The Media Pins Shooting On Video Games. Just Another Witch Hunt
*Note – As someone who has grown up watching British media outlets sell lie after lie, this post comes from frustration and disbelief. The real topic on this latest event is not video games, for the media to try and frame that way is highly disrespectful towards the victims. They’re not your soap box.
It seems like the media can’t help themselves these days. Fresh off another tragedy, the media has promptly stood onto the fresh corpses in order to use them as a soap box. What’s their topic? Violent video games of course.
The case in question is the recent shootings in Germany, in which a young male opened fire at people in a shopping centre. His mental state has already covered by various sources, along with his history of being a bullying victim.
Bizarrely, a number of media outlets have ignored these stated facts, instead choosing to focus on the media he consumed. Video games, the multi-billion dollar industry consumed worldwide, has became a target. They’ve mentioned that the shooter enjoyed first person shooters, but it’s the context they this is.
It’s almost like the press is saying he prepared for his spree through his playing of said games. This is not a new concept, the likes of Jack Thompson was saying similar things. The BBC, a tax payer funded institute, goes out of their way to focus on the video game side of the story.
They’re not the only outlet to focus on this. Professional scum The Sun have had their say on the matter. Before they highlighted the shooters mental health issues and history, they mentioned video games. The Sun are no strangers to pinning the blame on video games. They’ve done it plenty of times in the past.
The odd thing is, they constantly promote, cover and enter into partnerships when it comes to violent games. While not as prevalent, the BBC also covers video games, but their agenda is never far behind. Their Panorama program, which focused on video game addiction, was laced in selective coverage and snobbery.
Both The Sun and the BBC rely on scare mongering. The Sun may be worse than the BBC, but it’s still a shared trait. Both wish to have their cake and eat it. The BBC has worryingly tried to get ‘in’ with the industry once again, mostly by buddying up with Esports.
Back in 2004, Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 came under fire. The motive for the crime was robbery, yet the resulting murder of teenager Stefan Pakeerah (14) was pinned directly on Manhunt 2. The Victim’s mother believed killer Warren LeBlanc (17) was obsessed with the game, which was why he killer her son. Mrs Pakeerah called for violent video games to be banned, which is exactly what the press and BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) wanted to hear. The press took the ball and rolled with it, condemning the game and applying pressure for it to be banned.
Mrs Pakeerah said - ”I can’t believe that this sort of material is allowed in a society where anarchy is not that far removed.
“It should not be available and it should not be available to young people.”
This was echoed across the media, even though none of them reported the fact the game was rated 18. Manhunt 2 was soon removed from store shelves. The Suns coverage has since went ‘missing’ and the BBFC has a long history with questionable choices and ethics stretching back to the days of the video nasties.
The media does not care for facts when it comes to fear mongering and pushing agendas.
Make no doubt about it, The Sun is far worse than the BBC. They’ve directly blamed games for murder and Teen suicide. The media on the whole is quick to attack video games in the wake of any tragedy that can even be slightly linked. After the attacks in Paris, a number of HUGE sites and media outlets decided that the attacks were planned via the Playstation Network. Media can’t even review a film based on a video game without a sly dig towards the media, as proven by The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner -
The sad matter of it all is the real issues are lost in the noise. Mental illness and isolation was the the topic that should have been talked about. The latest shootings weren’t caused by one of the most popular forms of entertainment. The young man in question was not mentally sound or happy in anyway. Creative media is not, and should never be, a scapegoat for the actions of a human. There’s plenty of people who retreat to their favourite films, album, video game or book when they don’t feel good. It’s undeniable that the entertainment we consume is part of our recovery process. The fact the media continues to blame such things for violent acts is hugely dishonest and rather despicable.
I suppose it’s easier for a journalist to throw out some sensualist headlines and use opinions to influence their NEWS post. This is why, at least one of many reasons why, traditional media is going under. The Sun knows it, The Daily Mail knows it, the BBC knows it. In the same way they’ve demonised rap, metal, horror films, books, comics and toys, video games is just another witch they wish to hunt.