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Mazes and Monsters : Anatomy of a Scapegoating

The enemy. There is no single greater motivator in human history than having an antagonist. The US would have taken years if not decades longer to land on the moon without the threat of the Russians getting there first and setting up a giant mind control device to turns us all into Marxists.

Somewhere, at this very moment, there's a defense laywer sweating bullets. Out of options and out of time, he does what many others of his ilk have resorted to --

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant is not a murderer. He is a victim of our modern technological age. His involvement with the game Grand Theft Auto has stripped him of his ability to distinguish fantasy from reality."

Elsewhere, a newspaper writer is feeling the heat from her editor. The readership is falling due to the rise of internet news outlets, and everything she writes needs to grab eyes and move units off the newsstands. With the slider slowly creeping from objectivity to sensationalism, she writes her next headline --

A Digital Tragedy : Suburban Family Victimized by Video-Game Playing Son

Glenn Beck failed his saving throw vs. sideboob.

It's a hard world out there sometimes, and none of us are perfect. It's comforting to think that there's something concrete outside of us that's the source of our problems. It's the government, or the heathens, or the corporate office, or those damn video games.

Why do we as a society fall into this trap over and over? Because deep down, we just don't want to admit that most of our problems are actually caused by our individual ignorance, or prejudice, or laziness, or unwillingness to really connect with our children. It's easier to burn a book than it is to find ways to take personal accountability for the world we live in.

So how do we as gamers weather the storm yet to come before our beloved gaming comes out on the other side like heavy metal and D&D? How do we keep the chanting of the blameshifters from hypnotizing the majority until the mob moves on to a new monster?

The answer is simple. Propaganda relies on demonizing its target. When people begin to understand something, they can no longer match-up the evil caricature they're being presented with to what they know to be true in their minds. Then the propaganda loses its power to persuade.

The most important thing we can do is to keep our side of the debate civil. Since we're up against propaganda, when we respond with hatred or irrationality, we play right into our opponents' hands. Those attacking video games can say, "See? Look at the anger displayed by people playing video games. Video games therefore promote violent behavior."

When someone uses such blatant falsehood to attack something you care for, you're bound to have a negative emotional response, that's just human. However, when you choose to calmly share your passion and your reasons for indulging in our amazing pastime, then people will be open to listening and begin to understand. That's when the masters of self-delusion and mass-deception will have to find themselves a new patsy.
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About Sean Careyone of us since 1:29 PM on 04.15.2009

This community rules. Thanks to wanderingpixel for the above!

Greetings, Programs!

I am a 34 year old cubicle monkey living in Austin, TX. with my lovely wife of 2 years, Dawn. And yes, we are acutely aware of the cheesiness of the rhyme scheme. And no, it doesn't bother us when people make fun of us for being so saccharine, because we are both huge dorks in our spare time. Being happy in life gives your character +1 million XP towards the "not caring about other people's opinions" skill.

Above : Me from my theatre days. Puppy Licks says it makes me look like Kefka.

Likes : sense of humor, intelligence, creativity, the ability to argue without fighting, not taking one's self too seriously.

Dis-Likes : console crusaders, people who are cruel on the internet because they are too timid to express themselves in real life, people who cannot separate facts from opinions, Fox News, onions.

Twitter : https://www.twitter.com/walk_your_path/

Video Game Writing :

Destructoid Front Page Articles! --

Read them here if you'd like!


I am an editor and writer over at Gamer Limit.
Feel free to pop over and check out what we're up to!

Systems Owned :
XBox 360

(Some Of) My Favorite Games of Times Past :

Pitfall (Atari)
Legend Of Zelda (NES)
Quest For Glory I-III (PC)
Star Control II (PC)
Civilization I-IV (PC)
Vampire : The Masquerade -- Bloodlines (PC)
Psychonauts (Xbox)
Okami (PS2)
Mario Kart 64 (N64)
KOTOR 1&2 (PS2)
Psi-Ops (PS2)

(Some Of) My Favorite Games of the Current Gen :

Fallout 3 (X360)
Portal (X360)
Flower (PS3)
Patapon (PSP)
Persona 4 (PS2, but made during the current gen)

Currently Playing :

Uplink (PC)
Puzzle Quest 2 (XBLA)
Robot Unicorn Attack (iPhone)
Bit.Trip.RUNNER (Real Life)
Crackdown 2 (As soon as it comes out)
Xbox LIVE:walkyourpath
PSN ID:walkyourpath


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