Guns don’t kill people – video games kill people

Ron Soltys

Two weeks from now, boys, teenage guys, young men and anybody else who appreciates the finer points of carnage will be enveloped in Grand Theft Auto IV. I’m bringing this up because I feel it necessary to warn you of the inevitable.

Grand Theft Auto games, since the third one was released for Playstation 2 in 2001, have been bombarded by press, politics and watch groups for their violent nature. A week or two after this game is released, some psychotic kids somewhere in the nation will bludgeon some innocent person to death, and guess where the fingers will point?

It’s asinine. There are so many valid reasons to bludgeon innocents to death; why are we blaming video games for violence? Of all the random pedestrians I have murdered, I can honestly say that none of their deaths were caused by my love for video games.

I will share with you some of the more popular reasons: Out of boredom, for fun, for sport, because I was hungry, to perform a satanic ritual to gain their powers, if they make a disparaging comment about my looks as I pass them and, last but not least, if I suspect that after I kill them there will be tiny bundles of cash floating in a little green bubble one foot off the ground for me to collect.

Video games have been called “murder simulators” and all sorts of demonizing things. Saying that I am likely to be more aggressive because I play violent video games is stupid if the same doesn’t apply to other forms of violent media. Nobody reads Catcher in the Rye and wanders away from home to get beaten up by a teenage prostitute’s pimp. You don’t watch Saw II and then lock some bicyclist in an abandoned warehouse where the only way he can get out is to swim in hypodermic needles or something equally gruesome. What makes video games so special that they’re the only form of media likely to immediately influence our behavior?

Part of the scrutiny comes from the exposure of these games to younger people. It’s not like they can buy the games themselves. Parents need to be aware of their kids’ hobbies. If you don’t pay any attention, little Billy will be smashing people with a tire iron in Grand Theft Auto, and little Lisa will be putting on suspicious amounts of lip gloss for a girl in seventh grade. Clearly, surveillance and discipline are the only acceptable means to ensure their safety.

If they can’t get those As or Bs then it’s time to embargo Billy’s Xbox 360 and Lisa’s knee pads. Hit them often. Nothing shows you care more than some good old-fashioned yelling at the top of your lungs. If we work together, we’ll keep children safe. Oh God, won’t someone think of the children?

Politicians don’t know what they’re talking about, anyway. Every one of them who blames video games for something is just trying to pander to a couple of nuts who think the same thing. They don’t know and they don’t care. It’s like some rich girl trying to get you to think she’s cool so she says she likes guns and drinking beer. It’s totally lame.

Ron Soltys has played all them violent video games and is still a terrible person but not a violent one. Contact him at [email protected].