Isaiah-TriForce Johnson is not happy with the response to last week's tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. The media is having a field day, politicians are jumping on bandwagons, and well-meaning gamers are giving the opposition even more fodder by participating in campaigns like Antwand Pearman's Online Shooter Ceasefire, according to TriForce.
But he's especially upset with one group in particular: the National Rifle Association (NRA), which this week issued a statement so unabashedly manipulative and intellectually dishonest that it boggles the mind.
TriForce had one response when I asked him for his thoughts on the matter. He emailed me a link to this video. When I asked him for a second response, he said simply, "This means war."
He was adamant that his statement should not be taken out of context, but his conviction was palpable. "We're going to fight them the same way they decided to attack us," he told me. "We're going to use the media."
TriForce has become something of a minor gamer celebrity by being first in line in all of North America to buy Nintendo's Wii, 3DS and Wii U. And yes, TriForce is his real name. He loves video games, and he loves gamers, and he's got good reason to be upset. During a press conference this week, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called video games "the filthiest form of pornography".
"There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting industry that sells and sows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse," LaPierre said.
Even Calif. senator Leland Yee, a staunch proponent of legislating against violent games, called the speech "pathetic".
But TriForce admitted that it won't be easy to fight back against forces as powerful as the media and the NRA when gamers are being used as a scapegoat.
"Gamers, we're good at winning every single battle, whether it's in first-person shooters, RPGs, action-adventure games, puzzles, races, you name it," TriForce said. "But when it comes to the media, that is a bad match, like a nine to one match-up, and in the media's favour."
"This is the NRA. We have to prepare ourselves for something like that. They know what they're doing," TriForce cautioned. But when it comes down to it, "This is not a video game issue. This is not a politics issue. This is a sick individual," TriForce told me.
And gamers shouldn't have to take the fall for that.