Subject: Comments abt the news that parents are suing id Software.
Hi, I read with some sadness the news
concerning some parents who are suing a whole bunch of people for the killing of their
children by the 14 year old kid. Although its easy to fall into the common party lines of
either supporting the parents against the "evils" of the computer game industry
OR against them because "they're just buying into that whole naive TV-violence
thing", I think the issue is more complex than that.
Frankly, from my point of view, the main
problem is that the moral fibers of American society is unraveling and it seems to me that
Americans are desperately clutching at straws trying to pinpoint exactly why this is
happening and what is the cause of it.
That a 14 year old kid can have access to
lethal arms, that his parents didn't know what he was up to, that he thought killing
others was a-ok, it just shows how far down the road the traditional value systems have
Obviously, the parents of the children killed
are totally justified in their backlash against what they perceive as the elements which
contribute to this moral decline. Porn is definitely a corrupting factor and Hollywood is
also partly to blame for its many questionable contributions to American art, culture and
thinking. Some portions of the computer games industry is also partly to blame I guess
with their "its just a computer game so everything is fair game" mentality.
However, to pinpoint specific individuals and
companies, especially industry leaders, and blame them specifically for the deaths of
these children is not only unfair but also self defeating. id Software didn't put the gun
into that 14 year old boy's hand and pulled the trigger, society as a whole did. If
anything is to be blamed, its the apathy of the American society in the face of moral
decline, its the American government which have time and again failed to implement
effective gun control measures, it is the disintegrating American family unit which spawns
so many socially flawed individuals.
What America needs is not more court cases
and long drawn legal battles that end in payoffs and cynicism. What America needs is some
soul-searching and real commitment to address real issues of society, without cynicism,
without hidden agendas, without selfish causes. To that end, industry leaders like id
Software must take the initiative to show that they are serious about such issues, that
they are aware of the problems facing society and support the open discussion of REAL
issues which are the cause of the problems of society, like gun control for example. In
this way, id maintains its status as an industry leader in the computer game industry, not
only by virtue of their code and sales, but also because they are setting trends and
examples which chart the course of the future of the whole industry. Small efforts, given
time, can greatly affect the outcome of things to come.