This Guy Says He Got 50,000 People To Stop Playing Violent Games. But One Gamer Refused

Antwand Pearman is a father. As we spoke on the phone this afternoon, his kids chattered in the background. He kept apologising, but I told him I didn't mind.

When Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. last week, Pearman, CEO of GamerFitNation, was understandably affected. "I know I would lose my mind if my child didn't come home," he told me. So he decided to do something about it: he called for all gamers to participate in an Online Shooter Ceasefire on Dec. 21, abstaining from violent games for a single day to show respect for the victims and their families.

The response blew him away.

Pearman said the result was better than anything he expected. Based on the data he received from clans and organisations that participated and what he could surmise from social media, he estimated that around 50,000 gamers participated in the #OSCeasefire. Even hacktivist group Anonymous got on board, promoting the movement through social media.

He compared it to the Christmas truce that took place on the Western front of the first world war during 1914. As the holiday approached, British, French and German troops stopped shooting at one another long enough to exchange gifts, sing carols and play football.

"I wanted gamers to come together to try to show that we care," he told me. "It shows that we can come together and do something positive on a grand scale."

But not everyone was on board. Isaiah-TriForce Johnson (yes, that's his real name), internet famous for being the first in line for three Nintendo hardware releases in a row, told me on Friday that he would be playing whatever games he wanted.

In fact, TriForce, who makes a point every year to give to engage with charities through his organisation Empire Arcadia, held his own tribute on the night of Dec. 21. He and some friends live streamed a marathon session of games like Zelda II and Street Fighter X Tekken — games that feature storylines in which you save kids. To promote his point of view he created a simple image that he hoped would be impossible to misinterpret:

"I've been around gaming for a very, very long time and I've watched the media butcher video games and blame video games for a whole bunch of stuff that has nothing to really do with us, or the manufacturers, or the developers, the producers, the inventors — it has nothing to do with us," he told me.

"The reason I think that the online ceasefire is a bad idea is because, as I said before, the media will take anything that we say and they will manipulate it," he continued. "I think the media would take that and use it against him."

We're saying to those pundits and politicians who would use games as a scapegoat: we don't care what you say about us. We're going to show respect, and we're going to do it our way.

TriForce said as much to Pearman, but the two didn't see eye-to-eye. "TriForce voiced that to me as well, but I'm like, 'Listen, one: you can't be afraid, you know, to come out and speak against something in fear of what's going to happen,'" Pearman told me. "You can't let the media define who you are, you know? You define who you are."

Besides, he said on Saturday the media coverage of the Ceasefire had been positive so far. He even appeared on CNN with Piers Morgan, who later tweeted a quote from Pearman: "I don't see how videogames…contribute to violence, especially when most (games) emulate real life."

I'm more inclined to agree with Pearman; when you fly a flag half-mast, you're not blaming the flag. A moment of silence is not an accusation aimed at speaking. And screw whoever wants to twist the Ceasefire to their own agenda. We're saying to those pundits and politicians who would use games as a scapegoat: we don't care what you say about us. We're going to show respect, and we're going to do it our way.

"You and I both know Antwand means good," TriForce said. "But we are in a very tense position in the nation right now. We're really walking on egg shells, and anything we do or say will be used against us."

I say let them try.


    Im just going to leave this here

      TB has makes great content and provides enough information to prove a point, I shared this around so many times

        I would be more understanding of the idea if it was all games, not just violent ones. Singling out violent games, a mere subsection of what gamers are able to enjoy, doesn't suggest to me a sign of respect it suggests an admittance of a relationship between violent games and real-life shootings. It's like, "see look, we're being good" as opposed to "I am giving up my hobby for a day to signify that my thoughts are with the victims and their families."

    Yer I didn't conform to this bs. It's basically accepting the lies and propaganda of video games being the reason for violence. Most stupidiest idea ever.

      the idea wasnt accepting the idea that games are the reason for violence, it was to show those who do make that viewpoint that gamers aren't robots that feel nothing, but we can sympathise with the victims family, and put aside a day of no online shooters. The media never takes comments from the gaming community, they just blame it. This gave a voice to us and people were happy for it.

        I can agree with the sentiment there but it's very naive to think that's how this would play out. From the outside this looks like even gamers think video games are guilty of something. It was also never, ever, ever going to succeed at getting a significant group of gamers to put down their shooters for a day.
        So the end result is that gamers look like they're guilty, then fail to go a single day without shooters confirming that we're all addicts when really we aren't guilty and this sort of operation fails because it's wildly impractical.

    Sentiment is great and all, but how about something practical? For instance, what about asking all those same participants to hand in any firearms they might own. Hard for gamers to be vilified in shootings if none of them own guns...

    Ban something trivial like video games but not the guns that killed the children...ok.

    What happened to crazy? What, you can't be crazy no more? Did we eliminate ''crazy'' from the dictionary? Fuck the records. Fuck the movies. Crazy! When l was a kid, they used to separate the crazy kids from everybody. When l was a kid, the crazy kids went to school in a little-ass bus. They had a class at the end of the school... and they used to get out of school at. Just in case they went crazy... they would only hurt other crazy kids.
    - Chris Rock

    @Shjack - sorry Billb

    Gun ownership does not instantly make you a murderer...

    Last edited 23/12/12 8:16 pm

      Neither does playing games but clearly if one was to blame more it would be guns.

        Not so much the guns, but the gun laws. I'm all for gun control, just not over the top, knee jerk reaction type of gun control.

    Er... didn't Triforce conform to the parameters of the Ceasefire? He didn't play any shooters. I'm pretty sure that was the point.

    He compared it to the Christmas truce that took place on the Western front of the first world war during 1914.

    No. No no, no no no. Not at all. I'm sorry, I was with you up until that point. This is completely different.

    It would make a heck of a lot more sense for them to do anything that actually had any positive effect besides ensuring they weren't booting up manshooter '96 for a whoooooole day. Uniting in apathy is hardly a cause to which one might contribute.

    Additionally, I have yet to see any videogame that actually produces violence, so it's really a bit questionable that anyone actually uses the term "violent games" to describe any game which has no production of actual, concrete, real-world violence.

    Unfortunately you can be all good intentions as you like but the media will, has done, and will continue to take these things into the context they decide is going to sell papers. That's the way of mainstream media. I think that they both can have their way and everyone can be happy with the outcomes.

    Didn't know about this movement. Played Far Cry 3 on the 21st. And the world kept spinning.

    Is that why the competition was so much better online that night? Because all the oversensitive limp-wristed players were lighting candles and singing hymns while expressing to the world how awesome they were for not doing something completely unrelated to a tragedy?

      Yeah, you played a game while other people were remembering dead people. You're hardcore, broseph.

    I haven't seen anyone kill anyone with a console controller or a mouse before. I think Guns maybe the problem here.

    Participating in the Online Shooter Ceasefire on the 21st gave me some free time to fire guns at a firing range.

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