This morning I read yet another ridiculous article about how folks are still trying to blame violent videogames and other media for the recent shootings in Connecticut. This time it’s a group near Newtown that wants people to bring in their violent videogames in exchange for money. The plan is to burn all of the media obtained to try and send a message that violence in media is the cause of these types of abhorrent behaviour.
Seriously? You people actually think that these violent games, movies, and whatever else are the cause? You actually think that destroying them is going to make any difference?
Everytime I read or see an article anywhere that tries to claim that the violence on television, in movies, or in videogames, is the cause of so much violence we see everywhere else, it makes me want to find whoever wrote the article and punch them straight in the face. You just don’t get it.
There is not a single person anywhere that will ever convince me that someone who plays a lot of Call of Duty will turn around and murder people. You’ll never convince me that watching movies like Die Hard or Expendables is going to turn me into a maniac who opens fire at a movie theater. Why? Because NONE OF THAT STUFF IS REAL! It’s “pretend”, imaginary, art, illusion, whatever you want to call it but it is not real. Where the REAL problem comes in is when someone who has other mental problems that they either don’t know about or choose not to control properly, take things they see in movies or TV or games or whatever, and misunderstand that they are real or think that they are being communicated with through said media. The media didn’t make them crazy or mentally disturbed. They were already there.
Do I think that the violence in those games and movies contributes to it? I think in some cases, it’s probably the item that pushes them over the edge. But the truth is, if it wasn’t something they saw on TV or in a game, it would end up being a real person, or a bad experience that would do the same thing. If you removed all of the violent media we have around us, a mentally disturbed person will still be disturbed and still get to that edge and be pushed off by something else. It’s merely just convenient to blame media for the problem.
In the US, advocacy groups are always trying to pin major tragedies on TV and movies but they never consider the fact that the epidemic of violence that exists in the US is not anywhere near as bad in other developed nations. Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and countless other developed nations around the world consume much of the same media as the United States does. In Canada alone, how many movies or TV shows do you watch that are specific to Canada only? Pretty much every TV show I watch is an American show. I can’t tell you the last time I went and watched a Canadian movie. And as for videogames, Canadians play all the same games as they do in the US. For movies and video games, the same is pretty much true around the world. American based media is everywhere, not just in the US.
So with that said, why is it that the US seems to have more of an issue with violence than these other places? Sure, Canada has it’s share of problems, but school shootings and violent murder and attacks are not exactly something that Canada has a lot of. The same can be said of many of the other places I’ve already mentioned. We all consume more or less than same media and we don’t suffer from the same kind of mass violence issues you see in the USA. Even if you factor the population up to the same as the US, the crime ratio wouldn’t be anywhere near the same.
If TV, movies, and videogames are the driving force behind all of this violence, then why is it us Canadians, and other developed nations, don’t seem to be affected by it as much? I’ll tell you why, because it’s BS.
People will always want to blame someone or something for tragedy, especially violence. TV and movies are easy targets because yes, there’s a lot of violence on them and even more so in video games. But to say that they are the cause of the problem is irrational given that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to have that problem.