Don’t blame it on the games

Jonathan Septer

Jack Thompson and other like-minded Republicans have been hoping I would kill you all since 1999. Because I listen to Marilyn Manson and NWA and have a penchant for violent video games, I would be the perfect poster child for Thompson’s campaign of censorship if I would just start taking out my fellow students, preferably with an illegal firearm.

Why would they prefer the gun used be illegal? Well, just think of the field day Democrats would have with a legal weapon being used in such a massacre. No, for Thompson’s purposes, I would have to use a fully automatic weapon obtained through some illegal means. We can’t have our political messages and smear campaigns crossing party lines. That just won’t do.

Thompson just needs a few more “tragedies” he can exploit before American voters begin to think video games might be the downfall of us all. Never mind that video games are used to train our pilots and our soldiers. Never mind that video games can be used to teach the young. Never mind that video games can train a doctor to perform surgery. Never mind that video games keep me from actually wanting to kill you all.

As reported by Electronic Gaming Monthly, video games improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity as well as reduce stress. Trust me. There are days that turning a horde of zombies into miscellaneous parts strewn about a virtual battlefield is the only thing that keeps me from hitting that mouthy, immature frat boy in class.

(No, wait. He didn’t just say what I think he did, did he? You’ve all been in that class. Some of you were even the mouthy, immature frat boy in that class. And, yes, I did just quote Eminem.)

We all have violent tendencies, and current medical opinion believes human beings need to work these tendencies out in healthy ways to be a well-adjusted member of society. Healthy ways such as video games. Whether you’re bouncing off the head of a goomba or sniping a target nearly a mile away, killing things virtually lets out the steam and aggression of everyday life. I worked retail most of my life. Video games are what kept me from drop-kicking my string of insipid bosses or strangling inept consumers.

And now Jack Thompson wants to take that away from me. This is the same Jack Thompson who achieved infamy in 1988 when he called Janet Reno a “closeted lesbian with a drinking problem and a strong candidate for blackmail.”

Every time he opens his mouth Thompson sounds like another infamous Republican: Sen. Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy attempted to ban everything from communists to porn, and history has labeled him a crackpot. You can catch the next historical crackpot’s genesis in the news right now.

What bothers me most is that Thompson is claiming to be protecting children. That isn’t his job. That’s the job of parents, right? When did America decide that parents were blameless for the things their children do? Every time a child in the care of an adult breaks the law, put the adult in jail as well as the child. I bet more parents would keep track of their children.

Jonathan D. Septer is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].