As much as this has become the norm in America, to the point where most people shrug this off despite the fact that at any random moment, you could eventually be in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming a victim of this very same phenomenon. Of course the phenomenon I’m speaking of is the proliferation of mass shooting sprees that have become more commonplace all throughout the country. I’m not going to go into my thoughts about gun laws or gun control — it’s an argument I don’t feel like having at this moment. But seeing two mass shootings occur in under 24 hours just a week ago brings these topics to the forefront. Clearly there is a problem, it’s clear that other countries seem to have found alternate progress, it’s clear that the majority of people in this country don’t see a problem, and that leads to the point of this article.
When a country is unable to find a way to either get rid of something that is causing an issue or finding a solution that will curb the negative consequences, the next step is to find a scapegoat. This isn’t a new concept, you can ask minorities, LGBT’s, other groups along with inanimate objects how things have been pinned on them that they really had nothing to do with. There are still preachers out there teaching people that atrocities and natural disasters are attributed to butt sex for fuck’s sake. There are clearly more Nazis and the like in this country that have shown their true colors since the turn of the century. Apparently no one showed them American History X.
What first caught my attention was a couple of articles about big companies essentially throwing video games under the bus. First, Walmart has decided to drop any and all advertising for “violent video games,” and yet they are one of the country’s largest firearms retailers, and they aren’t pulling those from shelves. Nope. Never that. Not in ‘Merica.
Next, despite seeing advertisements hyping another eSports televised event, ESPN delays the next Apex Legends tournament saying:
“Out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent shootings, ABC will no longer air ‘EXP Invitational APEX Legends at X Games’ on Sunday,”
I understand “respect” but I don’t see how a video game tournament encourages racist assholes to shoot up markets, schools or concerts. I understand that there are people in pain, but how does advertisements at Walmart about video games or video games being on TV do anything about the real problem? I, and millions of people just like me, have been playing video games for years, or decades and have not committed violent crimes. Most gamers I know don’t even own a gun. I’m not saying I know what causes people to go out and shoot a ton of strangers, but I honestly can’t see it being games, Marilyn Manson, or The Sopranos. Culturally, violence has been glorified since the dawn of time. But to live in a society, we must learn to get along. Governments, laws, borders and all of that doesn’t really mean a thing when it comes down to it, and yet we place so much value on these things. Humans deserve a chance to live a happy life. It’s unfortunate that this usually means taking from others.
I found an interesting piece about the scapegoating of video games throughout the years, and it has literally been since their inception. I’d read that, and let me know what you think in the comments.