Mandatory Reading -- Addendum

My younger cousin Jackie who you may recognize from the Comments from time to time posted a very thoughtful response to the article I linked to in the previous post. Since I know most people don't bother to read the comments others leave, I wanted to highlight her reply, as it's one of the better commentaries I've heard on the matter.

Here's her comment:
"Normally I wouldn't voice my opinion about such matters, but I'm inclined to agree with the "gamers" on this issue. If we're all going to take "Dr. Phil's" words for truth, (bearing in mind that this is the man who has pushed forward the motto, "get real"), then we should not only point fingers to video games, but also to the war in Iraq and police violence and other REAL WORLD instances of violence. He and others are claiming that people are simply enacting the violence of the video games and that violence is GLORIFIED in video games. Is it not glorified in the media that we have soldiers overseas going after terrorists? There were many many signs that the person responsible for the VT shootings was ill and no video game or movie or cartoon or whatever could make much of a difference. It is such a tragic event and the whole world is pointing to video games and gun laws, etc., when the real issue is that the laws surrounding psychological help, especially on university campuses, are so screwy that this couldn't be prevented in the way it should have been. I will end my banter there, but there certainly is a lot more to say, and it is all counter
the argument these people are trying to make that video games are responsible."

Thank you Jackie for writing. You put my feelings on the matter into words much better than I could do myself. The one addition I would add is that the only aspect of pop culture that has ever made me want to strike out against another human being in a violent act was Dr. Phil, himself.


Jackie said...

What's scary is how many people believe in Dr. Phil! If people were to actually conform to his motto of "get real" they'd realize that he just capitalizes on other people's problems...yes, that IS enough to evoke violent acts!

Doug Walsh said...

Jackie (and anyone else),

A friend of mine who posts far more eloquently about topics of this matter than I can, has an excellent article available at this link...

In it he goes through the FBI report that Jack Thompson often cites as blaming videogames for school shootings. The truth, as it turns out, is that the report barely mentions videogames directly and makes a point of saying that no one or two criteria should be considered any more important than the other 40 or 50 they list. Very good read.