I really don't like this Monthly Musing's topic, so I wanted to take it in a different direction. There is too much hate in this industry
Like any industry or artistic medium that came before video games there is always fear and hate that surround it. When the car first came out people did not understand why someone would buy one instead of a horse. Photographers had to fight for their works to be considered art in the early 1900's. The list goes on and on.
So our beloved industry has grown over the years from the early days of Pong to the technological wonders that are the current generation consoles. It is getting close to being accepted, but there are still those haters out there that keep us down. These haters exist both outside and within the community of "gamers".
The people outside the gaming community are easy to spot. Jack Thompson is the obviously easy target in this group. While the problem is much greater than him, he seems to have become the poster boy for this group of people. Everyone rejoiced when good old Jackie got barred from the bar, but why does it matter? Do you really think it will stop a hater? No. Do you really think that there will be no one else who will pick up the reigns? There are plenty of them. As a quick example, I did a Google search for "video games blamed
" and here were the top hits:
"The parents of a boy who was murdered with a claw hammer by a friend have blamed a violent video game"
"Dr. Phil Blames Video Games for Virginia Tech Massacre"
"Video Games Blamed in Fiery Motorcycle Crash."
... and so on ...
Jack Thompson was barely mentioned in the search results. So why is it when some kid does something stupid, and crazy that games are always mentioned as a problem?
Four reasons why games get blamed Media Coverage
People like to be able to blame bad things on someone or something. The media knows what its customers want. The quickest and easiest answer with kids is usually games. Its clean, simple, and effective. The industry is already under constant attack, so what is one more story.
Parents can't deal
Parents can't deal with the fact that problem children are most likely their fault. I say this as a parent, if your kids are screwed up there is only one set of people to blame. Either you were not involved enough or you were not a good role model or something you did allowed this child to stray from good choices in life. Now there is the issue where some kids are mentally unstable... but I again would blame the parents for not taking the proper steps to protect their child from themselves and their community as well.
Fanboys and the loud mouth community
Its easy to find dumb-asses in any community, but it seems especially easy to find them in the gaming community. Case in point go online and play any game, specifically one with voice chat, you will find god complex's, sexists, racists, and many other disturbing traits.
Developers like Rock Star use games like Manhunt to get free publicity to sell more games. They thrive on getting acknowledged as being so offensive their games get banned. While I would never want them to not be able to release these games, its the attention that is both good and bad at the same time. (This one goes back to being a media coverage problem).
Solutions to haters
So how do we fix all this hate? I don't know if there is a way, as this is how our society is raised now. We always have and enemy, and we are always made to fear them. Your enemy might not be games, but maybe its the 360, or the PS3, or Mexicans, or Republicans, or Terrorists.
Why not instead just buy what you want to buy, and not judge anyone else. If you really like the PS3, great, who cares if someone else bought a 360. If you will never pay for any Mega Man 9 download content, should you care if anyone else does? Should you care if someone wants to play Manhunt, no, you should cheer them on in their freedom to do so... because one day, a game you may like might get band for some "questionable" material.
Maybe we need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, and just deal with yourself and your family first.
Instead of perpetuating all this hate, just ask yourself... What would a Dolphin do?