Reported yesterday, a nine year old boy in Orlando, Florida was sentenced to confinement for bringing multiple weapons to Hunter’s Creek elementary school. After telling three friends that he would be bringing said weapons in, he was reported and then searched by a police officer. These weapons, consisting of an “unloaded handgun, magazine with six rounds, a steak knife and a small hand-led sledgehammer” were found on his person.
The unnamed boy was later charged with possession of a firearm by a minor, concealment of a weapon and bringing them onto school property. His father stated that "I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I couldn't believe it," and then separately blamed this incident on his son playing Minecraft. His reasoning? "They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies."
Despite there being various fan additions, all three of these items are not a part of the vanilla product. In fact the only way to get anything resembling a gun is via mods.
What next, Civ V being blamed for organized crime? Phoenix Wright being used as a reason for why people can evade criminal law? Even by the standards of this sort of case this is fairly ridiculous. This is the reason “Scapegoated” is used in this article rather than a more neutral term is because that’s all this is. This is one more case with this media being used to try and excuse the actions of others and claim it’s a negative influence to shift blame away from the perpetrator.
Video games have continually been used as an excuse for this sort of violence both within and outside of school. Only recently there we saw this media scapegoated yet again for another mass shooting, and another survey proving that the older generations with the least involvement are the ones most convinced of a toxic influence. The thing is, every single time video games has actually been investigated for negative influence the results have come up false. There has been everything from nationwide surveys and analysis, to an episode of Penn & Teller to see if a child who plays FPS titles can even know how to hold an AR-15 correctly.
Better yet, none of these accusations ever once look into the fact that instantly disarms their arguments: Crime, especially in the United States, is going down over time. That these violent games, might just be an outlet rather than the cause sparking off mass killings. Instead they are used as an easy excuse to the point where the video game equivalent of Lego bricks is effectively being blamed as a violence simulator.
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