I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this because this argument about violent video games has been going on for a long time and I’m sick and tired of hearing about it and talking about it. As someone who worked video game retail for two years, during the height of Grand Theft Auto’s popularity, I know from firsthand experience that many parents do not pay attention and do not care what kind of games their kids are playing. Not only does that reflect poorly on them as parents, it leads me logically to believe that they probably aren’t as conscious as they should be in other things their children are doing like when they’re…..oh I don’t know…..PLAYING WITH A LOADED WEAPON! And then something like this happens. But yes, of course, it’s all the fault of the video game.
Kotaku wrote an excellent piece on this and I’m going to post part of it here. They articulate everything I feel that needs to be said about this.
Last week, an eight-year-old boy picked up a loaded gun and shot his grandmother in the head a few minutes after playing Grand Theft Auto IV. You’ll never guess which part of that sentence has become a talking point for pundits and media analysts over the past couple of days.
On Thursday, just after 5pm, the child shot and killed his 87-year-old grandmother in their trailer park home in Slaughter, Louisiana. Police said the kid was playing Grand Theft Auto just before the incident, and the headlines were written accordingly, with major media outlets like CNN and the New York Daily News emphasizing the ludic connection.
Somehow, an eight-year-old kid had access to a firearm, yet this weekend’s debate question has not been “how the hell did that happen?” The media is not befuddled as to why a gun was lying around in this mobile home. Psychiatrists are not taking to television to ask why the boy’s grandmother wasn’t watching him more closely so he couldn’t pick up a gun. Instead, cops and reporters are going down a familiar path: Are games too violent? Do they encourage kids to shoot people? Did Grand Theft Auto IV cause this?
Video games are the new rock ‘n roll for stupid parents and the ignorant media.