We have a bit of a problem here. Too many of the men who run our country (at least in the United States) are old fogies that can’t see reality for what it really is. They can’t accept new technologies as anything but terrifying creations, bent on enslaving the minds of our youth and causing hundreds of deaths every year.
What am I talking about? Well, as you may have heard by now, one of the senators for Tennessee (Lamar Alexander) recently made a statement about video games. He said, and I quote, “I think video games is [sic] a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people.” Let’s analyze that statement for a minute. He thinks that video games are more of a problem in our country than guns. Something that is a virtual form of entertainment with (at best) questionable effects on the human populace is more of a political issue than real-life weapons that can be used to kill several human beings in under a minute. Something’s wrong with this statement.
I can’t even understand a world where this makes sense, except out of some fear for something you don’t understand. Even still, it is easy to look at the scientific evidence (or lack thereof) proving that video games are any sort of problem. Can the same be said for guns, actual weapons that are rightly attributed to a much larger number of deaths than the assumed attribution of video games to similar crimes? Of course not; guns have been proven to be useful tools for crazies and people who just let emotions get the better of them. The scary thing about a gun is just how easy it is to kill someone with it. Unlike a knife or a bat, there is next to no time to second guess your decision to take someone’s life. Once you’ve pulled that trigger, it’s usually over. How many deaths may have been prevented by people who acted in the heat of moment when they murdered someone? Of course, plenty of others would still have done the crimes with a knife or a bat, but it’s a good start at least.
Most news outlets point out that Alexander is one of many senators that has had very strong support for the NRA and their actions. It would be crazy to say that this association between the two parties didn’t have any effect, but I don’t really think that is the true reason why Alexander said this. To me, it sounded like one of two things: a hasty call of action to help with public relations or a reaction out of fear of something very unknown. I don’t know for sure, as none of us do. It may very well be that the NRA support influenced this statement. I just don’t think that sounds logical. With all the talk of violent video games and their potential ties to violent crimes in the media in the last few years, I can understand why someone ignorant of video game culture may jump to those conclusions. He just doesn’t understand them.
We need to make the world understand. More studies should be undergone to prove the effects (or lack thereof) of video game violence on the minds of their players. Definitive answers need to be reached, so that politicians and angry parents stop having an easy scapegoat to toss all the blame at. Instead of looking at something that may have an effect on violent behavior, we should look at why tools of death that are proven to be the cause of many crimes are so readily available to any enraged person off the street.
Maybe this won’t even help. Maybe we just need to wait another few decades for the older generations to die out and the newer ones to take their place, generations that understand technology such as video games and aren’t so afraid of its effects. It’s not an ideal solution, but it is one that can be counted on if all other avenues fail.