Today's Lazy Connection Between Video Games And Real World Violence

By Kamau High , Updated Mar 19, 2013 01:37 PM EDT
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Meet CBS 2 Chicago. They are a bunch of dummies.

On Tuesday they wrote a story headlined, "Can Violent Video Games Set In Chicago Spark Real Bloodshed?" The tenous point of the story is IO Interactive's "Hitman: Absolution" and Ubisoft Montreal's yet to be released "Watchdogs" both feature protagonists killing people who happen to be in Chicago. From there they quote Michael Shields, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, saying that because gamers virtually gun down people who wear hats "markedly similar to those of the Chicago Police Department" they are more likely to actually go out and shoot actual Chicago police officers.

This is ridiculous. When I play a Nintendo game starring a plumber jumping on turtles this does not make me want to go out and jump on turtles. Similarly, of the thousands of virtual bad guys I have gunned down in my 30 plus years of playing video games I have never wanted to emulate what I played and go out and do that in real life. By their logic, readers of Stephen King should be out committing wanton murders of women and children, watchers of "Zero Dark Thirty" should be out gunning down Osama bin Laden and listeners of Snoop Dog should be out Crip-walking and pimping.

It's bad enough people are connecting Adam Lanza gunning down school children and the fact that he studied a list of mass-murders to video games, but when representatives of a police force don't know any better we all need to be worried. If you want to weep for journalism watch their report and let them know how wrong they are here:

CBS 2 Broadcast Center
22 West Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
312-899-2222
tips@cbschicago.com

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