Once information about the captured murderer appears, journalists are on their feet
Who was he? Was he a Muslim? Was he a football fan? Was he a man? Did he have no friends? Did he play computer games? Ha, right on! So what if he played an occasional game of solitaire or turned on the Sims from time to time. The important message is that he played. Games kill!
Shifting responsibility is the norm in modern society. When Douglas Kelley made the bold claim that the Nazis at Nuremberg were actually normal, American society erupted in an uproar. What do you mean normal? With that much blood on their hands, no one would be normal! What horrified the American people, however, was the underlying thesis-the thesis that under the right conditions, any human being is capable of murder. It was inconceivable to Western society that someone could say that they, civilized, humane, all in white, could be bloody killers.
What a scapegoat is, everyone can see
When Anders Behring Breivik committed the massacre on the Norwegian island of Utoya, here and there a subtly camouflaged piece of information crept into the consciousness of media defenders - Breivik was a fan of games. He liked to play a round of Call of Duty, he also played World of Warcraft, a game which our native natemat.pl called a strategy game. One sociologist, Wiesław Godzic, even came up with a bold theory that the shooters (WoW is actually almost CS:GO, no?) made Breivik constantly think he was in a computer game.
Hats off to you, all clear. Anders Breivik didn't want to commit ideological murder at all, he just didn't log off. The violence was not responsible for some upbringing, personality disorders, problems with defining his social role or chronic hatred of political opponents... games were responsible for violence.
The military also teaches to kill
Recently, the Internet has been flooded with information that the military is holding various meetings with students, encouraging them to join the military service. Somewhere between the lines there is information that children think that the world is like a computer game, where you can kill for fun with impunity. Yes, that is exactly how children think. What a profound and thoughtful conclusion. They are said to have trouble distinguishing between the real world and the virtual world. In the past it was simply said that adolescents like to dream, fantasize and have quite a big imagination. It was identified with something good rather than bad. Nowadays it's reduced to just one thing - that kids have hay in their heads, additionally lined with bloody slaughter straight from the computer screen. Games kill, shout sociologists, whose careers are limited to shouting in the media.
They shoot because they play
If Adolf Hitler had lived in modern times and accomplished what he did, someone would probably have found Hearthstone on his computer disk and crowed with joy. There would be proof that the murderous dictator spent his time playing games that led to war.
A month ago, the Journal published an interview with Maciek "Sawik" Sawicki. Thus appeared the symptomatic question of journalist Anna Sobańda:
You say that contact with games is a way for children to learn how to compete and play as a team. Meanwhile, games are accused of promoting violence and brutalization, which adversely affects the development of children and, in extreme situations, leads to tragedies such as the shootings in American schools.
Great. Teens shoot up because they play. Sawicki tried to somehow get out of a question where a thesis had already been stated, but it wasn't easy.
No, Ms. Anna. Shootings in American schools are not blamed on the fact that kids play games. To reduce the problems that pushed them towards murder to just games is precisely to dilute responsibility. Because if it's not the parent, the school, the friend, or ultimately mental illness that's to blame, then what is? Games, of course, a virtual opponent who can be easily beaten over the head with a wooden sword. Since the awareness of what games are about and how they look like is small in the society, the better for the thesis. After all, no one is going to put facts under our noses, the most stubborn thing under the sun.
So who's finally doing the killing?
Hundreds of psychologists, sociologists and people of science think about what drives people to murder. It is impossible to apply a single diagnosis to everyone, these are always individual cases. But let's assume for a moment that the thesis that games are to blame for killing is true. However, killing is not an invention of the latest, or the previous millennium. Since the beginning of time, as soon as man saw that he could split another man's head with a stone, there has been murder. One killed for resources, one killed out of jealousy, one killed what one did not understand. Computer games are not new to this issue.
To answer the question of why, you need to spend a lot of time on the psychological makeup of the killer in question. To ask ourselves many questions and provide answers, even those that we do not like at all. For we would have to see the things we want to hide - that the media themselves dazzle with hundreds of images of violence every day, saturate viewers with fear of the stranger, and finally describe with passion ever more drastic stories. In virtual reality there is no sense of fear. There is cooperation, creativity, collaboration. Anger or aggression arise at most from the fact that someone let the other team kill themselves. However, these emotions are comparable to those that accompany us while watching a football match.
People are good, games are good
A game is the same tool as any other. It has neither good nor evil in it, it is just a product. To commit an evil act you may of course need a fuse, but that can be anything, a book or a movie too. Are we to remove from our space everything that could push us towards an evil act? We would stay in a perfectly flat, white world with soft walls. Some things cannot be jumped over, you cannot make a murderer not kill. You can educate, you can monitor the situation of children who grow up in today's best of all worlds, but ultimately no one and nothing will make the blood stop flowing.
The hypocritical attitude of the media does not help. It's easy for them to talk about how murderous games are, when between breakfast and dinner they serve us lunch in the form of reports of shootings and reports of brutal murders. Wojciech Bieronski has written extensively on this subject, so I recommend reading what he had to say.
So games kill, but only thinking in journalists.