Video Games Join A Century-Long Tradition Of Blaming Media Violence, Says The ACLU

Video Games Join A Century-Long Tradition Of Blaming Media Violence, Says The ACLU

As bizarre as it is to read the name Starcraft in a discussion of video games’ corrupting influence, you’ve got to hand it to the American Civil Liberties Union for properly centering the discussion of What Must We Do following the Newtown Massacre.

“Media violence has long been a target of lawmakers seeking a cheap and politically cost-free way to address crimes committed by young people,” says the ACLU. Hear, hear. It’s almost a tradition to attack or demand restraint of any new medium, as the ACLU points out was the case in the 1920s, when the nation was gravely worried motion pictures might present depictions of “sex perversion” or interracial relationships. Man, I would have loved for them to play Dragon Age: Origins.

“Lots of people play video games,” the ACLU offers. “Simply pointing out that some people who play video games commit violent acts is like saying that because people in prison like television, television must cause crime.”

None of this is stuff we don’t know — hell, I’ve heard some form of this in the comments beneath all the stories we’ve run every time some lunatic guns down a room full of bystanders and is later discovered to really enjoy first-person shooters. It’s nice to hear an organisation with the rectitude of the ACLU put it into words understandable to those who don’t frequent these discussions, and have no idea how laughable it is that a strategy title like Starcraft could actually be blamed for a mass shooting like Newtown.

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games []


  • Video games are merely the latest target. Go back a decade or so and it was rap music. Now if you said Rap music caused crime you’d be laughed at because the idea almost seems quaint. Before that it was violent films. Before that? Heavy metal. Rock N Roll, Jazz, Swing Dancing, various religionists blaming another group of religionist’s religion for causing problems… and so on.

    Violence is as complicated as it is tragic. Domestic violence, drug abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and bullying all have a far greater influence on someone than video games. But those things are hard to address, so you need a scapegoat. Enter video games.

    Give it another decade and blaming video games will seem as absurd then as blaming rock music would seem now.

  • I hate Americans because of this… the us media and us government are so scared of the gun lobby (NRA) and lawyers (criminal defence and defamation) that they dont actually blame people or weapons for violent crimes anymore.

    Guns dont kill people… but video games do (or violent movies if it was the 80s). How the hell does that even compute as logical when a man suffering mental health problems decides the best way to commit suicide is to unload a automatic weapon at a school / mall / cinema. Cant touch the guns, so they blame anything else, and then the media sensationalises it to get ratings and then everyone forgets about it until 6 months later when another group of children die.

    ACLU cant blame guns cause of the NRA. Media cant blame guns, cause they have NRA lawyers in their face ready to sue them too. Hell Americans are the only country in the world that most of their population think guns are safer than airplanes or cars. *facepalm*

  • Violence can’t be blamed on anything. It’s an innate part of how the world works. We can pretend that we are above it all we like but when the first instinct humans have when hurt or angered is to punch things, violence is never going away. The key to solving it is to find ways to channel the urges into something less harmful. It’s one reason why sport is so popular.

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