Note: This was originally posted on Put That Back as part of my “R/L Button” Column. But thought it was worth reposting here, too. It’s a message that needs to be heard.
With recent launch of Grand Theft Auto V and the horrible Navy yard shooting, media and politicians left and right are naming violent video games as the magical pill that turns otherwise innocent people into hardened killers. Some would even want the government to monitor you if you play a certain game. Some may think that our rights are ironclad and that somebody out there will fight for us, but we cannot afford assume that anymore. We must counter the lies with some old fashioned truth, or else we deserve to lose our rights as gamers.
You’ve probably seen certain news channels try convince shooters of past were “big time gamers” and this game or that game drove them to kill people. They might say game A taught one killer how to shoot when he really learned to shoot in a real-life firing range. They’ll say game B inspired one guy to kill while his inspiration was obviously something else. It doesn’t take long for clear-minded people to sort through the evidence (or lack thereof) and figure out for themselves to determine what is true and what’s isn’t.
There are some, however, who believe what they hear on mainstream news and don’t take time to gather the facts themselves. That’s where we come in.
We have to tell people the truth.
We have to tell people that not every person who plays an M-Rated game becomes a psychopath.
We have to tell them that the most friendliest people they know may be a gamers, themselves. And we don’t need television to do this.
If you’re reading this post, chances are that you already have the tools to share the facts and fight government censorship.
I know what you’re thinking: you don’t need to do anything because video are now considered protected by the First Amendment. The magic word here is now. When there are Supreme Court cases that are decided 5 to 4, that could easily change when the next video games case come in, and most likely in front of a new set of judges.
All it takes is one pen stroke and our rights could be gone.
Spread the word to everyone you can that blaming video games for today’s violence is like blaming video games for the violence that was happening way before they were even invented. If we don’t, we’ll regret it.