Violence in games doesn’t translate to real violence

I am a murderer. I have killed countless thousands. I’ve randomly beaten a woman on a public street with a golf club while citizens watched. I killed her with it, and then proceeded to stomp on her corpse. I did it so I could get money. No one called the cops. If they had called, it wouldn’t matter. I would have just killed them as well.

Yesterday, I killed a man with a rifle. It took several more shots than what I wish it would have, but it felt gratifying when the deed was over. In fact, my peers were happy that I did it. Together, we learned that killing equaled success.

A few days ago I split a man in half with a chainsaw. I hid behind the side of a building and watched my victim stumble to my position. I knew he didn’t expect me. I became a hunter, and the person my prey. As the engine revved and jagged metal chain tore through skin I felt nothing. No remorse or pity entered into my mind. It was business, even when his viscera spilled all over my body and the ground beneath us as we danced the fatal dance.

I’ve brokered deals with devils, I’ve served dark lords, and I have willingly joined the dark side. When I was younger I stomped on insects, beat stray dogs with bats. I’ve knocked men into pits of spikes. I’ve stood behind desks blowing zombies’ heads to bits. I’ve also used a lawnmower to accomplish that task as well. I have willingly used psychotic drugs to kill the pain. I’ve even been the future of humanity’s suffering. Why would I do all of this? Because I think it’s fun.

Recently, the Grand Theft Auto series has once again come under fire. At this point in the series, it doesn’t even seem to correlate with each new release. The game has consistently been blamed for humanity’s woes. In Thailand, the game has been pulled off of its shelves due to the violence of a teenager. The kid robbed and killed a 54-year-old taxi driver with a knife. He admitted to authorities that he killed the man because of a desire to recreate a scene from Grand Theft Auto. Authorities, instantly knowing what’s best for a populace, removed the game so murder will never again happen in their streets.

It doesn’t stop there. In Sweden, a park ranger is blaming the destruction of his plants on the game. A few days ago, in Georgia, three teenagers were arrested for bombings. They claimed that the Molotov cocktails that they used to obliterate cars were the direct result of Grand Theft Auto teaching them how to create the bomb.

Like I said, I am a murderer, a thief, and a ne’er-do-well at the drop of a hat. I do whatever bidding a voice tells me through the TV. I do it because it’s fun and exciting. I do it for competition. I kill in videogames because I enjoy doing it with my friends. Where is my slice of the corruption pie? Why haven’t I decided to do something terrible? It is because I can separate fantasy and reality.

I don’t want to shove the above stories under one hood. In Thailand, the officials certainly think that Grand Theft Auto (and probably all violent videogames for that matter) are the root of society’s evils. Certainly, the Swedish park ranger thinks it to be. I don’t know if the authorities in Georgia are as willing to buy these idiot kids’ story. Regardless, Grand Theft Auto has nothing to do with depravity. These acts of violence are the direct result of the decisions that these people choose to make. It’s been said countless times before in a long list of editorials by the games industry, but it needs repeating for the unconvinced of the world. Videogames are not the enemy.

Why do people choose to do the things they do? Who the hell really knows? Blaming things on violent videogames is not the answer though. I’ll admit that games like Grand Theft Auto or Gears of War may have the propensity to give an ill individuals ideas, but these cats are already toast. Some other flame has burned them before fantasy indoctrinated them.

Frankly, it pisses me off that these sick pricks are the ones that really give games publicity. How much of the general public would know about what can be accomplished in Grand Theft Auto if it wasn’t for exceptionally terrible people blaming the game for their misconduct? If Jack Thompson didn’t start beating his drum in the States, would most know what could be done? I know why politicians choose videogames to be their whipping boy. It’s convenient and an exceptionally easy way to place blame with a constituency that hasn’t seen anything since Pong blew onto the scene. Politicians know that youth doesn’t vote, so who cares if you claim videogames corrupt? It sounds good on TV.

It’s hard to tell if this spiral will ever end. There will always be terrible people that have the propensity to do evil things. As videogames push as a medium, they will only become more popular and therefore easier to target. Perhaps this will all end when we’re officially “grown up.” When we’re the news anchors, reporters, policemen, politicians, or even president. One can only hope. Until then though, get your real-world violence out of my fantasy violence, assholes. You choose to do these terrible things because you are a worthless, shit-witted individual. Now, if you’ll allow me, I’m going to go back and have fun hacking some guy’s head off.

Brad BradNicholson