step One: Limit their play.

If step one fails, move directly to the next step:

Step Two: Remove the device they are playing on.

"Oh but my son goes to his friends house and plays there..."
Get his friends mum involved, don't allow him in, or if he does go in, don't let him play.

"Oh but my daughter goes to the Internet cafe and plays there..."
Tell them to bar her.  Or, even better, don't give her money to spend.

Their way of thinking is "If online games are bad, we should ban online games" which to me is fine.  Let's do just that.  But, to keep things in balance, Car Accidents kill people, so we should ban cars.  Married couples kill one another when the marriage falls apart.  Let's ban marriage.  People kill one another for religion, so let's shut all those churches down.  People drown at the seaside, so let's fence all that shit off...

The other thing that drives me insane with these games are the parents that moan their child's game is SO VERY VIOLENT.  Yes, there are violent bloody games out there, but you know what - they all have age restrictions on them.  If junior asks you to buy him Bloody Death Siege 4 - Revenge of the Exploding Guts, complete with it's 18-rated certificate slapped on the front, and the info on the back that says "Contains scenes of violence and people blowing up" then don't bloody buy it for Junior. If Junior has issues differentiating between Real Life (tm) and Computer Life, then Junior shouldn't be playing those games, simple as that.  And it's up to you as a parent to NOT buy things for him that you don't like.

"Oh but my child gets them from his friends and plays them..."
See Step Two. Remove their gaming device. 

Honestly, to compare gaming to drug addicts doing anything for their fix, is just sad, stupid and wrong. Granted, you get the occasional fruit loop, but tell me there aren't any fruit loops in every other group in the world and I will stand up and apologise.  I'm just sick of people putting gamers into this niche of "Plays Online Games - Will Become Murderer" when it's somewhat less than true.

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3 Responses to “Gaming Murderers!”

Posh Totty said...

Can't agree with you more ... can't actually believe I just agreed with you either ;o)

Em's way said...

All the online gamers I know, are nerds or geeks, not murderers!! (and for the record I like nerds and geeks, they are jolly nice people ;-0 )

You (online gamers) are 'different' from the 'norm' (whatever that is!) so of course you become a target for the likes of Sky news and the Daily Fail!

Adullamite said...

Games do affect the way people behave.
Every time I play Solitaire I am left with a desire to lock myself into a dark room all alone for days......