Sunday, October 14, 2007

this (and ann coulter) are why I don't watch the news.

I was watching something about school shootings other night on Anderson Cooper, but never wrote about it. Since it's Saturday night, and I'm sitting at home watching last night's "Men in Trees" that I TiVoed*, I think it's about time to write about it.

So Anderson was interviewing a former school shooter about what was going on when he did it. He said that, you know, everything he learned about death came from video games, and that when you die in [whatever video game he was talking about], you don't die, but come back to life and keep going. So he figured that, he'd just shoot people and they'd be fine because that's what happens in video games.


It took me a good five minutes to pick my jaw up off of the floor after hearing that. The kid looked about eighteen, so I figure he was at LEAST 12-13 when he shot up whatever school he was at. What 12- or 13-year-old doesn't know what death is? Who hasn't read a book where someone died, or learned in a class about some important historical figure being killed? Or have we as a society become so afraid of upsetting a child's perfect little world that we don't want to teach them the harsh reality of life; namely, that we're all going to end up as rotting corpses at one point or another?

I'm sure that we're just going to blame video games for this; video games make shooting people look so cool, and nothing bad ever happens, so of COURSE kids are going to think that life is exactly like a video game.** In reality, though, it seems like the problem would be the adults who refuse to sit down and talk to their children about important things like death and the difference between fiction and reality. But why would we want to blame ourselves when we can shift blame to someone else?

And then I got to thinking (before I changed the channel to something that didn't infuriate me nearly as much)...what if that's what this kid's lawyer told him to say? I mean, what better way to get out of a homicide charge then say that you didn't know any better and point to the evil video games that the average suburbanite (read: your jurors) likely think is too violent anyway and want to see taken down? Yeah, I know it's a long-shot, and sounds more like the plot of an upcoming "Boston Legal" episode, but... I guess if it looks like an idiot and speaks like an idiot, it's too much of an idiot to understand the consequences of it's actions.

*I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I really enjoy "Men in Trees"...and not just because James Tupper is hot. It's a really funny, cute show - so much so that it almost makes me forget about the fact that it stars Anne Heche, and she's insane.

**Kind of like that episode of "Futurama" where Fry wishes life were more like a video game, except with fewer opportunities to smell Donkey Kong's loincloth.

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At 8:32 PM, Blogger Lindsay said...

Wow... That's unbelievable! Is there ANYTHING that can't be blamed on video games? Man, I'd love to see Alan Shore's closing on that one. Of course, he'd probably be the kid's attorney, wouldn't he? :)


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