Tuesday, 12 April 2011

And one final test for today

This is a short post to confirm that Windows Live Writer works with this account. Easier to manage my posts from my desktop.

I will also add my first decent blog, since I feel like doing one right now.
Earlier this week, an individual decided to play his favorite game in real life, and took the lives of 7 people (including himself). The debates going on right now are concerning our gun control laws (who apparently aren’t as strict as they like to make us think it is) and the effects of violent games on mentally less stable people.
The first point I can understand. Guns do not belong in the every household of the Netherlands, and I have no wish for the laws to be less strict either. Apparently background checks were not sufficient, and that’s quite serious, considering firearms are a rarity in this country. You’d expect the police to at least do a decent background check before they let you buy, and take home firearms.

Now, on to the games part. Certain political parties now want a ban on violent games, and I do not agree. We don’t need censorship on our videogames, and secondly, a ban on the import would simply be overruled by downloading. Either illegally or legally. The fact still is that shops should check for age limitations as depicted on the back of the game case, but I have also bought games at the age of 14 that were rated 18+ and rated M+ for (extreme) violence. Shops should get the same checks like alcohol checks, if you fail to check kids for their age vs. the desired game to buy, you get fined. Of course this can also be avoided by kids, by just downloading (And these days 12 year olds roam the popular torrenting websites and maybe even the binaries groups) but at least you have a feasible start to controlling which games are played by certain aged kids.

Another issue with the violent games is that certain people will completely sink away in games (especially at a younger age like I used to do) and spend hours in isolation behind a computer screen. However bad this probably was for my youth (difficulty with personal social contact) I still don’t feel the urge to grab a semi-automatic weapon, and shoot random people in a shopping mall. The difference is really individual, and the biggest problem in this, is that people can’t seem to let go of certain things they do in-game. They get too personal with a game, identify themselves with the character they are playing. And of course even I sometimes fantasize about how cool it would be if life WAS a game, and you could sometimes solve things like you did in a game, but still this doesn’t convince me that deadly violence on strangers is a way to resolve my personal problems.
So should we deny games to people who are psychotic or mentally unstable? Possibly, yes. But since we have no permanent all-seeing record of someone’s sanity (thank god) we can’t possible enforce something like this. Even if we did, I wouldn’t want a store knowing what my mental state is, some privacy is still dear to me.

The last fact to this tragedy is that the police just bluntly failed to check up on this person’s mental state. A simple check would’ve let them known that this person had psychological problems before, and they would’ve never given him a firearms license, and he would’ve never been able to grab hold of a personal sidearm. The rest is simple really, the person who did it was addicted to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. For you who have roamed YouTube for some helicopter/guns/warfare videos you will have undoubtingly seen MF2 gamers state their 2 cents, only to be burned down by other commenters. Somehow their total dedication to this game makes them think they are skilled marksmen.
This person also had a license for personal sidearm, and regularly shot a few rounds at a  shooting range. The switch between gaming and real life for him probably wasn’t there anymore. And now we have 7 people dead.

Great. Good job guys, and while these things happen, we still wait for more cuts to come in the police section. Hooray.

That’s all for now folks!


  1. interesting post will follow :)

  2. I hate when people make video games a scapegoat. Really gets to me.

    Great post btw.