Why Aren’t There 22 Million Serial Killers on the Loose?

Nath has a go at folks who blame real world violence on the video game industry

I’ve gone and done it. I wasn’t going to write an article on it, but I feel as if something needs to be said about video game violence. It is a topic I have debated with friends and family over the years, and in the modern day of gaming, it is a very touchy subject.

First things first though, lets not argue against something that is painfully obvious. Video games are violent. Of course they’re violent. You’d be stupid to argue that they weren’t violent. How do you kill enemies in Dead Space? Shoot off their limbs. How do you get the “Judge, Jury and Executioner” achievement in Gears 3? By executing enemies with all the weapons. Case and point.

Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve even bothered to write this article when I’m agreeing that video games are violent, it’s because it’s not the violence I’m trying to defend, it’s the accusations against the industry itself. I literally hate people who sit there and say people who play video games are more violent than people who don’t. If you are one of these people, then I really can’t respect your opinion, because it so freaking ridiculous.

One example would be Michael Bloomberg on the release of Grand Theft Auto 4. He said “I do not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers.” First of all Mike, if you had played the game, you would’ve known that you probably would’ve got points for killing police officers, but your wanted level would’ve gone up almost immediately, and eventually you would be arrested or killed. Secondly, ever heard of Die Hard With A Vengeance? Or CSI:NY? Maybe even the Godfather? Let’s face it, it’s not just Grand Theft Auto 4 which is making New York look unsafe. Die Hard has a lot of people dying throughout the film, CSI:NY is based upon murders that occur in New York and The Godfather has mob wars and shootings across the city. How can you be so blind and immediately point the finger at Rockstar? You were mayor of New York City, how could you be so blind?

Another classic example is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the infamous Moscow airport level.

Let’s not beat around the bush, it is a pretty gruesome and violent level, however what people seem to forget is that you have 3 options:

1. Play the level, shoot a fuck load of civilians, upset some people, get branded a serial killer.

2. Play the level, don’t shoot your gun, get called a pussy.

3. Skip the level at the start, never play it, live your life wondering what you could’ve missed.

There you go people, you have a choice, but say you went with option 1, does that make you a serial killer? If that were the case, there would be, at maximum, 22 million serial killers in the world right now and I’d be one of them. I haven’t killed anyone and I don’t plan to. I’m pretty certain that can be said of most people. People will claim that the Norway attacks in 2001 were because of Call of Duty, but apparently it was used for training more than anything else.

I will say though that the language used online in this game is definitely some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I’ve upset a lot of people with some of the things I’ve said, but I have to turn my headset off and shut off all conversations with other online players as they are just awful, annoying little racists who apparently have sex with my mum all the time. Parents are often complaining about the language they hear online and I won’t lie, I have 2 complaints against me for foul language. But what really annoys me is, why are you letting your 10-year-old child play a game that is clearly made and rated for adults? If you let them play online, of course they are going to hear all this swearing from other players and you wonder why they start swearing.

Also let’s face it, it’s not just adults that are swearing online either. I have been called every name under the sun when playing online, especially from teenagers. And you’re now swearing at me and I imagine your parents are sitting there listening to your foul language and letting you carry on. It’s a good thing that my headset is now muted, because you have no idea how many profanities I can throw back at you. Seriously parents of the world, if you’re going to let your kids play games like this, then either mute the headset or play with them and punish them or others who swear at your children.

When it comes down to it though, video games are violent, but you can’t blame the industry for the violent behaviour of single individuals. There are too many other factors to consider into whether why someone is violent. You could argue that violent video games don’t help the cause, so why do you let those individuals play them? There needs to be less finger pointing at the video industry and more fingers directed towards the people that are playing them. The video game industry is constantly trying to find ways to tackle violence in games, even introducing the similar certification classification for films. Maybe more needs to be done, who knows? But what I’m going to say is think about every aspect before you blame video games, because the video game community is not a violent place. If it were, then the title of this article will be worryingly true.

Nath

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Contrarian Commenters

1

Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

I am an individual pretty much consistently consumed with rage. Anger is the only basic emotion I have mastered, and I am known for my misanthropy and fury. I’ve decided to turn this into a semi regular article called ‘Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back’ in which I will discuss something that has irked me particularly that comes under the umbrella of topics that The Lost Lighthouse covers, really as an outlet. I won’t as a general rule rant about every day occurrences, mainly because I live in London and really don’t have time to write a new article every time something pisses me off, which averages out about once every 37 minutes. I’ll also round off each instalment with a list of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, to end on a positive.

So the thing that has been p*****g me off this week is people that are intentionally contrary or combative in comments threads for no f*****g reason. I know comments are a wretched hive of scum and villainy at the best of times, and a shower of c***s the rest of the time, but for now I specifically mean someone who reads an article or a comment from someone else, then contradicts or points out something totally f*****g pointless for no other reason than making themselves look better or to p**s people off. I’m not just talking general internet trolls either (though I f*****g hate those time and space wasters too).

One example of what I mean was when finishing a recent game, there was a particularly great story moment that was both natural and unique in its own way, for which the developers received a fair few deserved pats on the back including from the LGBT community for the particular story elements involved. Even the majority of the comments were particularly positive for once, nothing heinously homophobic. But then some d**k starts saying how it isn’t a big deal at all saying (paraphrasing) “Oh my god, why are people praising this? This should be something that is happening everywhere already, this isn’t newsworthy”. Correct, it should be something that should be accepted. It would be great if one day we don’t need a news report about LGBT issues in games (or other media too really, gay superheroes make news headlines) highlighting the achievements of those willing to push the boundaries to include this stuff, because those boundaries will have already been pushed and this will be as acceptable and expected as anything else in the media we consume. But we aren’t there yet, so the people that get us closer to that absolutely should get the props they deserve. It just struck me as someone being contrary ostensibly just to show how much more progressive they are, so progressive in fact that they don’t even care about the issue.

Another recent example was following the very sad news of Harold Ramis passing away, on a retrospective piece looking at his career. The piece was on a relatively nerdy website, so there was a focus on Ghostbusters and his role as Egon Spengler in both the article and the comments. Then some p***k decides to intentionally rile people up/try to make themselves look more knowledgeable or insightful by pointing out that Ghostbusters wasn’t the only thing he ever did (something clearly discussed in the article) and that it wasn’t that great anyway. It being that sort of site, of course there would be an Egon focus because that is the role that meant the most to people like us. That is what people will miss the most. Being contrary and arsey about it specifically in that forum doesn’t achieve anything. I guess I don’t post opinions often enough in comments threads, but I really see it in the same way as in normal conversation. If I don’t have something positive or interesting to add to a discussion, on or offline, I just don’t f*****g say anything! Just because you don’t have to open your mouth to say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the same level of basic thought about what you are saying as you would if you were verbalising it

Maybe my problem is just a larger one with comment threads. They can be full of pointless little fan-boy wars that don’t hurt anyone, or they can be minefields of the most deplorable arseholes that use the anonymity of the internet and hide behind cowardly little prefaces like “I’m not (blank) but…” to be disgustingly prejudiced against people they have never and will never meet based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. Spouting toxic s**t about any of that stuff isn’t acceptable in a group conversation, why should it be OK just because you’ve got a witty username concealing your real identity? Anyway there are much better reasons to hate someone, like their personality. Or how s**t their witty username is.

*Disclaimer – rants can and will stray off topic, and then end abruptly.*

What I’m playing – Mass Effect 3 Insanity playthrough

What I’m reading – Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks and Rachelle Rosenberg

What I’m listening to – Altered State by Tesseract, Something Witchy (new He Is Legend track), Howlin’ Wolf: The Collection

What I’m watching – Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2