For video gamers everywherePosted: September 25, 2010
This is the nerd in me speaking plainly but here are my thoughts.
I am a supporter of video games and I believe that it should not be thought of any less because of what it is. It is a form of media and SHOULD be protected under the first amendment’s freedom of speech. Sure there are some games that are graphic, violent, and gory but what about books and movies? The Birth of a Nation was a highly racist movie that depicted inaccurate racial stereotypes. The Marque de la Sade wrote novels about raping children and murdering them and why do we, the general public, think video games are worse?
Every time a console is found in the house of a murderer, the uninformed mass seems to shake it’s head and the blame is put on the video game industry. Whatever happened to free thought? The idea that people make choices and that they are the ones that should be responsible for consequences.
Now why do I defend video games? Because there are lessons in some of them. Take for instance Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare: in “Aftermath,” you play a soldier gasping his last breath, dragging his useless legs around an eerily quiet crash site littered with the bodies of his fallen comrades. His final actions all in vain as he slowly succumbs to his injuries and joins his friends, unmourned and alone. Why do I bring this up? Because in the game you got to play as him, his face concealed and you became him. He was you and in his death it taught you a hard lesson of war. That those aren’t numbers that are lost but people like you and me. Sons, daughters, father, mothers destined never to come home.
Another example is Mass Effect 2. You are given an option to kill off a race of aliens bent on destroying the human race or reprogram them. This is a thinly veiled question on how we should treat the conflict in the Middle East and another lesson woven into a game.
Now, not every game has a lesson and neither does every book or movie, but to throw the good in with the bad isn’t right. Despite this there are people out there, the agony aunts and old foggy politicians who believe that every console turns kids into mass murderers and threaten to limit video games. The right to free speech should not be limited because of what form of media it is and let Congress know that. If you agree go to videogamersvote.org to find out more about what you can do to help change this view.
As always, much love and respect,