I've been watching this show on Discovery Channel called Rise Of The Video Game. It's a 5 part documentary that talks about the video game industry. How it started and where it's at today. On the episode that they aired yesterday dealt largely with how the U.S. Military, which is actually largely responsible for the industry, has used the medium as a tool for recruitment. What I found funny was that the same people who only a few years ago were the ones telling everyone that games like Grand Theft Auto were just games and that people complaining about the violence need to calm down are now complaining that military games such as Call Of Duty 4 could be ushering in a more militaristic future for the country. So, what happened to them just being games? When you're killing a cop it's just a game but when you're simulating military maneuvers it's a signal of a horrible tomorrow? One of the game creators on the show, the same one who made the game JFK: Reloaded, called them a tool to train kids for the Afghanistan and Iraq war. Wow.
Now in the interest of fairness I have to say that I myself am a game junkie. I love them. Have ever since the NES. I love GTA and Call Of Duty and Doom. And they're just games. They don't teach kids how to kill or vandalize property. Like I said, I've been playing ever since the NES days and I've never had the urge to jump on a turtle or drag race down the highway or beat a hooker with a baseball bat. It's not the games, it's the kids. And by proxy, it's the parents. Pay attention to what you're kids are doing. It's not up the government or the video game or music or movie industries. It's your job. "Oh, but Chris, kids can get these things off the internet without us knowing about it". Yes, but keep up with the technology. Learn how to use your computer to seen what games or music or movies they've downloaded. Learn how to maneuver around their 360 or PS3 and see what games they have on their HDD. If your 12 year old has a copy of Saints Row, get rid of it. If you can't do this then don't have these machines in your home.
And now, we have this mall shooting in Nebraska. I wonder how long it'll be before the media puts some of the blame on a movie or game this guy, and he is a guy despite the fact that some media outlets insist on calling him a kid, watched or played.