This probably won't surprise most of you, but the idiots in the National Rifle Association are pretty disconnected from reality. So much so, it seems, that they've managed to justify spending the last couple of weeks blaming video games for the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary while ignoring the fact that they’ve release three separate video games of their own.
In a broad-sweeping critique of the entire gaming industry, a spokesman for the NRA referred to video games as “filthy pornography” and denounced their production. And he said it all without mentioning the NRA’s own series of titles. I guess it’s only “filthy” when someone else is cashing the checks.
Now, to be fair, none of their games allow you shoot your weapon at another human being, which is probably by design. NRA Gun Club, which is their most recent release, is a target shooting title that's about as much fun as having a wart removed, and only slightly less painful. The game also demonstrates the NRA's is disconnection from reality by being released as a PlayStation 2 exclusive in 2011. The NRA is obviously not known for their embrace of modern technology, unless that technology can increase the number of bullets fired into an enemy target.
The organization has also released NRA Shooting Sports Games, a three-game package of complete boredom, and NRA Varmint Hunter, which underlines the NRA's commitment to hillbilly behavior.
Obviously, the NRA's irrational response to the shootings is partially due to the heavy scrutiny that they've been feeling in the wake of Sandy Hook. Many of the country's political leaders, including President Obama, are looking to implement sweeping gun control legislation, a proposition that is directly in contrast to the NRA's core values. So, the NRA is probably looking to redirect the blame, and video games are an easy target.
But it's never that simple.
I've said it before, but video games do not cause violence. Human beings are naturally violent animals, which is why video games are popular in the first place. In fact, an argument could be made that the violence in video games is part of the solution, not the problem.
In 1950, Bertrand Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. During his speech, he said, "Civilized life has altogether grown too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting."
I have no idea what causes someone to open fire on an elementary school, but I do know that it's a complicated problem and no one cultural issue is entirely to blame. However, when an organization like the NRA tries to obscure their own role by offloading the blame to an entertainment medium while simultaneously supporting that medium, they deserved to be dragged into the spotlight.
Date: December 31, 2012