Following the horrific Washington Navy Yard shooting, where the gunman was said to be “obsessed” with violent video games, US news show MSNBC Morning Joe had a discussion around violent video games, but a refreshing perspective was given when one of the participants fought back against the implication of violent video games.
Yahoo news columnist Jeff Greenfield was among the panel, who argued that all “new mediums” from comic books to rock and roll always get blamed for violence.
“Sixty years ago under the instruction of a psychologist named Dr. Frederick Wertham, who wrote a book called ‘Seduction of the Innocents’, you know what was considered the threat from the part of young people? Comic books,” Greenfield said. “They were censored out of existence by the New York Comics Code Authority. Every time there’s a new medium, it is pointed to as the source of horrible behaviour. It’s comic books, it’s rock and roll, it’s video games. Back in the days of Pac-Man, even! I guess it was supposed to desensitize people’s brains.”
Greenfield was rudely interrupted by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, but Greenfield did manage to make a fair point about the way in which the media easily pins blame on specific elements instead of approaching the psychology of the problem.
“Remember ‘Tales from the Crypt’, back in 1950?” Greenfield said. “With chopped off heads? It wasn’t that far. I’m only saying that the notion that here’s the magic bullet—if you’ll pardon the expression bullet—that is the cause of it, is something we do, but it may not be the answer we think it is.”
It’s good to hear an opposing side of the argument for once, however, the anchors manage to silence anyone who has an opposing point to the agenda they’re pushing.
What do you think of the violent video game debate? The whole discussion seems to re-emerge every time an act of violence happens.
Check out the video for yourself: