It was in the news a few weeks back that, upon further analysis, there were in fact references to Doom in the notebooks of the two students who were responsible for the Columbine Massacre. The media seemed to accept this as ‘Veritas Lux Mea’ and that this was the final proof needed to complete another of their sinister pyramid diagrams. The issue here, as smart gamers around the world continue to point out, is much larger then Doom. If I were to commit atrocious acts and, years later amidst my den of pornographic magazines in brail (because I’m just that sick), the authorities were to find the above sketches, perhaps Mason Dixon would be brought in for questioning. I will admit that this scenario is a bit of a stretch, but looking to a videogame for justification of what has been deemed a Massacre seems much like looking up a cow’s ass to find out where milk comes from.
Whether or not the efforts were bolstered by the discovery of the student’s notes, there are still tons of legislations being proposed daily to regulate/tax/prevent the creation of violent or otherwise explicit videogames. The problem here is that most of the legislation is being proposed to prevent minors from purchasing and playing these games that have already been deemed unsuitable for their kind. Gamers, a rather vocal lot, are automatically shooting back that justice is served when these bills are denied due to lack of evidence and first ammendment rights. This way lies not sanity! The game industry has already set up the ESRB, which expressly expresses the expression that certain games are downright retard-inducing in children of certain ages. They may have lacked in the enforcement and advertising, but any jurisdiction passed in the vain of getting minors away from excessive sex and violence should really be common sense. Don’t fight these proposal with tooth and blog, instead divert your attention towards the proposed taxes on these games that could effect -everyone- who buys them. The (lack of) logic there is that if these things are bad for children, but they are getting them anyway, we should penalize anyone who buys them and therefore discourage the consumption of these products. The next step would most likely be preventing the production of these games entirely, which we can see from other examples works like a charm. Weed is downright illegal, can’t you tell?
To understand the nature of the problems here, we have to delve deeper into the root of Humanity. That’s humanity with a capital H, meaning not just the idiotic whole that it becomes when white Americans decide to call the shots, but every human being in the expanse of history. You can easily relate a videogame which features violence to a movie with the same elements, which proves that it’s not just a flook of the medium because we enjoyed people die long before GTA existed. In fact, you may have heard of an ancient building which directly mirrors these trends, it’s called the Flavian Amphitheatre (Collosseum) and men used to go there to watch other men die way back in the 1st century AD. The trend is that when a culture reaches a certain point of “sophistication” it becomes an increasingly larger commodity to witness or even experience violence.
The inherent reasons we crave blood and gore are because we have been completely robbed of these things in our lives. We are no longer allowed to hunt for our food, and upon catching it remove the skin and eventually reach the precious meats that linger within. Unless of course you’re a vegitarian, at which point you can only be satiated by plants that bleed, and that’s just creepy. Much can be learned about man by looking at him in his primitive, raw state before high society had a chance to take hold.
Intermission: Some sleep occured, followed by sleeping in, and then upon a late morning drive to work my car began to argue against its lifelong enslavement. Thankfully it only ceased motion a mere 3 feet after entering the parking lot at my work.
The common argument these days has been ingrained into our minds from ages such as the 60′s and 70′s, they are no longer as prominent but the feelings are still present. Being nice to animals is of supreme importance, to the bizarre extent as to avoid eating them entirely as opposed to simply regulating where one eats their meats and how said meat is treated in its short lifetime. Everyone should be all friendly and lovey-dovey to all other humans all the time and if terrorists attack your friends your sole retaliation should be flinging lovely smelling flowers at them while dancing about like a fearie. The facts are that all human beings have a latent desire, reaction, feeling, and urge to defend themselves. It comes through in every aspect of our lives every single second, our gut reactions and split second decisions are typically based upon similar basic priniciples. From this inclination to defend ourselves comes the human gravitation towards violence, if someone has wronged you the most satisfying reaction is to hurt them. (Not necessarily the legal, moral, or humanitarian thing to do, but still the most satisfying.) Human beings have a natural bent towards violence, death, and destruction that is often denied, avoided, or beaten down in individuals. It is an acknowledgement of this that we love so dearly out depictions of violence, they are definitely a far safer way for one to experience such things as opposed to going out and trying them first hand. This is a simple rationalization for violent videogames, it does not mean that all violent videogames are good for you or that they are all worth playing or even making, but that they should not be removed out right.
Even lately a game that features killing in the name of God has come under fire, because it is a Christian oriented game that still features death and destruction. Negative reactions to these types of games are downright denials of our very human nature. Having read in a little more detail some of the exact court documents that Jack Thompson prepares for his cases, he is obviously in the business of deception. He can be directly quoted as referring to the Grand Theft Auto games as “cop-killing simulators”, which to the un-educated or unweary presents an image of an instruction booklet that reads: 1. Find Cops 2. Kill Cops 3. Go to Jail for a Long Time 4. Get Raped in Jail 5. Locate NPC <50 Cent> to acquire more Training A more accurate (read: honest) description would be that the GTA games are more of “Human-killing and Driving Stories”. By juxtaposition you can assume that good old boy Mr. Thompson feels it is wrong to have a game where you kill Cops, but that it is less wrong to have a game where you kill anyone else on the street and their prostitute. A solid case can be made for this thinking, but that isn’t what is being presented, and the misrepresentation is where the issue lies. His argument should stem more from the fact that Doom is a “Demon-killing Simulation” and that there are people in the world who think they fight Demons. If you cannot get what you want without decieving someone, then it is a clear indication that what you want is not entirely just.
Many of my finer points have been lost in the makeshift writing of the post, but I think the requirements for discussion are present and that is enough for now. Needless to say, I strongly feel that placing blame upon games like Doom is only a piecemeal attempt at solving a much larger problem. I know that I’m not alone in this thinking, but I felt that it all could bear repeating.
Appendix A: Everyone must agree that the state looks a hell of a lot like a freakin’ gun!