The deadly shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has triggered a heated debate about the effect of violent video games and their possible contribution to the tragedy that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults.
Ever since it has been discovered that the shooter was a huge fan of Activision’s first-person shooter Call of Duty, analysts and journalists have been emphasising on the game’s link with the man’s weapon of choice to carry out the killing.
Democratic West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller has been quick to react to the suspicion and already introduced a bill in Congress, which would task the National Academy of Sciences to study and investigate the short-term and long-term effects of violent games on the minds and well-being of children.
It is being assumed that the mental state of the shooter was somewhat affected by the game that he was addicted to.
While a thorough investigation into the effect of violent video games sure needs to be carried out, one is forced to wonder if the blame for the Connecticut shooting should be given to such games.
A huge majority of the games depict violence in some form, whether it is graphic or toned down. While the likes of Call of Duty and God of War often find themselves taking the heat, when in actual even the children-friendly games such as Mario depict violence. Mario does not exactly hug Bowser or his army during the course of the game to make them realise that their mistakes. The abduction of Princess Peach is also not something that teaches kids about love and respect.
Such games are played and loved throughout the world, be it America, Australia, India, Brazil, Japan or Korea, yet it is only America where school shooting incidents take place.
Maybe the American government and parties that are concerned about the safety and security of the nation, particularly the children, need to stop looking in the wrong direction and target the real culprit.
The media, particularly news channels, and the film industry have been portraying a really twisted and ugly image of the world in front of the public.
Hollywood has grown really bold over the years and while the rating systems are there to keep the children from viewing films that are not appropriate for them, there seems to be anyone who is following these ratings strictly.
Every once in a while, someone emerges in the society who has been greatly influenced by the depressing news and violent films, thus losing faith in life and becoming blind to the joys that it offers.
Such people forget the value of life and therefore end up doing something that is inhumane in every sense of the word.
The American government needs to start focusing on regulating the news channels and film industry in order to make sure that people get to view good and positive things instead of getting filled with depression and frustrations.
Anyone identified with criminal tendencies, including people who have actually committed a crime, need to be treated in an asylum instead of sent to jail as spending time with other murderers, rapists, etc. would make them an even greater threat for the society.