Reading through all these
letters of people defending their love of video games, about how
they are not responsible for the actions of the children involved
in the shooting, I have noticed a trend that seems to emerge in
many of the responses.
In condemning the media's blanket statements that video games cause
killers, many gamers are instead responding with their own statement
that is just as general as the original: the parents of the killers
are at fault.
While it very well may be the case that the parents may not have
been the most attentive or loving parents, or may have not have
gotten help the children may have needed, it does not necessarily
mean it is their fault. A parent could be loving, nurturing, and
helpful, yet their son/daughter could still have been a murderer.
How can one look at what caused them to kill, and only look at their
family and personal lives, and not the social aspects. High Schools,
or any other social situation, are the source of very strong influences.
How many times have you said something to someone without any regard
to their feelings, or how it will affect them? While many people
may be quick to blame the parents of the children, it may have just
been the children's peers who drove them to what they did, although
who would want to admit that the innocents were a cause? There were
many times in High School that I wanted to kill someone, and although
I didn't, if I had, it would not have been my parents fault. I felt
trapped, isolated from my peers, and I felt I "didn't fit in."
If I had decided to go through with that, I could have gotten a
gun, and it wouldn't have been from my parents. Where, then, would
the blame be placed? It wasn't until I developed a sense of my own
individuality that these urges went away. My parents couldn't help
me develop that. They influenced it, but how I came about realizing
who I am was a personal act.
The media itself may be as much of a cause in all of this as anyone
else. People get shot. The media both covers and escalates it, plastering
the names of the murderers and their deeds all over the TV, radio,
newspapers internet, etc. People know who you are. Some people who
are teetering on the edge of 'sanity' may see this as an escape
from being the unknown, unnoticed geek, and as a way to be known
not only by your peers, but also by the world.
While although video games may not have taught these children the
skills necessary to kill (I couldn't hit anything with a gun if
it weren't controlled by a mouse and a keyboard), it may have added
to the child's desire to kill, perverting his sense of reality.
I don't mean to condemn video games with that, I am an avid gamer
with no murders in my past, yet it may have been a factor leading
to their actions.
I don't agree that video games were the sole cause of the recent
happenings, but I refuse to discount them as something that may
have led to their behavior. I don't believe that the parents were
the sole cause of what happened either. While although these MAY
have been the only driving factor behind their actions, it is more
likely that a combination of every aspect of the child's life, from
personal to social, played a part in what they did. Blaming the
parents has become just another easy way of clearing the blame from
one thing, and passing it off onto another.