Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Video Games and School Shootings

Active Shooter Game Is Pulled After Outcry:

The online game unfolds from the point of view of an attacker, aiming a weapon down a school corridor or throwing a grenade into an auditorium. The character creeps around corners and up staircases. Bullets spray, blood spatters. SWAT team members are shot dead. Civilians are splayed out on the floor.
The game, Active Shooter, was scheduled to be released on June 6. But it ran into controversy after several recent school shootings, including massacres at high schools in Santa Fe, Tex., and Parkland, Fla.
Parents of victims of the Parkland shooting amplified the opposition to the game, calling for boycotts and seeking to block its release.
Good. Let the market forces determine, ultimately, whether it should be sold, but the best way to affect said market forces are protests, petitions, and public outcry.
Active Shooter was developed by Acid Publishing Group, which has an online page in English and Russian. The developer was planning to sell the game for $5 to $10 on Steam, a publishing marketplace run by Valve Corporation of Bellevue, Wash.
But on Tuesday evening, after facing online calls for a boycott, Valve said in a statement that it would not carry any games by Acid, the company behind Active Shooter, and that it had removed other games that Acid had published on the Steam platform.
Discussion about violent video games and their impact on young people’s behavior was renewed after the Parkland shooting, which the police said was carried out by a former student, Nikolas Cruz, armed with a semiautomatic rifle.
A neighbor said Mr. Cruz spent long hours playing video games. President Trump said after the shooting that he was “hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.” Researchers have rejected such claims many times as the number of mass shootings has increased over the past two decades.
An online petition to stop the release of the game had gathered more than 100,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
Again, this is good, but the issues about causation shouldn't be conflated here. Yes, this Cruz idiot spent hours and hours gaming, as do most school shooters. But guess what? So do millions and millions of other people who never would pick up an actual gun and head to a school.

The point being: correlation does not equal causation. And frankly, as lurid and disgusting as these kinds of games are, they do fall under the First Amendment in terms of creating and marketing said games. 

Which is why I said, the best way to get rid of them is to change the market forces and convince people not to buy this kind of garbage. 

And it really is garbage when you read the comments of the people who create and market this shit:
Acid’s developer, Revived Games, did not reply to requests for comment earlier on Tuesday. Acid said in a blog post last week that the game “does not promote any sort of violence, especially any [sort] of a mass shooting.”
"Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned [sic] on having SWAT only based game-play [sic]. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people's anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone. As I mentioned on steam discussion forums [sic], there are games like Hatred, Postal, Carmageddon and etc., which are even worst [sic] compared to "Active Shooter" and literally focuses [sic] on mass shootings/killings of people.
"I have wrote [sic] to Valve regarding this game and waiting for the reply [sic]. After receiving such high amount of critics and hate [sic], I will more likely remove the shooters [sic] role in this game by the release, unless if it can [sic] be kept as it is right now." 
I mean, this dude is sub-literate, if that, as are most of these video game developers and marketers when they get into trouble. It's like an extension of the bro-culture, where you have these dopes in their 30's and 40's (or older) in a suspended state of adolescence, still living in mom's basement, stunned that there's actually a world outside. "Be you, bruh. I'm just gamin' and livin' the dream."

Whatever. Again, does bro have the right to make this stuff and even market it? As sick as it is, sure. But at the end of the day, it's the market, i.e. the culture, that has to change this. If we weren't such a violence and gun-addicted society to begin with, these games wouldn't sell the millions copies that they do. Change the culture and this shit disappears. As it should.

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