A quick glance at any store bought calendar will remind you that it’s 2003 any more – yet here we are, engaged in the inane debate that video games cause violence. eSports fans continuously endure the slurs thrown at their passion by an ignorant media – yet the lack of understanding can be tolerated on such trivial matters – but when CS:GO is blamed as the cause of a national atrocity, it’s left to members of the eSports community to quash the insensible nonsense… again.
The entire ideology feels almost farcically archaic to the millennial population, but the fact remains that a large proportion of western populations believe that video games breed violence and they hold these beliefs very strongly. In today’s German media, popular news outlet Bild suggested the shooters preference for playing CS:GO was a primary cause for his violent actions:
— TrilluXe (@TrilluXeCS) 25 July 2016
Without appearing insensitive, it’s almost laughable that a series of headlines placed the emphasis on “violent video games”, whilst completely turning a blind eye to the suspected mental illness involved. Germany is widely considered to be particularly poor in this regard. Despite hosting a number of eSport events and companies, the entire eSports scene and industry in general is treated with a negative stigma and it’s bid for legitimacy is ignored by the general public – until of course, events such as Munich occur.
In a decades time, these seemingly illogical arguments will be gone. The people who are not capable of understanding video games, social media, internet culture, and new technologies in general will no longer be in positions of power within the media and the ‘violence claims’ will become but a distant whisper. Until that time comes, it’s necessary to fight these pointless battles to clear the name of eSports like Counter-Strike.
This clip from the classic 90’s show Malcolm in the Middle, says all that needs saying on the entire ‘video games cause violence’ debate:
One particularly cynical view of the world is to consider that the mass media accumulate their talking points from politicians and activists, both of whom use whichever talking points will get them the most votes and build up the most traction.
Random acts of terror are devastating communities worldwide and people are scared – people want to know the problem can be solved; they want to be reassured. By framing this issue as the result of violent media you have implicitly provided a solution: restrict violent media and video games like CS:GO. It’s classic scapegoating – bypass the wider issues which are uncomfortable to address and difficult to improve, in favour of a far more manageable answer.
The entire debate feels eerily similar to the fights involved with gay marriage in the US. Proponents of gay marriage have made massive strides in the past 20 years and have now essentially banished the opposition into a small minority – yet that minority still exists.
Whilst most people feel that there is nothing to debate any more, there are still older politicians, backed by hardcore social conservatives and religious demographics who are still preaching biblical marriage rules and trying to take away marriage rights from gay people.
There is no worthwhile evidence to support the suggestion that games encourage real-world violence. It’s frankly tiresome that certain media outlets still continue to blame eSports like CS:GO when an atrocity such as the Munich shooting is committed.