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Too Little, Too Late: Reactively, Senator Looks to Study Violence in the Media

Posted December 21, 2012 by The Laymen's Gamer in Editorials

I really dreaded having to write about this but we all knew the time was going to come where every conservative backwater hick on the planet was going to blame violence and vulgarity in the media, particularly that of video games, when a violent tragedy occurred. Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock in the last so many weeks, you’ve heard about the tragic shootings that happened in Connecticut. I’m not going to talk much about them, really, as they’re a bit of a sensitive subject for me and it’s really not the focus, here: however, as it always is in these kinds of situations – especially when it turns from a serial murder to a murder suicide – people reactively try to scramble to find the reasons as to why someone would do such a thing, you know, seeing as you can’t punish anyone or anything, reasonably, given the circumstances. If I were you, I’d brace myself, because things are about to get heated.

“This week, we are all focused on protecting our children. At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day. As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have introduced legislation to direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the impact of violent video games and other content on children’s well-being.”
West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller on his website 

There’s always one guy, in government, that does this. He or she tries to make it seem like something is being done about the tragedy by talking about how to put a bandage on an already terrible situation. He pretty much states the obvious, that we should all be monitoring what everyone’s kids are taking in, be it television shows, video games, music, and the like. However, this is done reactively, as the bill that he wants to pass  “would be directed to conduct a comprehensive study and investigation of the connection between violent video games and violent video programming and harmful effects on children.” The bill would also “examine whether violent video games/programming cause kids to act aggressively or otherwise hurt their well-being, and whether that effect is distinguishable from other types of media” and look at “the direct and long-lasting impact of violent content on a child’s well-being,” suggesting that this is a study that would look at whether or not these types of media need to be further controlled and stymied.
I could honestly go on for hours about the hogwash this guy is pumping through legislation but the link is there if you’d like to check it out and I’d much rather save most of you the time of having to read about it. I’m pretty sure you all got the gist of it.

I know some of you may come here just to see what I have to say on a matter but regardless of whether or not you did, you’re getting it anyway: this is, wholly, such a crock of shit that it’s actually angering me. I knew this day was coming – though I was surprised at how soon – and I was not anticipating it. I’m reminded of the incident in Columbine and how quickly people, American senators included, were to point fingers at the fact that the kids played DOOM, listened to Marilyn Manson and Rammstein, and watched manipulative and violent visual media. I remember how long it took to disprove this, not only logically, but in the hearts of the people of the country.
It’s already happening, in the media, attacking the fact that the murderer played Call of Duty and listened to non-mainstream music. People are attacking everything but the problem at hand, here – a man with a plan and a weapon killed several children and women; no music, no movies, no video games put those bullets in those people, none of that loaded the gun, none of them were directly assaulted by the media that is being blamed for influencing that man. Yes, that man could have very well been heavily influenced by the stuff but they shouldn’t have been given to him in the first place.
What should be looked at, here, is not the violent content of certain types of media and how it affects people, but rather gauge the capacity for certain people to be able to handle these types of media and whether or not they should be restricted. It’s harsh and that means we have to say that ever-damned word “no” to people because of it but that’s what should be done. I mean, where was the mother in all of this? She was lacking in her ability to deal with his specific problems. Why don’t you study up some kind of way to tell whether or not content is appropriate for certain people? Oh, wait, that’s already been done and there’s literally nothing keeping them from simply adding ratings to the games they release.
With the ESRB in mind, here, one should wonder – how effective is it? I don’t know a single parent that’s decided whether or not to buy a game based on its ESRB rating. It comes right down to the parents and that’s what this always boils down to – parenting.

My advice to those of you who bought their kids whatever the hell they asked for, for Christmas? Do some proactive parenting and figure out just what it is they’re asking for and whether or not it’s appropriate for your child. If the child cannot differ between fantasy and reality, getting them a game like Grand Theft Auto is not a fucking good idea, regardless of how much it makes your kid pout and whine! Let people complain about how much of an asshole you’re being to your children! This is their livelihood and, perhaps, others’, as well, in question, depending on the circumstances!
While I’m at it, video games, music, and movies are not unpaid babysitters. I see this way too damn often and that’s why a lot of this shit flies in today’s society. Treat your children with a little more respect and a little more dignity, if you do this.

Video games are not your problem if you think they’re affecting your child’s life.
You are.

With that being said, none of this is said on the behalf of anyone affiliated with this website, any of the writers or owners. This is strictly what I think and how I feel. I really feel for those parents who have to go without their children this Christmas and those whose sisters, mothers, or daughters and sons are missed. It’s a fucking shame something like this has to happen and it’s even worse that all anyone can do about this problem is wag fingers around and toss legislation at the problem like it’s going to make the wound hurt any less.

Jay, you should be ashamed of yourself and you should be contributing to the actual problem at hand, here: mental health and proactive parenting. If you’re simply playing pawn, here, then even worse and I feel bad for anyone that supports you.
On the flipside, I applaud any and all parents who are checking into their child’s lives without being paranoid and showing they care by not simply giving them what they want and never confronting them but rather teaching them the values and direction that will set them right for the rest of their lives.
I guess what I’m really saying here is that if everyone cared about this so much it would have been looked at long before this ever happened. 

About the Author

The Laymen's Gamer

I'm just a guy who has made a lifelong hobby out of gaming and would love to share that love for the games and the industry with everyone I can. I'm a straight shooter that won't hold anything back but is fair and reasonable... I know where the industry's been and I like to think I might know where it's going. This is my passion. Be sure to check out my personal blog @ !

  • Chris

    I completely agree 100%…but idk if all the swear words were necessary for this…a little much

    • The Laymen’s Gamer

      I suppose you’re right, in retrospect. It’s a little sensitive so I felt it necessary to do a little blunt force trauma to get my points across.

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